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The Effectiveness of Didactic and Perspective-Taking Interventions on Reducing Multiple Dimensions of Heterosexism

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This study examined the effect of two interventions (didactic and perspective-taking) on five dimensions of heterosexism (hostile, aversive, amnestic, paternalistic, and positive stereotypic). Participants were 117 undergraduate students, randomly assigned to one of three groups in this posttest-only control group experiment. After the intervention, the participants completed measures of sexual prejudice, right-wing authoritarianism (RWA), gender role beliefs (GRB), and a demographic questionnaire. Results from the first step of hierarchical regression models showed that RWA and GRB were significantly predictive of all dimensions of heterosexism except for positive stereotypic, accounting for 13.8% to 56.7% of the variance. This suggests that interventions targeting sexual prejudice should examine both variables. When between-group comparisons were added during the second step, the didactic intervention in comparison with the control group was significantly predictive of lower paternalistic heterosexism; the perspective-taking intervention in comparison with the control group was significantly predictive of lower positive stereotypic heterosexism.
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Journal of Homosexuality
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The Effectiveness of Didactic and Perspective-
Taking Interventions on Reducing Multiple
Dimensions of Heterosexism
John A. DeBerry, Eve M. Adams, Cory J. Cascalheira & Tracie L. Hitter
To cite this article: John A. DeBerry, Eve M. Adams, Cory J. Cascalheira & Tracie L. Hitter
(2022): The Effectiveness of Didactic and Perspective-Taking Interventions on Reducing Multiple
Dimensions of Heterosexism, Journal of Homosexuality, DOI: 10.1080/00918369.2022.2059969
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/00918369.2022.2059969
Published online: 22 Apr 2022.
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The Eectiveness of Didactic and Perspective-Taking
Interventions on Reducing Multiple Dimensions of
Heterosexism
John A. DeBerry, PhD, Eve M. Adams, PhD, Cory J. Cascalheira, BA ,
and Tracie L. Hitter, PhD
Department of Counseling & Educational Psychology, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New
Mexico, USA
ABSTRACT
This study examined the eect of two interventions (didactic and
perspective-taking) on ve dimensions of heterosexism (hostile,
aversive, amnestic, paternalistic, and positive stereotypic).
Participants were 117 undergraduate students, randomly
assigned to one of three groups in this posttest-only control
group experiment. After the intervention, the participants com-
pleted measures of sexual prejudice, right-wing authoritarianism
(RWA), gender role beliefs (GRB), and a demographic question-
naire. Results from the rst step of hierarchical regression models
showed that RWA and GRB were signicantly predictive of all
dimensions of heterosexism except for positive stereotypic,
accounting for 13.8% to 56.7% of the variance. This suggests
that interventions targeting sexual prejudice should examine
both variables. When between-group comparisons were added
during the second step, the didactic intervention in comparison
with the control group was signicantly predictive of lower pater-
nalistic heterosexism; the perspective-taking intervention in com-
parison with the control group was signicantly predictive of
lower positive stereotypic heterosexism.
KEYWORDS
Modern heterosexism;
homophobia; intervention;
heterosexist attitudes;
prejudiced attitudes; LGB;
stigma
Over the past few decades, major advances in American civil rights for and
improving attitudes toward lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB; Gallup, 2020;
Swank, Woodford, & Lim, 2013) people may convince some observers to
conclude that heterosexism, an ideological system privileging heterosexuality
and denigrating LGB behavior (Haley, Adams, Dickson, Hitter, & Luna, 2013;
Herek, 2004, 2007; Szymanski, Kashubeck-West, & Meyer, 2008), no longer
affects the well-being of sexual minority adults. Although structural hetero-
sexism may seem less institutionalized in the era of marriage equality (Teal &
Conover-Williams, 2016), heterosexism persists in many societal institutions
(e.g., schools; Kosciw, Greytak, Zongrone, Clark, & Truong, 2018), and inter-
personal heterosexism continues to manifest as sexual prejudice, or the
CONTACT Eve M. Adams eadams@nmsu.edu Department of Counseling & Educational Psychology, New
Mexico State University, MSC 3CEP, P.O. Box 30001, Las Cruces, NM 88003-8001, USA.
*John A. DeBerry is now in private practice in Seattle, Washington.
JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY
https://doi.org/10.1080/00918369.2022.2059969
© 2022 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
internalization of negative attitudes about LGB people within heterosexual
individuals (Herek, 2004, 2007). Evidence suggests that sexual prejudice, in
some cases, has become more subtle and covert (Morrison & Morrison, 2003;
Nadal, 2019; Walls, 2008), creating an era of American life in which there is
“homophobia without homophobes” (Teal & Conover-Williams, 2016, p. 12).
Although less conspicuous, subtle sexual prejudice can become internalized by
LGB people (Meyer, 2003; Szymanski et al., 2008) which, in turn, increases the
influence of heterosexism on LGB mental health (Haley et al., 2013; Szymanski
& Mikorski, 2016). One particular form of sexual prejudice warranting inves-
tigation is modern heterosexism (Walls, 2008), or heterosexist attitudes that are
less hostile and more difficult to name, but nonetheless harmful.
Given the ongoing deleterious outcomes (e.g., depression) of sexual prejudice
and attendant behaviors (e.g., discrimination; Chan, 2021; Vargas, Huey, &
Miranda, 2020), it is important to identify effective methods of challenging
sexual prejudice in heterosexual people. Most intervention studies focus on
addressing internalized heterosexism within the targets of discrimination (e.g.,
Dunn & Szymanski, 2018; Lin & Israel, 2012). Consequently, the current study
examined the effectiveness of interventions designed to reduce sexual prejudice
in heterosexual people by examining the impact of two interventions.
Dimensions of heterosexism
N. Eugene Walls (2008) delineated five dimensions of heterosexism. Given
that Walls focused on attitudes, these dimensions of heterosexism can be
understood as aspects of sexual prejudice. Hostile heterosexism, what indivi-
duals often imagine when they hear the word “heterosexism” (Herek, 1988),
was previously referred to as homophobia (Walls, 2008). The hostile dimen-
sion of heterosexism is an explicitly negative attitude manifesting as feelings of
disgust toward LGB people, avoidance of LGB people, and immoral attribu-
tion (i.e., any orientation other than heterosexuality is perverse). Although
hostile heterosexism remains problematic, pro-LGB attitudinal shifts in the
United States have resulted in increasingly complex forms of heterosexism that
are distinct from hostile heterosexism (Walls, 2008).
