Literature Review Exploring Relationship Between Media Representations of Men, Masculinities, and Incels on Incel Discourse


  • Jayme Brunson


In 2014, Elliot Rodger, a self-proclaimed incel (involuntary celibate), murdered six people and injured 14 in Isla Vista, California, as retribution for his experiences in romantic and sexual rejection. Incels generally believe women are at fault for men’s celibacy. Misogynistic gender beliefs, such as incel ideology, often develop in adolescence under the influence of social environment and media exposure. This literature review explores the formation
of gender beliefs through gender socialization and masculinity performances. It also looks into how incels internalize a distorted perspective of normative masculinities and what they expect conformance to these masculinities should bring. Readers will be presented with a brief history of incels and multiple examples of incel discourse from internet forums. Discussions surround incel discourse and how it may be shaped by representations of men, masculinities, and incels in the media.