While past research has certainly investigated a variety of correlates of U.S. attitudes toward lesbians, gays, bisexual men, bisexual women, male-to-female (MtF) and female-to-male (FtM) transgender (LGBT) individuals, there are no U.S. quantitative studies that could be located that examined attitudes toward each of these groups separately. This is especially important because efforts to combat prejudices are likely to be most successful if they are based in research that explores how attitudes are both similar and different across specified targets of prejudice. Toward that goal, this essay underscores the significance of examining U.S. attitudes toward LGBT individuals as separate constructs. Both the gender and sexual orientation of the target of prejudice and the gender and sexual orientation of the respondent are highlighted as important constructs that should be considered when investigating U.S. attitudes toward LGBT individuals. First, I review previous U.S. studies that have examined attitudes toward LGBT individuals. Second, I offer arguments for how the intersections of gender and sexual orientation may affect attitudes toward LGBT individuals. Third, I discuss future considerations in studies of attitudes toward LGBT individuals in the context of multiple intersectionalities. I suggest that U.S. initiatives to reduce sexual stigma, gender nonconformity stigma, and transgender stigma should be grounded in research that highlights prejudicial attitudes as they vary by the target of prejudice and the respondents’ characteristics.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Alexander, J., & Yescavage, K. (2003). Bisexuality and transgenderism: InterSEXions of the others. In J. Alexander & K. Yescavage (Eds.), Bisexuality and transgenderism: InterSEXions of the others (pp. 1–24). Binghamton: Haworth Press.
Allport, G. W. (1954). The nature of prejudice. Cambridge: Perseus Books.
Altemeyer, B. (2001). Changes in attitudes toward homosexuals. Journal of Homosexuality, 42, 63–75. doi:10.1300/J082v42n02_04.
Altemeyer, B., & Hunsberger, B. (1992). Authoritarianism, religious fundamentalism, quest, and prejudice. The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 2, 113–133. doi:10.1207/s15327582ijpr0202_5.
Astin, A. (1998). The changing American college student: Thirty-year trends, 1966–1996. The Review of Higher Education, 21(2), 115–135.
Ault, A. (1996). Ambiguous identity in an unambiguous sex/gender structure: The case of bisexual women. The Sociological Quarterly, 37, 449–463. doi:10.1111/j.1533-8525.1996.tb00748.x.
Badgett, M., & Folbre, N. (2003). Job gendering: Occupational choice and the labor market. Industrial Relations, 42(2), 270–98. doi:10.1111/1468-232X.00290.
Basow, S. (1992). Gender: Stereotypes and roles. Monterrey: Brooks/Cole.
Basow, S., & Johnson, K. (2000). Predictors of homophobia female college students. Sex Roles, 42, 391–404. doi:10.1023/A:1007098221316.
Bauer, G., Hammond, R., Travers, R., Kaay, M., Hohenadel, M., & Boyce, M. (2009). “I don’t think this is theoretical; this is our lives”: How erasure impacts health care for transgender people. Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, 20, 348–361. doi:10.1016/j.jana.2009.07.004.
Baumgardner, J. (2007). Look both ways: Bisexual politics. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Bergling, T. (2001). Sissyphobia: Gay men and effeminate behavior. Binghamton: Haworth Press.
Berlin, S. (1990). Dichotomous and complex thinking. Social Service Review, 64, 46–59. doi:10.1086/603741.
Black, K., & Stevenson, M. (1984). The relationship of self-reported sex-role characteristics and attitudes toward homosexuality. Journal of Homosexuality, 10, 83–93. doi:10.1300/J082v10n01_06.
Blashill, A., & Powlishta, K. (2009). The impact of sexual orientation and gender role on evaluations of men. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 10, 160–173. doi:10.1037/a0014583.
Bobo, L., & Zubrinksy, C. (1996). Attitudes on residential integration: Perceived status differences, mere in-group preference, or racial prejudice? Social Forces, 74, 883–909. doi:10.2307/2580385.
Bockting, W., Robinson, E., & Rosser, B. (1998). Transgender HIV prevention: A qualitative needs assessment. AIDS Care, 10, 505–526. doi:10.1080/09540129850124028.
Bornstein, K. (1998). My gender workbook. New York: Routledge.
Bortolin, S. (2010). “I don’t want him hitting on me”: The role of masculinities in creating a chilly climate. Journal of LGBT Youth, 7, 200–223. doi:10.1080/19361653.2010.486116.
Bouton, R., Gallaher, P., Garlinghouse, P., Leal, T., Rosenstein, L., & Young, R. (1987). Scales for measuring fear of AIDS and homophobia. Journal of Personality Assessment, 51, 606–614. doi:10.1207/s15327752jpa5104_13.
