A new Australian study suggests that people who do not hold discriminatory attitudes about same-sex couples are more intelligent.
The University of Queensland research analysed data from more than 11,000 people, asking participants about their beliefs on gay rights, and assessing cognitive ability using three tests, PsyPost has reported.
“Despite the significance and contemporaneity of the subject matter, few studies have specifically addressed the links between cognitive ability and attitudes towards [LGBTI] issues,” said author Francisco Perales.
The participants who scored higher on the cognitive tests were more likely to agree with the statement “Homosexual couples should have the same rights as heterosexual couples do”.
The correlation held even after controlling for various socioeconomic and demographic factors, including education.
“Altogether, the findings provide clear evidence that cognitive ability is an important precursor of prejudice against same-sex couples,” said Perales.
“The findings in this report suggest that strategies aimed at increasing participation in education and improving levels of cognitive ability within the population could act as important levers in counteracting prejudice towards same-sex couples and [LGBTI] people.”
The research, published in the journal Intelligence, adds to a body of literature pointing to a link between progressive views and intelligence.
However, other research has suggested more intelligent people can be just as prejudiced—just better at concealing their attitudes.