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College students' attitudes toward gays and lesbians.

A HIGH LEVEL OF antigay bias, both in the larger population and the helping professions in particular, is a significant problem considering the proportion of the population that identifies as gay, lesbian, or bisexual (GLB (Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act) Enacted in 1999 and effective in mid 2001, the GLB stipulates that every financial institution shall protect the security and confidentiality of its customers' confidential personal information. ). Data analysis for The National Survey from Family Growth (2002) indicates that 4.1% of those who are 18-45 self-identified as GLB. Using this finding along with data compiled from the 2000 U.S. Census and the American Community Survey, Gates (2006) estimates that approximately 8.8 million gay males, lesbians, or bisexuals live in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. . Based on the census data from 2000, approximately 601,209 same-sex couples live in the United States (Smith & Gates, 2001), spread over 99.3% of all counties. More than 150,000 of these same-sex couples are raising children, of which there are approximately a quarter-million altogether (Witeck & Gates, 2004). It is plausible these estimates may not accurately reflect the true population, as many individuals may feel uncomfortable revealing their sexual orientation sexual orientation
The direction of one's sexual interest toward members of the same, opposite, or both sexes, especially a direction seen to be dictated by physiologic rather than sociologic forces.
 in a survey (Gates, 2006). Nonetheless, the makeup and distribution of the gay and lesbian population sheds light on the particular importance in addressing antigay biases in college students majoring in the helping professions (Crisp, 2006). Once these students begin practicing, they will likely encounter gay or lesbian clients at some point, regardless of their particular practice venue.

Research in this substantive area indicates that a number of key individual factors appear to be correlated with high levels of antigay biases. It has been found that religiosity re·li·gi·os·i·ty  
1. The quality of being religious.

2. Excessive or affected piety.

Noun 1. religiosity - exaggerated or affected piety and religious zeal
religiousism, pietism, religionism
 is positively correlated with negative attitudes toward gays and lesbians (Cotton-Huston & Waite, 2000; Hinrichs & Rosenberg, 2002; Johnson, Brems, & Alford-Keating, 1997), whereas at least one study has found age to be negatively correlated (Johnson et al., 1997). Region of the country appears to have a relationship with antigay bias in that a correlation has been found between persons who are from the Midwest or the South and higher levels of sexual prejudice when compared to those from other regions of the country (Barth & Overby, 2003; Cramer, Oles, & Black, 1997). Similarly, type of childhood setting also shows some correlations; those from rural settings had higher levels of antigay bias (Snively, Kreuger, Stretch, Watt, & Chadha, 2004). A relationship has also been observed between lack of contact with gay or lesbian individuals and negative attitudes toward gays and lesbians (Barth & Overby, 2003; Berkman & Zinberg, 1997; Cramer et al., 1997; Hinrichs & Rosenberg, 2002). Moreover, gender appears to be a predictor of antigay biases (Ben-Ari, 1998; Cramer et al., 1997; Hinrichs & Rosenberg, 2002), and studies have found that male heterosexuals are more biased against gay men than are lesbians (Cramer et al., 1997). In at least one study, African Americans were found to have higher levels of sexual prejudice (Cramer et al., 1997), but Herek and Capitanio's (1999) national survey found that negative attitudes toward gays and lesbians were not more prevalent among African Americans.

Many different hypotheses have been posited to explain biases toward sexual minorities. Lack of positive contact with gays or lesbians (Lance, 1994; Miller, Smith, & Mackie, 2004), belief that sexual orientation is a choice (Hegarty, 2002), adherence to traditional gender roles (Newman, 2007), religious conservatism (Malcomnson, Christopher, Franzen, & Keyes, 2006), and latent homosexuality latent homosexuality
A sexual tendency toward members of the same sex that is not consciously recognized or not expressed overtly.

latent homosexuality Unconsciously repressed homosexuality.
 (Adams, Wright, & Lohr, 1996) are included among these theories. Similar to other biases, it is most likely determined by multiple factors (Crandall & Eshleman, 2003) and may be receptive to change with the application of pedagogical ped·a·gog·ic   also ped·a·gog·i·cal
1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of pedagogy.

