Date of this Version
Absalon, Jacob. 2016. "Changing Public Opinion Towards LGB Rights: An Analysis Of Data From The American National Election Studies, 1992-2012." MA thesis, Department of Sociology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE.
This study uses data from several waves of the American National Election Studies (ANES, 1992-2012) to examine changing attitudes regarding civil rights for Lesbian Gay Bisexual (LGB) individuals. Analyses focus on differences in attitudes toward gays and lesbians generally, attitudes regarding non-discrimination protections, and views about integration into military service during this time frame. Generally, this thesis builds on previous research in Sociology and Political Science regarding the role of status attainment characteristics, demographic markers, and ideological preferences to explain long-term trends in public opinion. Specifically, this study extends prior research by analyzing how membership in particular occupational groups has shaped respondents’ views of LGB. Findings suggest across all outcome variables examined, white-collar professionals express more positive views towards gays and lesbians than do respondents in unskilled blue-collar and farming occupations, whose negative attitudes are most pronounced regarding inclusion in military service. As expected, ethnic and religious minorities, as well as women, are generally more supportive; married and politically conservative respondents are less supportive; whereas income and education are positively associated with support for LGB rights. These empirical results are discussed in light of central sociological concepts (hegemonic masculinity, heteronormativity) and are used to indicate potential directions for future research.
Advisor: Regina Werum