My current research agenda follows previous work I've done in the social psychological tradition of examining affective meanings.
I am currently collecting data for two major research projects concerning inequality with regard to sexual orientation.
First, I am studying how variations in police response to domestic violence may affect the affective meanings individuals in the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning) community give to authority role identities. Currently, I am collecting survey data to investigate this. I am very interested in using this research to develop a course on domestic violence. Also, I plan to publish two to three peer-reviewed article from this research in the next few years. The findings may allow for new laws to protect the rights of same sex individuals who have been involved in domestic altercations. In addition to this focus, I just submitted a grant proposal to the National Institute of Justice to investigate and evaluate the criminal justice response to sexual violence against LGBT victims. If funded, this grant would allow me to collect qualitative and quantitative data on this issue.
Second, I am investigating differences in the affective meaning given to social concepts (such as role identities, behaviors, and interaction settings) among biological, adoptive, step- and co-parents in same sex family relationships. I am currently collecting data to measure their feelings about social concepts that are relevant to their lives. I will use this data to compare meanings between several subgroups of respondents: general population’s meanings to those of my respondents; to compare meanings between same sex parents who live with their children to those who do not; to compare meanings for those respondents who have children from a previous relationship to those who have children from a current relationship; and to compare meanings from non-birth parents to those of birth parents. It is my hope that the findings help give rights to non-birth same sex parents and guardians by suggesting policy changes. I plan to produce at least two peer-reviewed journal articles, along with my colleague Laurel Holland, from this research.