Despite believing themselves to be enlightened, men aged 16 to 36 show numerous biases towards women
Millennial men, the name given to those aged between 16 and 36 years, are often hailed the salvation of mankind, described in pop culture psychology as the heralds of a new age of liberal attitudes towards gender and sexuality. This generation of males, as magazine column inches would have us believe, is the ‘menlightenment’, where the glass ceiling will be shattered, men and women will work in non-gendered harmony, and equality will embrace all children.
If these reports are to be believed, when millennial men take up positions of power in the academic, political, and economic spheres, the disparities will disappear. But if the Harvard Business Review is to be believed, there are a couple of bumps in the road that the modern man is driving straight into.
According to a study by the National Institutes of Health into how university-level biology students rate their peers’ intelligence and achievements.
The research shows that male students systematically overestimated the knowledge of their male classmates when compared to the female ones.
Furthermore, despite evidence to the performance of female students’ superior performance in the class presenting itself over the course of the academic term, the male students still appraised the men in class as being better. In every class of biology students assessed, a man was determined to be the highest achieving student, even when a woman was known to have better results.
Female students, on the other hand, showed a far more shrewd reading of classmate’s performances, showing a far greater accuracy when it came to ratings.
After concluding their research into the attitudes of these budding biologists, the study team wrote: “The chilly environment for women [in the sciences] may not be going away anytime soon.”
This study is just the latest to call into question how millennial men perceive their female counterparts. A survey carried out in 2014 of more than 2,000 adults actually determined that compared to older men, millennials were even less accepting to female leaders.
Only 41% of men aged 16 to 36 were comfortable with the concept of a female engineer, lagging far behind the 65% of men aged 65 or older. Other jobs (US senators, CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, and US president) also showed younger men to be more fearful compared to the national average.
Pew Center research from 2013 also called into question the attitudes of the millennial man. That survey found that millennial women were far more likely to say that we need continued work to bring about further gender equality, while men of the same age were more likely to think that the job has been done and there is no more work to be done on it.