Walls (2008) distinguished hostile heterosexism from four relatively “mod-
ern” forms of sexual prejudice. Aversive heterosexism is a set of attitudes that
minimize the impact of denigration or stigmatization of LGB behaviors or
relationships. For example, people with aversive heterosexist attitudes may
claim that sexual minorities are receiving too much attention or are expecting
rights and privileges sooner than is acceptable to society (Walls, 2008).
Amnestic heterosexism is typified by a belief that discrimination and prejudice
toward sexual minorities occurred in the past but now no longer occurs with
any relevant frequency. Paternalistic heterosexism includes a concern for the
well-being of LGB individuals coupled with a preference for heterosexuality
2J. A. DEBERRY ET AL.
(Walls, 2008). That is, people harboring this form of sexual prejudice would
not want family members to identify as LGB. Positive stereotypic heterosexism
is the endorsement of positive but stereotypical characterizations of LGB
individuals (e.g., lesbians are better at automobile repair than heterosexual
women; Walls, 2008). Compared to modern homonegativity (Morrison &
Morrison, 2003), the model of modern heterosexism is multidimensional
(Walls, 2008), thereby delineating aspects of sexual prejudice comprehen-
sively. Thus, we focus on Walls’ model in the present investigation.
Despite the potential relevance of Walls’ (2008) dimensions of hetero-
sexism in addressing ongoing sexual prejudice toward LGB people, they
have received little empirical attention. Heterosexual college students with
higher self-reported levels of aversive heterosexism tend to have greater
self-reported hostile heterosexism (Katz, Federici, Ciovacco, & Cropsey,
2016) and an increased odds of holding neutral opinions on (Swank et al.,
2013; Woodford, Chonody, Scherrer, Silverschanz, & Kulick, 2012), or
opposing affirmative action for (Nadler, Lowery, Grebinoski, & Jones,
2014), LGB equality. Similarly, heterosexual college students who believed
that LGB discrimination was a historical problem (i.e., amnestic hetero-
sexism) were less likely to support equal rights for LGB people (Hettinger
& Vandello, 2014) or confront the perpetrator of an anti-gay slur (Katz,
Federici, & Ramos-Dries, 2019). Paternalistic heterosexism is a primary
theme in the rhetoric of reparative therapists (i.e., counselors who provide
psychotherapy to change a client’s sexual orientation; Arthur, McGill, &
Essary, 2014). Regarding positive stereotypic heterosexism, heterosexual
college students who identified as gay/straight allies were more likely to
endorse positive stereotypes about gay men than lesbian women
(Goldstein & Davis, 2010). Hence, addressing multiple dimensions of
heterosexism may indirectly reduce these negative correlates.
In our review of the literature, we could locate only one investigation
to examine all five dimensions of heterosexism (Seelman & Walls, 2010),
but it used a correlational design to examine the degree to which social
work values matched the cultural attitudes of a graduate cohort.
Moreover, aside from one experiment (Katz et al., 2016), the preceding
studies all included predominately White samples to describe dimensions
of heterosexism cross-sectionally. To complement these studies, we
tested whether two interventions could reduce dimensions of heterosex-
ism in an ethnically diverse sample of heterosexual college students.
Interventions reducing sexual prejudice
No empirical investigation has examined how interventions targeting sexual
prejudice impact all five dimensions of heterosexism. Investigating multiple
interventions is important due to the potential differences in how each
JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY 3
intervention affects dimensions of heterosexism. For example, one type of
intervention may help to reduce hostile heterosexism but could have little to
no effect on positive stereotypic heterosexism (i.e., participants may experience
less disgust toward LGB individuals but may still endorse positive stereotypes).
Hence, measuring multiple dimensions of heterosexism is an important next
step in intervention research on reducing sexual prejudice within heterosexual
people.
Research shows that interventions can effectively reduce sexual prejudice.
In a systematic review, for example, Bartoş, Berger, and Hegarty (2014) found
that educational interventions combined with LGB contact interventions were
moderately effective at reducing sexual prejudice (Cohen’s d = 0.41). However,
none of the included studies investigated multiple dimensions of heterosex-
ism. Since the authors observed a slightly larger effect size (d = 0.46) derived
from 32 studies on the effect of education-only interventions on sexual pre-
judice (Bartoş et al., 2014), a didactic intervention alone may reduce multiple
dimensions of heterosexism. Furthermore, while intergroup contact with LGB
people was found to be most effective (d = 0.56; Bartoş et al., 2014), adopting
this intervention at scale is limited by the low prevalence of LGB-identified
people in the population. In other words, there is a need to test interventions
that can be implemented by allies. To circumvent the logistical constraints of
direct contact interventions, one could encourage heterosexual people to
adopt the perspectives of LGB people. Consequently, didactic and perspective-
taking interventions may reduce multiple dimensions of heterosexism and, if
effective, could be implemented at scale. However, of the extant literature
examining the effects of didactic and perspective-taking interventions on
sexual prejudice, the majority focus on hostile heterosexism, homophobia,
and homonegativity (Hodson, Choma, & Costello, 2009; Rye & Meaney, 2009;
Tucker & Potocky-Tripodi, 2006; Zmyj & Wehlig, 2019).
Didactic interventions
The didactic method imparts psychological, social, and biological information
about sexual minorities as well as information that refutes commonly held
stereotypes. A popular example it the Safe Zone program (Katz et al., 2016).
However, research on didactic interventions yields inconsistent results and
primarily reports reductions in hostile heterosexism, not multiple dimensions
of heterosexism. Some evidence suggests that didactic interventions effectively
reduce hostile heterosexism ((Bartoş et al., 2014; Hussey & Bisconti, 2010;
Rogers, McRee, & Arntz, 2009; Rye & Meaney, 2009). Other evidence indicates
that levels of hostile heterosexism either increase or decrease following
a didactic intervention (Oldham & Kasser, 1999). A systematic review of 17
didactic intervention studies revealed that nine interventions reduced hostile
heterosexism, five interventions resulted in no significant change in hostile
4J. A. DEBERRY ET AL.
heterosexism, and three interventions had mixed results (Tucker & Potocky-
Tripodi, 2006). Tucker and Potocky-Tripodi also demonstrated that these
intervention studies had many methodological shortcomings, such as report-
ing no power analyses or effect sizes; largely using non-equivalent groups;
relying on pretest measures in experiments; employing poorly validated mea-
sures; not reporting attrition; and not testing between-group effects. Thus, the
present study sought to addresses these limitations while examining multiple
dimensions of heterosexism.
