Gender Threat
American Masculinity in the Face of Change
Dan Cassino and Yasemin Besen-Cassino


Contents and Abstracts
1 Threatened Identity
chapter abstract

In this introductory chapter, we set the research puzzle: why do some men feel they are losing out socially and economically in the United States today? Building on the gender theory of West and Zimmerman and R. W. Connell's concept of hegemonic masculinity, this chapter explores the consequences of the gender threat men experience when faced with economic threat: what happens to men when they lose income or their relative advantage in society? This chapter lays out the structure of the book: the mixed methods approach used as well as the theoretical frameworks applied.

2 Mad Men at Work
chapter abstract

This chapter focuses on men in the workplace, exploring the effects of gender threat on men in their workplace activities. Using quantitative data from the EEOC, we explore the effects of men's unemployment on sexual harassment, especially of African-American women.

3 Men and Politics
chapter abstract

In this chapter, using quantitative data, we explore the political consequences of men's real and perceived loss of economic dominance and status. We find that in the face of gender threat, political identity becomes an important way for men to symbolically reclaim dominance.

4 Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
chapter abstract

In this chapter we focus on nonbinary measurements of gender, which has become an important political issue in national elections, particularly regarding transgender bathrooms. In this chapter, we explore how gender measurement affects men's perceptions. Using experiments as well as national surveys, we also explore how gender threat among men affects attitudes toward trans and nonbinary people as well as LGBTQ issues.

5 God, Guns, and Pornography
chapter abstract

This chapter moves the focus from mostly economic and political arenas to other specific issues. In this chapter, we explore the effects of gender threat on men's gun consumption, religiosity, and pornography use.

6 Alternate Masculinities
chapter abstract

This chapter focuses on alternative masculinities. Using qualitative data, we explore the different ways in which men reconstruct their masculine identities when faced with gender threat. We look especially at the ways in which men emphasize fatherhood and create spaces for alternatives to traditional views.

7 The Future of Men
chapter abstract

In this concluding chapter, we summarize the findings of the previous chapters and contextualize these findings. This chapter also points to alternative routes and avenues for future research.