Brewster, M., & Moradi, B. (2010). Perceived experiences of anti-bisexual prejudice: Instrument development and evaluation. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 57, 451–468. doi:10.1037/a0021116.
Brookey, R. (2002). Reinventing the male homosexual: The rhetoric and power of the gay gene. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Burleson, W. (2005). Bi America: Myths, truths, and struggles of an invisible community. NY: Harrington Park Press.
Ceglian, C., & Lyons, N. (2004). Gender type and comfort with cross-dressers. Sex Roles, 50, 539–546. doi:10.1023/B:SERS.0000023073.99146.2d.
D’Augelli, A., & Rose, M. (1990). Homophobia in a university community: Attitudes and experience of white heterosexual freshmen. Journal of College Student Development, 31, 484–491.
Davidson, M. (2007). Seeking refuge under the umbrella: Inclusion, exclusion, and organizing within the category transgender. Sexuality Research & Social Policy, 4, 60–80. doi:srsp. 2007/srsp.2007.4.4.60.
Diamond, L. (2009). Sexual fluidity: Understanding women’s love and desire. Harvard University Press.
Diaz, R., Ayala, G., Bein, E., Henne, J., & Marin, B. (2001). The impact of homophobia, poverty and racism on the mental health of gay and bisexual Latino men: Findings from 3 US cities. American Journal of Public Health, 91, 927–932. doi:10.2105/AJPH.91.6.927.
Dodge, B., Reece, M., & Gebhard, P. (2008). Kinsey and beyond: Past, present, and future considerations for research on male bisexuality. Journal of Bisexuality, 8, 175–189. doi:10.1080/15299710802501462.
Doll, L., Myers, T., Kennedy, M., & Allman, D. (1997). Bisexuality and HIV risk: Experiences in Canada and the United States. Annual Review of Sex Research, 8, 102–148.
Eliason, M. J. (1997). The prevalence and nature of biphobia in heterosexual undergraduate students. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 26, 317–326. doi:10.1023/A:1024527032040.
Eliason, M. J. (2010). A new classification system for lesbians: The dyke diagnostic manual. Journal of Lesbian Studies, 14, 401–414. doi:10.1080/10894161003677133.
Eliason, M., & Raheim, S. (1996). Categorical measurement of attitudes about lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services, 4, 51–65. doi:10.1300/J041v04n03_03.
Ernulf, K., Innala, S., & Whitam, F. (1989). Biological explanation, psychological explanation, and tolerance of homosexuals: A cross-national analysis of beliefs and attitudes. Psychological Reports, 65, 1003–1010.
Faderman, L. (1981). Surpassing the love of men. New York: William Morrow.
Falomir-Pichastor, J., & Mugny, G. (2009). “I’m not gay.. .. I’m a real man!”: Heterosexual men’s gender self-esteem and sexual prejudice. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35, 12–33. doi:10.1177/0146167209338072.
Feldblum, C. (2001/2002). Gay people, trans people, women: Is it all about gender? New York Law School Journal of Human Rights, 17, 623–702.
Finnegan, D., & McNally, E. (2002). Counseling lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender substance abusers. Binghamton: Haworth Press.
Fish, J. (2008). Navigating queer street: Researching the intersections of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) identities in health research. Sociological Research Online, 13, 1. Retrieved from http://www.socresonline.org.uk/13/1/12.html
Fish, T., & Rye, B. (1991). Attitudes toward a homosexual or heterosexual persons with AIDS. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 21, 651–667. doi:10.1111/j.1559-1816.1991.tb00541.x.
Geidner, C. (2012, January 29). The next battle: The question of trans service could be getting a big boost with the focus OutServe has decided to give it. Metro Weekly. Retrieved from http://www.metroweekly.com/news/?ak=7010
Gentry, C. (1987). Social distance regarding male and female homosexuals. Journal of Social Psychology, 127, 199–208. doi:10.1080/00224545.1987.9713680.
Gerhardstein, K., & Anderson, V. (2010). There’s more than meets the eye: Facial appearance and evaluations of transsexual people. Sex Roles, 62, 361–373. doi:10.1007/s11199-010-9746-x.
Goodwin, M. P., & Roscoe, B. (1988). AIDS: Students’ knowledge and attitudes at a Midwestern university. Journal of American College Health, 36, 214–222. doi:10.1080/07448481.1988.9939016.
Gordon, L. E. (2006). Bringing the U-Haul: Embracing and resisting sexual stereotypes in a lesbian community. Sexualities, 9, 171–192. doi:10.1177/1363460706063118.
Gordon, A., & Meyer, I. (2007). Gender nonconformity as a target of prejudice, discrimination and violence against LGB individuals. Journal of LGBT Health Research, 3, 55–71. doi:10.1080.15574090802093562.
