Attitudes Toward Gay Men and Lesbians Among College Students at a Christian University: Examining In-Group Social Influence, Attitude Functions, and Ally Identity


  • Nathan Mather Azusa Pacific University


LGBT, attitude functions, Christian college students, ally identity


Discrimination toward nonheterosexuals stems from negative attitudes, which serve psychological functions. This study examined in-group social influence on Christian college students’ attitudes toward gay men and lesbians and LGBT ally identity. It was predicted that participants’ attitudes would reflect attitudes they were exposed to and that LGBT ally identity would relate to the value-expressive attitude function. Participants (N=140) watched videos expressing positive, negative, and uncertain views on the intersection of homosexuality and Christianity and completed a survey. The videos had no effect. However, negative attitudes were negatively correlated with number of nonheterosexual friends. Positive correlations were found between ally identity and the experiential-schematic attitude function. A negative correlation was found between ally identity and the defensive attitude function. As hypothesized, exposure to nonheterosexual friends predicted positive attitudes. This study validated previous research, such that allies had more positive experiences with nonheterosexuals and responded less defensively to them.







Empirical Research