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The impact of social contest on the conceptualization of sexual orientation: a construct validity investigation
Tannenbaum, Ilana J

2006, Doctor of Philosophy, Ohio State University, Psychology.
Despite the volume of research and theory addressing the definition of sexual orientation, there has never been a widely accepted consensus on how the construct of sexual orientation should be defined. The majority of researchers group participants into sexual orientation cohorts with the essentialist assumption that whatever components they use to define and measure sexual orientation (a) are valid, and (b) mean the same thing to all individuals. This approach is questionable because, while certain components have been hypothesized to be part of the construct, the accuracy of these components has never been tested for construct validity among different sexual orientation communities. The most common method in gauging sexual orientation for research is self-reported label (Chung & Katayama, 1996), which received some support as a valid measure (Weinrich, 1993). The purpose of the present study was to examine sexual orientation constructs for construct validity in heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT), and academic (expert) communities. The second purpose was to examine personal identification with components of sexual orientation for comparability with self-reported label, as obtained in the Demographics section. Results indicated significant differences in socially constructed meaning existed for 11 of the 14 examined components: Sexual Behavior, Fantasy, Social Preference, Relationship Status, Sexual Orientation Identity Acceptance, Gender Identity, Sex Role Identity, Social Context, Sociocultural experiences, and Biology. The data suggested only Self-Identified Sexual Orientation Label, Emotional Preference, and Time maintained their meaning and value across sexual orientation, sex, and expert versus layperson communities. Sexual Attraction was rated most important in conceptualizing sexual orientation by every cohort, although significant differences in these ratings across groups were present. Personal identification with the examined components in this study corresponded strongly with each component, and with overall ‘profile’ scores (averages), of every examined cohort. The present study provides some evidence that social context does play a role in the social construction of sexual orientation, and provides support for self-reported Self-Identified Sexual Orientation label as an accurate measure for grouping participants into sexual orientation cohorts for research purposes.
Pam Highlen (Advisor)
176 p.

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Tannenbaum, I. (2006). The impact of social contest on the conceptualization of sexual orientation: a construct validity investigation. (Electronic Thesis or Dissertation). Retrieved from https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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Tannenbaum, Ilana. "The impact of social contest on the conceptualization of sexual orientation: a construct validity investigation." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Ohio State University, 2006. OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center. 31 Mar 2015.

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Tannenbaum, Ilana "The impact of social contest on the conceptualization of sexual orientation: a construct validity investigation." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Ohio State University, 2006. https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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