Conformity to Masculine Norms and Intellectual Engagement


  • Heath Marrs Central Washington University Ellensburg, WA United States



Conformity to masculine norms, intellectual engagement


Research on the relationship between masculinity and intellectual engagement may be helpful in exploring the current challenges of male students in academic settings. Although the traditional male role in Western societies has often included notions of winning, competitiveness, and achievement, there is a growing research literature that documents male struggles with achievement, particularly in academic, intellectual, and occupational domains (Morris, 2011; Rosin, 2010; Sax, 2008a, b). In this study, the relationships between conformity to masculine norms and intellectual engagement were explored in a sample of diverse men in the United States. It was predicted that men who more strongly conformed to masculine norms would demonstrate lower intellectual engagement. As predicted, conformity to masculine norms was significantly predictive of lower intellectual engagement on three of the five constructs measured (Openness to Experience, Intellectual Complexity, and Love of Learning). Conformity to masculine norms was not a significant predictor of Need for Cognition or Curiosity.


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Author Biography

Heath Marrs, Central Washington University Ellensburg, WA United States

Associate Professor of Psychology

Department of Psychology

Central Washington University


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How to Cite

Marrs, H. (2013). Conformity to Masculine Norms and Intellectual Engagement. Masculinities &Amp; Social Change, 2(3), 226–244.




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