Exploring the Relationship between Gay Men’s Self- and Meta-Stereotype Endorsement with Well-Being and Self-Worth

Hinton, J. (Australian Catholic University), Anderson, J. (Australian Catholic University & Australian Research Centre for Sex, Health, and Society [ARCSHS], La Trobe University)

Stereotypes typically have negative impacts on stigmatized minority groups, especially when endorsed by members of that group. This paper examines the prevalence and consequences of stereotype endorsement on well-being within the gay community. Specifically, we explored the differential relationship of gay men’s self-stereotype (i.e., personal beliefs about the stereotypes pertaining to your in-group) and meta-stereotype (i.e., believing that out-group members endorse stereotypes pertaining to your in-group) endorsement on mental and cognitive well-being. The sample of 253 gay male participants (aged 18 – 78 years; M = 38.25, SD = 13.51) completed an online questionnaire assessing demographics, self- and meta-stereotype endorsement, mental well-being (depression, anxiety, stress), and cognitive well-being (life satisfaction, self-worth) measures. We found evidence that our sample endorsed both self- and meta-stereotypes (however only meta-stereotyping was significantly endorsed to a higher degree), with meta-stereotypes being endorsed more strongly than self-stereotypes. Regression analyses revealed a unique pattern of findings about the consequences of endorsing stereotypes: increases in self-stereotyping predicted decreases in mental well-being, whereas increases in meta-stereotyping predicted decreases in cognitive well-being. Limitations and future directions are discussed.


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Queer Health Symposium