Exploring the relationship between public opinion and personal attitudes and behavior toward lesbians and gay men: social conformity revisited.

Published: October 28, 2011


This study investigated the relationship between social conformity, gender-role egalitarianism, and personal levels of heterosexism, or prejudice based on same-sex orientation. Mock public opinion polls of a positive or negative nature regarding same-sex orientation were used to study attitudinal and behavioral change of participants and attitude-behavior consistency. The study sample included 194 undergraduate students from a Midwestern university. A correlation existed between participants’ traditional gender role beliefs and heterosexism. Participants who viewed the positive public opinion poll demonstrated behavioral support for a lesbian and gay organization, as did participants with positive attitudes toward lesbians and gay men. Findings are analyzed within a social prejudice framework.

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