How Public Displays of Heterosexual Identity Reflect and Reinforce Gender Stereotypes, Gender Differences, and Gender Inequality

How Public Displays of Heterosexual Identity Reflect and Reinforce Gender Stereotypes, Gender... Heterosexual marking occurs when people behave in ways that are interpreted by others as evidence of heterosexuality. In an exploratory comprehensive study of this phenomenon, we conducted 12 focus groups with 57 individuals: four groups composed of heterosexual women, four composed of heterosexual men, and four composed of mixed-gender sexual minorities. In this article, we present our findings on participant conceptions of heterosexual marking that are related to gender stereotypes, gender differences, and gender inequality. Much of the heterosexual marking described by our participants reflects and reinforces stereotypes that equate gender conformity and heterosexuality. Our data suggest that heterosexual marking by men/boys and women/girls differs in several ways, including gender conformity, sexual prejudice, extent of marking, and types of marking. Furthermore, some aspects and types of heterosexual marking described by our participants reflect and reinforce gender inequality. As a result, our discussion notes some problematic implications of the heterosexual marking we describe, including rendering gender non-conformity among heterosexuals invisible and unacceptable, supporting discrimination against gender non-conformity, and more directly reinforcing gender inequality. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

How Public Displays of Heterosexual Identity Reflect and Reinforce Gender Stereotypes, Gender Differences, and Gender Inequality

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11199-016-0613-2
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Heterosexual marking occurs when people behave in ways that are interpreted by others as evidence of heterosexuality. In an exploratory comprehensive study of this phenomenon, we conducted 12 focus groups with 57 individuals: four groups composed of heterosexual women, four composed of heterosexual men, and four composed of mixed-gender sexual minorities. In this article, we present our findings on participant conceptions of heterosexual marking that are related to gender stereotypes, gender differences, and gender inequality. Much of the heterosexual marking described by our participants reflects and reinforces stereotypes that equate gender conformity and heterosexuality. Our data suggest that heterosexual marking by men/boys and women/girls differs in several ways, including gender conformity, sexual prejudice, extent of marking, and types of marking. Furthermore, some aspects and types of heterosexual marking described by our participants reflect and reinforce gender inequality. As a result, our discussion notes some problematic implications of the heterosexual marking we describe, including rendering gender non-conformity among heterosexuals invisible and unacceptable, supporting discrimination against gender non-conformity, and more directly reinforcing gender inequality.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Apr 2, 2016

References

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