It doesn't fit

Kevin Lewis

March 28, 2015

The Glass Runway: How Gender and Sexuality Shape the Spotlight in Fashion Design

Allyson Stokes
Gender & Society, April 2015, Pages 219-243

Fashion design is a feminized occupation, but there is a widespread perception that gay male designers are advantaged in receiving awards, publicity, and praise. This article develops the notion of a “glass runway” to explain this inequality. First, using design canons and lists of award recipients, I show that men, especially gay men, receive more consecration than women. Second, I show how men and women are consecrated differently by analyzing the content of 157 entries in Voguepedia’s design canon and 96 fashion media articles. Attributions of value and legitimacy construct a gendered image of the ideal fashion designer through discourses of art and culture that reinforce essentialist ideas about gender difference. Because cultural value is ambiguous, processes of valorization are shaped by gender essentialism, pushing male cultural producers down the glass runway and into the spotlight of fame, consecration, and legitimation. Finally, the case of fashion design offers insights into how intersecting inequalities can shape the glass runway. Gay designers experience both valorization and discrimination from intersections of gender and sexuality.


Relationship Preferences Among Gay and Lesbian Online Daters: Individual and Contextual Influences

Gina Potârcă, Melinda Mills & Wiebke Neberich
Journal of Marriage and Family, April 2015, Pages 523–541

There is currently little knowledge about what gay men and lesbians seek in a romantic relationship. This study extends the literature on gay men and lesbians' partnership preferences by engaging in the first large-scale empirical study of the long-term dating intentions and monogamy beliefs of gay and lesbian online daters across 53 regions in 8 European countries (N = 24,598). Looking at profile and preference information, the authors examined both individual and contextual determinants in a series of multilevel logistic regression analyses. They show that lesbians give more importance to monogamy but show less interest in starting a long-term relationship. The data also reveal the importance of life course aspects such as relationship history and presence of children. Finally, the authors empirically demonstrate that social tolerance and legal recognition of same-sex unions are associated with higher long-term dating intentions and stronger monogamy beliefs.


Medical Aspects of Transgender Military Service

Joycelyn Elders et al.
Armed Forces & Society, April 2015, Pages 199-220

At least eighteen countries allow transgender personnel to serve openly, but the United States is not among them. In this article, we assess whether US military policies that ban transgender service members are based on medically sound rationales. To do so, we analyze Defense Department regulations and consider a wide range of medical data. Our conclusion is that there is no compelling medical reason for the ban on service by transgender personnel, that the ban is an unnecessary barrier to health care access for transgender personnel, and that medical care for transgender individuals should be managed using the same standards that apply to all others. Removal of the military’s ban on transgender service would improve health outcomes, enable commanders to better care for their troops, and reflect the military’s commitment to providing outstanding medical care for all military personnel.


Structural stigma and sexual orientation disparities in adolescent drug use

Mark Hatzenbuehler et al.
Addictive Behaviors, July 2015, Pages 14–18

Although epidemiologic studies have established the existence of large sexual orientation disparities in illicit drug use among adolescents and young adults, the determinants of these disparities remain understudied. This study sought to determine whether sexual orientation disparities in illicit drug use are potentiated in states that are characterized by high levels of stigma surrounding sexual minorities. State-level structural stigma was coded using a previously established measure based on a 4-item composite index: (1) density of same-sex couples; (2) proportion of Gay–Straight Alliances per public high school; (3) 5 policies related to sexual orientation discrimination (e.g., same-sex marriage, employment non-discrimination); and (4) public opinion toward homosexuality (aggregated responses from 41 national polls). The index was linked to individual-level data from the Growing Up Today Study, a prospective community-based study of adolescents (2001–2010). Sexual minorities report greater illicit drug use than their heterosexual peers. However, for both men and women, there were statistically significant interactions between sexual orientation status and structural stigma, such that sexual orientation disparities in marijuana and illicit drug use were more pronounced in high-structural stigma states than in low-structural stigma states, controlling for individual- and state-level confounders. For instance, among men, the risk ratio indicating the association between sexual orientation and marijuana use was 24% greater in high- versus low-structural stigma states, and for women it was 28% greater in high- versus low-structural stigma states. Stigma in the form of social policies and attitudes may contribute to sexual orientation disparities in illicit drug use.


A Comparison of the Mental Health and Well-Being of Sexual Minority and Heterosexual First-Year Medical Students: A Report From the Medical Student CHANGE Study

Julia Przedworski et al.
Academic Medicine, forthcoming

Purpose: Research is lacking on psychological distress and disorder among sexual minority medical students (students who identify as nonheterosexual). If left unaddressed, distress may result in academic and professional difficulties and undermine workforce diversity goals. The authors compared depression, anxiety, and self-rated health among sexual minority and heterosexual medical students.

Method: This study included 4,673 first-year students who self-reported sexual orientation in the fall 2010 baseline survey of the Medical Student Cognitive Habits and Growth Evaluation Study, a national longitudinal cohort study. The authors used items from published scales to measure depression, anxiety, self-rated health, and social stressors. They conducted bivariate and multivariate analyses to estimate the association between sexual identity and depression, anxiety, and self-rated health.

