Attitudes Toward Sexual Minorities Among Students at an Urban Catholic University: Issues Related to Homophobia

Weisfeld, Carol, Amanda Peake, Joe Pascek, and Isaac Zev

The purpose of this study was to examine students' attitudes toward homosexuality. A questionnaire was distributed to students in two undergraduate Human Sexuality courses. The students were asked to assess their attitudes toward homosexuals (Daily‟s Homophobia Scale) and to have them describe in their own words how the class had affected their attitudes. Responses from 43 students indicated that, while few had antigay sentiments before taking the class, more than half of them perceived their attitudes to have grown more accepting once they learned about possible biological factors involved in sexual orientation. Some of the more strident anti-gay opinions included multiple references to God or the Bible, with one opinion including 10 such references in a two-page essay. The poster will present the findings of Daily‟s Homophobia Scale within that context. Furthermore, suggestions will be offered for working with students on a Catholic campus.