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Friday, March 6 • 2:25pm - 3:25pm
“Love Thy Neighbors” (But Not if They’re Gay): Gender and Religiosity in Heterosexist Prejudice

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Many rights that heterosexuals take for granted (e.g., marriage, adoption) are still struggles for non-heterosexuals. Many of the arguments against non-heterosexuals’ rights are based in religious ideologies, such as ‘a marriage is between one woman and one man’ or ‘children need one father and one mother.’ Research has indicated that women are more accepting of homosexuality than men. Additionally, lesbian women often face less religious discrimination than gay men. Finally, when asked their attitudes towards homosexuals individually, people are less discriminatory than when they are within a small group. This study further explored the relationships between gender, religiosity, and attitudes towards gays/lesbians. Using secondary data analysis on one author’s thesis data (Z. Kunicki), this current study examined a prediction model of spirituality based upon one’s identified gender and the strength of one’s religiosity. A convenience sample of 222 undergraduates (female = 151, male =69, dta = 2) used an online program to complete a series of surveys that examined religiosity and attitudes about homosexuals. Data were analyzed using a multiple regression with religiosity and gender as predictors of attitudes towards gays/lesbians. One prediction model used both genders together while the other separated the models by gender. Results indicated that using both genders in the model, being a woman was related to more favorable attitudes towards homosexuals, while religiosity scores predicted less favorable attitudes. This finding was true for both genders. However, the separate analyses by gender indicated that religiosity was a bigger influence on men’s attitudes towards gays/lesbians than women’s attitudes. The use of undergraduates as the sample may have been a limitation of this study. Future research should use a more diverse sample. In addition, research should seek to explore how attitudes towards gays/lesbians and other minority groups develop, and if these developments are different for men and women.

Friday March 6, 2015 2:25pm - 3:25pm