Adopting a system justification perspective (Jost and Banaji 1994), we investigated the manner and extent to which gay men and lesbians might internalize a sense of inferiority when it comes to parenthood. In an Italian sample of gay and lesbian individuals, we found that gay men who scored high (versus low) on system justification and right-wing conservatism regarded same sex parents as less competent; these effects were mediated by internalized homophobia. Lesbian women, however, perceived lesbian parents as more competent than opposite sex parents, regardless of ideological orientations. For gay men the internalization of societal discrimination harms perceptions of parental competence, whereas for lesbians gender stereotypes about parenting trump the negative effects of bias related to sexual orientation. These findings suggest that men’s and women’s perceptions of their own bodies and capacities are strongly affected by sociocultural processes, including ideological processes.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 18, 2011
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