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Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Education

Department

Educational Leadership

Advisor's Name

Bruce Nissen

Advisor's Title

Committee Chair

Keywords

Interventions, Homophobia, Social Contact Theory

Date of Defense

10-3-2007

Abstract

Homophobic attitudes, irrational fears and negative attitudes against gay men and lesbians exist on the college campus (Lance, 2002; Rankin, 2003). Educators wishing to change these attitudes need to know what types of intervention would be effective. This investigation empirically assessed the degree of homophobia in a group of college students, and changes in the degree of homophobia following two levels of educational intervention that were rooted in educational theories and social contact theory. A 25-item scale developed by Hudson and Ricketts to measure the degree of negative attitudes toward gay men and lesbians was used in English classes at a southeastern university. This study examined the relationship between different demographic groups and the degree of change obtained as a result of the interventions. Findings did not suggest that either interaction with gay men and lesbians in the form of a speaker panel or viewing a “coming out” episode of the Ellen show reduced homophobia to a significant extent. Results did demonstrate the Caribbeans and right wing authoritarians tend to be more homophobic. Post hoc analysis investigated factors that may have contaminated the interventions. Speaker Identification was a significant predictor of change in degree of homophobia.

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