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Book Project
The Politics of Disgust: Public Opinion Toward LGBTQ People and Policies


Disgust, given its intimate connection to sex, sexuality, and bodies, remains an important influence on many peoples’ attitudes toward LGBTQ people and issues. Using survey and experimental data, I demonstrate that, across party lines, many people still feel disgust in reaction to LGBTQ people and issues, and that disgust significantly decreases support for LGBTQ policies - even when controlling for partisanship, gender, religion, and contact with LGBTQ people. In short, I argue that support for LGBTQ issues is less stable and that opposition is more entrenched than recent changes suggest. This shows that, even following national events like the legalization of gay marriage, the political questions surrounding social acceptance and political rights for LGBTQ people are far from settled.

Online Survey Methods

Amazon's Mechanical Turk and other sources of online samples are increasingly common in social science research. Using an original sample of nearly 10,000 Mturk workers, we examine whether sample demographics are affected by the time of day or day of the week that a survey is posted, as well as whether those who are first to take a survey differ from those who take a survey later. We show that MTurk samples cannot be presumed identical across studies, suggesting that online data sources are susceptible to important demographic variations. This is coauthored with Jesse Chandler, Adam Seth Levine, Andrew Proctor, and Dara Strolovitch. (PDF)

Measuring Emotions

Self-reporting is not always a reliable measurement tool. I am developing an implicit measure of disgust for use in survey research.

Politics &
Transgender Representation​

In this project with Andrew Reynolds, we provide the first existing dataset on transgender and gender non-conforming people who have run for political office around the world. We examine both demographic factors and broader structural and political influences on candidate success, as well as the relationship between descriptive and substantive representation of transgender people.


When Does Prejudice Change?

In this coauthored publication, we argue that prejudice change is possible but only under very narrow conditions. Only when a citizen observes some contradiction between their prejudiced expectations and a candidate’s actual performance, when the citizen connects that prejudice to personal and negative consequences, and when the citizen believes it is ultimately worthwhile to do the potentially costly work of reevaluating their own beliefs and changing their behavior, is prejudice reduction likely to occur.

Read more here.

Just a sample of my work. To see more or discuss possible work >>

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