Sexual Prejudice (Personality Correlates of)
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.
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