2. Characterized by pedantic formality: a haughty, pedagogic manner.
 intervention specifically designed to address the problem (Cramer et al., 1997).

Pedagogical Interventions

Ben-Ari (1998) states that "homophobia homophobia Psychology An irrationally negative attitude toward those with homosexual orientation, or toward becoming homosexual. See Closet, Gay-bashing, Heterosexism. Cf Gay, Homosexual, Phobia.  can be confronted in at least three ways: exploring one's history, learning the facts, and getting to know lesbians and gay men" (p. 62). Cramer et al. (1997) note that attitude change is best accomplished by providing comprehensive information on the subject and positive exposure to the population that is under discussion. This approach is referred to as the information-Plus-exposure model, and applied in this context, it delineates an educational unit on homosexuality with topic-specific readings plus interaction with or exposure to gay men and/or lesbians (Cramer et al., 1997). Although pedagogical interventions show promising results for attitudinal change in college students, a dearth of current studies exist in the literature; hence, the review that follows includes studies from the 1980s through 2006. Interaction with and exposure to gays and lesbians as a classroom intervention has taken many forms: gay and lesbian panel presentation (Black, Oles, Cramer, & Bennett, 1999; Chng & Moore, 1991; Cotton-Huston & Waite, 2000; Green, Dixon, & GoldNeil, 1993; Lance, 1987; Nelson & Krieger, 1997), video or other media presentations (Cotton-Huston & Waite, 2000; Walters, 1994), gay or lesbian guest speakers (Cramer et al., 1997), role playing role playing,
n in behavioral medicine, learning exercise in which individuals assume characters different from their own. The individual may also be asked to simulate a particularly difficult situation and apply the characteristics that are common to his
 (Cramer et al., 1997; Serdahely & Ziemba, 1984), case studies (Cramer et al., 1997), and self-disclosure by the instructor of his or her sexual orientation as gay or lesbian (Cramer, 1997; Dongvillo & Ligon, 2001; Waldo & Kemp, 1997).

Studies that have explored change in negative attitudes toward gays and lesbians using a course in human sexuality This article is about human sexual perceptions. For information about sexual activities and practices, see Human sexual behavior.
Generally speaking, human sexuality is how people experience and express themselves as sexual beings.
 have shown mixed results. Patton and Mannison (1993) found statistically significant changes in antigay bias, but Iyriboz and Carter (1986) did not. It is important to note that in these two studies the intervention was primarily focused on the dissemination of information. Adding the exposure aspect of the intervention to a human sexuality course may influence the results. For example, Serdahely and Ziemba (1984) incorporated dyadic Two. Refers to two components being used.

(programming) dyadic - binary (describing an operator).

Compare monadic.
 role-playing and small group discussion into their human sexuality course and found statistically significant changes in negative attitudes.

The exposure aspect of this model is strikingly similar to the empirical findings that support contact theory. According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 the basic tenets of contact theory, prejudice and stereotyping can be defeated via intergroup in·ter·group  
Being or occurring between two or more social groups: intergroup relations; intergroup violence. 
 contact (Lance, 2002). Research indicates that homophobia is lower in those who have had personal contact with someone who is gay or lesbian (Cramer et al., 1997). It is essential, however, that the contact between groups is positive in nature; otherwise, prejudices can be strengthened instead of defeated (Lance, 2002). Positive contact will thus facilitate the process of identification, through which preconceived pre·con·ceive  
tr.v. pre·con·ceived, pre·con·ceiv·ing, pre·con·ceives
To form (an opinion, for example) before possessing full or adequate knowledge or experience.
 notions are challenged by the similarities between individual intergroup members (Lance, 2002). A positive exposure to gays and lesbians functions as a representation for an actual experience with a gay or lesbian individual (Croteau & Kusek, 1992). A sense of understanding and a positive valuation are cognitively and emotionally dissonant dis·so·nant  
1. Harsh and inharmonious in sound; discordant.

2. Being at variance; disagreeing.

3. Music Constituting or producing a dissonance.
 with biases and hostility, therefore facilitating a reduction in tendencies toward prejudice (Lance, 2002).

