The role of the peer group is essential in the construction and maintenance of masculinity. Oftentimes, gender-deviant behavior is met with peer rebuke and social sanctions, through which men police the gendered behavior of their peers. This research project aims to explore common ways that college-aged men gender police one another. Understanding ways in which the gender order is reproduced and undermined can help point to ways a more egalitarian concept of masculinities can be constructed. Three focus-group interviews were conducted of 6-8 male college students belonging to three clubs: a sports team, a fraternity group, and a performance-based group at small liberal arts school. Additionally, three follow-up personal interviews were conducted. The two most frequently referenced forms of gender policing were teasing through name-calling and storytelling of hook ups. Examples of gender policing in this study included homophobic and misogynistic language in response to behavior that does not align with the hegemonic ideal of what is masculine. Policing masculinity through the use of misogynistic and homophobic language perpetuates and reinforces a hegemonic definition of masculinity that oppresses women and marginalizes some men. The performance-based group suggests a potential for redefining masculinity by blurring subordinate and hegemonic masculinities.


Nurse, Anne


Sociology and Anthropology; Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


Gender and Sexuality


Hegemonic Masculinity, Gender Policing, Policing Masculinity, Gender Deviance

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2015 Ashley E. Parry