Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Sexual Prejudice (Personality Correlates of)

  • Sara E. Burke
  • John F. Dovidio
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_3380-1



A negative attitude toward individuals or groups on the basis of their sexual orientation.


Sexual prejudice involves negative thoughts about, feelings toward, and action orientations toward non-heterosexual people (Herek 2009). Although the word homophobia is sometimes used to refer to sexual prejudice against gay men and lesbian women, it emphasizes a particular affective response – fear – and has fallen out of favor among many researchers due to its presupposition that sexual prejudice stems primarily from fear. Most research on sexual prejudice has focused on negative attitudes toward gay and lesbian people, with some recent attention to bisexual people, but the phrase can also refer to prejudice against other sexual orientation groups (e.g., asexual people). Herek’s (1994) Attitudes toward Gay Men and Attitudes toward Lesbians Scales are commonly used measures of individual differences in sexual prejudice.


This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Altemeyer, B. (1998). The other “authoritarian personality.”. In M. P. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 30, pp. 47–92). San Diego: Academic.Google Scholar
  2. Glick, P., & Fiske, S. T. (1996). The ambivalent sexism inventory: Differentiating hostile and benevolent sexism. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70, 491–512. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.70.3.491.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Herek, G. M. (1994). Assessing heterosexuals’ attitudes toward lesbians and gay men: A review of empirical research with the ATLG scale. In B. Greene & G. M. Herek (Eds.), Lesbian and gay psychology: Theory, research, and clinical applications. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  4. Herek, G. M. (2009). Sexual prejudice. In T. D. Nelson (Ed.), Handbook of prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination (pp. 441–467). New York: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
  5. Sidanius, J., & Pratto, F. (2011). Social dominance theory. In P. A. M. Van Lange, A. W. Kruglanski, & E. T. Higgins (Eds.), Handbook of theories in social psychology (Vol. 2, pp. 418–438). Los Angeles: Sage.Google Scholar
  6. Whitley, B. E., Jr. (2009). Religiosity and attitudes toward lesbians and gay men: A meta-analysis. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 19, 21–38. doi:10.1080/10508610802471104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyYale UniversityNew HavenUSA