Intergroup Contact, Prejudicial Attitudes, and Policy Preferences: The Case of the U.S. Military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Policy.J Soc Psychol. 2015 Jan-Feb; 155(1):57-69.JS
Data from 115,052 active United States military personnel were analyzed to explore links between contact with gay people and attitudes about repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Results showed that prejudice against homosexuals significantly mediated the association between contact and supporting repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"; quality of contact in the military was a stronger predictor than other measures of contact. Quality and quantity of contact interacted: more contact quantity had opposing statistical effects on policy attitudes for people experiencing high versus low quality contact. Findings are discussed in terms of contact theory, the association between intergroup attitudes and policy preferences, and practical implications for situations in which groups' access to new positions or roles is limited, and hence contact opportunities are rare.