It doesn't come through on this blog--obvious at the moment--but my personality is pretty damn mild. When I was a devout Christian in college, I had a tough-guy friend who was going on about how sickening homosexuality is. He was of the same faith. I told him that homosexual sex is just sin--the same as if he had premarital sex. Whether we like it or not, I said, God commands that we love everybody and that we separate bad behaviors from the person. He was shocked that I talked like that, but he knew that I was doctrinally correct and so dropped the topic. It seemed to me that his hostility came from his sense of masculinity, not from his belief system. I've personally heard perhaps 10 people say really nasty things about homosexuals. They were all men, and they were all tough guys.
Which leads to my question: Does level of masculinity correlate with opposition to gay marriage? I came up with two different measures: gender and hunting. Gender is an obvious indicator of masculinity, and hunting seems like a good one as well. Using GSS data from 4,146 Americans, I calculated logistic regression coefficients. The dependent variable is, do you agree that homosexuals have the right to marry. The third independent variable is belief in God.
Logistic regression coefficients
Belief in God -.462
All are significant at the .01 level with a two-tailed test. So, no not only belief in God, but being a guy and hunting independently predict opposition to gay marriage.
Some of the resistance to homosexuality and same-sex marriage seems to be a discomfort with guys acting like girls. Men seem to be saying, I want absolutely nothing to do with sissies. They are NOT joining my party.
At Secular Right, I was wondering out loud:
It is possible that gay marriage might delay and decrease the percent of men getting married, and it’s connected to modern fatherhood. I’ll try to find data on this, but I’m the kind of dad who’s always pushing strollers, playing with the kids outside, feeding them, changing diapers, etc. I often feel the glare of macho guys and sense that they’re thinking, “Damn homo.” Modern fatherhood, I suspect, is a problem itself in that it is making marriage look less attractive to very masculine men. Now, if these same guys see me pushing strollers with my married gay buddy, chatting away about how Johnny is saying a new word, I can imagine these macho types saying, that does it–I’m not joining the fag club.
UPDATE: Reader SFG makes a good suggestion to add controls for rurality and political views:
Belief in God -.343
Population size .000
Conservative politics -.399
All are significant at the .01 level, except for population size which is not significant. Hunting and gender still predict opposition to gay marriage.