Political Distinctiveness and Diversity Among LGBT Americans
Philip Edward Jones
Public Opinion Quarterly, Summer 2021, Pages 594-622
At least partly due to data limitations, academic analyses of public opinion rarely acknowledge lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) identities. Our models of political attitudes almost always overlook respondents' sexual orientation and gender identities, and targeted research on the views of LGBT people is uncommon. This omission has obscured both the distinctiveness of LGBT Americans and the diversity within the group. Using recent large-N surveys, this article shows that LGBT Americans are distinctively liberal compared to otherwise similar straight and cisgender respondents -- in their general political predispositions, electoral choices, and attitudes on a wide range of policy matters. At the same time, there is substantial diversity within the community -- bisexual and transgender respondents are frequently less liberal than lesbians and gay men. Analysis of intersecting identities reveals substantial differences between bisexual men and bisexual women, but little evidence of diversity based on gender within lesbian/gay and transgender subgroups. Given these findings, public opinion scholars should routinely incorporate measures of LGBT identities in their analyses, alongside race, gender, class, and other politically salient respondent characteristics.
Evoking gender distinctiveness threat in cisgender women lowers their support for gender-inclusive bathroom policies
Talia Hayes & Anna-Kaisa Reiman
Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, forthcoming
Some cisgender women oppose policies granting transgender women access to women-only bathrooms. We examined whether this opposition stems from perceiving that transgender women threaten the distinctiveness of the social category "women" (gender distinctiveness threat). Cisgender women (N = 520) read about a state bill enabling transgender women to use women's bathrooms. Participants further read that enacting the bill would mean their state officially believes that "transgender women are real women" or "transgender rights are human rights"; in the control condition, this information was omitted. Participants reported their support for the bill and level of gender distinctiveness threat. Cisgender women who read that the bill would imply their state believes transgender women are real women (vs. transgender rights are human rights) reported lower bill support, and this effect was mediated by distinctiveness threat. Perceived threat to the distinctiveness of womanhood may help explain cisgender women's reluctance to include transgender women in women-only spaces.
The Creepy White Guy and the Helpless Asian: How Sexual Racism Persists in a Gay Interracial Friendship Group
Khoa Phan Howard
Social Problems, forthcoming
How is sexual racism maintained in an organization that claims to resist it? This article applies the concept of sexual racism to an organizational case study of a friendship group of gay Asian and white men that aims to uplift Asian men's erotic capital, but which actually upholds white desirability. Through ethnographic observations and interviews, the author first compares Asian and white men's unequal positions on the gay sexual hierarchy before joining the group. The author unpacks four dimensions of organizational experience in which sexual racism is reproduced and white desirability is maintained: (1) a group monitoring practice that reproduces interracial stereotypes; (2) the normalized Asian-white pairing norm and the necessity of whiteness in romantic formation; (3) Asians vs. whites' personal experiences of change in sexual capital that stabilize white desirability while Asians' desirability increase with a cost; and (4) the reproduction of anti-Blackness in group-level constraints against non-white, non-Asian members. These findings contribute to sociological understandings of the racialization of sexuality and the sexualization of race by showing how an alternative space of desire for minority groups can still manifest sexual racism on individual and organizational levels.
Transgender Employment and Gender Marker Laws
Labour Economics, forthcoming
This paper uses data from the Behavioural Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS) over the period 2014-2019 to analyse the impact of removing surgical requirements to change legal gender. In many states transgender people are forced to undergo surgical procedures if they wish to change their gender on ID documents, which can be invasive, expensive, and is not always desired. In the present work state variation in the timing of the removal of surgical requirements is exploited within a triple difference framework to analyse the causal impact of these removals on the employment of transgender people, for the first time. The findings highlight that removing surgical requirements for transgender people to be able to reassign gender on birth certificates increases the employment of female to male transgender people, but has no effect on male to female or gender non-conforming transgender people.
Accessing Counseling Services Where the Rainbow Doesn't Shine: A Heterosexism Audit Study
Richard Shin et al.
Journal of Homosexuality, November 2021, Pages 2246-2265
Through a field experiment set among licensed therapists (N = 425), we found nuanced evidence of heterosexist discrimination at the entry point of mental health services for a fictitious White, presumably gay man seeking counseling. We called therapists in LGB-affirming and LGB-hostile states and left voicemails requesting services. To manipulate perceived sexual orientation, a confederate using the name "Jon" recorded one of three conditions (a) heterosexual-presenting Jon, (b) gay-presenting Jon, and (c) gay-sounding Jon. Analyzes comparing the rate of returned calls for each condition within LGB-affirming versus LGB-hostile states against our referent group, gay-presenting Jon calling mental health professionals in an LGB-affirming region, revealed a number of significant effects. Notably, being perceived as gay in LGB-hostile states significantly decreased the rate of returned calls, with the reverse being true in an LGB-affirming state. The use of "gay-sounding" voice, however, did not appreciably affect these relationships.
Why do brief online writing interventions improve health? Examining mediators of expressive writing and self-affirmation intervention efficacy among sexual minority emerging adults
Stephenie Chaudoir et al.
Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, forthcoming
A limited number of studies have examined mechanisms undergirding interventions that mitigate mental health problems or health-risk behaviors that disproportionately burden sexual minorities. A recent trial of expressive writing and self-affirmation writing found that these brief interventions had salubrious effects on mental health and health-risk behaviors; the present research examines the putative mechanisms underlying these effects. Sexual minority emerging adults (N = 108) completed a brief online expressive writing, self-affirmation writing, or neutral control writing intervention and, at baseline and 3-month follow-up, completed measures of mental health, health-risk behaviors, stress, and self-regulation. Expressive writing yielded improvements in mental health and these effects were mediated by reductions in perceived stress. Self-affirmation caused improvements in health-risk behaviors, though neither stress nor self-regulation mediated these effects. This finding provides preliminary novel evidence regarding a mechanism underlying a widely used psychological intervention with documented mental health benefits for sexual minorities and other populations disproportionately affected by stress.