OSR Journal of Student Research

Article Title

Masculinity Threat Increases Bias and Negative Anticipated Emotions towards Gay Men


Threats to masculinity have been suggested to promote anti-gay attitudes and discrimination among men. We examine how threats to masculinity impact heterosexual men’s’ evaluation and anticipated emotion response to a masculine or feminine target who is either gay or straight. Study 1, heterosexual males completed a “personality test” and either received masculinity-threatening feedback or no feedback. There was a significant 3-way interaction (threat x sexuality x masculinity/femininity) which suggested that, when threatened, heterosexual men evaluated the feminine gay men less favorably and expressed greater anticipated negative emotions when thinking about interacting with him relative to the no threat condition. Anticipate emotions mediated the negative evaluation of the feminine gay target. Study 2, replicates Social & Behavioral Sciences 60 5th Annual Student Research Symposium our results and shows that a self-affirmation eliminated the negative response. Study 3, demonstrated that findings were specific to gay male targets and did not replicate when examining lesbian targets. Implications for masculinity threat and stereotype congruency theory are discussed

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