Green, J. (2005). Part of the package: Ideas of masculinity among male-identified transpeople. Men and Masculinities, 7, 291–299. doi:10.1177/1097184X04272116.
Green, E. (2010). Shifting paradigms: Moving beyond “trans 101” in sexuality education. American Journal of Sexuality Education, 5, 1–16. doi:10.1080/15546121003748798.
Grossman, A., D’Augelli, A., Salter, N., & Hubbard, S. (2005). Comparing gender expression, gender nonconformity, and parents’ responses of female-to-male and male-to-female transgender youth: Implications for counseling. Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling, 1, 41–59. doi:10.1300/J041v18n01_02.
Halberstam, J. (2003). The Brandon Teena archive. In J. Corber & S. Valocchi (Eds.), Queer studies: An interdisciplinary reader (pp. 159–169). Malden: Blackwell.
Hamilton, L. (2007). Trading on heterosexuality: College women’s gender strategies and homophobia. Gender & Society, 21, 145–172. doi:10.1177/0891243206297604.
Hegarty, P., & Pratto, F. (2001). Sexual orientation beliefs: Their relationship to anti-gay attitudes and biological determinist arguments. Journal of Homosexuality, 41, 121–135. doi:10.1300/J082v41n01_04.
Herek, G. (1984). Beyond “homophobia”: A social psychological perspective on attitudes toward lesbians and gay men. Journal of Homosexuality, 10, 1–21. doi:10.1300/J082v10n01_01.
Herek, G. (1986). On heterosexual masculinity: Some psychical consequences of the social construction of gender and sexuality. American Behavior Scientist, 29, 563–577.
Herek, G. (1988). Heterosexuals’ attitudes toward lesbians and gay men: Correlates and gender differences. The Journal of Sex Research, 25, 451–477. doi:10.1080/00224498809551476.
Herek, G. (1990). The context of anti-gay violence: Notes on cultural and psychological heterosexism. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 5, 316–333. doi:10.1177/088626090005003006.
Herek, G. (1994). Assessing heterosexuals’ attitudes toward lesbians and gay men: A review of empirical research with the ATLG scale. In B. Greene & G. Herek (Eds.), Lesbian and gay psychology (pp. 206–228). Thousand Oaks: Sage.
Herek, G. (1998). The Attitudes Toward Lesbians and Gay Men (ATLG) scale. In C. Davis, W. Yarber, R. Bauserman, G. Schreer, & S. Davis (Eds.), Sexuality-related measures: A compendium (pp. 392–395). Thousand Oaks: Sage.
Herek, G. (2000). The psychology of sexual prejudice. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 19–22. doi:10.1111/1467-8721.00051.
Herek, G. (2002). Heterosexuals’ attitudes toward bisexual men, and bisexual women in the United States. The Journal of Sex Research, 39, 264–274. doi:10.1080/00224490209552150.
Herek, G. (2004). Beyond homophobia: Thinking about sexual prejudice and stigma in the twenty-first century. Sexuality Research & Social Policy, 1, 6–24. doi:srsp.2007/srsp.2004.1.2.6.
Herek, G. (2007). Confronting sexual stigma and prejudice: Theory and practice. Journal of Social Issues, 63, 905–925. doi:10.1111/j.1540-4560.2007.00544.x.
Herek, G., & Capitanio, J. (1996). “Some of my best friends”: Intergroup contact, concealable stigma, and heterosexuals’ attitudes toward gay men and lesbians. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 22, 412–424. doi:10.1177/0146167296224007.
Herek, G., & Capitanio, J. (1999). AIDS stigma and sexual prejudice. American Behavioral Scientist, 42, 1130–1147. doi:10.1177/0002764299042007006.
Herek, G., & Glunt, E. (1993). Interpersonal contact and heterosexuals’ attitudes toward gay men: Results from a national survey. Journal of Sex Research, 30, 239–244. doi:10.1080/00224499309551707.
Hershberger, S. (2001). Biological factors in the development of sexual orientation. In A. D’Augelli & C. Patterson (Eds.), Lesbian, gay, and bisexual identities and youth: Psychological perspectives (pp. 27–51). Oxford: Oxford Press.
Hill, D. (2002). Genderism, transphobia, and gender bashing: A framework for interpreting anti-transgender violence. In B. Wallace & R. Carter (Eds.), Understanding and dealing with violence (pp. 113–136). Thousand Oaks: Sage.
Hill, R. (2009). Incorporating queers: Blowback, backlash, and other forms of resistance to workplace diversity initiatives that support sexual minorities. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 11, 37–53. doi:10.1177/1523422308328128.
