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Concept: Masculinity

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Taxometric methods enable determination of whether the latent structure of a construct is dimensional or taxonic (nonarbitrary categories). Although sex as a biological category is taxonic, psychological gender differences have not been examined in this way. The taxometric methods of mean above minus below a cut, maximum eigenvalue, and latent mode were used to investigate whether gender is taxonic or dimensional. Behavioral measures of stereotyped hobbies and physiological characteristics (physical strength, anthropometric measurements) were examined for validation purposes, and were taxonic by sex. Psychological indicators included sexuality and mating (sexual attitudes and behaviors, mate selectivity, sociosexual orientation), interpersonal orientation (empathy, relational-interdependent self-construal), gender-related dispositions (masculinity, femininity, care orientation, unmitigated communion, fear of success, science inclination, Big Five personality), and intimacy (intimacy prototypes and stages, social provisions, intimacy with best friend). Constructs were with few exceptions dimensional, speaking to Spence’s (1993) gender identity theory. Average differences between men and women are not under dispute, but the dimensionality of gender indicates that these differences are inappropriate for diagnosing gender-typical psychological variables on the basis of sex. (PsycINFO Database Record © 2013 APA, all rights reserved).

Concepts: Psychology, Gender, Gender role, Gender identity, Masculinity, Gender differences, Gender studies, Biology of gender

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To understand and ultimately prevent injury and behavioural health outcomes associated with masculinity, we assessed the influence of masculine discrepancy stress (stress that occurs when men perceive themselves as falling short of the traditional gender norms) on the propensity to engage in stereotypically masculine behaviours (eg, substance use, risk taking and violence) as a means of demonstrating masculinity. Six-hundred men from the USA were recruited via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk) online data collection site to complete surveys assessing self-perceptions of gender role discrepancy and consequent discrepancy stress, substance use/abuse, driving while intoxicated (DWI) and violent assaults. Negative binomial regression analyses indicated significant interactive effects wherein men high on gender role discrepancy and attendant discrepancy stress reported significantly more assaults with a weapon (B=1.01; SE=0.63; IRR=2.74; p=0.05) and assaults causing injury (B=1.01; SE=0.51; IRR=2.74; p<0.05). There was no association of discrepancy stress to substance abuse, but there was a protective effect of gender role discrepancy for DWI among men low on discrepancy stress (B=-1.19, SE=0.48; IRR=0.30; p=0.01). These findings suggest that gender role discrepancy and associated discrepancy stress, in particular, represent important injury risk factors and that prevention of discrepancy stress may prevent acts of violence with the greatest consequences and costs to the victim, offender and society.

Concepts: Gender, Sociology, Gender role, Gender identity, Man, Masculinity, Masculism, Gender studies

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According to the ‘good genes’ hypothesis, females choose males based on traits that indicate the male’s genetic quality in terms of disease resistance. The ‘immunocompetence handicap hypothesis’ proposed that secondary sexual traits serve as indicators of male genetic quality, because they indicate that males can contend with the immunosuppressive effects of testosterone. Masculinity is commonly assumed to serve as such a secondary sexual trait. Yet, women do not consistently prefer masculine looking men, nor is masculinity consistently related to health across studies. Here, we show that adiposity, but not masculinity, significantly mediates the relationship between a direct measure of immune response (hepatitis B antibody response) and attractiveness for both body and facial measurements. In addition, we show that circulating testosterone is more closely associated with adiposity than masculinity. These findings indicate that adiposity, compared with masculinity, serves as a more important cue to immunocompetence in female mate choice.

Concepts: Immune system, Human, Male, Female, Gender, Man, Masculinity, Secondary sex characteristic

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Prior research shows that male intercollegiate athletes are at risk for perpetrating sexual violence. Whether this risk extends to male recreational athletes has not been explored. This study assessed associations between attitudes toward women, rape myth acceptance, and prevalence of sexual coercion among 379 male, undergraduate recreational and intercollegiate athletes and non-athletes. Our analyses showed significant differences between the responses of athletes and non-athletes for all dependent variables, and intercollegiate and recreational athletes on attitudes toward women and the prevalence of sexual coercion. Controlling for rape myth acceptance and traditional gender role attitudes eliminated differences between athletes and non-athletes in prevalence of sexual coercion.

Concepts: Female, Gender, Gender role, Woman, Transgender, Role, Masculinity, Gender studies

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The primary aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between gender role orientation and eating disorder attitudes and behaviors and body dissatisfaction in a sample of homosexuals, heterosexuals, and transsexuals.

