Sexual Identity, Gender, and Anticipated Discrimination in Prosocial Behavior

78 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2021 Last revised: 24 Oct 2022

See all articles by Billur Aksoy

Billur Aksoy

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Ian Chadd

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Boon Han Koh

University of East Anglia (UEA) - School of Economics

Date Written: November 17, 2021

Abstract

We study whether individuals strategically mask signals about their affinity with the LGBTQ+ community in response to anticipated discrimination in prosocial behavior. We use a sharing (dictator) game in an online experiment where recipients are given the opportunity to signal their LGBTQ+ affinity. Decision-makers, upon observing these signals, decide how much of their endowment to share with their matched recipients. Overall, individuals do not hide signals about their LGBTQ+ affinity when they are explicitly made aware of the potential payoff implications of their decisions. However, we find a gender difference: women are more likely to hide such signals. Auxiliary analysis suggests that this gender difference is likely due to women's higher propensity to anticipate discrimination. Moreover, we find that decision-makers do not differ in their treatment of individuals based on signals of their LGBTQ+ affinity. However, the intersection between decision-makers' perceptions of these signals, and both their political stance on social issues and their views about LGBTQ+ rights, matter in shaping their sharing behavior.

Keywords: identity, LGBTQ+, gender, anticipated discrimination, prosocial behavior

JEL Classification: C90, D90, J15, J16

Suggested Citation

Aksoy, Billur and Chadd, Ian and Koh, Boon Han, Sexual Identity, Gender, and Anticipated Discrimination in Prosocial Behavior (November 17, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3903425 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3903425

Billur Aksoy

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute ( email )

110 8th Street
Troy, NY 12180
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/billuraksoy/research

Ian Chadd

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) ( email )

Troy, NY 12180
United States

Boon Han Koh (Contact Author)

University of East Anglia (UEA) - School of Economics ( email )

3.06, Registry
University of East Anglia
Norwich, NR4 7TJ
United Kingdom

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