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Homophobia / Homo-Negativity and Their Manifestations: Part 3 of 4: Dissertation Abstracts - A
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Full Text Dissertations

Balanko, Shelley L (1997). Anti-gay violence at the University of Saskatchewan : occurrences, mental and physical health consequences, and perceived effectiveness of support services. Master's Dissertation, University of Saskatchewan. PDF Download. Download Page.

Barron M (2004). 'You're meant to be a man, why are you girlie? - Be a man!' Gay & bisexual young men, bofy image: stereotyping & bullying.  Masters' Dissertation. Brule University, London. Word Download.

Blaauw, Joris (2012). Attitudes towards Homosexuality: A study on contextual explanations of general and specific homonegativity among Dutch secondary school students. Master`s Dissertation, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands. PDF Download.

Brown, Clarence, E (2008). Racism in the Gay Community and Homophobia in the Black Community: Negotiating The Gay Black Male Experience. MS Thesis, Sociology: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. PDF Download.

Clouse, Sean Travis (2007). Development And Validation Of The Perceived Parental Social Support Scale- Lesbian Gay (ppss-lg). PhD. Dissertation, University of Missouri-Columbia. PDF Download. Download Page.

Demirkan-Martin, Vulcan Volkan (2009). Queerable spaces: homosexualities and homophobias in contemporary film. PhD. Dissertation, Cultural Studies, University of Canterbury. PDF Download. Download Page.

Denton, Mary Jean (2009). The lived experiences of lesbian/Gay/[bisexual/transgender] educational leaders. Ed.D. Dissertation, Educational Policy and Administration, University of Minnesota. PDF Download. Download Page.

Emslie M (2002). Marginalised by the mainstream: the construction of sexuality and representations of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals in Australian youth policy. Master's Dissertation, School of Social Science and Planning, RMIT University. PDF Download. Download Page.

Haskell, Rebecca (2008). A "Gentle Violence"? " Former student's experiences of homophobia and transphobia in British Columbia high schools. Master's Dissertation, School of Criminology, Simon Frazer University, British Columbia. PDF Download.

Heffner, Paul Samuel (2010). The subjective life experiences of identified or perceived male GBTQ adolescents in high school settings: a retrospective study. Master's Dissertation, Social Work, California State unibersity Sacramento. PDF Download. Download Page.

Ito, Daisuke (2007). College Students' Prejudiced Attitudes toward Homosexuals: A Comparative Analysis in Japan and the United States. Master's Dissertation, Department of Sociology, Georgia State University. PDF Download.

Mullane, William Andrew (2008). The articulated thoughts of heterosexual male college students in reaction to anti-gay hate speech. Master's Dissertation, University of Southern California. PDF Download. Related PhD Dissertation: Utilizing the articulated thoughts in simulated situations paradigm to examine the differential impacts of anti-gay verbal aggression and non-biased verbal aggression on heterosexual and sexual minority male college students (2011).

Nicely, Eric S (2001). Internalized Homophobia, Stages And Processes Of Change And Alcohol Use Among Gay Men: A Clinical Dissertation. PhD. Dissertation, California School of Professional Psychology, Alemeda, CA. PDF Download. Download Page.

O'Connell, James (2011). An exploration of the experience of internalised homophobia among gay Irish men : a phenomenological approach. Honours Bachelor's Dissertation, Counselling and Psychotherapy, Dublin Business School. PDF Download. Download Page.

Omar, Hishamuddin Bin (2011). Constitutive rhetoric and the rhetoric of hope in the It Gets Better project. Master of Arts' Dissertation, San Diego State University. PDF Download. Download Page.

Robison, Matthew K (2012). Through the Eyes of Gay and Male Bisexual College Students: A Critical Visual Qualitative Study off Their Experiences. Educational Policy Studies Dissertations, Paper 89, Georgia State University. PDF Download. Download Page.

Smith, Dale Chad Allen (2008). Making Sense of the Senseless: The Experience of Being Gay Bashed. Master of Social Work Dissertation, Faculty of  Social Work, University of Manitoba. PDF Download. Download Page.

Aguero JE (1982). The effects of attitudinal similarity on heterosexual dislike of homosexuals. PhD. Thesis, Purdue University, DAI, Vol. B43-12, p. 4193, 95 pages.

Abstract by author: The literature on homophobia was reviewed and a case made for a homophobic scale that would discriminate between simple dislike for homosexuality and a strong irrational fear of homosexuality. Homophobia was operationally defined by subjects’ scores on two factors: First, an affective factor, a negative attitude toward homosexuals; and second, a belief that homosexuality is learned rather than genetic. The combination of negative attitudes and learned beliefs was proposed to constitute a predisposition to react toward a homosexual as a threatening stimulus for fear of ‘catching’ homosexuality.

Negative reactions to homosexuals were studied by placing subjects in a situation in which they had to interview a confederate who was wearing one of the following lapel buttons: Gay & Proud, Epileptic & Proud, Jesus Saves, or the name of the school. In addition, attitudinal similarity (similar or dissimilar) between subjects and confederate was varied. The dependent variables used in the study were: self-report liking scores, distance from confederate during interview, facial expression during interview, shoulder alignment with confederate, body tilt in relation to confederate, length of interview, and tone of voice during interview.

The manipulation of attitude similarity indicated that subjects expressed more liking toward similar than toward dissimilar confederates. The results also indicated that subjects in general expressed greater dislike and negative behaviors to the confederate when he was wearing the ‘Gay & Proud’ lapel button than when wearing the other three lapel buttons, and homophobic subjects were especially negative toward the homosexual confederate.

Contrary to the similarity-attraction paradigm, there was a tendency for homophobic subjects to express less liking toward a similar confederate wearing the ‘Gay & Proud’ button than to dissimilar ones. Other findings indicated that subjects classified as homophobics by the scale used in this study were not sexually conservative. Suggestions for further research into the areas of religiosity and authoritarianism were made.

Publication No 8310731

Aki SL (1995).Attitudes toward homosexuality in Hawai’i. PhD. Thesis, State University of New York at Buffalo, DAI, Vol. A56-10, p. 4018, 377 pages.

Abstract by author: The purpose of this study was to evaluate attitudes toward homosexuality among various ethnic groups on the Big Island of Hawai’i. The research was done from 1991 through 1994. The primary research tools were attitudinal surveys filled out by students at the University of Hawai’i at Hilo in introductory anthropology classes and interviews conducted among gays, lesbians, social workers and other people living on the Big Island of Hawai’i. Most of the work was done on Hawai’i Island with two brief trips to O’ahu for additional interviews and archival research.

