Journal of Nonverbal Behavior

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 249–259 | Cite as

Same-sex touching behavior: The moderating role of homophobic attitudes

  • Neal J. Roese
  • James M. Olson
  • Marianne N. Borenstein
  • Angela Martin
  • Alison L. Shores


Two studies examined the hypothesis that men's tendencies to possess more homophobic attitudes than women might underlie the repeated finding that men engage in less intimate same-sex interpersonal touch than women. In the first study, men scored higher on a homophobia attitudes scale and rated themselves as less comfortable with same-sex touch than did women. Moreover, homophobia and lack of comfort with same-sex touch were correlated both within men and across all subjects. In the second study, same-sex dyads of university students were observed covertly in a cafeteria, and frequency of touching was recorded. These subjects were then approached and asked to complete a homophobia attitudes scale. Men scored higher on the homophobia scale and touched their same-sex acquaintance less frequently than did women. Again, homophobia and same-sex touch correlated within both men and women and across all subjects. Taken together, the results offer support for a connection between homophobia and same-sex touch.


Social Psychology Attitude Scale Repeated Finding Homophobia Attitude Homophobia Scale 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Neal J. Roese
    • 1
  • James M. Olson
    • 1
  • Marianne N. Borenstein
    • 1
  • Angela Martin
    • 1
  • Alison L. Shores
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada

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