Sexuality Research and Social Policy

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 44–57 | Cite as

Attitudes toward Same-Sex Marriage and Parenting, Ideologies, and Social Contacts: the Mediation Role of Sexual Prejudice Moderated by Gender

  • Olivier VechoEmail author
  • Martine Gross
  • Emmanuel Gratton
  • Salvatore D’Amore
  • Robert-Jay Green


Recognition of same-sex marriage and parenting has increased in the last two decades but remains a controversial issue in which public opinion plays a role, as it can influence political leaders but also determine the immediate environment of same-sex families. The literature highlights the effect of religiosity, political orientation, beliefs about etiology of homosexuality, and social contacts with gay men and lesbians on attitudes toward same-sex marriage and parenting (ASSMP). The aim of this study was to explore the under-studied mediation role of sexual prejudice in this process and how participants’ gender moderated the mediation effects. Data were collected from 1416 heterosexual French students and analyzed with moderated mediation models in accordance with recent recommendations from Hayes (2013). Sexual prejudice mediated the effects of religiosity, political orientation, and etiological beliefs on ASSMP more strongly in men than in women. It also mediated the effect of contact with gay and lesbian persons and same-sex couples on ASSMP in men but not in women. The results highlight the need to explicitly deconstruct negative beliefs about homosexuality during debates about same-sex marriage and same-sex parenting, even when prejudice against homosexuality itself is not explicit in opponents’ discourse.


Attitudes toward same-sex marriage and parenting Mediating role of sexual prejudice moderated by gender Religiosity Political orientation Etiological beliefs about homosexuality Social contacts 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Université Paris Nanterre, UFR SPSENanterre CedexFrance
  2. 2.CNRS, CeSorParisFrance
  3. 3.LUNAM Université – Université d’AngersAngers CedexFrance
  4. 4.Université Libre de BruxellesBrusselsBelgium
  5. 5.California School of Professional PsychologyAlliant UniversitySan FranciscoUSA

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