Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Oppression (Psychology), Sexism, Masculinity, Stereotypes (Social psychology), Social pressure, Masculinism, Masculinist movement, Masculine ideology, Gender stereotypes, Societal pressure, Systemic oppression, Heterosexual men-Psychology, Heterosexual men, Oppression, Qualitative


This qualitative study examines the experiences of heterosexual men in the United States, exploring their disadvantages, in particular. The responses of the men studied showed that they did feel oppressed on some level, and/or that they perceived that heterosexual men they knew experienced oppression because of the social expectations for men. On their own accord, they also acknowledged their privileges and that it is great to be a man. The most salient forms of oppression discussed involved feelings of limitations in their authentic self-expression and disenfranchisement in unwed fathers. Research data were collected from a focus group of five men and an individual interview. A second individual interview was conducted with one of the members of the focus group who asked to speak more on men feeling limited in what they can say to a female, especially around other men. A female researcher conducted all interviews. Examining the ways in which the deemed oppressors feel limited, disadvantaged and disenfranchised, contributes to the Anti-Sexism movement as it helps redefine sexism from something that only victimizes women to something that victimizes everybody by fallaciously considering a person's sex to be relevant in a context in which it is not, thereby inviting wrongful discrimination. Implications include the sensitization of clinicians to the experiences of heterosexual males, and further exploration into birth control options for men. A larger scale mixed methods study on this topic is suggested for further research.




iii, 118 pages : color illustrations. Thesis (M.S.W.)-Smith College School for Social Work, 2014. Includes bibliographical references (pages 98-108)