Date Written

Spring 4-11-2016

Document Type

Honors Paper

Degree Name

Psychology-BA

Department

Psychology

Advisor

Dr. Danielle Docka-Filipek

First Committee Member

Dr. Meredith Frey

Second Committee Member

Dr. Stephanie Patridge

Keywords

Gender, Masculinity, Fraternity, Otterbein

Subject Categories

Community-Based Research | Gender and Sexuality | Social Psychology | Sociology of Culture

Abstract

In Otterbein’s explicitly-named and often-touted diverse and inclusive liberal arts collegiate environment, students are frequently exposed to the institution’s various messages regarding inclusive gender norms via administrative communications, curricular priorities, and the ideological content of extracurricular events. Taken together, institutional histories and contemporary practices demonstrate that Otterbein University purports to offer an environment permeated with an ideology that emphasizes the value of diversity, equality, and inclusion as part of a holistic educational experience.

My study includes three components. First, I administered the Bem (1971) Sex Role inventory (a scale originally designed to measure individual gender performance) to answer the following interrelated questions: Does time spent at Otterbein influence the ways that male students conceptualize their personal gender identity, does it facilitate a departure from traditional masculinity, and/or does it encourage more androgynous self-description for male students? Second, I administered the PAQ (Personal Attribute Questionnaire—an instrument originally designed to measure gender performance) (1978) to answer the following question: Does time spent at Otterbein influence male and female student views on the heterosexual desirability of traditionally masculine traits (aggression, rationality, etc.) in prospective male romantic partners? Lastly, I conducted five open-ended interviews with male and female students to see how different student sub-cultures within the university community may have an impact on the gender ideologies students subscribe to and associated social practices. I hypothesized that if Otterbein lives up to its self-described ideals, time spent at Otterbein should influence my data in the following ways: Men should score more androgynously, traditional male gender stereotypes will be seen as less desirable in heterosexual couplings, and male and female students will describe desirable masculinity in terms that significantly depart from traditional gender norms. The hypotheses all hypotheses resulted in being null, and the questions relatively unanswered, due to the weak design of the study. However there is evidence of the “guyland” young men within the unique environment of Otterbein University.

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