Apparel impulse behavior among gay men

Arnab Majumdar, University of Rhode Island


The purpose of this study was to examine body image and its implications on apparel impulse buying behavior of a convenient sample of fourteen gay respondents. The term gay, in this study, referred to any men who identify themselves as non-heterosexual. This research is important to marketers in the United States of America and other countries who wish to recruit new clients and improve loyalty from an affluent base of consumers. This research also throws more light on buying behavior among gay men. ^ The study was based upon one-on-one interviews and two focus groups with a group of gay men between the age of nineteen and forty seven years from the state of Rhode Island, United States. Discussion was guided by a set of open ended questions. Grounded theory was the basis of analysis. Recruitment of the respondents was made through a student organization, the Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender (GLBT) center at the University of Rhode Island, Kingston and from a non-profit organization called Rhode Island Pride, based in Providence. The research and all correspondence with participants complied with the Institutional Review Board application HU1112-059 approved by the University of Rhode Island. ^ The attitude of gay men towards shopping, brands, and their body image were studied. This study found that gay men do not consider themselves more impulsive when it comes to clothing, than their straight counterparts. They believe the gay community is subject to a lot of stereotypes in the straight community. But, it was also found from the respondents that body plays a very important role in building the gay identity and gay men are conscious towards their physical appearance. There might not be a conscious effort in creating the stereotype, but most of the gay men who participated in the study try to conform to the appearance accepted in the gay community norms. The gay men studied also showed knowledge of apparel brands and interest in fashion apparel products. This study explored the importance of body and the body image among gay men and also their apparel impulse behavior. ^ This study examined the responses of gay men from Rhode Island only. Considering there are multiple identities among homosexual men, it was beyond the scope of this research to study them individually for the purpose of sample size and complexity. This research also does not include heterosexual men for comparison and relies on previous research done in the field of body image and impulse buying.^

Subject Area

GLBT Studies

Recommended Citation

Arnab Majumdar, "Apparel impulse behavior among gay men" (2012). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI1508350.