Guys who love the gym are more sexist, according to actual science
Muscular men are more likely to objectify women and treat them badly
Men who spend a long time in the gym making huge gains are more likely to hold traditional sexist beliefs and objectify women, research has found.
A study from the University of Westminster found that the more muscly a guy is the more likely he is to believe in traditional gender roles, like women who belong in the kitchen and men are meant to run a household. The more muscular a man was, the more likely that he thought of women as property rather than people to be interacted with.
It also followed that they believed men should be “manly” – brawny with big muscles.
More than just having sexist beliefs the research also found that muscular men held more hostility for women. Of the 327 heterosexual men studied, almost all of the hench ones believed they should be the sole breadwinner in the relationship, and would respond extremely antagonistically if they saw their girlfriend flirting with another guy.
Although the research, led by Viren Swarmi, was careful to make clear that not all gym rats are sexist, it did show that the bigger and more gym-focused a man was, the more likely he was to be sexist, and to push his partner to enjoy the same lifestyle. Swarmi said: “We have previously found that men who hold stronger oppressive beliefs are more likely to think that thinner women are attractive.”
Swarmi’s report also theorised that men who spend ages in the gym might do so because they’re threatened by strong women, or because they live in a society where traditional patriarchal structures have been challenged by women in power; they might, for instance, react to having a female boss by bulking up in the gym.
He said: “Societies where patriarchal structures are being challenged, some men may seek to reassert their masculinity by enhancing their physiques.”
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