In reality, many are more likely to look at a commercial for a game, or look at the box, or screenshots and say "Dude, that's bad-ass!" or, as you noted, "Dude, that's gay!" and make their decisions based on that. Hell, look at how many copies CoD: Black Ops has sold!
Welllll, some companies (cough cough Activision, Treyarch) also have way more marketing $$$ than most JRPG devs/pubs. JRPGs don't have a very wide audience these days to begin with especially compared to FPSes, let alone the resources for a good promotion campaign.
Now there's plenty of manly men in jrpgs. Like this badass.
That's a guy?! You can't be serious. From what game is that?
Ha, Lucius from Fire Emblem GBA. I can't get over the womanly hips on him. (Fun fact: he was 'Lucia' in the Japanese version of FE: Rekka no Ken. :-P)
I am Canada and still love some JRPGs. I've been much more selective these days.
The PS2 was also a fantastic JRPG era, and my favourite for the genre (tied with the late SNES era that is - the latter didn't bring me MegaTen, though).