Perspective-taking interventions
Perspective-taking interventions, which are largely understudied, involve an
experiential activity that places a heterosexual person into an imagined situa-
tion similar to what an LGB person would experience (Hillman & Martin,
2002; Hodson et al., 2009; Shields, 2016). Sometimes, these involve panel
discussions or imagined intergroup contact (e.g., Bartoş et al., 2014; Rogers
et al., 2009). Hillman and Martin (2002), for instance, designed a perspective-
taking intervention in which students imagined themselves in a science fiction
scenario that evokes heterosexist themes (i.e., Alien-Nation, described below).
Following the activity, participants were asked to think of a stigmatized group
in a similar situation in the real world (i.e., LGB individuals) and discuss their
reactions and feelings related to the activity, which resulted in significant
reductions in hostile heterosexism. Hodson et al. (2009) and Ahuja, Dhillon,
Juneja, Deepak, and Srivastava (2019) replicated the activity, reporting sig-
nificant reductions in hostile heterosexism. Given these promising results, we
built upon this work by examining whether a perspective-taking intervention
may reduce multiple dimensions of heterosexism.
Covariates of heterosexism
Two potential covariates of heterosexism are right-wing authoritarianism and
gender role beliefs (Stefurak, Taylor, & Mehta, 2010). Previous research has
shown a positive relationship between a person’s hostile heterosexism and
their degree of right-wing authoritarianism (Cramer, Miller, Amacker, &
Burks, 2013; Whitley & Lee, 2000), or the submission to established autho-
rities, adherence to societal norms, and hostility toward those who do not
adhere to such norms (Altemeyer, 1998). Moreover, Seelman and Walls (2010)
found that right-wing authoritarianism exhibited significant, moderate-to-
strong, positive correlations with all five dimensions of heterosexism. Thus,
right-wing authoritarianism is included in the present study because it pre-
dicts sexual prejudice.
JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY 5
Traditional gender role beliefs, which are a set of “stereotypes about men and
women, attitudes toward appropriate roles for the sexes, and perceptions of
those who presumably violate the traditional pattern of gender roles, including
lesbians and gay men” (Whitley, 2001, p. 692) are positively correlated with
hostile heterosexism (e.g., Harbaugh & Lindsey, 2015; Parrott, Peterson,
Vincent, & Bakeman, 2008). Heterosexual students who adhere to traditional
gender role beliefs are more likely to report sexual prejudice toward gay men
and lesbian women (Costa & Davies, 2012; Parrott & Gallagher, 2008). Thus,
accounting for gender role beliefs is important in interventions targeting
sexual prejudice. Hussey and Bisconti (2010), for example, concluded from
their study that right-wing authoritarianism and gender role beliefs might
have interfered with their heterosexism intervention. Therefore, we partition
the variance of both variables in the present study, expecting their association
with dimensions of heterosexism.
Purpose of the study
Given the understudied effects of interventions on multiple dimensions of
heterosexism, inconsistent results from didactic interventions, and methodo-
logical limitations, the present study sought a rigorous examination of six
hypotheses. We expected right-wing authoritarianism and gender role beliefs
to be associated with five dimensions of heterosexism (Hypothesis 1). After
removing the effect of these two variables from the condition–outcome asso-
ciation, participants in both the didactic and the perspective-taking interven-
tions will report lower levels of hostile (Hypothesis 2), aversive (Hypothesis 3),
amnestic (Hypothesis 4), paternalistic (Hypothesis 5), and positive stereotypic
(Hypothesis 6) heterosexism compared to participants in a control group. As
an exploratory aim, the present study examined whether the different inter-
ventions exerted disparate effects on dimensions of heterosexism.
Method
Research design
In this posttest-only control group experimental design (Heppner, Wampold,
Owen, Thompson, & Wang, 2016), the dependent variable with five levels
(hostile, aversive, amnestic, paternalistic, and positive stereotypic heterosexism)
was compared between three conditions: a didactic intervention, a perspective-
taking intervention, and a control group. In addition to addressing the testing
effect identified in previous studies (Tucker & Potocky-Tripodi, 2006), no
pretest was given because the perspective-taking activity required no participant
priming (Hillman & Martin, 2002). The control group, which received a lecture
on career pathways, was used as a baseline for comparison.
6J. A. DEBERRY ET AL.
Participants
A total of 127 participants were recruited, but 10 were removed for identifying
as LGB. Thus, participants were 117 undergraduate students (all heterosexual),
comprised of 29 cisgender male (24.8%) and 88 cisgender female (75.2%)
participants, at a Hispanic-serving institution (HSI) in the Southwestern
United States. Their ages ranged from 18 to 47 years of age (M = 19.5 years,
SD = 3.67 years). The racial demographics of participants were 57.3% Latinx,
30.8% White, 6.0% two or more races, 1.7% African American, 1.7% Asian,
0.9% American Indian/Alaskan Native, and 0.9% Other. Participants identi-
fied their religious affiliations as 53% Catholic, 22.2% Protestant, 15.4% not
religious, and 7.7% a follower of some other religion. All participants were
undergraduate students (43.6% freshman, 45.3% sophomore, 8.5% junior, and
2.6% senior). The most common majors that participants identified were
nursing (20.5%), education (19.7%), communication disorders (11.1%), social
work (6.8%), and kinesiology (6.0%), with other various majors having 3 or
fewer respondents. In terms of attrition, no student terminated participation
prematurely. Post-hoc power analyses are reported below.
Measures
In addition to a demographic questionnaire assessing their gender, age, race/
ethnicity, sexual orientation, year at the university, university major, and
religious affiliation, participants completed four standardized measures.
Hostile heterosexism
The revised version of the Attitudes Toward Lesbians and Gay Men Scale
(ATLG-R) is a 20-item, Likert-type questionnaire that assesses heterosexual
individuals’ attitudes toward gay men and lesbians (Herek, 1998). The author
recommends the use of a five-point scale (e.g., 1 = strongly disagree, 3 = neither
agree nor disagree, etc.) An example item is, “I think male homosexuals are
disgusting.” There are two 10-item subscales that each measure attitudes
toward gay men and lesbian women, respectively. Scores are summed, with
higher numbers indicating more negative attitudes toward LGB individuals.
For the current study, we used the mean of the scores to allow for
a parsimonious comparison to the other heterosexism measure, resulting in
a possible score between 1 and 5. The mean score of the full 20-item scale was
used to measure the participants’ hostile sexual prejudice toward gay men and
lesbians. Regarding validity, the ATLG-R is correlated with theoretically
similar constructs, such as less contact with gay men and lesbian women
and traditional gender-role adherence (Herek, 1994). In a sample of college
students, Cronbach’s alpha was .80 (Herek, 1994). In the present student,
Cronbach’s alpha for the ATLG-R was .91.
JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY 7
Modern heterosexism
The Multidimensional Heterosexism Inventory (MHI) is a 23-item question-
naire that assesses the modern expression of negative attitudes toward homo-
sexuality and gay men and lesbians (Walls, 2008). Items are rated on a five-
point scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). The
measure does not provide an overall score; instead, there are four subscales
that measure different types of heterosexism: aversive (six items), amnestic
(four items), paternalistic (seven items), and positive stereotypic (six items).
Example items from each subscale include: “Gay men should stop shoving
their lifestyle down everyone’s throat” (aversive); “Discrimination against
lesbians is virtually nonexistent in today’s society” (amnestic); “I would prefer
my son not be homosexual because he would be unfairly discriminated
against” (paternalistic); and, “Gay men are more compassionate than hetero-
sexual men” (positive stereotypic). Mean scores were calculate for each the
subscales, yielding a range of 1 to 5, with higher scores indicating more
negative attitudes toward LGB individuals. The MHI has been found to predict
religious group membership, showing concurrent validity, and it demon-
strated strong internal consistency for each subscale with reported
Cronbach’s alphas of .91, .79, .94, and .87, respectively. For the current
study, Cronbach’s alphas ranged from good to excellent (.78 ≤ α ≤ .97).
Gender role beliefs
The short version of the Gender Role Beliefs Scale (GRBS) is a 10-item, Likert-
type scale that measures a participant’s beliefs about traditional gender roles
(Brown & Gladstone, 2012) based on Kerr and Holden’s (1996), pp. 20-item
scale. In this study, we used a five-point scale ranging from 1 (strongly agree) to
5 (strongly disagree), yielding scores between 10 and 50, with higher scores
indicating a more liberal or feminist attitude. We used a 5-point scale since
they can be less confusing and may increase response rates (Babakus &
Mangold, 1992). An example item is, “Women with children should not
work outside the home if they don’t have to financially.” In terms of construct
validity, scores on the GRBS were associated with lower religiosity levels,
greater beliefs in feminist gender roles, and positive attitudes toward lesbian
women and gay men (Brown & Gladstone, 2012). Previous research has found
that the 10-item GRBS had a Cronbach’s alpha of .81 and strong test-retest
reliability, r = .86. Cronbach’s alpha for the current study was .74.
Right-wing authoritarianism
A shorter, 22-item version of the Right-Wing Authoritarianism scale (RWAS-
S; Zakrisson, 2005) uses a Likert-type scale to measure a participant’s level of
submission to established authorities, adherence to societal norms, and hosti-
lity toward those who do not adhere (Altemeyer, 1998). The scale ranges from
—4 (very strongly disagree) to +4 (very strongly agree), with nine possible
8J. A. DEBERRY ET AL.
answers (i.e., 0 = neutral). Answers are recoded into 1 through 9, and because
two items are not used in the total score, possible scores range from 20 and
180. Higher scores indicate more right-wing authoritarianism. An example
item is, “The ‘old-fashioned ways’ and the ‘old-fashioned values’ still show the
best way to live.” The scores on the RWAS-S were correlated significantly with
scores on measures of social dominance, modern sexism, and modern racism,
indicating predictive validity. Zakrisson (2005) reported internal consistency
values ranging from .72 to .80. Cronbach’s alpha in the original (Altemeyer,
1998) and current study was .90.
Procedure
Instructors of three sections of an undergraduate human development course
provided advance notice about the study, offering their students participation
points or extra credit for taking part in the study as well as an alternative
activity for any students who chose not to participate. Students from each of
the three classes were randomly assigned into three groups.
The first author and two other doctoral students of psychology acted as
facilitators for the three conditions. The two graduate students conducted the
perspective-taking and the didactic intervention while the first author con-
ducted the control condition. The first author met individually with each
facilitator to review the procedures and presentations. The facilitators were
not told the research hypotheses—only that they would be testing the effec-
tiveness of interventions. They were asked not to speak to one another or to
other people about the interventions. The facilitators for the experimental
conditions both identified as heterosexual cisgender men, chosen to avoid any
LGB contact effects (Bartoş et al., 2014). On the day of the experiment,
facilitators in each class called out the randomized lists of names of the
students in each group and directed the groups to the classrooms where the
interventions took place. After each group’s intervention, the group facilitators
gave the participants the measures in the following order: ATLG-R, MHI,
RWAS-S, GRBS, and the demographic questionnaire.
Didactic intervention
This 45-minute intervention (see Appendix) focused on imparting knowledge
about LGB individuals. The facilitator focused on statistics, research, LGB
stereotypes, and discrimination experienced by LGB individuals. In consulta-
tion with subject matter experts, information was gathered from various areas
of research (Haley et al., 2013), information publicly available (e.g., The
William Institute), and media reports (e.g., Gallup Polls). The facilitator
avoided any perspective-taking activities or discussions. However, as
JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY 9
a manipulation check, the facilitator asked content questions (e.g., what
percentage of the U.S. population identifies as LGB?) to ensure participant
attention.
Perspective-taking intervention
The facilitator assigned participants to small groups and used a handout to
invite the participants to imagine that they had crash-landed on an alien
planet, Aurora, along with 3,000 other students (for a complete description
of the activity, see Hillman & Martin, 2002). The handout described the
inhabitants’ unusual living conditions and social norms, including no public
or private display of affection, only same-sex housing allowed, and govern-
ment-controlled reproduction that must occur without any sexual activity.
The facilitator did not mention LGB individuals.
Participants worked for 20 minutes in small groups to answer the questions
provided on the handout (e.g., although forbidden, would you seek out
romantic or sexual relationships?). The facilitator circulated around the class-
room to encourage participants to provide specific, detailed answers to the
questions. Participants then engaged in a 25-minute large group debriefing.
The facilitator asked participants if they could identify any people in the
United States who might feel the way they did while participating in the
exercise to help participants make the connection between their imaginary
experiences and actual LGB discrimination. The group then participated in
a discussion about stereotyping and discrimination related to LGB people,
which also served as a manipulation check.
Control group intervention
This 45-minute intervention was a discussion about career choices that began
with a lecture about selecting careers. Then the participants were divided into
smaller groups to discuss how they felt about their potential career paths and
choices. There was no mention of sexuality or minority status.
Results
A post-hoc power analysis using G*Power 3.1.9.4 (Faul, Erdfelder, Buchner,
& Lang, 2009) revealed that a sample size of 117 participants with a 5%
alpha error rate yielded sufficient power for a one-way analysis of variance
(ANOVA; .97). To test for group differences and to confirm that the
randomized groups were equivalent, means of the RWAS-S and GRBS
scores were compared across conditions using a one-way ANOVA. No
significant differences were found. Additionally, another one-way ANOVA
revealed no significant differences in mean age or gender frequency across
conditions.
