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A new research from YouGov found that less than half of young people across APAC believe they conform to gender stereotypes. According to the findings, on a scale of 0-10 (where 0 is completely masculine and 10 is completely feminine), under a third of women (31%) aged 16-29 say they are almost entirely feminine (at level 9 or 10), while nearly half (49%) of women over 45 do.
The divide is also apparent in men; with 39% of 16-29 year old males across the region define themselves as either completely masculine (0) or near-completely masculine (1). In comparison, 56% of over-45 males share the same sentiment.
The generation divide is also seen in attitudes towards masculinity and femininity more generally; with 67% of those aged over 45 see masculinity as either very positive or fairly positive. On the other hand, only 58% of 16-29 year olds feel the same.
This divide is more muted when it comes to attitudes to femininity, though the trend is the same; 58% of over 45s view it as positive, compared with 54% of 16-29 year olds.
On the other hand, young people are also less likely to believe that they conform to gender stereotypes in comparison to older generations. According to the survey, 43% of 16-29 year olds either strongly or slightly agree that they conform to gender stereotypes. The number stands at 51% for those over 45.
However, when asked to select three traits that respondents most associate with each gender, generations seem to converge.
The top three that 16-19 year olds most strongly associate with masculinity are strength (55%), assertiveness (27%) and intelligence (24%). On the other hand, sensitivity (42%), emotional (33%) and affectionate (29%) were chosen for femininity.
In comparison, those over 45 identify strength (56%), assertiveness (31%) and decisiveness (25%) as the traits they most associate with masculinity; while sensitivity (47%), emotional (36%) and affectionate (32%) for femininity.
Yet, despite having shared ideas about what constitutes masculinity and femininity, the majority of those polled (56%) believe that they are social constructs. This view is most strongly held in the Philippines (68%), Thailand (60%) and Australia (58%), but is less widely held in Vietnam, where 39% of respondents agree.
APAC residents are also divided about the impact that gender roles have on society, with 39% agreeing that gender roles are a barrier to equality. While those in Thailand (49%), Singapore (45%) and Australia (44%) are most likely to believe this to be the case, just a quarter of Indonesians (24%) agree.
Lead Photo / 123RF