- Putting prejudice into perspective: does perceived suitability for adoption depend on sexual orientation more than on other applicant features?
- Volume | Issue number
- 11 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Most prejudice studies focus on a single aspect, for instance, sexual prejudice, overlooking other individual characteristics or multiple minority status (i.e., identity intersections). As a drawback, this approach could overestimate specific sources of prejudice. We demonstrated this empirically in the context of the controversial topic of adoption by same-gender couples. In three experiments (total N = 603) we examined the conditions under which members of the general population rate target adults’ written applications as indicating suitability for adopting, independently manipulating target sexual orientation, gender, socioeconomic status (SES), and age. We found that SES explained as much or more variance in adoption suitability decisions as sexual orientation; applicant gender influenced those decisions more than applicant sexual orientation. Younger applicants were also preferred to older ones. Few interactions were obtained. Mediators of adoption suitability decisions were assumptions about the general well-being of the child, and specific worries concerning the child. Our results suggest that reservations against adoption by samegender couples may be overestimated if one focuses exclusively on sexual orientation.
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