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Aggression Toward Gay Men as Gender Role Enforcement: Effects of Male Role Norms, Sexual Prejudice, and Masculine Gender Role Stress


  • This research was supported by grant R01-AA-015445 from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. I am grateful to Roger Bakeman and Christopher Henrich for their valuable suggestions regarding data analysis. I also thank Kathryn Gallagher, Adam Hudepohl, and Cameron Miller for their assistance in data collection as well as the entire staff of the Behavioral Science Laboratory at Georgia State University.

concerning this article should be addressed to Dominic J. Parrott, Department of Psychology, Georgia State University, P.O. Box 5010, Atlanta, GA 30302-5010. E-mail:


ABSTRACT This study examined sexual prejudice and masculine gender role stress as mediators of the relations between male gender norms and anger and aggression toward gay men. Participants were 150 self-identified heterosexual men who completed measures of adherence to male gender role norms, sexual prejudice, masculine gender role stress, and state anger. Participants then viewed a video depicting intimate relationship behavior between 2 gay men, reported state anger a second time, and competed in a laboratory aggression task against either a heterosexual or a gay male. Results indicated that adherence to the antifemininity norm exerted an indirect effect, primarily through sexual prejudice, on increases in anger. Adherence to the status and antifemininity norms exerted indirect effects, also through sexual prejudice, on physical aggression toward the gay, but not the heterosexual, male. Findings provide the first multivariate evidence for determinants of aggression toward gay men motivated by gender role enforcement.