"That's so gay!" Priming the general negative usage of the word gay increases implicit anti-gay bias.

Published: August 31, 2012

Abstract

One of the most recent uses of the term gay is to refer to things as negative in general, detached from explicit reference to gay individuals. Research has shown that exposure to explicitly homonegative speech can increase anti-gay bias; however, the effect of more ambivalent homonegative speech on implicit attitudes has not yet been explored. Despite the conscious disassociation between both meanings of the word, given previous studies on priming and automaticity, an association was expected at an automatic level. Therefore, this study investigated the effect of priming the general negative usage of gay on participants’ implicit attitudes towards gay individuals, as measured by the Implicit Association Test. Results revealed that exposure to the general negative usage of gay increased implicit anti-gay bias.

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