Men Lie About Their Number Of Sex Partners To Prove They're Masculine, New Study Says, Plus 5 Things Science Says About Manning Up

My father is 5’10” or at least this is what he’ll tell you if you ask him. Although he knows, technically, he’s slightly under 5’8” that’s not a height with which he’s happy. Instead, he’s 5’10, and there’s no arguing with him on it. But my father isn’t the first, nor will be he the last man to lie about his age. A new study that is, in no way groundbreaking or even surprising, has found that men lie about their age and amount of sexual partners to prove they're masculine. Because, as we all know, a man under 5’10” is just simply not a man, not a "real man" anyway. Yes, you can groan now.

According to the study done by the University of Washington, where things get really all “macho, macho man,” is when men feel that their masculinity is being questioned. It’s in these instances that men will choose more stereotypically masculine cars (a pick-up truck, maybe?), claim to watch even more sports than they already do, and are likely to brag about benching five thousand pounds or something insane, even if they’ve never benched a thing in their life. You know, because being manly is the only way to be!

However, men who don’t worry about their masculinity being questioned, aka. every guy I’ve ever dated for some reason, don’t feel the need to lie about things like height and the sexual numbers. If anything, they have it easier than trying to succumb to a stereotype that can actually be pretty sexist and gross.

Because this isn’t the first study to examine masculinity, here are five things science has found about what makes a man masculine, and further examples of how men react when they’re scared their masculinity isn’t being taken seriously.

1. Unemployed Men Are More Likely To Be Violent Partners

According to a study published in the journal Social Psychology, an examination of domestic violence cases found that unemployed men are more likely to be violent to their partner than men who are employed. The theory is that when these men are not the breadwinners their masculinity is threatened, forcing them to lash out at their partner who makes the money. Sounds to me like that breadwinner, needs to leave her unemployed bum behind.

2. Men Who Eat Spicier Food Ten To Be More Masculine

What?! If that’s the case, I should have grown a beard and a set of balls, years ago, but I digress. Physiologists at the University of Grenoble in France found that men who eat lots of spicy food have higher levels of testosterone. In curry houses, men actually try to out do each other in curry consumption to prove who’s the “real” man in town.

3. Finger Length Can Predict Masculinity

A 2012 study of boys between 4 and 11 found that when the boys’ fingers were measured, it was the kids with what they call “low digit ratio,” that made for more masculine looking boys ― prominent jawline and smaller eyes ― who would eventually grow up into more masculine looking men. The boys with the higher digit ratio, had smaller chins, larger eyes, and other features that the scientists labeled a “childlike/female appearance.”

4. There Are Two Types Of Masculinity

According to a 2014 study published in Time, there are two difference types of masculinity: healthy masculinity and pathological masculinity. This is especially the case in teenage boys who are still trying to find their footing when it comes to exerting their masculinity. The distinction is that the healthy masculinity likes to enjoy stereotypically boy things, but the one with the pathological masculinity is a bully who likes to destroy things as a way to prove he’s a “man.”

5. What’s Considered Masculine Differs In Every Culture

Although in the West we’re obsessed with height, how much money we make, and how many notches we have on our bedpost as a means to prove manliness, it changes drastically from culture to culture. Even in the U.S. “an older, black, gay man in Chicago and a young, white, heterosexual farm boy in Iowa would likely have different definitions of masculinity,” and that perception of masculinity is constantly changing. In fact, men wearing lace used to be a thing.

Other studies have found that masculinity is absolutely a cultural creation.

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