Maybe one step toward reducing homophobia would be for the leather-and-Levi’s crowd at the Eagle LA to host a “straight” night.
That could refute an assumption heterosexual people have that homosexual men are feminine.
That perception emerged in a study conducted by Mariana Pinho at the University of Lincoln. The study involved showing a photograph of a man to men and women and variously describing the man in the photo as gay or straight and married or unmarried.
“We … found that participants who responded to a description of the subject as homosexual were more likely to attribute feminine traits to him, independent of his marital status, and those who perceived themselves to be more masculine showed a greater tendency to express fewer positive feelings towards him,” Pinho said.
“These findings are important in helping us to understand the belief system that surrounds sexual orientation, and by highlighting the social judgments we make about individuals we are making a crucial step in helping to reduce bias and discrimination.”
Study participants also showed a bias against married men, whether gay or straight, describing them as “less competent” that unmarried men.
“I was extremely surprised to see the significant influence that marital status has on the attribution of competence,” Pinho said. “When our participants were advised that the subject was single, regardless of his sexual orientation, their replies revealed that marriage made him seem less competent.”
In the study, women were more likely than men to show positive feelings towards an unknown individual, perceiving him as friendly, showing interest in his background and having negative feelings about him.