Most reports on intervention studies intervention studies, the epidemiologic investigations designed to test a hypothesized cause and effect relation by modifying the supposed causal factor(s) in the study population.
 addressing antigay bias in a college student population do not explicitly characterize their intervention as the information-plus-exposure model; however, the approach that the researchers employ implicitly follows this basic model. Statistically significant findings using this model are not uncommon in the literature (Bassett & Day, 2003; Ben-Ari, 1998; Cramer et al., 1997; Green et al., 1993; Hylton, 2006; Lance, 1987; Nelson & Krieger, 1997; Patton & Mannison, 1993; Serdahely & Ziemba, 1984; Waldo & Kemp, 1997; Walters, 1994). Table 1 provides an overview of selected studies in this substantive area and their findings.

The purpose of this study was to determine whether an information-plus-exposure intervention would have an influence on heterosexual students' attitudes toward gays and lesbians, using an updated measure. Additional goals were to explore whether different kinds of exposure interventions produced different results, whether the scores were associated with a variety of variables found in the literature, and particularly whether social work students scored differently from other students.


An Institutional Review Board approved pretest-posttest research design was employed to collect survey data from a convenience sample of students enrolled in Human Sexuality courses offered in a large southeastern university. One undergraduate and one graduate section were offered each semester, and data were collected from fall 2004 through spring 2006. Class size averaged 20-30 students, and although students indicated a range of majors, the majority reported a helping profession (e.g., social work, psychology) or an education program.

A standardized syllabus was used across sections of the Human Sexuality course. Graduate students received advanced information, but the course requirements were similar for both the undergraduate and graduate sections. Four instructors taught sections of the classes, and syllabi syl·la·bi  
A plural of syllabus.
 and assignments were developed through a collaborative effort. The main source for required readings was derived from a popular textbook (Crooks & Baur, 2004), which promotes a bio-psycho-social approach to understanding sexuality over the lifespan and includes content on diversity, interpersonal romantic and sexual relationships, and problems related to sexuality such as dysfunction, disease, and interpersonal violence.

The course was designed to be highly interactive and promoted an environment of critical inquiry in three areas of course objectives. To assist students in acquiring knowledge that would benefit professional practice, lectures and discussions focused on a comprehensive set of topics including sexual development within the life-cycle framework, sexual needs and expressions of sexually oppressed groups such as older adults or persons with disabilities, sexual identity, reproduction, and sexually transmitted diseases Sexually transmitted diseases

Infections that are acquired and transmitted by sexual contact. Although virtually any infection may be transmitted during intimate contact, the term sexually transmitted disease is restricted to conditions that are largely
. To go beyond simple acquisition of knowledge, course objectives focused on attitudes and values. Through class discussion and an initial and final paper covering beliefs about sexuality, instructors strived to provide opportunities for students to enhance their self-awareness for personal development as well as advance cultural competence cultural competence Social medicine The ability to understand, appreciate, and interact with persons from cultures and/or belief systems other than one's own . To increase undergraduate and graduate students' comfort in discussing issues related to sexuality with future clients, students gave 15-minute presentations about a broad range of topics (e.g., sex work, coming out as gay or lesbian, female circumcision circumcision (sûr'kəmsĭzh`ən), operation to remove the foreskin covering the glans of the penis. It dates back to prehistoric times and was widespread throughout the Middle East as a religious rite before it was introduced among the , sexual dysfunction sexual dysfunction

Inability to experience arousal or achieve sexual satisfaction under ordinary circumstances, as a result of psychological or physiological problems.
, incest, rape, paraphilias, etc.). In addition, class readings and discussions focused on integrating theoretical knowledge with practice techniques when working with clients who present with sexual issues or to advocate for vulnerable populations.

Sexual orientation was one of about 15 topic areas covered in this course; however, issues related to gays and lesbians were infused throughout the other subject matters. For example, instructors would discuss the implications of rape in terms of both heterosexuals and gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered/questioning (GLBTQ GLBTQ Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer
GLBTQ Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, Questioning
) persons. All classes incorporated lecture and discussion of sexual orientation, and all instructors incorporated an additional exposure intervention. Three instructors included a gay and lesbian peer panel or guest speakers, and the other instructor disclosed his sexual orientation.

