Culture and contact in the promotion and reduction of anti-gay prejudice: evidence from Jamaica and Britain.
West K., Hewstone M.
Jamaica has been called "the most homophobic place on Earth" ( Padgett, 2006 , p. 1), and has been involved in numerous international incidents with Britain, and other countries, concerning anti-gay prejudice. However, neither the severity of Jamaican anti-gay prejudice, nor any means of reducing this prejudice has ever been empirically investigated. Intergroup contact-social interaction with a person from another group-is one of the most successful and widely used social-psychological interventions to reduce prejudice and improve intergroup relations. In this article, we compared sexual prejudice in Jamaica to that in Britain and investigated the relationship between contact and sexual prejudice in both countries. Jamaican participants reported more negative attitudes toward gay men than did British participants, but contact was more strongly associated with reduced sexual prejudice for Jamaican participants than for British participants. Implications for reducing Jamaican sexual prejudice are discussed.