Nav: Home

'Muscles and money': What photos of men taken on the Tube say about modern day attraction

November 14, 2017

People still desire the traditional masculine values of muscles and money in the men they find attractive and have not moved on from long-established gender roles, according to new research.

The study by academics at Coventry and Aberystwyth universities challenges current thinking about feminism and how masculinity is portrayed, and instead suggests that white, male privilege is still an attractive quality in men for many straight women and gay men.

The researchers used the TubeCrush website as the focus of their study, collecting data about the types of images of men posted on it over a three year period from 2014.

TubeCrush is a site in which commuters upload photographs, taken covertly, of attractive men travelling on the London Underground. Other website visitors then rate the men, who don't know their picture has been taken or uploaded to the site.

The researchers say their study of the entries on the site quickly revealed that both straight women's and gay men's desired particular types of men.

Despite London being a multicultural city, there was little diversity in the men featured, with most of them being white.

In the photographs there was often an emphasis on men's muscular biceps, pecs and chest; the body parts which suggest physical strength.

There were also many references to this - and the men's estimated sexual prowess - in the comments posted alongside the images.

As well as indicators of physical and sexual power, many symbols of disposable income and wealth were often focused on, such as smart suits, watches and phones.

There were fewer images showing other representations of masculinity, such as fatherhood, and more emotional and awkward characters typical of so-called lad-lit.

The academics said that public transport - in this case the Tube - has now become the space where gender politics is decided.

Private desires are now being made public as social media is being used to reflect who people fancy, they add.

The researchers say the site represents a form of reversal of gender roles by suggesting that taking pictures of unsuspecting men on the London Underground could be understood as a powerful act in a society where men have historically held ownership over women's bodies.

The study was published in the journal Feminist Media Studies.

Lead researcher Adrienne Evans, from Coventry University's Centre for Postdigital Cultures, said:

"From smart-suited City workers to toned gym-goers flashing their flesh, the men featured in the photographs on TubeCrush show that as a culture we still celebrate masculinity in the form of money and muscle.

"They are marking the middle-class, wealthy, mobile and sexually powerful male body, not as a political one as feminists intend it to be, but one that should be actively desired.

"This celebration of masculine capital is achieved through humour and the knowing wink, but the outcome is a reaffirmation of men's position in society.

"It's a problem as because although it appears as though we have moved forward, our desires are still mostly about money and strength."
-end-


Coventry University

Related Masculinity Articles:

Tech company video ads still dominated by white males
Consumer tech companies that are serious about attracting more women and people from minority groups into their workforce might want to revisit the video advertisements featured on their websites.
Sexist and anti-gay jokes: It's all about men feeling threatened
Why do some men crack sexist and anti-gay jokes or find them funny, while others do not?
New study looks at LGBT allies in college sports
The sports world has not always been considered inviting for those who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.
Cooking and masculinity in Sweden
In a newly published study in The Sociological Review, researchers from Uppsala University and Stockholm University have explored how everyday domestic cooking is part of a (self-)understanding of men in Sweden and how the expressed sociality of cooking is intertwined with masculinity.
Older men cling to 1950s, '60s blueprint of masculinity
As men age, they continue to follow dominant ideas of masculinity learned as youth, leaving them unequipped for the assaults of old age, according to a new study.
GVSU, Stanford study: More gender diversity needed in survey questions
A joint study from Grand Valley State University and Stanford University suggests that traditional survey questions does not mirror gender diversity in the world today.
How gay men navigate the corporate world
Recent sociology research at the University of Cincinnati looked closely at the various strategies gay men use to manage both their gendered and sexual identities in the workplace.
Going green is for girls -- but branding can make men eco-friendly
Can men be persuaded to go green? New research indicates the answer is yes -- and it's all about branding.
Teens in therapeutic boarding school adopt atypical gender behaviors to reassert dominance
While studying the rapid growth of the therapeutic boarding school industry, Jessica A.
HIV stigma influenced by perceptions of masculinity, study reveals
Whether an HIV-positive man has met cultural expectations of masculinity might impact how much stigma he experiences, according to a new study from Binghamton University, State University of New York.

Related Masculinity Reading:

The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love
by bell hooks (Author)

Everyone needs to love and be loved -- even men. But to know love, men must be able to look at the ways that patriarchal culture keeps them from knowing themselves, from being in touch with their feelings, from loving. In The Will to Change, bell hooks gets to the heart of the matter and shows men how to express the emotions that are a fundamental part of who they are -- whatever their age, marital status, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.
With trademark candor and fierce intelligence, hooks addresses the most common concerns of men, such as fear of intimacy and loss of their... View Details


The Mask of Masculinity: How Men Can Embrace Vulnerability, Create Strong Relationships, and Live Their Fullest Lives
by Lewis Howes (Author)

A USA Today Bestseller!

Standing between you and the man you CAN be is one thing: The Mask of Masculinity.

