Research on Masculine Style

Discussion on what it means to be straight acting, whether it's good, bad or indifferent.

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Research on Masculine Style

Postby Learning » Sun Mar 29, 2009 6:03 pm

Factors used to identify masculine personal style have been listed in a 1992 study published by Peggy E. Gallaher in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Vol. 63, No. 1, pp. 133-145). Gallaher's research lists these things as critical markers of masculine style:

Legs wide apart when sitting
Loud voice
Elbows away from the body
Full voice
Heavy step
Large steps
Legs wide apart when standing
Hands away from body
Loud laugh
Lack of fear

The study also identifies other factors that people used to determine whether someone is friendly and likeable, energetic, and coordinated. Fortunately, being masculine, likeable, and friendly can go together.

What specific ways of moving and speaking do some of you use in identifying "straight acting" style?
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Postby masculinity » Mon Mar 30, 2009 3:00 pm

Interesting.

Again, acting will only take a gay male this far. his inner femininity will sooner or later show up.

The best thing to do is to build one's inner natural masculinity. Then one will not need to worry about anything. Whatever one does will reflect one's inner masculinity. Even if one dances and wears lipstick, one's masculinity will show.
Last edited by masculinity on Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
Gays are a different species altogether from men (and women). They're not "men who like men," they are "third gender who like men."

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Questions about Inner Masculinity

Postby Learning » Mon Mar 30, 2009 3:50 pm

In developing masculinity, the natural masculinity website emphasizes the importance of being with other men and thinking of oneself as a man, but isn't clear on the details. Maybe you could explain more about what constitutes inner masculinity and how that would be recognized on the outside. Would inner masculinity be something that only men could show or does it refer to a state of mind that can anyone could and should develop? What specifically makes inner masculinity different?
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Re: Questions about Inner Masculinity

Postby masculinity » Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:06 am

Learning wrote:In developing masculinity, the natural masculinity website emphasizes the importance of being with other men and thinking of oneself as a man, but isn't clear on the details. Maybe you could explain more about what constitutes inner masculinity and how that would be recognized on the outside. Would inner masculinity be something that only men could show or does it refer to a state of mind that can anyone could and should develop? What specifically makes inner masculinity different?


Masculinity and Femininity are basically biological concepts, and you have to be born with their seeds. In nature, neither is superior or inferior to the other and all human beings have both of them in different proportions.

Simply put, 'masculinity' is the inner sense of being a 'man' irrespective of whether you're a male or a female. While 'femininity' is the inner sense of being a 'woman', irrespective of your outer sex. Both males and females can be masculine or feminine. Our gender identity is based on our predominant gender, i.e. 'masculinity' or 'femininity'.

The seeds of 'masculniity' or 'femininity' that males are born with has to be developed into an identity -- 'manhood' or 'third gender'-- and adolescence is the best time for it. Those with predominant masculinity will (normally) go on to develop manhood, while those with a predominant femininity will become third gender and will seek a separate identity from 'men'.

The seed of 'masculinity' needs the right social environment to grow into 'manhood'. It can only grow into manhood into the men's space. That is why in ancient tribes, boys used to be shifted to men's spaces, as soon as they reached adolescence, but not before they passed a 'manhood' test or initiation. The feminine boys were exempt from the men's spaces, and they used to be part of a third space (third gender).

Men's spaces are the spaces of masculine gendered males. When the individual masculinities of masculine males combine they multiply several folds and in return each member of the men's space is then endowed with several times his original masculinity. It's really powerful.

Male bonds are the key to developing manhood, and love combined with sexuality (not lust as practised in the gay space) is the most powerful bond between two males. That is why all the ancient warrior traditions celebrated male romantic bonds, as illustrated by the epics of Hanuman and Ram, Gilgamesh and Enkidu and much later Alexander and Hephaisition. The Greeks recognized the power of male love bonds too, and they made male pairs fight next to each other in battles. Other prominent tradition that survived till the medieval times was the Samurai tradition.

It is noteworthy that association with women or with feminine gendered males is supposed to suppress one's masculinity... just as association with masculine gendered males multiplies it several folds. Therefore all the ancient warrior traditions put restrictions on the warriors associating with females. And romantic bonds with females were the most feminizing experience a man can have, therefore, such association was particularly banned. Even till recently in the West too, sportsmen were banned from associating sexually with women. The traditional Indian warrior spaces, like the Pehalwans, keep away from even the shadow of women, and many don't marry their entire life. Worshippers of Hanuman, in particular, don't keep away from women totally.

