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Has modern man lost his manhood?

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  • Nearly a quarter (26 per cent) of British men could not live without their toiletries
  • Men are even less confident in their own abilities than their female partners
  • Welsh blokes top the poll for never having learnt the basics of DIY
  • 29% of men couldn’t live without ready meals

A lack of DIY know-how, an over-reliance on modern technology, luxuries like grooming products and a comfortable, sedentary lifestyle has dulled modern man’s basic instincts. And what’s more, it’s the men themselves who believe they are losing their manhood. To support the launch of ‘The Island’ with Bear Grylls, which starts from Monday 5th May, Channel 4 has commissioned a survey to find out if British modern men’s survival gene is in danger of becoming extinct.

The survey findings come as the broadcaster launches its new five-part series, ‘The Island with Bear Grylls’ featuring the real-life experiences of a group of men struggling to survive on a remote island. In order to survive, the group have to hunt and kill for their food, but the study of 2,000 Britons shows that the British man in the same situation would probably starve! Nearly 1 in 3 (29 per cent) of men would choose ready meals as their ‘must have’ item on a remote island, above taking a hunting knife or fishing line. That said, 62 per cent of men also revealed that they wouldn’t even be able to start a fire without the aid of a lighter – so they’d be in serious danger of not even being able to heat the ready meal up!

It would appear that British men are fearful of taking risks, have few practical skills and lead increasingly habitual lives. When asked to rate their practical DIY skills, Welsh men were the least-educated in the UK, with a whopping 83 per cent claiming they were never taught how to. Additionally, a mere 10% spend their spare time playing sport, nine percent pursuing outdoor activities and 15 per cent tending to their house or car. The top recreation was lazing around and watching TV, with a third (36 per cent) admitting to spending their free time in this way.

The Island’s host Bear Grylls comments: “What happens when you strip man of all the luxury and conveniences of modern living and then force them to fight for their very existence? When pushed to the extreme do they still have what it takes to survive? I believe the spirit is still there and in us all. It’s not until it’s squeezed and put under pressure that we find that spirit of resourcefulness and courage again.”

With the average Brit now spending 8.9 hours every day sitting down*, today’s technology-driven and sedentary lifestyle is reducing man’s contact with practical hands-on activities and dulling essential skills and basic instincts necessary to deal with real-world challenges.

British Men may really have gone soft, 26 per cent said they also couldn’t live without their toiletries, 10 per cent their hair products and 18 per cent their deodorant. Nearly a third of all men (31 per cent) polled admitting that they couldn’t do without sun cream This is supported by recent research conducted by JWT entitled ‘Masculinity and Modernity: Investigating The Men Of Britain Today’ which reveals that 76 per cent of men agree that there is as much pressure on them to dress well and be as groomed as women. And the report also reveals that 71 per cent of men believe that the things that define masculinity have changed.

*Research conducted by ‘Get Britain Standing’, 10th April 2014

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