Investigation of the Relationship between Sexual Orientation and Objective Height, along with Predictors of Height Distortion
Skorska, Malvina Nina
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Studies that have used mostly self-reported height have found that men with a same-sex orientation and women with an other-sex orientation are shorter, on average, than men with an other-sex orientation and women with a same-sex orientation, respectively. This thesis examined whether an objective height difference exists or whether a psychosocial account (e.g., distortion of self-reports) may explain these putative height differences. Also, this thesis examined whether certain individual differences (e.g, gender roles and socially desirable responding) predict height distortion. Eight hundred and thirteen participants, recruited at Brock University, the Niagara Community and through surrounding LGBT events, completed self-reported height, measures of gender roles and socially desirable responding, and had their height measured. Using hierarchical linear regressions, it was found that Same-Sex/Both-Sex Oriented men were shorter, on average, than predominantly Other-Sex Oriented men; however, there was no difference in objective height between Same-Sex/Both-Sex Oriented women and predominantly Other-Sex Oriented women. These findings contribute to existing biological theories of men's sexual orientation development and do not contribute to biological theories of women's sexual orientation development. Height distortion was not related to sexual orientation and only marginally related to sex. Predictors of height distortion were Impression Management, in both men and women, and Unmitigated Agency, in men. These findings highlight the complexity of sexual orientation development in men and women. These findings also highlight the role of certain psychosocial factors in how people perceive their bodies and/or how they want their bodies to be perceived by others.