Some ancient tribes, even today, allow sex with women only for the purpose of reproduction, and even after that make the men go through painful process of cleansing (from acquired femininity), by stuff such as drawing blood from their noses.

Unfortunately, the men's spaces have been transformed into 'heterosexual' spaces in the West, and labelled 'straight', therefore, most masculine gendered males sacrifice their love/ need/ interest in male bonds/ intimacy, to be 'straights', and those who do not wish to or cannot sacrifice their love for male (romantic/sexual) bond are deprived of the opportunity to develop their manhood, as they are deprived of the men's spaces and of association with other masculine males.

It is noteworthy that the gay space is a disempowered, third gender space, devoid of 'manhood.' Masculine males in this space are not only sporadic, like mavericks who have lost their way, they are also disempowered, unorganized and vulnerable, and their masculinity is not recognized in the gay space or the outer world.

Association or bonds with gay males does not lead to an increase in masculinity and can never lead to manhood. In fact, it tends to deplete one's masculinity and is bad for one's 'manhood'.

The masculinity of men need to be acknowledged by other masculine gendered males, and by men's spaces in particular, in order for it to become 'manhood.' Unless your masculinity is recognized in the society, you will never really be comfortable with it or confident about it.

In short, you're living in a society, which will not allow you to be a real man, with inner manhood, unless you prove your 'heterosexuality' which includes a repulsion towards men. Your society is hostile to real, natural manhood.

So, what can you do under such circumstances to develop your inner masculinity and attain real manhood. It is not impossible. But, it will require special efforts and hard work. It is much easier to learn the outer symbols and become 'straight-acting', than to learn and develop the real stuff and become actually 'straight' (meaning masculine not 'heterosexual). The latter takes time to develop.

Try to associate as much with straight men as possible, and be part of a straight space as an equal. You have to pretend to be heterosexual, but that is the way it is. You also have to pretend to dislike men sexually.

When you compete with masculine males in men's spaces, your masculinity really grows by leaps and bounds. You also learn some of the outer social ways of expressing your inner masculinity, which may be just vanity, but they do help to make you feel and look more masculine.

However, don't let this heterosexual space get to the core of you. Don't let it hate your own need to love and bond with men. In fact, when you become a part of the straight space, and learn the ways of the straights, and the man-code, you'll find that straight men too are secretly interested in men, and with the right approach you can actually have a relationship with one of them, and this is really a masculating experience.

But even if this is not possible, what you can do is to get together with some real masculine males (not necessarily muscular males but who have inner masculinity)... I guess, those who see themselves as 'straights', even when they like men, rather than the average 'straight-acting' crowd.

A practical approach may be to hang out in the straight space and find a real masculine man from the 'gay' space who thinks of himself as 'straight' rather than a 'straight-acting gay.' Someone, who comes into the 'gay' space only to find another similar 'straight' male, rather than someone who is part of the gay space. Someone who cannot relate with the gays or the gay scene.

And the most important thing is to reject the 'gay' identity. The moment you realise that you can love a man and keep away from women without being 'gay,' that is an extremely liberating experience for your masculinity. If you don't feel immensely masculine after that... you can go on and reject the rest of my theory.

What also helps is to look at other cultures, including the ancient ones and the contemporary non-Western cultures and see how masculine male intimacy with other men is acknowledged as masculine and part of the 'straight' identity in these spaces. This gives you moral support to your search for real, inner 'manhood' as a man who seeks love from another man.
Gays are a different species altogether from men (and women). They're not "men who like men," they are "third gender who like men."

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Postby masculinity » Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:14 am

Men who are devoid of this social manhood, because they didn't get the chance to associate and relate with other masculine males, and could never be a part of a men's space (gay space is not men's space, its a third gender space)... will feel less of man, less masculine, and their sense of 'manhood' will be underdeveloped. They may not be quite feminine, but they will not be fully 'men' either.
Gays are a different species altogether from men (and women). They're not "men who like men," they are "third gender who like men."

