Sex Roles

, Volume 59, Issue 7–8, pp 512–520 | Cite as

Threatening the Patriarchy: Testing an Explanatory Paradigm of Anti-lesbian Attitudes

Original Article

Abstract

There has been relatively little research on heterosexuals’ attitudes toward lesbians that has utilized the considerable amount of feminist scholarship on the topic. The present study examined an explanatory paradigm derived from Pharr (Homophobia: A weapon of sexism, Chardon, Inverness, CA, USA, 1988) that considers defined norm, sexism, economic beliefs, and attitudes toward institutional violence to be associated with anti-lesbian attitudes. Using data from 365 heterosexual undergraduates from the Midwestern USA, the results of a structural equation modeling analysis found support for Pharr’s paradigm and suggest several directions for future research on anti-lesbian attitudes.

Keywords

Anti-lesbian attitudes Prejudice Feminism Sexual orientation 

References

  1. Anderson, C. A., Benjamin, A. J., Jr., Wood, P. K., & Bonacci, A. M. (2006). Development and testing of the Velicer attitudes toward violence scale: Evidence for a four-factor model. Aggressive Behavior, 32, 122–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Balsam, K. F., Rothblum, E. D., & Beauchaine, T. P. (2005). Victimization over the life span: A comparison of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and heterosexual siblings. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 73, 477–487.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bardis, P. D. (1973). Violence: Theory and quantification. Journal of Political and Military Sociology, 1, 121–146.Google Scholar
  4. Basow, S. A., & Johnson, K. (2000). Predictors of homophobia in female college students. Sex Roles, 42, 391–404.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Becker, G. (2007). The Buss-Perry aggression questionnaire: Some unfinished business. Journal of Research in Personality, 41, 434–452.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Berg, N., & Lien, D. (2002). Measuring the effect of sexual orientation on income: Evidence of discrimination? Contemporary Economic Policy, 20, 394–414.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brewer, P. R. (2003). The shifting foundations of public opinion about gay rights. Journal of Politics, 65, 1208–1220.Google Scholar
  8. Calhoun, C. (1994). Separating lesbian theory from feminist theory. Ethics, 104, 558–581.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Clarke, C. (1981). Lesbianism: An act of resistance. In C. Moraga, & G. Anzaldúa (Eds.), This bridge called my back: Writings by radical women of color (pp. 128–137). Watertown, MA, USA: Persephone.Google Scholar
  10. Coffman, D. L., & MacCallum, R. C. (2005). Using parcels to convert path analysis models into latent variable models. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 40, 235–259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Constantine-Simms, D. (Ed.) (2001). The greatest taboo: Homosexuality in black communities. Los Angeles: Alyson.Google Scholar
  12. Corley, T. J., & Pollack, R. H. (1996). Do changes in the stereotypic depiction of a lesbian couple affect heterosexuals’ attitudes toward lesbianism? Journal of Homosexuality, 32(2), 1–17.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Damiano, C. M. (1999). Lesbian baiting in the military: Institutionalized sexual harassment under “don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t pursue”. American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy, and Law, 7, 499–522.Google Scholar
  14. Feather, N. T. (2004). Value correlates of ambivalent attitudes about gender relations. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 30, 3–12.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Franklin, K. (2000). Antigay behaviors among young adults: Prevalence, patterns, and motivators in a noncriminal population. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 15, 339–362.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Geiger, W., Harwood, J., & Hummert, M. (2006). College students’ multiple stereotypes of lesbians: A cognitive perspective. Journal of Homosexuality, 51(3), 165–182.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Glick, P., & Fiske, S. T. (1996). The Ambivalent Sexism Inventory: Differentiating hostile and benevolent sexism. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70, 491–512.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Glick, P., & Fiske, S. T. (1999). The Ambivalence toward Men Inventory: Differentiating hostile and benevolent beliefs about men. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 23, 519–536.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Glick, P., Fiske, S. T., Mladinic, A., Saiz, J. L., Abrams, D., Masser, B., et al. (2000). Beyond prejudice as simple antipathy: Hostile and benevolent sexism across cultures. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79, 763–775.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Glick, P., Lameiras, M., Fiske, S. T., Eckes, T., Masser, B., Volpato, C., et al. (2004). Bad but bold: Ambivalent attitudes toward men predict gender inequality in 16 nations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 86, 713–728.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Haddock, G., Zanna, M. P., & Esses, V. M. (1993). Assessing the structure of prejudicial attitudes: The case of attitudes toward homosexuals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 65, 1105–1118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Heaven, P. C. L., & Furnham, A. (1987). Race prejudice and economic beliefs. Journal of Social Psychology, 127, 483–489.Google Scholar
  23. Herek, G. M., & Capitanio, J. P. (1995). Black heterosexuals’ attitudes toward lesbians and gay men in the United States. Journal of Sex Research, 32, 95–105.Google Scholar
  24. Herman, D. (1997). The antigay agenda: Orthodox vision and the Christian Right. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  25. Hu, L., & Bentler, P. M. (1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling, 6, 1–55.Google Scholar
  26. Jöreskog, K. G., & Sörbom, D. (1988). LISREL 7: A guide to the program and applications. Chicago: SPSS.Google Scholar
