Science Finds Yet Another Reason Men Need Feminism

Academic studies can be fascinating… and totally confusing. So we decided to strip away all of the scientific jargon and break them down for you.

The Background
Traditional masculinity — you know, being tall, athletic and hyper-sexual — seems to lack a lot of the nuance that make all kinds of men great. Unfortunately, guys receive pretty limiting cues from society telling them to how to act, look and feel (sound familiar, ladies?), which doesn’t always bode well for the psyche. Previous studies have even suggested that men react to masculinity threats by exhibiting homophobia and increased aggression. Oy.

On a smaller level, though, how do men handle being told that they’re less masculine and — gasp — more feminine than their male peers? Let’s put it this way: They don’t “take it like a man.”

The Setup
Researchers from the University of Washington and Stanford University conducted two studies to see how men dealt with threats to their masculinity. Before diving into the studies, however, they asked men to rate activities (like “Shopping at Home Depot” or “Shopping at Banana Republic”) as masculine or feminine and then turned those activities into products (like “a $25 gift certificate to Home Depot” or “a $25 gift certificate to Banana Republic”) that would be used as gift options in the two studies.

For the first study, researchers asked 36 college-aged men to fill out a questionnaire that would “measure the level of [their] masculinity compared to those of other men” on a 100-point scale. The questionnaire, however, was completely arbitrary and by no means set up to gauge true masculinity (which really isn’t even a thing). In keeping with the ruse, each man was given one of two scores randomly —> Read More