Effects of Interaction Experiences and Undergraduate Coursework on Attitudes Toward Gay and Lesbian Issues

Jessica R. Sevecke, Katrina N. Rhymer, Elbert P. Almazan, Susan Jacob

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

College experiences can expand knowledge, decrease negative stereotypes, and increase acceptance toward diversity, especially regarding gay and lesbian issues. This study found that the more interaction undergraduate students have with gay and lesbian people on campus, the more accepting their attitudes are regarding (1) same-sex, consensual sex, (2) same-sex relations between adults is not unnatural, (3) vote for a gay presidential candidate, (4) friends with a feminine man, (5) friends with a masculine woman, (6) knowledge of GL issues important for future career, and (7) comfortable with GL roommate. Furthermore, the more undergraduate students are exposed to coursework addressing gay and lesbian issues, the more positive their attitudes are regarding the importance of knowledge of gay/lesbian issues for future career and comfort with a gay/lesbian roommate. Discussion explores possible long-term implications of systematic interaction experiences and coursework at all levels within the educational system to prevent negative attitude formation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)821-840
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Homosexuality
Volume62
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 3 2015

Keywords

  • attitude
  • college education
  • coursework
  • gay
  • lesbian
  • peer interaction

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