Sex Roles

, Volume 57, Issue 1–2, pp 55–59 | Cite as

Defensive Reactions to Masculinity Threat: More Negative Affect Toward Effeminate (but not Masculine) Gay Men

  • Peter Glick
  • Candice Gangl
  • Samantha Gibb
  • Susan Klumpner
  • Emily Weinberg
Original Article

Abstract

We examined whether, due to men’s desire to reject stereotypically feminine traits in themselves, a masculinity threat would elicit negative affect toward effeminate, but not masculine gay men. Fifty-three male undergraduates from the United States received bogus feedback that they had either a “masculine” or “feminine” personality before rating affect toward two “types” of gay men: effeminate and masculine. Results were consistent with the notion that defensive reactions target groups stereotyped as having the specific traits perceivers wish to deny in themselves: masculinity threat selectively increased negative affect toward effeminate, but not masculine, gay men. Thus, gay men who exhibit feminine traits may be at particular risk from men whose masculinity is threatened.

Keywords

Attitudes toward homosexuality Stereotypes Masculinity threat 

References

  1. Bem, S. L. (1974). The measurement of psychological androgyny. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 42, 155–162.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bosson, J. K., Prewitt-Freilino, J. L., & Taylor, J.N. (2005). Role rigidity: A problem of identity misclassification? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 89, 552–565.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Clausell, E., & Fiske, S. T. (2005). When do subgroup parts add up to the stereotype whole? Mixed stereotype content for gay male subgroups explains overall ratings. Social Cognition, 23, 161–181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Connell, R. W. (1995). Masculinities. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  5. Cuddy, A. J. C., Fiske, S. T., & Glick, P. (2007). The BIAS Map: Behaviors from intergroup affect and stereotypes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (in press).Google Scholar
  6. Dovidio, J. F., Brigham, J. C., Johnson, B. T., & Gaertner, S. L. (1996). Stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination: Another look. In C. N. Macrae, C. Stangor, & M. Hewstone (Eds.), Stereotypes and stereotyping (pp. 276–319). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  7. Davies, M. (2004). Correlates of negative attitudes toward gay men: Sexism, male role norms, and male sexuality. Journal of Sex Research, 41, 259–266.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Eagly, A. H. (1987). Sex differences in social behavior: A social role interpretation. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  9. Govorun, O., Fuegen, K., & Payne, K. B. (2006). Stereotypes focus defensive projection. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32, 781–793.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hebl, M., Foster, J. B., Mannix, L. M., & Dovidio, J. F. (2002). Formal and interpersonal discrimination: A field study of bias toward homosexual applications. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28, 815–825.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Herek, G. M. (1989). Hate crimes against lesbians and gay men: Issues for research and policy. American Psychologist, 44, 948–955.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kilianski, S. E. (2003). Explaining heterosexual men’s attitudes toward women and gay men: The theory of exclusively masculine identity. Psychology of Men and Masculinity, 4, 37–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kirk, R. E. (1990). Statistics: An introduction (3rd ed.). Fort Worth, TX: Holt, Rhinehart, and Winston.Google Scholar
  14. Kite, M. E., & Whitely, B. E. (1996). Sex differences in attitudes towards homosexual persons, behavior and civil rights: A meta-analysis. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 22, 336–353.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. LaMar, L. & Kite, M. E. (1998). Sex differences in attitudes toward gay men and lesbians: A multidimensional perspective. Journal of Sex Research, 35, 189–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Laner, M. R., & Laner, R. H. (1979). Personal style or sexual preference: Why gay men are disliked. International Review of Modern Sociology, 9, 215–228.Google Scholar
  17. Maass, A., Cadinu, M., Guarnieri, G., & Grasselli, A. (2003). Sexual harassment under social identity threat: The computer harassment paradigm. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85, 853–870.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Mackie, D., Devos, T. & Smith, E. R. (2000). Intergroup emotions: Explaining offensive action tendencies in an intergroup context. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79, 602–616.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Mahaffey, A. L., Bryan, A., & Hutchison, K. E. (2005). Using startle eye blink to measure the affective component of antigay bias. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 27, 37–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Rudman, L. A., & Fairchild, K. (2004). Reactions to counterstereotypic behavior: The role of backlash in cultural stereotype maintenance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87, 157–176.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Schütz, H., & Six, B. (1996). How strong is the relationship between prejudice and discrimination? A meta-analytic answer. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 20, 441–462.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Theodore, P. S., & Basow, S. A. (2000). Heterosexual masculinity and homophobia: A reaction to the self? Journal of Homosexuality, 40, 31–48.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Taywaditep, K. J. (2001). Marginalization among the marginalized: Gay men’s anti-effeminacy attitudes. Journal of Homosexuality, 42, 1–28.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Wilkinson, W. W. (2004). Authoritarian hegemony, dimensions of masculinity, and male antigay attitudes. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 5, 121–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Willer, R. (2005). Overdoing gender: A test of the masculine overcompensation thesis. American Sociological Association Meetings. Philadelphia, PA, August.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Glick
    • 1
  • Candice Gangl
    • 1
  • Samantha Gibb
    • 1
  • Susan Klumpner
    • 1
  • Emily Weinberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyLawrence UniversityAppletonUSA

Personalised recommendations