The Null Device

Masculine overcompensation

A Cornell University study has demonstrated that men who feel their masculinity threatened overcompensate by adopting hypermasculine stances such as homophobia, support for the Iraq war, and a desire to buy a SUV:
Willer administered a gender identity survey to a sample of male and female Cornell undergraduates in the fall of 2004. Participants were randomly assigned to receive feedback that their responses indicated either a masculine or a feminine identity. While women's responses were unchanged regardless of the feedback they received, men's reactions "were strongly affected by this feedback," Willer said.
He questioned subjects about their political attitudes, including how they felt about a same-sex marriage ban and their support for President Bush's handling of the Iraq War. "I created composites from subjects' answers to these and other questions," he said. "I also gave subjects a car-buying vignette, presented as part of a study of purchasing a new car."
With this in mind, perhaps SUV manufacturers will start running ads, with no brand names on them, impugning their audience's masculinity. I can see them now: "Hey you," a crew-cut, neckless drill-sergeant type shouts from the TV, "you call yourself a man? You ain't a man, you're a big girl's blouse!" Two ads later, a spot for the Hummer or the latest ultra-macho urban assault vehicle appears. Within the next week, sales go through the roof as office drones compensate for their perceived emasculation.

Meanwhile the researchers in question next intend to measure respondents' testosterone levels and also test their attitudes to violence against women.

There are 5 comments on "Masculine overcompensation":

Posted by: datakid http:// Sat Aug 13 08:46:42 2005

This is weird - my girlf just made some very good points.

for example, the latest big brother crowd here in oz - the men in there did not have any threat's to their masculinity, yet htey mostly acted like bogans from hell...

Admittedly, I didn't rtfa, but are the men who are being questioned actually emotionally mature enough to judge their "masculinity" in terms of it being under threat, or was it projected upon them by the study and the studier?

I guess what I'm saying is, you shouldn't be suprised by articles proclaiming "monkeys found to act like monkeys around other monkeys in amazing new study". The sad reality from my end is that there are a lot of emotionally crippled men (which is not unreasonable - it's not like we got taught anything like emotions and how to deal with them - personally i've been lucky enough to have critical friends and girlfriends).

In much the same way that we proclaim democracy to be our high ideal, but reality would suggest that people _like_ living in fascist dict

Posted by: datakid http:// Sat Aug 13 08:48:38 2005

This is weird - my girlf just made some very good points.

for example, the latest big brother crowd here in oz - the men in there did not have any threats to their masculinity, yet they mostly acted like bogans from hell...

Admittedly, I didn't rtfa, but are the men who are being questioned actually emotionally mature enough to judge their "masculinity" in terms of it being under threat, or was it projected upon them by the study and the studier?

I guess what I'm saying is, you shouldn't be suprised by articles proclaiming "monkeys found to act like monkeys around other monkeys in amazing new study". The sad reality from my end is that there are a lot of emotionally crippled men (which is not unreasonable - it's not like we got taught anything like emotions and how to deal with them - personally i've been lucky enough to have critical friends and girlfriends).

In much the same way that we proclaim democracy to be our high ideal, but reality would suggest that people _like_ living in fascist dicta

Posted by: datakid http:// Sat Aug 13 08:49:15 2005

living in fascist dictatorships - the "i'm willing to give up my freedom's 'cos white people don't get carpet bombed" kinda "freedom that's currently on offer down here in oz land.

Of course, other problems arise when you look at the idea of the "metrosexual", some kinda post-S11-y2k version of the snag. Now there's a genre of men we could do without...and they have no problems celebrating their emasculation.

Cos that's what being a man is all about - being a "man".

Interesting tangents on trans-gender et al debates welcome.

anyway, there's my rant on the topic.

Posted by: datakid http:// Sat Aug 13 08:49:47 2005

hey, for some reason, it only published half my rant, hence the double post. Sorry acb

Posted by: greatcathy http:// Tue Aug 16 03:35:43 2005

re. advertising campaign - already happens!!

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