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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Orientation

 

Gender-Typed Play Behavior in Early Childhood: Adopted Children with Lesbian, Gay, and Heterosexual Parents

Abbie Goldberg, Deborah Kashy & JuliAnna Smith
Sex Roles, November 2012, Pages 503-515

Abstract:
This study examined whether the gender-typed play of young children varies as a function of family structure. Using a sample of 126 couples (44 lesbian couples, 34 gay male couples, and 48 heterosexual couples) located throughout the United States, with an adopted child between the age of 2 and 4 years old (mean = 2.5 years), we examined parent reports of children's gender-typed play behavior utilizing the Pre-School Activities Inventory (PSAI; Golombok and Rust 1993). Findings revealed that the perceived play behaviors of boys and girls in same-gender parent families were more similar (i.e., less gender-stereotyped) than the perceived play behavior of boys and girls in heterosexual-parent families (which were more divergent; that is, gender-stereotyped). Sons of lesbian mothers were less masculine in their play behavior than sons of gay fathers and sons of heterosexual parents. Our findings have implications for researchers who study gender development in children and adolescents.

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Does Maltreatment in Childhood Affect Sexual Orientation in Adulthood?

Andrea Roberts, Maria Glymour & Karestan Koenen
Archives of Sexual Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
Epidemiological studies find a positive association between physical and sexual abuse, neglect, and witnessing violence in childhood and same-sex sexuality in adulthood, but studies directly assessing the association between these diverse types of maltreatment and sexuality cannot disentangle the causal direction because the sequencing of maltreatment and emerging sexuality is difficult to ascertain. Nascent same-sex orientation may increase risk of maltreatment; alternatively, maltreatment may shape sexual orientation. Our study used instrumental variable models based on family characteristics that predict maltreatment but are not plausibly influenced by sexual orientation (e.g., having a stepparent) as natural experiments to investigate whether maltreatment might increase the likelihood of same-sex sexuality in a nationally representative sample (n = 34,653). In instrumental variable models, history of sexual abuse predicted increased prevalence of same-sex attraction by 2.0 percentage points [95 % confidence interval (CI) = 1.4-2.5], any same-sex partners by 1.4 percentage points (95 % CI = 1.0-1.9), and same-sex identity by 0.7 percentage points (95 % CI = 0.4-0.9). Effects of sexual abuse on men's sexual orientation were substantially larger than on women's. Effects of non-sexual maltreatment were significant only for men and women's sexual identity and women's same-sex partners. While point estimates suggest much of the association between maltreatment and sexual orientation may be due to the effects of maltreatment on sexual orientation, confidence intervals were wide. Our results suggest that causal relationships driving the association between sexual orientation and childhood abuse may be bidirectional, may differ by type of abuse, and may differ by sex. Better understanding of this potentially complex causal structure is critical to developing targeted strategies to reduce sexual orientation disparities in exposure to abuse.

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Anticipated Discrimination and a Career Choice in Nonprofit: A Study of Early Career Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered (LGBT) Job Seekers

Eddy Ng, Linda Schweitzer & Sean Lyons
Review of Public Personnel Administration, December 2012, Pages 332-352

Abstract:
As a stigmatized group, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered (LGBT) individuals are vulnerable to employment discrimination and receive little legal protection. They have had to cope with discrimination and engage in identity management to conceal their sexual identity. This study seeks to determine whether LGBT individuals, in anticipation of discrimination, have lower initial career expectations, espouse more altruistic work values, and make career choices based on those work values, when compared to heterosexual individuals. Using data from a large survey of postsecondary students, we found that LGBT individuals, after controlling for age, visible minority status, and major of study, reported lower salary expectations than heterosexual individuals. LGBT individuals were also more likely than their heterosexual counterparts to espouse "altruistic" work values and to indicate a career choice in the nonprofit sector. We suggest that "altruism" may be an important work value that is related to a career choice in the public and nonprofit sectors.

