Ideology, Prejudice, and Attitudes Toward Sexual Minority Social Policies and Organizations



This study tested the effects of multiple ideologies on support for restrictive policies against gay and lesbian individuals and organizations and if these effects were mediated by sexual prejudice. Social dominance orientation (SDO), conservatism, and right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) each had significant direct and indirect effects. SDO had the most consistent direct effects in addition to its effects through sexual prejudice. The direct effects of conservatism were smaller and similar in size to its indirect effects through prejudice. Although the direct effect of RWA was significant for policy attitudes, its effect was entirely mediated through sexual prejudice for organization opposition. Results suggest that high-RWA individuals adopt their positions largely because of prejudice toward sexual minorities, while high-SDO individuals adopt their positions partly out of prejudice and partly because these positions perpetuate hierarchies between heterosexuals and sexual minorities. Results also diminish the principled conservatism argument that conservative positions on these policies and organizations are absent of prejudice. As policies continue to be enacted that affect the sexual minority community, research is needed to identify the underlying motivations for individuals' positions toward these policies.