Masculinity Quiz Answers

In our previous post, I gave a quiz testing readers' understanding of masculinity. Many thanks to those who posted their answers in the comments. It's encouraging to see such a high level of participation.

For those just joining us, and as a reminder, readers were presented with five sets of two scenarios. Each section featured one man exhibiting masculine behavior and one man displaying effeminacy. Contra the reductive modern definition, I employ the classical definition of effeminacy as lacking masculine virtue.

Readers were asked to identify which man in each set was being masculine and which was being effeminate. Here are the answers.

Section 1

Richard and Scott are twentysomething single men. While Richard is a successful pickup artist who seeks the pleasures of a high notch count, Scott is a virgin who is saving the gift of his sexuality for his future wife.

Who is masculine?

Nice Guy

Readers who identified Scott as the more masculine man answered correctly.

Everyone is obligated to practice chastity, the virtue for regulating indulgence in pleasures in a manner proper to one's state in life. Pleasure is a signal that the activity which produces it is essentially good. However, indulging any good in excess is disordered, and seeking pleasure for its own sake is always wrong.

Richard's pleasure-seeking betrays a lack of chastity. Furthermore, men are called to be chaste for the sake of their future wives. Richard's compounding of his lust with selfishness is therefore effeminate as well.

Section 1 recap: A. effeminate, B. masculine.

Section 2

Alan and Dave are both hardworking men who seek to exercise Christian headship in their homes. Alan takes part in household chores with his wife's assistance. Dave, on the other hand, gives sole responsibility for the housework to his wife.

Who is masculine?

Man Cooking

If you said that Alan is the more masculine husband, you are correct.

God gives men primary authority over the entire household, not just those tasks which are customarily considered men's work. Women were created as men's helpers, not our slaves.

Not only does Dave's habit of watching TV while his wife cleans indicate a vicious proclivity toward pleasure seeking, he actually cedes some of his headship to her by abdicating all of his responsibility for the housework.

Section 2 recap: A. masculine, B. effeminate.

Section 3

Jeffrey and Dominic were both offered partnerships in a risky startup venture. Jeffrey not only left his secure job to take the new position, he invested a considerable portion of his family's savings in the business. Meanwhile, Dominic judged the new job's higher income potential an insufficient reason to risk his family's financial security.

Who is masculine?

Wage Slave

The one virtue above all others which men are called to master to an even greater degree than women is prudence. A man's headship of his household comes with a price tag of always being obligated to act in his family's best interests--even if it means sacrificing his preferences.

Men are more disposed to risk-taking then women, but these must be reasonable risks. By taking a leap without fully appreciating the potential consequences, Jeffrey acted rashly, and thus effeminately.

On a theological level, men are particularly called to image Christ through sacrificial suffering. That is why professions such as the priesthood and soldiering are properly reserved to men.

Dominic's job may suck, but his obligation as a husband and father is to offer it up in sacrifice while he works to find sufficiently stable work that better fits his dispositions.

Section 3 recap: A. effeminate, B. masculine

Section 4

Glenn and Mike are both attending a seminar put on by their company. When the speaker discusses a new corporate policy proposal, Glenn feels wary about the suggested course of action but holds his peace pending further information since he's insufficiently informed on the subject. Mike knows just as little, yet he doesn't hesitate to share his uninformed opinion with the room.

Who is masculine?

Man Listening

Those who said that Glenn exercised greater masculinity are correct.

Another key virtue in which men are to excel is humility. Taking undue pleasure in one's own intellectual excellence, including the presumption that others are always better off hearing your opinion, regardless of whether it's informed or not, is intellectually prideful and effeminate.

In other words, a masculine man speaks because he has something to say. An effeminate speaks because he has to say something.

Section 4 recap: A. masculine, B. effeminate.

Section 5

Darren and James both receive petty insults from their coworkers. Darren quietly suffers the barb, while James flips his lid and retaliates in kind.

Who is masculine?

Man Walking Away

If you answered that Darren showed greater masculinity by keeping his cool under fire, pat yourself on the back.

Because of the potentially more dire consequences of unchecked male passion, men are specially obliged to regulate our passions. Anger itself is not a sin, but it must always be subject to reason. Getting overtly emotional over petty insults is effeminate.

