An interesting new study from a researcher at Cornell. The researcher had men and women take a gender identity survey. The test subjects were then told that the survey showed that they were “masculine” or “feminine.”In fact, what they were told had nothing to do with their survey answers – whether they were told that their answers were “masculine” or “feminine” was random.
The subjects were then surveyed regarding various issues and also regarding car-buying preferences. The men who had had their masculinity “threatened” became more likely to support the Iraq war; more likely to oppose same-sex marriage; and more likely to want to buy an S.U.V. The researcher calls this phenomenon “masculine overcompensation”; Media Girl calls it the Fragile Male Ego.
The researcher, Robb Willer, says he’s planning a follow-up study to see if men are also more likely to favor violence against women if their masculinity is questioned.