In Defense of Tradition: Religiosity, Conservatism, and Opposition to Same-Sex Marriage in North America

Jojanneke van der Toorn, John T. Jost, Dominic J. Packer, Sharareh Noorbaloochi, Jay J. Van Bavel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Arguments opposing same-sex marriage are often made on religious grounds. In five studies conducted in the United States and Canada (combined N = 1,673), we observed that religious opposition to same-sex marriage was explained, at least in part, by conservative ideology and linked to sexual prejudice. In Studies 1 and 2, we discovered that the relationship between religiosity and opposition to same-sex marriage was mediated by explicit sexual prejudice. In Study 3, we saw that the mediating effect of sexual prejudice was linked to political conservatism. Finally, in Studies 4a and 4b we examined the ideological underpinnings of religious opposition to same-sex marriage in more detail by taking into account two distinct aspects of conservative ideology. Results revealed that resistance to change was more important than opposition to equality in explaining religious opposition to same-sex marriage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1455-1468
Number of pages14
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Volume43
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017

Keywords

  • conservatism
  • religiosity
  • same-sex marriage
  • sexual prejudice
  • system justification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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