A paper-and-pencil survey was given during the first hour of the first class, and the posttest post·test  
A test given after a lesson or a period of instruction to determine what the students have learned.
 was given during the last class of each semester. A combination of verbal and written informed consent was used, and students were informed that their participation was not a condition of the course. The survey took approximately 25 minutes to complete, and students developed their own idiosyncratic id·i·o·syn·cra·sy  
n. pl. id·i·o·syn·cra·sies
1. A structural or behavioral characteristic peculiar to an individual or group.

2. A physiological or temperamental peculiarity.

 identification code, so their identities could not be linked to their responses.

The instrument package contained a number of standardized measures that inquired about students' attitudes and beliefs regarding a variety of issues related to human sexuality, but not about their own personal behavior. Only the pretest and posttest of the Index of Attitudes Toward Homosexuality (IAH IAH Institute for Animal Health (UK)
IAH International Association of Hydrogeologists
IAH International Association of Hypno-Analysts
IAH International Association of Hydrologists
IAH Is Anybody Home?
) along with demographic questions were used for this analysis.


Demographics. Students self-reported demographic information. Age was grouped into categories: 18-20, 21-22, 23-24, 25-30, and 31 and over. Dichotomous di·chot·o·mous  
1. Divided or dividing into two parts or classifications.

2. Characterized by dichotomy.

 demographic variables included gender (male/female), ethnicity (Hispanic/non-Hispanic), social work major (yes/no), and membership in a fraternity or sorority sorority: see fraternity.  (yes/no). Race was reported as American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American African American Multiculture A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa. See Race. , Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander Pacific Islander
1. A native or inhabitant of any of the Polynesian, Micronesian, or Melanesian islands of Oceania.

2. A person of Polynesian, Micronesian, or Melanesian descent. See Usage Note at Asian.
, and White, but for the group analyses it was dichotomized into White and non-White. Sexual identity responses included gay/lesbian, straight, bisexual and transgendered, but only those participants who self-identified as heterosexual at both pretest and posttest were included in this analysis. The decision to exclude GLBT GLBT Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered  individuals lies in the construction of the IAH, which is designed

to measure heterosexual attitudes toward gays and lesbians. Additional items requested information about year in college, religious affiliation, frequency of attendance at religious services, marital status marital status,
n the legal standing of a person in regard to his or her marriage state.
, and having children. All these demographic variables were included because they regularly appear in studies of college students and would be valuable in analyses of heterosexual attitudes toward gays and lesbians.

IAH. The IAH asks respondents to rate 25 items using a 5-point Likert scale Likert scale A subjective scoring system that allows a person being surveyed to quantify likes and preferences on a 5-point scale, with 1 being the least important, relevant, interesting, most ho-hum, or other, and 5 being most excellent, yeehah important, etc  (1=strongly agree to 5=strongly disagree). For our study the response options were expanded to 6 possible choices (1=strongly agree, 2=agree, 3=slightly agree, 4=slightly disagree, 5=disagree, 6=strongly disagree). This 6-item response strategy eliminates the neutral response that is often found among instruments measuring socially undesirable attitudes. Scores are then summed after reverse scoring 8 items, and higher scores represent more negative attitudes. The IAH includes items such as "I would feel comfortable working closely with a male homosexual" and "It would disturb me to find out that my doctor was homosexual" (reverse scored; Hudson & Ricketts, 1980, p. 361).

Because measures are sample dependent, and because this measure had not recently been tested on university students, an exploratory factor analysis was conducted on the IAH to examine its construct validity construct validity,
n the degree to which an experimentally-determined definition matches the theoretical definition.
. First, the data were examined for normality, and 4 items were eliminated that were highly skewed and kurtotic. Second, a correlation analysis revealed 1 item with a weak correlation to all the items, and it was eliminated. Third, the factor analysis was completed, and the number of possible factors was estimated by examining the scree plot and the eigenvalues eigenvalues

statistical term meaning latent root.
. Conceptually, the items appeared to cluster into two categories--cognitive responses to social distance and affective responses to attraction or advances. Two additional items were eliminated because they double loaded on both factors. The final measure suggested by this data analysis was a 19-item measure with two subscales (cognitive/social distance subscale and an affective / attraction advances scale; for complete information see Siebert, Chonody, Rutledge, & Killian, 2008). The summed score yields a range from 19 to 114. Reliability for the IAH is excellent with a Cronbach's alpha Cronbach's (alpha) has an important use as a measure of the reliability of a psychometric instrument. It was first named as alpha by Cronbach (1951), as he had intended to continue with further instruments.  of .92 for the entire measure, .91 for the cognitive/ social distance subscale, and .73 for the affective / attraction subscale.