Hill, D., & Willoughby, B. (2005). The development and validation of the genderism and transphobia scale. Sex Roles, 53, 531–544. doi:10.1007/s11199-005-7140-x.
Hinrichs, D., & Rosenberg, P. (2002). Attitudes toward gay, lesbian, and bisexual persons among heterosexual liberal arts college students. Journal of Homosexuality, 43, 61–84. doi:10.1300/J082v43n01_04.
Hogan, P. (Director). (1997). My best friend’s wedding [Motion picture]. United States: Sony Pictures.
Hutchins, L. (1996). Bisexuality: Politics and community. In B. A. Firestein (Ed.), Bisexuality: The psychology and politics of an invisible minority (pp. 240–255). Thousand Oaks: Sage.
Hutchins, L., & Ka’ahumanu, L. (Eds.). (1991). Bi any other name: Bisexual people speak out. Boston: Alyson.
Hytner, N. (Director). (1998). The object of my affection [Motion picture]. United States: Sony Pictures.
Jackson, S. (2006). Gender, sexuality and heterosexuality: The complexity (and limits) of heteronormativity. Feminist Theory, 7, 105–121. doi:10.1177/1464700106061462.
Jayaratne, T., Ybarra, O., Sheldon, J., Brown, T., Feldbaum, M., Pfeffer, C., & Petty, E. (2006). White Americans’ genetic lay theories of race differences and sexual orientation: Their relationship with prejudice toward blacks, and gay men and lesbians. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 9, 77–94. doi:10.1177/1368430206059863.
Kando, T. (1972). The projection of intolerance: A comparison of males, females and transsexuals. The Journal of Sex Research, 8, 225–236. doi:10.1080/00224497209550755.
Kasindorf, J. (1993, May 10). Lesbian chic: The bold, brave new world of gay women. New York Magazine, 26, 33.
Kenagy, G., & Hsieh, C. (2005). The risk less known: Female-to-male transgender persons’ vulnerability to HIV infection. AIDS Care, 17, 195–207. doi:10.1080/19540120512331325680.
Kertzner, R., Meyer, I., Frost, D., & Stirratt, M. (2009). Social and psychological wellbeing in lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals: The effects of race, gender, age, and sexual identity. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 79, 500–510. doi:10.1037/a0016848.
Kimmel, M. S. (2009). Masculinity as homophobia: Fear, shame, and silence in the construction of gender identity. In A. Ferber, K. Holcomb, & T. Wentling (Eds.), Sex, gender, and sexuality (pp. 58–70). NY: Oxford University Press.
Kite, M. (1984). Sex differences in attitudes toward homosexuals: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Homosexuality, 10, 69–81. doi:10.1300/J082v10n01_05.
Kite, M., & Whitley, B. (1998). Do heterosexual women and men differ in their attitudes toward homosexuality? A conceptual and methodological analysis. In G. Herek (Ed.), Psychological perspectives on lesbians and gay issues: Stigma and sexual orientation (Vol. 4, pp. 39–61). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Kohan, D., & Mutchnick, M. (Creators). (1998–2006). Will & Grace. [Television series]. Los Angeles: NBC Universal.
Kurdek, L. (1988). Correlates of negative attitudes toward homosexuals among heterosexual college students. Sex Roles, 18, 727–738. doi:10.1007/BF00288057.
LaMar, L., & Kite, M. (1998). Sex differences in attitudes toward gay men and lesbians: A multidimensional perspective. The Journal of Sex Research, 35, 189–196. doi:10.1080/00224499809551932.
Larsen, K., Reed, M., & Hoffman, S. (1980). Attitudes of heterosexuals toward homosexuality: A likert-type scale and construct validity. The Journal of Sex Research, 16, 245–257. doi:10.1080/00224498009551081.
Leitenberg, H., & Slavin, L. (1983). Comparison of attitudes toward transsexuality and homosexuality. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 12, 337–346. doi:10.1007/BF01542194.
Lobel, T. (1994). Sex typing and the social perception of gender stereotypic and nonstereotypic behavior: The uniqueness of feminine males. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 66, 379–385. doi:10.1037//0022-35220.127.116.119.
Loftus, J. (2001). America’s liberalization in attitudes toward homosexuality, 1973 to 1998. American Sociological Review, 66, 762–782. doi:10.2307/3088957.
Logie, C., Bridge, T., & Bridge, P. (2007). Evaluating the phobias, attitudes, and cultural competence of master of social work students toward the LGBT populations. Journal of Homosexuality, 53, 201–221. doi:10.1080/00918360802103472.
Lombardi, E., Wilchins, R., Priesling, D., & Malouf, D. (2001). Gender violence: Transgender experiences with violence and discrimination. Journal of Homosexuality, 41(1), 89–101.
