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Comparisons among Homophobic Reactions of Undergraduates, High School Students, and Young Offenders

Paul Van de Ven
The Journal of Sex Research
Vol. 31, No. 2 (1994), pp. 117-124
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3812752
Page Count: 8
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Comparisons among Homophobic Reactions of Undergraduates, High School Students, and Young Offenders
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Abstract

To re-examine the relationships among gender, age, education, and anti-homosexual prejudice, homophobic reactions of undergraduates (n = 97), high school students (n = 40), and young offenders (n = 37) were compared on five variables: cognition (Modified Attitudes Toward Homosexuality Scale, Price, 1982); homophobic guilt, homophobic anger, and delight (Affective Reactions to Homosexuality Scale, Van de Ven, Bornholt, & Bailey, under review); and behavioural intentions (Homophobic Behaviour of Students Scale, Van de Ven et al., under review). Multivariate analyses with post hoc Tukey-HSD multiple comparisons revealed, contrary to previous reports and expectations, that the relationships among gender, age, education, and homophobia were complex. Females were less hostile toward homosexuals on all variables except delight, on which there were no gender differences. On cognition and homophobic guilt, undergraduates were less homophobic than high school students, who in turn were less homophobic than young offenders. On homophobic anger and behaviour, high school students and young offenders responded similarly, but both groups expressed more homophobia on these two variables than did undergraduates. No between-group differences were found on the delight variable. Results indicated strong resistance to homosexuals, particularly in the high school and young offender cohorts, reinforcing the need to promote tolerance toward homosexuality. The discussion underscores the importance of including samples from a wide range of social environments, not just colleges and universities, and using multiple dependent measures of homophobic reaction.

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