Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type




First Advisor

Dr. Carol Maybury


Masculinity has been at the forefront of discussion surrounding social change in American popular culture. After consideration of the historical context of masculinity in the 20th century, development and sport were discussed. To evaluate the effects of adult men’s masculinity ideology on their perceptions of gender nonconforming behavior (pink nail polish), an adolescent male athlete target was utilized. A 2 x 2 between-subjects design used sport (football and swimming), and status (a freshman and a senior) in vignettes which described an adolescent male athlete. Participants’ unique attributes, such as degree of conformity to masculine norms, gender role conflict, and policing of masculinity (POM) attitudes were measured to see how these might exert differences in the perceptions of the target’s deviation from traditional masculine behavior. A pilot study (N = 81) was first conducted to test for the validity of the manipulations, and a main study (N = 213) followed. Participants were recruited via Amazon Mechanical Turk, and ranged from 18 to 75 years old. The current study found support for these hypotheses and were discussed in relation to other research on masculinity, particularly as it pertains to changes in masculinity throughout the aging process. Both practical and theoretical implications for men and masculinity studies are discussed in light of modern perspectives on masculinity in 2021.



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