Perceived Support for Gay Men as Parents: Comparing an Australian Community and Student Sample

O’Flynn, P. (University of Sydney), White, F. A. (University of Sydney)

Social norms about same-sex parenting were at the forefront of the Australian public discourse in the lead up to the introduction of marriage equality laws in 2017. Research shows that perceived social norms (perception of the extent to which a group shares an attitude or behaviour) can influence the individual’s attitudes and prejudice. Thus, the current study aimed to explore the perceived social norms and predictors of prejudice towards gay men as parents. Heterosexual community members (N = 347; Mage = 38.7 years, 52% male) and university students (N = 249; Mage = 19.9 years, 42% male) were asked to estimate the level of support for gay men’s right to raise children among all Australians and among their close friends, as well as their personal level of support. Results revealed high individual support for gay men’s right to raise children, in both samples. Perceived support of all Australians was significantly higher in the student sample than the community sample.  The study also highlighted differences in the predictors of prejudice towards same-sex parents between a community and student sample.


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Queer Families Symposium