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ERIC Number: ED378576
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Nov
Pages: 10
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Responses of Gay and Straight Readers to YA Novels about Homosexuality.
Smith, Dean R.
If the basic idea behind multicultural education is to teach students to understand, appreciate, and accept people who are different, then educators may need to broaden the scope of who is included as a minority. They may need to include discussions about sexual orientation. A study involving seven female and four male adolescents--five of whom were gay--attempted to determine the extent to which the reading and discussion of young adult literature about homosexuality affects attitudes about sexual orientation. All 11 participants completed an entrance survey that asked questions pertaining to their feelings about homosexuality; then, they each read and responded to two young adult books about homosexuality; finally they met for a 90-minute discussion that was taped. Results showed that reading and discussing literature serves as a catalyst to changing attitudes both for homosexual and heterosexual students. One heterosexual writes of a character from "Reflections of a Rock Lobster, "I think that Aaron's experience brought to light something I previously refused to believe --that I did have prejudices that were strong. However, I used to only think of prejudices as color and culture differences." Finally, discussion of issues related to homosexuality revealed a flaw in the study itself. It is difficult for students to ask sincere, probing questions about personal matters in a group setting. (Contains 11 references and a student survey on homosexuality.) (TB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A