Lesbian stereotypes

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Health Care for Women International


The American Psychological Association's Committee on Gay and Lesbian Concerns (Herek, 1987) expressed a need for research that focuses specifically on the concerns of lesbians. To this end, we attempted to identify stereotypes about lesbians, as noted in 278 female nursing students’ responses to open‐ended questions. Content analysis of the responses revealed a number of consistent themes or stereotypes. The most prevalent stereotypes included lesbians’ seduction of heterosexual women, lesbian “boasting,”; and the “masculine aura”; of lesbians. None of the participant variables (age, educational level, social class, and type of nursing education) were significantly related to particular stereotypes. The impact of stereotypes on the acceptance of lesbians within society is discussed.