  27. Jost, J. T., Blount, S., Pfeffer, J., & Hunyady, G. (2003). Fair market ideology: Its cognitive motivational underpinnings. Research in Organizational Behavior, 25, 53–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Jost, J. T., & Kay, A. C. (2005). Exposure to benevolent sexism and complementary gender stereotypes: Consequences for specific and diffuse forms of system justification. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 88, 498–509.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kite, M. E., & Whitley, B. E., Jr. (1996). Sex differences in attitudes toward homosexual persons, behaviors, and civil rights: A meta-analysis. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 22, 336–353.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Knowles, E. D., & Peng, K. (2005). White selves: Conceptualizing and measuring dominant-group identity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 89, 223–241.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kunovich, R. M. (2004). Social structure position and prejudice: An exploration of cross-national differences in regression slopes. Social Science Research, 33, 20–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. LaMar, L., & Kite, M. E. (1998). Sex differences in attitudes toward gay men and lesbians: A multidimensional perspective. Journal of Sex Research, 35, 189–196.Google Scholar
  33. Lewis, G. B. (2003). Black–white differences in attitudes toward homosexuality and gay rights. Public Opinion Quarterly, 67, 59–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Lewis, A. (2004). “What group?” Studying whites and whiteness in the era of “color-blindness”. Sociological Theory, 22, 623–646.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Lewis, R. J., Derlega, V. J., Clarke, E. G., & Kuang, J. C. (2006). Stigma consciousness, social constraints, and lesbian well-being. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 53, 48–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Little, T. D., Cunningham, W. A., Shahar, G., & Widaman, K. F. (2002). To parcel or not to parcel: Exploring the question, weighing the merits. Structural Equation Modeling, 9, 151–173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Louderback, L. A., & Whitley, B. E., Jr. (1997). Perceived erotic value of homosexuality and sex-role attitudes as mediators of sex differences in heterosexual college students’ attitudes toward lesbians and gay men. Journal of Sex Research, 34, 175–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Luhtanen, R., & Crocker, J. (1992). A collective self-esteem scale: Self-evaluation of one’s social identity. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 18, 302–318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Marsh, H. W., Hau, K., & Wen, Z. (2004). In search of golden rules: Comment on hypothesis testing approaches to setting cutoff values for fit indexes and dangers in overgeneralizing Hu and Bentler’s (1999) findings. Structural Equation Modeling, 11, 320–341.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. McFarland, S. G. (2005). On the eve of war: Authoritarianism, social dominance, and American students’ attitudes toward attacking Iraq. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 31, 360–367.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Mercer, S. H., & Cunningham, M. (2003). Racial identity in white American college students: Issues of conceptualization and measurement. Journal of College Student Development, 44, 217–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Morrison, M. A., & Morrison, T. G. (2002). Development and validation of a scale measuring modern prejudice toward gay men and lesbian women. Journal of Homosexuality, 43(2), 15–37.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Newman, B. S. (2007). College students’ attitudes about lesbians: What difference does 16 years make? Journal of Homosexuality, 52(3/4), 249–265.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Pharr, S. (1988). Homophobia: A weapon of sexism. Inverness, CA, USA: Chardon.Google Scholar
  45. Quillian, L. (1995). Prejudice as a response to perceived group threat: Population composition and anti-immigrant and racial prejudice in Europe. American Sociological Review, 60, 586–611.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Rich, A. (1980). Compulsory heterosexuality and lesbian existence. Signs, 5, 631–660.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Romer v. Evans, 517 U.S. 620 (1996).Google Scholar
  48. Simon, A. (1995). Some correlated of individuals’ attitudes toward lesbians. Journal of Homosexuality, 29(1), 89–103.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Steffens, M. C. (2005). Implicit and explicit attitudes toward lesbians and gay men. Journal of Homosexuality, 49(2), 39–66.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Stevenson, M. R., & Medler, B. R. (1995). Is homophobia a weapon of sexism? Journal of Men’s Studies, 4, 1–8.Google Scholar
  51. Swim, J. K., Ferguson, M. J., & Hyers, L. L. (1999). Avoiding stigma by association: Subtle prejudice against lesbians in the form of social distancing. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 21, 61–68.Google Scholar
  52. Szymanski, D. M. (2006). Does internalized heterosexism moderate the link between heterosexist events and lesbians’ psychological distress? Sex Roles, 54, 227–234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Taylor, A. (1983). Conceptions of masculinity and femininity as a basis for stereotypes of male and female homosexuals. Journal of Homosexuality, 9(1), 37–53.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Theodore, P. S., & Basow, S. A. (2000). Heterosexual masculinity and homophobia: A reaction to the self? Journal of Homosexuality, 40(2), 31–48.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Velicer, W. F., Huckel, L. H., & Hansen, C. E. (1989). A measurement model for measuring attitudes toward violence. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 15, 349–364.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Whitley, B. E., Jr. (2001). Gender-role variables and attitudes toward homosexuality. Sex Roles, 45, 691–721.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Wilkinson, W. W. (2006). Exploring heterosexual women’s anti-lesbian attitudes. Journal of Homosexuality, 51(2), 139–155.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyNorthern Illinois UniversityDeKalbUSA

Personalised recommendations