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View Diary: I Study Homophobia (234 comments)

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  •  I don't know. (17+ / 0-)

    I don't really know why it is this way.  I can't pinpoint it at all.  I study men, even though they are a pain in the ass to study.  That is just were my interests have led me.  I'm not sure why this bias exists, but it does.

    You see it everywhere.  When I taught Intro to Psychology, I asked my students to name all of the drugs to treat male sex disorders.  This was followed by lots of discussion.  Then I asked them to name the drugs for female sex disorders.  Crickets.

    The few, the proud, the Pro-Israel Kossaks.

    by psychodrew on Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 09:19:03 AM PDT

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    •  I remember a discussion about it in my (4+ / 0-)

      research methods and statistics class.

      Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way. Booker T. Washington

      by conlakappa on Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 09:51:35 AM PDT

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    •  I'm going to take a wild guess (13+ / 0-)

      and say that male bias exists across just about everything (not just talking academics here).  It's just a consequence of a male-dominant society.  

    •  do you study cross-cultural distinctions as well? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      trashablanca, kyril, asym

      Does the disgust for gay men & for stepping in dog poo, for instance, show similar correlation in Russia, China, and Tahiti?

      Are your study subjects mainly US college students?

      •  Several great questions! (7+ / 0-)

        I personally have never done a cross-cultural study, but the CAD triad hypothesis (mentioned in the diary) looking at how violations of different ethical codes elicited distinct emotions was a cross-cultural study (Japan and the US) and the pattern largely replicated across the two cultures.  Dr. Haidt's disgust scale has been translated into several different languages, but I don't recall having actually seen published studies.  I understand that clinical psychologists sometimes use his scale in practice and research, so that may be why.

        Most of my studies have been done with college students.  I think have two studies with non-student samples, one of which was a study of prejudice within the gay community.  I didn't really get much good data.

        Dr. Herek has done several studies using nation-wide phone banks and I believe that what he has found is that the effects (the size of the differences) tend to be a bit smaller than what we find in college samples.

        The few, the proud, the Pro-Israel Kossaks.

        by psychodrew on Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 11:28:35 AM PDT

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    •  You're right (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TiaRachel, trashablanca, kyril

      Men have unfortunately been considered the cultural "norm." This has been true of medical as well as social science research although at least there seems to be some recognition of this and some consequent changes.

      Re: trans research. I think part of the problem is that there are relatively few trans people and just getting a subject pool would be daunting. Should also mention that most of the LGB work has arisen from LGB individuals themselves. Would expect that this will also be true for trans folks and it will be important to identify people interested in research. For example, I'm aware of a couple of trans psychologists but neither do research. However, Division 44 (LGBT) of APA is interested in getting some research done and they may well provide leadership as they have for LGB research.

      The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking. John Kenneth Galbraith

      by Psyche on Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 12:35:10 PM PDT

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      •  I never thought of it that way. (6+ / 0-)

        The bias as a consequence of male as the cultural "norm."  Interesting.

        I read a really great paper by Shelley Taylor last fall on the differences in male and female responses to stress.  She argued in this paper that the "fight or flight" response that has long been assumed to be the universal response is actually a male response.  She coined the female response "tend and befriend".  Anyway, in the paper, she suggested that one reason that it has taken until now for somebody to notice is that most participants in stress studies were men!  In talking to other researchers, I discovered that researchers don't like using women in medical and psychophysiology studies because of hormones and pregnancy.  Stunning.

        The few, the proud, the Pro-Israel Kossaks.

        by psychodrew on Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 12:43:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Interesting. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TiaRachel, trashablanca, elginblt

          Hadn't read the paper but, yes, I'm aware that not using women has been rationalized using pregnancy, hormones, etc. as an excuse. Of course that doesn't explain the fact that racial minorities were left out of studies as well. And there are important consequences, e.g., differential response to medication. When I said male as the "cultural norm," I probably should have said heterosexual, white male. ;^)

          The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking. John Kenneth Galbraith

          by Psyche on Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 01:03:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Stunning especially since hormones ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kyril

          ... are what conduct the stress response in both men and women (as is widely known in medicine).

          This seems to be the reasoning of researchers excluding women from studies:

          1. Hormones regulate the stress response.
          1. Women have different hormones than men.

          Therefore,

          1. Study only men, to keep things simple (because that covers people generally, like when "man" is used for "human" - or if not, at least the most important people are being studied).

          Whereas the same two points can instead lead to:

          1. Study women and men separately, with attention to similarities and differences to find out how both kinds of bodies work (because both kinds are people and therefore important to know about).

          This is an example of how facts used to justify second-class treatment of some people actually make the case for equal treatment.

          The facts are the same - the difference is how they are used.

          To mean that means there's opportunity to point out a "jujitsu" argument and turn the logic around (at least occasionally in a discussion)!

          Thanks psychodrew for this diary!

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