10 J. A. DEBERRY ET AL.
See Table 1 for the mean heterosexism scores and Table 2 for the correlation
matrix. As a point of comparison to previous studies, the converted mean
score (from the reported summed score) for hostile heterosexism determined
from a population sample in the early 1990s was 3.4 (Herek & Glunt, 1993).
The converted mean modern heterosexism scores were: aversive, 3.1; amnes-
tic, 2.0; paternalistic, 2.8; and positive stereotypic, 3.6 (Walls, 2008). By
comparison, this study’s mean scores in the control group were: hostile,
1.89; aversive, 2.73; amnestic, 2.10; paternalistic, 3.04; and positive stereotypic,
2.17. That is, compared to earlier work, participants in the present study
reported lower hostile, aversive, and positive stereotypic but higher amnestic
and paternalistic heterosexism.
Two-step hierarchical multiple regression analyses were performed for the
five dimensions of heterosexism. A second post-hoc power analysis, conducted
in G*Power (Faul et al., 2009), for a fixed hierarchical multiple regression
model in which R
2
increased with a 5% error rate, two initial predictors, and
Table 1. Dependent variable means compared by intervention.
Intervention
Didactic Perspective-taking Control
M (SD)M (SD)M (SD)
Variable
Hostile 1.97 (0.71) 1.98 (0.86) 1.89 (0.69)
Aversive 2.77 (0.85) 2.79 (1.13) 2.73 (1.03)
Amnestic 2.25 (0.87) 2.08 (0.96) 2.10 (0.79)
Paternalistic 2.40** (1.26) 3.27 (1.35) 3.04 (1.22)
Positive Stereotypic 2.10 (0.80) 1.62** (0.79) 2.17 (0.96)
Dependent variables are multiple dimensions of heterosexism. Higher means indicate higher levels of
heterosexism. Hostile Heterosexism = Attitudes Toward Lesbians and Gays–Revised (ATLG-R) mean
score (possible range of 1–5). Aversive Heterosexism = Multidimensional Heterosexism Inventory
(MHI) aversive score (possible range of 1–5). Amnestic Heterosexism = MHI amnestic score (possible
range of 1–5). Paternalistic Heterosexism = MHI paternalistic score (possible range of 1–5). Positive
Stereotypic Heterosexism = MHI positive stereotypic score (possible range of 1–5). ** p < .01 when
compared to Control group (see Tables 6 and 7)
Table 2. Zero-order correlation matrix for post-intervention variables (n = 117).
Variable M (SD) 1 2 3 4 5 6
1. Hostile 1.94 (0.74)
2. Aversive 2.76 (1.00) .60**
3. Amnestic 2.14 (0.86) .33** .37**
4. Paternalistic 2.88 (1.30) .39** .29** .09
5. Positive Stereotypic 2.01 (0.89) .15 .09 –.08 .15
6. RWAS-S 74.43 (28.90) .73** .66** .31** .36** .05
7. GRBS 24.44 (6.46) .59** .62** .40** .28** .17 .62**
Variables 1–5 refer to dimensions of heterosexism. Higher values indicate higher levels of heterosexism, right-wing
authoritarianism (RWAS-S), and gender role beliefs (GRBS). Hostile Heterosexism = Attitudes Toward Lesbians and
Gays–Revised (ATLG-R) mean score (possible range of 1–5). Aversive Heterosexism = Multidimensional
Heterosexism Inventory (MHI) aversive score (possible range of 1–5). Amnestic Heterosexism = MHI amnestic
score (possible range of 1–5). Paternalistic Heterosexism = MHI paternalistic score (possible range of 1–5). Positive
Stereotypic Heterosexism = MHI positive stereotypic score (possible range of 1–5). RWAS-S score has a possible
range of 20–180. GRBS has a possible range of 10–50.
** p < .01
JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY 11
four total predictors yielded sufficient power (.96) to detect a medium effect
(see also Scherbaum & Ferreter, 2008). Participant scores on the RWAS-S and
the GRBS were entered in the first step to remove the effect of preexisting
attitudes on the five dependent variables. The didactic and perspective-taking
interventions were dummy coded to compare each to the control group and
this variable was entered in the second step. Regression models are shown in
Tables 3–7.
The first step in the hierarchical multiple regression analyses provided
partial support for the first hypothesis. As expected, RWAS-S and GRBS scores
were found to explain 56.7% of the variance in hostile heterosexism, R
2
= .57, F
(2, 114) = 74.50, p < .001; 50.7% of the variance in aversive heterosexism
R
2
= .51, F(2, 114) = 58.55, p < .001; 16.3% of the variance in amnestic
heterosexism, R
2
= .16, F(2, 114) = 11.09, p < .001; 13.8% of the variance in
paternalistic heterosexism, R
2
= .14, F(2, 114) = 9.10, p < .001; and a non-
significant amount of the variance in positive stereotypic heterosexism,
R
2
= .03, F(2, 114) = 1.91, p = .153. It appears that right-wing authoritarianism
and gender role beliefs may relate to some forms of heterosexism (hostile,
aversive) more than others (amnestic, paternalistic, positive stereotypic).
The remaining five hypotheses predicted that, after removing the variance
of gender role beliefs and right-wing authoritarianism, participants in the
didactic and perspective-taking groups would report lower heterosexism
scores on the ATLG-R and MHI than participants in the control group.
During the second step of hierarchical multiple regression, the second hypoth-
esis focusing on hostile heterosexism scores as a function of intervention was
not supported, ΔR
2
= .01, ΔF(2, 112) = 0.55, p = .579. Similarly, neither
intervention significantly predicted aversive heterosexism scores, ΔR
2
< .001,
ΔF(2, 112) = 0.01, p = .99, so the third hypothesis was not supported. The
fourth hypothesis focusing on amnestic heterosexism scores was not sup-
ported. That is, the interventions did not significantly predict amnestic hetero-
sexism in Step 2, ΔR
2
= .01, ΔF(2, 112) = 0.38, p = .684.
Table 3. Hostile heterosexism regression.
Hostile Heterosexism
Predictor B SE B β t
Step 1 (Constant) .18 .18 1.03
Right-Wing Authoritarianism .02 .002 .59*** 7.54
Gender Role Beliefs .03 .01 .23** 2.89
R
2
= .57, F(2, 114) = 74.50***
Step 2 (Constant) .15 .18 0.80
Right-Wing Authoritarianism .02 .002 .61*** 7.59
Gender Role Beliefs .02 .01 .21** 2.58
Perspective Taking vs. Control .11 .12 .06 0.91
Didactic vs. Control .10 .11 .07 0.94
R
2
= .57, F(2, 112) = 37.29***
Hostile Heterosexism = Attitudes Toward Lesbians and Gays–Revised (ATLG-R). * p < .05, ** p < .01, *** p < .001.
