Sexism and Attitudes Toward Same-Sex Parenting in a Sample of Heterosexuals and Sexual Minorities: the Mediation Effect of Sexual Stigma
- 451 Downloads
The present study aimed to: (a) investigate the relationship between attitudes toward same-sex parenting and sexism both in heterosexuals and sexual minorities; (b) verify whether sexism predicted negative attitudes toward same-sex parenting via the mediating role of sexual stigma (sexual prejudice in heterosexual people and internalized sexual stigma [ISS] in lesbians and gay men [LG]). An Italian sample of 477 participants (65.6% heterosexual people and 34.4% LG people) was used to verify three hypotheses: (a) heterosexual men showed higher levels of sexism than heterosexual women and LG people; (b) heterosexual men reported more negative attitudes toward same-sex parenting than those of heterosexual women and LG people; and (c) sexual prejudice in heterosexual people and ISS in LG people mediated the relationship between sexism and attitudes toward same-sex parenting. Overall, men and heterosexual people showed stronger sexist tendencies and more negative attitudes toward same-sex parenting. Moreover, sexism affected attitudes toward same-sex parenting via sexual prejudice in heterosexual people and ISS in LG people. These results suggest that negative attitudes toward same-sex parenting reflect sociocultural inequalities based on the traditional gender belief system and points to the necessity of social policies to reduce prejudice toward sexual minority groups.
KeywordsSexism Same-sex parenting Internalized sexual stigma Sexual prejudice Minority stress
The authors express their sincere gratitude to the sexual minorities and heterosexuals who participated in this study. All authors who contributed significantly to the work have been identified.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
This study was not funded by any grant.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
- Baiamonte, C., & Bastanioni, P. (2015). Le famiglie omogenitoriali in Italia. Bergamo: Edizioni Junior.Google Scholar
- Baiocco, R., Santamaria, F., Ioverno, S., Fontanesi, L., Baumgartner, E., Laghi, F., & Lingiardi, V. (2015). Lesbian mother families and gay father families in Italy: Family functioning, dyadic satisfaction, and child well-being. Sexuality Research and Social Policy, 12, 202–212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Brown, R. (2010). Prejudice: Its social psychology (2nd ed.). Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
- Burkard, A. W., Medler, B. R., & Boticki, M. A. (2001). Prejudice and racism: Challenges and progress in measurement. In J. G. Ponterotto, J. M. Casas, L. A. Suzuki, & C. M. Alexander (Eds.), Handbook of multicultural counseling (pp. 457–481). Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
- Cochran, S. D., & Mays, V. M. (2006). Estimating prevalence of mental and substance-using disorders among lesbians and gay men from existing national health data. In A. M. Omoto & H. S. Kurtzman (Eds.), Sexual orientation and mental health: Examining identity and development in lesbian, gay, and bisexual people (pp. 143–165). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- D’Amore, S., Green, R. J., Scali, T., Liberati, G., & Haxhe, S. (2014). Belgian heterosexual attitudes toward homosexual couples and families. In J. E. Sokolec & M. P. Dentato (Eds.), The effect of marginalization on the healthy aging of LGBTQ older adults (pp. 18–24). Chicago: Loyola University Chicago: Social Justice Retrevied from http://ecommons.luc.edu/social_justice/51.Google Scholar
- D’Augelli, A. R., & Rose, M. L. (1990). Homophobia in a university community: Attitudes and experiences of heterosexual freshmen. Journal of College Stududent Development, 31, 484–491.Google Scholar
- European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights. (2011). European Union Agency for fundamental rights | helping to make fundamental rights a reality for everyone in the European Union. Retrieved from http://fra.europa.eu/en.
- Glick, P., Fiske, S. T., Mladinic, A., Saiz, J. L., Abrams, D., Masser, B., … López, W. L. (2000). Beyond prejudice as simple antipathy: Hostile and benevolent sexism across cultures. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79, 763–775.Google Scholar
- Hayes, A. F. (2013). Introduction to mediation, moderation, and conditional process analysis: A regression-based approach. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
- Jost, J. T., Burgess, D., & Mosso, C. O. (2001). Conflicts of legitimation among self, group, and system: The integrative potential of system justification theory. In J. Jost & B. Major (Eds.), The psychology of legitimacy (pp. 363–390). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Lingiardi, V. (2012). Citizen gay. Affetti e diritti [gay citizen: Affections and rights]. Milano: Saggiatore.Google Scholar
- Lingiardi, V., Nardelli, N., Ioverno, S., Falanga, S., Di Chiacchio, C., Tanzilli, A., & Baiocco, R. (2016). Homonegativity in Italy: Cultural issues, personality characteristics, and demographic correlates with negative attitudes toward lesbians and gay men. Sexuality Research and Social Policy, 13, 95–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- McGeorge, C. R., Carlson, T. S., & Toomey, R. B. (2015). An exploration of family therapists’ beliefs about the ethics of conversion therapy: The influence of negative beliefs and clinical competence with lesbian, gay, and bisexual clients. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 41, 42–56.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Petruccelli, I., Baiocco, R., Ioverno, S., Pistella, J., & D'Urso, G. (2015). Famiglie possibili: uno studio sugli atteggiamenti verso la genitorialità di persone gay e lesbiche. Giornale Italiano di Psicologia, 42, 805–828.Google Scholar
- Piggott, M. (2004). Double jeopardy: Lesbians and the legacy of multiple stigmatized identities. Unpublished Master’s thesis, Swinburne University of Technology: Hawthorn.Google Scholar
- Rudman, L. A. (2005). Benevolent barriers to gender equity. In C. S. Crandall & M. Schaller (Eds.), Social psychology of prejudice: Historical & contemporary issues (pp. 35–54). Lawrence: Lewinian.Google Scholar
- Schumm, W. R. (2015). Navigating treacherous waters—One Researcher’s 40 years of experience with controversial scientific research. Comprehensive Psychology, 4, 1–40.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). Mahawah: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
- Szymanski, D. M., Chung, Y. B., & Balsam, K. F. (2001). Psychosocial correlates of internalized homophobia in lesbians. Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, 34, 27–38.Google Scholar
- Takács, J., Szalma, I., & Bartus, T. (2016). Social attitudes toward adoption by same-sex couples in Europe. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 12, 46–67.Google Scholar
- Whitley, B., & Kite, M. (2009). The psychology of prejudice and discrimination. Belmont: Wadsworth.Google Scholar