The Sleep-Deprived Masculinity Stereotype
Is there a link between sleep and masculinity? Prior research connects masculinity to agentic characteristics (e.g., assertive, individualistic) and finds that health-related consumption is often aversive for males. We build off these findings in the domain of sleep, an important factor in mental, emotional, social, and financial health. Even as the sleep industry booms, many people—particularly males—are not getting sufficient sleep. This suggests a need to better understand beliefs about sleep. Six studies establish the bidirectional sleep-deprived masculinity stereotype, wherein (1) sleeping less is related to increased perceptions of masculinity, and increased masculinity is related to decreased perceived sleep amounts, (2) agency mediates these effects, and (3) based on how much they sleep, men face social judgments favoring men who sleep less. A final study reveals that this stereotype can impact men’s self-perceptions. We conclude by discussing broader market and social implications.