Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Brennen, Bonnie

Second Advisor

Nettleton, Pamela Hill

Third Advisor

Garner, Ana


This thesis is the story millennial males told about their experiences with media serving as an educator during their adolescence and beyond. By using depth interviews, an oral history was developed and a concept I have called the impurity truth, where media are teaching the millennials that their virginity is a gatekeeper to becoming a man, was crafted from the narratives. Twelve males, ages 18 to 24, from geographically, racially, and sexually diverse backgrounds, were interviewed. A fantasy theme analysis of the interview transcripts revealed a masculine hierarchy where the millennial males decoded a media message that men should cast their virginities aside in order to cement their place in a masculine hierarchy. The analysis of the narratives revealed four character themes: the virgin, the player, the ideal man, and the role model. The character themes provided the context to a hierarchical structure of masculinity that was in turn grounded by theories of adolescent identity development (Blos, 1962; Erikson, 1969) and a challenge to R.W. Connell's (1987) theory of hegemonic masculinity.