This study evaluated the extent to which people living in Barbados, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago believe that the anti-gay laws currently in place: The rights of same-sex couples currently stand as one of the most contested issues across the globe.
However, while discourse on gay rights in the West focuses on the marital and adoption rights of same-sex couples, in many countries across the globe, consensual adult same-sex intimate acts remain criminalised — including in Barbados, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago henceforth TT.
Interestingly, colonial thinking about homosexuality still appears alive and well today. Notwithstanding the obvious problems these Significado de homosexual parenting laws create for same-sex couples living in these three states, Jackman notes that, currently, the law is not normally used to police sexuality in practice.
Thus, if consensual same-sex conduct is rarely penalised, why are these state adamant about keeping these laws on the books, especially since gay rights are increasingly being seen as important human rights? In this paper, I posit that the choice to keep the laws on the books may be due Significado de homosexual parenting the perceived threat of gay men and lesbians, and fear of what abolition of the laws may bring.
The anxiety elicited by these feelings of threat can lead members of the in-group to dislike members of the out-group. It is widely accepted that the greater the extent to which an in-group views the out-group as a threat symbolic or realisticthe more negative the attitudes are likely to be Vincent, Peterson, and Parrott Gay men and lesbians are often perceived as sources of both symbolic and realistic threat to society.
This perception is grounded in acceptance of negative stereotypes — mostly exaggerated and ill-founded beliefs — about gay men and lesbians Herek For instance, gay men and lesbians are often stigmatised as immoral, violators of gender norms, child abusers and threats to public health Bhugra ; Herek; Wiley and Bottoms It is thus not surprising that one of the most cited arguments levied against extending basic human rights to gay men and lesbians is that such actions will harm the fabric of society Bull, Pinto, and Wilson ; Hough ; Nichols It follows that if persons genuinely believe that gay men and lesbians or same-sex sexual acts harm society, then they would be more inclined to support anti-gay laws; they would not see it fit to extend basic human rights to individuals who they believe threaten their way of life.
Thus, understanding the perceived usefulness of the anti-gay laws in Barbados, Guyana and TT is warranted, as it may aid advocates in understanding some of the roots of anti-gay sentiment in these states.
Specifically, I analyse subscriptions to notions that the anti-gay laws: This study has two aims. Second, it seeks to determine the extent to which popular correlates of anti-gay attitudes — that is, demographic factors, religion, interpersonal contact with gays and lesbians and beliefs about the origins of homosexuality — explain subscriptions to these arguments.
The rest of this paper is organised as follows: Currently, there is a well-established body of research on anti-gay bias in Western countries mainly the USAand the principal findings of this research have been summarised several times — see, for example, BhugraHerek and Mason and Barr According to Mason and Barr Some of the most frequent findings in the West are that persons with negative views of gay men and lesbians are more likely to be religious, older, less highly educated and have had little to no interpersonal contact with gay men or lesbians.
Mason and Barr also point out that the literature often finds that men tend to manifest higher levels of sexual prejudice than women — possibly due to the fact that men place heavier emphasis on traditional gender roles than women. A subset of researchers have linked being married — an event associated with traditional lifestyles — to more conservative attitudes Brumbaugh et al. Others have looked at variations in attitudes by ethnicity and "Significado de homosexual parenting," though the findings on the impact of race can be best described as mixed — some studies find that Whites hold more negative attitudes, some find the reverse, while others find no significant racial variations Herek and Capitanio ; Jenkins, Lambert, and Baker ; Negy and Eisenman More recently, a few studies have focused on how beliefs about the origins of homosexuality influence attitudes towards gay men and lesbians.
This research stems from attribution theory, which, in its most basic form, supposes that the perceived cause or controllability of behaviour influences how individuals view a stigmatised group or behaviour Weiner ; Weiner, Perry, and Magnusson Research suggests that individuals who perceive homosexuality as innate tend to have more positive attitudes towards "Significado de homosexual parenting" men and lesbians than those who perceive it as a choice Haider-Markel and Joslyn ; Lewis As alluded to earlier, the majority of Significado de homosexual parenting on anti-gay prejudice has been conducted using samples from the US.
The extent to which these findings can be applied Significado de homosexual parenting the countries within the Commonwealth Caribbean 1 specifically, those under investigation in this study has not been well established.
In general, these reports portray citizens in the Commonwealth Caribbean as intolerant of gay men and lesbians Gromer et al. Given the antigay laws in the region, this claim seems plausible. However, Murraysuggests that the claim that the region is homophobic is both correct and incorrect.
