“Male Privilege Doesn’t Lift the Social Status of All Men in the Same Way”: Trans Masculine Individuals’ Lived Experiences of Male Privilege in the United States

Zakary A. Clements, Brittany N. Derr, Sharon S. Rostosky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Masculinities and male privilege may be experienced differently by individuals depending on their intersecting identities, including identities related to gender, race, and sexuality. Trans masculine individualsin the United States may be important informants about the experience of male privilege because their uniquepsychosocial experiences and gender identity development in a patriarchal society allow observation, insight,and critical reflection not available to cisgender people. Using a standpoint theoretical framework, weexplored the lived experiences of male privilege as described by trans masculine individuals (N = 227,M = 26.97, SD = 6.90) who responded to an open-ended prompt on a larger online survey. Using thematicanalysis, the research team identified five themes that summarized participants’ perceptions: (a) I feel safer;(b) I am assumed to be competent; (c) I am free of traditional female gender role expectations; (d) I am “one ofthe boys”; and (e) I don’t experience male privilege. Participants’ attributed their experiences to others’perceptions of their masculine appearance, gender expression, and gender role performance. Theseexperiences involved psychosocial costs as well as benefits, most notably changes in relationships withwomen and important communities of support. Some participants noted that their other marginalizedidentities such as race and sexuality attenuated their experiences of male privilege.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-132
Number of pages10
JournalPsychology of Men and Masculinity
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The data that support the findings of this study are available on request from the corresponding author. The data are not publicly available due to privacy or ethical restrictions

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Psychological Association

Keywords

  • Male privilege
  • Masculinity
  • Thematic analysis
  • Trans masculinity
  • Transgender

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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