Acceptance of Marginalized Couples
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Marginalized couples (i.e., those seen as dissimilar from the socialized standard) are still not completely accepted (Lehmiller & Agnew, 2006). Almost 50% of Americans still disapprove of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual (LGB) couples (Changing Attitudes on Gay Marriage, 2015) and almost 13% disapprove of interracial/interethnic couples (Newport, 2013). When these couples perceive stigma due to their relationships, negative outcomes such as higher levels of depression, can occur (LeBlanc, Frost, & Wight, 2015). Previous research has identified personal factors that are similar for the acceptance of both types of marginalized couples: non-White, Republican, politically conservative, men, less educated, more religious, and older adult individuals were less accepting of both types of relationships (Haider-Markel & Joslyn, 2005). Couple composition also affects acceptance, such that Black/White couples were less accepted than Asian/White couples (Eliason, 1997; Herek, 2002; Lewandowski, 2001). This study sought to discover if acceptance of LGB couples could predict the acceptance of interracial/interethnic couples. The participant pool consisted of 152 Mississippi State University students who were taking a psychology class and were recruited via SONA systems. Multiple regression analyses and Kruskal-Wallis nonparametric tests were conducted to test the 3 hypotheses. Hypothesis1 was partially supported. Political conservatism and religiosity correlated significantly with both attitudes toward interracial/interethnic couples and LGB couples. Hypothesis 2a was not supported. Black/Black couples were significantly supported more than White/White couples. Hypothesis 2b was partially supported. Heterosexual man/Bisexual woman was accepted more than Gay man/Bisexual man. Hypothesis 3 was fully supported with attitudes toward LGB couples predicting attitudes towards interracial/interethnic couples. Future studies should use a larger sample size and examine other types of marginalized couples (e.g., age gap couples).