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Millennial men and ‘dude bros’ are less supportive of LGBT+ people than boomers, according to science

Patrick Kelleher June 6, 2020
Millennial bros LGBT study

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Millennial men and “dude bros” are less supportive of LGBT+ people than older people, a new study has found.

The study, conducted by sociologist Dr Meredith G.F. Worthen and published in Sexuality Research and Social Policy, notes that young people are often considered to be the most open-minded of all age — but this is not true.

The paper identifies “dude bros” as “typically young (millennial), straight, white cisgender males of privilege” and says that they tend to express their masculinity in “entitled, obnoxious, and toxic ways” which can be anti-LGBT+.

Using data collected from a survey of 3,104 people in 2018  — 13.5 per cent of whom were young cisgender men — Worthen argues that “dude bro” millennials confirm their own “hetero-cis masculinity” by disparaging LGBT+ people and women.

Millennial, cisgender men report using anti-LGBT+ slurs.

Respondents were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with a number of key statements on LGBT+ and women’s rights — and found that being a millennial cis man is related to the stigmatisation of all LGBT+ people.

Worthen says that there is “something unique about this group of young men” that is leading to decreased support for LGBT+ people.

The survey results revealed that many young cisgender men routinely use anti-LGBT+ slurs and many have a deep fear of being hit on by a gay man.

The current study shows that millennial men are notably less supportive of LGBTQ people and women than previous work has found.

Worthen draws attention to the presidency of Donald Trump, arguing that his time in the White House is impacting on the attitudes of young men who are coming of age while he is in power.

“In particular, mean comparisons across the generational cohorts demonstrated a clear pattern: millennial cis men are more stigmatizing toward LGBTQ people as compared to both Gen X cis men and Boomer cis men,” the study says.

Young men are ‘notably less supportive of LGBTQ people’.

Notably, the research also found that these patterns also existed among some gay, bisexual, trans and queer millennial men.

The study says that not all millennial men are “dude bros”, but the increasing prevalence of anti-LGBT+ attitudes among young millennial cisgender men is a concern.

Worthen concludes: “Overall, the current study shows that millennial men are notably less supportive of LGBTQ people and women than previous work has found.”

The paper recommends that educational efforts and social policy should focus on improving understanding among millennial cisgender men of LGBT+ identities.

“As other research has noted, increasing awareness about the continued existence of LGBTQ prejudices and gender inequity is vital,” she concludes.

More: Meredith G.F. Worthen, Sexuality Research and Social Policy

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