Paper in Body Image
  • Hunt. C.J., Gonsalkorale, K., & Murray, S.B. (2013). Threatened masculinity and muscularity: An experimental examination of multiple aspects of muscularity in men. Body Image, 10, 290-299.

    Two studies examined the threatened masculinity theory of male body dissatisfaction, which posits that threats to masculinity result in increased muscle dissatisfaction. In Study 1, a masculinity threat was followed by tasks examining confidence in physical ability and perceptions of current and ideal body shapes. Results showed that men who experienced a masculinity threat reported lower confidence in their physical ability and perceived themselves as less muscular than men who experienced an affirmation of their masculinity. In Study 2, men were asked to report their intention to increase muscularity and their appearance anxiety following a threat to masculinity. Results showed that men reported lower appearance anxiety and drive for muscularity when their masculinity was threatened than when their masculinity was affirmed. This apparent contradiction can be explained by noting that men may be motivated to deny appearance concerns following a threat to masculinity, as such concerns are equated with femininity.