A recently growing literature explored the effect of mindfulness on the reduction of stereotypes and prejudice. However, studies exploring the relationship between dispositional mindfulness and prejudice are very limited and contradictory. The current work focused on the associations of dispositional mindfulness with internalized sexual stigma and sexual prejudice in gay/bisexual men and heterosexual men, respectively.
Participants were 180 Italian men, both heterosexual (N = 91, 50.6%) and gay/bisexual (N = 89, 49.4%), ranging between 18 and 40 years old (M = 28.23, SD = 5.59) that completed a questionnaire which contained demographic information and measures of mindfulness, need for cognitive closure, and adherence to traditional and stereotypical gender roles. In order to test the predictive power of mindfulness’ dimensions on internalized sexual stigma and on sexual prejudice over and above the other predictors, we used dominance analysis.
Analyses revealed that only the FFMQ-Nonjudging of inner experience explained a proportion of variance of internalized sexual stigma significantly larger than zero, whereas the variance of the score on the sexual prejudice was mostly accounted for by right-wing political orientation and FFMQ-Observing.
Having a mindful nonjudging attitude toward one’s inner experience would associate to less internalized sexual stigma in gay and bisexual men, whereas having a mindful observing disposition would help heterosexual men to have less sexual prejudice against gay men. Limitations and future directions are discussed.