Cultural stereotypes and personal beliefs: Perceptions of heterosexual men, women, and people

Jes L. Matsick, Terri D. Conley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The present research prioritizes minority groups' perspectives, specifically in the context of lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, and transgender (LGBQT) and heterosexual dynamics. Study 1 elucidates LGB people's knowledge of stereotypes about heterosexuals, whereas Study 2 examines the extent to which LGBQT people believe in stereotypes about heterosexuals. In Study 1, we asked a large sample of LGB-identified participants to describe cultural stereotypes that exist about heterosexual men, women, or people (gender unspecified) and analyzed the data in terms of frequency and thematic content. Results indicated that cultural stereotypes about heterosexual targets are gendered (e.g., macho and aggressive; hyper-feminine and submissive) and negative in content (e.g., closed-minded and judgmental). In Study 2, we measured LGBQT participants' personal endorsement of cultural stereotypes about heterosexual target groups (generated by participants in Study 1). The results of Study 2 demonstrated that LGBQT participants' beliefs about heterosexual men and people overlap, whereas participants tend to perceive heterosexual women in a favorable light. Taken together, these 2 studies offer new insight into intergroup relations between sexual minorities and heterosexuals by evaluating the cultural stereotypes and personal beliefs held by LGBQT people.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-128
Number of pages16
JournalPsychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • General Psychology


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