Terror management research shows that death reminders (mortality salience) increase prejudice toward worldview violators. Two studies investigated whether death reminders exacerbated differences in heterosexual men's and women's reports of sexual prejudice (negative attitudes based on sexual orientation). Results showed that following death reminders, sex differences in anti-gay discrimination and affective prejudice toward gay men (but not toward lesbians) were larger, and that these increased sex differences were mediated by gender role beliefs. The current studies suggest that researchers may attenuate the effects of death reminders by lessening the perceived worldview violation in addition to alleviating the existential terror of death.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Gender Studies
- Social Psychology