The hypothesis was that antipathy toward homosexuality in Hawai’i is less than the Mainland United States. Homophobia would, in addition, be influenced by variables of age, gender and ethnicity. Student surveys and transcribed interviews were analyzed and assigned levels of homophobia based on the responses to various questions about homosexuality. Conclusions of the study are: (1) men tend to be more homophobic than women. Male responses indicate stronger anti-homosexual feelings through the use of more violent language; (2) younger students were usually more homophobic than older ones; (3) there is a difference between ethnicities in acceptance of homosexuality but age and gender are more significant variables and (4) overall, Hawai’i is more accepting of homosexuality than the Mainland.

Homophobia is usually expressed through verbal abuse including name-calling and teasing and there are relatively few violent actions against lesbians and gays. Greater acceptance of homosexuality by Hawaiians is due to traditional Hawaiian beliefs in the importance of the ‘ohana (family), the uniqueness of each individual and the traditional acceptance of alternative genders in the form of mahu as well as the social-sexual roles of aikane among the ali’i (chiefly class). Greater acceptance of homosexuality among other ethnic groups is due to the mixture of ethnicities in Hawai’i and the necessity for all the peoples of Hawai’i to work together in relative harmony in spite of ethnic differences. Hawai’i does have homophobia which is complicated by racial and ethnic conflicts, political power plays and the radical religious right. However, overall tolerance in Hawai’i is greater for a lot of things including sexual identity.

Publication No 9603560

Beckham-Chasnoff S (1996). Homophobic attitude change. PhD. Thesis, Indiana State University, DAI, Vol. B57-09, p. 5974, 103 pages.

Abstract by author: This study investigated the intensity of homophobia related to its ability to be changed. Homophobia was assessed using the Modified Index of Homophobia (IHP-M). The effects of a videotape containing educational and emotionally persuasive material on homophobia was investigated. The relationships between individuals’ degree of homophobia, their attitudes’ susceptibility to change, and some selected demographic variables were also assessed. The sample consisted of 128 undergraduate students enrolled at a medium sized, state supported, midwestern university. This study employed a Solomon four-group experimental design to compare attitude change between participants viewing the treatment videotape and those viewing an alternative videotape. Testing effects as a result of the IHP-M being administered at pretest and posttest were also examined. Participants completed the IHP-M eight weeks later to assess any further changes in homophobia.

Repeated measures ANOVAs revealed no differences between pretest, posttest, and follow-up scores of participants in the treatment and alternative treatment groups regardless of the attitudes’ intensity at pretest. Two-tailed t tests determined no testing effects were demonstrated. Pearson r correlations revealed significant relationships between homophobia and gender, hometown population, religious position, and number of gay people known to the participant. Pearson r correlations also revealed a significant relationship between change in homophobia and the number of gay people known to participants in the alternative treatment group.

Results indicated no change in homophobia regardless of its intensity. However, men were found to be more homophobic than women, people from smaller hometowns were found to be more homophobic than those from larger ones, religiously conservative people were found to be more homophobic than less religiously conservative people, and the number of gay people known was related to lower levels of homophobia. Implications of these results and recommendations for further research were noted.

Publication No 9703888

Benshoff HM (1996). Monsters in the closet: Homosexuality and the horror film. PhD. Thesis, University of Southern California, DAI, Vol. A57-09, p. 3722, 286 pages.

Abstract by author: This dissertation is a history of the horror film that explores the genre’s relationship to the social and cultural history of homosexuality in America. Drawing on a wide variety of films and primary source materials including censorship files, critical reviews, promotional materials, fanzines, men’s magazines, and popular news weeklies, the dissertation examines the historical figure of the movie monster in relation to various medical, psychological, religious, and social models of homosexuality.

The dissertation first identifies a constellation of monstrously queer signifiers in the classical Hollywood horror film of the 1930s, and then traces their evolution throughout the genre’s more recent history. The sadomasochistic queer couple of the 1930s, for example, becomes softened, domesticated, and psychologized during the years of World War Two, just as social knowledge of homosexuality was becoming increasingly common via its pathologization by the medical establishment and the Armed Forces. The 1950s saw a fear of the invisible homosexual analogous to that of the invisible communist; movie monsters became irrevocable Others during this era and were frequently figured as pederastic threats.

By the late 1960s, the discourses of Pop and camp began to view movie monsters in a different light, even as relaxing censorship codes made it possible for monsters to be more forthrightly delineated as homosexual. Most recently, even as some horror films continue to demonize queerness, other writers and filmmakers have attempted to reappropriate the genre for queer ends by positing the monstrous forces as heroes and heroines, and the traditional forces of normality as evil. Drawing on the close textual analysis of a wide number of different types of horror films (both American and British), Monsters in the Closet theorizes the importance of popular culture artifacts (such as Hollywood genre films) to questions of identity, hegemony, and social power. It examines how the horror film has and continues to demonize (or quite literally ‘monsterize’) queer sexuality, and what the pleasures and costs of such representations might be both for individual spectators as well as culture-at-large.

Publication No 9705075

Bimbi R (1997). The Russian community in West Hollywood. M.A. Thesis, California State University, Long Beach, MAI, Vol. 36-02, p. 364, 81 pages.

Abstract by author: The Russian-speaking Jewish community has mixed feelings about homosexuality and the Gay community that shares the city of West Hollywood. Their views range from hatred and disgust to acceptance and tolerance and are dependent on a number of factors such as historical background, age, length of stay in the United States, English language skills, financial situation, and others. The above-mentioned factors are tested in this research in regard to the degree of influence on their views on homosexuality. A related topic that this research explores is the involvement (or lack thereof) of the Russophone (Russian-speaking) Jewish community of West Hollywood in the local, gay-dominated government.

The Russian-speaking Jewish community constitutes approximately 12% of the 36,000 population of West Hollywood. They share the city with a large, politically and economically powerful gay community, which accounts for 25 to 40% of the city’s population. As a project in practicing anthropology, this paper intends to aid in closing the cultural gap by providing qualitative analytic information that can be used in educational forums in the future. In order to obtain quality information, I used participant observation and intensive, open-ended interviews, two anthropological methods that are proven to obtain accurate qualitative information about a cultural group, if done right. Being an ethnic first generation Russian-Jewish immigrant, I am familiar with the culture and am fluent in Russian, which helped me immeasurably, especially during interviewing.

