As a feminist social psychologist, my research broadly examines the social and psychological causes and consequences of sexism. Specifically, I explore how gender intersects with identities such as race, sexual orientation, age, and class to affect individuals access to and experience with social power in (1) intimate partner relationships and (2) in the workplace.
In my work on intimate partner relationships I address questions such as “how does gender influence power dynamics in heterosexual relationships, such as who has control in early romantic and sexual interactions?” and “how do gender roles relate to dating violence?” In my research on the workplace I seek to answer questions like “how do stereotypes about gender and sexuality affect people’s access to power in organizations?” and “how do people decide to disclose stigmatized identities in the workplace, and what are the consequences of disclosure for women and men?”
To address these questions, I have used experimental, correlational, qualitative, and mixed methods among samples of diverse and underrepresented adolescents and adults from student and community groups. Intersectionality theory, sexual scripting, and social role theory feature prominently in my research, along with other established social psychological theories relevant to privilege and oppression (e.g., minority stress, the stereotype content model).
Gender, power, and intimate relationships
My first line of research examines gender and power dynamics in romantic relationships. In research with Dr. Dionne Stephens, we examine the meanings Black teens and Hispanic college students give to sexual coercion in romantic relationships, and how gender and cultural norms inform these meanings. More information about this research can be found here. I have also published work on how heteronormative beliefs may impact Hispanic men’s and women’s experiences with and attitudes towards sexual coercion. In collaboration with Cyber Civil Rights Initiative (CCRI) and graduate student Yanet Ruvalcaba I have investigated the risk factors for and consequences of nonconsensual porn perpetration and victimization (aka “revenge porn”). Finally, I have published on the variety and content of the scripts young people are using in initial romantic encounters today and whether alternatives to traditional dates, such as hanging out and hooking up, are also based on male power and gender role norms.
Gender, power, and the workplace
In my second line of research I am exploring interactions between gender and power in the workplace, including stereotyping, discrimination, and harassment at work on the basis of gender, race, and class. With graduate student Anna Kallschmidt, I have uncovered reasons White men employees who experienced upward social mobility alternately conceal and disclose their class identity at work. In work with Dr. Sam Paustian-Underdahl at FSU’s College of Business, I am examining the nature and effects of pregnancy among heterosexual working couples in the U.S. Graduate student Renzo Barrantes and I have published work on how stereotypes about gay men affect beliefs about gay men’s suitability for gender-typed leadership positions. Graduate student Ryan Jacobson and I have published work on how organizational policies affect bystander’s willingness to report workplace sexual harassment. Last, my graduate students and I have examined the effects of gender and race stereotypes on the success of post-doc applicants in STEM, and the nature and effects of social class and generational stigma in the workplace.