Gay Emotions: A Person-Perception Perspective

[Speaker] Kranz, Dirk:1
[Co-author] Wortmeier, Theresa:1
1:University of Trier (Germany)

This study explores the impact of target males' facial emotion expression on the attribution of gender role and sexual orientation. Referring to the gender-inversion effect, men showing "female emotions" (happiness and sadness) should be rather categorized as gay than men showing "male emotions" (anger and contempt). The data (N = 295) confirmed this hypothesis and suggested an especially close link between perceived happiness and male homosexuality attribution. This link was partially mediated by increased femininity and decreased masculinity attribution while there were full gender-role mediation effects for the three other emotions. The data pattern neither depended on participant homosexism nor participant sex (males usually report more homosexism as was the case in the present sample). Taken together, this study corroborates the validity of the gender-inversion hypothesis in the domain of facial emotion expression and underlines the conceptual distinction between (anti)gay stereotypes and prejudice.
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