Television Continues to Cultivate Attitudes Toward Homosexuality, but Only Among Politically Conservative Individuals and Women: Evidence from U.S. General Social Survey Data
Despite the legalization of same-sex marriages in the United States, public attitudes toward homosexuality is still divided. Therefore, it remains imperative to study the factors that contribute to favorable attitudes toward homosexuality in society. In this study, we applied cultivation theory to data from the 2022 U.S. General Social Survey to examine the associations between television viewing and attitudes toward homosexuality. Our findings revealed that among politically conservative individuals, television viewing was positively associated with the perceived morality of same-sex behaviors and support for same-sex marriage. However, we did not observe any associations between moderates and liberals. We found that among women, television viewing was positively associated with the perceived morality of same-sex behaviors, whereas no such association was observed among men. We discuss the implications of such cultivation amid the increase in television networks and programs and audience fragmentation.