Concepts: Gender, Gender role, Gender identity, Sexual orientation, Transgender, Masculinity, Gender studies, Heterosexuality

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In the literature on human mate choice, masculine facial morphology is often proposed to be an intersexual signal of heritable immunocompetence, and hence an important component of men’s attractiveness. This hypothesis has received considerable research attention, and is increasingly treated as plausible and well supported. In this article, we propose that the strength of the evidence for the immunocompetence hypothesis is somewhat overstated, and that a number of difficulties have been under-acknowledged. Such difficulties include (1) the tentative nature of the evidence regarding masculinity and disease in humans, (2) the complex and uncertain picture emerging from the animal literature on sexual ornaments and immunity, (3) the absence of consistent, cross-cultural support for the predictions of the immunocompetence hypothesis regarding preferences for masculinized stimuli, and (4) evidence that facial masculinity contributes very little, if anything, to overall attractiveness in real men. Furthermore, alternative explanations for patterns of preferences, in particular the proposal that masculinity is primarily an intrasexual signal, have been neglected. We suggest that immunocompetence perspectives on masculinity, whilst appealing in many ways, should still be regarded as speculative, and that other perspectives-and other traits-should be the subject of greater attention for researchers studying human mate preferences.

Concepts: Male, Sexual selection, Gender, Gender identity, Proposal, Proposals, Masculinity, Men

25

Transmasculine youth, who are assigned female at birth but have a gender identity along the masculine spectrum, often report considerable distress after breast development (chest dysphoria). Professional guidelines lack clarity regarding referring minors (defined as people younger than 18 years) for chest surgery because there are no data documenting the effect of chest surgery on minors.

Concepts: Male, Gender, Gender role, Gender identity, Man, Masculinity, Identity, Gender studies

23

This study examined internalized transnegativity and psychological distress in two age groups of transgender individuals who identified their gender identity on the feminine spectrum (rather than congruent with their male sex assigned at birth). Due to greater visibility and acceptance of gender diversity in the United States, we hypothesized that internalized transnegativity would be lower in the younger compared with the older group, and that the younger generation would, therefore, report lower levels of psychological distress than the older generation.

Concepts: Male, Gender, Sociology, Gender identity, Transgender, Man, Masculinity, Gender studies

21

Murder-suicide (M-S) is a complex phenomenon that can involve a multifaceted set of interrelated biological and social factors. M-S is also sexed and gendered in that the perpetrators are most often male and their underpinning motives and actions link to masculinities in an array of diverse ways. With the overarching goal to describe connections between men, masculinities, and M-S, 296 newspaper articles describing 45 North American M-S cases were analyzed. The inductively derived findings revealed three themes: (a) domestic desperation, (b) workplace justice, and © school retaliation. Cases in the domestic desperation theme were characterized by the murder of a family member(s) and were often underpinned by men’s self-perceptions of failing to provide economic security. Workplace justice cases emerged from men’s grievances around paid-work, job insecurity, and perceptions of being bullied and/or marginalized by coworkers or supervisors. The school retaliation cases were strongly linked to “pay back” against individuals and/or society for the hardships endured by M-S perpetrators. Prevailing across the three themes was men’s loss of control in their lives, hopelessness, and marginalized masculine identities. Also evident were men’s alignments to hegemonic masculinities in reasserting one’s masculine self by protesting the perceived marginalization invoked on them. Overall, the findings give pause to consider the need for men-centered M-S prevention strategies to quell the catastrophic impacts of this long-standing but understudied men’s health issue.

Concepts: Male, Gender, Gender role, Gender identity, Man, Masculinity, Masculism, Hegemonic masculinity

17

Mortality and morbidity data suggest men have shorter life expectancies than women and outrank women on several leading causes of death. These gendered disparities may be influenced by psychosocial factors like masculinity. Three studies (Total N=546) examined the role of masculinity in men’s doctor choices and doctor-patient interactions. In studies 1 and 2, men completed measures of masculinity, gender bias, and doctor preference. Using structural equation modeling, we tested the direct relationship between masculinity and male doctor preference and the indirect relationship of masculinity on male doctor preference through an association with gendered competence stereotypes. Participants in study 3 disclosed symptoms in private followed by disclosure to a male or female interviewer in a clinical setting. Using repeated measures ANOVA, we examined the interaction among symptom reporting, masculinity and doctor gender, controlling for participant comfort. In study 1, results suggested that masculinity encouraged choice of a male doctor directly and indirectly via beliefs that men make more competent doctors than women; study 2 directly replicated the results of study 1. In study 3, independent of participant comfort, an interaction between interviewer gender and masculinity emerged such that men scoring higher on masculinity reported symptoms less consistently to male interviewers (relative to higher scoring men reporting to female interviewers); the reverse was found for men scoring low on masculinity. Taken together these studies suggest masculinity may affect men’s health by encouraging choice of a male doctor with whom doctor-patient communication may be impaired.

Concepts: Male, Female, Gender, Sex, Gender role, Gender identity, Man, Masculinity