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Attitudes Toward Gays and Lesbians Among Undergraduate Social Work Students March 27, 2010

Posted by Geekgirl in psychology, social.
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This is why I started this blog. Research shows over and over that people who think sexual orientation is a choice tend to have negative attitudes.

Attitudes Toward Gays and Lesbians Among Undergraduate Social Work Students

Eric Swank

Morehead State University, Kentucky, e.swank@morehead-st.edu

Lisa Raiz

Ohio State University, Columbus, raiz.l@osu.edu

This article identifies the factors behind students’ attitudes toward lesbian and gay individuals on the basis of the responses of 575 heterosexual undergraduates from 12 social work programs in the United States. Consistent with attribution theory, the findings suggest that the belief that sexual orientation is a choice is the strongest predictor of responses to gays and lesbians. The precepts of social learning theory and the intergroup contact hypothesis were also substantiated because sexual prejudice was lower among students with ‘‘gay-friendly’’ parents and numerous interactions with homosexual peers. Finally, negative interpretations of gay men and lesbians were higher for students who embraced authoritarian orientations and traditional gender-role beliefs and attended religious services more frequently. Implications for educators in the university environment and the classroom are presented.

Key Words: attitudes toward lesbians and gay men • attribution theory • religiosity • same-sex relationships • undergraduates

Affilia, Vol. 25, No. 1, 19-29 (2010)
DOI: 10.1177/0886109909356058

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