Louderback, L., & Whitley, B. (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. doi:10.1080/00224499709551882.
MacDonald, A. (1981). Bisexuality: Some comments on research and theory. Journal of Homosexuality, 6, 21–35. doi:10.1300/J082v06n03_02.
MacDonald, A., Huggins, J., Young, S., & Swanson, R. (1973). Attitudes toward homosexuality: Preservation of sex morality or the double standard? Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 40, 161. doi:10.1037/h0033943.
McCreary, D. (1994). The male role in avoiding femininity. Sex Roles, 31, 517–531.
Margillo, G., & Imahori, T. (1998). Understanding safer sex negotiation in a group of low-income African-American women. In N. L. Roth & L. K. Fuller (Eds.), Women and AIDS: Negotiating safer practices, care, and representation (pp. 43–69). Binghamton: Haworth Press.
Marsiglio, W. (1993). Attitudes toward homosexual activity and gays as friends: A national survey of heterosexual 15- to 19-year-old males. Journal of Sex Research, 30, 12–17. doi:10.1080/00224499309551673.
Matchinsky, D., & Iverson, T. (1996). Homophobia in heterosexual female undergraduates. Journal of Homosexuality, 31, 123–128. doi:10.1300/J082v31n04_06.
Mayfield, W., & Carrubba, M. (1996). Validation of the attitudes toward bisexuality inventory. Poster presented at Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Toronto, Canada.
McIntosh, M. (1993). Queer theory and the war of the sexes. In J. Bristow & A. R. Wilson (Eds.), Activating theory: lesbian, gay, bisexual politics (pp. 30–52). London: Lawrence & Wishart.
McKirnan, D., Stokes, J., Doll, L., & Burzette, R. (1995). Bisexuality active men: Social characteristics and sexual behavior. The Journal of Sex Research, 32, 65–76. doi:10.1080/00224499509551775.
Miller, M. (2002). “Ethically questionable?” Popular media reports on bisexual men and AIDS. Journal of Bisexuality, 2, 92–112.
Mohr, J., & Rochlen, A. (1999). Measuring attitudes regarding bisexuality in lesbian, gay male, and heterosexual populations. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 46, 353–369. doi:10.1037/0022-018.104.22.1683.
Morrison, M., & Morrison, T. (2003). Development and validation of a scale measuring modern prejudice toward gay men and lesbian women. Journal of Homosexuality, 43, 15–37. doi:10.1300/J082v43n02_02.
Morse, E., Simon, P., Osofsky, H., Balson, P., & Gaumer, H. (1991). The male street prostitute: A vector for transmission of HIV infection into the heterosexual world. Social Science and Medicine, 32, 535–539. doi:10.1016/0277-9536(91)90287-M.
Moss, C. (2003). Madonna smooches with Britney and Christina; Justin, Coldplay win big at VMAs. Retrieved from http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1477729/justin-coldplay-win-big-at-vmas.jhtml.
Mulick, P., & Wright, L., Jr. (2002). Examining the existence of biphobia in the heterosexual and homosexual populations. Journal of Bisexuality, 2, 45–64. doi:10.1300/J159v02n04_03.
Nagoshi, J., Adams, K., Terrell, H., Hill, E., Brzuzy, S., & Nagoshi, C. (2008). Gender differences in correlates of homophobia and transphobia. Sex Roles, 59, 521–531. doi:10.1007/s11199-008-9458-7.
Namaste, V. (2001). HIV/AIDS and female-to-male transsexuals and transvestites: Results from a needs assessment in Quebec. In W. Bockting & S. Kirk (Eds.), Transgender and HIV: Risks, prevention, and care (pp. 91–100). Binghamton: Haworth Press.
Negy, C., & Eisenman, R. (2005). A comparison of African American and white college students’ affective and attitudinal reactions to lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals: An exploratory study. The Journal of Sex Research, 42, 291–298. doi:10.1080/00224490509552284.
Nemoto, T., Luke, D., Mamo, L., Ching, A., & Patria, J. (1999). HIV risk behaviours among male-to-female transgenders in comparison with homosexual or bisexual males and heterosexual females. AIDS Care, 11, 312. doi:10.1080/09540129947938.
Nestle, J., Howell, C., & Wilchins, R. (2002). GenderQueer: Voices from beyond the sexual binary. Los Angeles: Alyson Publications.
NYTimes.com. (2011, September 20). Don’t ask, don’t tell. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/d/dont_ask_dont_tell/index.html.
O’Brien, F., & Vest, M. (1988). A proposed scale to measure beliefs about the consequences of employing homosexuals. Psychological Reports, 63, 547–551.
Ochs, R. (1996). Biphobia: It goes more than two ways. In B. A. Firestein (Ed.), Bisexuality: The psychology and politics of an invisible minority (pp. 217–239). Thousand Oaks: Sage.
