Attitudes Toward Homosexuality
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ASHER, A.D. (1998). Attitudes Toward Homosexuality. National Undergraduate Research Clearinghouse, 1. Available online at http://www.webclearinghouse.net/volume/. Retrieved May 23, 2017 .

Attitudes Toward Homosexuality
AMBER D. ASHER
SOUTHWEST MISSOURI STATE UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY

Sponsored by: DAVID STOCKBURGER (dws148f@mail.smsu.edu)
ABSTRACT
I am interested to know whether we feel we are homophobic, and if so, how do we treat homosexuals. Do we make jokes about them? Do we feel uncomfortable seeing them? I believed that though we might consider ourselves not homophobic, we do these things. I wanted to see the relationship between our gender, religious background, where we come from, and how we treat homosexuals. It is my opinion that these factors will have a significant effect: males, Protestants, and rural people being more homophobic.

INTRODUCTION
In the world today, there are many views on a person’s sexual preference. In the past, the only acceptable affiliation was heterosexuality. Even today, most of the larger churches do not support homosexuality. In fact, there is a current issue pertaining to The Disney Company’s support of homosexuality. This stemmed from the fact that Disney is giving insurance benefits to homosexual partners (as well as heterosexual partners) and forty percent of Disney’s personnel are homosexual.

With so much adversity to homosexuality, how does the everyday citizen of the United States feel about the issue. Do we consider ourselves a homophobic society? I am interested to know whether we do feel we are homophobic, and if so, with that feeling, how do we treat homosexuals. Do we make jokes about them? Do we feel uncomfortable seeing them? I believed that though we might consider ourselves not homophobic, we do these things. I wanted to see the correlation between our gender, religious background, where we come from, and how we treat homosexuals. It is my opinion that these factors will have a significant effect: males, Protestants, and rural people being more homophobic. We shall see.

Methods

Subjects. The participants were students from an introductory psychology class (PSY 121), who volunteered to participate in a project for introductory statistics students (PSY 200). There were a total of 27 participants who filled out my survey.

Apparatus. The questionnaire was composed of two parts. The first part was directed at a person’s gender, religious background, rank in school, sexual preference, and type of area they came from. The second part consisted of questions I devised to see how the individual thought of and treated homosexuals with a ranking system of one to five.

Procedure. The students filled out sign-up sheets for an opportunity to fill out surveys for extra-credit points in their class. When the students arrived, they were given instructions that the questionnaires they were about to receive were written by PSY 200 students, and the answers were completely voluntary and anonymous. They had thirty minutes to fill out as many surveys as were present and then they were free to leave.

Results

Seven out of the 27 participants was male (26%) and twenty were female (74%). Four of the males and fourteen of the females did not consider themselves homophobic. The most significant correlations appear to be negative between gender and negative actions and feelings toward homosexuals. The one positive significant correlation involved being friendly toward homosexuals (r=.473).

Seven (26%) were Baptist, four (15%) were Catholic, five (19%) were Christian or non-denominational, eleven (40%) were an undefined religion, and none were Pentecostal.

Rank didn’t seem to have many high correlations although the ones it had correlated rank positively with friendliness and negatively with jokes. It was very interesting to see that the population area the participants came from had no significant relationships with attitudes toward homosexuality.

The most significant correlations were between whether a person considered themselves homophobic and how friendly they were toward homosexuals. It appears that the more homophobic they considered themselves, the more antagonistic they were and the fewer homosexuals they knew. For example, the correlation between homophobia and knowing homosexuals was r=-.754.

Questionnaire

This questionnaire is about attitudes toward homosexuality. The information gathered will be used for a PSY 200 statistics project. Please answer honestly.

1. What gender are you? M F

  1. What is your religion?

  1. Baptist
  2. Pentecostal
  3. Catholic
  4. Christian/Non-denominational
  5. Other _________

  1. What rank are you in school?
  2. Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior Other

    1 2 3 4 5

  3. What sexual preference are you?

  1. Heterosexual
  2. Homosexual
  3. Bisexual

  1. What type of community do you come from?

  1. Rural
  2. Suburban
  3. Inner-city
  4. Urban
  5. Other __________

In the following questions, rank your answers according to the scale shown here.

Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree

1 2 3 4 5

6. I consider myself homophobic.

1 2 3 4 5

7. I am antagonistic toward homosexuals.

1 2 3 4 5

8. I am friendly toward homosexuals.

1 2 3 4 5

9. I know homosexuals.

1 2 3 4 5

10. I have homosexual friends.

1 2 3 4 5

  1. I have told, or participated in, jokes about homosexuals.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5

  3. If I were in a group that was making fun of a homosexual person (because they are homosexual) I would participate (or at least, not do anything to stop it).
  4. 1 2 3 4 5

  5. I would make fun of a homosexual person when I was alone.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5

  7. I have ever thought to myself when I found that an attractive person of the other sex was homosexual—"What a waste."
  8. 1 2 3 4 5

  9. I think that a person chooses to be homosexual.
  10. 1 2 3 4 5

  11. I think that if there is a chemical imbalance in a person making them homosexual, the person should have it changed.
  12. 1 2 3 4 5

  13. I feel uncomfortable when I see two males kissing.
  14. 1 2 3 4 5

  15. I feel uncomfortable when I see two females kissing.
  16. 1 2 3 4 5

  17. I have ever said, "I don’t mind homosexuals, as long as I don’t have to see it" or something similar.
  18. 1 2 3 4 5

  19. I would feel flattered if an attractive person of my sex asked me out.

1 2 3 4 5

 


BASIC RESULTS

Sex – Male N = 7 – 26%

Sex – Female N = 20 – 74%

 

Religion – Baptist N = 7 – 26%

Religion – Catholic N = 4 – 15%

Religion – Christian N = 5 – 19%

Religion – Other N = 11 – 40%

 

Area – Rural N = 14 – 52%

Area – Suburban N = 9 – 33%

Area – Urban N = 4 – 15%

 

Strongly Disagree – SD Disagree – D Neutral – N Agree – A Strongly Agree – SA

SD

D

N

A

SA

Mean

 

5

13

6

1

2

2.33

Homophobic

6

7

12

0

2

2.44

Antagonistic

2

1

9

9

6

3.59

Friendly

3

1

3

14

6

3.70

Know

7

5

5

6

4

2.81

Friends

1

2

4

14

6

3.81

Jokes

2

4

11

6

4

3.22

Group

7

2

10

5

3

2.81

Alone

3

4

2

11

7

3.56

Waste

4

3

7

5

8

3.37

Chooses

6

5

10

1

5

2.78

Change it

1

3

3

9

11

3.96

M-Kiss

2

4

4

8

9

3.67

F-Kiss

2

3

5

8

9

3.70

Not See

14

7

3

2

1

1.85

Ask Out


 

 

Correlation Coefficients Table

 

Gender

Rank

Area

Phobic

Antag

Gender

1.000

 

 

 

 

Rank

.134

1.000

 

 

 

Area

-.374

.000

1.000

 

 

Phobic

-.214

-.367

-.034

1.000

 

Antag

-.150

-.198

.225

.659**

1.000

Friendly

.437*

.427*

-.244

-.683**

-.669**

Know

.209

.367

-.085

-.754**

-.690**

Friends

.281

.232

-.358

-.480*

-.633**

Jokes

-.283

-.381*

-.114

.524**

.326

Group

-.418*

-.224

-.054

.575**

.484*

Alone

-.407*

-.368

.135

.314

.485*

Waste

.121

.241

-.292

.107

.247

Chooses

-.450*

-.295

.212

.598**

.563**

Change

-.287

-.105

-.116

.340

.483*

M-Kiss

-.242

-.257

-.102

.443*

.350

F-Kiss

.177

-.220

-.253

.440*

.191

Not See

-.209

-.472*

.122

.500**

.435*

Ask Out

.301

.274

-.223

.400*

-.382*


 

 

Correlation Coefficients Table

 

Gender

Rank

Area

Phobic

Antag

Gender

1.000

 

 

 

 

Rank

.134

1.000

 

 

 

Area

-.374

.000

1.000

 

 

Phobic

-.214

-.367

-.034

1.000

 

Antag

-.150

-.198

.225

.659**

1.000

Friendly

.437*

.427*

-.244

-.683**

-.669**

Know

.209

.367

-.085

-.754**

-.690**

Friends

.281

.232

-.358

-.480*

-.633**

Jokes

-.283

-.381*

-.114

.524**

.326

Group

-.418*

-.224

-.054

.575**

.484*

Alone

-.407*

-.368

.135

.314

.485*

Waste

.121

.241

-.292

.107

.247

Chooses

-.450*

-.295

.212

.598**

.563**

Change

-.287

-.105

-.116

.340

.483*

M-Kiss

-.242

-.257

-.102

.443*

.350

F-Kiss

.177

-.220

-.253

.440*

.191

Not See

-.209

-.472*

.122

.500**

.435*

Ask Out

.301

.274

-.223

.400*

-.382*


Continued…

 

Friendly

Know

Friends

Jokes

Group

Alone

Friendly

1.000

 

 

 

 

 

Know

.793**

1.000

 

 

 

 

Friends

.476*

.654**

1.000

 

 

 

Jokes

-.413*

-.335

-.158

1.000

 

