An Exploration of Black College Students’ Conformity to Gender-Role Norms on Gender-Role Stress and Depression
Keywords:conformity, gender role norms, Black college students, stress, depression
Gender-role norms have caused men and women to be limited to many of the expectations that distinguish masculinity and femininity. Thus, the societally derived idea of what “makes a man a man” or a “woman a woman” has become the topic of gender-role conflict. Previous studies have investigated gender-role conflict between masculinity and femininity and gender-role norms, but there is a gap in understanding how conforming to gender-role norms affect mental health, particularly among Black cisgender college students. The present study examined the adherence to gender-role norms and its impact on gender-role stress and depression that results from conforming to traditional ideology in a sample of Black cisgender college students (n = 120). An Independent Samples T-Test revealed statistically significant differences between Black men’s and women’s conformity to gender-role norms and their reported experiences of gender-role stress, but not depression. Results suggest there are psychological consequences of conforming to traditional role norms for both Black male and female college students and could potentially impact how these students perceive their gender-roles in society.
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