This thesis presents the historic and cultural background of the immigrant community, the conditions of their life in the United States, and the various views on homosexuality expressed by different segments of the community. In addition, the various factors that may influence these views will be analyzed. The second focus, the level of involvement of the Russian-speaking community in local politics is analyzed as well. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)

Publication No 1387561

Bloom MM (1993). A developmental model of homophobia as misogyny. PhD. Thesis, Pacific Graduate School of Psychology, DAI, Vol. B54-12, p. 6454, 200 pages.

Abstract by author: This theoretical proposal reconceptualizes homophobia as misogyny to explain how internalized homophobia develops in men and women. A sociohistorical perspective is used to identify the misogynous underpinnings of homophobia and, in particular, show how stigmatized feminine qualities have been attributed to homosexuals. This perspective critiques the psychoanalytic construction of homoeroticism, an etiological picture that employed female development employed to pathologize homosexuality. An object-relations perspective provides the theoretical framework for delineating and blending sociofamilial and intrapsychic determinants into an etiology for homophobia.

This developmental model proposes that traditional identifications of maleness and femaleness generate homophobia. Conflicts over independent and dependent strivings during pre-oedipal separation-individuation lead to the structuring of early psychic defenses to protect the self against both fears of merger and of abandonment. These unconscious fears, laid down as core gender identity, are modulated through later socialization, forming gender role identity and more conscious fears regarding masculinity and femininity. Homophobia, viewed essentially as a gender issue, is the defensive response to these fears which are experienced as threats to the sense of self. An understanding of homophobia as a result of defensive individuation and as an effort toward continued differentiation is developed.

Unconscious and conscious determinants of homophobia are examined across gender and sexual identity to account for its variability in strength, meaning, and expression. This model addresses bias in the study of homophobia and synthesizes extant research findings from psychodynamic and social-learning perspectives. Therapeutic implications and suggestions for further research are offered.

Publication No 9411533

Boiles AL (1997). Same-sex marriage: an exploratory study of student attitudes. M.S.W. Thesis, California State University, Long Beach, MAI, Vol. 35-06, p. 1662, 58 pages.

Abstract by author: This purpose of this study was to explore historical precedence for same-sex unions, to review contemporary interpretations of same-sex marriage, and to explore public attitudes about same-sex marriage by analyzing student attitudes. Thirty-three students enrolled in an upper-division Technical Writing course participated in a nonprobability, survey sample.

The study’s findings showed that although over nine tenths of the students believe that gay men and lesbians should have the same rights as any other citizen, only about three fifths of the students believe that same-sex marriages should be legal. The study also indicated that students in the sample used were not familiar with the Defense of Marriage Act.

For those in support of same-sex marriage, the most significant reason was that banning same-sex marriage is discriminatory. For those opposing same-sex marriage, the most significant reason was that same-sex marriage violates basic biblical/religious tenets.

Publication No 1385508

Brounk TM (1996).Changing negative attitudes toward gay and lesbian people: the impact of cognition versus affect. PhD. Thesis, Ohio State University, DAI, Vol. B57-10, p. 6645, 158 pages.

Abstract by author: Results of prior social psychological research have shown that affect-based attitudes are more effectively changed by affective versus cognition-based persuasive appeals. Previous research also suggests a strong affective component to attitudes toward gay and lesbian people. This study tested the hypothesis that an affect-based persuasive appeal would be more effective in modifying anti-gay attitudes than cognition-based persuasion.

Balanced numbers of male and female college students (N = 246) were randomly assigned to one of three groups and read persuasive material that was either affect-based, cognition-based, or irrelevant to gay and lesbian issues. Depending on the group assignment, subjects read about either lesbian women or gay men. Results indicated that participants in both the affect-based and cognition-based conditions expressed a greater increase in support for gay and lesbian people than participants in the control condition.

Contrary to the hypothesis, affect-based persuasion was not more effective in changing attitudes toward gay and lesbian people than cognition-based persuasion. Women showed a significantly greater increase in support for changes benefiting gay and lesbian people than men. Men and women did not differ significantly in their level of support for either lesbian women or gay men.

Publication No 9710533

Button SB (1996). Organizational efforts to affirm sexual diversity; a multi-level examination. PhD. Thesis, The Pennsylvania State University, DAI, Vol. B57-08, p. 5373, 266 pages.

Abstract by author: The correlates of organizational efforts to affirm the existence of sexual diversity in the workforce were examined. The prevalence of affirming organizational policies (e.g., domestic-partnership benefits) was expected to be associated positively with the organizational climate for sexual minorities. In turn, organizational climate was predicted to be related to gay and lesbian employees’ attitudes toward themselves and their employers. In addition, organizational climate, together with individual characteristics, was expected to be associated with the use of various identity management strategies.

Multiple-item measures of identity management strategies, organizational climate for sexual minorities, community climate for sexual minorities, and prevalence of the local lesbian and gay community were developed and revised in Study One. In addition, a series of confirmatory factor analyses demonstrated that further investigation of identity management strategies should be based on Woods’ (1993) tripartite categorization (i.e., counterfeiting, avoiding, integrating) and extended his conclusions to lesbians.

Finally, a second series of confirmatory factor analyses revealed that lesbian and gay male group identity attitudes are most accurately portrayed by three factors (i.e., pre-encounter, immersion-emersion, internalization). Each of these attitudes can be held to differing degrees and may influence a range of behaviors and attitudes. Study Two demonstrated that the prevalence of affirming organizational policies was associated positively with organizational climate for sexual minorities.

The nine organizational policies considered explained more than 60% of the variance in organizational climate. The results also demonstrated that organizational climate was associated positively with job satisfaction, organizational commitment, job involvement, and career-efficacy. The use of each strategy was associated with both organizational and individual characteristics. Organizational climate was negatively related to counterfeiting and avoiding, and positively associated with integrating. Furthermore, group identity attitudes and identifiability as a gay male or lesbian were associated with each strategy. Finally, the results suggest that avoiding or integrating may have implications for both work-related and self-referenced attitudes.

Overall, the results provided a good deal of support for the hypothesized linear relationships. The implications of these findings for managerial practice and future research are discussed.

Publication No 9702260

Cribben J (1996).Measuring the cognitive and affective attitudes of occupational therapists toward gay and lesbian individuals. M.S. Thesis, Rush University, College of Nursing, MAI Vol 34-06, p. 2496, 82 pages.

Abstract by author: Research involving healthcare professionals reveals a prevalence of negative attitudes toward gay and lesbian people which may impact the quality of healthcare services such individuals receive. To render authentic occupational therapy services to gay and lesbian individuals, occupational therapists must first be aware of their own attitudes toward such individuals and then recognize the effect those attitudes may have in the client-practitioner relationship. This study surveyed 118 occupational therapists to determine their cognitive and affective attitudes toward gay and lesbian individuals.

