Religion, sexuality, and gender : an individual and organizational analysis.
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Whitehead, Andrew L.
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Homosexuality has been the object of much debate, research, and political struggle over the last 40 years. Since the Stonewall riots of 1969 the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender movement (LGBT) continues to grow and occupy a much larger portion of the social consciousness in the United States. Religion is commonly viewed as a “brake” slowing down the liberalization of attitudes. The influence of gender and especially traditional gender attitudes are also significant. While the effect of religion or gender on attitudes toward homosexuality and the inequality gays and lesbians experience is documented, little research investigates the intersection of religion, sexuality, and gender. Drawing on multiple data sets at the individual and organizational levels, the four analyses in this project demonstrate the influence of religion and gender on attitudes toward homosexuality and the full inclusion of gays and lesbians into American life. Specifically, this study considers 1) the relationship between gender ideology and attitudes toward homosexuality, 2) attribution theory and attitudes toward same-sex unions, 3) the determinants of congregational responses to gays and lesbians, and 4) the relationship between gender inequality and the inequality experienced by gays and lesbians within American congregations. The findings for each study are discussed, and implications and suggestions for future research are also considered.