Discussion Given that Moscow is the main urban center in Russia and the largest city in Europe with more than Although in some countries gender has been found to lead to different attitudes toward GLB people, with women endorsing more favorable attitudes e. Mens endorsement of sexual prejudice appears to be multifaceted; according to Herek and McLemore , some heterosexual men may be responding in a sexually prejudicial way due to anxiety related to their internal same-sex attractions or desires, even if that feeling is not conscious.
Other men may experience anxiety or fear due to perceptions that they may not be meeting cultural expectations for men, and may engage in sexual prejudice toward GLB people to reduce these emotions and enhance their inclusion within socially proscribed norms for masculinity. Given these potential factors, it is not surprising that, in light of the broad negative stereotyping of gay men in Russia as sexual predators, and the history of criminalization of same-sex male sexual behavior vs.
After controlling for age, region, gender, and education, knowing GLB individuals significantly and negatively predicted Hateful Attitudes. In light of our analysis of the experiences of GLBT individuals living in Russia during a time of seeming openness and forward motion, we caution that such movement may be compromised due to shifting Russian sociopolitical contexts Horne, et al.
This finding suggests that people maybe able to hold positive feelings and thoughts about GLB people they know, but at the same time hold reservations about whether GLB people should have equal rights as heterosexual people. This finding is not surprising, given the formal propaganda bans and anti-GLB rhetoric prevalent in Russia, as well as the ways that stereotypes are reinforced Herek, Two dimensions of personality — neuroticism and conscientiousness — predicted Hateful Attitudes toward GLB people.
Neuroticism assesses facets of hostility and anxiety, and suggests that those who are experiencing greater vulnerability to stress and self-consciousness may more readily accept stereotypes and feel threatened by GLB people. The degree of neuroticism approached significance with the endorsement of GLB Rights, with lower neuroticism predicting a more positive attitude towards GLB people having rights. Conscientiousness, which has been found to be associated with more conservative attitudes, as well as lack of support for GLB rights Gerber et al.
The tendency toward orderliness, duty, and self-discipline characterized by this personality dimension corresponds with more hateful attitudes towards GLB people, who often are stereotyped in Russia as a social group that does not follow established traditional norms.
The emphasis placed on the importance of fulfilling moral obligations, which characterizes conscientiousness, is congruent with negative attitudes towards GLB people.
The internal consistency of the measures was good, suggesting that they were assessing the intended constructs; however, extensive assessment and analysis of these measures were not conducted to assure face and construct validity. The surveys were also based on self-reporting, and limited to university students, who are more highly educated than the general population; therefore, the sample was relatively uniform in age and education, reducing the variability of these factors.
Finally, these data were collected prior to the passage of the Propaganda Ban, and therefore attitudes may have been less Hateful or more supportive of GLB Rights than present-day attitudes.
These findings correspond to the results of the recent survey of attitudes by the Levada Center ; and the Pew Research Center , which found the majority of those surveyed holding negative attitudes towards GLB individuals. Given the combination of negative attitudes and lack of support for GLB rights, it is not surprising that basic protections for GLB individuals have not advanced in Russia, and in fact, have regressed in many ways.
However, Russia and other former communist countries provide a more complex relationship due to the lack of religiosity during the Soviet period. For example, Russia ranks as one of the least religious countries in the world Khazan, Yet, the influence of the Russian Orthodox Church is increasing, and it remains steadfast in its opposition to same-sex relationships.
Future research on attitudes may be fruitful if, rather than testing for religiosity, it explores support for the Russian Orthodox Church, or whether individuals support the social values of the Church, independent of whether they practice religion or attend services. It may also be useful to explore the strategies and supports which heterosexual people with favorable attitudes toward GLB people develop and maintain in the face of anti-GLB media and characterizations.
Finally, given the political climate, research on the impact of minority stress, in particular internalized homonegativity, on the mental health of GLB individuals in Russia is warranted. Many Russian GLB people face violence and stigma on a regular basis due to their sexual orientation. As Anderson and Fetner , p. Ethnic differences in sexual attitudes of US college students: Gender, acculturation, and religiosity factors.
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