FRIDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Ever met a guy who talks only about himself, thinks he's superior to everyone and who tends to view women as little more than playthings?
That man may very well have narcissistic personality disorder, a condition marked by an inflated sense of self-importance and a profound lack of empathy for others.
And new research suggests the anger, hostility and short fuse that accompany a man's narcissism tend to be directed toward straight women.
"Heterosexual, narcissistic men become enraged at people who deny them gratification, whether it's social status, having a trophy partner or sexual gratification," said lead study author Scott Keiller, a clinical psychologist and assistant professor of psychology at Kent State University Tuscarawas in Ohio.
"The group that could gratify heterosexual men the most is heterosexual women," Keiller said. "To the extent narcissistic men would get resistance, that would make them enraged."
For the study, published online July 23 in the journal Sex Roles, Keiller and his colleagues gave 104 male undergraduates questionnaires designed to measure narcissism. Questions included: "I love to be the center of attention" or "It embarrasses me when I am the center of attention." The former is associated with narcissism, the latter with modesty and humility.
They were also asked about their attitudes toward gay men, lesbians, straight women and other straight men, including how much they ascribed to traditional -- some would say sexist -- male and female stereotypes.
None of the men questioned had diagnosable narcissistic personality disorder, said Keiller. (The disorder is diagnosed when one meets five symptoms on a list that includes grandiosity, a strong sense of entitlement, and an overwhelming need for admiration, according to the American Psychiatric Association.) But narcissism i
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