Gender hierarchy in online dating photos

According to Butler (1990), notions about sexuality and gender are social constructions, recreated and reinforced through stylized acts in everyday existence.

Expectations about gender can have such powerful influence as to affect the expectations of physical bodies differently for men and women (Crawley, Foley, and Shehan 2008).


For men 'working out' and being healthy means adding muscle, leading to increased size and strength for men.

In contrast, exercise and health magazines for women encourage behavior such as dieting and cardio, which reduce the physical size of women (Crawley, Foley, and Shehan 2008).

When the intersectionality framework is focused on the notion of gender, the intersection of homosexuality and gender opens the possibility of similarly unique, lived experiences that instead define new gendered roles and resistances outside of the traditional binary of male and female.

To this end, this paper focuses on a content analysis of gay and lesbian online daters, looking at their self-described identities and desires for a potential date.


Conklin, Emeritus, North Carolina Central University Robert Wortham, Associate Editor, North Carolina Central University Board: Rebecca Adams, UNC-Greensboro Bob Davis, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University Catherine Harris, Wake Forest University Ella Keller, Fayetteville State University Ken Land, Duke University Steve Mc Namee, UNC-Wilmington Miles Simpson, North Carolina Central University William Smith, N. State University For most people, gender is a taken for granted part of everyday life, a crucial, but rarely examined part of one's identity.

However, when examined, the role becomes part of a complex picture, where debate ranges upon the role and impact of the normally invisible notion of male and female.


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