Transgender Women and the Male Gaze: Gender, the Body, and the Pressure to Conform
Committee MemberKassan, Anusha
Callaghan, Tonya D.
interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA)
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractTransgender women may feel pressured to achieve certain societal standards for women that are largely created and reinforced by a society that prioritizes male perspectives. The male gaze, as it is termed, has been found to be associated with appearance anxiety, body shame, and insecurity for cisgender women. To date, the experience of the male gaze has not been examined exclusively with transgender women. It is a particularly important topic to explore as transgender women often face additional discrimination and pressure for being transgender. The current study aimed to answer the following research question: How does the male gaze influence the experiences of transgender women with their body? Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) was used to analyze interviews with eleven transgender women. Four themes emerged from the data: (a) male gaze as potentially harmful and dehumanizing, (b) internalization of the male gaze, (c) male gaze as affirming, and (d) absence or rejection of the male gaze. Subthemes were also identified and explored. This research is significant for several reasons. Understanding the experiences of transgender women and the male gaze allows for more targeted interventions and guidance for mental health practice. On a larger scale, this study informs on advocacy, and challenges cultural expectations and stereotypes for transgender women, while emphasizing self-expression, authenticity, and acceptance.
CitationLefebvre, D. (2020). Transgender Women and the Male Gaze: Gender, the Body, and the Pressure to Conform (Unpublished master's thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.
University of Calgary graduate students retain copyright ownership and moral rights for their thesis. You may use this material in any way that is permitted by the Copyright Act or through licensing that has been assigned to the document. For uses that are not allowable under copyright legislation or licensing, you are required to seek permission.