Effects of Traditional Gender Role Norms and Religious Fundamentalism on Self-Identified Heterosexual Men's Attitudes, Anger, and Aggression Toward Gay Men and Lesbians.

Published: October 1, 2011


Sexual prejudice and antigay anger were examined as mediators of the associations between traditional male gender norms, religious fundamentalism, and aggression toward gay men and lesbians. Participants were 201 self-identified heterosexual men recruited from the community to complete computer-administered measures of adherence to traditional male gender norms (i.e., status, toughness, antifemininity), religious fundamentalism, sexual prejudice, and frequency of aggression toward gay men and lesbians. Additionally, participants completed a structured interview designed to assess anger in response to a vignette depicting a male-male intimate relationship (i.e., partners saying "I love you," holding hands, kissing). Results showed that sexual prejudice and antigay anger partially mediated the effect of antifemininity on aggression and fully mediated the effect of religious fundamentalism on aggression. Sexual prejudice alone fully mediated the effect of status on aggression and neither sexual prejudice nor antigay anger mediated the effect of toughness on aggression. Further, results suggested that religious fundamentalism is a multifaceted construct of which some aspects increase risk for aggression toward gay men and lesbians, whereas other aspects decrease this risk. These data provide multivariate evidence from a nonprobability, community-based sample that extreme internalization of dominant cultural values can set the stage for violence toward marginalized groups. Implications for intervention programming and future research are reviewed.

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