This thesis examines gender, masculinity and femininity by utilizing the views of people across the gender spectrum in order to determine gender's complexities. To form a well-rounded concept of gender, the existing research is examined and a theoretical framework from the scholarly literature is established, which determines that while gender is very diverse, it is often only studied in very stereotypical terms. Data from fifteen interviews provide the basis for four conclusions. The findings assess how a person's gender identity affects their definitions of masculinity and femininity, the level of ease people have in defining masculinity versus femininity, how gender can be used as a mask to change society's opinion of a person and how gender identity and sexual orientation effects their comfort level when defining masculinity and femininity in stereotypical terms. The author expresses her hopes that gender diversity will be recognized in further studies and by various institutions, that could implement changes to better accommodate those who do not fit within the gender binary.


Gunn, Raymond


Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


Gender and Sexuality | Other Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


gender, masculinity, femininity, gender identity, sexuality, sexual orientation

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2012 Sarah Hunt