A man with attitude

Jul 28, 2010

Heterosexual women bear the brunt of narcissistic heterosexual men's hostility, while heterosexual men, gay men and lesbian women provoke a softer reaction, according to psychologist Dr. Scott Keiller from Kent State University at Tuscarawas in the US. This is likely to be due to women's unparalleled potential for gratifying, or frustrating, men's narcissism. They are crucial players and even gatekeepers in men's quests for sexual pleasure, patriarchal power and status. Dr. Keiller's findings are published online in Springer's journal Sex Roles.

Research to date has shown that narcissists' low empathy, feelings of entitlement, and perceptions of being deprived of 'deserved' admiration and gratification can make them prone to aggression and vengeance.

Dr. Keiller's study looks at whether narcissists' is targeted at heterosexual women and men, gay men and lesbian women in the same way and with the same intensity. Each group represents a different combination of perceived conformity to traditional gender roles on the one hand, and potential for gratifying a heterosexual man on the other.

A total of 104 male undergraduates, aged 21 years on average, from a large university in the Midwest US took part in the study survey. Keiller looked at measures of narcissism, sexist attitudes toward women and traditional female stereotypes, sexist attitudes toward men and heterosexual male stereotypes, and attitudes toward gay men and lesbian women.

He found that men's narcissism was linked most strongly to hostility toward heterosexual women, more so than toward any other group including , gay men and lesbian women. In fact, men's narcissism was linked to favorable attitudes toward lesbians and was unrelated to attitudes toward gay men. Narcissism was not, however, associated with greater acceptance of homosexuality in general.

According to the author, these results suggest that narcissistic men believe that heterosexual relationships should be patriarchal rather than egalitarian.

Dr. Keiller concludes: "The present study suggests that heterosexual men's narcissism is linked to an adversarial and angry stance toward heterosexual women more than toward other groups. Although narcissists may want to maintain feelings of superiority and power over all people, narcissistic heterosexual men are particularly invested in subordinating heterosexual women. The results suggest that narcissistic hostility is associated with a group's potential to provide or withhold rather than ideology about a group's sexual orientation or conformity to heterosexual gender roles."

Explore further: Depression predicts subsequent computer use in young men

More information: Keiller SW (2010). Male narcissism and attitudes toward heterosexual women and men, lesbian women and gay men: hostility toward heterosexual women most of all. Sex Roles. DOI 10.1007/s11199-010-9837-8

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Parents' sexuality influences adoption choices

Apr 03, 2009

A couple's sexual orientation determines whether or not they prefer to adopt a boy or a girl. Gay men are more likely to have a gender preference for their adopted child whereas heterosexual men are the least likely. What's ...

Recommended for you

How mothers help children explore right and wrong

12 hours ago

There's no question that mothers want their children to grow up to be good people—but less is known about how they actually help their offspring sort out different types of moral issues.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

RobertKarlStonjek
5 / 5 (2) Jul 28, 2010
The study findings describe adolescents well ~ hardly surprising since the average age of the participants was 21 year old students (extended schooling extends adolescence by shielding pupils from the outside world). But why do they claim that this unique group (21 year old students) can be extended to ordinary adults with actual life experience???

More news stories

Low Vitamin D may not be a culprit in menopause symptoms

A new study from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) shows no significant connection between vitamin D levels and menopause symptoms. The study was published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopa ...

Astronomers: 'Tilt-a-worlds' could harbor life

A fluctuating tilt in a planet's orbit does not preclude the possibility of life, according to new research by astronomers at the University of Washington, Utah's Weber State University and NASA. In fact, ...