Quote of the day—Sarah DiMuccio and Eric Knowles

The present research illuminates the impact of manhood threat on male aggression in the political domain—specifically, men’s adoption of political views that communicate toughness, forcefulness, and strength. Contrary to our original expectations, our data suggest that it is liberal —not conservative—men who engage in increased political aggression after experiencing threats to their masculinity. This finding has crucial implications for the future of gendered politics in the United States, as it suggests that right-wing candidates might benefit from media strategies designed to induce masculine insecurity among liberal men.

Sarah DiMuccio and Eric Knowles
October 21, 2022
Something to Prove? Manhood Threats Increase Political Aggression Among Liberal Men
[Via a tweet from Rolf Degen @DegenRolf.


This appears to be applicable to Markley’s Law. Liberals attack the masculinity of their political opponents because they view that as an extremely potent attack—as it would be against themselves. They are insecure about their manhood and they imagine the same of their political opponents.

As frequently suspected, projection is strong with these people.—Joe]


9 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Sarah DiMuccio and Eric Knowles

  1. YES!

    If you ever want to know how to attack an opponent just watch how he attacks you. People who don’t know you very well (or aren’t really experienced) will default to using an attack that they would find hurtful.

    This all comes from the basic mental error of believing that everyone thinks like they do. Instead of listening to their opponent and then attacking their opponent’s position by attacking their opponent’s reasons, they imagine a reason that would cause them to hold their opponent’s position, project that reason onto their opponent, and then attack the imagined reason.

    “I am a reasonable person, so I believe X
    My opponent believes Y
    The only reason I can imagine for holding opinion Y is Bad Reason A
    I will attack my opponent along the Bad Reason A axis.”

    Carrying a gun is bad
    My opponent wants to carry a gun.
    The only reason for carrying a gun is because they feel emasculated
    I will emasculate them further to teach them a lesson

    Scott Adams has a sort of reframe on this type of loserthink. Your inability to imagine a good reason for another person’s behavior tells you nothing about that person’s behavior and everything about your lack of imagination.

  2. All good! And for the useful idiot communist having been brainwashed into acting on emotions? Makes them even easier to provoke.
    The good thing is that their generally not very good at violence. Yes, they’re cunning and vicious. But on an individual level not exactly ready for a real fight.
    School shooters come to mind.
    It seems to me that flaw built into their programming is the tool used to control them by truly evil people.

  3. This fits right into the pattern exhibited by the Democrat / Communist party for some time: whatever they accuse conservatives of having done is exactly what they have done. Whatever they say conservatives are planning is what they are planning. Right now they are saying the conservatives are planning to steal the 2022 and 2024 elections. So it’s obvious what they are up to.

  4. Joe, why did you leave out the last sentence of their conclusion?

    “A challenge for the future is to inoculate all men from chronic and acute masculine insecurity—perhaps through concerted efforts to combat societal stereotypes and sex roles that limit what it means to be a “real man.””

    • Because that is a conclusion of “we quit and surrender” rather than “let’s make a plan for everyone winning”.

      That conclusion is the polar opposite of manliness. That is the conclusion of someone that deserves to get a swirly and have their lunch money taken by the nerds from the AV Club. That is the conclusion that, when the women of the future cry “Where have all the good men gone?”, we’re going to point to and say, “That’s where they went.”

    • Two reasons:
      1) It wasn’t relevant to my main point. That is, the connection to Markley’s Law.
      2) It is opinion rather than a factual observation from their research. Perhaps this didn’t happen to you, but the sentence you quote jumped out at me as if it was highlighted. It did not fit. It was jarring. It was totally out of place with the rest of the conclusion. It assumes facts not in evidence. Perhaps look at it this way, can it be proven or disproved in a scientific manner? I have my doubts. The portion I did quote is subject to such testing.

  5. Pingback: Quote of the day—Glenn Harlan Reynolds | The View From North Central Idaho

  6. All of the survey participants were drawn from the vicinity of NYU. The authors of the paper admitted that their survey population was skewed heavily to the end of their conservative-liberal ideological spectrum where the effect was most pronounced. I’m no statistician, but the citation of the means of analysis, and the statistical functions they ran on their data, was intended to offset the small and skewed dataset and still mine what they thought would be usable data and reliable conclusions.

    I think their ‘aggressive v nonaggressive’ and ‘threatening v nonthreatening’ survey instruments are about as useful as their ‘conservative v liberal’ assumptions. As in, not very.

    Yet I find their conclusion appealing: conservatives presented with an activity that is intended to challenge their masculinity, didn’t change their opinions. Liberals did.

  7. After more thought on this, what really nags me about this study is the set of national actions–political, informational, diplomatic, military–that the survey questions categorized as ‘aggressive.’

    I admit that these actions have a history of being tried to warn a neighbor away from a potential conflict. But many other options have also been tried, such as recalling ambassadors, threatening or imposing trade sanctions, expelling foreign nationals, arresting them, deploying spies, gathering certain forms of intelligence. Some of those actions could be categorized as aggressive, others merely assertive, some defensive and some offensive. And some of those actions elicit similar responses from the neighbor.

    Maybe a set of questions, or a separate experiment that isn’t focused on nation vs nation conflict, would be a better gauge of how threats to masculinity are manifest in males with different degrees of confidence in their senses of masculinity.

    The study seemed to have an axe to grind. DiMuccio and Knowles need to get off campus a lot more.

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