Steffens, Melanie C.; Niedlich, Claudia; Beschorner, Rosa; Köhler, Maren C. Sex Roles. May 2019, Vol. 80 Issue 9/10, p548-564. 17p.

Traditional gender stereotypes encompass (typically masculine) agency, comprising task-related competence, and (typically feminine) communion or warmth. Both agency and communion are important for successful performance in many jobs. Stereotypes of gay men include the perception that they are less gender-typed than their heterosexual counterparts are (i.e., more gay-stereotypical and less masculine). Using a German sample, Experiment 1 (n = 273) tested whether gay men at the same time appear higher in communion, but lower in agency than heterosexual men and whether a trade-off in hireability impressions results between both groups if jobs require both agency and communion. We measured participants’ willingness to work together with applicants, in addition to hireability, as dependent variables, and we assessed as mediators perceived masculinity, how gay-stereotypical male targets were judged, as well as perceived communion and agency. Findings showed that gay men appeared more gay-stereotypical, less masculine, and more communal than heterosexual men, but no difference in agency was observed. The direct effects of sexual orientation on willingness to engage in work-related contact and on hireability were not significant. Instead, both positive and negative indirect effects of sexual orientation on hireability/contact were found. Experiment 2 (n = 32) replicated the findings pertaining to agency, communion, and masculinity and demonstrated that a gay applicant appeared better suited for traditionally feminine jobs, whereas a heterosexual applicant appeared better suited for traditionally masculine jobs. We discuss who is discriminated under which conditions, based on gender-related stereotypes, when men’s sexual orientation is revealed in work contexts.