Male Role Endorsement Explains Negative Attitudes Toward Lesbians and Gay Men Among Students in Mexico More Than in Germany

Melanie C. Steffens*, Kai J. Jonas, Lisa Denger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Anti-gay attitudes vary across cultures because the larger social context plays a role in attitude formation. Psychological correlates of these attitudes have been investigated in the United States and Europe. Endorsement of traditional gender roles has emerged from that research as a central correlate, next to religiosity and personal contact with lesbians/gay men. In a cross-sectional study, we tested whether these correlates are relevant in Mexico, characterized as an androcentric culture in which both gender-role traditionalism and religiosity are high, using a college-age student sample (N-63). Because we relied on self-reports, the motivation to appear nonprejudiced was also assessed. We found typical gender differences in attitudes toward gay men. In bivariate tests, anti-gay attitudes were related to male role endorsement, contact with lesbians/gay men, and religiosity. In a multivariate analysis, variance in attitudes was explained by male role endorsement; personal contact or religiosity did not explain additional variance. In a German comparison sample (N= 112), male role endorsement played a smaller role. Variance in anti-gay attitudes in the German sample was also related to personal contact, religiosity, and the motivation to appear nonprejudiced. We discuss the centrality of (male) gender-role endorsement in cultures with high gender-role traditionalism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)898-911
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Sex Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes

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