Data Analyses

SPSS A statistical package from SPSS, Inc., Chicago ( that runs on PCs, most mainframes and minis and is used extensively in marketing research. It provides over 50 statistical processes, including regression analysis, correlation and analysis of variance.  14.0 was used for the data analysis. After the data were cleaned and entered, summary variables were created and checked for missing data. As a result of either a missing pre- or posttest, 104 cases were eliminated, and an additional 4 cases were also excluded because of one or more missing values In statistics, missing values are a common occurrence. Several statistical methods have been developed to deal with this problem. Missing values mean that no data value is stored for the variable in the current observation.  on the IAH. We removed 27 cases because the participants identified as GLBT on the pretest, and another 7 cases because individuals who identified as heterosexual at pretest identified as GLBT at posttest. From the original 353 cases, 211 were included in the final data analysis. Data were screened for assumptions violations. Next, a paired samples t test was used to determine whether significant change occurred between pretest and posttest scores on the IAH and its subscales. Analysis of variance was conducted on demographic variables to explore group differences.



Data analysis was based on pre- and posttest responses of 112 (53%) undergraduate students and 98 (47%) graduate students. Social work students comprised 45%, and 55% were from other disciplines (i.e., education, humanities, and human sciences). Fraternity/sorority membership was reported by 33 participants (15.7%). Students were predominately female (89%), under 25 years of age (73%), in a committed relationship A committed relationship is an interpersonal relationship based upon a mutually agreed upon commitment to one another involving exclusivity, honesty, or some other agreed upon behavior.  (58%), and childless (90%). No religious affiliation was reported by 49 participants (23%), and 110 (52%) reported that they did not attend religious services. A rural upbringing was indicated by 12 participants (5.7%), whereas 152 (72.7%) were raised in either a suburban or an urban area.

Index of Attitudes Toward Homosexuals

The mean score on the pretest of the IAH total score (55.43) and its subscales (19.20, 33.68) indicate that the sample as a whole had moderately negative attitudes toward gays and lesbians; see Table 2 for more complete information. (To be clear to readers, we report findings about attitudes toward gays and lesbians and do not broaden these findings to include bisexual, transgender, or questioning individuals because the scale was not specified for such persons.) At posttest, scores for the IAH total (52.76) and both subscales (17.86, 32.14) decreased slightly but significantly. Several group differences were found for change scores. Male respondents had a statistically significant decrease in negative attitudes at posttest. Participants who were married or in committed relationships also had an overall decrease in antigay bias. Those participants with children had a statistically significant increase in negative attitudes on the affective / attraction advances subscale. Comparison of change scores by the exposure technique (panel presentations vs. instructor disclosure of sexual orientation) used during the course did not yield support for any significant difference. There were also no group differences by race/ethnicity, religious affiliation, attendance at religious services, Greek affiliation, social work major, year in college, setting of childhood upbringing, or father's/mother's level of education. Table 3 provides a comprehensive summary of change scores.


Limitations to this study include the use of a convenience sample of students who may be more open to learning about human sexuality issues. The Human Sexuality course is an elective at both the undergraduate and graduate level, but graduate students may have an additional imperative to complete the course. Graduate level practitioners in some helping professions are required to prove completion of a human sexuality course to meet state licensing requirements. Another potential limitation is not asking participants whether they have had previous contact with GLBTQ persons. It would be beneficial to know whether those who have had relationships with a person who is part of a sexual minority group had less negative attitudes than those who did not at the start of this course.