12 J. A. DEBERRY ET AL.
The final two hypotheses received partial support. The fifth hypothesis
predicted that both interventions would result in lower paternalistic hetero-
sexism scores, compared to the control group. Hierarchical multiple regression
revealed that the effect of the didactic intervention on paternalistic heterosex-
ism scores was significantly different from the control group, explaining 7.4%
of the variance in Step 2, ΔR
2
= .07, ΔF(2, 112) = 5.25, p < .01. The didactic
intervention was associated with lower paternalistic scores, β = —.23, p = .014.
The perspective-taking intervention was not significantly associated with
paternalistic heterosexism, β = .076, p = .413. The sixth hypothesis predicted
that, compared to the control group, positive stereotypic heterosexism scores
would be lower among participants in both interventions. The effect of the
perspective-taking intervention resulted in a significant difference in positive
stereotypic heterosexism compared to the control group, explaining 7.8% of
the variance in Step 2, ΔR
2
= .08, ΔF(2, 112) = 4.88, p < .01. The perspective-
taking intervention was associated with lower positive stereotypic scores,
β = —.30, p = .003. The didactic intervention was not significantly associated
with positive stereotypic scores, β = —.08, p = .42.
Discussion
The present findings enrich and expand prior attempts to target multiple
aspects of sexual prejudice in heterosexual people, addressing methodological
concerns of previous intervention studies (Tucker & Potocky-Tripodi, 2006)
through a randomly assigned, posttest-only control group experiment. Other
novel contributions include the examination of all five dimensions of hetero-
sexism and the exploration of each dimension in a predominately nonwhite
sample. In summary, right-wing authoritarianism and gender role beliefs do
not seem to affect dimensions of heterosexism uniformly. After removing the
variance of both variables, we found that the two interventions resulted in
Table 4. Aversive heterosexism regression.
Aversive Heterosexism
Predictor B SE B β t
Step 1 (Constant) 0.32 0.26 1.24
Right-Wing Authoritarianism 0.02 0.003 .44*** 5.30
Gender Role Beliefs 0.05 0.01 .35*** 4.15
R
2
= .51, F(2, 114) = 58.55***
Step 2 (Constant) 0.32 0.26 1.19
Right-Wing Authoritarianism 0.02 0.003 .44*** 5.17
Gender Role Beliefs 0.05 0.01 .35*** 4.01
Perspective Taking vs. Control 0.02 0.17 .01 0.13
Didactic vs. Control –0.01 0.16 –.003 –0.04
R
2
= .51, F(2, 112) = 28.78***
Aversive Heterosexism = Multidimensional Heterosexism Inventory (MHI), aversive score. * p < .05, ** p < .01, *** p < .001.
JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY 13
significant reductions in paternalistic (i.e., didactic only) and positive stereo-
typic (i.e., perspective-taking only) heterosexism. Reductions in hostile, aver-
sive, and amnestic heterosexism were not evident.
Right-wing authoritarianism and gender role beliefs explained about half of
the variance in hostile and aversive heterosexism, between a sixth and
a seventh of the variance in amnestic and paternalistic heterosexism, and
a non-significant amount of the variance in positive stereotypic heterosexism.
The association of right-wing authoritarianism and gender role beliefs with
hostile and aversive heterosexism is consistent with prior research (Cramer
et al., 2013; Harbaugh & Lindsey, 2015; Seelman & Walls, 2010). Unlike
previous work (Seelman & Walls, 2010), the correlations between right-wing
authoritarianism and amnestic, paternalistic, and positive stereotypic hetero-
sexism were much lower in the present study. Believing that LGB discrimina-
tion occurred in the past, desiring for family members to be heterosexual while
feeling concerned for LGB people, and holding positive stereotypes of sexual
minorities may be inconsistent with the factors of right-wing authoritarian-
ism. To our knowledge, no other study has examined dimensions of modern
heterosexism in relation to gender role beliefs, so the present findings may
inform future work on the intersection between gender and sexual prejudice.
Consequently, future intervention studies targeting sexual prejudice should
account for these variables.
We found partial support for our hypothesis that heterosexual participants
receiving the interventions would report lower paternalistic heterosexism than
participants in the control group. There were significantly lower paternalistic
heterosexism scores in the didactic group, but not in the perspective-taking
group. It is possible that a description of the advances in LGB rights encour-
aged participants receiving the didactic intervention to worry less about the
hardships of LGB family, friends, or acquaintances. Conversely, given that
participants in the perspective-taking intervention were asked to focus on
a difficult, alienating experience, paternalistic heterosexism may have become
Table 5. Amnestic heterosexism regression.
Amnestic Heterosexism
Predictor B SE B β t
Step 1 (Constant) 0.84 0.29** 2.92
Right-Wing Authoritarianism 0.003 0.003 .10 0.92
Gender Role Beliefs 0.04 0.01 .33** 3.07
R
2
= .16, F(2, 114) = 11.09***
Step 2 (Constant) 0.84 0.30** 2.83
Right-Wing Authoritarianism 0.003 0.003 .10 0.93
Gender Role Beliefs 0.04 0.02 .33** 2.94
Perspective Taking vs. Control –0.08 0.19 –.04 –0.41
Didactic vs. Control 0.09 0.17 .05 0.51
R
2
= .17, F(2, 112) = 5.67***
Amnestic Heterosexism = Multidimensional Heterosexism Inventory (MHI), amnestic score. * p < .05, ** p < .01, *** p < .001.
14 J. A. DEBERRY ET AL.
salient, resulting in higher self-reported scores. Nonetheless, the reduction in
paternalistic heterosexism following the didactic intervention corroborates
and extends existing work on the effectiveness of education (Bartoş et al.,
2014; Katz et al., 2019; Rogers et al., 2009).
Similarly, the hypothesis that both interventions would reduce positive
stereotypic heterosexism was partially supported. This is the first study to
demonstrate that participants in the perspective-taking group reported sig-
nificantly lower scores on a measure of positive stereotypic heterosexism than
participants in the control group. The experience of perspective-taking may
have allowed the participants to place themselves mentally into the lives of
sexual minorities, allowing them to view LGB people in a nuanced or perso-
nalized way. The non-significant reduction in positive stereotypic heterosex-
ism following the didactic intervention is consistent with prior research
showing that education only does not always reduce sexual prejudice
(Oldham & Kasser, 1999; Tucker & Potocky-Tripodi, 2006).
