Don't laugh because we may have just found out why some people support the war, drive SUVs and hate gays.
From Cornell's website:
Threaten a man's masculinity and he will assume more macho attitudes, according to a study by a Cornell University researcher.
"I found that if you made men more insecure about their masculinity, they displayed more homophobic attitudes, tended to support the Iraq War more and would be more willing to purchase an SUV over another type of vehicle," said Robb Willer, a sociology doctoral candidate at Cornell. Willer is presenting his findings Aug. 15 at the American Sociological Association's 100th annual meeting in Philadelphia.
Willer administered a gender identity survey to a sample of male and female Cornell undergraduates in the fall of 2004. Participants were randomly assigned to receive feedback that their responses indicated either a masculine or a feminine identity. While women's responses were unchanged regardless of the feedback they received, men's reactions "were strongly affected by this feedback," Willer said.
"Masculinity-threatened men also reported feeling more ashamed, guilty, upset and hostile than did masculinity-confirmed men," states Willer's report, "Overdoing Gender: Testing the Masculine Overcompensation Thesis."
He questioned subjects about their political attitudes, including how they felt about a same-sex marriage ban and their support for President Bush's handling of the Iraq War.
"I created composites from subjects' answers to these and other questions," he said. "I also gave subjects a car-buying vignette, presented as part of a study of purchasing a new car."
Masculinity-threatened participants also showed more interest in buying an SUV. "There were no increases for other types of cars," Willer said.
Hmmm... Hannity, O'Reilly, Rush, Savage... and lest we forget, haven't we seen pictures of Chimpy in a cheerleading outfit?