Section 5 recap: A. masculine, B. effeminate.

Final tally (who is masculine):
1. B
2. A
3. B
4. A
5. A

Looking over the responses, commenters averaged a score of 3.8 out of 5 correct answers. It's reassuring to have a readership that is demonstrably more masculine than average.

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  1. I could have gone either way on 3. I chose A because you stated Dominic hated his job. If it would have been described as unpleasant I would have gone with B.

    1. A single man might be justified in leaving a job he hates just because he hates it. A married man must subordinate his own preferences in such matters to his family's greater good.

      The most societally damaging aspect of the effeminacy epidemic is the near-total absence of men who are willing to suffer.

    2. Agreed. I overthought the word hate. There are men that are unwilling to tolerate the merely unpleasant so the thought of a man tolerating something he hated was too foreign for me to imagine.

  2. I got 2 out of 5 correct. If I was commenting on this quiz a year ago I definitely would've got all of them wrong. I still have a long journey ahead of me to shed my gamma tendencies but I have definitely made progress. This was a good quiz.

    1. Glad you got value out of the quiz.

      I'm also glad you brought up the Sexual Hierarchy. The alpha-->omega spectrum is only tangentially related to masculine virtue. Many alphas exhibit, and even define their rank by, objectively effeminate behavior.

      Pray for discernment and strive for virtue. You'll be surprised how quickly you mature.

  3. A nit to pick

    Scenario 3: There is no indication that this is a foolish move, while A needed to invest a portion of the family savings into the project, this is one of the things that savings are for. And while the Parable of the Talents is primarily about spiritual gifts, we are to do everything to the glory of God, including our business decisions.

    1. It doesn't have to be objectively foolish to be rash. Failure to fully appreciate potential consequences suffices, which Jeffrey displayed by talking up the potential rewards instead of addressing the risks.

      A business decision made for the good of one's family according to right reason glorifies God more than a lucrative decision made rashly.

    2. Startup ventures are very, very risky. Most fail.

      If the guy doing the startup had planned for what would happen if the startup had failed, including not investing a substantial portion of the family savings into the risky venture, it would be less clear-cut.

      Either way, the guy who stays at the sure and certain job for his family displays far more fortitude.

    3. I am being asked to exhibit fortitude since our church is changing worship schedule. They think that younger people are attracted to modern music, so they are setting things up so that children's Sunday school is at the same time as traditional worship, ad force everyone with children to go to modern pop/chorus-style worship.

      Unfortunately, the suggestion that worship styles change week to week while staying the same throughout all services on that week was deemed unacceptable. Too many people would leave.

      Please pray that I will not be resentful over this.

    4. You probably aren't required to send your children to Sunday school, and if all they are learning is how to glue cotton balls onto a paper sheep, you probably shouldn't.

  4. Brian, thank you for the quiz and for sharing Father Ripperger's lecture on masculine virtue. While it's important to know the virtues at a high level, specific and real-life examples help me put them into practice.

  5. Figures that the two I messed up on were the two I hemmed and hawed on. There's always next time.

    Interesting quiz. Thank you for making it.

  6. I nailed this, BUT I conditionally disagree on the risk versus stability financial question. I believe he is obligated, faced with an opportunity, with researching and learning until he can make a reasoned judgement on the opportunity. Viewed across generations, a risk well-taken now can be of benefit now and into the future of the family.

    So I agree with the reasoning for security now, but I add the condition that while the risk might not be more masculine at the individual level, it may be the right choice for the patriarch. Sometimes it is a man's job to take risks.

    Just my thoughts, based on my history, and with full respect to your intellect and reasoning.

    1. My reasoning is as straw. I speak not on my own authority, but merely hand on what I've received.

      Thank you for your considered comment.

  7. I should add that where I got "the right answer", your reasoning was still very illuminating. Particularly the housework question, while I guessed the right answer both from tone and for my own reasons, I hadn't considered the right-obligation of headship. And of course, your answer, the virtuous answer, immediately illuminated the characteristics of effective leadership in a larger context.

    Such is virtue.

    1. "Such is virtue."

      Indeed. Give the glory to God!