'Excuse me, Sir? May I help you and your boyfriend?': Salespersons' differential treatment of homosexual and straight customers

Andrew S Walters, Maria Cristina Curran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Scopus citations


An experimental field study was conducted to investigate differential treatment of same-sex versus opposite-sex couples. Over a period of four months, three couples (1 female-female, 1 male-female, 1 male-male) entered each of twenty retail stores. All couples were trained confederates. Multiple measures unequivocally showed differential treatment for heterosexual and homosexual couples. Heterosexual couples were assisted by staff in significantly less time than were homosexual couples, who often were not assisted and who were more likely to be repudiated. Results are discussed in terms of the sociopolitical climate for homosexuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-152
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Homosexuality
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)

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