Gender inequalities remain one of the most important problems faced by Western Societies, and they are strongly tied to men and women's affirmation of their gender identity. During the past decades, however, gender roles and norms in society have slightly changed. While the consequences of these changes have attracted researchers attention, most of this research has focused on women. Put differently, no previous research has directly investigated the consequences of these changes (namely, the relative feminization of men as a group) on men's attitudes and behaviors that contribute to the maintenance of traditional gender roles, gender inequality, and gender based discrimination.

Lay summary

The present project aims at filling this gap and addressing this issue at three levels: the intrapersonal level (i.e., men's attitude toward career aspirations, work-family balance, and investment in the household), the intragroup level (i.e., men's attitude towards other men who behave in a counter-stereotypic way and question the status quo), and the intergroup level (i.e., men's discrimination towards women in general, and on the work market). We generally contend that such feminization may either lead men to challenge or reinforce the status quo and gender inequalities, depending on their motivation to uphold the antifemininity norm of masculinity.

As such, this project has both scientific and practical relevance. On a theoretical level, it will first increase our understanding of the barriers preventing men to challenge the status quo and reduce gender inequalities. Second, this project will increase our knowledge about men's reaction to changing gender norms, and about the situations in which men will conform or resist these changes. Finally, it will also highlight the importance of men's reaction to such changes at three different levels (personal, intragroup, and intergroup). Practically speaking, this project widens our knowledge about these societal issues, and provides insights for developing efficient ways to increase men's engagement in gender equality. Further, these findings may prove useful to policy makers, practitioners, teachers and counselors working in the field to change men's career aspirations, their interest in work-family balance, their attitudes towards non-traditional men, their sexist tendencies and gender-based discriminations in the workplace.