Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Counseling Psychology

Committee Chair

Sharon Gail Horne

Committee Member

Heidi M Levitt

Committee Member

Corinna Ethington

Committee Member

Sara K Bridges


This study explored the relationship of butch gender identity to perceived social support, level of outness, lesbian internalized homophobia, and self-esteem. Previous research has supported relationships between perceived social support, level of outness, lesbian internalized homophobia, and self-esteem in sexual minority women; this study explored these relationships specifically in masculine-identified lesbians. Using data obtained from an Internet survey on lesbian gender identity, a subset (N = 191) was composed of individuals who considered themselves masculine and who identified as butch (127; 66.5%) and those who did not identify as butch (64; 33.5%). A path analysis was conducted to determine what significant pathways existed in the hypothesized model. As demonstrated in previous research, perceived social support and level of outness were found to have a significant positive relationship with self-esteem, and perceived social support was positively related to outness. Unlike in previous studies, there was not a significant relationship between any of the variables and lesbian internalized homophobia. Further, lesbian gender identity was not found to be significant in the model. Clinical and political implications are discussed.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.