Results: Of 4,673 students, 232 (5.0%) identified as a sexual minority. Compared with heterosexual students, after adjusting for relevant covariates, sexual minority students had greater risk of depressive symptoms (adjusted relative risk [ARR] = 1.59 [95% confidence interval, 1.24-2.04]), anxiety symptoms (ARR = 1.64 [1.08-2.49]), and low self-rated health (ARR = 1.77 [1.15-2.60]). Sexual minority students were more likely to report social stressors, including harassment (22.7% versus 12.7%, P < .001) and isolation (53.7% versus 42.8%, P = .001). Exposure to social stressors attenuated but did not eliminate the observed associations between minority sexual identity and mental and self-reported health measures.

Conclusions: First-year sexual minority students experience significantly greater risk of depression, anxiety, and low self-rated health than heterosexual students. Targeted interventions are needed to improve mental health and well-being.


Translating Oppression: Understanding How Sexual Minority Status is Associated With White Men’s Racial Attitudes

Sela Kleiman, Lisa Spanierman & Nathan Grant Smith
Psychology of Men & Masculinity, forthcoming

The present study comprised 3 interrelated purposes. First, the authors examined differences between White heterosexual (n = 97) and sexual minority (e.g., gay, bisexual, and queer; n = 83) men on various racial attitudes and empathy. Second, they examined whether highlighting oppressed identity status with an experimental prime could influence racial empathy. Third, the authors investigated whether sexual orientation disclosure and experiences with heterosexist discrimination among sexual minority men were associated with racial attitudes directly and indirectly through racial empathy. Key findings included: (a) sexual minority participants demonstrated more positive racial attitudes and empathy than heterosexual men; (b) there was no effect of prime on racial empathy; and (c) sexual orientation disclosure and experiences with heterosexism were associated significantly with positive racial attitudes indirectly through racial empathy. Implications for diversity education and future research directions are discussed.


The Power of Love: The Role of Emotional Attributions and Standards in Heterosexuals' Attitudes toward Lesbian and Gay Couples

Long Doan, Lisa Miller & Annalise Loehr
Social Forces, forthcoming

Do people attribute emotions differently to members of various social groups? If so, do these differences have any bearing on formal and informal forms of social recognition? Using data from a nationally representative survey experiment, we examine whether American heterosexuals differentially attribute love to lesbian, gay, and heterosexual couples. We also examine the relationship between how in love lesbian, gay, and heterosexual couples are perceived to be and attitudes toward (1) granting them partnership benefits (formal rights); (2) the acceptability of their public displays of affection (informal privileges); and (3) marriage. Three main findings suggest that heterosexuals differentially attribute love to different types of romantic couples and that these differences are related to willingness to grant social recognition. First, gay couples are viewed as less loving than both heterosexual and lesbian couples; lesbian couples are seen as equally loving as heterosexual couples. Second, perceptions of love are related to willingness to grant social recognition. Third, perceptions of love matter more for gay and, to a lesser extent, lesbian couples than for heterosexual couples regarding informal privileges and marriage. In contrast, love matters equally for same-sex and heterosexual couples regarding formal rights. The results show that gay couples are penalized most in terms of perceptions of love and social recognition, whereas lesbians occupy a liminal space between heterosexual and gay couples. Collectively, these findings suggest that sexual identity and gender shape emotional attributions, which in turn play a key role in explaining inequalities that same-sex couples face.


Exploring the Social Integration of Sexual Minority Youth Across High School Contexts

Alexa Martin-Storey et al.
Child Development, forthcoming

Mental health disparities between sexual minority and other youth have been theorized to result in part from the effects of the stigmatization on social integration. Stochastic actor-based modeling was applied to complete network data from two high schools in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Mage = 15 years, N = 2,533). Same-sex attracted youth were socially marginalized in a smaller predominantly White school but not in a larger, more racially diverse school. For both schools, homophily was a critical network feature, and could represent social support for and social segregation of such youth. These findings emphasize the school context in studying the social lives of sexual minority youth and suggest that youth may be better off socially in larger and more diverse schools.


Sexual Orientation Identity Change and Depressive Symptoms: A Longitudinal Analysis

Bethany Everett
Journal of Health and Social Behavior, March 2015, Pages 37-58

Several new studies have documented high rates of sexual identity mobility among young adults, but little work has investigated the links between identity change and mental health. This study uses the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (N = 11,727) and employs multivariate regression and propensity score matching to investigate the impact of identity change on depressive symptoms. The results reveal that only changes in sexual identity toward more same-sex-oriented identities are associated with increases in depressive symptoms. Moreover, the negative impacts of identity change are concentrated among individuals who at baseline identified as heterosexual or had not reported same-sex romantic attraction or relationships. No differences in depressive symptoms by sexual orientation identity were found among respondents who reported stable identities. Future research should continue to investigate the factors that contribute to the relationship between identity change and depression, such as stigma surrounding sexual fluidity.


Salivary oxytocin increases concurrently with testosterone and time away from home among returning Tsimane’ hunters

Adrian Jaeggi et al.
Biology Letters, March 2015

Oxytocin, testosterone and cortisol can have opposing effects on social behaviour, yet few studies have examined their interactions. We measured changes in salivary oxytocin, testosterone and cortisol among Tsimane’ men returning home after hunting, an ancient context of male status competition, parental investment and cooperation. Contra normal diurnal rhythm, oxytocin increased relative to baseline and this increase was positively associated with duration of the hunt and change in testosterone, but not cortisol, social context, hunting outcome or physical activity. The concurrent increase in endogenous peripheral oxytocin and testosterone is unexpected given their opposing independent effects on social cognition and behaviour, and has not been observed before. We discuss the potential significance of these effects for the biology of pair-bonding, parenting and social foraging in humans and other species.


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