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A Test of the Three-Component Model of Gender-Based Prejudices: Homophobia and Transphobia Are Affected by Raters’ and Targets’ Assigned Sex at Birth

Abstract

The present study tested a three-component model of homophobia and transphobia that differentiates between general and specifically gender-based social threats that motivate these prejudices. A sample of 187 female and 107 male heterosexual U.S. college undergraduates were randomly assigned to complete survey measures of homophobia and transphobia with either born-female (lesbian and female-to-male transgender, respectively) or born-male (gay man and male-to-female transgender, respectively) targets, as well as measures of religious fundamentalism, right wing authoritarianism, aggression, and ambivalent sexism. The participant by target-gender interaction for transphobia showed that transphobia was particularly high for male participants judging born-male transgender targets. Possibly reflecting a fear of any social non-conformity, religious fundamentalism and right wing authoritarianism were positively correlated with homophobia and transphobia regardless of participant or target gender. Possibly reflecting specific fears among men about threats to male privilege, physical aggression proneness was strongly positively correlated with homophobia and transphobia for men judging a male target. Aggression proneness was also positively correlated with homophobia for women judging a female target. Possibly reflecting specific fears among women about threats to female social roles, benevolent sexism was only positively correlated with transphobia for female but not for male participants, with no target-gender difference. Benevolent sexism was also correlated with homophobia for female participants judging a male target. These findings were largely supportive of the three-component model of gender-based prejudice.

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Correspondence to Craig T. Nagoshi.

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The research protocol was reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board at the University of Texas at Arlington.

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Nagoshi, C.T., Raven Cloud, J., Lindley, L.M. et al. A Test of the Three-Component Model of Gender-Based Prejudices: Homophobia and Transphobia Are Affected by Raters’ and Targets’ Assigned Sex at Birth. Sex Roles 80, 137–146 (2019) doi:10.1007/s11199-018-0919-3

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Keywords

  • Gender
  • Gay/lesbian
  • Transgender
  • Prejudice
  • Attitudes