How gender norms affect anti-LBGT prejudice around the world
A study conducted in 20 countries across the globe has shown that prejudice and discrimination against the LGBT community remains deep-rooted.
In order to determine the ways in which these forms of stigmatization target the LBGT community, three researchers from New York University in Abu Dhabi conducted a global study across 23 countries on five continents (South Africa, Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, France, etc.).
The research team made a point of distinguishing between the discriminatory attitudes — and in some cases, violence — experienced by gay men and by lesbian women, pointing out that most research focuses on homosexuality as a general category, without taking gender into account.
Published in Social Psychological and Personality Science, the results show a higher overall intolerance against gay men than women in the 23 countries studied. The authors were also surprised by the consistent relationship between endorsement of gender norms and sexual prejudice.
“Even though there were some non-Western countries that did not conform to the pattern, the majority of countries did,” said Maria Laura Bettinsoli, who co-directed the study.
The findings held true for Western countries such as Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the United States, as well as for Russia, South Africa and Turkey.
The team found that discriminatory attitudes remain strong even in regions of the Western world with extremely tolerant policies concerning LGBT rights.
However, the association between gender norm endorsement and sexual prejudice was absent or reversed in several non-Western countries.
In South Korea, endorsement of gender norms was unrelated to attitudes toward gays and lesbians, and in Japan, there was a small association between gender norm endorsement and attitudes toward gay men, but not lesbian women.
“In China and India, the reverse pattern emerged. Those who were highest on endorsement of traditional gender roles were the most positive toward gay men and lesbian women,” said Bettinsoli. IB/JB
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