Sex Roles

, Volume 51, Issue 3–4, pp 249–253 | Cite as

Exploring Normative Creativity: Testing the Relationship Between Cognitive Flexibility and Sexual Identity

  • Julie Konik
  • Mary Crawford


Brown (1989) proposed that lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals possess greater “normative creativity” and flexibility than heterosexuals because they have fewer norms for living in heterosexually dominated society. In this article we explore one possible individual difference between heterosexuals and nonheterosexuals in the domain of normative creativity by examining the relationship between cognitive flexibility and sexual identity among 358 university students. Participants with sexual identities not directed toward one gender exclusively (e.g., bisexual, biaffectionate, or queer) scored significantly higher on a measure of cognitive flexibility than did heterosexual and gay/lesbian participants; the latter two groups did not differ from each other. These results suggest that it is having a nonexclusive sexual identity, rather than a lesbian or gay identity, that is related to greater cognitive flexibility.

cognitive flexibility bisexuality homosexuality sexual identity 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MichiganAnn Arbor
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of ConnecticutStorrs

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