Results indicate moderately positive cognitive attitudes on the Attitudes Towards Gays and Lesbians Scale (ATGLS) (G. Smith, 1993) and minimally positive affective attitudes on the modified Index of Homophobia (IHP) (Hudson & Ricketts, 1980). Having gay or lesbian friends positively influenced both cognitive and affective attitudes; affiliation with a religious institution and level of education influenced cognitive attitudes only. Discussion includes implications for education and practice.

Publication No 1380892

Cullen JM (1997).Homophobia in the 90’s: intolerance and acceptance of alternative lifestyles. M.A. Thesis, San Jose State University, MAI, Vol. 35-05, p. 1539, 84 pages.

Abstract by author: The present study investigated current demographic and personality variables that may be predictors of homophobia. Predictor variables explored include traditional sex role beliefs, religion, gender, age, personal contact, self-esteem, community raised in, and personality characteristics. Participants included 123 SJSU university undergraduates enrolled in either introductory psychology or sociology.

Participants completed a questionnaire containing demographic inquiries and four psychological measures including the Attitudes Towards Gays and Lesbians scale, the Bem Sex Role Inventory, the Neuroticism-Extroversion-Openness scale, and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem scale. Results revealed personal contact with a homosexual, gender, and the personality variable Openness to Experience as the most substantial predictors. A significant difference on indices of homophobia was also found amongst the various religious groups (p < .05). The remaining variables (sex roles, age and community raised in) were not significant predictors.

These results comprise a theoretical framework that identifies the personality and demographic predictors of the archetypal homophobe and may assist in our effort to understand the public’s overall biases, discriminations, and dissenting attitudes.

Publication No 1384679

Davis RF (1994).The psychosocial construction of hate: lesbian and gay male victimization. PSY.D. Thesis, Widener University, Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology, DAI, Vol. B55-05, p. 2004, 235 pages.

Abstract by author: This dissertation presents demographic information, related statistics, and theoretical considerations of hate-motivated violence against gay men and lesbians. Bisexual and transgender individuals are, as yet, grossly under-represented in the available literature.

Chapter 1 focuses on patterns of victimization among lesbians and gay men. Due to the limited availability of research and other literature on violence directed against sexual minorities, the information presented herein focuses predominantly on White lesbians and gay men in metropolitan areas who are, disproportionately, well educated and of higher socioeconomic status. When available, information on other demographic categories and ethnic groups are presented. Further, the individuals reported in the literature are ‘out of the closet’ in terms of their affectional/sexual orientation. Individuals who keep their orientation a secret are therefore either under- or unrepresented here.

Chapter 2 examines the characteristics and dynamics of perpetrators based on existing research data. According to most documented accounts, perpetrators of hate crimes against sexual minorities follow two profiles: the adolescent or young adult male acting alone or in a small group and organized hate groups (e.g., the Skinheads, Aryan Nation, the Oregon Citizens Alliance, the KKK). These profiles, as well as other individuals or groups documented as perpetrators of hate crimes (e.g., law enforcement officials), are presented in turn.

Chapter 3 reviews psychological and sociocultural theories of hate. Considered and discussed are the topics of patriarchy and the social order, including the impact of divorce and missing fathers and gender role socialization; cultural and psychological heterosexism; Allport’s conceptualization of in- and out-groups; and psychodynamic perspectives.

The final chapter reviews the methodological weaknesses and limitations of empirical investigations to date. Recommendations are made for further research in this area with the goal of overcoming existing limitations and providing a scientifically sound foundation upon which to study precisely the phenomenon of hate-motivated violence and discrimination against sexual minorities.

Recommendations based on reports by the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force and other sources are offered as prevention strategies to reduce the incidence of anti-gay/lesbian violence. Finally, implications for the field of clinical psychology are considered.

Publication No 9426489

Dopler TS (1997). Lesbophobia in feminist organizations: an examination of the effect of organizational structure and sociopolitical context on the expression of lesbophobia. M.A. Thesis, Carleton University, MAI, Vol. 36-02, p. 432, 145 pages, ISBN: 0-612-22073-7.

Abstract by author: This thesis examines lesbophobia in feminist organizations in English Canada. Through an exploration of herstorical accounts I establish the intensity of lesbophobic reactions to lesbian visibility from the most legendary account of the ‘Lavender Menace’ debates within the U.S. National Organization of Women in the 1970’s to similar debates within the British Columbia Federation of Women and other organizations in English Canada a few years later. Canada’s National Action Committee on the Status of Women has managed to avoid similar conflict as a result of its particular organizational structure which allowed difference to be somewhat more easily accommodated.

A framework of oppression theory advances an understanding of the micro and macro (cultural-structural) components of lesbophobia. Case studies of St. John’s Status of Women Council in Newfoundland and Amethyst Women’s Addiction Centre in Ottawa illustrate varying degrees of success in resolving conflict and addressing lesbian issues/lesbophobia. The organizations are compared in terms of organizational structure and the surrounding sociopolitical context. The specific focus is upon how structure has affected conflict resolution and how sociopolitical context might affect the expression of lesbophobia.

Through analysis of the case study data, the thesis argues that lesbophobia is endemic to feminist organizations in English Canada but that the manner in which it is expressed is influenced by both the organizational structure and the sociopolitical context in which organizations operate. Some suggestions are presented to aid feminist organizations in combating lesbophobia and creating more lesbian-positive organizations.

Publication No MQ22073

Dunstan CD (1993).Masculinity salience and homophobic reactions: affective and cognitive responses of sex-typed men to a gay male individual. PhD. Thesis, University of Rhode Island, DAI, Vol. B54-07, p. 3849, 90 pages.

Abstract by author: Homophobia has played a major part in the maintenance of traditional male roles. Yet attitudes toward gay men serve different functions in different individuals, and hostility toward gay men may be motivated by a number of factors. Research has tended to consider homophobic responses on a global basis rather than considering a particular function that homophobia may play. In addition, the cognitive and affective responses of homophobia have often been lumped together.

The present study examines the relationship between masculinity salience and homophobia and assesses the cognitive and affective aspects of this homophobic response. It is particularly designed to examine the personal response to a gay individual as distinct from intellectualized attitudes toward homosexuality. Men who are identified as sex-typed or androgynous are asked to take part in a simulated job interview in which the interviewer is identified as heterosexual or homosexual. In addition, the situation is manipulated to prime or not to prime the heterosexual subschema by conducting the interview for either the position of a police officer or a store clerk. Affective and cognitive responses to the target are measured and a homophobic response is signified by increased affect or negative cognition or both.

