Sex Roles

, Volume 57, Issue 9–10, pp 755–762 | Cite as

Biased Assimilation and Attitude Polarization in Response to Learning About Biological Explanations of Homosexuality

  • Guy A. BoysenEmail author
  • David L. Vogel
Original Article


According to attribution theory stigmatized behaviors with biological explanations will be perceived more positively than those with psychological explanations, but informing people of the biological explanations of homosexuality has produced mixed results on attitudes. To examine if biased processing could explain previous findings we tested whether biased assimilation (initial attitudes’ effect on perceived persuasiveness) and attitude polarization (initial attitudes’ effect on reported attitude change) affected learning about biological explanations of homosexuality among 210 U.S. undergraduates. General Linear Model analyses showed that (1) individuals with positive attitudes toward homosexuality saw biological explanations as a more persuasive reason to accept homosexuality than those with negative attitudes, and (2) initial attitudes generally led to a strengthening of those attitudes after learning about biological explanations.


Homosexuality (attitudes toward) Biased assimilation Attitude polarization Attitude change 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologySUNY FredoniaFredoniaUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyIowa State UniversityAmesUSA

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