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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Early Development of Gender-related Gay/lesbian Stereotypes


In this paper, we detail a theoretical research proposal to investigate the emergence of genderrelated gay males’ and lesbians’ stereotypes using a model called COAT measures which was used in gender stereotypes studies (Liben et al, 2012). Our idea is based on people’s tendency to attribute sexual orientation stereotypes with the opposite gender (Blashill & Powlishta, 2002). Extending on past literature on the early development of gender stereotypes on brilliance in children aged five to seven, we explored whether children in that age range start to perceive and associate gay males and lesbians with gender stereotypes of the opposite gender (Bian et al., 2019). Without carrying out the experiments, we have completed designing the framework of the study and corresponding analysis as well as addressing future ideas to enhance our understanding on the development of gay/lesbian stereotypes. Exploring the association between gender stereotypes, we hypothesize that gay/lesbian stereotypes emerge early at the same time with gender stereotypes.

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