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We were asked to determine the effects of sexual orientation on a

candidates bid for political office. Participants were given a resume to


evaluate for Patrick Sorenson, candidate for the U.S. senate from the state of
Utah. Our basic research question was, would the sexual orientation of a
candidate change the views of others?
Our groups hypothesis was people aged 41 and older would not be as
supportive of the life partnered candidate than the younger age groups.
Today Homosexuality is more open and common than it was a few decades
ago. Therefore, we believe that younger people are more accepting of a
homosexual candidate than older generations.
People were asked to read a resume of a political candidate named
Patrick Sorenson. Both resumes had the same qualifications with the
exception of one factor. Half of the group was given a candidate who was life
parted, while the other half was given a candidate who was married. The five
statements that the participants answered about the candidate were: 1. He
has a strong sufficient education to be a U.S. Senator from Utah. 2. He has a
sufficient work experience to be a U.S. Senator from Utah. 3. He
demonstrates strong leadership skills. 4. He has the kinds of life experiences
that will help him understand average Utahans. 5. I support more of his
policy positions than I oppose. Each question, survey takers checked the box
saying they strongly agree, agree, disagree, strongly disagree, or are neutral
with the statement.

For question one, does the candidate have sufficient education to be a


U.S. Senator from Utah, 87.5% of people under the age of 40 who responded
to the married candidate survey agreed or strongly agreed with the
statement. No one disagreed with the statement, and only 12.5% were
neutral. Neither gender nor religion effected the scores. For the people over
the age of 40, 93.3% agreed or strongly agreed that the candidate had
sufficient education to be a U.S. Senator from Utah. Only 6.7% were neutral.
Females tended to more strongly agree with the statement than males did.
Almost everyone, regardless of age, agreed that the married candidate had
sufficient education. The people who were under the age of 40 who
responded to the survey for the homosexual candidate did not respond as
favorably. None of them strongly agreed with the statement, compared to
37.5% who responded to the married candidate survey who did strongly
agree with the statement. Only 62.5% of the survey respondents agreed that
the candidate has sufficient education to be a U.S. Senator from Utah. 31.3%
of the people were neutral about the candidates education and 6.3 actually
disagreed that he has sufficient education. Of the people over the age of 40
who responded to the survey for the homosexual candidate, 100% of them
felt that the candidate has sufficient education, 20% of them strongly
agreeing. Interestingly enough, only the males strongly agreed with the
statement, the females who participated only agreed with the statement. In
summary for question one, people under the age of 40 viewed the education
level of the homosexual candidate less favorably than their counterparts who

rated the married candidate, and less favorable than those people who were
over 40 for both the married and the homosexual candidate. Our hypothesis
did not hold true for question one.
For question two, does the candidate have sufficient work experience
to be a U.S. Senator for Utah, 93.3% of the people who were over 40 who
responded to the married candidates survey agreed or strongly agreed with
the statement. None were neutral and 6.7% disagreed. It appears that
neither gender nor religion affected the results. The people that were under
the age of 40, 68.8% agreed or strongly agreed with the statement.18.8%
were neutral and 12.5% disagreed with the statement. All but one of the
respondents that were over 40 that answered disagree and neutral on the
second statement, were LDS. On the married survey, comparing 93.3% and
68.8%, the people over 40 agree with Sorenson having sufficient work
experience to be a U.S. Senator from Utah more than the people under the
age of 40. On the homosexual survey, for people over 40, 86.7% of
respondents agreed or strongly agreed, while 6.7% were neutral, and 6.7%
disagreed. For under the age of 40, only 43.8% of respondents agreed, while
none strongly agreed with the statement. 50% were neutral and 6.3%
disagreed. The under 40 females typically agreed more than the males on
this statement. All of the agrees on this statement were LDS. Of the people
over the age of 40 who responded to the survey for the homosexual
candidate, 86.7% felt that the candidate did have sufficient work experience,
with 20% strongly agreeing. Of the people under the age of 40, only 43.8% of

the respondents agree with homosexual candidate, while none strongly


agreed. Our hypothesis did not hold true for the second question.
For under 40, the respondents of the married survey for whether he
demonstrates strong leadership skills, 25% strongly agreed, and 50%
agreed. All females made up the 25% that strongly agreed. As for the
respondents over 40, only 53.4% agreed or strongly agreed. 6.7% disagreed
and 40% were neutral. According to the data, those that were neutral or
disagreed, were mostly LDS females. For the life partnered survey, people
under 40 either agreed or strongly agreed by 62.6%. No one disagreed and
37.5% were neutral. Gender and religion did not change the data. For people
over 40, 53.3% strongly agreed or agreed. 40% were neutral and 6.7%
disagreed. With the exception of one female, all the respondents who
answered neutral or disagree were males. Our hypothesis did hold true to
this question; however, there was not a significant difference between the
two age groups.
The fourth question states that he has the kind of life experiences that
will help him understand average Utahans. 93.8% of survey participants
under 40 for the married survey agreed or strongly agreed with the
statement. There were no neutrals, and 6.3% disagreed. Gender and religion
did not affect the data. As for the participants over 40, 93.3% agreed or
strongly agreed, while no one disagreed, and 6.7% were neutral. For the life
partnered survey, 68.8% of respondents under 40 strongly agreed or agreed.
18.8% disagreed and 12.5% were neutral. 53.3% of participants over 40

agreed or strongly agreed, while 33.3% were neutral and 13.3% disagreed.
For both age groups on this particular question, religion and gender did not
affect the scores. For question four, the under 40 age group did support the
homosexual candidate more than the over 40 group, but was not as much of
a significant difference.
For the fifth question, on supporting more of his policy than opposing,
68.8% of people under the age of 40 who responded to the married
candidate survey agreed or strongly agreed with the statement. 12.5%
disagreed, while 12.5% were neutral. It appears that gender nor religion
effected the scores. For the people over the age of 40, 60% agreed or
strongly agreed, 33.3% were neutral, and 6.7% disagreed. For the life parted
survey, 68.8% of participants younger than 40 agreed or strongly agreed
with the statement.12.5% disagreed while 18.8% were neutral. 60% of older
than 40 participants agreed or strongly agreed, 26.7% disagreed, and 13.3%
were neutral. Interestingly, both surveys had approximately the same
percentages for the age groups. Theoretically, our hypothesis is correct with
this question, but there is a very little difference between the two
percentages of the two age groups on both of the surveys.
The first thing that I would like to add to this survey is find out if they
would actually vote for the candidate. The participants may agree with his
experience and education, but still doesnt imply that they won their vote.
Finding out if they would actually vote for them would give us a better idea if
our hypothesis was right for the most part. That question alone gives us

more accurate information that would better for answering our hypothesis. I
also suggest that having a checklist of religious options than leaving it blank.
That leaves it open for anything to be written. It would be interesting to see
if religious affiliation affects our hypothesis. There is more of a variability
with a blank option for religious affiliation, where as if there was a checklist,
it would be more defined. N/A was answered on several surveys- well what
does N/A mean in this case? There are a lot of other factors that could
influence a persons vote. Besides age, other demographic qualities such as
gender and race can effect a persons view on a political candidate.
Depending on how well educated the participant is can also affect a view of
another. A participant of the survey who has a high-level education level
wouldnt be as impressed of the resume as someone who does not. Social
class could also be an additional factor. Some could view a candidate
differently based on their income. A suggestion that I would like to include
would be a better fitting, accurate survey that could get rid of these
variables that could affect the results that we receive.