Honors Program

Honors in Psychology

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Stacey L. Williams

Thesis Professor Department


Thesis Reader(s)

Julia Dodd


Creative Gender Expression Performativity may be a coping mechanism for dealing with minority stress in sexual and gender minority populations. The current study suggests the creation of a new scale that measures effortful presentation rather than directional presentation. Rather than examining whether someone identifies as masculine or feminine – the proposed model would instead look at how much effort an individual is putting into their gender expression. In this mixed methods study, participants (N = 187) completed a survey based on gender expression, minority stress, and mental health, while 10 participants completed a qualitative post-survey interview via email. Multiple regressions were performed to examine the relationships between gender expression and negative health outcomes. Tests performed examined relationships amongst factors such as positive gender expression outlook, gender congruence, and self-esteem; and outcomes including depression, anxiety, and anticipated discrimination. Multiple regression analyses revealed that positive perceptions of gender expression acted as a buffer to anticipated discrimination. TGNC individuals experienced lower self-esteem and higher depression levels than cisgender individuals. Qualitative themes uncovered motives behind gender expression, such as coping with minority stress.


East Tennessee State University

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Withheld

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
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