The Implications Of Sexual Orientation

1991 Words 8 Pages
Can people tell another person’s sexual orientation? Is the process from which people apply and categorize people based on stereotype effected by political ideology? Whether or not these processes are accurate, do people believe they can and use their decisions to justify future behavior? These questions have huge implications for social activism, law, as well as social psychology. Stern et al. (2013) were motivated to explore whether or not the ability to accurately categorize people by sexual orientation through the use of visual cues was affected by political ideology, hypothesizing that ideological differences in cognitive style affect the process involved in making categorical judgements about sexual orientation.
Sub-hypotheses were studied
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In terms of social activism, the results put into question the push for greater representation, labeling the use of these cues as prejudiced, or teaching or diverse cultural knowledge when social contact is not as relevant as encouraging a need for greater cognition, at least when it comes to people using stereotype corrective processes for sexual orientation. While Stern et al. warns about the implications of prejudice after categorization, prevention aimed interventions and diversity training programs that aim to stop prejudice from happening prior would do well to include measures and programs aimed at encouraging a need for cognition and teaching processes for stereotype correction. In legal contexts, antidiscrimination laws like those discussed by Stern et al. would be better informed by understanding that people do in fact categorize individuals into sexual orientation categories and are thus likely to act on them. This legitimates many narratives of discrimination by those perceived to be in the minority without having to even be necessarily a part of the minority group, as the study has also established the processes to not be entirely accurate. These cases would be very informed by the majority political ideology of the location or context of the case. The study of Social psychology is also informed on the implication for political ideology as an indicator for social …show more content…
One such explanation for these results might have to do with social influence and persuasion (Crisp & Turner, 2014). As cues are considered part of the peripheral route of persuasion, processing them requires low cognitive engagement and energy, which would explain how both conservatives and liberals have equal knowledge and similar valance of stereotypical cues. However, while egalitarianism may not be threatened by neutral or positive stereotypes, it may in fact be important to the process as it makes stereotype correction a product of more active engagement, at least in the case of sexual orientation. Given liberals increased time with and endorsement for the rights of gay men, as evidenced by these studies, it’s possible that sexual orientation acts as a cue for political salience, increasing engagement, which encourages systematic processing, which encourages more cognitively costly corrective processes. Thus, stereotype correction would be a result political saliency rather than a need for

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