An Investigation of Gender Norm Resistance

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The aim of this dissertation was to explore the construct and experiences of gender norm resistance (GNR) using both quantitative and qualitative methods. The purpose of Study 1 was to

The aim of this dissertation was to explore the construct and experiences of gender norm resistance (GNR) using both quantitative and qualitative methods. The purpose of Study 1 was to standardize and universalize what is already known about GNR by creating a quantitative GNR measure. In so doing, I operationalized the implicit and explicit GNR framework described by Way and colleagues (2014). On a sample of adolescents (484 6th grade students; girls = 234; 10-13 years old, Mage = 11.44 years, SD = .56) the GNR measure was tested for gender differences and to explore how GNR aligns with and differs from other constructs related to gender identity and peer relations. The results supported the two-factor model (implicit and explicit forms of GNR), supported convergent and discriminant validity, and identified mean level differences depending on GNR form, gender, ethnic identity, and gender typicality. The purpose of Study 2 was to explore why young men resist gender norms, what motivates their acts of resistance, and how they understand those motives. I expected that implicit GNR would be motivated by the pursuit of authentic nonconformity and would involve an awareness of norms, feeling gender atypical, and authenticity. I expected that explicit GNR would be motivated by a dislike of gender norms, and that it would involve an awareness of, dislike of, and pressure to conform to gender norms. The results supported these expectations and indicated a subtype of GNR, activist GNR, defined by the desire to change gender norms to benefit the social group. Both studies rely on the resistance/accommodation framework to describe the balance of conformity and resistance as individuals navigate systems of power and oppression.