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Megan West Wins Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research

Sociology undergraduate Megan West won the award for her honors thesis research focusing on the intersection of religion, sexuality, and gender. Megan interviewed participants of an Evangelical men's group in Northern California to understand how the men's ideas and expressions of masculinity perpetuate gender inequality despite their expressed intention to challenge traditional gender norms. She found that the primarily straight, white, Christian men in the group are striving to redefine masculinity by focusing the importance of male-male bonding, emotional well-being, and abstinence from pornography, while also revering physical strength, idealizing male authority, and rejecting heterosexuality and other non-straight identities. The men thus enact a "hybrid masculinity," blending progressive ideas of interpersonal relations (focused on realizing better relations among men) with traditional adherence to patriarchal structures that ultimately reinforce masculine privilege.

Megan will receive the award at a ceremony and reception honoring all Chancellor's Award winners on Tuesday, June 4, 2019, from 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. in the MPR, Student Community Center. Congratulations Megan!