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Masculine Overcompensation: Rural Men in Montana

by Moesser, Sarah Lynn

Abstract (Summary)
This study examines, among Montana males, the relationship between the size of ones residential community and the likelihood to overcompensate when masculinity is threatened. Masculine overcompensation asserts that males react to masculine insecurity with exaggerated demonstrations of masculinity. The predictions for this study follow the argument that rural males, because masculinity is a more important feature of their identities, will overcompensate more when their masculinity is threatened. Data were collected through an experimental study. Thirty-eight male students were given feedback suggesting that they are either typical or atypical for their gender. Following the gender identity feedback manipulation, the participants filled out a series of surveys designed to measure their (1) attitudes toward homosexuals, (2) attitudes toward violent military action, (3) interest in purchasing a vehicle identified as highly masculine compared to one identified as gender neutral, and (4) change in masculine identity responses. The data analysis does not support the research hypotheses that rural males will overcompensate more than urban males, when their masculinity is threatened, in regard to their attitudes toward homosexuals, their attitudes toward violent military action, and their interest in purchasing a vehicle identified as highly masculine compared to one identified as gender neutral. However, the results indicate that when their masculinity is threatened, rural males are more likely to change their identity responses to reflect a more masculine image than urban males are. Explanations for these results are discussed.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Kathy J. Kuipers; Dusten Hollist; Bryan Cochran

School:The University of Montana

School Location:USA - Montana

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:sociology

ISBN:

Date of Publication:08/07/2008

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