Political Implications of Group Stereotypes: Campaign Experiences of Openly Gay Political Candidates1

Authors

  • Ewa A. Golebiowska

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Political Science Tufts University
      Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Ewa A. Golebiowska, Department of Political Science, Tufts University, 309 Eaton Hall, Medford, MA 02155. E-mail: ewa.golebiowska@tufts.edu
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    I thank the openly gay candidates and officials who participated in the survey reported in this paper. I am also grateful to the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund and the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Elected Officials for sharing their lists of openly gay candidates and officials.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Ewa A. Golebiowska, Department of Political Science, Tufts University, 309 Eaton Hall, Medford, MA 02155. E-mail: ewa.golebiowska@tufts.edu

Abstract

The survey of openly gay officials and candidates was undertaken to investigate openly gay candidates’ perceptions about the role of stereotypical beliefs associated with their group in their political experiences. In addition to examining the general presence of stereotypical rhetoric in the campaign experiences of openly gay candidates, I investigated how its pervasiveness varied with the “liberalness” of the district in which the candidates competed, the timing of the candidates’ sexual-orientation disclosure, and the success or failure of their electoral efforts. While stereotypical beliefs about gay men seem not to play a prominent role in all openly gay candidates’ electoral experiences, generally speaking, their perceived influence is magnified under certain conditions.

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