The meanings attached to the nation can be consequential for group members’ attitudes and beliefs. We examined how national identity definition can influence the extent of individuals’ homophobia with 159 Lithuanian and 176 Scottish university students who completed a questionnaire which measured their national identification, homophobia, and the extent to which they felt traditional family values were central to their nation’s identity. Consistent with nation-wide differences in the significance given to the family, Lithuanian participants perceived family values to be more important for their national identity and expressed higher levels of homophobia than did Scottish participants. Moreover, the relationship between level of national identification and homophobia was stronger in Lithuania than in Scotland. Analyses revealed that the perceived importance of family values helped explain the difference between homophobia levels in Lithuania and Scotland. In both sites we found an indirect effect of national identification on homophobia via the perceived importance of family values, but this effect was significantly stronger for Lithuanian participants. These findings illustrate the ways in which identification with the nation is relevant to attitudes concerning sexuality, and how this varies according to national context. Our work indicates that LGBT rights campaigns should be informed by the knowledge that homophobia may be perpetuated by national valorisation of the family.
- Homosexuality (Attitudes Toward)
- Social Identity