In my work, I’ve examined the role of people’s stereotypes and cognitive representations of groups in justifying inequality. I’ve investigated the prescriptive expectations society has of men and women of different social identities (e.g., race, sexual orientation, and religion), as much of the current literature on gender stereotypes assumes that labels like “men” and “women” activate generalizable representations. As my work has consistently found that there is a divergence between what people descriptively assume non-prototypical groups are like and what they should be like, I’ve continued to investigate this divergence in the realm of ability for sexual minorities. More specifically, I investigate whether gay men and lesbian women’s presumed competencies in gender specific domains follow a gendered inversion theory. For example, do people assume gay men are competent in masculine domains like mathematics and leadership because they are men, or perhaps lesbian women are assumed to be better in these domains because of a presumption of increased masculinity. Finally, I’ve examined the implicit content of slurs towards marginalized groups that have been reclaimed. For example, does using slurs such as “nigga” or “bitch” in self-referent ways lead such words to become more positive implicitly.
Papers in progress include:
- Low status, and not gender inversion, predicts perceived competencies of gay men and lesbian women