A recently completed survey conducted by the International Journal of Sexual Medicine (published by Wiley-Blackwell) presented the results of phone interviews with nearly 28,000 men age 20-75 from the North America, South America, and several countries in Europe. The survey queried men's attitudes regarding life and sex.
Researchers found that men's perceptions of masculinity differed substantially from stereotypes in movies and literature. Men reported that being perceived as honorable, self-reliant, and respected by friends were important determinants of self-perceived masculinity. (For those of you old enough to remember John Wayne, this will be a major "Well duhhh." Mel Gibson also played some roles that point to this truth, including The Patriot and Braveheart.n contrast, factors stereotypically associated with masculinity (being physically attractive, sexually active, and successful with women) were deemed to be less important to men's sense of masculinity.
Before you jump to the conclusion that these findings are regional or that all 28,000 survey participants were senior citizen monks from the Bible Belt, the group was randomly selected from a group of men who previously agreed to participate in a survey regarding men's health issues. The findings were consistent across all nationalities and all age groups studied. For you survey Gnostics, the researchers used a seven-point Likert scale to garner their answers (1 being "not at all important" to 7, "very important").
Across the board, men said that their quality of life was determined by their good health, harmonious family life, and a good relationship with their wife/partner. These factors were significantly more important to their enjoyment of life than concerns such as having a good job, having a nice home, living life to the full, or even a satisfying sex life. According to the numbers, fully one-third of respondents said being in good health was the most important factor, followed by a harmonious family life (26 per cent) and being in a good relationship with their wife or partner (19 per cent). Just two per cent put a satisfying sex life as their top priority.
The researchers concluded that their survey results empirically challenge widely held stereotypes concerning masculinity, sex, and quality of life. "Taken together, this body of research underscores the centrality to men of nonsexual aspects of the male identity (and) emphasizes the importance of the couple relationship," German researcher Michael Sand said.
Surprised? You shouldn't be.
Hollywood and Madison Avenue often get men (or women) all wrong. (Aren't all women just like the girls in "Sex and the City?") The truth revealed about what men want will likely ring true for anyone in a successful long-term relationship. These are built and last because the relationship is the focus... not the sex.
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