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Attitude Toward Homosexuality among Anglicans in England: the Effects of Theological Orientation and Personality

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Disapproval of homosexuality (homonegativity) was assessed using a four-item summated scale in a sample of 7,295 readers of the Church Times who were regular worshippers at Anglican churches in England. The theological orientation of respondents was assessed on three scales measuring preference for liberal or conservative, catholic or evangelical, and charismatic or non-charismatic expressions of faith. Individual differences in personality were assessed using the abbreviated form of the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire Revised (EPQR-A). Scores on the homonegativity scale were generally high, indicating disapproval of same-sex intercourse, same-sex marriage and the ordination or consecration of practising homosexuals. After allowing for sex and age, the main predictors of homonegativity were the three measures of individual theological orientation, each having an independent and additive effect. All four scales of the EPQR-A predicted homonegativity to some extent, but the most important relationships were a negative correlation with the psychoticism scale and a positive correlation with the lie scale. In liberal catholic and broad churches, it appeared that those who were psychologically most susceptible to social conditioning were most likely to be homonegative, but this was not the case in conservative evangelical churches.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Theology and Religious Studies, York St John University; 2: Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of Warwick

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