Saturday, December 29, 2018

A Meta-Analytic Review of the Association Between Disgust and Prejudice Toward Gay Men (but not gay women)

A Meta-Analytic Review of the Association Between Disgust and Prejudice Toward Gay Men. Mark J. Kiss, Melanie A. Morrison , & Todd G. Morrison. Journal of Homosexuality,

ABSTRACT: A sizeable number of studies have documented a relationship between heterosexual persons’ experience of disgust (measured as an individual difference variable or induced experimentally) and prejudice toward gay men (i.e., homonegativity). Yet, to date, no one has attempted to meta-analytically review this corpus of research. We address this gap by conducting a meta-analysis of published and unpublished work examining heterosexual men and women’s disgust and their homonegativity toward gay men. Fourteen articles (12 published, two unpublished) containing 17 studies were analyzed (N = 7,322). The average effect size for disgust sensitivity studies was moderate to large (d = 0.64), whereas for disgust induction studies, the effect was large (d = 0.77). No evidence of effect size heterogeneity emerged. Future directions and recommendations for methodological improvements are outlined.

KEYWORDS: Gay men, disgust, prejudice, homonegativity, emotions, meta-analysis

The current meta-analysis reveals that disgust is associated with negative attitudes toward gay men. While a number of possible explanations for this association were elucidated, the question remains: Why do heterosexuals who experience or are sensitive to disgust evidence greater prejudice toward gay men but not lesbian women or other minoritized social groups? What is it about gay men—as a social category—that links them to the affective state of disgust? Relatedly, although disgust can be evoked using disparate methods, is there a specific type of disgust induction that is most salient vis-à-vis homonegative attitudes toward gay men? Morrison, Kiss, et al. (in press) noted:
Gay men may be regarded as disgusting because anal intercourse is widely (mis) perceived as a common practice among members of this social category. This behaviour, especially when engaged in receptively, constitutes a nexus of taboos: violation of hegemonic standards of masculinity; a disconcerting proximity to faeces and attendant concerns about germs/disease; and, given its nonprocreative and “base” nature, the capacity to erode the distinction between humans and animals and, hence, undermine our faith in speciesism.

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