Males act hostile when asked to do dishes

May 4th, 2011 - 6:44 pm ICT by IANS  

London, May 4 (IANS) Despite all the chatter about the contemporary man being a wholehearted champion of gender equality, a study says that asking males to do tasks considered feminine, like washing dishes, can make them act hostile to reassert their masculinity.

Researchers from the University of South Florida found that after doing tasks traditionally associated with women, like cleaning or housework, men react aggressively, as if their masculinity is being threatened, and will deliberately behave in a more macho way to restore their self-esteem.

The researchers asked one group of men to behave in a way seen to be more feminine, by braiding hair, while another group was asked to braid rope - a similar, but more masculine occupation, the journal Current Directions in Psychological Science reports.

Afterwards, when given a choice between either punching a punch bag or doing a puzzle, the hair braiders overwhelmingly chose the more violent option, according to the Daily Mail.

In another test, both sets of men were asked to hit the punch bag. The hair-braiders punched harder than the rope braiders, researchers found.

Professor Jennifer Bosson, who was part of a team of psychologists that carried out the study, said men used their aggression as a tactic to restore masculinity.

“Men are extremely concerned about how they appear in other people’s eyes…and the more they will suffer psychologically when their manhood feels violated,” Bosson said.

“Gender role violation can be a big thing, like losing a job, or a little thing, like being asked to braid hair in a laboratory,” he added.

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