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The power of association

Postby Learning » Sat Apr 04, 2009 8:11 am

The main point seems to be that associating with manly straight guys helps others develop that manly style. If you had to describe what would be learned during that association, what sort of things would those include?
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Looking for details

Postby Learning » Mon Apr 06, 2009 7:43 am

Also, what things would you use to identify a group of straight-acting/masculine role models?
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Swaying in the Shoulders not the Hips

Postby Learning » Mon Apr 13, 2009 8:12 am

A different study found that guys seem more "straight acting" when their shoulders rotate and rock and when their hips do not sway.

The results are published by Simone Gill, Victoria Reichman, and Louis Tassinary in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2007, Vol. 93, No. 3, 321-334 under the title "Swagger, Sway, and Sexuality: Judging Sexual Orientation From Body Motion and Morphology."
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Dr. Lillian Glass, Communications Consultant

Postby Learning » Fri Apr 24, 2009 3:10 pm

Dr. Lillian Glass served as a consultant for the movie "Tootsie" to help Dustin Hoffman create contrast between his male and female characters.
Glass has identified over 100 common differences in the ways that men and women communicate. Those differences include nonverbal and verbal differences.

She is the author of He Says, She Says and of the Complete Idiots Guide to Understanding Men and Women. Samples of her work are at these websites:

http://www.ncl.ac.uk/staffdev/lrc/libra ... ode=BCO.14
http://www.cofc.edu/~winfield/socy354/s ... terns.html
http://katnap.no-ip.biz:8800/Cynthia.html
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Studies on Partner Preferences

Postby Learning » Mon Apr 27, 2009 4:08 pm

A 1984 study showed that gay men look for partners who are similar to themselves in masculinity and femininity. ("Similarity and Attraction in Homosexual Males: The Effects of Age and Masculinity-Feminity" by Tom Boyden, John S. Carroll, and Richard A Maier, in Sex Roles, Vol. 10 Nos. 11/12, 1984).

A more recent study finds, in addition, that gay men notice whether their potential partners are masculine or feminine, and generally, gay men tend to be biased toward masculine partners. The bias for masculine partners is not true of men "who describe themselves as feminine." (J. Michael Bailey, Peggy Kim, Alex Hills, Joan Linsenmeier, "Butch, Femme, or Straight Acting? Partner Preferences of Gay Men and Lesbians" Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 73(6), Nov. 1997, p. 960-973.) This study includes speculations about the reason for the bias toward masculinity, but leaves unclear what specific things gay men look for that are considered "straight acting."
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Dominance and Relaxation

Postby Learning » Sat May 16, 2009 7:31 am

Many people have noted the importance of relaxation and confidence to "straight acting" style.

Psychologist, Dr. Albert Mehrabian reports in his book Silent Messages:

"The implicit messages conveying dominance-submissiveness are diverse and can be elaborate and subtle. Generally dominance is conveyed with behaviors implying strength, comfort, relaxation, and fearlessness, whereas submissiveness is communicated with behaviors implying weakness, smallness, discomfort, tension, and fearfulness. Studies of dyads in social interaction have consistently revealed postural relaxation to be a subtle indicator of social dominance." (p. 47)

"Postural relaxation is defined and measured in terms of increasing degrees of asymmetry of body and limb position while standing or seated (for example, leaning to one side, placing arms or legs in asymmetrical positions as compared to standing or sitting up straight and placing limbs in a symmetrical position). While seated, a backward lean ( a reclining position) is more relaxed than an upright or forward lean. . .Rocking movements of a seated person are also indicative of relaxation and dominance. (pp. 47-48)

"Experimental observations in this culture show that body relaxation. . . is a very important indicator of status. When two strangers meet, the more relaxed one is probably accepted by both as being of higher status. In our contemporary culture, relaxation is a reminder of the fearlessness of the powerful in times when power (and consequent status) involved life and death. One who is powerful, that is, of higher status, can afford to relax, whereas the weak must remain watchful and tense." (p. 61)
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Gaydar

Postby Learning » Wed Jun 24, 2009 7:37 pm

Some research on gaydar shows that gay people can be better than straight people at identifying other gay people. Gaydar works best when people can see "dynamic nonverbal behavior" such as a one second long video of someone in action.

