Same Sex Marriage
‘The research shows that attitudes across the board are truly changing’Independent

A new study has found that biases against lesbians and gay men have been rapidly deteriorating since the legalisation of same-sex marriage in the US.

The report from the University of Virginia shows that unconscious and implicit biases against same-sex couples have been decreasing across all US demographics and at a much faster rate than before, according to the research published in Collabra.

Lead researcher Erin Westgate, a doctoral psychology student at the University of Virginia, said: "Many people have this gut feeling that our culture has changed. We wondered whether people's attitudes were really changing, or if people today just feel more pressure to say they support lesbian and gay people."

Research from a study from 2006 to 2013, carried out by University of Virginia's psychology professor Brian Nosek that looked at data from more than half a million people, found that unconscious bias against gay and lesbian people was down by 13% whereas explicit bias against was down 26% during the seven-year period.

It found that unconscious bias has decreased the most among women as well as with white, Hispanic and younger people.

Nosek said: "Implicit biases can occur outside of conscious awareness or conscious control. People may know that they have them and not be able to control them. This is the first evidence for long-term change in people's implicit attitudes on a cultural level."

The most recent results were based on results of an online test called Implicit Association Test by Project Implicit which asked direct questions to participants about their attitudes towards gay men and lesbians, which showed a positive change when combined with the previous data collected.

"People today are genuinely more positive toward gay and lesbian people than they were just a decade ago," Westgate said. "The research shows that attitudes across the board are truly changing - it's not just a function of people feeling less comfortable admitting their bias in a culture that has become more open."