Oliver, M., & Hyde, J. (1993). Gender differences in sexuality: A meta analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 114, 29–51. doi:10.1037//0033-2909.114.1.29.
Oskamp, W. (2000). Multiple paths to reducing prejudice and discrimination. In S. Oskamp (Ed.), Reducing prejudice and discrimination (pp. 1–19). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Parker, R., & Aggleton, P. (2003). HIV and AIDS-related stigma and discrimination: A conceptual framework and implications for action. Social Science & Medicine, 57, 13–24. doi:10.1016/S0277-9536(02)00304-0.
Peltzer, K., Nzewi, E., & Mohan, K. (2004). Attitudes towards HIV-antibody testing and people with AIDS among university students in India, South Africa, and United States. Indian Journal of Medical Sciences, 58, 95–108.
Perry, K. (2008). I kissed girl. On One of the boys [Digital recording]. Los Angeles: Capitol Records.
Preves, S. (2003). Intersex and identity: The contested self. NJ: Rutgers University Press.
Price, V., & Hsu, M. (1992). Public opinion about AIDS policies: The role of misinformation and attitudes toward homosexuals. The Public Opinion Quarterly, 56, 29–52. doi:10.1086/269294.
Queen, C. (1996). Bisexuality, sexual diversity, and the sexpositive perspective. In B. Firestein (Ed.), Bisexuality: The psychology and politics of an invisible minority (pp. 103–126). CA: Sage.
Raja, S., & Stokes, J. (1998). Assessing attitudes toward lesbians and gay men: The modern homophobia scale. Journal of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Identity, 3, 113–134.
Riddle, D. (1996). Riddle homophobia scale. In M. Adams, P. Brigham, P. Dalpes, & L. Marchesani (Eds.), Social diversity and social justice: Gay, lesbian and bisexual oppression (p. 31). Dubuque: Kendall/Hunt Publishing.
Rodriguez-Madera, S., & Toro-Alfonso, J. (2005). Gender as an obstacle in HIV/AIDS prevention: Considerations for the development of HIV/AIDS prevention efforts for male-to-female transgenders. International Journal of Transgenderism, 8, 113–122. doi:10.1300/J485v08n02_10.
Roen, K. (2002). “Either/or” and “both/neither”: Discursive tensions in transgender politics. Signs, 27, 501–522.
Rupp, L., & Taylor, V. (2010). Straight girls kissing. Contexts, 9, 28–32. doi:srsp.2007/ctx.2010.9.3.28.
Russo, J. (2009, February 19). Myths about bisexual women, debunked. Associated Content. Retrieved fromhttp://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1464780/myths_about_bisexual_women_debunked.html?cat=41
Rust, P. (1995). Bisexuality and the challenge to lesbian politics: Sex, loyalty and revolution. New York: NYU Press.
Rust, P. (2002). Bisexuality: The state of the union. Annual Review of Sex Research, 13, 180–241.
Rust, P. (2003). Monogamy and polyamory: Relationship issues for bisexuals. In L. Garnets & D. Kimmel (Eds.), Psychological perspectives on lesbian, gay, and bisexual experiences (pp. 415–496). NY: Columbia University Press.
Sandfort, T., Melendez, R., & Diaz, R. (2007). Gender nonconformity, homophobia and mental distress in Latino gay and bisexual men. The Journal of Sex Research, 44. doi:10.1080/00224490701263819.
Sandnabba, N. K., & Ahlberg, C. (1999). Parents’ attitudes and expectations about children’s cross-gender behavior. Sex Roles, 40, 249–263. doi:10.1023/A:1018851005631.
Savin-Williams, R. (2005). The new gay teenager. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Schilt, K., & Westbrook, L. (2009). Doing gender, doing heteronormativity: ‘Gender normals’, transgender people, and the social maintenance of heterosexuality. Gender & Society, 23, 440–464. doi:10.1177/0891243209340034.
Schope, R. D., & Eliason, M. J. (2004). Sissies and tomboys: Gender role behaviors and homophobia. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services, 16, 73–97.
Selzer, R. (1992). The social location of those holding antihomosexual attitudes. Sex Roles, 26, 391–398. doi:10.1007/BF00291550.
Serano, J. (2007). Whipping girl: A transsexual woman on sexism and the scapegoating of femininity. Berkeley: Seal Press.
Sheehan, E., Lennon, R., & McDevitt, T. (1989). Reactions to AIDS and other illnesses: Reported interactions in the workplace. Journal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied, 123, 525–536.
Shugart, H. (2003). Reinventing privilege: The new (gay) man in contemporary popular media. Critical Studies in Media Communication, 20(1), 67–91. doi:10.1080/0739318032000067056.
