Intergroup contact, prejudicial attitudes, and policy preferences: The case of the U.S. militarys "dont ask, dont tell" policy

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Abstract

Data from 115,052 active United States military personnel were analyzed to explore links between contact with gay people and attitudes about repealing "Dont Ask, Dont Tell." Results showed that prejudice against homosexuals significantly mediated the association between contact and supporting repeal of "Dont Ask, Dont Tell"; quality of contact in the military was a stronger predictor than other measures of contact. Quality and quantity of contact interacted: more contact quantity had opposing statistical effects on policy attitudes for people experiencing high versus low quality contact. Findings are discussed in terms of contact theory, the association between intergroup attitudes and policy preferences, and practical implications for situations in which groups access to new positions or roles is limited, and hence contact opportunities are rare.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-69
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Social Psychology
Volume155
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2015

Keywords

  • "dont ask
  • dont tell"
  • intergroup contact
  • policy attitudes
  • prejudice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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