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Prof Psychol Res Pr. 2010 Apr 1;41(2):104-111.

Masculine Gender Role Conflict and Negative Feelings about Being Gay.

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1
UCLA School of Medicine.

Abstract

Professional psychologists who work with gay men have noted that traditional masculine ideals play a prominent role in the gay community whereby some endorse these traditional ideals and stigmatize effeminate behavior by other gay men. One hypothesis is that this behavior reflects negative feelings about being gay. This article examined this hypothesis by reporting the results of an online survey of 622 self-identified gay men. Participants completed the Gender Role Conflict Scale, Lesbian and Gay Identity Scale, the Social Desirability Scale, and questions related to the importance of masculinity. Results showed that most participants valued the public appearance of masculinity; and they ideally wished to be more masculine than they felt they were (Cohen's d = 0.42). A multiple regression analysis showed that the degree to which they valued masculinity and were concerned with violating masculine ideals was positively related with negative feelings about being gay (Cohen's f(2) = .67). These findings highlight the importance of exploring the role that masculine ideals play in gay client's lives given that negative feelings about oneself can adversely affect psychological well-being.

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