October 19, 2007
Layers of leather: The identity formation of leathermen as a process of transforming meanings of masculinity.
Mosher CM, Levitt HM, Manley E.
Counseling Psychology Program, The University of Memphis, Memphis, TN, USA.
Leathermen form a gay male subculture that eroticizes leather dress and symbols. This investigation examined the relationship of participants’ leather identity to their gender and sexual identities. In addition, the participants described their process of leather identity development, and its meanings and purposes. Six self-identified leathermen participated in semi-structured interviews that were subjected to a grounded-theory analysis. The analysis suggested that leathermen develop a unique form of masculinity, integrating care and vulnerability with an aesthetic of heightened masculine appearance. Flexible interactional scripts allow for gendered signs to be enacted, designating a social status that is not recognized by the mainstream gay community. Findings are discussed in relation to previous research on gay male masculinity, gay community, sexual identity formation, and internalized homophobia.
PMID: 17135117 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
October 17, 2007
1: J Homosex. 2001;42(1):1-28.Links
Marginalization among the marginalized: gay men’s anti-effeminacy attitudes.
Counseling Center, University of Illinois at Chicago, 60607-7164, USA. Kittiwut@uic.edu
Contemporary research has shown that a significant portion of gay men have traits, interests, occupations, and behaviors that are consistent with the stereotype of gay men as effeminate, androgynous, or unmasculine. A great number of gay men exhibit gender nonconformity during childhood; most, however, “defeminize” during adolescence, possibly in response to stigmatization and society’s gender-role prescription. Only a relatively small percentage of gay men continue to be gender-nonconforming in their adulthood, often at a price, as they also tend to have lower psychological well-being. Although gay culture historically appreciated camp and drag, which subvert the gender-based power hierarchy and celebrate gender nonconformity, anti-effeminacy prejudice is widespread among gay men. Ironically, gender-nonconforming gay men may suffer from discrimination not only from society at large, but from other gay men, who are most likely to have experienced stigmatization and may have been effeminate earlier in their lives. Drawing from anecdotes and findings from various sources, this article suggests that beyond many gay men’s erotic preference for masculinity lies contempt and hostility toward effeminacy and effeminate men on sociopolitical and personal levels. Two correlates of gay men’s anti-effeminacy attitudes are proposed: (a) hegemonic masculinity ideology, or the degree to which one subscribes to the value system in which masculinity is an asset, and men and masculinity are considered superior to women and femininity; and (b) masculinity consciousness, or the saliency of masculinity in one’s self-monitoring, public self-consciousness, and self-concept. These two variables are hypothesized to interact with gay men’s self-perceived masculinity-femininity and their history of defeminization in predicting attitudes toward effeminacy. Research is underway to measure levels of anti-effeminacy attitudes and explore hypothesized correlates.
PMID: 11991561 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
September 26, 2007
1: J Homosex. 2004;47(3-4):45-58
Body image, eating disorders, and the drive for muscularity in gay and heterosexual men: the influence of media images.
Duggan SJ, McCreary DR.
OISE/University of Toronto, 252 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1V6, Canada. firstname.lastname@example.org
This Internet research project examined the relationship between consumption of muscle and fitness magazines and/or various indices of pornography and body satisfaction in gay and heterosexual men. Participants (N = 101) were asked to complete body satisfaction questionnaires that addressed maladaptive eating attitudes, the drive for muscularity, and social physique anxiety. Participants also completed scales measuring self-esteem, depression, and socially desirable responding. Finally, respondents were asked about their consumption of muscle and fitness magazines and pornography. Results indicated that viewing and purchasing of muscle and fitness magazines correlated positively with levels of body dissatisfaction for both gay and heterosexual men. Pornography exposure was positively correlated with social physique anxiety for gay men. The limitations of this study and directions for future research are outlined.
PMID: 15451703 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]