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Symbolic homophobia is a general negative disposition towards lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals, which is demonstrated in symbolic forms of prejudice rather than overt actions. Stigma towards lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals has transformed from overt forms of prejudice to slightly less blatant more subtle forms in recent years (Schafer & Shaw, 2009). Based on previous research, it is has also been shown that conservatives will have higher levels of symbolic homophobia. (Linneman, 2004), Thus, in order to assess the more nuanced forms of prejudice in relation to political affiliation, Study 1 created a scale to assess symbolic homophobia. In Study 2, experimental design was implemented to assess whether a positive description of a gay couple (compared to a positive description of a straight couple) lowers an individual's symbolic homophobia. The results of Study 1 suggest that the newly created symbolic homophobia scale is valid and those with conservative political ideology are more symbolically homophobic than liberals. Additionally, Study 2 found that being presented with a vignette of a gay couple lowers the participant's symbolic homophobia score.


This article was originally published in a href="">Modern Psychological Studies, volume 17, issue 1, in 2011.


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