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Cat Person, Dog Person, Gay, or Heterosexual: The Effect of Labels on a Man's Perceived Masculinity, Femininity, and Likability

By R. W. Mitchell, A. L. Ellis

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Abstract

American undergraduates (192 male, 521 female) rated masculinity, femininity, and likability of two men (one highly masculine and unfeminine, one normally masculine with low femininity) from a videotaped interaction. Participants were informed that both men were cat persons, dog persons, heterosexual, adopted, or gay, or were unlabeled. Participants rated the men less masculine when cat persons than when dog persons or unlabeled, and less masculine and more feminine when gay than when anything else or unlabeled. The more masculine man received lower feminine ratings when a dog person than when a heterosexual, and higher masculine ratings when a dog person than when unlabeled. Labels did not affect likability. Overall, the gay label consistently promoted cross-gender attributions, the dog person label encouraged somewhat heightened gender-appropriate attributions, and the cat person label allowed for normative attributions.

Publication Title Society & Animals
Volume 21
Issue 1
Pages 1-16
ISBN/ISSN 1063-1119
DOI 10.1163/15685306-12341266
Language English
Author Address [Mitchell, Robert W.] Eastern Kentucky Univ, Richmond, KY 40475 USA.Mitchell, RW (reprint author), Eastern Kentucky Univ, Richmond, KY 40475 USA.robert.mitchell@eku.edu
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Tags
  1. Adoption
  2. Animals
  3. display
  4. Femininity
  5. Gender
  6. Heterosexuality
  7. Homosexuality
  8. Impact
  9. Labelling
  10. Masculinity
  11. Men
  12. peer-reviewed
  13. people
  14. perceptions
  15. sexual orientation
  16. stereotypes
Badges
  1. peer-reviewed