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Psychol Men Masc. 2009 Jan;10(1):73-87.

Reported Effects of Masculine Ideals on Gay Men.

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Center for Gender-Based Biology and the Department of Human Genetics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles.


This exploratory study used consensual qualitative research methodology (Hill et al., 2005) to analyze what gay men associate with masculinity and femininity, how they feel masculine ideals affect their self-image, and how masculine ideals affect their same-sex relationships. Written responses were collected from 547 self-identified gay men in the U.S. via an Internet-based survey. Findings supported previous reports that perceptions of gender roles among gay men appear based on masculine and feminine stereotypes. Additionally, more adverse versus positive effects on self-image and same-sex romantic relationships were reported including difficulty being emotional and affectionate, pressure to be physically attractive, and pressure to appear masculine in order to be accepted by society and to be seen as desirable by other gay men. While research on gay men's experience with masculinity continues, psychologists should consider the possible influence of traditional masculine ideals when conceptualizing their gay male clients.

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