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Current projects

Below is a list of some of the projects carried out by the UNICORN lab. For more information about some of the work we have done in the past, please click on "magical publications" above.

Understanding the Opposition to Challenges to the Gender/Sex Binary

Views of gender and sex are changing among experts as well as society more generally, a change that has led to heated debates and vocal opposition. In this project, we aim to understand why people are motivated to defend the gender/sex binary when it perpetuates a clearly false image of gender and sex and brings with it negative consequences not just for trans and nonbinary people, but also for cisgender people who do not adhere to gender norms (e.g., female leaders or stay-at-home dads).

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Identity Denial of Norm Violators and Those Who Fall Outside of Dominant Categories

In this project, we investigate when and why people deny others' identities. For example, when and why do individuals believe that bisexual women are actually straight and bisexual men are actually gay? Why do people misgender trans and nonbinary people and is this exacerbated when they don't perform their gender "right," for example by wearing the "right" clothes and being interested in the "right" things?


The Psychology of Different Feminist Ideologies

An increasing number of people identify as feminists. Despite working towards the same broad goal – gender equality – feminism is not a cohesive movement. Feminists disagree on many issues, including the meaning of “gender equality,” how equality should be achieved, and what issues should be prioritized. In this project, we aim to establish a contemporary and comprehensive picture of sub-groups within the feminist movement and to illustrate how the differences in ideology between these groups can translate into animosity between different subgroups and impede gender equality – the common goal held by all feminists.


Understanding the Opposition to the Decriminalization of Sex Work

Sex work is considered "the oldest profession in the world," yet remains illegal in the majority of the world, including in almost all of the United States. Sex worker organizations largely advocate for the decriminalization of sex work, but the issue remains controversial. In this project, we explore the reasons people give for their opposition and whether these map onto the factors that predict opposition and support.

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