Our article on lesbian young adult characters in novels has been published in the Journal of Lesbian Studies!
Cook, J., Rostosky, S.S., & Riggle, E.D.B. (2013). Gender role models in award – winning fiction for young lesbians. Journal of Lesbian Studies, 17, 150-166. DOI: 10.1080/10894160.2012.691416
Novels provide role models for young adult lesbians and thus may influence their identity development. This study focused on 16 lesbian protagonists identified in 11 young adult novels that received 2011 Lambda Literary Award nominations. Content analyses revealed six themes. Three themes defied traditional gender stereotypes: Asserting Oneself, Pursuing Intimacy with Another Woman, and Breaking Free of Constraints to Authentic Self-Expression. Three themes reinforced gender stereotypes: Negative Emotional Experiences Associated with Lesbian Identity, Traditional Masculine Gender Expression, and Traditional Gender Role-Based Sexual Scripts. Each theme is discussed in light of its possible contribution to lesbian identity development.