Lewis Howes grew up as an athlete. He was a two-sport All-American, played almost every sport in high school, and went on to play football professionally. Howes then transferred his competitive nature from sports to business, building his podcast, “The School of Greatness,” into a global phenomenon and becoming successful beyond his wildest dreams. But his whole identity was built on misguided beliefs about what “masculinity” was:... View Details


31 Days to Masculinity: A Guide to Help Men Live Authentic Lives
by Hunter Drew (Author)

There has been a shift away from the development of masculinity in men. This has created generations of men who are repressing their masculine nature instead of expressing it. The result is depressed, sexless, self-loathing, unmotivated men simply existing in this world. After the Men of March campaign concluded this book was written out of sheer necessity. Hundreds of men participated in the program and improved their marriage, health, relationship with their children, and allowed them to experience the joy which only comes with authentic living. This 31 Day Program has been tried and tested... View Details


Masculinities
by R. W. Connell (Author)

This is an exciting new edition of R.W. Connell's groundbreaking text, which has become a classic work on the nature and construction of masculine identity. In its first edition, Masculinities provided one of the most important voices in feminist scholarship by men. Connell argued that there is no such thing as a single concept of masculinity, but, rather, that many different masculinities exist, each associated with different positions of power. In a world in which gender order continues to extend privilege to men over women, but that also raises difficult issues for men and boys,... View Details


Man Up!: The Quest for Masculinity
by Jeffrey Hemmer (Author)

What does it mean to be a man? Sacrifice.

Man Up! doesn't tell you to take down the feminists or reclaim your God-given role and rights. Real masculinity starts with giving of yourself for the good of those around you and in your care. It's counter-cultural and it's exactly how God designed biblical manhood.

This book is a call to fix your eyes and your hope on the Man up on the cross and to find in His selfless sacrifice the perfect example for manliness in our self-indulgent, self-centered society. That's where Man Up! really stands out in the crowd. Don't pick up these pages... View Details


Exploring Masculinities: Identity, Inequality, Continuity and Change
by C.J. Pascoe (Author), Tristan Bridges (Author)

Exploring Masculinities: Identity, Inequality, Continuity, and Change is a comprehensive and contemporary reader for the growing field of men's and masculinities studies. It takes a conceptual approach by covering the wide range of scholarship being done on masculinities beyond the model of hegemonic masculinity. C.J. Pascoe and Tristan Bridges extend the boundaries of the field and provide a new framework for understanding masculinities studies. Rather than taking a topics-based approach to masculinity, Exploring Masculinities offers an innovative conceptual approach that... View Details


Angry White Men: American Masculinity at the End of an Era
by Michael Kimmel (Author)

"Kimmel has made a career out of being what you might call a man-translator."-The Atlantic
The white American male voter is alive and well--and angry as hell.
Sociologist Michael Kimmel, one of the leading writers on men and masculinity, has spent hundreds of hours in the company of America's angry white men--from white supremacists to men's rights activists to young students--in pursuit of a comprehensive diagnosis of their fears, anxieties, and rage. Kimmel locates this increase in anger in the seismic economic, social, and political shifts that have transformed the American... View Details


As You Are: Ignite Your Charisma, Reclaim Your Confidence, Unleash Your Masculinity
by Nick Sparks (Author), Joseph J Romm (Editor), Tessla Coil (Editor), Rob Archangel (Editor)

You've been in that zone where socializing, both platonic and romantic, comes easy -- but most of the time you're not there. Around the women who intimidate you most you struggle to think of what to say, sabotage yourself in ways you don't fully understand, and feel confused about when and how to express your sexuality. You worry that you'll have to settle for someone who you're not all that excited to be with (if you're lucky enough to find anyone) and/or face a messy divorce when it inevitably doesn't work out.

That's why I wrote this book.

I've coached men on improving... View Details


To Be a Man: A Guide to True Masculine Power
by Robert Augustus Masters (Author)

I’ve got it all—a great job, relationship, and lifestyle—so why do I feel so dissatisfied and disconnected?

Why am I not happier in my intimate relationships?

How do I become more powerful—without becoming that jerk everyone dislikes?

Robert Augustus Masters has helped thousands of men address and work through such issues. What he’s found is that the common solution to these dilemmas is challenging yet clear: we must face our unresolved wounds, shame, and whatever else is holding us back, bringing “our head, heart, and guts into... View Details


Masculinity Studies and Feminist Theory
by Judith Kegan Gardiner (Editor)

Why is there so much talk of a "crisis" of masculinity? How have ideas of manhood been transformed by feminism? Does feminism hold the key to the development of more egalitarian forms of masculinity? Masculinity Studies and Feminist Theory addresses central questions about the analysis and construction of masculinity in contemporary society. The volume examines the ways male privilege and power are constituted and represented and explores the effect of such constructions on both men and women. With subjects ranging from Robert Bly´s Iron John to Tom Hank´s "niceness," this collection... View Details

Best Science Podcasts 2017

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2017. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Simple Solutions
Sometimes, the best solutions to complex problems are simple. But simple doesn't always mean easy. This hour, TED speakers describe the innovation and hard work that goes into achieving simplicity. Guests include designer Mileha Soneji, chef Sam Kass, sleep researcher Wendy Troxel, public health advocate Myriam Sidibe, and engineer Amos Winter.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#448 Pavlov (Rebroadcast)
This week, we're learning about the life and work of a groundbreaking physiologist whose work on learning and instinct is familiar worldwide, and almost universally misunderstood. We'll spend the hour with Daniel Todes, Ph.D, Professor of History of Medicine at The Johns Hopkins University, discussing his book "Ivan Pavlov: A Russian Life in Science."