Although our study is the first to present evidence indicating that didactic
and perspective-taking interventions reduced paternalistic and positive stereo-
typic heterosexism, respectively, we did not establish support for the remain-
ing three hypotheses. Participants in the didactic and perspective-taking
groups did not report lower hostile heterosexism, aversive heterosexism, and
amnestic heterosexism scores than the control group. In terms of hostile
heterosexism, the lack of effect of either intervention on the mean hostile
heterosexism scores may have been a result of a low mean for the control
group (M = 1.89), possibly resulting in floor effects. Because most of the
participants did not endorse high levels of hostile heterosexism, the interven-
tions might have had less influence compared to a sample of heterosexual
college students with greater hostile sexual prejudice.
Regarding the perspective-taking intervention specifically, the present
results conflict with previous findings (Ahuja et al., 2019; Hillman & Martin,
2002; Hodson et al., 2009). While Ahuja et al. (2019) found decreases in hostile
Table 6. Paternalistic heterosexism regression.
Paternalistic Heterosexism
Predictor B SE B β t
Step 1 (Constant) 1.39 0.45** 3.12
Right-Wing Authoritarianism 0.01 0.01 .30** 2.74
Gender Role Beliefs 0.02 0.02 .10 0.87
R
2
= .14, F(2, 114) = 9.10***
Step 2 (Constant) 1.48 0.44** 3.37
Right-Wing Authoritarianism 0.01 0.01 .27** 2.53
Gender Role Beliefs 0.03 0.02 .13 1.19
Perspective Taking vs. Control 0.23 0.28 .08 0.82
Didactic vs. Control –0.64 0.26 –.23** –2.49
R
2
= .21, F(2, 112) = 7.51***
Paternalistic Heterosexism = Multidimensional Heterosexism Inventory (MHI), paternalistic score. * p < .05, ** p < .01,
*** p < .001.
JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY 15
heterosexism following the Alien-Nation intervention, differences in sample
composition may have affected this outcome. Aside from differences in cul-
tural climate, other studies used a pretest-posttest design (Hillman & Martin,
2002; Hodson et al., 2009), possibly resulting in a testing threat to internal
validity (Tucker & Potocky-Tripodi, 2006). It is possible that having a pretest-
posttest design, with the pretest administered far in advance of the interven-
tion to avoid priming the participants, would have yielded different results.
Novel, more sophisticated perspective-taking interventions aside from Alien-
Nation also warrant consideration.
The null effect of the didactic intervention on hostile heterosexism is
consistent with some findings but contradicts others. Rogers et al. (2009)
used knowledge-based interventions and found that participants’ homophobia
(i.e., hostile heterosexism) was reduced over the course of a semester com-
pared to another set of students who did not receive the education. Stated
differently, didactic effects may only be significant with more time and immer-
sion. In contrast, Oldham and Kasser (1999) found mixed results while other
studies found no effect on hostile heterosexism following a didactic interven-
tion (Hillman & Martin, 2002; Hodson et al., 2009). Furthermore, didactic
interventions targeting homonegative prejudice, which one could argue is
a form of hostile heterosexism (Cowan, Heiple, Marquez, Khatchadourian,
& McNevin, 2005; Walls, 2008), tend to have very small effect sizes that may
include zero (Bartoş et al., 2014). Therefore, our results join these lines of
inquiry to suggest that time-limited didactic interventions are not recom-
mended when reductions in overt, traditional, hostile heterosexism are
a desired outcome.
We did not find support for our hypotheses that aversive and amnestic
heterosexism scores would be lower for participants in the perspective-taking
or didactic interventions compared to the control group. We expected an
effect on aversive attitudes given that the content of the didactic intervention
was focused on challenges that LGB individuals face (i.e., aversive attitudes
Table 7. Positive stereotypic heterosexism regression.
Positive Stereotypic Heterosexism
Predictor B SE B β t
Step 1 (Constant) 1.46 0.32*** 4.53
Right-Wing Authoritarianism –0.002 0.004 –.08 –0.69
Gender Role Beliefs 0.03 0.016 .22 1.86
R
2
= .03, F(2, 114) = 1.91
Step 2 (Constant) 1.60 0.32*** 5.03
Right-Wing Authoritarianism –0.004 0.004 –.12 –1.05
Gender Role Beliefs 0.04 0.02 .27* 2.30
Perspective Taking vs. Control –0.63 0.20 –.30** –3.08
Didactic vs. Control –0.15 0.19 –.08 –0.82
R
2
= .11, F(2, 112) = 3.46*
Positive Stereotypic Heterosexism = Multidimensional Heterosexism Inventory (MHI), positive stereotypic score.
* p < .05, ** p < .01, *** p < .001.
16 J. A. DEBERRY ET AL.
include the idea that LGB individuals are going too far in their desire for legal
protections). Katz and Federici (2018) found that heterosexual students with
greater self-reported aversive heterosexism reported less favorable attitudes
about the didactic intervention, Safe Zone. If participants in the present
sample had similar attitudes, then it is possible that they disagreed with
information presented in the didactic lecture. Additionally, in light of prior
work on this construct (Nadler et al., 2014; Woodford et al., 2012), aversive
heterosexism may be less amenable to didactic and perspective-taking inter-
ventions generally. Given the high correlations with right-wing-
authoritarianism and gender role beliefs, aversive heterosexism may be
a more psychologically entrenched form of sexual prejudice.
In terms of amnestic heterosexism, Teal and Conover-Williams (2016)
apply research on colorblind racism to show how amnestic heterosexism
persists in public discourse. Heterosexual allies, for instance, may use their
personal familiarity with LGB people to minimize the existence of sexual
prejudice. Similarly, the tokenization of gay and lesbian characters across
television and streaming services becomes evidence that sexual prejudice is
a relic of the past (Teal & Conover-Williams, 2016). Evident in this minimiza-
tion of ongoing sexual prejudice is a cultural trend that erases the severity of
covert heterosexism. Consequently, reductions in amnestic heterosexism may
have been unobserved because (a) learning about LGB people didactically may
have reinforced the relic-of-the-past perception and (b) perspective-taking
may have been less effective given the greater visibly of LGB people in popular
media.
