hands open holding letters that spell LGBTQ

Associated Faculty: Allison Vaughn

Office: LSS-175 | Phone: (619 594-5536 | Email: [email protected]

Allison Vaughn

My interest in LGBTQ research stemmed from my work with the Safe Zones Program at San Diego State University. One hallmark of the Safe Zones Program is that it is a voluntary diversity training program. Many people who go through the Safe Zones training have relatively positive attitudes towards sexual minorities, but what about those with negative attitudes? I was funded by the SDSU University Grants Program to start this line of research in 2013. In one study, I examined stereotypes, emotions, and behaviors towards sexual minorities and found the Stereotype Content Model and the BIAS map to be useful theoretical tools (Vaughn, Teeters, Sadler, & Cronan, under review). I supervised an MA student who was interested in how we might influence attitudes towards different sexual identity groups. In our search for attitudinal measures for a variety of sexual identity groups, we could not find one for heterosexuals so we created our own and psychometrically validated it (Vaughn & Teeters, 2015).

Along a different line of research, I wanted to study how people perceive the sexual identity of others and what influences that process. Previous research has shown that when resources are scarce, we make our ingroup boundaries stricter (i.e., ingroup overexclusion) with regard to racial categories. I wanted to test this with respect to sexual identity – does resource scarcity influence how we decide who is straight and who is gay? The recent economic recession (resource scarcity) coupled with the recent debates surrounding rights for sexual minorities made this a timely research question (Vaughn, Cronan, & Beavers, 2015). I am currently collaborating with Dr. Nicholas Rule (University of Toronto) to see if these resource scarcity effects generalize to a new set of stimuli. Using Signal Detection Theory as an analytic strategy, we hope to better understand the mechanism(s) involved.

Finally, a new Center for Research on Sexuality and Sexual Health has currently being established and I am looking forward to collaborating with other colleagues here at SDSU (Dr. Heather Corliss, Dr. Eric Buhi, Dr. Aaron Blashill amongst others) in this new endeavor!

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