Men have started to move, but traditionally minded men are still in the majority compared to modern men. This is the result of a study commissioned by the Protestant and Catholic men's organizations and presented by the two churches and Federal Family Minister Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) in Berlin on Wednesday.
The representative survey, titled "Men on the Move," explores how the male role has changed over the past decade. It classifies almost one-fifth (19 percent) of men as modern, 27 percent are traditional-minded, it said. Ten years ago, the figure was 30 percent.Meanwhile, most men, around a third, are still searching for their role. One in four belongs to the balancers between old and new role models, the "cherry pickers," according to one of the two authors of the study, the Viennese pastoral theologian Paul M. Zulehner. Such men accept the occupation of their wives, but do not share the housework with them. Compared to women, men are making slower progress. Every third woman has modern role concepts, but only every fifth man.The chairman of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), Bishop Wolfgang Huber, welcomed the change, which, however, was not initiated by men but by women. Today, he said, men are just as much in demand as fathers of families as they are at work. Reconciliation is becoming a "core ie" for them as well. The churches, which have gained in prestige among men, could contribute a lot to the further development of gender roles in their educational work, Huber said.
Milestones Archbishop Ludwig Schick, who is responsible for men's work in the German Bishops' Conference, called the study a "milestone in empirical men's research". Most men want change and need to be supported in it. Von der Leyen emphasized that men are not only needed in the family, but also in public care: "We need more men in daycare centers, schools, and in nursing care."This is where the churches could make a big difference as providers of daycare centers and care facilities.According to the study, traditional ideas that women belong at the hearth and that women's occupations are harmful for children almost no longer play a role. 58 percent of men agree that husband and wife should contribute to the household income; in 1998, the figure was 54 percent. Only one in two men still agreed with the proposition that women are naturally better suited to raise children. A decade ago, two out of three men still held this view.Marriage is considered outdated by one in four men. 35 percent of traditional men consider it out of date, but only 13 percent of modern ones. Von der Leyen sees this as proof that marriage only has a future as a modern marriage based on partnership. Among women, only one in five considers marriage outdated.Large differences between men and women continue to exist in the willingness to care for the elderly. 27 percent of men would be unwilling to combine a career with caring for family members – only half as many women would be willing to do so. Study author Zulehner called relieving women of caregiving "one of the most massive challenges" in an aging society. Families are made up of three generations, not just parents and children.The study is entitled "Men on the Move" and is published ten years after the churches' first men's study, "Men on the Move". For the representative survey commissioned by the Men's Work of the EKD and the Community of Catholic Men in Germany, 1.470 men and 970 women questioned. The authors are the social scientist Rainer Volz (Dusseldorf) and the pastoral theologian Zulehner.