A multivariate analysis of variance was conducted with affective and cognitive variables as the dependent variables. Independent variables were interviewer sexual orientation, masculinity salience and participant’s sex-role. Significant differences were not produced. An analysis of variance was also carried out for each of the variables in the affective and cognitive clusters. There was, in particular, a significant difference in the response to straight and gay targets for the variable situational uncertainty, there being greater uncertainty when the target was identified as gay. The manipulation to prime the heterosexual subschema was not successful.

The results of the study suggest that while there is some homophobic response within this group of college students, it is well contained and manifests itself as a slight increase in anger and disgust when with a gay person. These results are consistent with previous work in the field of homophobia in general.

Publication No 9332435

Edwards LT (1996).Internalized homophobia in gay men: an investigation of clinical sensitivity among psychotherapists. PSY.D. Thesis, California School of Professional Psychology, Berkeley/Alamena, DAI, Vol. B57-06, p. 4026, 62 pages.

Abstract by author: One of the most commonly reported failures in psychotherapy among gay men is the inability of the therapist to adequately grasp the degree of psychic trauma inflicted by society on the homosexual client. Given the institutionalized nature of heterosexism and homophobia, it is vital to consider the effect that internalization of these ubiquitous influences will have on the lives of gay men and how such influences might be expressed. Evidence would suggest that unresolved internalized homophobia may impinge on self esteem and identity development. Internalized homophobia has also been implicated in such diverse problems as intimacy issues, substance abuse, alcoholism, compulsive sexuality, depression, domestic violence, and eating disorders. The recognition and exploration of internalized homophobia is an ongoing process and must be recognized as both a primary concern and a contextual factor in psychotherapy with homosexual clients.

In order to explore sensitivity to internalized homophobia among clinicians working with gay male clients, 500 licensed psychotherapists currently practicing in the San Francisco Bay and East Bay areas of Northern California were randomly selected and asked to complete an instrument designed for the study consisting of a demographic survey and four clinical vignettes. Participants were requested to provide a list of five salient issues for each vignette which they felt should be addressed in the course of treatment. Narrative responses were scored utilizing a four-point Likert scale devised to assess levels of sensitivity to internalized homophobia.

While this study produced statistical evidence that homosexual or bisexual therapists are more sensitive to internalized homophobia than their heterosexual counterparts, all may be considered deficient at considering this important factor when treating gay male clients. Despite emphasis on cross-cultural training in the various mental health disciplines, it would appear that current efforts have not been successful in disseminating comprehensive information regarding the psychosocial intricacies of the gay male experience. While many respondents appeared well informed in their demonstrated concern for the potential difficulties in reconciling a positive gay identity, few were able to articulate a formulation or treatment plan addressing the deleterious effect of internalized homophobia.

Publication No 9634646

Esparza GG (1996).All the wrong places: homophobia, self-esteem, and anonymous sex among gay men. M.S.W. Thesis, California State University, MAI, Vol. 35-03, p. 708, 83 pages.

Abstract by author: This study explored relationships between the psychological adjustment variables of self-esteem and internalized homophobia on the frequency of anonymous sexual behavior in gay men. The study’s convenience sample consisted of 28 gay men between the ages of 23 to 52 years old. Participants completed a 20 minute questionnaire which consisted of a 10-item self-esteem scale, a 30-item index to measure internalized homophobia, and an eight-item scale that measured the frequency of anonymous sex. After completing the questionnaire, 10 respondents were selected to participate in a face-to-face tape-recorded interview as part of the qualitative aspect of this study.

Findings indicated that no relationship exists between levels of self-esteem and anonymous sex. An inverse relationship, however, approached significance in the correlation between internalized homophobia and anonymous sexual behavior; that as the level of internalized homophobia decreased, the frequency of anonymous sex increased slightly. Further insight provided from the interview subjects suggested that some gay men perceive anonymous sexual activity as a positive element of their gay identity.

Publication No. 1382978

Evett SR (1996).Heterosexuals’ expectancies and experiences in face-to-face interactions with male homosexuals. PhD. Thesis, The University of Michigan, DAI, Vol. B57-08, p. 5387, 184 pages.

Abstract by author: This research examined heterosexual undergraduates’ expected and actual experiences concerning intergroup interaction with a gay male. We proposed that majority group members bring different types of expectancies to an intergroup encounter and that these different expectancies have implications for their actual experiences in the interaction. Specifically, High Prejudiced (HP) people, who are not expected to be internally motivated to come across as nonprejudiced, are likely to feel antipathy and to want the interaction to end as soon as possible. They are likely to feel uncomfortable and awkward in the interaction and manifest an avoidant behavioral style. Low Prejudiced (LP) people who are strongly internally motivated to respond without prejudice, and who do not doubt their ability to convey their beliefs should feel confident and comfortable in the interaction. Their behaviors should reflect this comfort, resulting in a relatively smooth interaction. Finally, LP people who are strongly motivated but doubt their ability to come across well are expected to experience social anxiety and behave awkwardly in the interaction. However, they are also likely to engage in various attempts to maintain a positive impression, distinguishing them from HP people.

Studies 1 and two examined participants’ expectancies about an imagined or upcoming interaction. Study 3 examined participants’ experiences and behavior in an actual interaction. Strong support for the theoretical model was found in participants’ expectancies. However, only partial support was found in their actual experiences and behaviors. The discussion addresses the limitations of the actual interaction study and implications for future research. It also addresses the implications of this paradigm for the dynamics of intergroup interactions and the prospects for more harmonious intergroup relations.

Publication No 9634933

Feathergill JT (1994) Responding to the selfobject deficits of gay men in psychotherapy: a self psychology approach. PSY.D. Thesis, Chicago School of Professional Psychology, DAI, Vol. B55-12, p. 5581, 64 pages.

Abstract by author: This case study examined the therapy of a gay man in his early twenties who presented in psychotherapy with depression, social discomfort, and loneliness. The author utilized Kohut’s self-psychology approach in a 44 session course of treatment. Psychotherapy with this client revealed a relationship between his reported symptoms and the complications of growing up as a gay male in a homophobic and heterosexist culture. The client’s symptoms improved as therapy dealt with unmet needs, traumatic experiences, interpersonal conflicts, and shame related to being gay.

