Abstract<br />Imagine if you will, a large, extended American family celebrating at a wedding. Two young girls aged 5 and 6 join hands on the dance floor and rejoice in excitement while dancing away the evening. They hug and kiss each other on the cheek gleefully. Their elders look on admiring how cute and precious a scene they’re bearing witness to. Now imagine the same display only two boys are frolicking with delight, holding hands, dancing close, perhaps swapping pecks of affection just as the girls had done. Quite likely, the cultural response would be one of disapproval. The following research attempts to demonstrate these differences in gender socialization while illuminating their manifestations within the gay community, specifically the male homosexual community.<br />
Background<br />Young children learn gender and then fulfill their prescribed role<br />Males are taught to be aggressive, females passive<br />The majority of gay-bashing victims and offenders are male<br />Males make up a staggering 90% of violent crime offenders<br />
Hypothesis<br />Gay men will have a more challenging time with disclosing their sexual preference than gay females. <br />I postulate that gender socialization will have a direct influence on this.<br />
Method<br />A random sample of 22 was taken from three separate establishments<br />11 homosexual males and 11 lesbian females voluntarily participated<br />Participants filled out a questionnaire designed to extract specific information<br />The survey was brief, comprised of only 4 questions.<br />
Research Questionnaire<br />Thank you for choosing to be a participant in this study. Please answer openly and honestly as many questions as you feel comfortable with. Responses are confidential and will provide valuable information with reference to gender socialization. Please feel free to remain anonymous and place your completed questionnaire in the envelope provided. If you wish to be informed of the results, please provide a self-addressed envelope. The results will be mailed within 4-6 weeks. Thank you again for your participation.<br /><ul><li>Are you biologically male or female?
At what age did you know that your sexual preference was not for the opposite biological sex?
At what age did you openly disclose your sexual preference to your family and/or peers?
Have you experienced any discrimination or bullying that was fueled by your sexual preference? If so, could you provide an example?</li></li></ul><li>Results:<br />Males were found to have a longer disclosure rate by about 1.95 years<br />The mean gap for males was 9.25 years while females was 7.3 years<br />Males had a variance of 43% from the mean and a standard deviation of 6.5 years<br />Females had a variance of 63% and a standard deviation of 7.9 years<br />Females had an outlier of 25 which deviated from the mean by 17.7 years<br />Males had an outlier of 22 which deviated from the mean by 12.75 years<br />
Results Continued:<br />Males experienced more discriminatory incidents at a ratio of 15:9<br />3 of the 11 males had still not disclosed their sexual preference, further supporting the hypothesis*<br />* Because non-disclosure was not anticipated, a lack of quantifiable data for three men may have skewed the average. The average for males was taken from 8 while an average for females was taken from 10 as data was not available for one female.<br />
Challenges to Study<br />Too small a sample size<br /> Lack of control for other variables such as fear of family disownment, religious background, ethnic background, workplace discrimination, etc.<br />Non-disclosure was not anticipated, and although compelling to the hypothesis, could not be quantified for in determining a sound average gap. <br />
Conclusion<br />Males experienced higher rates of verbal assault, physical violence, family disownment, and non-disclosure. <br /> Males and females reported an equal amount of unspecified discrimination as well as workplace discrimination. <br /> Females reported no incidences of family disownment. <br />Overall, males experienced a longer, if not non-existent, disclosure rate than females<br />
Conclusion Continued<br />The violence endured by homosexual men, seemed to be born of a model of gender socialization that dominates American culture; a model in which males are to embody masculinity as defined by a disposition of toughness, aggression, violence, emotional constriction, dominance, and conformity. This study made it apparent that further research is necessary to prove a relationship between gender socialization and the hesitancy of coming out among both males and females. It’s important to note that, although males had a longer (in some cases non-existent) coming out period, lesbian women grapple with the same antagonism males do. This indicates a cultural need for reassessment of gender and what it truly means to be masculine, feminine, male, or female. <br />