Published & Forthcoming
Mize, Trenton D. and Bianca Manago. 2018. "Precarious Sexuality: How Men and Women are Differentially Categorized for Similar Sexual Behavior." American Sociological Review.
- Abstract: Are men and women categorized differently for similar sexual behavior? Building on theories of gender, sexuality, and status, we introduce the concept of precarious sexuality to suggest that men’s—but not women’s—heterosexuality is an especially privileged identity that is easily lost. We test our hypotheses in a series of survey experiments describing a person who has a sexual experience conflicting with their sexual history. We find that a single same-sex sexual encounter leads an observer to question a heterosexual man’s sexual orientation to a greater extent than that of a heterosexual woman in a similar situation. We also find that a different-sex sexual encounter is more likely to change others’ perceptions of a lesbian woman’s sexual orientation—compared to perceptions of a gay man’s sexual orientation. In two conceptual replications, we vary the level of intimacy of the sexual encounter and find consistent evidence for our idea of precarious sexuality for heterosexual men. We close with a general discussion of how status beliefs influence categorization processes and with suggestions for extending our theoretical propositions to other categories beyond those of sexual orientation.
Mize, Trenton D. and Bianca Manago. 2018. "The Stereotype Content of Sexual Orientation." Social Currents.
- Abstract: The stereotype content model provides a powerful tool to examine influential societal stereotypes associated with social groups. We theorize how stereotypes of gender, sexuality, and a group’s status in society combine to influence societal views of sexual orientation groups—placing particular emphasis on stereotypes of warmth and competence. In two survey experiments we collect quantitative measures of stereotype content and open-response items on the stereotypes of bisexual individuals. We predict—and find—that gay men and lesbian women face disadvantaging stereotypes; bisexual men and women however, face the most severely negative stereotypes of any sexual orientation group—with aggregate judgments of low warmth and competence. In the second study, using a diverse sample, we show that stereotypes about sexual orientation groups are largely culturally consensual. We conclude by emphasizing the importance of comparative approaches that consider both advantaged and disadvantaged groups to fully contextualize stereotypes of minority groups.
Mize, Trenton D. 2018. "Doing Gender by Criticizing Leaders: Public and Private Displays of Status." Social Problems.
- Abstract: Previous work shows that stereotypes influence women’s ability to attain and act in leadership positions, however much less work has examined the role that gendered expectations and stereotypes might play for subordinate behavior and how this might reinforce the gender leadership gap. Drawing on theories of gender and status, I predict gender differences in responses to and behavior in subordinate roles. In a series of experimental studies I find that men are more publicly critical of leaders and are more willing to undermine leaders than are women. In two studies I show that men are more publicly critical in both high and low status subordinate roles, and under both men and women leaders. In a third study, I show that men and women do not differ in their private evaluations of a leader and that gender differences only arise in publicly visible evaluations and criticism. Gender differences in public criticism may be due to men exaggerating their criticism to restore a threatened sense of status or masculinity, or due to women tempering their criticism due to gender stereotypes that discourage assertive and critical behavior for women. Either explanation suggests that men and women perform gendered expectations in public and behave in ways that can disadvantage women leaders.
Benard, Stephen, Mark T. Berg, and Trenton D. Mize. 2017. "Does Aggression Deter or Invite Reciprocal Behavior? Considering Coercive Capacity." Social Psychology Quarterly.
- Abstract: How do people respond to aggression? Theory differs on whether aggressive behavior deters antagonists or provokes retaliation, and the empirical evidence is mixed. We bridge contradictory findings in the literature by identifying a previously unexamined moderating variable: the extent to which individuals can increase their coercive capability (which we call “escalating”). We argue that when escalating is costly, aggression deters potential antagonists. In contrast, when escalating is less costly, behaving aggressively fails to deter aggressive partners. We test these predictions in two behavioral experiments that manipulate the cost of escalating and whether interaction partners are aggressive or deferential. We find support for deterrence predictions when escalating is either high or low cost, but not when it is medium cost. Taken together, we provide evidence that the cost of escalation plays a key role in decisions about aggression.
Mize, Trenton D. 2017. "Profiles in Health: Multiple Roles and Health Lifestyles in Early Adulthood." Social Science & Medicine.
