Date of Award

Summer 8-12-2014

Degree Type

Closed Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

John L. Peterson


Recently theorists have argued that in-group members might respond more harshly to deviant members of their own group in comparison to deviant members of the out-group. Previous research has provided extensive support for this “black sheep effect”; however, no prior studies have examined how it affects individuals’ attitudes towards sexual minorities, or those perceived as deviating from the heterosexual norm. Numerous factors have been found to be linked to negative attitudes towards sexual minorities, including religious fundamentalism and the traditional male role norm of anti-femininity, and several studies have suggested that intergroup threat theory may serve as a possible explanation for sexual prejudice. The present study examines the association between several known correlates of sexual prejudice and intergroup threat theory, and examines the possible mediating effect of sexual prejudice on the association between anti-femininity, religious fundamentalism, and the “black sheep effect”.