Date of Conferral







Chet Lesniak


African Americans who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) are discriminated against in the African American community. Sociodemographics such as income, education, age, and religion/spirituality have been shown to be associated with sexual prejudice. There is limited research on how African American cultural attitudes influence attitudes towards sexual orientation. The purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which demographic variables and African American cultural attitudes (measured by the African American Acculturation Scale-Revised; AAAS-R) predict attitudes toward sexual orientation in African American adults (measured by the Attitudes towards Lesbians and Gay Men Scale; ATLG). Social identity theory (SIT) was used to describe how group affiliation influences attitudes. A sample of African Americans who were 18 years or older (n = 236) completed the questionnaires online. Stepwise multiple regression analyses were conducted to examine the relative importance of demographics and cultural attitudes in predicting attitudes towards homosexuals and lesbians. The results of the study indicated that religious affiliation and religious beliefs and practices were statistically significant in predicting attitudes towards both homosexual and lesbian individuals. These findings suggest that individuals who identify as Christians and have stronger religious beliefs and practices are more likely to have negative attitudes towards lesbians and gay men. These results lend support to efforts to create programs to educate people about cultural misconceptions of the African American GLBT community and to encourage spiritual leaders to promote efforts support to them.

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