Internal validity Internal validity is a form of experimental validity [1]. An experiment is said to possess internal validity if it properly demonstrates a causal relation between two variables [2] [3].  of the study was not likely threatened by either history or maturation. While data were collected, no university-specific extraneous events that would have had an undue influence on students' attitudes regarding proximal contact with gays or lesbians occurred. However, a great deal of antigay discourse was generated prior to national elections held during the fall 2004 semester, and legislation was adopted in 13 states to ban same-sex marriage Noun 1. same-sex marriage - two people of the same sex who live together as a family; "the legal status of same-sex marriages has been hotly debated"
couple, twosome, duet, duo - a pair who associate with one another; "the engaged couple"; "an inseparable
 that year (this did not include the university's home state).

Notwithstanding these historical events, no differences were detected on the IAH or its subscales from semester to semester. Although students mature intellectually and socially as part of the college experience, it is unlikely personal maturation affected the results. However, to guard against potential maturation bias, seven cases were excluded from the analyses wherein students identified as heterosexual at pretest and gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender at posttest.

Although response bias is always possible in research involving students because they may feel compelled to "improve" to please the instructor, changing antigay attitudes was not a stated goal of the course. Thus, it is unlikely students felt coerced to alter their responses on attitudinal measures to receive higher grades for the course or impact the findings in a positive or negative way. The anonymity of the surveys provided further protection against this threat. Students in the cohorts in which the instructor came out to the class may have felt a different sort of pressure either to conform to Verb 1. conform to - satisfy a condition or restriction; "Does this paper meet the requirements for the degree?"
fit, meet

coordinate - be co-ordinated; "These activities coordinate well"
 please the instructor or for fear that the instructor might examine their questionnaires. Although there were no statistically significant differences among the various cohorts, this remains a possibility for some individual respondents. Thus, the panel presentation or a gay/lesbian guest speaker may be a better approach to test the exposure intervention because these individuals would have less influence on the response bias that could be associated with instructor self-disclosure. Moreover, the panel presentation allows for greater diversity because it typically includes several members with different experiences, both gays and lesbians can be included, and ideally the panel members are peers, which helps to facilitate the connection and hopefully the reduction of antigay bias.

Reliability of treatment implementation is unknown because fidelity to the instructional materials could not be measured. However, discussion among instructors suggested a great deal of consistency across sections of the course--a standardized syllabus and a common textbook and assignments were used. Lack of difference in IAH scores among different instructors provides further support for treatment fidelity. Although course evaluations are unlikely to be reliable proxies for fidelity checks, publicly available course evaluations indicated each instructor was well-received across sections, descriptions of course objectives and assignments were clearly articulated, and instructors' respect and concern for students was high. Further, the courses likely provided an affirming environment as 7 students who identified as heterosexual at pretest identified as GLBT at posttest.

Although the IAH has psychometrically sound properties, it does have drawbacks. Namely, the language used in the items is outdated; for example, the measure references "homosexuals" instead of the contemporary terminology of "gay and lesbian." Secondly, the IAH does not separate responses according to attitudes toward gay men and lesbians and instead offers global scores. Because significant differences with regard to attitudes are possible, separate measurement can be informative. Future research endeavors may include additional measures to address these drawbacks. Moreover, an intervention study that includes measures of bias against bisexuals and transgendered people would fill a major gap in the literature.

Few group differences were found, perhaps because the small sample size may not have allowed identification of differences that, in fact, may have been present. It is also plausible that the lack of group differences may be explained by the makeup of the sample, predominantly young, female participants majoring in the helping professions. These sample characteristics coupled with their moderate level of antigay bias at pretest may account for the lack of differences. Increasing the sample size and addressing some other limitations discussed above would provide additional understanding about the degree to which pedagogical approaches can affect antigay biases in college students.

The significant decrease in scores on the IAH and its subscales, despite the power issues, is encouraging. The findings concerning the higher level of negative attitudes about gays and lesbians among male participants and the subsequent decrease is consistent with findings reported elsewhere. The small number of males in the study is problematic but remains an ongoing issue when researching the attitudes of students who are majoring in the helping professions. The reduction in negative attitudes among those who are married or in a committed relationship is an interesting finding. It may be that students in this group discussed various issues related to sexuality with their partners and this positively influenced their attitudes toward gays and lesbians. Further research is warranted to explore this possibility. The increase in antigay bias on the affective subscale for those students who have children is also an unusual finding. The sample size is quite small for this group, but it may be that parents' concerns about their own children were reflected in their responses to items designed to measure feeling.

