Differences in African American and White Women’s Attitudes Toward Lesbians and Gay Men
The aim of the present study was to examine racial differences in women’s attitudes toward lesbians and gay men and to offer an understanding of these differences. Participants were 224 18–30 year old heterosexual African American (64%) and White (36%) female undergraduates from a large urban university in the southeastern United States. Participants completed measures of social demographics, sexual orientation, and sexual prejudice. Results showed that African American, relative to White, women endorsed more negative attitudes toward lesbians and gay men. Also, unlike White women, African American women reported more negative attitudes toward gay men than lesbians. Implications are discussed regarding differences in cultural contexts that exist between African American and White women.
KeywordsGender Race Attitudes toward homosexuality Lesbians Gay men
- Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (2007, February). Women, HIV/AIDS and disparities. Retrieved June 3, 2009 from http://www.amchp.org/publications/HIVPrevention/Documents/HIVdisparities.pdf.
- Astin, A. W. (1977). Four critical years. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
- Blow, C. M. (2008, November 29). Gay marriage and a moral minority. New York Times. Retrieved March 23, 2009 from http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/29/opinion/29blow.html?emc=eta1.
- Bobo, L. (1988). Group conflict, prejudice, and the paradox of contemporary racial attitudes. In P. A. Katz & D. A. Taylor (Eds.), Eliminating racism: Profiles in controversy (pp. 85–116). New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
- Boykin, K. (2005). Beyond the down low: Sex, lies, and denial in African American America. New York: Carroll & Graf.Google Scholar
- Crenshaw, K. (1989). Demarginalizing the intersection of race and sex: A Black feminist critique of antidiscrimination doctrine, feminist theory and antiracist politics. University of Chicago Legal Forum, 1989, 139–167.Google Scholar
- Diaz, R. M., Peterson, J. L., & Choi, K. H. (2008). Social discrimination and health outcomes in African American, Latino, and Asian/Pacific Islander gay men. In R. J. Wolitski, R. Stall & R. O. Valdiserri (Eds.), Unequal opportunity: Health disparities affecting gay and bisexual men in the United States (pp. 327–354). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Esses, V. M., Haddock, G., & Zanna, M. P. (1993). Values, stereotypes, and emotions as determinants of intergroup attitudes. In D. M. Mackie & D. L. Hamilton (Eds.), Affect, cognition and stereotyping: Interactive processes in group perception (pp. 137–166). Orlando: Academic.Google Scholar
- Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2006). Uniform crime reporting program: Hate crime statistics, 2005. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Retrieved from http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/hc2005/index.html
- Gates, H. L., Jr. (1999). Backlash? In E. Brandt (Ed.), Dangerous liaison: Blacks, gays, and the struggle for equality. New York: New.Google Scholar
- Harlow, C. W. (2005). Hate crimes reported by victims and police (Publication No. NCJ 209911). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice. Retrieved February 11, 2008, from http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/ hcrvp.pdf, November.
- Herek, G. M. (1988). Heterosexuals’ attitudes toward lesbians and gay men: correlates and gender differences. The Journal of Sex Research, 25, 451–477.Google Scholar
- Herek, G. M. (2007). Confronting sexual stigma and prejudice: theory and practice. Journal of Social Issues, 63, 905–925.Google Scholar
- Hooks, B. (1981). Ain’t I a woman: Black women and feminism. Boston: South End.Google Scholar
- Kimmel, M. S. (1997). Masculinity as homophobia: Fear, shame, and silence in the construction of gender identity. In M. M. Gergen & S. N. Davis (Eds.), Toward a new psychology of gender (pp. 223–242). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Kinsey, A. C., Pomeroy, W. B., & Martin, C. E. (1948). Sexual behavior in the human male. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders.Google Scholar
- Kite, M. E. (1994). When perceptions meet reality: Individual differences in reactions to lesbians and gay men. In B. Greene & G. M. Herek (Eds.), Lesbian and gay psychology: Theory, research, and clinical applications (pp. 25–52). Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
- National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs. (2007). Anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender violence in 2006. New York: National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs.Google Scholar
- Pascarella, E. T., & Terenzine, P. T. (1991). How college affects students. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
- Pharr, S. (1988). Homophobia: A weapon of sexism. Inverness, CA: Chardon Press.Google Scholar
- Rhue, S., & Rhue, T. (1997). Reducing homophobia in African American communities. In J. T. Sears & W. L. Williams (Eds.), Overcoming heterosexism and homophobia: Strategies that work (pp. 117–130). New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
- Sherif, M., Harvey, O. J., White, B. J., Hood, W. R., & Sherif, C. W. (1961). Intergroup cooperation and competition: The Robbers Cave experiment. Norman: University Book Exchange.Google Scholar
- Smith, B. (1999). Blacks and gays: Healing the divide. In E. Brandt (Ed.), Dangerous liaisons: Blacks, gays, and the struggle for equality (pp. 15–24). New York: New Press.Google Scholar
- Stephan, W. G., & Stephan, C. W. (2000). An integrated threat theory of prejudice. In S. Oskamp (Ed.), Reducing prejudice and discrimination (pp. 23–45). Nahwah: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Takács, J. (2006). Social exclusion of young lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) people in Europe. Brussels: ILGA Europe.Google Scholar
- Tucker, M. B., & Mitchell-Kernan, C. (1995). The decline in marriage among African Americans: Causes, consequences, and policy implications. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
- Valleroy, L., Prentiss, D., MacKellar, D. A., & Secura, G. (2000, July). The bisexual bridge for HIV among 15- to 22-year-old men who have sex with men in the 7 US cities. Paper presented at the thirtheenth International Conference on AIDS, Durban, South Africa.Google Scholar
- Wildermuth, J. (2009, January 7). Black support for Prop 8 called exaggeration. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved March 23, 2009, from http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/01/06/BANB154OS1.DTL.