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Gay Men's Attitudes towards Effeminate Gay Men

Results for the Effeminacy Study

Thank you for participating in this study. A limited amount of research has been conducted on gay men's attitudes towards effeminate gay men, and this study helped to expand the literature on gay men of color as well as men who have immigrated to the United States. The results confirmed conclusions found by other researchers and helped clarify the relationship between negative attitudes towards effeminacy (NATE), internalized homophobia (IH), and masculinity consciousness (MC).

Past research has found that negative attitudes towards effeminacy, masculinity consciousness, and internalized homophobia are positively correlated. This suggests that men who are concerned about how masculine they appear typically have discomfort with their sexuality and may view effeminate men in a negative way. The opposite is the case for men who are more comfortable with their sexuality. In prior studies no racial differences were found among participants' views of effeminacy and no noticeable differences regarding masculinity consciousness existed within the sample. No studies have examined the attitudes that immigrants of the United States hold about effeminate men.

Of the 246 participants in the sample, the mean age was 34. 97.2% of the sample was openly gay with at least one person. In regards to ethnicity, the sample was diverse, Caucasian (43.1%), Latino/Hispanic (17.9%), Asian (13.8%), African descent (13.4%), Mixed/biracial (7.3%), Middle Eastern (1.2%), and 3.2% did not report an ethnicity. Immigrants to the United States accounted for 19.9% of the sample. Latinos and Asians each accounted for 36.2% of the sample of immigrants, Caucasians (17%), Mixed Racial (6.2%), and Middle Eastern (2.1 %.). Finally, 45.5% of the sample identified socio-politically as progressive, 27.2% as very progressive, 22.4% as moderate, 3.3% conservative, and 1.2% as very conservative.

Here are the highlights of the results. All three constructs, NATE, IH, and MC, have a strong positive correlation. The strongest correlation was between negative attitudes toward effeminacy and internalized homophobia (.595). There were no significant differences in negative attitudes towards effeminate gay men between the ethnic groups and the US immigrants and non-immigrants. An interesting finding developed when analyzing socio-political beliefs. Participants who identified as very progressive had less negative attitudes than those who identified as progressive, who had lower levels of negative attitudes than moderates.

The issue of effeminacy is a prominent issue in the gay community and many of you contacted me to communicate your interest in the topic. I have included a citation for an article on gay men's negative attitudes towards effeminate gay men, written by Jod Taywaditep. He discusses the historical and cultural shifts within the gay community that have led to the phenomenon and talks about the implications for the community, effeminate gay men, and men who have de-feminized.

Thanks again for your participation. If you have any further questions or comments please contact me at

Taywaditep, K. J. (2001). Marginalization among the marginalized: Gay men's anti-effeminacy attitudes. Journal of Homosexuality, 42(1), 1-28.