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REGISTERED NURSES’ ATTITUDES TOWARD THE PROTECTION OF GAYS AND - page 106 / 161

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those individuals who believe biological and psychosocial influences are responsible for the development of a person’s sexual orientation (Herek, 2002b; Landen & Innala, 2002; Sakalli, 2002; Herek, 2000b; Herek & Capitanio, 1995). Although outside of the scope of this study, research has also demonstrated differences in heterosexual attitudes regarding choice; lesbians are more often thought as choosing their homosexuality rather than gay men (Herek, 2000b).

Similarly, Herek and Capitanio (1995) positively correlated belief in controllability with homophobia. Study participants who believed homosexuals had control over their homosexuality were more homophobic than those individuals who believed sexual orientation was outside of one’s control. Some of the data researching the belief in the free-choice model of homosexuality is connected to the body of social science that examines the belief that obese individuals choose their obesity (Crandall & Martinez, 1996; Sakalli, 2002).

Comparable to the finding that individuals who believe that obesity is a controllable behavioral trait are more prejudiced towards overweight individuals, individuals who believe that homosexuality is a controllable behavioral trait have more prejudicial attitudes toward gay men and lesbians than those who think homosexuality is uncontrollable (Herek & Capitanio, 1995; Sakalli, 2002).

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