AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE ROLE OF EMOTIONS, PHYSIOLOGICAL SEXUAL AROUSAL, AND EGO-DEFENSIVENESS IN MEN’S HOMONEGATIVITY
Roberts, Lesley Leanne 1985-
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Homonegativity is a multidimensional construct that encompasses the negative affective, cognitive, and behavioural responses directed towards individuals presumed, correctly or incorrectly, to be gay or lesbian. Given the affective component of homonegativity is relatively understudied compared to the cognitive and behavioural components, two studies were designed to better understand its role in the expression of homonegativity, its association with the different functions of homonegativity, and possible physiological manifestation. The purpose of Study 1 (N = 737), which involved an online questionnaire, was four-fold: (1) to examine the prevalence of homonegativity across the cognitive, affective, and behavioural domains, (2) assess the relationships between the ego-defensive function and measures of affective reactions, (3) assess the value of the affective component of homonegativity in predicting past anti-gay behaviours, and (4) to create a sampling pool for Study 2. The majority of participants scored below the scale midpoint of the ATG and MHS-G and they most often reported engaging in subtle behaviours directed toward gay men. The self-identified heterosexual men (n = 411) reported more negative affective reactions toward gay men than the self-identified heterosexual women (n = 325) and negative affective reactions were positively correlated with the ego-defensive function. Further, stronger negative affective reactions were the best predictors of past homonegative behaviours, compared to gender and homonegative attitudes. The purpose of Study 2 (N = 40) was to examine the physiological manifestation of homonegativity using penile plethysmography and its association to affective responses and ego-defensiveness. Genital and subjective sexual arousal to the gay male videos did not significantly differ by level of homonegativity, affective reactions, or scores on measures of defensiveness. In sum, the affective component of homonegativity is associated with the ego-defensive function and has a significant impact on the enactment of homonegativity, but is unrelated to differences in sexual arousal responses. The broader clinical implications of the affective component and a proposed re-conceptualization of the ego-defensive function as it applies to homonegativity are discussed. Limitations of the study including the lower sample scores on the attitudinal measures of homonegativity, directions for future research, and possible interventions are also presented.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
CommitteeElias, Lorin; Hellsten, Laurie; Morrison, Todd; Olver, Mark
Copyright DateOctober 2016