Heterosexist ambivalence and heterocentric norms: Drinking in intergroup discomfort

Hegarty, P.; Pratto, F. and Lemieux, A. F. (2004). Heterosexist ambivalence and heterocentric norms: Drinking in intergroup discomfort. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 7(2) 119 - 130.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1368430204041399

Abstract

Eighty two participants read about either a gay male target who felt discomfort in a straight bar or a straight male target who felt discomfort in a gay bar. Participants explained the discomfort, rated the target's actions, and produced counterfactuals that 'undid' his discomfort. Explanations of the targets' discomfort focused on gayness more than on straightness, suggesting that they were affected by heterocentric norms. The straight target's expressions of discomfort were perceived as more appropriate than the gay target's, particularly among participants with strong anti-gay attitudes. Counterfactuals which undid these events also suggested implicit inequities in the perceived norms for interactions between gay and straight persons. These results are explained in terms of ambivalence between support for egalitarianism and anti-gay affect and the continued operation of heterocentric norms that limit the degree to which egalitarianism translates into equal treatment of persons of all sexual orientations.

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