The author extended the proposition (V. J. Derlega, R. J. Lewis, S. Harrison, B. A. Winstead, & R. Costanza, 1989) that the fear of being seen as homosexual accounts for the common finding that U.S. women engage in more same-sex touch than do U.S. men. The author proposed a theoretic model positing that the magnitude of homophobia's influence on behavior and on reactions to behavior is proportional to the likelihood that the behavior is sexual in nature. An experiment involving reactions to same-sex embraces demonstrated that, although homophobia was negatively related to evaluations of same-sex affectionate touch, the magnitude of the relationship covaried with the probability that the touch was sexual. The implications of these findings for longer range theory development are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology