What? You thought that macho men were out? Perhaps you were hoping
that letting the sensitive side of your nature show would be more
appealing, even sexy, to a woman. Well, the researchers reporting in
the Psychology of Men and Masculinity journal thought so too.
They wanted to determine if "liberating men from the bonds of traditional masculinity would be beneficial."
as it was categorized in the study, may make men feel good about
themselves, but it's a real turn-off to women as far as sexual
The research protocol called for groups of
female and male volunteers to watch a 15 minute video of job
interviews, with various male and female actors. Though their
qualifications for the jobs were about the same, some of the actors
were in command of the event, very self-assured; others were more
modest about their capabilities.
The volunteers, 132 females
and 100 males, rated the job candidates (actors) very differently.
Women linked male modesty with weakness, unemployability, and un-sexy.
Men job candidates that demonstrated assertiveness and competitiveness
were perceived as having high status, more able, and more sexually
This is rather a surprising finding, I think, at a
time when so many of societal gender rules seem to have changed,
certainly during the past 40 or so years. Interesting too is that
earning potential is so entwined with sexual drive in women.
volunteers did not associate either the confident females or the modest
females as being more sexually desirable than the other.
researchers were dutiful to point out that neither personality type -
macho or modest - has been shown to have any effect on hiring
potential, but what if you are being interviewed by a woman?
When men break the gender rules: Status incongruity and backlash against modest men. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, via Medical News Today.