A Tripartite Examination of Heterosexual Canadians' Attitudes Toward Subgroups of Gay Men and Lesbian Women
McCutcheon, Jessica M 1987-
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Recent trends in nation-wide opinion polls and academic research indicate that evaluations of gay men and lesbian women have become decidedly more favourable over the last 30 years. However, discrimination against gay men and lesbian women remains widespread. A possible explanation for this paradox is that there exist different subgroups of gay men and lesbian women with different attitudes directed toward them. Subgroups that are perceived comparatively more positively may be masking the negativity directed at other subgroups. Therefore, the primary goals of this dissertation were to identify subgroups of gay men and lesbian women and to assess attitudes towards them. This dissertation outlines four studies, laid out in three separate chapters. Chapter 2 delineates the process that was used to identify subgroups of gay men and lesbian women and reports on which subgroups emerged as most salient to Canadian undergraduate students and the Canadian population more widely. Chapter 3 describes the examination of explicit attitudes toward the subgroups identified in Chapter 2 using the tripartite model of attitudes that includes cognition, affect, and behaviour. Complementing the study of explicit attitudes, Chapter 4 describes the use of a computerised reaction-time measure to assess implicit attitudes toward the subgroups. Overall, the results of this dissertation support the existence of subgroups of gay men and lesbian women and document what attitudes are associated with them. The methodological and theoretical implications of the findings on our understanding of attitudes toward the overarching categories of gay men and lesbian women are explored and a discussion of how future research needs to change to accommodate the fragmentation of the superordinate groups are included.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
SupervisorMorrison, Melanie M
CommitteeMorrison, Todd G; Jewell, Lisa M; Cochrane, Don B
Copyright DateNovember 2018