It takes 22 minutes to change a homophobe’s mind

by Beatrice Credi - 2014.12.15
It takes 22 minutes to change a homophobe’s mind
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What could convince a bigot to say yes to gay marriage? The answer is 22 minutes talking to a gay person. This is the conclusion of a study published in the journal Science, which tried to ascertain whether direct contact with a minority group was enough to tackle stereotypes. Researcher Michael LaCour analysed a sample of 9,500 inhabitants of California's most conservative district. A third of them were visited by an LGBT activist, with surprising results. Three days after the visits, support for gay unions increased by eight percentage points. But since it was possible that the effect may not last, the LGBT activists made a second visit, in which they revealed their sexual orientation. Three weeks later, the more open attitude persisted among those who had met a gay person and this was extended to their spouses and children. LaCour argues that this proves that the messenger is even more powerful than the message.

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