Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Joseph Vandello, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jennifer Bosson, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Elizabeth Schotter, Ph.D.


Gender Rules, HEED Careers, Precarious Manhood, Social-Norms Marketing Campaigns


Men’s underrepresentation in the female-dominated domains of healthcare, early education, and the domestic sphere, or HEED roles, remains a persistent problem despite the fact that such careers often afford more job security and wage growth than blue-collar work. A growing body of evidence suggests that their lack of participation in HEED roles is not merely due to a skills mismatch, but rather an identity mismatch. I hypothesized that using descriptive and injunctive norms to reframe a stereotypically feminine career as more compatible with manhood could effectively reduce this identity mismatch. More specifically, I predicted that using a dynamic descriptive norm framing that highlighted the growing number of men taking on a female-dominated career and an injunctive norm framing that highlighted its compatibility with men’s gender rules would increase men’s interest in the occupation. Furthermore, I believed that such framings would be particularly effective among men who are highly communal and those who do not strongly endorse traditional male role norms. To test my predictions, 342 men took part in an online study in which they were assigned to read a newspaper article about a HEED role, nursing, that was designed to manipulate the perceived prevalence of male nurses and the job’s compatibility with male gender rules. Then, they completed a variety of measures designed to assess their interest in and perceptions of nursing and other HEED careers. Minimal support was found for my hypotheses, and I discuss limitations and future directions to shed light on these null results.