Maintaining distinctions under threat: Heterosexual men endorse the biological theory of sexuality when equality is the norm

Falomir-Pichastor, J.M. and Hegarty, P. (2013). Maintaining distinctions under threat: Heterosexual men endorse the biological theory of sexuality when equality is the norm. British Journal of Social Psychology

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/bjso.12051

Abstract

According to social identity theory, group members sometimes react to threats to their group's distinctiveness by asserting the distinctiveness of their group. In four studies (n = 261) we tested the hypothesis that heterosexual men with a greater propensity to be threatened by homosexuality would react to egalitarian norms by endorsing biological theories of sexuality. Heterosexual men, but not women, with narrow prototypes of their gender in-group endorsed biological theories the most (Study 1). Heterosexual men with higher gender self-esteem, with heterosexist attitudes, who endorsed traditional gender roles, and with narrow prototypes of their gender in-group, endorsed the biological theories more when egalitarian norms rather than anti-egalitarian norms (Studies 2 and 3) or pro-minority ideologies that emphasized group differences (Study 4) were made salient. These findings show group-level reactive distinctiveness among members of a high-status group in a context of threat to the unique privileges that they once enjoyed. © 2013 The British Psychological Society.

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