First Advisor

Eric Mankowski

Date of Award

Spring 6-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Psychology and University Honors






Transgender, Trans Man, Precarious Manhood, Masculinity, Gender Threat, Discrimination


This thesis utilizes existing literature on gender essentialism, gender socialization, precarious manhood theory, and transphobic discrimination in order to examine the ways in which transgender men conceptualize their internal male identity and respond to threats like discrimination and violence. Transgender men have an essential male identity that does not depend on their sense of masculinity and develops during childhood while they are living in a body considered biologically female. Their experience of early gender socialization allows them to understand masculinity and femininity as concepts that exist in different levels within us all, and does not rely on hegemonic masculine ideals like anti-femininity and aggression. In fact, transgender men are very critical of hegemonic masculinity due to their early gender socializations. Paradoxically, these men also act in ways that conform to hegemonic masculinity as a method of protection against threats of transphobia and homophobia. These findings can aid healthcare professionals in their work with trans men to promote more inclusive and informed care. Transgender men's separation of manhood and masculinity also has interesting implications for masculinity studies and the precarious nature of manhood for cisgender men.


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An undergraduate honors thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in University Honors and Psychology & Sociology.

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