Date of Award

5-2016

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Gordon G. Gallup

Abstract

Homophobia is described as the negative attitudes towards non-heterosexual individuals. The evolutionary advantage of homophobia and of sexualities other than heterosexuality remain poorly understood within 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.Gallup’s original study did not include lesbian, gay, bisexual and queer (LGBTQ) individuals, however given the increasing acceptance of these groups it is now appropriate to expand this research to include these groups. One hundred and thirty-eight participants were recruited through an email list of two organizations within the University at Albany; the Capital Pride Center in Albany; and several online LGBTQ forums. Participants completed an online survey containing qualitative and quantitative questions regarding how they perceived their family’s response when they spend time with their niece(s) and/or nephew(s). Additionally, participants were asked to rate their feelings on a 5 point Likert scale from very negative to very positive when imagining having a(n) 8 year old or 21 year old niece or nephew who spent time with a lesbian or gay parent. Participants rated their feelings towards same-sex pairs more negatively than opposite-sex pairs. Due to limited sample size, a comparison between perceptiveness of the family toward heterosexual participants and non-heterosexual participants spending with their nieces and nephews was impossible. In conclusion, several central predictions from Gallup’s 1995 research were replicated, but studies that focus on the family members of non-heterosexual individuals seem most promising.

Included in

Psychology Commons

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