Prejudice, internalization, and the accessibility of personal standards for responding to gay men

J Homosex. 2002;43(1):39-60. doi: 10.1300/J082v43n01_03.


Heterosexual participants who were very low, moderately low, moderately high and very high in prejudice toward gay men reported their personal standards for responding to gay men (i.e., how they believed they should feel or think in an imagined scenario involving a gay man) via computer. As expected, the standards of very low-prejudice individuals were the least prejudiced, the most internalized (i.e., most important and central to the self), and the most accessible (i.e., reported most quickly). Regression analyses revealed the predicted relation between accessibility and internalization, such that the more internalized the standard the greater its accessibility. A significant quadratic trend for prejudice revealed that accessibility decreases with increasing prejudice, except that at very high levels of prejudice accessibility begins to increase. Implications for prejudice reduction for both low- and high-prejudice individuals are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Homosexuality, Male*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Prejudice*
  • Social Values