Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Communication Studies

Document Type



Masculinity is a multi-dimensional, fairly pliable construct that some scholars approach from a biological perspective, others approach from a social constructionist perspective, and others approach from a unifying perspective. Part of the environment that informs the meaning of masculinity to a given culture is the mass media. This study takes the constructivist theoretical perspective, which attempts to explain the activation of schemata. The schematic process for this study concerns how people perceive, process, and judge masculine signs. This study seeks to explain gender role orientation’s influences on the development of schemata for masculinity as evidenced by differences in assessments of differing masculine images. Participants (N = 747) rated their own sex role orientation and then assessed the sex role orientation and evaluated the masculine imagery. The results of this experiment reveal that gender role has a limited effect on schematic development for masculinity. Though gender role affects how we perceive our world, the extent to which it influences that perception is smaller than expected. Directions for future research are also offered.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Renee Edwards

Included in

Communication Commons