Gendered references in sperm donor profiles: a discourse analysis of masculine gender identification differences between anonymous and willing-to-be-known donors

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.A. in Communication


Department of Communication


Advisor: Teresa L. Thompson


Gender norms in society can be traced and analyzed in online texts through discourse analysis. One such location of gendered text is in sperm bank donor profiles where sperm is commodified to appeal to consumer driven desires. This study investigated the conformity to hegemonic masculine norms found within sperm donor profiles, by using discourse analysis to evaluate statements made by donors as well as sperm bank employees. The amounts of hegemonic masculine statements were also analyzed in comparison of anonymous and willing-to-be-known donors. The Conformity of Masculine Norms Inventory was used as a basis for creating a coding system and a chi squared analysis was used to analyze the data. Results of the analysis can be found in chapter 4, and a discussion follows focusing on implications of using conforming masculine statements within donor profiles.


Sperm donors Discourse analysis, Masculinity, Self-perception, Self-esteem in men, Social norms, Communication, Gender, masculinity, sperm donor, online profiles, Conformity to Masculine Norms Inventory

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Copyright © 2016, author