Prejudice and discrimination are unfortunate common realities for sexual minorities yet people rarely confront such behavior (Dickter 2012). This is especially problematic because confronting prejudice is one of the most effective weapons against it (e.g., Czopp and Monteith 2003). The present study explores whether men who perceive manhood to be an impermanent state easily taken away by engaging in gender role violations (i.e., precarious manhood; Vandello et al. 2008) are less likely to react negatively to sexually prejudiced interaction partners and therefore less likely to confront sexual prejudice. In addition, we tested whether non-confrontation serves to affirm meta-perceptions of heterosexuality. To test this hypothesis, 88 heterosexual, young adult males, drawn from the undergraduate population of a university in the northeastern U.S., were randomly assigned to either pair with a confederate who expressed blatant sexual prejudice or no blatant prejudice toward a gay applicant in a hiring discussion. Consistent with predictions, precarious manhood predicted lower rates of confronting sexual prejudice, and less negative responses to their interaction partner, while confronting prejudice was associated with believing one would be viewed as gay regardless of individual differences in precarious manhood.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 18, 2013
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