restricted access “Putting My Man Face On”: A Grounded Theory of College Men’s Gender Identity Development

The theory that emerged from this constructivist grounded theory study of 10 college men’s experiences depicts their gender identity as developed through constant interaction with society’s expectations of them as men. In order to try to meet these perceived expectations, participants described putting on a performance that was like wearing a mask or “putting my man face on.” They described a process of learning societal expectations, putting on a mask to conform to these expectations, wearing the mask, and struggling to begin taking off the mask.