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Examining the Influence of Gender Presentation, Sexual Orientation, and Job Type on Modern-Day Hiring Discrimination Against Gay Men Through Descriptive and Prescriptive Stereotype Moderated Mediation Models

Dillard, Joseph Solomon

The purpose of the present study was to elucidate the complexity of modern-day hiring discrimination against gay men. This is the first study known to the author that experimentally manipulated gender presentation (feminine or masculine), sexual orientation (gay or heterosexual), and job type (gay- and female-typed or heterosexual- and male-typed) to examine their collective effect on hiring recommendation. Furthermore, much remains to be understood about how descriptive and prescriptive stereotypes operate to explain hiring discrimination against gay men. Drawing on implicit inversion theory, social cognitive career theory, and the lack of fit model, a descriptive stereotype model was proposed to investigate the influence of descriptive stereotypes (perceptions of communality and agency) about male subtypes (gender presentation-sexual orientation combinations), in conjunction with occupational stereotypes about the extent to which different male subtypes are believed to occupy specific job types, on perceptions of job fit and hiring recommendation.

Drawing on expectancy violation theory, a prescriptive stereotype model was also proposed to explore the influence of stereotypical expectations about male subtypes, and male subtype-job type combinations, on consequences of prescriptive stereotype violation (perceptions of respect) and hiring recommendation. Sexual orientation did not have an effect in the descriptive or prescriptive stereotype models. However, results of the descriptive stereotype model revealed that perceptions of job fit decreased when gender presentation misaligned with job type (feminine-presenting men who applied to the heterosexual- and male-typed job and masculine-presenting men who applied to the gay- and female-typed job). Evidence of moderated mediation indicated that when applying to the heterosexual- and male-typed job, feminine-presenting men were seen as less agentic, and thus received lower ratings for hiring recommendation, than masculine-presenting men. In contrast, when applying to the gay- and female-typed job, masculine-presenting men were seen as less communal, and thus received lower ratings for hiring recommendation, than feminine-presenting men. These findings suggest that perceptions of agency and communality, and job fit, were serial mediators that positively correlated with hiring recommendation. Evidence of moderated mediation for the prescriptive stereotype model occurred only for the gay- and female-typed job, revealing that masculine-presenting men were less respected, and thus received lower ratings for hiring recommendation, than feminine-presenting men. Follow-up research to develop and refine the proposed descriptive and prescriptive stereotype models is crucial to furthering our understanding of hiring discrimination against gay men in today’s organizations.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Social-Organizational Psychology
Thesis Advisors
Block, Caryn J.
Degree
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
May 4, 2021