One Size May Not Fit All: The Need for a More Inclusive and Intersectional Psychological Science on Stigma

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In their review, Remedios and Snyder (2015) articulated how models of stigma fall short of explaining stigmatization of women of color, because they do not consider intersectionality of multiple stigmatized identities. Using the example of the intersection of race and gender, they reviewed literature on how targets of stigma detect and respond to prejudice (making prejudice attributions, the role of identity processes such as centrality), highlighting the complexity of these processes once multiple identities (namely non-prototypical categories of race and gender) are considered. In response, we provide more in depth discussion of the challenges to inclusion and intersectionality including current and traditional psychological science approaches and the perceived politicization of intersectional research, as well as the complexity of integrating multiple identities (social class, sexual orientation and gender diversity) into stigma research, including recruitment, measurement, and analysis. We offer practical suggestions in the areas of recruitment, measurement, and analysis, to facilitate more inclusive and intersectional research, given that such work would provide a more complete understanding of the experience of stigma.