Results of the study indicate that this client experienced mirroring, idealizing, and alterego/twinship selfobject deficits related to homophobia and heterosexism. The study also showed that the therapist’s awareness and responsiveness to his selfobject needs helped the client to restore a more cohesive sense of self and enabled the client to develop a more positive gay identity. The author concludes that the principles of self psychology contribute to an understanding of the negative effects of homophobia and heterosexism on gay men’s psychological development and subsequent mental health needs. He maintains that empathic and gay affirming psychotherapy, utilizing the principles of self psychology can help gay men who have experienced selfobject deficits related to homophobia and heterosexism.

In the discussion, the author questions the importance of the sexual orientation of the therapist and considers the use of self psychology in time-limited psychotherapy. He also suggests that selfobject needs related to differences in age and variations in gender role behavior require further study. He emphasizes that in the face of ongoing homophobia and heterosexism gay men must meet their selfobject needs by maintaining supportive relationships with other gay and lesbian individuals and gay-affirming heterosexuals.

Publication No 9511399

Franklin K (1997).Hate crime or rite of passage? Assailant motivations in antigay violence. PhD. Thesis, California School of Professional Psychology, Berkeley/Alameda, DAI, Vol. B57-12, p. 7774, 241 pages.

Abstract by author: As the first empirical examination of antigay assailants, this study focused on both the psychological and social dynamics and the factual circumstances of antigay assaults. A 137-item questionnaire consisting of four attitude and social norms measures and a newly developed antigay violence survey was administered to 484 community college students and in-depth interviews were conducted with 11 admitted assailants. Assailants were studied as expert informants on the cultural phenomenon of heterosexism. This study confirmed that antigay violence is widespread among young adults, with one-third of a college sample admitting to physical violence or namecalling directed at gay men and lesbians and almost half of these assailants reporting a likelihood to assault again in similar circumstances.

Factor analyses of assailant motivations revealed four themes: antigay ideology, peer group dynamics, thrill-seeking, and self-defense against homosexual aggression (most commonly sexual in nature). When compared with nonassailants, assailants: (a) held more negative attitudes toward homosexuals, (b) reported more negative social norms among their friends, © had higher levels of masculinity ideology, and (d) reported greater likelihood to drink alcohol in social settings. Although the particular combinations of demographic, psychological, and social predictors varied by sex and race, assailants were primarily young men who endorsed an antifemininity ideology and whose peers opposed homosexuality.

Results indicated that individuals who do not assault homosexuals are sometimes no less hostile to homosexuals, but rather restrain from assault due to fear of adverse consequences to themselves. Four motivational factors were revealed for nonassailants: nonviolence, moral beliefs, personal contact, and fear-avoidance. Pervasive gender-norm stereotypes and expectations were found more central to antigay assaults than individual hostility, with assailants expressing a cultural permission to engage in violence based on homosexual innuendo.

Taken together, the findings from the survey and the interviews confirm that antigay violence is culturally normative for at least a large segment of American young men. For individuals who are quick to explode into anger, widely shared social values impart a sense of permission and even encouragement to vent their rage on gay men and lesbians.

Publication No 9715571

Friedman LJ (1995). An examination of attitudes toward gay men and lesbians among Louisiana licensed professional counselors. PhD. Thesis. University of New Orleans, DAI, Vol. A56-10, p. 3837, 306 pages.

Abstract by author: The present study examines Herek’s theory that homophobic attitudes are best understood in the context of the social and psychological needs of the individual. Louisiana Licensed Professional Counselors have been chosen as the target population. The self-report survey instrument, Index of Attitudes Toward Homosexuals (IAH) was used in conjunction with the NEO Five-Factor Inventory, Short Form, and a demographics instrument in order to examine Herek’s model with respect to the attitudes of Louisiana Licensed Professional Counselors toward gay men and lesbians.

The results indicate that approximately 42 per cent of the respondents reported homophobic attitudes (as defined by the IAH). The implications of this study strike the core of the profession of counseling which purports to support cultural diversity, including diversity of sexual orientation. Counselor educators can use the results of this study to begin to explore and clarify not only their own values, but those of the students they are training. From the same perspective, counselors can use these results to make more appropriate decisions about the clients they choose to counsel. Consumers can use these results to wisely choose an appropriate counselor.

Publication No 9603403

Ginsberg RW (1996). In the triangle/out of the circle: gay/lesbian students’ school experience. ED.D. Thesis, The University of Texas at Austin, DAI, Vol. A58-01, p. 72, 163 pages.

Abstract by author: This dissertation research was a study of the school experience of students in gay/lesbian support groups in two high schools located in a mid-sized southwestern city. A qualitative methodology incorporated the tools of ethnography and naturalistic inquiry to guide the observations and interviews of students both in and out of the ‘closet’ who participated in these support groups. Analysis of the data yielded the need for the public teaching institutions to provide opportunities for gay/lesbian students to explore questions related to their shared sexual identity. The stories delivered in the students’ own voices provided a basis for understanding gay/lesbian students in the context of their school experience. Their previously unheard voices contribute another dimension to the educational discourse and incorporates a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the similarities and differences that characterize today’s adolescent population in schools.

The study found that the homosexual adolescents in the study population spent a major portion of their school lives feeling isolated, fearful, and confused, forced to confront their emerging sexuality in settings that range, as they understood it, from ignorance of their existence, on the one hand, to open hostility, on the other. The study also found that these gay/lesbian adolescents exhibited considerable ambivalence about their sexual identity and, that apart from this one aspect of their lives, they appear to be much like their heterosexual peers, even with respect to their attitudes toward homosexuality and in the extent and nature of their sexual activity. Nevertheless, this singular difference likely is the core reason behind a gay/lesbian adolescent rate of suicide that is almost three times that of the adolescent population at large. Responding to this national problem, a few schools have established on campus support groups wherein trained counselors facilitate discussion among students who may be questioning their sexuality or simply are curious about the topic.

This study, based on the activities of two such support groups, found the adolescents hoped for the continuance of these groups; they considered the groups to be of vital importance to them at this point in their life. A review of the existing literature revealed that although much has been written about the subject of gays/lesbians, a dearth of literature exists. Also, much of that literature has been generated outside of the academy and includes fiction and ‘new media’ forms of which many educators are unaware. Thus, the study includes an appraisal of the breath of pertinent literature and a list of references that may aid future researchers.

Recommendations as to the kinds of future research that could further illuminate the subject, and recommendations regarding curricula, teacher education, and the implementation of gay/lesbian support groups also comprise an important part of the conclusions.

