Title

The Congregational Structure of Homonegativity: Why Place of Worship May Matter More Than Frequency of Worship

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Journal of Homosexuality

Volume

69

Issue

7

Publisher

Routledge

Publication Date

4-1-2021

First Page

1275

Last Page

1299

Abstract

Using 239 congregants from 14 randomly selected places of worship in the Southern United States—and a mega-analysis of 577 congregants from 34 similarly-located places of worship—we examined the relationship between religiousness and homonegativity. Multilevel models examining the effects of religiousness on homonegativity indicated that service attendance was more strongly related to homonegativity as a congregation-level variable than as an individual-level variable. Interaction effects between service attendance and the affirmativeness of a congregation were not significant, suggesting that the frequency of participation with a homonegative congregation is not related to homonegativity. These findings imply that the religiousness of a congregation is more closely related to homonegativity than the religiousness of an individual and that individuals may select a congregation that matches their views on same-sex sexuality. Homonegativity may serve a signaling function, enabling congregants to affiliate with a congregation with attitudes toward same-sex sexuality similar to their own.

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