I’ve decided that my particular interest is the issues of the sexual minorities discrimination in the US. I think in my country, which is Ukraine, we have a real problem with this issues. Most people are homophobes and the government discriminates sexual minorities. Hence, it would be extremely interesting to study the attitudes of the Americans towards the issue.
For the reason mentioned above, I’ve chosen the Outlook on Life Survey. The variables and questions examine political and social attitudes in the United States. Demographic variables include race, ethnicity, age, gender, religious involvement, sexual orientation, citizenship, annual income, and education. The project included two surveys fielded between August and December 2012 using a sample from an Internet panel. The target population was comprised of four groups: African American/Black males aged 18 and older, African American/Black females aged 18 and older, White/other race males aged 18 and older, and White/other race females aged 18 older, all non-institutionalized and residing in the United States.
Specific Topic of Interest
I would like to explore the association between the fact of being born a United States citizen or naturalized U.S. citizen and the attitude towards homosexuality.
What percent of those US citizens considering homosexuality moral, agree that the same-sex couples should be allowed to legally marry.
Looking for research previously done on this topic, I searched for “US attitudes towards same-sex couples” and “US same-sex couples” in Google Scholar. I found an article Religion and Public Opinion about Same-Sex Marriage. The article analyzes the relationship between religion and public opinion about same-sex marriage, civil unions, and a federal constitutional amendment that would prohibit gay marriage. The authors used data from a nationally representative survey of 1,610 respondents conducted in March–April 2004. In the article, it is concluded that religious variables play powerful roles in structuring attitudes about same-sex unions. Still, for my research is more important is that according to the authors, homosexuality appears to be a major component of the “moral values” discourse that is currently so popular in American politics. This summing up somehow relates to my second topic of interest.
Also, I’ve read some abstracts from the book Equality for Same-Sex Couples: The Legal Recognition of Gay Partnerships in Europe and the United States. The author concludes that all of the models except civil marriage discriminate against gays and lesbians just as the “separate but equal” doctrine discriminated against African Americans. Thus, so-called alternatives to marriage, even if they provide the same rights and benefits as marriage, are inherently unequal and therefore unconstitutional. Besides, he describes the general attitude toward sexuality in the US as rather conservative.
- Laura R. Olson, Wendy Cadge, James T. Harrison. Religion and Public Opinion about Same-Sex Marriage. Social Science Quarterly, Volume 87, Issue 2, June 2006.
- Yuval Merin. Equality for Same-Sex Couples: The Legal Recognition of Gay Partnerships in Europe and the United States. University of Chicago Press, 2010.
Unfortunately, I haven’t found any research dealing with the problem I would like to consider in my study. So, I will develop a hypothesis built on my vision.
My hypothesis is: naturalized Americans are more likely to disagree with the statement that homosexuality is immoral and to support same-sex couples.
To measure this topic and to prove or disprove my hypothesis, I will need variables reflecting the US citizenship or the fact of naturalization and the view concerning same-sex couples.