Prejudice and discrimination against sexual orientation and gender identity minorities remains a pressing issue in societies around the globe. This research aims at identifying effective, scientifically sound interventions that help combat prejudice in every-day-life.

Given its prevalence and impact, it is important that prejudice against lesbians, gay men, bisexual men and women, people who are transgendered, and queer (LGBTQ’s ) is reduced and that their negative treatment is prevented. Insight into the determinants of sexual orientation and gender identity prejudice (SOGIP) is an important step in combatting it. Demographic characteristics including age, gender, religious affiliation and conservatism seem to play a role in predicting SOGIP. Moreover, attitudes such as gender role beliefs and acceptance of gender nonconformity should be tackled in order to prevent and reduce prejudice. Many types of interventions that try to achieve these aims are currently being employed. Particularly promising interventions are those aimed at evoking empathy and perspective taking and those aimed at developing alliances between minority and majority members. However, there is still room for improvement. Overall, little empirical evidence speaks to the robustness of intervention effects, their underlying mechanisms, duration, and boundary conditions. Researchers should focus on all aspects of SOGIP (i.e., sexual orientation prejudice as well as gender identity prejudice); different expressions of such prejudice (i.e., blatant and subtle), actual behavior towards minorities, and on both perpetrators and targets of prejudice. By joining forces, researchers and practitioners should aim to overcome practical and theoretical obstacles in evaluating the effectiveness of interventions. Policy makers should support initiatives that test, improve, implement and distribute intervention programs, and can help bring together researchers and practitioners.

 

Cramwinckel, F. M., Scheepers, D. T., & Van der Toorn, J. (2018). Interventions to reduce blatant and subtle sexual orientation- and gender identity prejudice (SOGIP): Current knowledge and future directions. Social Issues and Policy Review, 12, 183-217

Also see: Suppes, A., Napier, J. L., & Van der Toorn, J. (in press). The palliative effects of system justification on the health and happiness of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.