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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.’

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