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A Possible Second Type of Maternal-Fetal Immune Interaction Involved in Both Male and Female Homosexuality

Ray Blanchard
Archives of Sexual Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
Recent research has found that the mothers of firstborn homosexual sons produce fewer subsequent offspring than do the mothers of firstborn heterosexual sons. It was hypothesized that a subset of mothers of firstborn homosexuals may be responsible for this finding. If there is a subset of mothers whose immune reactions cause their first male fetus to be homosexual and their subsequent fetuses to die, then their immune reactions should also cause their first male fetus to have a lower birth weight. This leads to the prediction that, within the population of firstborn homosexual men, those with no younger siblings should also tend to have lower birth weights. This prediction was tested using a previously published sample of 1,445 firstborn subjects: 929 heterosexual females, 47 homosexual females, 409 heterosexual males, and 60 homosexual males. The results showed that firstborn homosexuals with no younger siblings (i.e., only children) did have lower birth weights compared with all the other subjects, but the finding applied to firstborn lesbian women as well as firstborn gay men.

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Gay-Straight Alliances Are Associated With Student Health: A Multischool Comparison of LGBTQ and Heterosexual Youth

Paul Poteat et al.
Journal of Research on Adolescence, forthcoming

Abstract:
Few studies have examined school-based factors associated with variability in the victimization and health of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. Among 15,965 students in 45 Wisconsin schools, we identified differences based on Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) presence. Youth in schools with GSAs reported less truancy, smoking, drinking, suicide attempts, and sex with casual partners than those in schools without GSAs, with this difference being more sizable for LGBTQ than heterosexual youth. GSA-based differences were greatest for sexual minority girls on reported sex while using drugs. GSA effects were nonsignificant for general or homophobic victimization, grades, and school belonging. Findings suggest that GSAs could contribute to attenuating a range of health risks, particularly for LGBTQ youth.

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Prenatal testosterone and personality: Increasing the specificity of trait assessment to detect consistent associations with digit ratio (2D:4D)

Jan Wacker, Erik Mueller & Gerhard Stemmler
Journal of Research in Personality, forthcoming

Abstract:
Prenatal testosterone exposure has been suggested to influence various personality traits including assertiveness/social dominance, aggressiveness, and impulsive sensation seeking (ImpSS). However, correlational work using 2D:4D digit ratio as an indicator for prenatal testosterone only converged on extremely small effects. Here we show that measuring traits with a high degree of specificity by combining extensive personality assessment, factor analysis with oblique rotation and subsequent partialling reveals an association between ImpSS and low 2D:4D (i.e. presumably high prenatal testosterone) in young healthy males. These findings suggest that prenatal testosterone exposure predicts ImpSS in men, that 2D:4D-personality associations are more specific than generally appreciated and that such associations can be more reliably detected using the approach to trait assessment described here.

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Children's Gender and Parents' Color Preferences

Philip Cohen
Archives of Sexual Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
Gender differences in color preferences have been found in adults and children, but they remain unexplained. This study asks whether the gendered social environment in adulthood affects parents' color preferences. The analysis used the gender of children to represent one aspect of the gendered social environment. Because having male versus female children in the U.S. is generally randomly distributed, it provides something of a natural experiment, offering evidence about the social construction of gender in adulthood. The participants were 749 adults with children who responded to an online survey invitation, asking "What's your favorite color?" Men were more likely to prefer blue, while women were more likely to prefer red, purple, and pink, consistent with long-standing U.S. patterns. The effect of having only sons was to widen the existing gender differences between men and women, increasing the odds that men prefer blue while reducing the odds that women do; and a marginally significant effect showed women having higher odds of preferring pink when they have sons only. The results suggest that, in addition to any genetic, biological or child-socialization effects shaping adults' tendency to segregate their color preferences by gender, the gender context of adulthood matters as well.

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Growing Support for Gay and Lesbian Equality Since 1990

Alison Keleher & Eric Smith
Journal of Homosexuality, October 2012, Pages 1307-1326

Abstract:
Since 1991, public acceptance of gays and lesbians has grown dramatically. We use two approaches to examine changing attitudes in U.S. survey data. First, we conduct cohort analyses showing that both generational replacement and period effects are having impacts. Since 1991, older, less accepting generations of Americans have been dying and being replaced by younger, more tolerant Americans, and all age groups have been becoming more tolerant. Second, we pool cross-sectional, time series survey data to show that there has been a broad, dramatic increase in virtually every group's acceptance of gays and lesbians over time.

