Social and Behavioral Sciences


This paper explores the deployment of gender by gay males in fraternities. Using data from 17 qualitative interviews, it is suggested that there are strict rules of hegemonic masculinity embedded in fraternity life where members value heterosexuality. This leads gay men in fraternities to conceal behavior socially labeled as “gay” and therefore nonmasculine. Gay members create special intragroup networks within their organizations where they aim to find validation and support that they may not receive from the rest of their brothers. The author argues that gay men’s experiences in fraternities influence how these men choose to strategically deploy their gender.