Advertisement

Springer Nature is making Coronavirus research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

The relative importance of gender role attitudes to male and female attitudes toward lesbians

  • 190 Accesses

  • 33 Citations

Abstract

Previous studies suggest that gender role attitudes, parental attitudes, authoritarianism, religiosity, contact with homosexuals, and exposure to educational influences are associated with attitudes toward homosexuals. Few studies have been conducted on attitudes toward lesbians specifically. This study investigated the pattern of predictors for male and female attitudes toward lesbians. The regression analysis on males revealed that gender role attitudes were the only significant predictor, while gender role attitudes, parental attitudes, authoritarianism, and educational and media influences made a contribution to female attitudes toward lesbians. Despite more liberal gender role attitudes expressed by female respondents, there was no difference between male and female attitudes toward lesbians. This finding and the additional contribution to female attitudes toward lesbians made by the other predictors besides gender role attitudes suggests that the female respondents' development of attitudes toward lesbians is a product of a wider array of variables, with gender role attitudes playing a more central role in the development of male attitudes toward lesbians. Nevertheless, the importance of gender role attitudes to both male and female attitudes toward lesbians suggests that stratification by sex might be an underlying variable for both gender role attitudes and attitudes toward lesbians.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Adorno, T. W., Frenkel-Brunswick, A., Levinson, D. J., & Sanford, R. N. The authoritarian personality. New York: Harper, 1950.

  2. Allport, G. The nature of prejudice. New York: Doubleday and Co., 1958.

  3. Alston, J. Attitudes toward extramarital and homosexual relations. Journal of the Scientific Study of Religion, 1974, 13, 479–481.

  4. Amir, Y. Contact hypothesis in ethnic relations. Psychological Bulletin, 1969, 71(5), 319–342.

  5. Cuenot, R., & Fugita, S. Perceived homosexuality: Measuring heterosexual attitudinal and nonverbal reactions. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 1982, 8(1), 100–106.

  6. Dunbar, J., Brown, M., & Amoroso, D. Some correlates of attitudes toward homosexuals. Journal of Social Psychology, 1973, 89, 271–279.

  7. Faulkner, J. E., & DeJong, G. F. Religiosity in 5-D: An empirical analysis. Social Forces, 1966, 45, 246–255.

  8. Glassner, B., & Owen, C. Variation in attitudes toward homosexuality. Cornell Journal of Social Relations, 1976, 11, 161–176.

  9. Goldberg, R. Attitude change among college students toward homosexuality. Journal of American College Health, 1982, 30, 260–268.

  10. Goodyear, R., Abadie, P., & Barquest, K. Ascription of negative traits based on sex role and sexual orientation. Psychological Reports, 1981, 49, 194.

  11. Gross, A. E., Green, S. K., Storck, J. T., & Vanyuir, J. M. Disclosure of sexual orientation and impressions of male and female homosexuals. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 1980, 6(2), 307–314.

  12. Gurwitz, S., & Marcus, M. Effects of anticipated interaction, sex and homosexual stereotypes on first impressions. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 1978, 8(1), 47–56.

  13. Hansen, G. L. Measuring prejudice against homosexuality (homosexism) among college students: A new scale. The Journal of Social Psychology, 1982, 117, 233–236.

  14. Hansen, G. L. Androgyny, sex-role orientation and homosexism. Journal of Psychology, 1982, 112, 39–45. (b)

  15. Harry, J. Gay children grown up: Gender culture and gender deviance. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1982.

  16. Hedderson, J. SPSS-X made easy. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1987.

  17. Henley, N., & Pincus, F. Interrelationship of sexist, racist, and antihomosexual attitudes. Psychological Reports, 1978, 42, 83–90.

  18. Herek, G. M. Attitudes toward lesbians and gay men: A factor-analytic study. Journal of Homosexuality, 1984, 10, 39–51.

  19. Herek, G. M. The social psychology of homophobia: Toward a practical theory. New York University Review of Law and Social Change, 1986, 14(4), 923–934.

