Masculinity and sexual prejudice: A matter of men's need to differentiate themselves from women and gay men
In all cultures, men and women are ascribed social roles. These roles refer to a set of norms with which people are expected to comply in order to be perceived as “real” men and women, and people who define themselves as such (i.e., who consider being a man/woman as an important part of their self-definition) often conform to these norms and strive to maintain gender differences. One’s motivation to maintain these differences has numerous behavioral consequences and, in this Chapter, we focus on the impact of this motivation on sexual prejudice (i.e., prejudice based on sexual orientation). Specifically, we will consider how and why men’s motivation to uphold a positive and distinctive definition of manhood may translate into prejudice against homosexuals. After an introduction to the reasons for which such phenomenon might occur, we revise a series of studies demonstrating the role of men’s motivation to maintain clear inter-gender group boundaries in the emergence of sexual prejudice. We then focus on cultural changes in gender roles and their impact on sexual prejudice. Finally, we discuss the theoretical and practical implications of such phenomenon, and propose new pathways for future research.
In: Klea Faniko, Fabio Lorenzi-Cioldi, Oriane Sarrasin, Eric Mayor (eds.), Gender and Social Hierarchies. Perspectives from social psychology, New York , Routledge, 2016, chap. 13, pp. 175-187
Klea Faniko, Fabio Lorenzi-Cioldi, Oriane Sarrasin, Eric Mayor
Norms – normativity
Discriminations – marginalisation – segregation