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Precarious manhood in Turkey: earned, lost, and threatened status of manhood

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2019
Türkoğlu, Beri
This dissertation aims to examine Precarious Manhood Thesis (PMT) in the cultural context of Turkey as well as examining the role of masculinity ideology on precarious manhood. According to PMT manhood is a hardly acquired anxious social status,it can be lost, and its anxiety results in maladaptive thinking patterns and behaviors in the face of gender threat. To test these assumptions, this dissertation conducts five studies. Study 1 develops traditional masculinity ideology scale with 23 items and four factors (i.e., head of family, dominance, emotional restriction, and avoidance of femininity). Study 2 examines participants’ agreement with the hard-won status of manhood/womanhood. Participants perceive manhood as more precarious (hard-won) compared to womanhood. In the same study, femininity avoidance component of masculinity ideology predict the perceptions of precarious manhood/womanhood. Study 3 tests the assumption that manhood/womanhood can be lost and show that participants attribute manhood loss more to social causes rather than physical/biological causes. However, they refer to social reasons equally for both manhood and womanhood loss in their open-ended interpretations. Study 4 tests the effect of gender threat on anxious thinking style but there was no significant effect of threat on anxiety. Study 5 examines the effect of gender threat on aggressive thinking style. In gender threat condition, men react with more physically-aggressive cognitions compared to women. Overall, the results partially meet the assumptions of PMT in Turkey. The results are discussed in the light of recent literature on cross-cultural differences and the characteristics of the Turkish cultural context.