Sexual orientation differences in attitudes about sexuality, race, and gender.Soc Sci Res. 2017 01; 61:126-141.SS
Researchers have extensively documented sociodemographic predictors of race and gender attitudes, and the mechanisms through which such attitudes are formed and change. Despite its growing recognition as an important status characteristic, sexual orientation has received little attention as a predictor of Americans' race and gender attitudes. Using nationally representative data from the American National Election Survey 2012 Time Series Study, I compare heterosexuals' and lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) people's attitudes about sexuality, race, and gender. For most attitudes, LGB people hold significantly more liberal attitudes about sexuality, race, and gender than do heterosexuals, even upon controlling for other powerful sociodemographic determinants of social attitudes. However, a substantial proportion of these sexual orientation gaps in attitudes - especially about race and gender - are explained by LGB people's relatively liberal political ideology. The findings provide evidence for the necessity of incorporating sexual orientation in future assessments of Americans' social and political attitudes.