Masculine Traits And Behavior: What Is Manly? [List]

The last article made the case that there is such a thing as a masculine character (Click). Is character and behavior related? And if so, what resulting traits and behaviors that are seen as masculine?  These are some questions I was left with when I finished the last article about masculine character.

Masculine traits

  • Assertiveness
  • Industriousness
  • More interested in abstract ideas and concepts. (Facts over feels)
  • Strength
  • Courage
  • Independence
  • Violence
  • Protectiveness
  • Competitiveness
  • Sexual appetite
  • Passion
  • Confidence
  • Decisiveness

If you want some more information and explanation, keep reading. This is not an exhaustive list but I think it covers a large part of masculinity. Of course you can find these traits in everyone. But on average, you’ll find they are stronger in the average man than the average woman.

Do you feel like you’re not as masculine as you could be? Check out the program “Masculine Core”. It’ll help you awaken the masculine that’s waiting inside of you.

Now for some more background on the contents of this list.

Are character and behavior related?

In a previous article I’ve tried to make a case that there is such a thing as a masculine character. I think I succeeded in doing that but that’s for you to decide. What I found out is that there are enough scientific studies to prove that the average character of the genders is different. That means it makes sense to call the character of the average male “masculine” and that of the average female “feminine”.

It seems to me that a person’s character has a great influence on their behavior. This article supports that character and behavior are related: Click for article.

In short, someone with a certain character trait won’t show this trait in all situations. But if that person is in a situation that brings out that trait, they are more likely to show it. E.g. a person that’s more aggressive won’t be aggressive in all situations. But in a situation where aggression is appropriate, this person will be more aggressive than someone without that trait.

So this article explains that a person’s character is partly responsible for their behavior but it’s not the only factor. The situation also has a very large impact.

Character to behavior

If people exhibit traits depending on the situation, it is logical that, people with different personalities show different behavior in the same situation.

Since the genders have different personalities on average, it makes sense that they would react differently in the same situation.

In my opinion that means that if there is a masculine and feminine character, there must also be feminine and masculine behavior.

What behaviors and traits are masculine?

So we’ve just seen that it’s reasonable to call certain behaviors “masculine”

Now we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get into the good stuff. What actual behaviors and traits are masculine?

Big 5 aspects differences

In the last article about character we looked at which character traits are stronger in the average man. Let’s very quickly review what the differences in character aspects between the genders are:

Women score higher, on average, on enthusiasm, compassion, politeness, orderliness, volatility, withdrawal, and openness, while men score higher on assertiveness, industriousness and intellect.

Traditional behaviors and traits

The dictionary definitions of masculinity often mention that masculine is the manifestation of “traditional characteristics”.

Scientific test don’t care if something is traditional or not so it makes sense to look at some other sources for information. It might not be scientific but in my opinion still useful. Let’s look at what traits people relate to masculinity.

From Wikipedia:

“Traits traditionally viewed as masculine in Western society include strength, courage, independence, violence, and assertiveness.”

From Click for article.

This article lists the following as masculine traits:

“Protectiveness, competitiveness, aggressiveness, assertiveness, sexual appetite, deference to truth over feelings, passion, confidence, independence.”

These traits don’t seem to necessarily be in conflict with the big 5 test results so we can’t dismiss them right away.

Quick explanations of masculine traits.

I might go deeper into these traits in the future but, for now, I’ll just give a quick definition or explanation.


What does it mean to have higher assertiveness? This article will clear it up for you.

Higher assertiveness means you will be clear in your communication about what you want. You don’t shy away from defending your views or goals but don’t get rude in the process. You can also react to positive and negative emotions without becoming aggressive or passive.

You are likely more confident and have higher self-esteem.


People who are higher in industriousness focus more on work, don’t procrastinate, obey deadlines and finish projects completely. They are not easily distracted from the task at hand. They won’t let themselves get away with slacking off. They take on responsibility and are more concerned with schedules and efficiency.

Interest in abstract ideas and concepts. (Facts over feelz)

Don’t confuse this with IQ!!! It’s not the same thing. Read this article for more information.

If you’re higher in intellect you are more interested in ideas and abstract concepts. They like learning about philosophical ideas. They are interested in logic and reason more than emotions and feelings.

It seems likely that personality aspect is part of the reason why men are often more interested in things than women are.


Cambridge dictionary: “The ability to do things that need a lot of physical or mental effort”

That definition makes clear strength can be physical or mental. That most men are physically stronger than most women is pretty clear. This is most likely a result of different testosterone levels.

If there is a difference is in mental strength isn’t so clear.


From Wikipedia: Click!

“Courage (also called bravery or valour) is the choice and willingness to confront agony, pain, danger, uncertainty, or intidimidation. Physical courage is bravery in the face of physical pain, hardship, death or threat of death, while moral courage is the ability to act rightly in the face of popular opposition, shame, scandal, discouragement, or personal loss.”

For a more in-depth article on courage, click here.


Cambridge dictionary: “The ability to live your life without being helped or influenced by other people.”

It doesn’t mean you never ask for or accept help but that you’re not constantly dependent on others.

To be independent means you can live your own life how you like it. You can think, feel and do without others influencing your direction.

It does not mean you live outside social, legal and cultural boundaries though. There has to be a balance.

For more information about independence in the context of masculinity, click here.


Violence is the use of physical force with the intention of hurting, harming or injuring them.


Aggressiveness can mean different things. It can mean you are more likely to attack unprovoked and be menacing towards others.

It can also mean you go all-out to reach your goals and win.


I think this needs very little explanation.  If you are protective you want to protect someone or something.

Many men will feel like they are responsible for the safety and well-being of their partner and family.


If you’re competitive, you want to be better and/or more successful than the people you’re competing against. This competition can be in any field you find important (and probably some you don’t even find very important).

Being competitive is not natural for some people. Check out this article on how to become a more competitive person.

Sexual appetite

This is mainly how many times you would like to “engage”. It’s no secret that the average male has a higher appetite than the average female. There are exceptions of course.

The fact that men have about 10-45 times the testosterone women have, is probably a big reason why that’s the case.


Cambridge dictionary: “a very powerful feeling, for example of sexual attraction, love, hate, anger, or other emotion”

In men passion shows up as something that’s almost an obsession. You can see this in hobbies and interests. When a man is into a hobby, they can be really, really into it. He’s spending all his free hours practicing playing the guitar for example. Other men will go very far to advance their career and it’s a huge part of who they are.


This article summarizes confidence nicely

“Confidence can be described as a belief in one’s self and one’s ability to succeed.”


Of course you can find these traits in everyone. But on average, you’ll find they are stronger in the average man than the average woman.

The traits listed here are those traditionally seen as masculine. In my opinion it’s not good or bad. It is what it is. Like pretty much everything in life, these traits can be used for good or bad. It’s how you use them that makes the difference.

There is a lot to be written about all of these traits so keep an eye out for more articles about them in the future.

Don’t forget to read this article about the definition of masculinity.


Hi there. I'm BetterDaily. I'm a man in his early thirties that likes to travel, ride motorcycles, work out and write. Usually I write about men, things related to masculinity and things men like. Teacher by day, blogger by night.

Recent Posts