Publication No 9719534

Guthrie VL (1996).The relationship of levels of intellectual development and levels of tolerance for diversity among college students. PhD. Thesis, Bowling Green State University, DAI Vol. A57-11, p. 4666, 203 pages.

Abstract by author: The purpose of this study was to explore why some college students are more tolerant than others of diversity, and specifically, whether higher levels of reflective thinking are associated with higher levels of tolerance. Intellectual development was operationally defined using King and Kitchener’s (1994) Reflective Judgment Model; tolerance was defined as low levels of prejudice towards African Americans and homosexuals. The instruments included: three measures of intellectual development (two versions of the Reflective Thinking Appraisal and a Reflective Judgment Interview); two measures of prejudice (New Racism Scale (Jacobson, 1985) and Heterosexuals’ Attitudes Toward Lesbians and Gay Men Scale (Herek, 1988)); a basic demographic questionnaire created for this study; and an interview about tolerance-related issues. This research had three interrelated functions. First, the RTA was further piloted and the utility of creating a content-specific dilemma was tested. Second, the relationship between tolerance and intellectual development was explored using a correlational research design. Third, this relationship was examined qualitatively.

The sample was drawn from undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at a public university in the midwest. A strategic sampling procedure yielded a pool of 194 prospective participants with a wide range of reflective thinking levels from which a sample of 48 was selected, with 16 participants at each reflective thinking level. Moderate positive correlations between the three measures of intellectual development and the combined tolerance score created from the two measures of prejudice ranged from .44 to .58. The results of the multiple regressions indicate that by controlling for gender, age, and education level, 28% of the variance in tolerance scores could be accounted for. The amount of variance that could be predicted with a four-variable model including intellectual development increased to 41%. The additional 13% of the variance in tolerance scores accounted for by reflective judgment above that which could be attributed to gender, age, and education was a highly significant finding.

This research offers preliminary support for the conclusion of a relationship between intellectual development and levels of tolerance. In addition, it suggests that there is a critical level of reflective thinking ability for truly tolerant responses to different others: scoring above the mean on tolerance calls for reasoning at or above the quasi-reflective level, specifically Stage 4 reasoning.

Publication No 9713104

Hammer KM (1993).Verbal and physical abuse against lesbians, gay men and bisexuals: stigma, social identity and victim impact. PhD. Thesis. University of California, Los Angeles, DAI, Vol. A55-03, p. 748, 186 pages.

Abstract by author: This study is an exploratory field survey investigating the extent and nature of anti-gay abuse in the greater Los Angeles area and exploring the utility of social identity/optimal distinctiveness theory for understanding verbal and physical abuse against lesbians, gay men and bisexuals because of their sexual orientation. The use of a stigmatized identity to cope with the implications of negative in-group evaluations is examined, and methodological implications for future research in anti-gay abuse and other forms of hate motivated crime are discussed.

Nine hundred and twenty-five lesbians, gay men and bisexuals completed a questionnaire focusing on anti-gay victimization and its impact on identity and behavior. Respondents were found to experience high levels of abuse because of their sexual orientation, and gender and ethnicity were found not to be associated with anti-gay abuse. Visibility factors were associated with increased victimization. Victimization experiences were associated with stronger identification with the stigmatized in-group and behavior changes indicative of an external, group-level locus of blame.

The necessity of focusing future research around questions of the internalization of in-group membership into the self-concept, the context of inter-group differentiation and those variables affecting the saliency of inter-group comparisons is discussed.

Publication No 9420546

Holtzen DW (1993).Family responses to homosexuality: correlates to homophobia, gay/lesbian self-disclosure and parent/sibling homophobia. DAI, Vol. B54-06, p. 3361, 153 pages.

Abstract by author: The main purposes of this study were: (1) to expand upon prior investigations regarding correlates of homophobia by using a sample of gay, lesbian and bisexual participants and their first degree relatives; (2) to examine whether parental attachment is associated with sexual self-disclosure (‘coming out’) to one’s parents; and, (3) to develop and to apply theoretically sound and empircally validated models for predicting degree of homophobia in heterosexuals (in order to provide clinicians with frameworks for both understanding and treating individuals and families where homophobia is known or thought to be a factor contributing to individual or systemic distress). Heterosexual parents and siblings who have a gay/lesbian/bisexual child or sibling, respectively, along with homosexual and bisexual adults completed questionnaires which assessed: (1) homophobia; (2) sex-role stereotypes; (3) religiosity; and, (4) conservatism. Non-parent participants also completed a parental attachment questionnaire and a measure of dysfunctional attitudes.

Results support prior research that suggests homophobia is correlated with traditional sex-role stereotypes. For parents, religiosity and the amount of time that has elapsed since their child’s disclosure also correlated with and predicted level of homophobia. Also for parents, differences in degree of homophobia were found between four naturally emerging Time Since Disclosure categories: the longer one knew of their child’s sexuality, the less homophobic they tended to be. Homophobic parents were found to hold significantly more sex-role stereotypes, were more religious and conservative and had known of their child’s sexuality for significantly less time than their non-homophobic peers. Disclosed gay/lesbian/bisexual participants reported more positive parental attachments compared to their undisclosed peers. Parental attachment was also found to be significantly negatively correlated with dysfunctional attitudes in both heterosexual and non-heterosexual participants.

Findings - consistent with a social psychological formulation of the nature of stereotyping - indicate that homophobia appears related to traditional sex-role stereotypes and religiosity, both of which can be explored and addressed in therapy with clients and families who have a gay/lesbian/bisexual family member. Findings also suggest that examining gay identity development from the perspective of attachment theory is valid.

Publication No. 9329306

Howard IJ (1983).The culpability of homicide: differential treatment towards heterosexual and homosexual perpetrators and victims. PhD. Thesis, California School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles, DAI, Vol. B44-06, p. 2012, 160 pages.

Abstract by author: This study examined the effect that prejudice had on the evaluation and sentencing of homicide when a homosexual was involved. It was proposed that anti-homosexual attitudes would bias judicial assessments, resulting in more punitive dispositions towards the homosexual defendant. It was also hypothesized that the sentence imposed on a heterosexual defendant would be mitigated when the victim was identified as homosexual. College students read the description of a standardized murder case in which the sexual orientation of both the defendant and victim were manipulated as being either heterosexual or homosexual. Evaluators determined an appropriate prison term for the defendant and evaluated the character of both the defendant and the victim.

