Fight or flight: Perceptions of men who confront versus ignore threats to themselves and others
Published on Jan 1, 2017in Personality and Individual Differences3.004
· DOI :10.1016/J.PAID.2016.08.040
Abstract Masculine Honor (MH) describes a set of cultural beliefs by which men are expected to defend against threats, even if this defense requires the use of physical violence (e.g., Cohen & Nisbett, 1994). Previous research has identified what constitutes a threat and how MH moderates perceptions of these threats. However, little research has examined perceptions of men who confront versus fail to confront a threat to their masculinity. In two studies (N = 267) we examined whether MH moderated the relationship between whether a man confronted or walked away from a threat directed at himself ( Study 1 ) and a threat directed at his significant other ( Study 2 ) and perceptions of the man as manly (e.g., strong) and non-manly (e.g., weak). MH was associated with manly perceptions of men who choose to fight and non-manly perceptions of men who choose to walk away from threats. These results are consistent with previous research on MH which predicts that men should respond to threats or insults that are directed at them. And to do so, violence is sometimes necessary. Thus, individuals' adherence to MH predicts how they perceive violence as a tool for defending against threats and building and maintaining masculine reputations.