Sexual orientation microaggressions and the experience of sexual minorities

J Homosex. 2013;60(7):1011-34. doi: 10.1080/00918369.2013.774878.


This qualitative study sought to confirm and expand on previous research on sexual orientation microaggressions--subtle discrimination in the form of verbal, behavioral, and environmental slights and indignities as defined by Sue (2010). The study had two primary research questions: Does the data from the sample validate Sue's (2010) typology of sexual orientation microaggressions? Beyond Sue's (2010) typology, are other themes/types of sexual orientation microaggressions present in the data? Using a focus group methodology, data was collected from a sample of self-identified non-heterosexual college students (N=12). Data analysis confirmed five previously identified themes from Sue's (2010) typology (Endorsement of Heteronormative Culture, Sinfulness, Homophobia, Heterosexist Language/Terminology, and Oversexualization) and demonstrated two new themes (Undersexualization and Microaggressions as Humor). The implications of sexual orientation microaggressions, along with limitations and future research directions, are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Aggression / psychology
  • Bisexuality / psychology
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Homophobia / psychology*
  • Homosexuality / psychology*
  • Homosexuality, Female / psychology
  • Homosexuality, Male / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Midwestern United States
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology
  • Students / psychology
  • Young Adult