It is surprising that group differences were not found for either religious affiliation or attendance at religious services. It may be that religiosity is not adequately measured by these two questions and that the items included in the questionnaire did not identify those who adhere strictly to their religious beliefs. For future research endeavors a specific religiosity measure that better examines how respondents' religious beliefs influence their social opinions may be able to identify those subtleties that can make a difference in terms of an individual's antigay biases.

Not surprisingly, scores for social work students were not significantly different from those of students majoring in other professions. Their moderate level of antigay bias at pretest remained in this range at posttest. Professional values and ethics make it imperative that biases are addressed in a more comprehensive manner and lend support to the importance of the research in this area.

It is encouraging that a survey course on human sexuality--one that focuses on a broad range of topics including sexual orientation-appears to have an affect on improving attitudes toward gays and lesbians. In addition, the lack of significant differences in change scores by instructor is encouraging. This suggests that negative attitudes toward gays and lesbians can be addressed by a variety of instructors--regardless of sexual orientation-with different teaching styles. The key to change may lie in the coupling of didactic di·dac·tic
Of or relating to medical teaching by lectures or textbooks as distinguished from clinical demonstration with patients.
 information with an exposure intervention, regardless of the particular type of exposure technique that is employed. A comparison group using only the information portion of the intervention would provide additional insights into the impact of the exposure component on students' attitudes.

Further exploration of pedagogical interventions is needed if instructors are going to influence negative attitudes of college students toward gays and lesbians. Clear guidelines on implementing exposure techniques are warranted as well as establishing a core foundation for the instructional portion of the intervention. Future plans also should include developing tools to assess fidelity of content and teaching implementation, which will be useful for other researchers interested in replication and dissemination to educators. Given the profession's values, educators should examine the influence of their pedagogical approaches on students' attitudes toward GLBTQ and other vulnerable or oppressed groups to ascertain whether their teaching styles are effective.

Accepted: 01/09


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A sharp, narrow mountain ridge or spur.

[French, from Old French areste, fishbone, spine, from Late Latin arista, awn, fishbone, from Latin, awn.
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Jill M. Chonody

Temple University

Darcy Clay Darcy Clay (real name Daniel Bolton) was an Auckland, New Zealand singer/songwriter, who was made famous in 1997 for his minor hit, "Jesus I Was Evil", in which he recorded all instruments in his bedroom on a 4-Track recorder.  Siebert

Rutgers University Rutgers University, main campus at New Brunswick, N.J.; land-grant and state supported; coeducational except for Douglass College; chartered 1766 as Queen's College, opened 1771. Campuses and Facilities

Rutgers maintains three campuses.

Scott Edward Rutledge Edward Rutledge (November 23, 1749–January 23, 1800), South Carolina statesman, was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and later governor of South Carolina.

Like his eldest brother Johnanathan Rutledge, Edward was born in Charleston.

Temple University

Jill M. Chonody is assistant professor at Temple University. Darcy Clay Siebert is associate professor at Rutgers University. Scott Edward Rutledge is assistant professor at Temple University.

Address correspondence to Jill M. Chonody, 1301 Cecil B. Moore Cecil Bassett Moore (1915 – 1979) was a Philadelphia lawyer and activist during the U.S. Civil Rights movement in the 1960s.

Born in West Virginia, Moore served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II.
 Avenue, Ritter rit·ter  
n. pl. ritter
A knight.

[German, from Middle High German riter, from Middle Dutch ridder, from r
 Annex Fifth Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19122-6091; e-mail:
Table 1. Selected Intervention Articles

                                            Model/       Significant
Author / Intervention                    Perspectives      Change?

