The current research tested whether the passing of government legislation, signaling the prevailing attitudes of the local majority, was associated with changes in citizens’ attitudes. Specifically, with ∼1 million responses over a 12-y window, we tested whether state-by-state same-sex marriage legislation was associated with decreases in antigay implicit and explicit bias. Results across five operationalizations consistently provide support for this possibility. Both implicit and explicit bias were decreasing before same-sex marriage legalization, but decreased at a sharper rate following legalization. Moderating this effect was whether states passed legislation locally. Although states passing legislation experienced a greater decrease in bias following legislation, states that never passed legislation demonstrated increased antigay bias following federal legalization. Our work highlights how government legislation can inform individuals’ attitudes, even when these attitudes may be deeply entrenched and socially and politically volatile.
Friday, May 03, 2019
Same-sex marriage legalization reduced implicit and explicit antigay bias
Interesting work from Ofosu et al. shows how government legislation can inform individuals’ attitudes, even when these attitudes may be deeply entrenched and socially and politically volatile.: