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The Unmaking of Prejudice: How Christian Beliefs Relate to Attitudes Toward Homosexuals

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We propose that the internalization of orthodox Christian beliefs serves as a basis for a personal moral standard that discourages prejudice against others as well as for self-critical emotions that follow upon behaving in a discriminatory manner. Two correlational studies tested hypotheses derived from our theory. Study 1 demonstrated that to the extent people endorse orthodox Christian beliefs, they report an internal motivation to respond without prejudice toward homosexuals. Study 2 demonstrated that, when controlling for the effects of right-wing authoritarianism (RWA), endorsement of orthodox Christian beliefs was related to positive attitudes toward homosexuals as individuals or as a group, but not toward homosexuality as a behavior or lifestyle.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology Western Carolina University 2: Department of Sociology Lewis University 3: Department of Sociology Western Michigan University

Publication date: 2009-03-01

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