LGBTQ pride flag
(Africa Studio/Shutterstock)

Prejudice Towards LGBTQ Individuals Linked to Low Intelligence

Confirming what many LGBTQ individuals have long suspected, a new study from Australia has found that the lower an individual’s IQ is, the more likely he or she is to express homophobic views.

The UK youth news site Unilad has reported that when researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia analyzed data collected from 11,500 men and women throughout the country, they found direct correlations between intelligence levels and the propensity to hold a prejudiced view — in this case, against LGBTQ individuals.

Participants in the trial were given a series of surveys to complete. One was designed to “assess the cognitive abilities of respondents” while another “questioned respondents about their opinions on equal rights.”

According to Unilad reporter Julia Banim, “Among other questions, participants were asked to place the statement ‘Homosexual couples should have the same rights as heterosexual couples do’ on a scale of one (strongly disagree) to seven (strongly agree).”

When researchers analyzed the data they had collected, they discovered that “the lower a person’s intelligence was found to be, the more likely they would be to express prejudiced views against same-sex couples.”

“The link was found to be particularly strong during the assessment of verbal ability, and was found to hold true even after factoring in variables such as education and socioeconomic status,” Banim reported.

Summarizing the results of his study, which was published in the journal Intelligence, Francisco Perales wrote: “Our results suggest that cognitive abilities play a critical, albeit underappreciated, role in prejudice. Consequently, we recommend a heightened focus on cognitive ability in research on prejudice and a better integration of cognitive ability into prejudice models.’”

Perales’ study isn’t the first time that prejudice has been linked to cognitive ability. In 2012, HuffPost reported on a study published in Psychological Science which found “that people who score low on IQ tests in childhood are more likely to develop prejudiced beliefs and socially conservative politics in adulthood.” 

In describing the findings that arose from his research, the study’s author, Gordon Hodson, a professor of psychology at Brock University in Ontario, said “the finding represented evidence of a vicious cycle: People of low intelligence gravitate toward socially conservative ideologies, which stress resistance to change and, in turn, prejudice.”

“Why might less intelligent people be drawn to conservative ideologies?” HuffPost reporter Rebecca Searles pondered. 

“Because such ideologies feature ‘structure and order’ that make it easier to comprehend a complicated world,” Dodson told her. “Unfortunately, many of these features can also contribute to prejudice.”

 

Related: For more recent diversity and inclusion news, click here.

 

Latest News

5 Biggest News Stories of the Week: May 19

As the saying goes, the news never stops — but there’s a lot of it out there, and all of it doesn’t always pertain to our readers. In this weekly news roundup, we’ll cover the top news stories that matter most to our diversity focused audience. 1. Emergency Services Dispatcher…

5 Biggest News Stories of the Week: May 12

As the saying goes, the news never stops — but there’s a lot of it out there, and all of it doesn’t always pertain to our readers. In this weekly news roundup, we’ll cover the top news stories that matter most to our diversity focused audience. 1. Coverage From DiversityInc’s…

Questlove plays a DJ set at DiversityInc's 2022 Top 50 event.

Photo Gallery: 2022 Top 50 Event

Accenture earns No. 1 spot on the Top 50 List, Hilton joins Hall of Fame. Expert panels and presentations cover the event’s theme of “ESG: Climate and Culture at Risk”. State Street execs share how they ranked for the first time. Cutting edge research from the Wharton School is presented…

Dr. Sally Saba

DiversityInc 2022 Top 50 Event: A New Landscape = New Opportunity: Shaping Corporate Standards of Excellence for ID&E Management

The role of an inclusion, diversity and equity practitioner has completely evolved, and all eyes are on the corporate community as it navigates its approach. Dr. Sally Saba, Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer at Medtronic, spoke about working together to shape the next generation’s standards during her Top50Talk “A New…