Maintaining distinctions under threat: Heterosexual men endorse the biological theory of sexuality when equality is the norm
According to social identity theory, group members sometimes react to threats to their group's distinctiveness by asserting the distinctiveness of their group. In four studies (n = 261) we tested the hypothesis that heterosexual men with a greater propensity to be threatened by homosexuality would react to egalitarian norms by endorsing biological theories of sexuality. Heterosexual men, but not women, with narrow prototypes of their gender in-group endorsed biological theories the most (Study 1). Heterosexual men with higher gender self-esteem, with heterosexist attitudes, who endorsed traditional gender roles, and with narrow prototypes of their gender in-group, endorsed the biological theories more when egalitarian norms rather than anti-egalitarian norms (Studies 2 and 3) or pro-minority ideologies that emphasized group differences (Study 4) were made salient. These findings show group-level reactive distinctiveness among members of a high-status group in a context of threat to the unique privileges that they once enjoyed.
John Wiley & Sons, British Journal of Social Psychology, 53, pp. 731-751
Norms – normativity