ERIC Number: ED414793
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997
Reference Count: N/A
Attitudes of Heterosexual Students toward Their Gay Male and Lesbian Peers. Research Report #3-95.
Engstrom, Catherine McHugh; Sedlacek, William E.
This study examined heterosexual college students attitudes toward gay men and lesbians, and in what types of situations were negative feelings expressed toward gay men and lesbians. A random sample of 224 residence hall students at the University of Maryland College Park completed the Situational Attitude Scale Sexual Orientation Survey, which includes questions based on 10 personal, social, and academically oriented situations. Three versions of the survey were randomly distributed, identical except that questions in Form A referred to "student," Form B referred to "gay male student," and Form C referred to "lesbian student." The study found that heterosexual male and female students reported more negative attitudes toward both gay males and lesbians than toward students whose sexual orientation was not disclosed, with deeper homophobic feelings held by male students than female students toward gay men. The magnitude of discomfort felt by heterosexual students toward gay males and lesbians varied across situations, but all students felt outrage when a gay male, lesbian, or student whose sexual orientation was not specified was physically assaulted. The results indicated that even the simplest of social interactions with gay male or lesbian students might elicit feelings of anxiety and concern among heterosexual students. (Contains 39 references.) (MDM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Maryland Univ., College Park. Counseling Center.