Through two experimental studies (N = 150), we investigated proxemic behaviors featuring gay/straight dyadic interactions. In doing so, for the first time, we relied on an IR depth camera and considered the interpersonal volume between the interactants, a novel feature that exhaustively captures interactants' proxemic behaviors. Study 1 revealed that the straight participants' implicit sexual bias - but not the explicit prejudice - significantly predicted their volume while interacting with a study accomplice who was presented as gay (vs. straight). However, unlike previous research, mixed-model analyses revealed the higher their implicit bias was, the smaller the interpersonal volume that they maintained with the gay study accomplice, especially when the conversation focused on an intergroup-related (vs. neutral) topic. Study 2 was mainly designed to deepen this main finding. Results documented that highly implicitly biased participants who maintained a smaller interpersonal volume with a gay (vs. straight) study accomplice were more cognitively depleted after the interaction than low-biased participants, possibly suggesting that highly implicitly biased straight people can control this nonverbal behavior to appear as nonprejudiced in the gay interactant's eyes. Implications for research on sexual prejudice and intergroup nonverbal behaviors are discussed.
Proxemic Behaviors During Gay/Straight Interactions: An Automated Analysis Through Kinect Depth-Sensing Camera / Sacino, Alessandra; Bicocchi, Nicola; Di Bernardo, Gian Antonio; Pecini, Chiara; Di Gesto, Cristian; Maragliano, Andrea; Vezzali, Loris; Andrighetto, Luca. - In: THE JOURNAL OF SEX RESEARCH. - ISSN 0022-4499. - (2023), pp. 1-13. [10.1080/00224499.2023.2192696]