Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Counseling Psychology

Committee Chair

Suzanne Lease

Committee Member

Sara K Bridges

Committee Member

Rosie P Davis

Committee Member

Kade R Hiestand


The lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) community continues to be impacted by rapidly changing legislative bills and decisions that restrict the rights of the members within the community. This leads to the importance of understanding the variables that might contribute to supporting the policy decisions of legislative representatives. The current study originated from a desire to explore relationships among factors that have been previously related to non-affirming attitudes to LGB individuals in general and restrictive LGB laws in particular. Numerous studies have linked adherence to traditional masculinity ideology and social dominance orientation (SDO) to negative attitudes toward LGB individuals and, by extension, support for restrictive LGB laws. Using the precarious manhood framework that suggests that men whose sense of masculinity is threatened react in ways to re-establish that masculinity, this study filled a gap in the existing literature by examining the role that SDO has in explaining the relationship between precarious manhood beliefs and attitudes toward LGB laws. The study also contributed to the literature by expanding the typical masculinity threat paradigm to include sexual orientation. The study hypothesized stronger endorsement of precarious masculinity would be related to restrictive LGB policies through the mechanism of social dominance attitudes and that this indirect relationship would be conditional on a challenge to masculinity. Analysis of a sample of 182 heterosexual men in the United States suggested that social dominance orientation carries some, but not all, of the effect of precarious manhood beliefs on support for restrictive LGB laws. The threat paradigm did not moderate the mediated relationship or the direct relationship between precarious manhood beliefs and attitudes toward restrictive LGB laws, although there was a suggestion of a small conditional direct effect that did not reach statistical significance. Future research should continue exploring social dominance as a cognitive pathway and its influence on decision-making.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest


Open Access