Simon, A. (1998). The relationship between stereotypes of and attitudes towards lesbians and gays. In G. Herek (Ed.), Stigma and sexual orientation: Understanding prejudice against lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals (pp. 62–81). Thousand Oaks: Sage.
Smith, K. (1971). Homophobia: A tentative personality profile. Psychological Reports, 29, 1091–1094.
Smith, S., Axelton, A., & Saucier, D. (2009). The effects of contact on sexual prejudice: A meta-analysis. Sex Roles, 61, 178–191. doi:10.1007/s11199-009-9627-3.
Stephan, W., & Stephan, C. (2000). An integrated threat theory of prejudice. In S. Oskamp (Ed.), Reducing prejudice and discrimination (pp. 23–46). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Stone, S. (1996). Bisexual women and the “threat” to lesbian space: Or what if all the lesbians leave? Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies, 16, 101–116.
Thaler, R. (2012, February 18). Gay marriage debate is about money, too. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/business/gay-marriage-debate-is-about-money-too.html.
Thompson, E., Grisanti, C., & Pleck, J. H. (1985). Attitudes toward the male role and their correlates. Sex Roles, 13, 413–427. doi:10.1007/BF00287952.
Torregrosa, L. (2010, June 7). Sandra Bullock and Scarlett Johansson on MTV: The perfect kiss? Politics Daily. Retrieved from http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/06/07/sandra-bullock-and-scarlett-johansson-on-mtv-the-perfect-kiss/.
Tygart, C. (1999). Genetic causation attribution and public support of gay rights. International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 12, 259–275. doi:10.1093/ijpor/12.3.259.
Vannewkirk, R. (2006). “Gee, I didn’t get that vibe from you” Articulating my own version of a femme lesbian existence. Journal of Lesbian Studies, 10, 73–85. doi:10.1300/J155v10n01_04.
Weinberg, G. (1972). Society and the healthy homosexual. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
Weinberg, J. (2009–2010). Gender nonconformity: An analysis of perceived sexual orientation and gender identity protection under the employment non-discrimination act. USF Law Review, 44, 1–31.
Weinberg, M., Williams, C., & Pryor, D. (2009). Becoming bisexual. In P. A. Adler & P. Adler (Eds.), Constructions of deviance (pp. 262–272). Belmont: Thomson Wadsworth.
Weiner, B. (1995). Judgments of responsibility: Foundations for a theory of social conduct. NY: Guilford.
Weiss, J. (2004). GL vs. BT: The archaeology of biphobia and transphobia within the U.S. gay and lesbian community. Journal of Bisexuality, 3, 25–55. doi:10.1300/J159v03n03_02.
Welzer-Lang, D. (2008). Speaking out loud about bisexuality: Biphobia in the gay and lesbian community. Journal of Bisexuality, 8(1), 81–95. doi:10.1080/15299710802142259.
Whitley, B. (1987). The relationship of sex-role orientation to heterosexuals’ attitudes toward homosexuals. Sex Roles, 17, 103–113. doi:10.1007/BF00287903.
Wilchins, R. (1997). Read my lips: Sexual subversion and the end of gender. Ithaca: Firebrand Books.
Worth, H. (2003). The myth of the bisexual infector? Journal of Bisexuality, 3, 69–88. doi:10.1300/J159v03n02_05.
Worthen, M. G. F. (2011). College student experiences with an LGBTQ ally training program: A mixed methods study at a university in the southern United States. Journal of LGBT Youth, 8, 332–377. doi:10.1080/19361653.2011.608024.
Worthen, M. G. F. (2012). Heterosexual college student sexual experiences, feminist identity, and attitudes toward LGBT individuals. Journal of LGBT Youth, 9, 77–113. doi:10.1080/19361653.2012.649613.
Wright, L., Adams, H., & Bernat, J. (1999). Development and validation of the homophobia scale. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 21, 337–347. doi:10.1023/A:1022172816258.
Wright, L., Mulick, P., & Kincaid, S. (2007). Fear of and discrimination against bisexuals, homosexuals, and individuals with AIDS. Journal of Bisexuality, 6, 71–84. doi:10.1300/J159v06n04_06.
I would like to thank the editors and the anonymous reviewers for their guidance with this essay.
Appendix A. Definitions
Appendix A. Definitions
While it is certain that many of these “definitions” are changing constantly and may offer debate themselves, I feel it is important to offer a working definition of these terms as a way to discuss the issues relevant to this essay. Presented in alphabetical order:
- Bisexual Man:
Those who self-identify as a “man” as their gender category who are sexually, romantically, physically, and/or emotionally attracted to both men and women. The sex (male/female) of these individuals may or may not align with their gender category (man/woman). This definition is limited, as it does not provide an adequate space for queer or genderqueer individuals (see Nestle et al. 2002). It is important to note that “bisexual” is a term that has many negative connotations and is therefore limited as a self-selected category by which individuals define themselves (see MacDonald 1981; Weinberg et al. 2009).
