Do we reward gay men for sounding gay? Do we punish straight men for sounding gay?

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This research examined the joint effects of homosexual linguistic variation and sexual orientation on the stigmatization of male students applying for college admission. Participants were asked to listen to a tape of a speaker who was identified as homosexual, heterosexual, or unspecified and spoke with either stereotypical gay speech or standard speech. Participants made admission decisions, indicated the amount of scholarship funding to be offered, and completed a measure of desired social distance. Participants responded more positively to the homosexual speaker when he spoke with stereotypical gay speech than with standard speech but gave a heterosexual speaker less of a scholarship when he spoke with gay speech. Negative attitudes toward homosexuals were related to greater desired social distance toward homosexuals, especially if the individual spoke with gay speech, but did not predict admission or scholarship decision ratings. The results are discussed in terms of the potential negative consequences of expectancy violations versus the benefits of conformity to stereotypes.

Source: “The Interactive Effects of Homosexual Speech and Sexual Orientation on the Stigmatization of Men Evidence for Expectancy Violation Theory” from Journal of Language and Social Psychology

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