This study explored the lexical semantics of common same-sex sexuality labels (i.e., homosexual, gay, gay man, lesbian, and no label) by presenting 395 participants with a short story about a fictitious person. The goal was to determine what effects these labels (as well as their social status) would have on participants’ willingness to interact socially with and participants’ support for their civil rights. Age, gender, religious affiliation, and contact with sexual minorities were assessed for each participant, and participants were also asked to rate the likely gender of the fictitious person. Results revealed that neither social status nor sexuality label had an influence on participants’ support for civil rights; however, participants were more willing to interact with the fictitious person when they were of higher status. Additionally, willingness to interact was also influenced by label: male participants were more willing to interact with the fictitious person who identified as a gay man or as a lesbian than the fictitious person who identified as homosexual or as gay, but labels did not have a significant influence on female participants’ willingness to interact. Contact with sexual minorities and not affiliating with a particular religion were associated with more willingness to interact with the fictitious person and higher support for their civil rights. Discussion suggests that same-sex sexuality labels may have various meaning components associated with them that influence individuals’ opinions of LGB individuals. The gendered terms gay man and lesbian had more positive valence associated with them (when compared to homosexual and gay) as demonstrated by male participants’ reactions. The term homosexual was found to be the most gender neutral option and gay appeared to be more associated with the male gender.
|Advisor:||Breaux, Brooke O.|
|Commitee:||Brown, Amy L., Sandoz, Emily K.|
|School:||University of Louisiana at Lafayette|
|School Location:||United States -- Louisiana|
|Source:||MAI 56/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Linguistics, GLBT Studies, Psychology|
|Keywords:||Gay men, Homosexuality, LGBT discourse, Labels, Lesbian women, Psycholinguistics, Same-sex sexuality|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be