A new study from researchers at New York University – Abu Dhabi suggests negative attitudes toward members of the LGBTQ community is, in large part, due to the perception they violate traditional gender norms.
According to study authors Maria Laura Bettinsoli, Alexandra Suppes, and Jamie Napier, the paper reveals three key findings:
1) Gay men are disliked more than lesbian women across all countries analyzed.
2) Men in non-Western countries consistently report more negative attitudes toward gay men. Meanwhile, the relationship between gender and sexual prejudice is inconsistent in Western countries.
3) While researchers noted a “significant association” between gender norms and sexual prejudice in all 23 countries used in the study, this was absent or reversed in China, India, and South Korea.
“Taken together, this work suggests that gender and sexuality may be more loosely associated in some non-Western contexts,” reads an excerpt from the paper — but it notes that LGBTQ discrimination can be found in all countries, even those that are supportive of LGBTQ rights.
Discrimination in western countries
Researchers said they were “surprised” at the “consistency of the relationship between gender norm endorsement and sexual prejudice,” with the “majority” of Western countries conforming to the pattern.
“We also found that, in line with previous research, the endorsement of gender norms was associated with anti-gay attitudes–toward both gay men and lesbian women — in every Western country in our sample,” says Bettinsoli.
The study is part of a series appearing in a future edition of Social Psychological and Personality Science which will focus on underrepresented populations.
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