Homophobic men are just insecure about their masculinity, study confirms

Man in green t-shirt sat on green sofa with hands covering his eyes

Science has confirmed what the gays have known all along: homophobic men are actually just deeply insecure.

A study published in the Sex Roles journal suggests that men who feel uneasy about their masculinity are more likely to find homophobic and sexist jokes funny after they have had their masculinity challenged.

Laughing at grim, anti-gay jokes then provides them with an opportunity to prove how big, strong and manly they are, the study indicates. 

As part of the research, 166 men were asked questions to determine what level of ‘precarious manhood beliefs’ (PMB) they held. The higher a man’s PMB score, the more fragile their masculinity.

Participants were then asked to take part in a role-play exercise, where they pretended to be employed by a comedy website and were tasked with selecting which jokes should appear on the site.

Before doing this, the men had to take part in a fake personality quiz to purportedly determine whether they had a more ‘feminine’ or ‘masculine’ personality and sense of humour.

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Half of the men were told they supposedly had a ‘feminine’ personality, in an attempt to threaten their masculinity.

Then, all participants had to rank a selection of homophobic, sexist and anti-Muslim jokes based on how ‘funny’ they found them.

The study’s findings show that men with a higher PMB, i.e. more fragile masculinity, were more likely to find the derogatory jokes funny after their manliness had been called into question.

“Men higher in PMB expressed amusement with sexist and anti-gay humor in response to a masculinity threat because they believed it would reaffirm an accurate (more masculine) impression of them,” the study concluded.

“Discrimination against women and gay men, therefore, can function as a means of protecting and reaffirming one’s masculinity.”

In other words, men think that being homophobic makes them more manly.

The survey was also repeated on a slightly larger scale, with 221 participants, and the results were the same.

Science has also previously told us that homophobic men are more likely to be violent bullies, while fragile masculinity has prevented men from doing very normal things such as recycling, watching the sunset, and washing their own genitals.

So there we are. Perhaps men who tell homophobic jokes don’t need to be scolded. Rather they need to be cuddled, have their tears wiped away, and told that it will all be alright.

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