- Abstract: Rationale: Despite theoretical work suggesting that health behaviors should be considered in tandem rather than as individual and disconnected practices—little quantitative work has examined lifestyles of health behavior practices. In addition, while much work has examined the association of holding multiple social roles and health outcomes, little work has examined how acquiring multiple roles in early adulthood influences health behavior. Objective: This article (a) illustrates the utility of examining health lifestyles—defined as constellations of individual health behavior practices—and (b) contributes to the literature on how accumulating multiple social roles is associated with health. Methods: Using two waves of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (N=12,098) a structural equation modeling approach is used to both (a) model latent health lifestyles from observed health behavior indicators, and (b) to predict health lifestyle membership based on changes in role-occupancy during the transition to early adulthood. Results: Results suggest that the type of social role matters, with intensive obligatory roles associated with lifestyles of less tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana use but also with physical inactivity. In contrast, voluntary roles are associated with more active lifestyles but increased alcohol use. Conclusion: The results illustrate the importance of modeling overall health lifestyles rather than focusing only on individual health behaviors and also advance our understanding of how holding multiple roles is associated with health by extending the framework to an examination of health behavior.
Mize, Trenton D. 2016. "Sexual Orientation in the Labor Market." American Sociological Review.
- Abstract: Most analyses of sexual orientation and earnings find that gay men face a wage gap, whereas lesbian women earn higher wages than similar heterosexual women. However, analyses rarely consider bisexual men and women as a unique group separate from other sexual minorities. I argue that such binary views of sexual orientation—treating sexual minorities as a homogenous non-heterosexual group—have obscured understandings of the impact of sexual orientation on labor market outcomes. Specifically, I predict that unequal outcomes for gay men and lesbian women are partly due to the influence of family arrangements and their effects on earnings. In contrast, I argue that bisexual men and women should be the most disadvantaged in the labor market, due to particularly disadvantaging stereotypes, perceptions of choice to their sexual orientation, and prejudicial treatment. Using data from the General Social Survey (N = 13,554) and the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (N = 14,714), I show that family arrangements explain some of the observed earnings differentials for gay men and lesbian women. Bisexual men and women, in contrast, face wage penalties that are not explained by human capital differences or occupational characteristics. Perceptions of prejudicial treatment partially explain the observed wage gaps.
Benard, Stephen and Trenton D. Mize. 2016. "Small Groups: Reflections Of, and Building Blocks For Social Structure." in the Handbook of Contemporary Sociological Theory edited by Seth Abrutyn. Springer.
- Abstract: Our lives are tightly bound up in small groups. From families, friends, and peer groups, to athletic teams, voluntary associations, and work units, small groups constitute much of the fabric of our daily lives. In this chapter, we argue that small groups are important for sociologists to understand because they serve as building blocks of society, offering settings in which rudimentary forms of social structure can emerge. Small groups provide a place – usually the first place – where individuals learn to negotiate hierarchies, conform to or deviate from social norms, develop group
boundaries, and where they develop and disseminate bits of culture. We organize the chapter around these five structure-producing social processes: status, power, identity, influence and social norms, and group cultures, and illustrate how these processes operate in small groups. In doing so, we illustrate the diversity of theories that have focused on small groups as the unit of analysis. We also speculate about the reasons why sociological interest in small groups has declined over time, and suggest ways in which small groups researchers can further contribute to and play a larger role in sociology.
Mize, Trenton D. 2015. "What Social Psychology Can Contribute to the Study of Sex, Gender, and Sexual Orientation." Sociology Compass.
- Abstract: The concepts of sex and gender have received increasing attention in sociology in recent years, with social psychologists providing many of the key insights. Issues of sexual orientation and sexuality have received comparably less attention, although many of the tools social psychologists use could be fruitfully applied to better understand sex, gender, sexual orientation, and the intimate connections between the three. In particular, I outline the perspectives of doing gender, stereotyping, and status and suggest possible ways to incorporate these frameworks into intersectional examinations of sex, gender, and sexual orientation. I argue that to fully understand sex, gender, or sexual orientation, researchers should consider all three and recognize the highly interconnected nature of each.
Mize, Trenton D. and Tre Myers. 2010. "Exploring Racial Differences on the Measurement and Experience of Emotion." Journal for Undergraduate Research Opportunities
- Abstract: An emerging technique for studying emotions in social interaction involves the measurement of temperature changes in regions of the face using infrared thermography. In this paper, we explore possible systematic differences in facial temperature, facial temperature changes, and self-reported emotion as a function of participant’s racial identification and skin tone color. In an experimental study, participants viewed emotionally evocative images while their facial temperature was measured using infrared thermography. Participants also completed self-report emotion measurements. We found consistent differences in average facial temperature by race across all images and all facial regions, but no differences in facial temperature change based on race (indicating no differences in the experience of emotion by race). We also found some minor differences in self-reported emotion by race, but no differences that would explain the consistent average temperature differences observed. We propose that the facial temperature differences observed were due to different skin tone emissivities, which would cause lighter or darker skin tones to be measured at different temperatures by the infrared camera. This explanation was supported as skin tone was more predictive of mean facial temperature than was self-reported race. We close by discussing the important implications the findings have for future studies using infrared thermography to measure emotion.