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The Role of Gender Identity Threat in Perceptions of Date Rape and Sexual Coercion

Christin Munsch & Robb Willer
Violence Against Women, October 2012, Pages 1125-1146

Abstract:
We experimentally investigated the effects of gender identity threat on men's and women's perceptions of date rape and sexual coercion. Results showed that men whose masculinity was threatened responded by blaming the victim and exonerating the perpetrator more, while threatened women respond by blaming male perpetrators more and placing less blame on female victims. Men's response to threats was more pronounced than women's, an asymmetry we attribute to the cultural devaluation of femininity. Our findings highlight the significance of masculinity concerns in perceptions of sexual violence and, more generally, the importance of perceiver context in views of violence against women.

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Men and Women with Bisexual Identities Show Bisexual Patterns of Sexual Attraction to Male and Female "Swimsuit Models"

Richard Lippa
Archives of Sexual Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
Do self-identified bisexual men and women actually show bisexual patterns of sexual attraction and interest? To answer this question, I studied bisexual men's and women's sexual attraction to photographed male and female "swimsuit models" that varied in attractiveness. Participants (663 college students and gay pride attendees, including 14 self-identified bisexual men and 17 self-identified bisexual women) rated their degree of sexual attraction to 34 male and 34 female swimsuit models. Participants' viewing times to models were unobtrusively assessed. Results showed that bisexual men and women showed bisexual patterns of attraction and viewing times to photo models, which strongly distinguished them from same-sex heterosexual and homosexual participants. In contrast to other groups, which showed evidence of greater male than female category specificity, bisexual men and women did not differ in category specificity. Results suggest that there are subsets of men and women who display truly bisexual patterns of sexual attraction and interest.

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An Intersectional Analysis of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) People's Evaluations of Anti-Queer Violence

Doug Meyer
Gender & Society, December 2012, Pages 849-873

Abstract:
The author uses an intersectionality framework to examine how lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people evaluate the severity of their violent experiences. Previous research focusing on the severity of anti-LGBT violence has given relatively little attention to race, class, and gender as systems of power. In contrast, results from this study, based on 47 semi-structured, in-depth interviews, reveal that Black and Latino/Latina respondents often perceived anti-queer violence as implying that they had negatively represented their racial communities, whereas white respondents typically overlooked the racialized implications of their violent experiences. Furthermore, while lesbians of color emphasized their autonomy and self-sufficiency to challenge this discourse, Black and Latino gay men underscored their emotional and physical strength to undermine perceptions that they were weak for identifying as gay. Results also indicate that LGBT people experience forms of anti-queer violence in different ways depending on their social position, as Black lesbians faced discourse that neither white lesbians nor Black gay men were likely to confront. Thus, these findings suggest that topics primarily associated with homophobia should be examined through an intersectional lens.

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Defensive reactions to slim female images in advertising: The moderating role of mode of exposure

Fang Wan et al.
Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, January 2013, Pages 37-46

Abstract:
Across three studies, we examined the impact of exposure to idealized female images, blatantly vs. subtly, on females' self-evaluations, as well as attitude towards brands endorsed by the models with these idealized body images, in marketing communications. We theorized and showed that blatant exposure can elicit defensive coping, leading to a more positive self-evaluation and a lower brand attitude toward a brand endorsed by a model with an idealized body image. When exposure is subtle, however, idealized body images lead to lowered self-evaluations and increased evaluations of endorsed brands.

