Multi-Dimensionality and the Complex Relationships between Religious Belief and Sexual Prejudice
Tasker, Timothy B.
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Sexual prejudice has profound and negative consequences for sexual minorities, and previous research has linked it extensively with religious belief. Such research has been limited, however, in several important ways, including failure to fully account for the broad range of beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors that make up both of these constructs. Accordingly, the purpose of the current study was to conduct a secondary data analysis that first examined the specific multi-dimensionality of religious belief and sexual prejudice and then investigated the unique patterns of association between those emergent dimensions while controlling for other demographic and personality-trait predictors of prejudice. A series of confirmatory factor analyses and structural regression models were used to accomplish those objectives. Results provided strong evidence regarding the discrete dimensionality of both religious belief and sexual prejudice, as well as suggesting unique patterns of association between them. Right wing authoritarianism, religious fundamentalism, and centrality of religious identity surfaced as key predictors across the separate dimensions of sexual prejudice. Additional dimensions of religious belief and participants’ demographics were comparatively weak and inconsistent predictors of sexual prejudice. Implications of these findings for intervening to reduce sexual prejudice and prevent its objectionable consequences on sexual minority individuals are discussed.