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A majority of the sample A set of six open-ended questions was used to elicit responses for this study. These six questions were derived for the current study and came after a series of demographic questions. Out of the participants, No significant difference was found. The survey design was based on published suggestions Kraut et al. As suggested by Gosling, Vazire, Srivastava, and John , IP addresses were monitored to prevent multiple submissions. Participants were recruited via electronic mailing lists managed by various groups, organizations, university centers, and community agencies related to the gay community.

Electronic mailing list managers were contacted and asked to send an e-mail announcement regarding the study to their lists. The e-mail announcement detailed the study and inclusion criteria: Participants had to self-identify as gay, they had to be at least 18 years of age, they had to be U. The announcement also provided a link that would lead them to the survey housed at PsychData. Once at the site, participants were first presented with an informed consent screen.

At the bottom of that screen, participants had to click a link to indicate they consented to participate in the survey.

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CQR is a team-based approach for analyzing qualitative data. The use of CQR for this study may seem unusual given the modality of data collection and the sample size. While most of the published studies employing CQR have used either telephone or face-to-face interviews to collect data Hill et al. In regards to sample size, published studies using CQR have typically consisted of 7—19 participants Hill et al. Robertson et al.

Thus, as use of this method has grown, researchers have adapted CQR to address different research needs. The team of judges for this study consisted of one doctoral student in counseling psychology and two undergraduate students of psychology. These three these judges were European American, heterosexual females. The internal auditor for the team was an Asian American, heterosexual, male faculty member in counseling psychology; he reviewed the categories and coding to ensure that they adequately captured the essence of the data.

The external auditor was a Latino, gay identified postdoctoral research fellow at a different institution; he provided feedback to the primary team and helped to contextualize the findings within the existing peer-reviewed literature. The three judges independently evaluated responses for each participant.

While the total possible responses was 3, participants responding to each of the six questions , only a total of 2, responses were evaluated given that some participants did not answer all six questions. The raters then convened as a team to present their suggestions for categorizing the data.

Using a consensus approach, they created core categories and labels that emerged directly from the data. Only when all three raters agreed on a category would it be included. For each category under each question, the raters agreed on an exemplar response to illustrate the category. If all the raters agreed, the statement was then counted within that specific category. Disagreements were discussed until consensus was achieved and each of the 2, statements was placed into the most appropriate category. The raters continually re-evaluated each category and individual response i.

Once all the data had been categorized, the judges then counted the number of responses assigned to each category in order to create a frequency count. Hill et al. However, given the large amount of data, we chose to assign percentages. This method of characterizing the data has also been done by other large scales studies e. Table 1 shows the frequency of cases for the categories generated from the six questions. For each question in the table, the responses are reported in decreasing frequency. Responses have not been corrected for grammatical errors. Total percentage for each question may exceed due to rounding error.

For both of these questions, participants mostly indicated personality and physical traits that were stereotypically masculine e. Consequently, many gay men exercise regularly and remain physically active throughout adulthood. The most cited theme was that masculine ideals make many gay men feel compelled to adhere to traditional enactments of masculinity even if it is not who they truly are. One participant wrote. On the other hand, the participants identified several negative effects. It seems that for some gay men, the social expectations of traditional marriage roles between heterosexual men and heterosexual women affected how labor was divided in gay households and the degree to which gay relationships were egalitarian.

Furthermore, because men generally place a large emphasis on physical attractiveness, some gay men felt a constant pressure to maintain their looks in order to remain attractive to their partners. This exploratory study illustrates what some gay men may believe are commonly accepted descriptors of masculinity and femininity among gay men and how masculine ideals in the U. Although not all gay men may feel restricted by traditional masculine ideals, many gay men in this study indicated that portraying a masculine image is important to them.

Furthermore, the current analysis suggests that there may be a variety of ways in which gay men are affected by traditional masculine ideals. These exploratory findings seem to reflect previous studies that have looked at how people assess masculinity and femininity in others e. Similar to past findings, the gay men in the current study associated stereotypical interests, attitudes and behaviors as descriptors for masculine and feminine gay men. Thus, gay men who self-describe as masculine in particular situations e. Furthermore, this exploratory study offers some initial data on what gay men associate with femininity in gay men.

The more informative part of the analysis came from the responses related to the effects of traditional masculine ideals. Although some positive effects were listed, far more negative effects were given—many which have been previously associated with adverse effects among heterosexual men. In the current analysis, some gay men noted that masculine ideals restrict the expression of emotions and affection between gay men as well. These preliminary findings fit with theories regarding the effects of traditional gender role socialization.

During this socialization process, many gay men may have been particularly targeted. As children, gay men typically exhibited more gender atypical behaviors and interests e. It may be no surprise, then, that many gay men adopted traditional masculine ideals during childhood, which continues to guide their everyday lives as adults Harry, At the same time that gay men may be confronting internalized traditional masculine ideals, they may also be confronting some of the consequences of gender oppression that women face.

While there is evidence that heterosexual men also experience body image concerns e. Altogether, traditional masculine ideals may to some degree amplify the adverse effect that some gay men experience when compared to heterosexual men. In other words, gay men may feel pressured to live by the same expectations and restrictions that heterosexual men—whether it be as a defensive reaction or because it genuinely reflects their personality—while simultaneously experiencing some of the adverse effects of misogyny and sexual objectification that heterosexual women feel.