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"Only Girls Who Want Fat Legs Take the Elevator": Body Image in Single-Sex and Mixed-Sex Colleges

Bettina Spencer et al.
Sex Roles, forthcoming

Abstract:
Because women at single-sex colleges are constantly surrounded by other women with whom they can visually compare themselves, and because we believed that physical appearance-based social comparison would impact body ideals and self-objectification, we predicted that students at a women's college would endorse thinner body ideals and display more self-objectification as compared to female students at a mixed-sex college, and that these differences would be especially prominent between upper grade level students. Surveys were completed by 175 undergraduate female students at a women's college and a mixed-sex college located in the same U.S. Midwestern city. Results were opposite of what we predicted; women at the women's college were more likely to endorse larger body ideals, whereas women at the mixed-sex college were more likely to endorse thinner ideals. As predicted, there was a significant difference in scores between the upper college year students; lower college year students did not show significant differences in ideals, suggesting that although female students may enter college with similar body ideals, 4 years in a mixed-sex or single-sex setting can drastically alter how women think about body types. There were no differences between schools for self-objectification or physical appearance social comparison, and physical appearance social comparison did not correlate to body ideals. Taken together, this pattern of results suggests that social comparison does not influence body ideals, but rather, other characteristics of a single-sex and mixed-sex environment do. What these characteristics may be (e.g. presence of men, exposure to counterstereotypic role models) are discussed.

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Sexual Orientation Disparities in Sexually Transmitted Infections: Examining the Intersection Between Sexual Identity and Sexual Behavior

Bethany Everett
Archives of Sexual Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
The terms MSM (men who have sex with men) and WSW (women who have sex with women) have been used with increasing frequency in the public health literature to examine sexual orientation disparities in sexual health. These categories, however, do not allow researchers to examine potential differences in sexually transmitted infection (STI) risk by sexual orientation identity. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health, this study investigated the relationship between self-reported STIs and both sexual orientation identity and sexual behaviors. Additionally, this study examined the mediating role of victimization and STI risk behaviors on the relationship between sexual orientation and self-reported STIs. STI risk was found to be elevated among heterosexual-WSW and bisexual women, whether they reported same-sex partners or not, whereas gay-identified WSW were less likely to report an STI compared to heterosexual women with opposite sex relationships only. Among males, heterosexual-identified MSM did not have a greater likelihood of reporting an STI diagnosis; rather, STI risk was concentrated among gay and bisexual identified men who reported both male and female sexual partners. STI risk behaviors mediated the STI disparities among both males and females, and victimization partially mediated STI disparities among female participants. These results suggest that relying solely on behavior-based categories, such as MSM and WSW, may mischaracterize STI disparities by sexual orientation.

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Constraints on the coevolution of contemporary human males and females

Stephen Stearns et al.
Proceedings of the Royal Society: Biological Sciences, 7 December 2012, Pages 4836-4844

Abstract:
Because autosomal genes in sexually reproducing organisms spend on average half their time in each sex, and because the traits that they influence encounter different selection pressures in males and females, the evolutionary responses of one sex are constrained by processes occurring in the other sex. Although intralocus sexual conflict can restrict sexes from reaching their phenotypic optima, no direct evidence currently supports its operation in humans. Here, we show that the pattern of multivariate selection acting on human height, weight, blood pressure and glucose, total cholesterol, and age at first birth differs significantly between males and females, and that the angles between male and female linear (77.8 ± 20.5°) and nonlinear (99.1 ± 25.9°) selection gradients were closer to orthogonal than zero, confirming the presence of sexually antagonistic selection. We also found evidence for intralocus sexual conflict demonstrated by significant changes in the predicted male and female responses to selection of individual traits when cross-sex genetic covariances were included and a significant reduction in the angle between male- and female-predicted responses when cross-sex covariances were included (16.9 ± 15.7°), compared with when they were excluded (87.9 ± 31.6°). We conclude that intralocus sexual conflict constrains the joint evolutionary responses of the two sexes in a contemporary human population.

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Using Intergroup Contact Theory to Reduce Stigma Against Transgender Individuals: Impact of a Transgender Speaker Panel Presentation

Susan Walch et al.
Journal of Applied Social Psychology, October 2012, Pages 2583-2605

Abstract:
Sexual minorities experience significant stigma and prejudice. Much research has examined sexual stigma and prejudice impacting gay and lesbian individuals, but limited research has examined other sexual minorities, such as transgender persons or individuals whose gender identity or expression is incongruent with their assigned gender or anatomical sex. Research has found that interpersonal contact with sexual minorities is associated with lower sexual stigma and prejudice. Intergroup contact theory predicts that interaction between groups can reduce stereotyping and improve intergroup relationships. Using a randomized crossover design, this study compared the impact of exposure to a transgender speaker panel vs. a traditional transgender lecture presentation on transphobia. Results indicated greater immediate reductions of transphobia following the transgender speaker panel than traditional lecture.