 

Group

-.508**

-.377

-.402*

.655**

1.000

 

Alone

-.595**

-.396*

-.580**

.233

.441

1.000

Waste

.029

-.037

.075

.252

.273

.038

Chooses

-.483*

-.497**

-.492**

.754**

.648**

.241

Change

-.263

-.228

-.392*

.390*

.610**

.336

M-Kiss

-.338

-.394*

-.326

.590**

.391*

.369

F-Kiss

-.176

-.311

-.116

.394*

.106

.141

Not See

-.415*

-.414*

-.326

.592**

.536**

.286

Ask Out

.254

.192

.265

-.432*

-.155

-.197


Continued…

 

Waste

Chooses

Change

M-Kiss

F-Kiss

Not See

Ask Out

Waste

1.000

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chooses

.049

1.000

 

 

 

 

 

Change

.091

.579**

1.000

 

 

 

 

M-Kiss

.360

.593**

.504**

1.000

 

 

 

F-Kiss

.397*

.195

.043

.680**

1.000

 

 

Not See

.260

.599**

.227

.648**

.452

1.000

 

Ask Out

-.172

-.611**

-.245

-.502**

-.296

-.327

1.000

*. Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed).

**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).

Means for Males and Females

MEAN MEAN

Males Female Sig. Level Baptist Catholic Christian Other Sig. Level

(N=7) (N=20) (N=7) (N=4) (N=5) (N=11)

2.71

2.20

.284

2.57

2.75

2.00

2.18

.674

Phobic

2.71

2.35

.456

2.86

2.50

2.40

2.18

.668

Antag

2.71

3.90

.013

3.57

3.00

3.40

3.91

.566

Friendly

3.29

3.85

.294

3.14

3.25

3.80

4.18

.287

Know

2.14

3.05

.156

2.14

2.50

2.80

3.36

.363

Friends

4.29

3.65

.152

4.14

4.50

4.20

3.18

.040

Jokes

4.00

2.95

.030

3.43

3.75

3.80

2.64

.137

Group

3.71

2.50

.035

2.86

3.25

3.40

2.36

.468

Alone

3.29

3.65

.546

4.00

3.50

3.40

3.36

.804

Waste

4.43

3.00

.019

4.00

4.00

3.80

2.55

.087

Chooses

3.43

2.55

.147

3.86

2.00

3.20

2.18

.030

Change

4.43

3.80

.224

4.57

4.00

4.20

3.45

.241

M-Kiss

3.29

3.80

.378

4.00

4.00

3.20

3.55

.715

F-Kiss

4.13

3.55

.295

3.86

4.00

4.00

3.36

.731

NotSee

1.29

2.05

.127

1.57

1.75

2.20

1.91

.829

AskOut


MEAN

Rural Suburban Urban Significance

(N=14) (N=9) (N=4) Level

2.36

2.33

2.25

.986

Phobic

2.29

2.44

3.00

.528

Antag

3.93

3.22

3.25

.279

Friendly

3.79

3.67

3.50

.916

Know

3.21

2.67

1.75

.191

Friends

4.00

3.56

3.75

.596

Jokes

3.21

3.33

3.00

.892

Group

2.43

3.44

2.75

.207

Alone

3.86

3.44

2.75

.343

Waste

3.29

3.11

4.25

.404

Chooses

3.07

2.33

2.75

.467

Change

4.21

3.56

4.00

.429

M-Kiss

3.93

3.56

3.00

.448

F-Kiss

3.71

3.44

4.25

.588

NotSee

2.00

1.89

1.25

.521

AskOut


DISCUSSION
The results seem to show a difference in attitude between males and females, and Protestants and non-Protestants. It appears to support my hypothesis that males and Protestants seem to be more homophobic or act more unkindly toward homosexuals. I find these results understandable considering the pressure on males to be "macho" and the Protestant boycott of Disney concerning the homosexual issue.

Contrary to my expectation, I found no significant differences in the area a person came from and their attitudes toward homosexuals. This could be due to the limited sample size or other factors that I am unaware of. I think my ideas have changed on this matter though. Though people from rural areas may not be confronted with the issue as much as urban dwellers (making them more afraid because they don’t know both sides), there is a lot of hatred within cities as well. I agree with my findings that one would not find a significant difference between the two.

I think that it would be interesting to further develop this study with a larger sample size with a wider variation of backgrounds and sexual preferences. I believe that it could actually be broken down into smaller areas to test the correlation between different aspects of the survey, such as, how homophobic a person feels he/she is and how they actually treat homosexuals.

Submitted 12/14/98 2:03:06 PM
Last Edited 12/14/98 3:17:01 PM
Converted to New Site 03/09/2009

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