Date of Award

Spring 5-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Educational Leadership


Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Foundations

Major Professor

Cambre, Belinda

Second Advisor

Bonis, Marc

Third Advisor

Castillo-Clark, Evette

Fourth Advisor

Gleckler, Elizabeth

Fifth Advisor

Beabout, Brian


The purpose of this grounded theory study was to develop an understanding of the role that masculinity has in identity development among self-identified Gay/Queer (GQ) collegiate men. The goal of this study was to develop a theory that explains how traditional college-age GQ men view masculinity within the context of their performance as men on a college campus. 16 college-aged GQ men attending a four-year, private liberal arts institution in the southeastern United States were the subjects in this study. The participants consisted of: two first year students, three sophomores, two juniors, eights seniors, and one individual that who had graduated from college six weeks prior to his interview. Individuals that identified as woman, or transgender students were not included in this study.

Four themes were identified from the study: Creating Identity & Exploring Sexuality; Reliance of Stereotypes; Performance & Presence; and Community Expectations & Acceptance. The overarching concept that emerged from the study was that whatever qualities the participant found to be personally attracted were the same traits that he found to be the most masculine. Limitations and recommendations for the study were also provided.


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