Sexual prejudice: the effect upon helping behaviour of perceived sexual orientation and gender

Hendren, Amy (2007) Sexual prejudice: the effect upon helping behaviour of perceived sexual orientation and gender. BSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

[img] PDF
Restricted to Registered users only

Download (165kB)


    The current study aimed to extend research on sexual prejudice by conducting a behavioural study into the extent of prejudice in modern society and the extent to which this differs according to gender. In addition, the study aimed to discover if any gender differences in the general level of helping behaviour were evident. A field experiment with a 2x2x2 independent groups design was used to test the effect upon helping behaviour of three independent variables: gender of participant, gender of requestor and the perceived sexual orientation of the requestor (indicated by either a pro-gay slogan t-shirt or a blank t-shirt, worn by the requestor). The dependent variable was the level of helping behaviour, measured in terms of whether a participant attempted and/or continued to assist a person requesting change. A total of 240 participants, with equal numbers of male and female participants, were recruited using an opportunity sample. This equated to 30 participants for each condition. Participant's age was not recorded due to a lack of informed consent. Findings indicated a person perceived as homosexual received significantly less help than a person perceived as heterosexual. Thus implying that there are high levels of sexual prejudiced attitudes in society that impact on behaviour. No relationship between gender and sexual orientation on levels of helping behaviour were found. This finding supported previous behavioural studies but contradicted attitude studies, thus supporting the notion that the attitude-behaviour relationship is weak. The implications of this are discussed concerning a need for more behavioural studies. A relationship between gender and the general level of helping behaviour was discovered. Males displayed significantly less help to a male requestor, but females displayed equal levels of help to a requestor regardless of their gender. Males and females displayed similar levels of help to a female requestor.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Department of Psychology
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:48
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:14

    Actions (login required)

    View Item

    Document Downloads

    More statistics for this item...