Race and sexual orientation: An intersectional analysis and confirmatory factor analysis of the perceptions of police scale

Terrill O. Taylor, Melanie M. Wilcox, Christopher P. Monceaux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Research suggests that, owing to bias and discrimination in policing, members of historically marginalized groups-such as Black/African Americans and sexual minority people-report more negative perceptions of police than individuals from more privileged groups. However, research has yet to explore whether racial minority and sexual minority statuses contribute additively or interactively to perceptions of police. To this end, we compared perceptions of police across racial (Black and White) and sexual orientation (sexual minority and heterosexual) groups. The sample was composed of 86 Black heterosexual individuals, 127 Black sexual minority individuals, 129 White heterosexual individuals, and 58 White sexual minority individuals. Before conducting these comparisons, multigroup confirmatory factor analyses (MG-CFAs) were performed to determine whether the measure of perceptions of police demonstrated evidence of measurement invariance across racial and sexual orientation groups. Results of the MG-CFAs suggested that the Perceptions of Police Scale demonstrated adequate fit and that configural and metric invariance was obtained across racial and sexual orientation groups. However, only partial scalar invariance was obtained across racial groups. Analysis of covariance results indicated that there were significant main effects of racial minority status and sexual minority status that were qualified by a Race = Sexual Orientation interaction. Specifically, White heterosexual participants reported significantly more favorable perceptions of the police than the other three groups, who did not differ significantly from each other. Implications for future research and practice are discussed, such as the need to examine psychological effects of negative perceptions of police within marginalized communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-264
Number of pages12
JournalPsychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Intersectionality
  • LGB
  • Perceptions of police
  • Race
  • Sexual orientation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Psychology(all)

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