Sex Differences in Reactions to Homosexuals: Research Continuities and Further Developments

Darrell Steffensmeier, Renee Steffensmeier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


This study examines several factors affecting reactions to persons identified as homosexual. Reactions are operationalized in terms of expressed rejection of the homosexual as indicated by responses to a social distance scale. The major variables examined are sex of homosexual, sex of reactor, and acceptance of two commonly held stereotypes. These stereotypes—perceived danger and psychological disturbance—both suggest that a sense of threat is associated with rejection of the homosexual. A particularly interesting finding was that male subjects are especially rejecting of male homosexuals. Presumably male subjects tend to view the male homosexual as a sexual failure and to perceive him as personally threatening or dangerous.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-67
Number of pages16
JournalThe Journal of Sex Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 1974

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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