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J Early Adolesc. 2010 Feb 1;30(1):50-75.

Understanding Gender Differences in Early Adolescents' Sexual Prejudice.

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California State University, Northridge.


Drawing on social dominance theory and the contact hypothesis, we developed and tested a two-mediator model for explaining gender differences in early adolescents' attitudes toward gay males and lesbians. Data from more than 400 ninth graders were analyzed. As predicted, gender differences in attitudes toward gay males were partially explained by social dominance orientation (SDO) and knowing a gay male. Gender differences in attitudes toward lesbians were partially mediated by SDO, while knowing a lesbian was not a mediating variable. Beyond their mediating roles, both SDO and knowing a member of the target group each significantly added to the prediction of attitudes toward each target group. Implications for policies to reduce victimization of sexual minorities in schools are discussed.

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