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Traditional Masculinity Ideology and Feminist Attitudes: The Role of Identity Foreclosure

Abstract

Over a half century of research has identified constellations of rigid, sexist, and hegemonic beliefs about how men should think, feel, and behave within Western societies (i.e., traditional masculine ideologies; TMI). However, there is a dearth of literature examining why people adhere to TMI. Within in this study, we examined TMI from an identity perspective. Specifically, we focused on the concepts of identity exploration and identity commitment to identify distinct identity statuses based on Marcia’s (1966) identity status theory. Our sample (N = 1136) was composed of college and community cisgender women (n = 890) and cisgender men (n = 244) in the United States. We conducted a Latent Profile Analysis (LPA) to allow identity status groups to naturally emerge based on levels of identity exploration and commitment. A three-class solution emerged as the best fit to the data. Individuals in the foreclosed status (i.e., high commitment but low exploration) scored higher on all seven TMI domains and lower on feminist attitudes compared to those who were high in exploration but low in identity commitment (i.e., identity moratorium). However, there was no difference between individuals high in both identity commitment and exploration (i.e., identity achievement) and the identity foreclosed individuals on feminist attitudes and three of seven dimensions of TMI. Implications and future directions are discussed.

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Correspondence to Ryon C. McDermott.

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McDermott, R.C., Brasil, K.M., Borgogna, N.C. et al. Traditional Masculinity Ideology and Feminist Attitudes: The Role of Identity Foreclosure. Sex Roles 87, 211–222 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-022-01302-4

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-022-01302-4

Keywords

  • Masculinity
  • Masculine ideologies
  • Feminism
  • Identity
  • Identity status
  • James Marcia