With respect to the drivers of the anti-gay bias, researchers have speculated that adherence to traditional gender role ideologies is a major contributor to prejudice against gay men Atluri ; Hope ; Linden Lewis In the Caribbean, sexual prowess with women is a key aspect of masculinity Kempadoo and so men who have sex with men may challenge the cultural beliefs about what constitutes socially appropriate male behaviours Maiorana et al. However, there are differences in the extent to which persons in these states adhere to traditional gender role ideologies.
For example, research on gender in the Caribbean suggests that Barbadians are much more tolerant of non-traditional gender roles than their Jamaican neighbours Marshall and Maynard A more general theme in the published work on the Caribbean is that anti-gay prejudice is largely driven by conservative Christian beliefs Douglas ; Gaskins ; Gutzmore In fact, the anti-gay laws in the Caribbean are often argued to be a reflection of their Christian beliefs Abramschmitt ; Reding Another popular narrative is that negative stereotypes of gay men and lesbians lead to anti-gay sentiment.
In the region, public discourse often conflates homosexuality with paedophilia and immorality, and also causally links homosexuality with HIV Genrich and Brathwaite ; Gutzmore ; Rutledge and Abell ; Significado de homosexual parenting and Carr Since these are considered very serious threats to society, some individuals in the Caribbean may then believe that the harsh condemnations of gay men and lesbians are somewhat justified.
In fact, some public officials in Barbados and TT have justified the anti-gay laws on the grounds of public morality and the need to protect the fabric of society. Interestingly, very few studies have emerged to quantitatively investigate these attitudes and behaviours. In fact, many of "Significado de homosexual parenting" quantitative studies that do exist are sampled predominantly from university bodies. But they did find that: Meanwhile, West and Hewstone investigated the relationship between contact with gay men and attitudes towards gay men using a sample of Jamaican students, and compared it to the corresponding relationship for British students.
West and Hewston found that Jamaican students reported more negative attitudes than their British equivalentsbut that contact was more strongly associated with a reduction in anti-gay prejudice for the Jamaican sample than for Britons.
However, the generalisability of studies using university students is questionable. University students tend to be younger and better educated than the national population, making it difficult to use these studies to draw inferences about Significado de homosexual parenting attitudes of the mass public.
Recently, Jackman and West and Cowell have attempted to remedy this problem. The results suggest that the individual most likely to Significado de homosexual parenting both the retention and enforcement of the anti-gay laws is strongly religious, does not identify as a White Caribbean, is in a common-law marriage, resides in TT, has no gay friends and believes homosexuality is a choice.
In contrast to the "Significado de homosexual parenting" literature on the West, neither age nor education predicted attitudes towards law retention. Using nationally representative survey data, they investigated the impact of age, gender, education, income, religiosity and music choice dancehall 2 on four measures of anti-gay prejudice: Only gender, religiosity and music choice were significantly related to all four measures of anti-gay prejudice.
Men and those with a preference for dancehall were more likely to express anti-gay prejudice than women or persons preferring other genres of music. Religiosity, on Significado de homosexual parenting other hand, was associated with more negative attitudes, greater social distance and greater opposition to gay rights, but was also associated with less negative behaviours towards gays and lesbians.
Age did not predict the social distance or attitudinal measures. However, older persons did report greater opposition to gay rights, but were also less likely to report engaging in negative behaviours. Finally, participants with higher levels of education and income generally reported less negative attitudes, social distance and negative behaviours, but these two variables had no impact on opposition towards gay rights. Significado de homosexual parenting work by Jackman and West and Cowell shed some light on anti-gay bias in the Commonwealth Caribbean, neither of these studies looked at the extent to which disapproval could possibly stem from negative stereotypes that portray gays and lesbians as a threat to society.
It will also empirically investigate the factors influencing such beliefs. As alluded to earlier, many of the studies on the West have found that demographic variables, religion, interpersonal contact and beliefs about the origins of homosexuality are among the chief determinants of anti-gay prejudice. In what follows, I will investigate whether these social and psychological factors also impact the likelihood than an individual residing in Barbados, Guyana and TT will view the anti-gay laws as useful.
A total of adults age 18 and over were surveyed: This study focuses on the responses of those individuals who listed their sexual orientation as heterosexual.
Once missing observations were removed from both the dependent and independent variables, the estimation sample consisted of individuals. Throughout this paper, I focus on results from the estimation sample.