Grissom awarded $500 toward psychology research

Jenny Rohl/The News Layne Grissom, senior from Louisville, Ky., received $500 to create a new way to measure masculinity.
Jenny Rohl/The News Layne Grissom, senior from Louisville, Ky., received $500 to create a new way to measure masculinity.

Jenny Rohl/The News
Layne Grissom, senior from Louisville, Ky., received $500 to create a new way to measure masculinity.

The office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Activity (URSA) awarded Layne Grissom, senior psychology major from Louisville, Ky., $500 for her project called “Hegemonic Masculinity.”

The program addresses the need of financial support during projects.

The award will provide up to $500 for supplies, literature searches, equipment, travel to field sites and other costs associated with approved projects, according to the Murray State website. The program allows undergraduates to build close working relationships with faculty and peers.

Grissom received $500 for her project that involves a creation of a new system of measure that determines if a man is metrosexual or hegemonically masculine.

Metrosexual is defined as an urban heterosexual male given to enhancing his personal appearance by grooming, beauty treatments and fashionable clothes, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

Hegemonic masculinity, a popular concept in gender studies, proposes that men have dominant positions in society and women are subordinate according to sociologist R.W. Connell.

Grissom decided on the project because she was curious about why some males seem to be metrosexual and why others do not.

“At that time there was not an official scale so I couldn’t quite claim my results. So, to solve this problem I decided to go one step further and attempt to create a scale,” Grissom said.

Grissom received her approval to begin research on Sept. 18 and started her research about this topic on and off campus.

“I have run my first study on campus already showing good results on my validity and reliability with a sample size of 90 male participants,” she said.

Each student who gets approved for the grant picks a faculty member they think could assist them in their studies.

Grissom’s faculty mentor is Jana Hackathorn, assistant professor in the College of Humanities and Fine Arts.

As a mentor, Hackathorn supports Grissom conducting research.

“I help the student ‘fine tune’ his/her ideas and make sure he/she is measuring, analyzing and interpreting things appropriately,” Hackathorn said.

Hackathorn decided to mentor Grissom’s project because she discovered an issue in the research literature.

“Currently, there is no way to actually measure the personality trait of metrosexuality,” Hackathorn said. “Some might not think that is a big deal, but what we find is that every time a relevant research project is conducted or a paper is published, a different definition is being used.”

Each student who receives a grant will automatically have the chance to present their topic at Posters at the Capitol and students have a chance to apply to present their topic at other conferences.

“I have currently applied and been accepted to present at Posters at the Capitol, and am waiting for a response on my application to South Eastern Psychological Association,” Grissom said.

Story by Brittany Risko, Staff writer