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Investigating the Discrepancy between British Heterosexuals Attitudes and Behaviours towards Homosexuals.

Harris, Kier (2019) Investigating the Discrepancy between British Heterosexuals Attitudes and Behaviours towards Homosexuals. Teeside University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

British statistics have shown discrepancies between the increase in positive attitudes people are reporting holding towards homosexuals, and the increase in negative behaviours people are displaying towards them. Very little research, if any, has been conducted addressing this incongruity. The current research aimed to investigate heterosexuals’ behavioural responses using chair placement whilst anticipating an interaction with a same gendered individual who is either homosexual or heterosexual. In addition, the study examined whether this behavioural response reflects their self-reported attitudes towards homosexuality using the Modern Homonegativity Scale. This was carried out in a laboratory experiment including 17 participants with a mean age of 26.12. The participants were split into either the homosexual anticipated interaction (HOAI) group or heterosexual anticipated interaction (HEAI) group and the chair distances they set out for themselves and their anticipated interaction partner was measured in inches. The participants also completed the MHS. Both testing their attitudes towards homosexuals. The results showed that the participants in the HOAI group put a significantly larger distance between themselves and their interaction partner than the HEAI group. They also showed that the HOAI groups MHS scores did not reflect the negative behaviours they exhibited. This would suggest that people do treat homosexuals differently to heterosexuals even if their reported attitudes towards them do not differ.

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