Control and desire: Identity formation through teasing among gay men and lesbians

Brian L. Heisterkamp, Jess K. Alberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Through an analysis of naturally occurring conversation, the present study develops an understanding for how teasing episodes construct identities for both tease initiators and recipients. Because little is known about the unique features of gay and lesbian discourse, our goal was to increase the knowledge of conversational patterns of gays and lesbians, particularly identity formation through teasing interactions. Three themes of identity construction through teasing were suggested: (a) the visibility of a tease recipient's gayness, (b) how sexually promiscuous/available were tease recipients, and (c) how sex roles in relationships and sexual desire of tease recipients interact with those of tease initiators. The changing nature of one's identity construction, the fluidity of gender/sex roles, and the socialization function of teasing episodes are evidenced in these data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)388-403
Number of pages16
JournalCommunication Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication


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