The Size of the LGBT Population and the Magnitude of Antigay Sentiment Are Substantially Underestimated
Ericson, Keith M. MarzilliNote: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.
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CitationCoffman, Katherine B., Lucas C. Coffman, and Keith M. Marzilli Ericson. 2017. “The Size of the LGBT Population and the Magnitude of Antigay Sentiment Are Substantially Underestimated.” Management Science 63 (10) (September): 3168–3186. doi:10.1287/mnsc.2016.2503.
AbstractWe demonstrate that widely used measures of anti-gay sentiment and the size of the LGBT population are misestimated, likely substantially. In a series of online experiments using a large and diverse but non-representative sample, we compare estimates from the standard methodology of asking sensitive questions to measures from a “veiled” methodology that precludes inference about an individual but provides population estimates. The veiled method increased self-reports of anti-gay sentiment, particularly in the workplace: respondents were 67% more likely to disapprove of an openly gay manager when asked with a veil, and 71% more likely to say it should be legal to discriminate in hiring on the basis of sexual orientation. The veiled methodology also produces larger estimates of the fraction of the population that identifies as LGBT or has had a sexual experience with a member of the same sex. Self-reports of non-heterosexual identity rose by 65%, and same-sex sexual experiences by 59%. We conduct a “placebo test” and show that for non-sensitive placebo items, the veiled methodology produces effects that are small in magnitude and not significantly different from zero in seven out of eight items. Taken together the results suggest anti-gay discrimination might be a more significant issue than formerly considered, as the non-heterosexual population and anti-gay workplace-related sentiment are both larger than previously measured.
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