In this study, we examined whether aspects of the masculine gender role predict the distortion of self-reported height in men. The sample of men (N = 220) were from a mid-sized university in Ontario, Canada and ranged in age from 17.92 through 29.25 years. The men reported their height and completed scales measuring masculine, gender-related characteristics (Agency, Unmitigated Agency, gender-typed Occupational Preferences and Conformity to Male Norms). An experimenter also measured the men’s height using a standardized scale. As expected, the men over-reported their height. Shorter men exaggerated their height more than taller men. Also, as expected, a linear regression analysis revealed that certain masculine, gender-related characteristics (Unmitigated Agency and Occupational Preferences) predicted an over-reporting of height. These results suggest that men higher in some stereotypically masculine gender role characteristics have an elevated need to achieve socially desirable masculine physical characteristics, and do so to such a degree that they are prone to distorting this important aspect of their body size. Implications of these results (e.g., the reliability of self-report height) are discussed.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: May 15, 2011
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