  20. Herek, G. M. Can functions be measured? A new perspective on the functional approach to attitudes. Social Psychology Quarterly, 1987, 50(4), 285–303. (a)

  21. Herek, G. M. Religious orientation and prejudice: A comparison of racial and sexual attitudes. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 1987, 13(1), 34–44. (b)

  22. Hood, R. Dogmatism and opinions about mental illness: Psychological Reports, 1973, 115, 1433–1436.

  23. Irwin, P., & Thompson, N. Acceptance of the rights of homosexuals. Journal of Homosexuality, 1987, 3(2), 107–121.

  24. Kim, J., & Kohout, F. J. Multiple regression analysis: Subprogram regression. In N. H. Nie, C. H. Hull, J. G. Jenkins, K. Steinbrenner, & D. H. Bent (Eds.), Statistical package for the social sciences. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1975.

  25. Larsen, K., Cate, R., & Reed, M. Anti-black attitudes, religious orthodoxy, permissiveness, and sexual information: A study of the attitudes towards homosexuality. Journal of Sex Research, 1983, 19(2), 105–118.

  26. Larsen, K., Reed, M., & Hoffman, S. Attitudes of heterosexuals toward homosexuality: A Likert-type scale and construct validity. The Journal of Sex Research, 1980, 16(3), 245–257.

  27. Levitt, E., & Klassen, A. Public attitudes toward homosexuality: Part of the national survey by the Institute for Sex Research. Journal of Homosexuality, 1974, 1, 29–43.

  28. Lieblich, A., & Friedman, G. Attitudes toward male and female homosexuality and sex-role stereotypes in Israeli and American students. Sex Roles, 1985, 12(5/6), 561–570.

  29. MacDonald, A. P., & Games, R. Some characteristics of those who hold positive and negative attitudes toward homosexuals. Journal of Homosexuality, 1974, 1, 9–27.

  30. MacDonald, A. P., Huggins, J., Young, S., & Swanson, R. Attitudes toward homosexuals: Preservation of sex morality or the double standard. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 1973, 40(1), 161.

  31. Milham, J., & Weinberger, L. Sexual preference, sex role appropriateness and restriction of social access. Journal of Homosexuality, 1977, 2(4), 343–357.

  32. Milham, J., San Miguel, C., & Kellogg, R. A factor-analytic conceptualization of attitudes toward female and male homosexuals. Journal of Homosexuality, 1976, 2(1), 3–10.

  33. Nyberg, K., & Alston, J. P. Homosexual labeling by university youths. Adolescence, 1977, 12(48), 541–546.

  34. Rooney, E., & Gibbons, D. Societal reactions to crimes without victims. Social Problems, 1966, 13, 400–410.

  35. Serdahely, W., Ziemba, G. Changing homophobic attitudes through college sexuality education. Journal of Homosexuality, 1984, 10(1/2), 109–116.

  36. Simmons, J. L. Public stereotypes of deviants. Social Problems 1965, 12, 223–232.

  37. Smith, K. Homophobia: A tentative personality profile. Psychological Reports, 1971, 29, 1091–1094.

  38. Smith, A. D., Resick, P. A., & Kilpatrick, D. G. Relationships among gender, sex role attitudes. sexual attitudes, thoughts and behavior. Psychological Reports, 1980, 46, 359–367.

  39. Spence, J. T., Helmreich, R., & Stapp, J. A short version of the Attitudes Toward Women Scale (AWS). Bulletin Psychonomic Society, 1973, 2(4), 219–220.

  40. Unger, R. Female and male: Psychological perspectives. New York: Harper & Row, 1979.

  41. Weinberger, L., & Milham, J. Attitudinal homophobia and support of traditional sex roles. Journal of Homosexuality, 1979, 4(3), 237–253.

Download references

Author information

Additional information

The author wishes to thank Esther Sales, Gary Koeske, Barbara Shore, and Randi Koeske for their guidance with the research study. Much thanks also to Katherine M. Bezak for assistance with editing this and earlier drafts of this article.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Newman, B.S. The relative importance of gender role attitudes to male and female attitudes toward lesbians. Sex Roles 21, 451–465 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00289097

Download citation

Keywords

  • Regression Analysis
  • Stratification
  • Social Psychology
  • Gender Role
  • Additional Contribution