Psychological and Demographic Predictors of Support for Marriage Equality: An Australian Survey
Gerace, A. (Central Queensland University), Bawden, L. (Central Queensland University), Reynolds, A. C. (Central Queensland University), Anderson, J. (Australian Catholic University & Australian Research Centre for Sex, Health, and Society [ARCSHS], La Trobe University)
In 2017, the Marriage Amendment Act was passed, which made same-sex marriage (SSM) legal in Australia. Research has identified factors that predict support for SSM. However, cultural and political differences between countries where the majority of research has originated makes generalising findings to Australia difficult. The purpose of this study was to investigate demographic, personality, and social psychological factors as predictors of both attitudes toward SSM and response to the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey, which preceded the amendment. A sample of Australian citizens (n = 259) over 18 completed an anonymous online survey measuring demographics, religiosity, political conservatism, beliefs about marriage and sexuality, and personality characteristics (including empathy, openness to experience, right-wing authoritarianism, social dominance orientation). A series of separate linear (for SSM attitudes) and logistic (for Postal Survey response) regression models were used to investigate predictors of SSM attitudes and Postal Survey response, which were highly correlated. A range of demographic, personality, and social factors significantly predicted SSM attitudes and support for the legalisation of SSM in Australia. Results suggested that fostering characterises such as empathy, openness to experience, and contact with LGBTI people may increase positive attitudes towards LGBTI people and SSM following the legalisation of marriage equality.
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Queer Families Symposium