Undergraduate Honors Thesis Projects

Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Paper

Degree Name





Dr. Michele Acker

First Committee Member

Dr. Michele Acker

Second Committee Member

Dr. Meredith Meyer

Third Committee Member

Dr. John Tansey


gender roles, masculinity, gender role transgression, social backlash

Subject Categories

Gender and Sexuality | Social Psychology


Due to patriarchal gender role norms, the male gender has been historically afforded increased social status and prestige by way of social, political, and economic advantage. While men benefit from this privileged status, they experience many negative consequences from these norms as well. Male gender roles are more rigid than female gender roles, as demonstrated by previous research suggesting that men who deviate from prescribed gender roles are met with more social backlash than women (Siren, McCreary, & Mahalik, 2004). However, research on why this is the case is inconclusive.

Thus, the present study sought to examine variables associated with perceptions of gender non-conforming men, such as perceiver gender, relationship status, and gender role ideology. One hundred and thirty-five adults completed an online survey and were exposed to either a gender conforming or gender non-conforming target. Participants rated their perceptions of the target’s warmth, competence, likability, and romantic partner suitability. The findings indicated that the gender conforming man was rated higher on dimensions of competence and lower on dimensions of warmth, while the gender non-conforming man was rated higher on dimensions of warmth and lower on dimensions of competence. Furthermore, participants rated the gender non-conforming man higher in romantic partner suitability than the gender conforming man. However, there were no significant interactions for perceptions of non-conforming men with regard to participant gender, relationship status, or gender role ideology.