Date of Award

2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychology

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Margaret Rogers

Abstract

“Dude, you’re so gay.” “Man up.” “Stop crying like a girl.” Sayings like these reflect an immense pressure on men in American society to conform to a rigid set of masculine ideals (Kimmel & Mahler, 2003; Pascoe, 2007; Porter, 2010). Adherence to these strict masculine guidelines enables men to avoid being perceived as the worst possible thing a man can be perceived as…feminine (Brannon, 1976; Porter, 2010). The present study sought to better understand the specific characteristics of men that predict negative attitudes toward male effeminacy. One hundred and twenty-eight self-identified male participants were measured on their endorsement of traditional masculinity, masculine attribute importance, and self-discrepancy along traditional masculine attributes. They were then asked to read one of four male target descriptions that differed according to gender expression (masculine, feminine) and sexual orientation (straight, gay). Participants’ negative attitudes toward the male target were evaluated. Results indicated that hostility and discomfort toward effeminacy were predicted by endorsement of traditional masculinity and masculine attribute importance. Results also indicated that endorsement of traditional masculinity predicted general negative attitudes, hostility, and discomfort toward homosexuality. Lastly, the results showed that endorsement of traditional masculinity and masculine attribute importance predicted negative attitudes toward male targets who embodied traditional masculine qualities.

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