Date of Award

Spring 2005

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Sociology & Criminal Justice


Applied Sociology

Committee Director

Ruth Triplett

Committee Member

Randy R. Gainey

Committee Member

William Agyei

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.S62 B64 2005


Previous research on attitudes towards homosexuality has concentrated on characteristics of individuals, and neglected the capitalist structure of society that provides the contextual setting for the creation and maintenance of cultural attitudes.

This thesis uses responses collected in the general social survey of the United States between 1993 and 1998, to provide a more comprehensive explanation of differences in attitudes towards homosexuality, through an analysis of social position and the capitalist agenda. The analysis revealed significant relationships between sex, age, race, income, beliefs regarding the domestication of women, and attitudes towards homosexuality.

The analysis showed that respondents categorized as black or other were consistently more likely to hold negative attitudes towards homosexuality than the white respondents, and that attitudes towards homosexuality are becoming more liberal with the passage of time. Older

persons also held less tolerant attitudes towards homosexuality than younger persons. There exists a gendered difference in attitudes towards homosexuality, although this relationship, as well as the relationship between other demographic variables and attitudes towards homosexuality is mediated by beliefs regarding the domestication of women. These findings suggest that beliefs which are influenced by the respondents social position, are responsible for attitudes held, and also that these beliefs can alter the effects of the demographic variables.


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