What do people believe about gay males? A study of stereotype content and strength
- Cite this article as:
- Madon, S. Sex Roles (1997) 37: 663. doi:10.1007/BF02936334
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The current research examined the content and strength of the gay male stereotype. This focus represents a return to the earliest issues addressed by social psychologists. Although once a major substantive area in social psychology, issues of content gradually gave way to issues of process. However, issues of content and process are inextricably tied to one another. Content studies detail the specific attributes in stereotypes, their strength, valence, and inaccuracy. Process studies use this information to examine when stereotypes will influence social reality and social perception. The current research showed that beliefs about gay males included attributes from multiple stereotype components, formed two subtypes, and varied in strength. These findings have implications for research on issues of process because knowing what people believe about gay males and how strongly they hold those beliefs provides insight into when stereotypes may be most likely to create biases.