Research Abstract

Piskur, J., & Degelman, D. (1992). Effect of reading a summary of research about biological bases of homosexual orientation on attitudes toward homosexuals. Psychological Reports, 71, 1219-1225.

The effect of exposure to information regarding the development of homosexual orientation on attitudes toward homosexuals was investigated. Testing was conducted in five regularly scheduled undergraduate classes. Volunteer subjects from college classes were exposed to one of three treatment conditions. Subjects in the experimental group read a summary article of current research emphasizing a biological component of homosexual orientation. Subjects in one control group read a summary article of research focusing on the absence of hormonal differences between homosexual and heterosexual men. Subjects in another control group were not exposed to either article. All subjects completed the Index of Attitudes Toward Homosexuals. As predicted, subjects in the experimental group had significantly lower scores than subjects in the control groups. There was a significant interaction between treatment condition and sex of subject. Scores on the index were significantly lower for women, but only in the experimental group. These results show that exposure to a research summary can significantly affect immediately assessed scores on the Index of Attitudes Toward Homosexuals. Also, the pattern of effects of these experiences was different for women and men.