The presence of null results may be attributed to at least two factors beyond
the ones mentioned. First, it is possible that reducing hostile, aversive, and
amnestic attitudes toward sexual minorities requires different interventions
than those used in our study. Given that sexual minorities now have nation-
wide marriage rights and federal protections against employment discrimina-
tion (Movement Advancement Project, 2020), novel interventions need to
target subtle forms of sexual prejudice that remain for sexual minorities
(e.g., microaggressions; Nadal, 2019). The effectiveness of LGB speaker panels
in which facilitators actively engaged their audience (Rye & Meaney, 2009),
coupled with evidence that medium-sized effects on sexual prejudice follow
educational interventions delivered by LGB people (Bartoş et al., 2014), sug-
gest that future interventions might include young LGB individuals telling
their stories of discrimination while inviting the audience to write down
moments in which they may have enacted heterosexist prejudice. Perhaps
these stories could be recorded and shared by allies to ensure they have utility
at scale.
Second, we did not control for social desirability. That is, given that measur-
able levels of heterosexist bias among heterosexual college students virtually
disappears when accountability is present (Nadler et al., 2014), the possibility of
JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY 17
a social desirability bias may have occurred. Inclusion of a measure of social
desirability may have accounted for this potential influence. Therefore, aside
from including such a measure in future work, we call for more sophisticated
measures to assess dimensions of heterosexism that may not evoke social
desirability biases.
Limitations
This contribution must be considered in light of several limitations. First,
external validity is limited because our sample was predominately Catholic
and Latinx. While these social categories represent our region and institution
and can be considered a strength in relation to studies with samples comprised
predominately of White students, the analyses did not control for their
potential influence. Similarly, although the participants in the study were
randomly assigned to interventions, they were not a random selection from
the general population or even the university population. Therefore, addi-
tional intervention research is required to support the external validity of this
study.
Third, as mentioned previously, while the posttest-only control group
design eliminated pretest sensitization, history effects, and other threats to
internal validity found in previous work (Tucker & Potocky-Tripodi, 2006),
we had no information on group equivalence prior to the intervention.
Randomization of the students into the three groups enabled us to minimize
the potential differences in group composition, but since we did not collect any
data on the participants prior to the interventions, we cannot say with cer-
tainty that the groups were equivalent. Future research might expand our
findings by using a dependent samples design, which matches treatment
groups based on pretest scores on relevant measures (Heppner et al., 2016).
A fourth limitation, which also relates to study design, is that we did not
counterbalance the measures. Thus, ordering effects may have impacted the
results.
Fifth, our results are based on self-report data which might have introduced
a threat to construct validity (Heppner et al., 2016). Sixth, controlling for right-
wing authoritarianism and gender role beliefs in Step 1 of the hierarchical
regression model, while informative considering the substantial contributions
to the variance in sexual prejudice, did not control for the interaction between
these constructs and the intervention effect because the groups were equiva-
lent. Seventh, given that 57.3% of the sample identified as Latinx, it would have
been useful to examine (or control for) machismo or familismo given these
constructs are associated with gender role beliefs and heterosexism (Noyola,
Sánchez, & Cardemil, 2020; Terrazas-Carrillo & Sabina, 2019). Finally, parti-
cipants in the control group may have been surprised to complete measures on
right-wing authoritarianism, gender role beliefs, and heterosexism following
18 J. A. DEBERRY ET AL.
a 45-minute class on vocational choice, possibly resulting in compensatory
rivalry (i.e., control group seeks to outperform the treatment group; Heppner
et al., 2016).
Implications and future directions
Our results have implications for educators and clinical practitioners. Given
the reduction in paternalistic heterosexism, sex educators, faculty, and mental
health professionals might consider using a similar didactic intervention in
introductory social science classes or with parents of recently out LGB youth to
reduce preferences for family members to be heterosexual and not LGB. The
perspective-taking intervention might be beneficial in PK-12 sex education or
college-level multiculturalism classes to challenge positive, but nevertheless
harmful, stereotypes about LGB people. Faculty sponsors of Gender and
Sexuality Alliances (GSAs) or college-level LGB support groups might use
didactic and perspective-taking interventions as part of Spirit Week, National
Coming Out Day, of the Day of Silence to engage heterosexual students as
potential LGB allies.
This present study makes significant contributions in the study of interven-
tions designed to reduce sexual prejudice with substantive implications for
researchers, educators, and clinicians, locating itself in the growing body of
work on sexual prejudice (see Bartoş et al., 2014). We call for future intervention
studies to address subtle sexual prejudice. For example, directly addressing
aversive and amnestic beliefs through accountability exercises may be far more
effective than providing general information about discrimination. Future work
might explore how entertainment media (Bartoş et al., 2014) can be used to
target dimensions of heterosexism. Likewise, a manualized, experiential activity
about how positive stereotypes are just as problematic as negative stereotypes
may be helpful in adjusting positive stereotypic attitudes. Additionally, qualita-
tive research would be helpful in exploring how attitudes have changed over
time to understand how individuals perceive changes in their attitudes and to
what they attribute these changes. In assessing the impact of an intervention, it
might be helpful to ask the participants in-depth questions about their experi-
ence, thereby generating rich data on how to design interventions that target
modern heterosexism. Because we conducted this intervention study in an HSI
and given that most interventions reviewed in the present investigation focused
on predominately White samples, future research should investigate didactic
and perspective-taking interventions in other minority-serving institutions, such
as historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Finally, given that right-
wing authoritarianism and gender role beliefs predict large percentages of each
dimension of heterosexism, future research should consider these constructs as
moderators of intervention effects.
JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY 19
Disclosure statement
No potential conflict of interest was reported by the author(s).
Funding
Cory Cascalheira is supported as a RISE Fellow by the National Institutes of Health
(R25GM061222).
ORCID
Cory J. Cascalheira http://orcid.org/0000-0001-5780-3101
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JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY 23
Appendix
Didactic Presentation Outline
(1) Introduction
(a) Presentation focus: LGB individuals
(2) Terms and definitions
(a) Lesbian, gay, and bisexual = LGB
(b) We are talking only about sexual orientation (the genders that someone is sexually
attracted to)
(c) Transgender individuals, gender expression is separate
(3) General information about LGB individuals
(a) Stats (how many, gay/lesbian or bisexual, those who identify only)
(b) Demographics
(c) Percentages in different cities
(4) Stereotypes of LGB individuals
(a) Gay men
(b) Lesbian women
(c) Bisexual individuals
(5) Prejudice
(a) Nohomophobes.com
(6) Discrimination
(a) Pew Research Center survey
(7) LGB rights in the world
(8) LGB rights in the U.S.
(a) Sexual activity
(b) Military service
(c) Same-sex marriage
(d) Anti-discrimination laws (housing, employment, medical facilities, hate crimes)
(9) Why do we need anti-discrimination laws?
(a) Fairness
(b) LGB teenagers’ risk of suicide
(10) Efforts for LGB rights
(11) Summary
(12) Thank you
24 J. A. DEBERRY ET AL.
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