Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2019

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors



First Advisor

Stefanie Mollborn

Second Advisor

Matthew Brown

Third Advisor

Emmanuel David


Heteronormativity is deeply ingrained in U.S. society. Heteronormativity is the normalization of the heterosexual identity and the othering of any identity that does not fit within the strict ideals of heterosexuality. My study explored the impact of heteronormativity on the life experiences and identities of LGBQ-identifying individuals. In my study, I conducted 12 semi-structured interviews with participants who had been in different-sex relationships. The interviews illuminate the impact that heteronormativity often has on people who identify as LGBQ with their experiences of coming out, identity formation, and religion. Heteronormativity is deeply ingrained in U.S. society and impacts LGBQ-identifying individuals in more ways than just the three that were explored in this study. In my study, I learned that heteronormativity is even more ingrained and widespread than previously believed. Early life experiences such as coming out, identity formation, and religion reverberate decades later and throughout people’s lives, further strengthening the impact of heteronormativity.

Included in

Sociology Commons