Thank you to everyone who took the time to participate in the What Makes That Guy Hot or Not? survey—the first phase of Simon Fraser University’s Men’s Sexuality Study. Over 10 days, gay and bisexual men from 40 countries took the time to indicate how important they consider each of 260 body features when judging the physical attractiveness of other men. Although the survey was lengthy (average completion time was 35 minutes), a remarkable 3,600 men completed one, with very few incomplete responses (0.2% of the entire item pool). As equally impressive as the completeness of the data was its validity: The pattern of responses and extensive feedback demonstrated participants’ thoughtfulness, diligence, and honesty in completing this survey.
Of the 3,600 men who completed the first survey, 2/3 said they would be willing to complete a second one 4-6 months later. This survey followed up on some of the questions from the first survey and also posed new questions about sexual orientation and sexual behaviour, including internalized homonegativity and exposure to pornography. 1,200 men completed this follow-up survey. This response rate is remarkable because it is nearly three times the typical rate observed in longitudinal research. Responses were also received from a large number of men willing to participate in the third phase of this research: a study of men in long-term same-sex relationships. Judging from the interest and extensive feedback received thus far, the participants in the Men’s Sexuality Study are keenly interested in the issues being explored and are eager to contribute to research on an under-studied population.
A diverse group of men
Given that the majority of men were recruited via social media (Facebook, Craigslist, Reddit, online discussion forums), it was possible to attain a relatively diverse sample of men. Participants ranged in age from 18-88 years (mean age = 37; SD = 13.36). 827 of the men were over 50 years of age. 85% were Caucasian, 5% Mixed/Multi, 4% Latino, 3.5% Asian, 2% African-American/Black, and 1% First Nations/Aboriginal. Participants had completed an average of 15.5 years of formal education (SD = 3.40), with 35% having completed 17 or more years (the equivalent of a university degree or higher). The range of occupations was quite extensive; among the men in the sample was an aeronautical engineer, a railroad conductor, a mortician, a butcher, a forklift operator, a crochet artist, a psychic medium, an ambassador, an escort, and an Episcopal priest.
91% of participants indicated that they are attracted to men only, with the remainder indicating that they are attracted to men mostly. 96% self-identified as homosexual/gay, 3% as bisexual, and 1.5% as asexual or other. 10% identified as top, 22% as top/versatile, 25% as fully versatile, 27% as bottom/versatile, 13% as bottom, and 3% as other (e.g., oral sex only); this distribution is similar to that observed in previous studies. Respondents clustered near the middle of the masculine-feminine spectrum, which is about half-way between the average positions for heterosexual men and women. About 60% of men were single, divorced, widowed, or separated at the time of the first survey, and 40% were partnered, married, common-law, or in a civil union/domestic partnership. Of those indicating that they were currently in a relationship, the median relationship duration was 4.67 years (shortest relationship: 3 days; longest relationship: 57 years).
So far, analyses have yielded some very interesting findings, which will be posted on this website as they become available. Papers and posters emerging from these data may also be posted. You are free to provide comments about these findings, so long as they are respectful.
The next phase of research: Same-sex couples study
While the data from the first two phases of the Men’s Sexuality Study are analyzed as shared, the third phase will start soon. This will be a study of men in long-term same-sex relationships. See below for more details.