Emerging Scholars Fellowship

Emerging Scholars Fellowship: Asian American Men’s Experience of Gendered Racism

Tao is a researcher in the 2016 class of the Emerging Scholars Fellowship. Read blog updates from Tao and her fellow scholars here.

tao liu_squareIt is hard to believe that my project is coming to an end! Doing a project is like raising a baby, you struggle with it and enjoy it at the same time, and have to appropriately let to it go at the end. In this blog, I will briefly talk about findings of my study.

As I introduced before, I collected data through an online survey. My aim of data collection was at least 500 to ensure enough statistical power for my factor analyses. Through over 5 month’s work and with the assistance of professors, bloggers, website managers, and administrative staff in universities, I collected over 1,000 responses through Qualtrics. Even after cleaning the “dirty” data, there was enough to conduct my analysis. I will talk about the tips of online data collection in another blog post.

After the nitty-gritty process of data analyses, which also dragged longer than I planned, my factor analyses lead to three dimensions of the perceived gendered racism among Asian American men: lack of masculinity, not good romantic/sexual partners, and passivity and lack of leadership. I will talk about the meaning of these results in each paragraph.

Lack of Masculinity

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This dimension refers to the stereotype that Asian American men are small build, not physically masculine enough, not athletic enough, and because all of these above, they are not manly enough. My findings also indicate that this stereotype is perceived more as a collective stereotype rather than personal insulate, which means that participants indicated that they heard it more through media and being told that Asian American men are not manly enough as a group of whole, rather than being directly told in person that they are less of a man by another person.

Not Good Romantic/Sexual Partners

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I am sure this is also not something new that we hear people joking about Asian American men’s small sexual organs. Besides this insulating and biased perception, this dimension of stereotype also refers to the assumptions that Asian American men are not attractive either sexually, physically, or romantically, and that they are nerds of dating. Also, we know through research that Asian American men are the least desired in the dating market for their racial and sex combination, this is highly related to the previous stereotype that they are assumed to be less of a man.

Passivity and Lack of Leadership

megaphoneThis dimension may be the most important finding of my study. Some literature has talked about this bias, however, no empirical study before mine has statistically tested it.

This dimension refers to the prejudice that Asian American men are not good leaders because they lack initiative, assertiveness, personality, or charisma to be good leaders. To me it is like the Chinese food discussed in my last blog post: even the number of Chinese take-out restaurants are three times more than McDonald’s in the US, it is not considered typical American food. There is nothing to do with the fact that Chinese food entered the US with immigrants and was modified to meet the “American” taste, just as all other typical American food did. Similarly, Asian American men are not accepted as good leaders, because they are not quite American enough: their leadership styles are not the same as the White leaders, thus they can’t lead the White.  As the economy in Asia is growing and great leaders are emerging, it is time to rethink this stereotype.