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Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 41, Issue 5, pp 1293–1302 | Cite as

Effects of Gender-Related Domain Violations and Sexual Orientation on Perceptions of Male and Female Targets: An Analogue Study

  • Aaron J. BlashillEmail author
  • Kimberly K. Powlishta
Original Paper

Abstract

The current study examined factors that influenced heterosexual male and female raters’ evaluations of male and female targets who were gay or heterosexual, and who displayed varying gender roles (i.e., typical vs. atypical) in multiple domains (i.e., activities, traits, and appearance). Participants were 305 undergraduate students from a private, midwestern Jesuit institution who read vignettes describing one of 24 target types and then rated the target on possession of positive and negative characteristics, psychological adjustment, and on measures reflecting the participants’ anticipated behavior toward or comfort with the target. Results showed that gender atypical appearance and activity attributes (but not traits) were viewed more negatively than their gender typical counterparts. It was also found that male participants in particular viewed gay male targets as less desirable than lesbian and heterosexual male targets. These findings suggest a nuanced approach for understanding sexual prejudice, which incorporates a complex relationship among sex, gender, sexual orientation, and domain of gendered attributes.

Keywords

Sexual orientation Sexual prejudice Gender role violations Masculinity Femininity Gender atypicality 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryMassachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologySaint Louis UniversitySt. LouisUSA

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