Anti-gay “Honor” Abuse: A Multinational Attitudinal Study of Collectivist- Versus Individualist-Orientated Populations in Asia and England

Michelle Lowe, Roxanne Khan, Vanlal Thanzami, Mahsa Barzy, Rozina Karmaliani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Cultural collectivism, a core feature of honor cultures, is associated with the acceptance of aggression if it is used in the name of so-called “honor.” Currently overlooked in the research literature, this study explored perceptions of antigay “honor” abuse in collectivist-orientated honor cultures, where homosexuality, in particular, is considered to be dishonorable. To conduct exploratory and comparative analysis, this study recruited 922 students in four Asian countries (India, Iran, Malaysia, and Pakistan), as well as Asian British and White British students in England. All participants read a brief vignette depicting a man whose relatives verbally abuse him and threaten him with life-threatening violence, after suspecting that he is gay and has joined an online dating website to meet men. Participants then completed a short questionnaire that assessed the extent to which they thought the man’s actions had damaged his family’s honor and their approval of the antigay “honor” abuse depicted in the scenario. Broadly in line with predictions, data analyses revealed attitudes more supportive of antigay “honor” abuse in all five collectivist-orientated populations than the sample of individualistic-orientated counterparts in England. Notably, however, a series of one-way analyses of variance (ANOVAs) demonstrated that these results varied depending on country of residence, gender, religious denomination, educational status, and age. The findings show that individual and demographic differences influence perceptions toward homophobic “honor” abuse in collectivist cultures. These differences are useful indices of the psychosocial factors that underpin hostile attitudes toward gay males in cultures where homosexuality is denounced.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7866-7885
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number15-16
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • LGBT
  • family violence
  • honor killings
  • honor-based violence
  • religion
  • victims


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