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NTU study looks at national attitudes towards homosexuals
Date:1/9/2013

gays and lesbians in the media has the strongest effect on the attitudes of people with many personal contacts with gay men and lesbians.

The researchers suggested this could be because of the positive correlation between interpersonal contact and media exposure to homosexuals in this sample of Singaporean adults. Alternatively, it could be due to the way in which exposure to homosexuals in the media has been measured. The 2010 study used the total number of films and TV programmes watched, whereas other studies used viewing frequency and scale measurements of para-social relationships between viewers and media characters.

The study also showed that it is possible for people to hold negative attitudes towards homosexuals but accept gay men and lesbians on a more personal level, whether as co-workers or friends, regardless of whether they perceive homosexuality to be a choice. The researchers suggested that the precise reasons for this could be the subject of future research.

"As more Singaporeans come into contact with gay people and with the rising availability of films and television programmes with gay characters via cable television, local cinemas and the Internet, it seems possible that there will be a more significant shift in attitudes towards gays and lesbians over time," said co-investigator, Dr Shirley Ho.

As was the case in 2005, the more recent study found that religion is significantly related to attitudes and acceptance. Among the religious groups, freethinkers were the most positive in their attitudes significantly higher than Christians, Buddhists and Muslims. Irrespective of specific religion, people who are more intrinsically religious i.e. people who say that religion is integral to their lives are more likely to have negative attitudes towards homosexuals and are less accepting of them.

Prof Detenber said, "It is important to bear in mind that the findings are correlational and probabilistic t
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Contact: Feisal Abdul Rahman
feisalar@ntu.edu.sg
65-679-06687
Nanyang Technological University
Source:Eurekalert

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