I’ve been to a focus group recently where they interviewed gay men and straight men (age 20-30) to better understand how to target these two groups in advertisements.
It was an eye opener for me.
They presented us with pictures and asked us for words that we would use to describe what’s masculine about the different pictures.
Straight men considered “masculine” a much wider variety of men, and couldn’t really come up with very specific words to describe their idea of masculinity. They just said things like “he looks like a normal dude”.
Gay men in comparison had a much narrower idea of masculinity, only macho men were considered masculine. I – personally – equate “macho” to caveman, not to masculine.
Some gay guys came up with things like “it’s masculine to take what you want”, or words like assertiveness to define masculinity. Basically, femininity just meant weakness to these gay men.
It made me feel a bit like gender stereotypes may actually be stronger with gay men, than they are with straight men.
Anybody has ever had the same perception elsewhere?