Homophobia in non-heterosexuals and their families
Hermans, Merel Mireille
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Homophobia and the involvement of other sexual orientations other than heterosexuality remain poorly understood in evolutionary psychology. This research extends Gallup's 1995 research, in which people were found to respond more negatively towards same-sex pairs (i.e. imagining their daughter spending time with a lesbian mother, and a son spending time with a gay father), than opposite-sex pairs. 138 participants were recruited from several classes at the University at Albany, through an email list of two organizations within the University at Albany, through the Capital Pride Center in Albany, and through several online forums for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer (LGBTQ) people. The participants responded to an anonymous online survey containing several questions regarding their family's responses when they spend time with their niece(s) and/or nephew(s). Another block of 8 questions asked about the participant's responses when imagining having a lesbian or gay parent spending time with an imaginary 8 year old or 21 year old niece or nephew, measured using a 5 point Likert scale. Participants were found to respond more negatively towards same-sex pairs than to opposite-sex pairs. Due to limited sample size, a comparison between the reactions of the family toward heterosexual participants and non-heterosexual participants spending with their nieces and nephews was not possible. Thus several central predictions from Gallup's 1995 research were replicated, but further studies that focus on the family members of non-heterosexual individuals are needed.