Abstract

In a pretest, male and female participants completed the PAQ, a measure of self perceived masculinity and femininity. Only male participants (though they were not aware of this fact) were contacted to return for the second part of the study. Participants were hooked up to psychophysiological recording equipment and took part in one of three conditions. In the masculine threat condition, they took a test ostensibly measuring masculine knowledge and received false negative feedback. In the general threat condition, participants took a test ostensibly measuring general knowledge and received the same feedback. The no threat or control condition was exactly like the general threat condition, except that participants receive no feedback. Participants then filled out a number of questionnaires relating to attitudes towards gays, women, minorities, and multiculturalism. It was predicted that physiological threat and challenge patterns would be found in the threat a in no threat conditions, respectively, that participants in the threat conditions would be more negative in their evaluation of all groups than participants in the threat condition, and that participants in the masculine threat condition would be most negative in their assessment of gays. An interaction between masculinity and threat condition was predicted such that more masculine men would express the most anti-gay attitude in the masculine threat condition, followed by the general threat condition. Non-masculine men were predicted to react equally to the two threat conditions. Other than the threat/challenge hypothesis, these hypotheses were not supported by significant results. There were some significant findings using the other subscales of the PAQ (femininity and masculinity/femininity, as opposed to the simple masculine subscale). Possible interpretations of these findings are discussed.

Disciplines

Psychology

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Psychology Commons

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