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Stigmatized Virginity and Masculinity: Exploring in Non-virgin Cisgender Heterosexual Men

Alyssa A Zajdel, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

Virginity status is one way to make meaning of one’s sexual identity, with individuals often viewing virginity as a gift, a stigma, or a stage in the process of growing up (Carpenter, 2001). Viewing virginity as a stigma is congruent with hegemonic masculinity and cultural-level masculine sexual scripts of using heterosexual sex to define manhood (e.g., Humphreys, 2013). Qualitative research has described associations between a stigma view of virginity and potential outcomes such as masculine gender role conflict, shame, and risky sexual behavior (e.g., Carpenter, 2001), yet more research is needed to understand virginity in the context of gender for cisgender men, as well as potential outcomes associated with a stigma virginity script. The purpose of the study was to explore the impact of adhering to a stigma virginity script for heterosexual college-aged cisgender men, specifically examining the nuanced associations between conformity to masculine sexual norms, a stigma view of virginity, masculine gender role conflict, shame, and risky sexual behavior. Structural equation modeling was used to assess the associations between variables, with a partial mediation model fitting the data adequately. Results showed significant associations between conformity to masculine sexual norms, a stigma view of virginity, and masculine gender role conflict, with endorsement of a stigma view of virginity related to less risky sexual behavior. Furthermore, results did not show a significant association between a stigma view of virginity and internalized shame or significant mediation associations between variables. These results provide a more nuanced understanding of how masculinity constructs (i.e., masculine sexual norms, masculine gender role stress) are associated with a stigma virginity script and can be used to foster the understanding of gendered views of virginity for researchers and clinicians.

Subject Area

Counseling Psychology

Recommended Citation

Zajdel, Alyssa A, "Stigmatized Virginity and Masculinity: Exploring in Non-virgin Cisgender Heterosexual Men" (2020). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI28025219.
https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI28025219

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