Friday, November 27, 2015

Unconscious biases against gays and lesbians decreasing at a rapid rate in the U.S.

Despite the attention-grabbing anti-gay crusaders clutching shibboleths and spouting self-serving interpretations of the Bible, the country's view towards gays and lesbians is rapidly changing in a positive direction. This article in PsyPost not only shows how much people's views have changed but also suggests the trend in increasing at a rapid rate. Here is an excerpt from the article:
     Westgate’s [Erin Westgate, a doctoral psychology student at the University of Virginia] team found that implicit or “unconscious” bias against lesbian and gay people was 13 percent lower in 2013 than in 2006 [emphasis added], suggesting that implicit bias has decreased substantially in recent years. They also found that explicit, or self-reported, bias decreased twice as much (26 percent) as implicit bias over the same seven-year period. This suggests that while many peoples’ attitudes are changing at the deeper, unconscious level, some people may be less willing or able to acknowledge anti-gay bias than they were in years past.
     “Implicit biases can occur outside of conscious awareness or conscious control,” Nosek said. “People may know that they have them and not be able to control them. This is the first evidence for long-term change in people’s implicit attitudes on a cultural level.”
     The authors also found that some people’s attitudes were changing more quickly than others. Age, race and political orientation were the biggest predictors of attitude change. Unconscious bias decreased the most among women, as well as among white, Hispanic, liberal and younger people. Men – as well as black, Asian, conservative and older people – showed the smallest changes in bias.

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