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

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.

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Correspondence to Peter Glick.

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Glick, P., Gangl, C., Gibb, S. et al. Defensive Reactions to Masculinity Threat: More Negative Affect Toward Effeminate (but not Masculine) Gay Men. Sex Roles 57, 55–59 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-007-9195-3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-007-9195-3

Keywords

  • Attitudes toward homosexuality
  • Stereotypes
  • Masculinity threat