Gay Marriage Tends to be More Popular than Same-Sex Marriage

Jason A. Husser, Kenneth E. Fernandez


Gay marriage and same-sex marriage are often used synonymously in society. However, not all individuals may react identically to these synonyms when making policy choices. The choice between “gay marriage” and “same-sex marriage” is a methodological decision with potentially significant implications for social scientists. In this short study, we present results of nine experiments over a three year period (2013-2016) in which we randomly rotated “gay marriage” and “same sex marriage” in a telephone survey question. We find that “gay marriage” tends to be slightly, but significantly, more popular than “same-sex marriage.”


question wording; gay marriage; same-sex marriage; public opinion

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