Homophobia and collective narcissism in Poland

Agnieszka Golec de Zavala & Richard C.M. Mole


The project is funded by Oxford Noble Foundation: Programme on modern Poland. 


Research has shown that increased gender equality and greater tolerance towards non-heterosexuals pose an identity threat to those who define themselves in terms of traditional gender roles. In post-communist Eastern Europe the collapse of state socialism devalued the status of many of ‘male’ professions (e.g. miners or factory workers) and promoted women’s contributions to the overall household income, undermining traditional gender roles and threatening the gender identities of both men and women. In Poland, these three factors – gender identity threat and religious justification for traditional gender roles linked to the definition of national identity – have contributed to the country being ranked as one of the three worst in the EU to be LGBT.


The purpose of the project is to investigate the mediating role of collective narcissism in the process of negative attitudes towards homosexuals in Poland. In particular, we plan to examine the link between national and religious collective narcissism and explicit and implicit attitudes towards homosexuals. To do so, we plan to analyse whether the tendency to uphold traditional gender identities mediates the link between national collective narcissism and anti-gay attitudes, and also whether sexual guilt mediates the link between religious collective narcissism and anti-gay attitudes. Importantly, the differentiation of collective narcissism allows us to study a non-contingent form of positive national and religious identity that can be theoretically delineated and strengthened by research-based interventions to support greater tolerance towards diversity in general and homosexuality in particular.