Homopositivity across Europe : predictors, pathways, and moderators

Whitworth, Adam and Moretti, Angelo (2023) Homopositivity across Europe : predictors, pathways, and moderators. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 52 (3). pp. 945-955. ISSN 1573-2800 (https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-023-02531-8)

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Although homopositivity, the attitudinal acceptance of homosexuality, has generally increased across Western societies, there remains considerable homonegativity across certain regions of the world as well as certain demographic and socioeconomic groups. Although previous cross-national research has successfully identified the key factors affecting homopositive attitudes, the literature neglects both potentially key mediation pathways and moderating interactions between those factors that may unlock more nuanced understanding of these variations in homopositive attitudes across individuals and places. In response, the present study innovatively applies a multivariate structural equation modelling (SEM) approach to the latest Wave 9 (2018 data) of the large-scale cross-national European Social Survey data in order to shed new light on these currently neglected predictors, pathways and moderating influences on homopositive attitudes. It uses a three-item latent variable to measure the homopositive attitudes outcomes construct. Its explanatory variables are focused across three key sets of factors identified in theoretical and empirical literature (socioeconomics, religiosity, and values) alongside various wider controls. Our analyses make several innovative methodological and empirical contributions to existing debate. Key innovative findings include the original identification of important indirect effects of religious beliefs on homopositive attitudes via religious practices, important indirect effects of education on homopositive attitudes via household income, and the role of national welfare regimes to homopositive attitudes (and with its effects interestingly not moderated by household income).