See Brett Conner, Nalini Ambady, & Mark Hallahan's "Accuracy of Judgments of Sexual Orientation from Thin Slices of Behavior" in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 199, Vol. 77, No. 3, 538-547.
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Consequences of Straight-Acting "Power Moves"

Postby Learning » Tue Aug 11, 2009 1:25 pm

What are possible consequences of straight-acting power moves?

This 2003 study from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (vol. 84, no. 3) shows that nonverbally displaying dominance tends to encourage complementary submissive reactions from others.

"When people expand themselves and take up a lot of space, they are perceived as dominant, whereas when they constrict themselves and take up little space, they are perceived as submissive. . . Postural expansion can be achieved by moving one's limbs out from oneself (as in arms or legs akimbo), and constriction is achieved by drawing the limbs in or crossing them over one's body and curving the torso inwards. At the very least, these 'power moves' communicate the actor's likely status position to observers, probably because postural expansion occurs more frequently among people who are high status and constriction more frequently among people who are low status." (p. 558)

"Other research has shown that when people display dominant nonverbal behavior, not only do others think they are stronger and more competent . . ., but also that they deserve to hold higher status positions. . .Thus, these complementing nonverbal behaviors might start a cycle in which people accrue status simply by displaying these behaviors." (p. 566)
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Dominance as Attractiveness and Competence

Postby Learning » Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:05 am

A study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that people who show dominance are assumed to be competent regardless of their actual abilities. (See Cameron Anderson and Gavin Kilduff, "Why Do Dominant Personalities Attain Influence in Face to Face Groups: The Competence Signaling Effects of Trait Dominance," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2009, Vol. 96, No. 2, pp. 491-503)


Also, men who nonverbally show dominance and women who show submissiveness rated as more attractive. (See Robert Raines, et al., "Nonverbal Behavior and Gender as Determinants of Physical Attractiveness, Jounal of Nonverbal Behavior, 14(4), Winter 1990, pp. 253-267)
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Re: Research on Masculine Style

Postby nimby » Sat Aug 22, 2009 3:25 pm

Learning, what are you trying to accomplish following only this topic? Masculinity means different things to different people at different times. Straights have a different notion on masculinity than gays or bisexuals. Singles differ than partnered people. Older differ than younger people. I really don't understand your obcession with the masculine ideal. What is your purpose? Who are you trying to convince?
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Reactions to the Research

Postby Learning » Sun Aug 23, 2009 7:04 am

nimby wrote:Learning, what are you trying to accomplish following only this topic? Masculinity means different things to different people at different times. Straights have a different notion on masculinity than gays or bisexuals. Singles differ than partnered people. Older differ than younger people. I really don't understand your obcession with the masculine ideal. What is your purpose? Who are you trying to convince?


Thank you for your interest, Nimby. I'd like to clarify what is known about "straight acting" because that gives us greater freedom.

You have me curious about what you've discovered. What are some of those differences in how people think about "straight acting"?

That study showing that people rate men as more attractive when they nonverbally show dominance and women as more attractive when they show submissiveness has heavy implications. It means that women are being encouraged to give up their influence in order to be attractive. It also implies that effeminate stereotypes of gay people would encourage gay men to give up their power as well.
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Calm and Anxious Personality

Postby Learning » Tue Oct 06, 2009 3:26 pm

The New York Times Magazine published an article called "Understanding the Anxious Mind" (Sept. 29, 2009). The article describes research by Harvard professor Jerome Kagan who found that from an early age, some people show a lasting personality tendency toward being anxious or toward being calm. The article also describes how anxiousness or calmness can be helpful in certain contexts.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/04/magaz ... c_ev=click
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Biological Basis

Postby Learning » Sat Feb 27, 2010 9:49 am

This story from 60 Minutes reports that researchers like Michael Bailey have reason to believe there are biological causes for masculine and feminine tendencies and for sexual orientation even if those causes are not genetic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Osw05HGe5I

Michael Bailey explains his research in a book called The Man Who Would Be Queen.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Man_Who_Would_Be_Queen
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"29 Effeminate Gestures"

Postby Learning » Sat Jun 12, 2010 8:40 am

This unusual video called "29 Effeminate Gestures 1" has a a guy doing a demonstration of effeminate gestures. Most of them include either feet together, weight unevenly distributed, head tilted, elbows in close to the body, buttocks sticking out, face touching, or exaggerated facial expressions.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGteMqZmYp0

