Term of Award

Spring 2020

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Social Sciences (M.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Committee Chair

Baker A. Rogers

Committee Member 1

April Schueths

Committee Member 2

Marieke Van Willigen


While several studies have explored manhood acts and compensatory manhood acts in cisgender men (Ezzell 2012; Sumerau 2012), few have examined them in the trans community. This research fills gaps in the literature by examining an understudied population in the South, an area of the country where queer lives are often ignored. Additionally, it allows us to continue to separate masculinities from only those born with male bodies. Using 51 interviews with trans men, I examine the experiences of trans men in the South and the manhood acts they employ to enhance their masculinity and compensate for their presumed lack of biological maleness (Schrock and Schwalbe 2009). The findings suggest that the trans men of this study utilize a variety of manhood acts in order to bolster their masculinity. Whether by changing their body image and presentation, becoming a member of a brotherhood, participating in sexism, or understanding the way that violence or the fear of violence affects their performances of masculinities, the participants in this study sculpt their identities as men after their own individual conceptions of what it means to be a man and what that looks like to them.

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material