While scientific research continues to reveal how traditional masculinity ideology affects gay men, psychologists should consider how masculine ideals impact their gay male clients. Furthermore, it has been suggested that as a result of traditional masculine gender role socialization, many gay men did not develop the skills necessary to intimately connect with other men e. Consequently, some gay men may use sex as a substitute for intimacy Haldeman, Haldeman also proposed that because many gay men were victimized by heterosexual men for violating traditional masculinity ideology while growing up, some gay men may experience a form of heterophobia—or a fear of interacting with heterosexual men and a degradation of heterosexuality.

Thus, while scientific research tests these and other hypotheses generated by practitioners, psychologists should remain aware of the possible role that masculine ideals and gender role socialization play in the presenting issues and concerns of their gay clients. If masculinity is an important construct for a client, then it may be helpful to explore how this may be affecting his psychological well-being. For instance, Pleck proposed that one source of masculine gender role strain is rooted in the perception that one is failing to fulfill some internalized notion of masculinity.

Traditional masculinity ideology excludes gay men because they violate fundamental criteria for being masculine: Yet, even if a gay man is not concerned with traditional notions of masculinity, he may nevertheless feel the oppressive effects of this dominant ideology. For instance, one proposed component of traditional masculinity ideology is that men should be hypersexual and sexually objectify others Mahalik et al.

Gay men and advertising targeted to gay men have been found to sexually objectify other men Siever, Consequently, gay men who present in a clinical setting with disordered eating or dissatisfaction with their body may have internalized this objectified perspective that is perpetuated by other men and traditional masculine ideals. This study was exploratory in nature and any conclusions taken from this should be done with caution. Although there are advantages to conducting research over the Internet Gosling et al. While the current sample demographics closely mirror other on-line studies focused on gay men e.

The use of the Internet may have accessed individuals who would not have presented in-person for an interview; however, participants may not have provided full responses because they had to type their responses. Thus, this may account for some of the individuals who did not respond to particular questions and affected the types of responses. Many intriguing themes arose from this exploratory analysis that warrant further study using different research methods.

Additionally, quantitative methods could be employed to investigate the relationship between many of the variables that emerged in this study. Finally, future research should extend beyond the adverse affects of traditional masculinity and explore what aspects of masculinity are beneficial for gay men and their relationships. In the end, we may never fully understand the degree to which gay men are affected by traditional masculine ideals.

However, empirical evidence is beginning to shed light on how gay men enact masculinity and how it does and does not affect them. As one participant wrote. My personal feeling is that masculinity, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder; and I refuse to let someone else dictate to me what is and is not masculine. Nevertheless, traditional masculine ideals continue to play a prominent role within the gay community. This article offers a hint at some of the ways in which gay men are affected by traditional notions of masculinity in the U.

Publisher's Disclaimer: The following manuscript is the final accepted manuscript. It has not been subjected to the final copyediting, fact-checking, and proofreading required for formal publication.

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It is not the definitive, publisher-authenticated version. The American Psychological Association and its Council of Editors disclaim any responsibility or liabilities for errors or omissions of this manuscript version, any version derived from this manuscript by NIH, or other third parties. The published version is available at www. Francisco J. Stefanie T. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U.

Psychol Men Masc. Author manuscript; available in PMC Jul Find articles by Francisco J. Find articles by Stefanie T. Find articles by William Ming Liu. Find articles by Eric Vilain. Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Francisco J. S , Los Angeles, CA Electronic mail may be sent to ude. Copyright notice. See other articles in PMC that cite the published article. Abstract This exploratory study used consensual qualitative research methodology Hill et al.

Gay Masculinity Ideology Masculinity and femininity are descriptors commonly used in everyday language. The Effect of Masculine Ideals on Men For men, traditional masculine ideals seem to play a significant role in their psychological well-being. Method Participants The participants were men who self-identified as gay.

The Questions A set of six open-ended questions was used to elicit responses for this study. Procedures PsychData. Results Table 1 shows the frequency of cases for the categories generated from the six questions. Table 1 Categories Generated by Questions. Someone that straight people would not immediately assume was gay. This causes low self esteem if people are not comfortable with their looks. There are no positive effect 30 Traditional ideals e. Both men are belittled—neither could possibly be masculine.

Open in a separate window. Discussion This exploratory study illustrates what some gay men may believe are commonly accepted descriptors of masculinity and femininity among gay men and how masculine ideals in the U. Limitations This study was exploratory in nature and any conclusions taken from this should be done with caution. Future Research Many intriguing themes arose from this exploratory analysis that warrant further study using different research methods. Footnotes Publisher's Disclaimer: Contributor Information Francisco J.

References Alvear M. Why do sissies want butches?

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Washington Blade. The twenty-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale: Convergent, discriminant, and concurrent validity. Journal of Psychosomatic Research. Effects of gender and sexual orientation on evolutionary relevant aspects of human mating psychology. Butch, femme, or straight acting? Partner preference of gay men and lesbians. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Do individual differences in sociosexuality represent genetic or envitonmentally contingent strategies? Evidence from the Australian Twin Registry.

Childhood sex-typed behavior and sexual orientation: A conceptual analysis and quantitative review. Developmental Psychology. Bergling T. In hundreds of cities in USA and Canada, including Memphis TN, our Gay phone chat line lets you hookup with local guys in your area based on the area code of your landline or mobile phone number. You can use mobile chat with single men of your choice.

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