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Media opportunity: Extensive analysis of online discussion sites reveals involuntary celibates see themselves as victims and justify misogyny, violence on perceived discrimination

Posted by Communications and Marketing on October 19, 2021 in News

They are part of a disturbing online male subculture characterized by misogyny and violent messaging. Their members define themselves by their inability to forge romantic relationships with women, who they blame for rejecting them because of their looks.

Dubbed involuntary celibates or “incels,” they see themselves as victims who are shut out of sexual relationships with heterosexual women because of 'lookism' -- a bias they believe favours attractive people. They in turn weaponize their victim status to justify violence against women, according to new paper out of Dalhousie University.

Michael Halpin, an assistant professor in Dal's Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, analyzed more than 9,000 comments on the largest incel discussion board to gauge the motivation behind a movement in which members refer to themselves as "failed men" and "genetic trash."

Dr. Halpin is available to discuss his findings and how incels use lookism as a form of self-defence that can lead some to encourage violence against women and the dismantling of women's rights.


Media contact:

Alison Auld
Senior Research Reporter
Communications, Marketing and Creative Services
Dalhousie University
Cell: 1-902-220-0491


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