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Psychol Men Masc. 2015 Apr;16(2):160-169. doi: 10.1037/a0035956.

Deconstructing Hegemonic Masculinity: The Roles of Antifemininity, Subordination to Women, and Sexual Dominance in Men's Perpetration of Sexual Aggression.

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Department of Psychology, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia.
Division of Violence Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.


The aim of this investigation was to examine a theoretically based mechanism by which men's adherence to antifeminine norms is associated with their perpetration of sexual aggression toward intimate partners. Participants were 208 heterosexual men between the ages of 21-35 who had consumed alcohol in the past year. They were recruited from a large southeastern United States city. Participants completed self-report measures of hegemonic masculinity (i.e., antifemininity, sexual dominance), masculine gender role stress, and sexual aggression toward an intimate partner during the past 12 months. Results indicated that adherence to the antifemininity norm and the tendency to experience stress when in subordinate positions to women were indirectly related to sexual aggression perpetration via adherence to the sexual dominance norm. Thus, the men who adhere strongly to these particular hegemonic masculine norms may feel compelled to be sexually aggressive and/or coercive toward an intimate partner in order to maintain their need for dominance within their intimate relationship. Implications for future research and sexual aggression prevention programming are discussed.


antifemininity; hegemonic masculinity; masculine gender role stress; sexual aggression; sexual dominance

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