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Straights still think gay men are not masculine

While people may think of gay and straight men to be equally competent, gay men are still viewed as being more 'feminine'
Rugby toughman Gareth Thomas is gay. Does that make him 'feminine' to you?

People still consider straight men to be more masculine than gay men, a new study has shown.

In new research aimed at attempting to reduce prejudice and discrimination, participants were asked to evaluate and react to a fictional man.

The 158 Portuguese participants were given a man described either straight or gay and either single or married. Other facts stayed the same.

It was discovered the man was evaluated as most masculine when he was both heterosexual and married, and more feminine when he was described as gay, independent of marital status.

Other findings included the man was seen as being more competent when he was single, independent of sexual orientation.

The results also asked the participants to make a judgement on themselves and on the fictional man.

Those who saw themselves as masculine were far more likely to view the fictional man as feminine if he was described as gay, and would express fewer positive feelings towards him.

However, the women would view the made-up figure as friendly and were curious and interested in him.

Mariana Pinho, a PhD student at the University of Lincoln, England, presented the research at the British Psychological Society’s annual conference today (8 May).

She said: ‘Our findings shed light on the complex effects of individuals’ sexual orientation and marital status, on the way they are perceived and the emotions they elicit in other people. Increasing our understanding of the beliefs that surround homosexuality is a crucial step in the effort to reducing prejudice and discrimination.’

Comment on a news story


Recently a Mr Fortgang wrote an article in which he complained about being told, as a white straight man, to "check his privilege". His major complaint was that his family history - Jewish survivors of the Holocaust who through hard work & much suffering made a successful life for themselves in America - precludes him from having had help from any privilege in his life & career.

Today Huffington Post Gay Voices published these two responses, which I think rather effectively counter Mr Fortgang's argument:

The parallels are obvious.

I love this! Definitely one to wind up the straights! I'm married to a woman but I'm also gay - versa bottom - and happy about it. Call me feminine as much as you like, i'm still a man.