- Bisexual Woman:
Those who self-identify as a “woman” as their gender category who are sexually, romantically, physically, and/or emotionally attracted to both men and women. The sex (male/female) of these individuals may or may not align with their gender category (man/woman). Some limitations are noted above (see “Bisexual Man”).
A label for individuals who have a match between the sex they were assigned at birth, their bodies, and their personal gender identity (Schilt and Westbrook 2009).
The assumption that it is “normal” to be cisgender (Schilt and Westbrook 2009).
Transgender individuals who have transitioned or are currently transitioning from having female/woman sex and/or gender characteristics to having male/man sex and/or gender characteristics (see Gerhardstein and Anderson 2010).
A socialized construct that may or may not be associated with an individual’s sex organs. I include the categories of “man” and “woman” as an individual’s “gender” in this manuscript. It is important to note that this definition is also somewhat biased and limited, as it does not offer a space for genderqueer individuals (see Nestle et al. 2002).
Individuals who perceive and/or describe their gender identity as neither man nor woman, or as between or beyond genders, or as some combination of multiple genders (see Green 2010).
Those who self-identify as a “man” as their gender category who are sexually, romantically, physically, and/or emotionally attracted to men. The sex (male/female) of these individuals may or may not align with their gender category (man/woman). This is limited, as it is true that many identify as “gay” that do not fit this definition, for example “gay woman” has been used (Kasindorf 1993).
Those who self-identify as a “man” as their gender category who are sexually, romantically, physically, and/or emotionally attracted to women and those who self-identify as a “woman” as their gender category who are sexually, romantically, physically, and/or emotionally attracted to men. The sex (male/female) of these individuals may or may not align with their gender category (man/woman).
The assumption that it is “normal” to be heterosexual (see Jackson 2006).
A fear of those in the gay and/or lesbian community (see Herek 2004). Homophobia can be present in anyone: heterosexual, bisexual, gay, lesbian, transgender, etc.
Those who self-identify as a “woman” as their gender category who are sexually, romantically, physically, and/or emotionally attracted to women. The sex (male/female) of these individuals may or may not align with their gender category (man/woman). As noted above, it is certainly true that some women who are attracted to women identify as “gay” (Kasindorf 1993).
Transgender individuals who have transitioned or are currently transitioning from having male/man sex and/or gender characteristics to having female/woman sex and/or gender characteristics (see Gerhardstein and Anderson 2010).
- Sexual Prejudice:
Negative attitudes toward an individual because of her or his sexual orientation (Herek 2004). According to Herek (2004), sexual prejudice conveys no assumptions about the motivations underlying negative attitudes, locates the study of attitudes concerning sexual orientation within the broader context of social psychological research on prejudice, and avoids value judgments about such attitudes (p. 19).
A biological construct, usually assigned at birth in relation to an individual’s visible genitalia. I include the categories of “male” and “female” as an individual’s “sex” in this manuscript. This definition is biased and limited, as it does not offer a space for intersex individuals (see Preves 2003).
- Sexual Stigma:
As defined by Herek (2007): “sexual stigma” is negative regard, inferior status, and relative powerlessness that society collectively accords to any non-heterosexual behavior, identity, relationship, or community. Sexual stigma is socially shared knowledge about homosexuality’s devalued status in society (p. 906–7).
Working from Schilt and Westbrook’s (2009) definition of “cisgender,” I use “transgender” as a label for individuals who do not have a match between the sex they were assigned at birth, their bodies, and their personal gender identity (see also Grossman et al. 2005).
A fear of those in the transgender and/or transsexual community (both MtF and FtM) (see Nagoshi et al. 2008). Transphobia can be present in anyone: heterosexual, bisexual, gay, etc.
I only use “transsexual” when citing other researchers who used this term in their studies. There is some contention in the trans community regarding the term “transsexual” because it may refer to certain biases related to those who have the ability to receive/pay for surgeries and those who do not have such resources (see Roen 2002; Serano 2007).
- Trans Umbrella:
This term describes the conceptualization of transgender as an umbrella that encompasses a wide range of people who play with, disrupt, or blend Euro-American cultural beliefs about binary sex and gender (see Davidson 2007, p. 60).
About this article
Cite this article
Worthen, M.G.F. An Argument for Separate Analyses of Attitudes Toward Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Men, Bisexual Women, MtF and FtM Transgender Individuals. Sex Roles 68, 703–723 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-012-0155-1