I'm going to focus on comparing and contrasting gender and self-esteem and touch upon how sexuality affects self-esteem as well. My views of self-esteem center on how I feel about myself, especially concerning body image. In the gay community, there are many labels one falls under based on their stature and body type. I fall under the label of being a “bear” which means I have a larger frame, have a beard and am more on masculine side. Even with my label, being part of this sub-group there still is a lot of comparison and expectation to be super fit, have that 6-pack, be on the more stylish side and be perfectly coiffed. This makes me sound and seem so ragged, haha. I do take care of myself, but still, the main stereotype about what a gay man should look like is still a constant struggle with who I am, appearance wise. I’d like to use my own experience by comparing it to the expectations of what being a man means in the gay world, in the heterosexual culture and also how it parallels what self-esteem mean to women, concerning body type.
Lit Review –
I’ve abandoned several of the resources I was relying on and found a few new sources that I haven’t really gone through completely. I was hoping to get to them this weekend. But, in the meantime, I have these resources:
“The Development of Self-Esteem” by Ulrich Orth and Richard W. Robins. The article centers on how self-esteem is the “feeling that one is good enough and consequently, individuals with high self-esteem do not necessarily believe they are superior to others” and focuses on how high self-esteem is obtained and how it affects our personal success in relationships, work and even health. It also discusses how men typically have higher self-esteem because they don’t focus on body image, but on personal success, such as gains in work and material things. It states that gender doesn’t necessarily influence self esteem, but it depends more on the trajectory of how self-esteem is fostered during adolescence to midlife. It also talks about how self-esteem is directly related to personal successes and failures. This article helped me to devise several follow-up questions for my interviewees.
“Social Stigma and Self-Esteem: The Self-Protective Properties of Stigma” by Jennifer Crocker and Brenda Major. It states “evidence ahs show that many social groups or cetagories of people are stigmatized in our society”. The article focuses on how different stigmas, such as culture, gender, socio-economic status can effect self-esteem. It gives great insight into how different groups obtain their self-esteem and how certain stigmas can affect it. It talks about the limitations negative stigma has on self-esteem while positive stigma, such as personal success and academic performance/athletic performance can enhance self-esteem, especially in men. The article also talks about media portrayals as a stigma and how it affects men and women.
“Gender and Self-Esteem” by Robert A. Josephs, Hazel Rose Markus and Romin W. Taforodi. It goes on to explore the central idea of the article Do women and men have different self-concepts?”. One section I will focus on is the importance of how men and women must both find a way to meet these general, cultural imperatives. . . there are similarities and differences between men and women concerning the source of self-esteem. I think this article gives me direct support in how I will discuss self-esteem between gender.
I am still looking into more articles about gay men and women and self-esteem, but a lot of the information I’m finding is rather old, like in the 80’s and 90’s. I’m looking for more literature that is at least in the 21st century! Wish me luck!
For the purpose of my paper, I chose the following participants for my study:
1. S. Hernandez, straight female, 18. I chose her because she is entering college and is just starting to expand her world. She just graduated high