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Actual and Anticipated Societal Reaction to Homosexuality and Adjustment in Two Societies

Michael W. Ross
The Journal of Sex Research
Vol. 21, No. 1 (Feb., 1985), pp. 40-55
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3812309
Page Count: 16
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Actual and Anticipated Societal Reaction to Homosexuality and Adjustment in Two Societies
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Abstract

The relationship between actual societal reaction (SR) and putative societal reaction (PSR) to homosexuality was investigated in two cultures, Sweden and Australia, which were similar with regard to socio-economic factors but dissimilar with regard to attitudes toward homosexuality. It was predicted that there would be no correlation between SR and PSR, that there would be differences between the two countries on PSR but not SR, and that these dimensions of societal reaction would be confirmed by factor analysis. One hundred seventy-six Swedish and 163 Australian homosexual males were administered scales measuring the actual or expected reaction to individuals or classes of individuals. They also responded to questionnaire items measuring acceptance of their homosexuality. Results indicated that there was a different direction of relationship between SR and PSR for each country and that there were significant differences between the two cultures on PSR but not SR, indicating that PSR is probably the critical variable measuring differences in adjustment as a result of societal pressures. PSR was also related to several factors measuring psychological adjustment. The findings have implications with regard to mechanisms underlying societal reaction in homosexual men and their influence on psychological adjustment and the factorial basis of societal reaction and its measurement.

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