Gender policing: Undergraduate Experience and Psychosocial Outcomes Public Deposited

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  • February 26, 2019
  • Ivey, Garrett Blane
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
  • This study examined the social phenomenon of gender policing. Gender policing refers to the words and actions of individuals used to police gender expression, based on expected societal norms surrounding gender. Gender policing is a particular experience that occurs for individuals who are perceived as not adequately or accurately performing their gender, with the assumption that one's gender must be directly linked with "biological" sex. A total of 457 UNC students completed self-report questionnaires assessing their personal attitudes about and experiences of gender policing. Additionally, participants completed self-report measures of depression, loneliness, and sense of belonging. Consistent with hypotheses, experiences of gender policing were associated with higher levels of negative psychosocial outcomes. There was no difference in rates of experiencing gender policing by biological sex. However, sex was found to be a moderator of the relationship between experiencing gender policing and negative outcomes, such that the relationship was stronger among "biological" females. The results shed light on an area of psychology that is not well researched, providing us with further information regarding the negative outcomes associated with gender policing. By examining the undergraduate experience, it is clear that gender policing is a social phenomenon that continues to exist on college campuses and requires immediate attention and action.
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  • In Copyright
  • Funding: None
  • Prinstein, Mitchell J.
  • Bachelor of Arts
Honors level
  • Highest Honors
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • 32

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