Playing the part

Kevin Lewis

June 10, 2017

Identity Management: Worker Independence and Discrimination against Gay Men
Michael Martell
Contemporary Economic Policy, forthcoming


I build on a growing literature documenting wage differentials for gay men by showing that the wage differential gay men experience varies significantly across occupations with different levels of worker independence. The penalty is smallest in management and professional occupations, which involve a high level of worker independence. It is largest in service occupations, which include a lower level of independence. This distribution of earnings penalties is consistent with discrimination being the source of the gay wage penalty. The results support the conjecture that higher levels of independence allow gay men to more successfully manage the disclosure of sexual orientation and mediate the negative effects of discrimination.

Child Gender Influences Paternal Behavior, Language, and Brain Function
Jennifer Mascaro et al.
Behavioral Neuroscience, June 2017, Pages 262-273


Multiple lines of research indicate that fathers often treat boys and girls differently in ways that impact child outcomes. The complex picture that has emerged, however, is obscured by methodological challenges inherent to the study of parental caregiving, and no studies to date have examined the possibility that gender differences in observed real-world paternal behavior are related to differential paternal brain responses to male and female children. Here we compare fathers of daughters and fathers of sons in terms of naturalistically observed everyday caregiving behavior and neural responses to child picture stimuli. Compared with fathers of sons, fathers of daughters were more attentively engaged with their daughters, sang more to their daughters, used more analytical language and language related to sadness and the body with their daughters, and had a stronger neural response to their daughter's happy facial expressions in areas of the brain important for reward and emotion regulation (medial and lateral orbitofrontal cortex [OFC]). In contrast, fathers of sons engaged in more rough and tumble play (RTP), used more achievement language with their sons, and had a stronger neural response to their son's neutral facial expressions in the medial OFC (mOFC). Whereas the mOFC response to happy faces was negatively related to RTP, the mOFC response to neutral faces was positively related to RTP, specifically for fathers of boys. These results indicate that real-world paternal behavior and brain function differ as a function of child gender.

The Darling and the Dyke: Differing Receptions in the Coming-Out of Jason Collins and Brittney Griner
Jaime Loke
Journal of Sports Media, Fall 2016, Pages 129-158


Drawing from over 25,000 online-news readers' comments, this article examines the differing self-outing receptions of basketball players Jason Collins and Brittney Griner. Relying on a thematic textual analysis, the results indicated that the public's receptions and reactions between the two athletes vastly differed. Collins's coming-out announcement was greeted with great jubilation, whereas Griner's revelation was much less celebrated in the press and was also the subject of heavy criticism in the comments section.

Identifying With a Stereotype: The Divergent Effects of Exposure to Homosexual Television Characters
Bryan McLaughlin & Nathian Rodriguez
Journal of Homosexuality, September 2017, Pages 1196-1213


Scholars examining homosexual television characters have typically come to one of two conclusions: either exposure to homosexual characters can lead to increased acceptance, or homosexual characters serve to reaffirm negative stereotypes. We seek to bridge these two bodies of research by introducing the concept of stereotyped identification - the idea that cognitively and emotionally identifying with fictional characters can increase acceptance of minorities, while reinforcing implicit stereotypes about how they look, act, and talk. Results from our national survey (N = 972) offer support for this hypothesis.

Physical Androgyny and Categorization Difficulty Shape Political Conservatives' Attitudes Toward Transgender People
Chadly Stern & Nicholas Rule
Social Psychological and Personality Science, forthcoming


Researchers have recently begun to examine how categorization processes impact social evaluations. In two studies, we examined how sex categorization influences attitudes toward transgender individuals. We found that people evaluated transgender individuals more negatively if they possessed physically androgynous (vs. sex-typical) characteristics because they struggled to identify their sex. These relationships were stronger among political conservatives compared to individuals with more liberal political views. These findings provide new insights for research on attitudes toward gender minorities and for the role of political ideology in social judgments.

Are Anti-Bullying Laws Effective?
Ari Ezra Waldman
Cornell Law Review, forthcoming


Since 2010, when several high profile bullying-related suicides brought bullying and cyberharassment into the national consciousness, all 50 states have passed laws that address bullying among the nation's youth. This essay is the first in a series of three projects on federal, state, municipal, and individual school approaches to bullying. There are only 4 published studies on the relationships between law and bullying rates. This Essay adds several features to the discourse. It offers a comprehensive analysis of the contents of state anti-bullying laws, using a 16-item list of guidelines from the United States Department of Education as a frame. It then considers how effective these laws are at reducing the rates of bullying and cyberbullying among lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) youth. Using various statistical models, this essay shows that having an anti-bullying law alone - even a comprehensive one - is not sufficient to have a significant effect on rates of bullying, cyberbullying, and suicidal thoughts among LGB teenagers. Rather, states with more pro-equality laws, in general, reflecting a long-standing commitment to LGBTQ inclusion, are more likely to have lower rates of LGB bullying in schools. Anti-bullying laws have only a minor, enhancing effect on that relationship. This analysis has implications not just for state and local efforts to combat bullying and harassment, but also highlights the profound public safety benefits associated with social and legal commitments to equality.

to your National Affairs subscriber account.

Already a subscriber? Activate your account.


Unlimited access to intelligent essays on the nation’s affairs.

Subscribe to National Affairs.