The Influence of Threat on the Relationship Between Contact and Sexual Prejudice

[Speaker] Mevissen, Fraukje E:1
[Co-author] Schmitz, Julia:1, Pryor, John B:3, Bos, Arjan Ae:2
1:Maastricht University (Netherlands), 2:Open University, Heerlen (Netherlands), 3:Illinois State University (United States of America)

This study explores the role of threat in explaining the relation between contact with homosexuals and sexual prejudice. Based on the Integrated Threat Theory of Stephan and Stephan (2000) four types of threat are proposed: family-, religious-, sexual identity-, and stigma by association threat. Different mediation models (Hayes, 2014) were tested to determine the mediating effect of threat, empathy and anxiety in the relation between contact with homosexuals (quantity and quality) and sexual prejudice in a sample of male citizens of the United States (N = 207, Mage = 33.6, SD = 11.0). Regression analysis for multiple mediators revealed that the model including the threat measures as a mediator between contact and sexual prejudice described the relationship best (R2 = 82%). Mediation effects were significant for family, religious and sexual identity threat. Threat plays a significant role in sexual prejudice and may influence the relation between contact and sexual prejudice.
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