Bassett & Day (2003). Infusion of
  information in a required                 I (b)            Yes
  graduate course
Ben-Ari (1998). Enrollment in             I + E (b)          Yes
  elective course on homosexuality
Black, Oles, Cramer, & Bennett (1999).
  Gay/lesbian panel presentation            E (b)            No
Chng & Moore (1991). Gay/lesbian            E (b)            No
  panel presentation
Cotton-Huston & Waite (2000). Panel
  discussion OR video presentation
  on homosexuality                          E (b)            No
Cramer (1997). Disclosure of sexual         I + E            No
  orientation of instructor
Cramer, Oles, & Black (1997).
  Skit involving lesbian teen, case
  study and discussion related to
  coming out, lesbian guest speaker,
  OR guest speaker who works with
  gay and lesbian clients                   I + E            Yes
Dongvillo & Ligon (2001). Disclosure
  of sexual orientation of instructor     I + E (b)          No
Green, Dixon, & Gold-Neil (1993).
  Gay/lesbian panel presentation            E (b)            Yes
Hylton (2006). Enrollment in elective       I (b)            Yes
  course on homosexuality
Iyriboz & Carter (1986). Human              I (b)            No
  sexuality course content
Lance (1987). "Exposure to and
  interaction with homosexuals"
  (p. 332; similar to a gay/                E (b)            Yes
  lesbian panel presentation)
Nelson & Krieger (1997). Gay/               E (b)            Yes
  lesbian peer panel
Patton & Mannison (1993). Human             I (b)            Yes
  sexuality course content
Serdahely & Ziemba (1984). Role
  playing and small group discussion      I + E (b)          Yes
Waldo & Kemp (1997). Instructor           I + E (b)          Yes
  self-disclosure as gay / lesbian
Walters (1994). "Media presentation
  of the depiction of
  homosexuality in film" (p. 96)          I + E (b)          Yes

(a) I=information only; I + E=information plus exposure;
E=exposure only.

(b) Not explicitly stated.

Table 2. Mean Scores on the Index of Attitudes Toward Homosexuality
(IAH) and Subscales

Scale (N=211)           Mean     SD      SE     T     df      p

IAH pretest             55.43   18.08
IAH posttest            52.76   16.66
IAH change score         2.67    8.74   0.60   4.43   210   <0.001
Affective/attraction    19.20    5.11
  factor pretest
Affective/attraction    17.86    5.07
  factor posttest
Affective/attraction     1.35    4.24   0.29   4.61   210   <0.001
  factor change score
Cognitive / social      33.68   13.64
  distance factor
Cognitive / social      32.14   12.48
  distance factor
Cognitive / social       1.55    7.17   0.49   3.13   210     .002
  distance factor
  change score

Table 3. One-Way Analysis of Variance of Group Differences
on Index of Attitudes Toward Homosexuals (IAH) Scale

Variable                n       M       F     DF     p

Sex--IAH Mean Change Score

Male                    23    6.13    4.16   1.04
Female                 186    2.20

Sex--Cognitive/Social Distance Mean Change Score

Male                    24    4.20    3.83   1.05
Female                 189    1.20

Sex--Affective/Attraction Advances Mean Change Score

Male                    24    2.17    1.04   1      .31
Female                 189    1.23

Relationship--IAH Mean Change Score

Single, separated,      89    1.15    4.71   1      .03
  divorced, other
Married or committed   121    3.78

Relationship--Cognitive/Social Distance Mean
Change Score

Single, separated,      92    0.72    2.20   1.14
  divorced, other
Married or committed   122    2.19

Relationship--Affective/Attraction Advances Mean
Change Score

Single, separated,      92    0.63   0.462   1.03
  divorced, other
Married or committed   122    1.87

Children--IAH Mean Score Change

Has no children        189    2.71    0.07   1      .80
Has children            21    2.19

Children--Cognitive/Social Distance Mean Change Score

Has no children        192    1.29    2.67   1      .10
Has children            22    3.91

Children--Affective/Attraction Advances Mean
Change Score

Has no children        192    1.60    7.40   1      .01
Has children            22   -0.95

Note. Statistically nonsignificant group differences
(p>.05): Race, religious affiliation, religious service
attendance, age, social work major, fraternity /sorority
membership, years in college, father's education level,
mother's education level, setting when growing up.
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Author:Chonody, Jill M.; Siebert, Darcy Clay; Rutledge, Scott Edward
Publication:Journal of Social Work Education
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 22, 2009
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