College students' multiple stereotypes of lesbians: A cognitive perspective

Wendy Geiger, Jake Harwood, Mary Lee Hummert

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


This paper examines stereotypes of lesbians held by college students. Multiple stereotypes are elicited from a free response trait listing task, followed by a sorting task. The results of the sorting task are submitted to cluster analysis and multidimensional scaling to reveal the complexity of cognitive representations of this group. Eight types are described, reflecting underlying distinctions between positive perceptions (e.g., lipstick lesbian, career-oriented feminist) and negative perceptions (e.g., sexually deviant, angry butch) and also between relative strength and weakness. The research is discussed in terms of cognitive perspectives on stereotyping and gender inversion theory. Suggestions for future research are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-182
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Homosexuality
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 11 2006


  • Attitudes
  • Cluster analysis
  • Cognition
  • Gay
  • Homophobia
  • Intergroup
  • Lesbians
  • Stereotypes
  • Traits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Psychology(all)


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