The major finding of this study was that the homosexual defendant received a significantly longer sentence as compared to his heterosexual counterpart. Although the defendant’s sexual orientation influenced judgmental severity, it was found that the victim’s sexual orientation did not. Homosexuality on the part of the victim did not mitigate the sentence imposed. It was speculated that the length of prison sentence was a function of the threat engendered by the homosexual character, and this argument was forwarded to explain why victim sexual orientation was not a mitigating factor in terms of judgmental severity. The theoretical bases for this argument included the effects of social labeling, the maintenance of the male sex role, and the holding of stereotypic beliefs characterizing homosexuals as dangerous.

It was concluded that homosexuality was a salient issue for criminal defendants and that prejudice significantly influenced judicial decisions of the sort a jury might make in sentencing someone to prison. Implications for the legal system and for psychology were discussed, and suggestions were offered for future research.

Publication No 8323800

Huffey BB (1997).The effects of two brief intervention strategies on homophobia and negative attitudes toward women. PhD. Thesis. DAI, Vol. A58-04, p. 1199, 120 pages.

Abstract by author: This study investigated the effects of a gay and lesbian panel and a videotape on homophobia and negative attitudes toward women. The sample consisted of 96 undergraduate students from a variety of introductory courses at a midwestern university. Participants were randomly assigned to one of four groups: (1) educational videotape with posttest; (2) educational videotape with pretest and posttest; (3) gay and lesbian panel with posttest; and (4) gay and lesbian panel with pretest and posttest. The dependent variables included scores of homophobia (Index of Attitudes toward Homosexuals; Hudson & Ricketts, 1980) and scores of attitudes toward women (Attitudes toward Women-Simplified; Spence, Helmreich, & Stapp, 1973).

Four null hypothesis were examined. The first investigated the relationship of homophobic attitudes and attitudes toward women utilizing a Pearson r statistic. The second hypothesis investigated changes in attitude scores after a brief educational intervention utilizing t-tests. The third null hypothesis investigated the relationship of demographic variables with attitude scores and change in attitude scores utilizing a multiple regression analysis. The fourth null hypothesis investigated the effects of intervention, testing, and the interaction of intervention and testing utilizing a two-way analysis of variance.

Additionally, one qualitative question was asked of participants regarding the most impactful aspects of the intervention strategies experienced. It was found that: (1) there is a slight relationship between homophobic attitudes and negative attitudes toward women; (2) both a gay and lesbian panel and an educational videotape are effective in reducing homophobia, but not in reducing negative attitudes toward women; (3) demographic variables of race/ethnicity and sex are related to negative attitudes toward women; and (4) neither testing, intervention strategy, nor interaction were found to be responsible for changes in attitude. Additionally, hearing from actual gay people may be an impactful aspect of brief educational interventions for reducing homophobia.

Publication No 9728996

Innala SM (1995).Structure and development of homophobia. FIL. Dr., Gotenorgs Universitet, DAI, Vol. C57-03, p. 1043, 62 pages.

Abstract by author: This dissertation comprises five empirical studies. Two of the studies explored the structure of affective reactions to a homosexual social situation and related these reactions to homophobic attitudes. Factor analysis detected two affective components of homophobia, Homophobic Anger and Homophobic Guilt. Homophobic Anger had a higher correlation with the cognitive component of homophobia than Homophobic Guilt did. Changes in attitudes toward homosexual individuals and homosexuality are often of short duration. The results suggest that to achieve lasting changes in attitudes toward homosexual individuals and homosexuality, it may also be necessary to change people’s affects toward homosexual individuals and homosexuality in a positive direction.

A third study explored the relationship between homophobia and beliefs in a learned/chosen or innate cause of homosexuality. Data from four societies showed that those who believed that homosexual individuals are ‘born that way’ held significantly less negative attitudes toward homosexual individuals than those who believed homosexual individuals ‘learn/choose to be that way.’ A fourth study investigated how subjects understood words denoting a homosexual individual, such is gay, fag, and queer, when they first heard the words, and later in life. Subjects reported that they learned the words without understanding their denotations, whereas they understood that their connotations were negative and that the person referred to was weak. Later in life most subjects came to understand the correct denotations of the words, and they then associated the negative connotations with the concept of a homosexual individual.

Many low-homophobic individuals seem to believe that gay men are overrepresented among the most beautiful men. The belief in this positive stereotype, the ‘gay-pretty-boy stereotype,’ was confirmed in a fifth study. Females rated facial photographs of physically attractive males as significantly more physically attractive when they believed that the males were gay than when they believed that the males were heterosexual.

Publication No.

Kardia DB (1996).Diversity’s closet: student attitudes toward lesbians, gay men, and bisexual people on a multicultural campus. PhD. Thesis, The University of Michigan, DAI, Vol. A57-03, p. 1090, 298 pages.

Abstract by author: Many colleges and universities have expressed a commitment to increasing students’ acceptance of racial/ethnic diversity. This study is the first to consider how higher education impacts students’ acceptance of sexual diversity. Using Weidman’s Model of Undergraduate Socialization, the study sought to identify aspects of a college environment that promote and maintain campus communities that are inclusive of lesbians, gay men, and bisexual people. Through a longitudinal research design incorporating survey and interview data, this study examined predictors of student attitudes toward sexual diversity in a cohort of 1,041 students attending the University of Michigan from 1990 to 1994. This single-institution study suggests five major conclusions about the impact of college on these attitudes.

First, college provides new opportunities for students to understand and appreciate sexual diversity. Through these opportunities, the majority of students become significantly more accepting of sexual diversity by their fourth year of college. On average, women enter college with a higher degree of acceptance than men and increase their acceptance while at college to a greater extent than men.

Second, contact with lesbian, gay, and bisexual people is a primary mechanism through which students’ attitudes change. For students who enter college with negative attitudes toward sexual diversity, contact through casual acquaintances and classmates helps students reexamine prior stereotypes and assumptions. For students who enter college with ambivalent or positive attitudes toward sexual diversity, contact through close friendships helps bring meaning and conviction to students’ acceptance of sexual diversity.

Third, cognitive, moral, and social identity development indicators are associated with students’ capacity for tolerance and openness to difference. Gender differences in these indicators explain higher levels of acceptance regarding sexual diversity among women.

Fourth, curricular and co-curricular attention to sexual diversity establishes norms of respect and thoughtful consideration of this issue. These settings also promote students’ acceptance of sexual diversity by providing accurate information regarding sexual diversity and encouraging visibility of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people.

Fifth, fraternities discourage acceptance of sexual diversity and student religious groups reinforce negative attitudes toward sexual diversity, thus creating peer environments of intolerance despite more general trends toward tolerance among college students.

Publication No. 9624642

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