Value Differentiation and Sexual Orientation.

Ella Daniel, Maya Crabtree

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Can individuals create a coherent and unified value system when living in complex social realities, and encountering discordant values across life contexts, or do they experience a cognitive polyphasia? Undergraduate students in Israel (N = 93, mean age M = 24.90, SD = 3.05) reporting a gay or heterosexual sexual orientation were studied. Participants reported the importance of their values of universalism, benevolence, conformity and hedonism in the social roles of a student, a close friend, a romantic partner and a man/woman. As hypothesized, value differentiation, the variability in value importance across contexts, was higher among gay men than among heterosexuals. The difference is attributed to effects of the socially complex environment encountered by gay men, which creates a lack of coherence in their values. However, among gay men, unlike heterosexuals, value differentiation was not related negatively to well-being. The implications for the gay identity and the value system are discussed. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9.1-9.22
JournalPapers on Social Representations
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • SEXUAL orientation
  • COLLECTIVE representation
  • GROUP identity
  • SOCIAL realism
  • GAY identity
  • cognitive polyphasia
  • satisfaction with life
  • value differentiation
  • Values
  • well-being


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