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Sexual Orientation as Gendered to the Everyday Perceiver


We present an integrated interdisciplinary review of people’s tendency to perceive sexual orientation as a fundamentally gendered phenomenon. We draw from psychology and other disciplines to illustrate that, across cultures and over time, people view and evaluate lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals through how they conform or fail to conform to traditional gender expectations. We divide the review into two sections. The first draws upon historical, anthropological, legal, and qualitative approaches. The second draws upon psychological and sociological quantitative studies. A common thread across these disciplines is that gender and sexual orientation are inseparable constructs in the mind of the everyday social perceiver.

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Correspondence to P. J. Henry.

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We would like to thank Anne Maass, Jaime Napier, Maria Laura Bettinsoli, and Andrea Bellovary for their valuable feedback.

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Henry, P.J., Steiger, R.L. Sexual Orientation as Gendered to the Everyday Perceiver. Sex Roles 87, 117–138 (2022).

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  • Lesbians
  • Gay men
  • Bisexuals
  • Attitudes
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender roles