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Distinguishing between Moral Judgments and Prejudiced Attitudes: A Multidimensional Approach to Attitudes Toward Gay Men and Lesbians

Across three studies, we demonstrate that attitudes toward gay men and lesbians are best conceptualized as two components – moral judgments and prejudiced attitudes. Whereas moral judgments concern the rightness or wrongness of gay/lesbian sexuality, prejudiced attitudes concern feelings of negativity toward gay/lesbian groups or individuals. In all three studies, we show that religiosity relates to increased moral condemnation of gay/lesbian sexuality, but not increased prejudice toward gay men/lesbians. In Study 2, moral judgments were more strongly related to desires to protect religious rights, whereas prejudiced attitudes were more strongly related to desires to restrict gay/lesbian rights. In Study 3, various factors other than religiosity related to moral judgments and prejudiced attitudes, including disgust, openness to experience, concerns about being misidentified as gay/lesbian, and adherence to traditional gender norms. Additionally, moral judgments related to negativity toward sexually active single individuals (regardless of sexual orientation), whereas prejudiced attitudes related to negativity toward gay men and lesbians (regardless of sexual activity). Taken together, these findings suggest that attitudes toward gay men and lesbians should not be treated unidimensionally, and that considering moral judgments and prejudiced attitudes separately clarifies important relationships. / A Thesis submitted to the Department of Psychology in partial fulfillment of the Master of Science. / Summer Semester 2017. / July 14, 2017. / Includes bibliographical references. / E. Ashby Plant, Professor Directing Thesis; James McNulty, Committee Member; Colleen Ganley, Committee Member.
ContributorsMallinas, Stephanie R. (Stephanie Rose) (authoraut), Plant, Ashby (professor directing thesis), McNulty, James (committee member), Ganley, Colleen M. (committee member), Florida State University (degree granting institution), College of Arts and Sciences (degree granting college), Department of Psychology (degree granting departmentdgg)
PublisherFlorida State University
Source SetsFlorida State University
LanguageEnglish, English
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeText, text, master thesis
Format1 online resource (65 pages), computer, application/pdf

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