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Male modesty doesn’t pay


Modest men are getting the brush-off from women.

Modest? Shy? Reluctant to tell everyone how brilliant you are? If you’re male, then you can probably add ‘single’ to that list.

‘New men’ beware: research has revealed women don’t like modesty in a man. Instead, cocky types are more likely to win their hearts. Other men also find male modesty an unattractive trait – perhaps because they believe that bashful boys are letting the side down.

Research shows that women prefer cocky types like Simon Cowell rather than Hugh Grant’s bumbling on-screen behaviour. Three female researchers showed more than 200 people videotapes of a man and a woman applying for a job as a computer lab manager. The male and female actors both followed the same script in the mocked-up interview and were equally humble about their achievements. The volunteers were asked to rate them for modesty, likeability and a range of other factors.

Despite the actors being equally qualified for the job, the man was liked less than the woman. Meekness makes men seem less confident and ambitious and more weak, uncertain and insecure, the journal Psychology of Men & Masculinity reports. ‘Modest men were not liked as much as modest women because they were viewed as ‘too weak’ for a man and because they were viewed as insufficiently confident and ambitious,’ the U.S. researchers wrote.

They said the results showed that while women had been able to change their roles to become more assertive, men still faced prejudice when they tried to change. Professor Laurie Rudman, of Rutgers University in New Jersey, said: ‘Our findings demonstrate that men encounter prejudice when they behave modestly. They also raise the possibility that men may avoid behaving modestly because they risk backlash when they do”.

Changes in gender roles that have afforded women more financial independence have not yielded relaxed demands for men. ‘Men are still required to uphold masculine ideals that require chronic exhibitions of strength while avoiding signs of weakness.’

Professor Rudman added that pressure to be macho can be bad for men’s health. ‘Men are expected to be successful, powerful, and dominant, show no weaknesses or chinks in the armour, and avoid acting in ways that might be perceived as feminine,’ she said. ‘Men’s mental and physical health can suffer from adhering to masculine ideals.’

Guest blog from Terry G who says; “What does all this mean for us blue eyed modest men????????…………..I am going outside and I may be a while…………..”

Author: mikethepsych

He says he's a psychologist but aren't we all?

3 thoughts on “Male modesty doesn’t pay

  1. As a Newbie, I am permanently exploring online for articles that can aid me. Thank you

  2. The thought of more Simon Cowell types around is scary, and not just for his bad hair and poor dress sense. And you wonder if the women who chose that type see themselves as “Cheryls” or “Amandas”. As for Hugh Grant – was he ever a male role model except for metrosexual men?
    More seriously these were mock interviews and the participants may have felt that the more confident men would have made better breadwinners. There is also some research that shows women prefer more alpha males for fathering their kids but less so as a life partner. So all is not lost – yet.