Men Who Sleep Less Are Seen As More Masculine: A Stereotype With Potentially Damaging Consequences

Posted on November 10, 2020

There may also be links between sleep and perceptions of masculinity, a new paper in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research suggests. In a number of studies, Nathan B. Warren and Troy H. Campbell from the University of Oregon found that not only do we associate sleep deprivation with masculinity, but that men who sleep less actually experience more favourable social judgements than their better-rested counterparts.

In the first study, 144 participants were asked to imagine a man shopping for a bed; when approached by a salesperson, the man is asked how much he sleeps. Participants were randomly assigned to two conditions: in one, the man answers that he sleeps a lot, while in the other he states that he sleeps very little. After hearing the man’s answer, participants rated how masculine they felt he was — and when participants heard that he had lots of sleep, masculinity ratings were significantly lower than in the little sleep condition.

A later study looked at social judgements: are men who sleep more judged more harshly than those who sleep less? Participants were asked how American society would judge various people (e.g. “athletes” and “adult males”) if they either slept “a lot” or ”very little”.

As predicted, men who sleep a lot were evaluated more negatively than those who sleep a little, while there was no difference for women. Interestingly, judgements across other categories were uneven — athletes were positively evaluated when they slept a lot, whilst lawyers were more favourably looked upon when they slept a little. A subsequent study again showed that perceptions of agency and masculinity were important when making these social judgments.

Click on the link below to read the full article

Category(s):Sleep Disorders

Source material from British Psychological Society