Ongoing Projects

When does a referendum get under the skin? Insights from the Swiss marriage equality referendum

To see how the referendum on legalizing same-sex marriage and debates around it affected those directly targeted by the new law, we collected data among LGBTIQ+ and cis-heterosexual people before, during, and after the referendum. Combining self-reported health/distress with biological stress markers (cortisol from hair samples) allows us to assess whether the referendum on marriage equality got under the skin (literally!) of LGBTIQ+ people. The findings of this project will provide key insights into minority stress processes and inform about buffering strategies that can protect LGBTIQ+ people from the harmful consequences of exposure to stressful situations. Stay tuned to learn more about the results soon!

Léïla Eisner (University of Lausanne), Tabea Hässler (University of Zurich), Susanne Fischer (University of Zurich), and Robert-Paul Juster (University of Montreal)

Impact of political changes on LGBTIQ+ individuals

We seek to understand the impact of democratic processes (e.g., popular votes) on the lives of individuals. In particular, this project is interested in studying the impact of votes about LGBTIQ+ rights on the perception of the status quo and the well-being of LGBTIQ+ individuals, their allies and their opponents. To carry out this project, we use two longitudinal studies. The Swiss study is part of the Swiss LGBTIQ + Panel and consists of data collected among sexual minorities before and after the voting on extending the anti-discrimination law. The Australian study consists of data collected from allies and opponents of LGBTIQ+ rights before and after the National Inquiry into Legalizing Marriage for All.

Léïla Eisner (University of Lausanne), Tabea Hässler (University of Zurich), and Winnifred Louis (University of Queensland)

Where do people come out? – Mapping out selective disclosure across multiple countries

We seek to understand how individuals with concealable sexual and gender minority identities choose to selectively conceal or disclose their identities. Using a large multi-national survey, we first provide a birds-eye view of how selectively people choose to disclose their sexual and gender minority identities across important relational domains (e.g., family, friends, neighbors, work/school) in different countries. Second, we seek to explain why patterns of disclosure vary between people and countries.

Tabea Hässler (University of Zurich), Léïla Eisner (University of Lausanne), Michal Pasek (Beyond Conflict), Evgeny Osin (National Research University Higher School of Economics), Masi Noor (University of Keel), Emilio Paolo Visintin (University of Ferrara), Colette van Laar (University of Leuven), Esra Ummark (University of Oslo), Sabine Otten (University of Groningen), and Julian Rengers (University of Groningen)

Sport and LGBTIQ+ negativity

Despite general trends toward greater acceptance of LGBTIQ+ individuals in many countries, LGBTIQ+ athletes often refrain from revealing their identity in the sport contexts (see Eisner & Hässler, 2019). For instance, of the 11,000 athletes at the Rio Olympics, only about 56 athletes were out. One explanation for why LGBTIQ+ athletes conceal their LGBTIQ+ identity might be that the sports climate is particularly unwelcoming for LGBTIQ+ individuals. Given that concealment of one’s LGBTIQ+ identity is related to decreased feelings of inclusion and detrimental health outcomes, this project seeks to better understand attitudes toward LGBTIQ+ athletes.

Kimberly Bourne (University of Washington), Ella J. Lombard (University of Washington), Léïla Eisner (University of Lausanne) and Tabea Hässler (University of Zurich)