The opposite would probably be spreading feet, keeping weight evenly distributed, keeping head level, keeping elbows out, standing tall, keeping hands down, and using genuine facial expressions.
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Status

Postby Learning » Tue Jul 20, 2010 1:28 pm

This speaker from "Social Fluency" suggests that women have an evolutionarily developed interest in mating with high status males, males who could influence others in their group. He suggests that signs of status come from these cues:

*use of eye contact (strong, focused, and not looking around)
*poise in carrying oneself
*composure
*strong tone of voice (letting others hear)
*level of spontaneity (being less concerned about others)
*lack of social anxiety

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuDTZJWb ... eature=sub
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Re: Status

Postby butch » Tue Jul 20, 2010 7:47 pm

Learning wrote:This speaker from "Social Fluency" suggests that women have an evolutionarily developed interest in mating with high status males, males who could influence others in their group. He suggests that signs of status come from these cues:

*use of eye contact (strong, focused, and not looking around)
*poise in carrying oneself
*composure
*strong tone of voice (letting others hear)
*level of spontaneity (being less concerned about others)
*lack of social anxiety

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuDTZJWb ... eature=sub


I think most of this is intellectual bullshit perpetuated by people who's careers depend upon generating yet more intellectual bullshit that has nothing much to do with the general public. For instance, as an artist I can't begin to tell you how much I despise the "artspeak" that has come to dominate the cultural climate. All total *$#*@# bullshit with nothing to do with reality and most of it completely without meaning if you can actually wade knee deep through the crap. A bunch of total *$#*@# idiots trying to sound intelligent... but they're all so *$#*@# stupid no one knows what anyone else is talking about or they don't exchange a single word of useful dialogue.

Most people are far too stupid to think about what they do in terms of attracting anyone. People are animals following animal instincts and cultural ideas they were brainwashed into by family and community and these vary WILDLY from place to place and time to time.

Trying to place any value on the concepts is a waste of energy and time. Many traits are not thought out by those who practice them... it's just normal behaviour based upon cultural conditioning.

It's like someone fresh off the boat from Japan/Ethiopia/China etc., etc., trying to be part of the crowd at, say the University of Arizona. They may as well be from Mars... they won't have a clue and all their actions will be interpreted as cute or weird.
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Re: Status

Postby Learning » Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:36 pm

butch wrote:
Learning wrote:This speaker from "Social Fluency" suggests that women have an evolutionarily developed interest in mating with high status males, males who could influence others in their group. He suggests that signs of status come from these cues:

*use of eye contact (strong, focused, and not looking around)
*poise in carrying oneself
*composure
*strong tone of voice (letting others hear)
*level of spontaneity (being less concerned about others)
*lack of social anxiety

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuDTZJWb ... eature=sub


...Many traits are not thought out by those who practice them... it's just normal behaviour based upon cultural conditioning.

It's like someone fresh off the boat from Japan/Ethiopia/China etc., etc., trying to be part of the crowd at, say the University of Arizona. They may as well be from Mars... they won't have a clue and all their actions will be interpreted as cute or weird.


The speaker in this video series seems to share some of your concerns. The later video from the "Status" series has the title "Social Anxiety" and goes into the problem of applying concepts like "Be confident" and the problem of people giving away their true thoughts and feelings with "tells."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42ljD2Wg ... re=related

Probably most people do not get enough feedback or are uncomfortable with the feedback they get. You've probably seen how uncomfortable some people get with being recorded.
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Situations v. Personality

Postby Learning » Sun Aug 29, 2010 12:21 pm

Many of us realize that some things people do come from their personality and other things change from situation to situation.

Walter Mischel measured how much personality influences actions and how much being in different situations influences actions. Mischel's experiments showed that people's personality may only account for about 16% of what a person does and other actions change from situation to situation.

The implication of Mischel's work is that both personality and situations influence whether someone is "straight acting," but situations may have the strongest influence. People who seem "straight acting" in one situation may be less so in another situation.

For more information, see Mischel's Personality and Assement (1968) or

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Mis ... ity_theory
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"How to Become an Alpha Male"

Postby Learning » Sun Oct 03, 2010 7:31 pm

Wikihow has this article with recommendations aimed at straight guys who want to seem more dominant.

http://www.wikihow.com/Become-an-Alpha-Male
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