Honors Program


Document Type


Date of this Version

Fall 11-1-2019


Crisler, M. M. (2019). The effects of biased literature on self- and social-perceptions of LGBTQ individuals. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Copyright Marielle Crisler 2019


Though media portrayal of lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals has increased significantly in recent years, the representation has brought and cemented harmful stereotypes along with it. People who are discovering their identity as sexual minorities might consume media that portrays LGBTQ individuals negatively, or even kills them in many cases, and believe that they are doomed to the same outcome. Literature is no exception to this influx of negative stereotypes. The purpose of this study is to determine the effects of stereotypes in LGBTQ literature on those who identify with the characters presented in the text to the same extent that LGBTQ stereotypes in television have been explored. This study employs priming to determine if negative or positive biases in literature excerpts cause readers to perceive their sexuality negatively or positively respectively, with a neutral text as a control condition. By contacting over 100 LGBTQ resource centers at universities across the country and having their leaders send the survey to their listserv, 50 participants were recruited to respond to the survey. Results from this study were meant to give insight into the ways literature can influence social identity and self-perception.