Policing gender

A recent psychology study finds that both gay and straight men prefer masculine-presenting gay men over more feminine-presenting gay men for high status roles. Researcher Ben Gerrard describes the findings of the study, published in the peer-reviewed Australian journal Sex Roles. Regardless of sexual identity, "Men are still expected to conform to more masculine styles of leadership," even as today's team-based workplaces require leaders with qualities such as warmth, empathy and strong communication skills--all of which are conventionally considered to be "feminine" traits (Gay men discriminate, 2023).

Particularly striking is the extent to which gay men prefer gay men with more conventional masculine traits in positions of leadership--defined in terms of vocal quality, body language and posture. The research suggests that implicit bias impacts both gay and straight men's expectations, potentially hindering more feminine-presenting gay men from rising to leadership roles in the workplace.

"Gay men are potentially blocking each other from positions of power," states Gerrard (Gay men discriminate, 2023).

Featured Content

Learn more about the study and why Ben Gerrard believes it is important to look more deeply into the operation of implicit bias around gender in the workplace.

Gay men discriminate against feminine gay men


Gay Men Discriminate against Feminine Gay Men, New Study Finds (2023, January 31). The University of Sydney. https://www.sydney.edu.au/news-opinion/news/2023/01/31/gay-men-discriminate-against-feminine-gay-men...

Gender Identity Gender identity icon Our core sense of who we are as a man, a woman, a mixture of both, or neither.

Gender Expression Gender expression icon How we show up in the world through choices like clothing, hair style, mannerisms or tone of voice.

Attraction attraction icon How we feel toward others sexually, romantically and/or emotionally.

Biological Sex Biological sex icon Physical attributes such as reproductive organs and genitalia, chromosomes, genes and hormone levels.

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter to gather insights and real learnings

* indicates required
Privacy Policy *