Race? No, millennials care most about gender equality

All of this has led some male millennials to rethink the entire concept of masculinity. It’s becoming increasingly clear, for instance, that male millennials will take greater advantage of paternity-leave opportunities to bond with their newborn children and support the mothers of those children. Remarkably, in sharp distinction to the usual partisan rancor these days, polls show that majorities of Republicans (62 percent), Democrats (92 percent), and independents (71 percent) now support the idea of paid paternity leave. The federal budget already includes money to help states start paternity-leave programs. Under pressure from the growing presence of millennials in the electorate, a paid paternity- and maternity-leave program is likely to become an employee-funded federal insurance program, similar to Social Security, which could be financed by a small payroll tax increase of about three-tenths of 1 percent.

The biggest changes for American men will come as millennials become the predominant generation in the workplace. Economic necessity will force young men to train for and work in a range of careers, such as nursing and teaching, that previously have been considered women’s work. As the blurring of occupational gender distinctions becomes commonplace, millennials will demand that employers provide opportunities for more work-life blending.