Binegativity, Causal Attributions, and Adult Attachment
Mahaffey, Stephany Lynne
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The purpose of the present study was to evaluate potential predictors of binegativity, specifically looking at binegativity's relationship with attributions of controllability of sexual orientation and adult attachment style. Previous research had demonstrated a significant relationship between attributions of causality and sexual orientation stigma. When sexual orientation of lesbian women and gay men was attributed to biological factors, levels of homophobia decreased and those people were more willing to offer help (Arnesto & Weisman, 2001; Hegarty & Pratto, 2001; Sakalli, 2002; Swank & Raiz, 2010; Wood & Bartowski, 2004). The relationship between attributions of bisexuality orientation and attitudes regarding bisexuality had not been measured before this current study. Research in the area of adult attachment has demonstrated that individuals who are securely attached are more open to new ideas, experiences, and people (Mikulincer, 1997; Mikulincer & Horesh, 1999; Mikulincer et al., 2001) and only three previous studies had evaluated the relationship between attribution and homophobia with mixed findings (Gormley & Lopez, 2010; Marsh & Brown, 2011; Schwartz & Lindley, 2005). The current study sought to evaluate the relationship between adult attachment styles and binegativity. Participants were recruited through the use of advertising on a popular social media site, Facebook. The sample included in the analysis consisted of 365 primarily Caucasian individuals (287 women, 76 men) with ages ranging from 18 to 82 (M = 34.30) who were significantly more educated than the average American. The sample was significantly skewed toward being securely attached (low anxiety, low avoidance) and were likely to have a close relationship with someone who is bisexual. These two statistical difficulties limited the results of this study and further research is warranted. Overall, there was a significant relationship between attributions of sexual orientation, adult attachment, and binegativity. As predicted, attribution of sexual orientation was the strongest predictor of binegativity. As further predicted, adult attachment was related to binegativity; however, only attachment-related avoidance was predictive of binegativity. Attachment-related anxiety was not a significant predictor of binegativity.