Implicit measures of homophobia and stigmatization of same-sex couples
While acceptance towards same-sex marriage is gradually increasing, same-sex marriage is banned in many states within the United States. Laws that prohibit same-sex couples from marrying have been shown to increase feelings of depression, exclusion, and stigma for same-sex attracted individuals. The intention of this study was to explore the effect both pro- and anti-same-sex marriage advertisements have on heterosexual individuals' implicit attitudes towards same-sex couples. It was predicted that exposure to anti-same-sex advertisements would lead to viewing same-sex couples as more unpleasant and heterosexual couples as being more pleasant. However, heterosexual participants who viewed anti-same-sex marriage ads were more likely to rate heterosexual couples as being unpleasant and same-sex couples as pleasant. It is theorized that viewing anti-same-sex marriage advertisements led heterosexual individuals to report heterosexual stimuli as being more unpleasant compared to same-sex stimuli as a form of defensive processing.