polygamy, same-sex marriage, homosexuality
Based on a sample of 814 university students, pro- and anti-same-sex marriage and polygamous marriage groups were established based on students scoring >1 SD above (n = 145; n = 132, respectively) and > 1 SD below the group mean (n = 127; n = 126) on the Attitudes Toward Same-Sex Marriage Scale (ATSSM: Pearl & Paz-Galupo, 2007) and Attitudes Toward Polygamy Scale, which was generated by modifying the ATSSM (ATPM). Compared to pro-same-sex marriage students, anti-same-sex marriage students were significantly more prejudiced against gays and lesbians, authoritarian, religious, and politically conservative. Anti-same-sex marriage students also had less contact with and appreciation for diverse cultural groups, more desire to dominate out-groups, were less autonomous in their thinking, and were more likely to be men. Anti-polygamous students were more strongly opposed same-sex marriage, idealized the traditional family, authoritarian, religious, less autonomous in their thinking, desire to dominate minority groups, and were more likely to be female compared to those who were propolygamous marriage. Results further indicated that, polygamy and same-sex marriage are predicted by different variables, with same-sex marriage being more strongly tied to prejudice against gays and lesbians and polygamous marriage being more strongly tied to beliefs about the inherent morality of conventions surrounding the traditional family. A regression analysis using data from all 814 students yielded almost identical results with regards to identifying variables most predictive of ATSSM. Followup analyses revealed that prejudice against gays and lesbians was the single best predictor of opposition to same-sex marriage and even accounted for the associations between opposition to same-sex marriage and religiosity, political conservatism, and support of traditional marriage and family. With respect to polygamy, data from regression analyses revealed that ATSSM was the best predictor of ATPM. Despite the cultural focus on this variable, however, controlling for ATSSM did not reduce the predictive power of critical variables to a non-significant level. Recommendations for challenging opposition to marriage equality are discussed.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Pearte, Catherine, "Young Adults' Attitudes Toward Same-sex Marriage And Polygamy As A Function Of Demographic, Gender, And Personality Variables" (2010). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4430.