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‘Their type of drugs': Perceptions of substance use, sex and social boundaries among young African American and Latino gay and bisexual men

Tara McKay et al.
Culture, Health & Sexuality, November 2012, Pages 1183-1196

Abstract:
Studies of sexuality have increasingly shifted their attention towards understanding the social contexts that inform and organise sexual behaviour. Building on this work, we examine how substance use and sex are socially organised and meaningful activities for young African American and Latino gay and bisexual men who use substances with sex. Drawing on 30 qualitative interviews in Los Angeles and New York, we identify the ways in which social boundaries inform substance use among these young men. We find that many of them view the gay and racial/ethnic communities they belong to as differentiated by patterns of substance use. Further, they see these communities as actively constructing group boundaries through substance use, sanctioning the use of particular substances while simultaneously discouraging the use or discussion of others. For these young men, racial/ethnic and gay communities provide salient contexts in which the use of certain substances and not others is socially meaningful. Findings demonstrate the important and heretofore unrecognised ways that perceived social boundaries inform these young men's use of substances. As both protective and marginalising influences, perceptions of communities and social identities have real consequences for the sexual health of young African American and Latino gay and bisexual men.

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How Do U.S. Students Perceive Trans Persons?

Lynne Carroll et al.
Sex Roles, November 2012, Pages 516-527

Abstract:
This study explored undergraduate students' interpersonal responses, namely general feelings toward and desire for further social interaction with trans persons in a helping context. Secondarily, this study explored the relationship between participants' intrinsic empathy, interpersonal curiosity and interest in further interaction. Two hundred fifty-one undergraduates at a moderate sized university in the southeastern United States served as participants. In order to assess baseline levels of empathy and curiosity, participants in session 1 completed the Interpersonal Reactivity Scale (Davis 1983) and the Interpersonal Curiosity Scale (Litman and Pezzo 2007). One week later, during session 2, the same students assumed the role of a peer counselor and read 1 of 4 (male, female, male-to-female, female-to-male) randomly assigned versions of an intake form completed by a fictitious peer client. Each version was identical, with the exception of the gender identity of the peer client. Participants completed various measures of affect and interest in further interaction. Male participants reported less willingness to interact with, and the strongest negative feelings toward the FTM peer client. Men reported highest willingness to interact with the MTF client and showed the lowest negative reactions towards the MTF client. Female participants' scores on willingness to interact and on negative reactions were similar across all four intake form versions. Contrary to expectations, baseline levels of empathy and curiosity did not impact responses to gender expression. Further investigation is needed to elucidate the factors associated with anti-transgender prejudice particularly in the context of helping relationships.

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Association Between Socioeconomic Position Discrimination and Psychological Distress: Findings From a Community-Based Sample of Gay and Bisexual Men in New York City

Kristi Gamarel et al.
American Journal of Public Health, November 2012, Pages 2094-2101

Objectives: We examined the association between discrimination and mental health distress, focusing specifically on the relative importance of discrimination because of particular demographic domains (i.e., race/ethnicity, socioeconomic position [SEP]).

Methods: The research team surveyed a sample of gay and bisexual men (n = 294) at a community event in New York City. Participants completed a survey on demographics, discrimination experiences in the past 12 months, attributed domains of discrimination, and mental health distress.

Results: In adjusted models, discrimination was associated with higher depressive (B = 0.31; P < .01) and anxious (B = 0.29; P < .01) symptoms. A statistically significant quadratic term (discrimination-squared; P < .01) fit both models, such that moderate levels of discrimination were most robustly associated with poorer mental health. Discrimination because of SEP was associated with higher discrimination scores and was predictive of higher depressive (B = 0.22; P < .01) and anxious (B = 0.50; P < .01) symptoms. No other statistically significant relationship was found between discrimination domains and distress.

Conclusions: In this sample, SEP emerged as the most important domain of discrimination in its association with mental health distress. Future research should consider intersecting domains of discrimination to better understand social disparities in mental health.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM