NEED A PERFECT PAPER? PLACE YOUR FIRST ORDER AND SAVE 15% USING COUPON:

4.8/5

Homosexuality Research Paper

Homosexuality Research Paper

Skip To:

QUANTITATIVE STUDY REGARDING THE ATTITUDES TOWARDS HOMOSEXUALITY

Homosexuality Research Paper: Background

The attitudes towards homosexuality have progressively become modernised (Breen & Karpinski, 2013) with attitudes shifting towards the positive side (Eidhamar, 2014). Regardless of these changes, there is still fluctuation in the attitudes towards homosexuality (Feng et al., 2012). According to Hall and LaFrance (2012) attitudes towards gay men are expressively more adverse in comparison to the attitudes towards lesbians. The attitudes towards homosexuality are determined by or correlated due to the following explanatory factors; gender roles, religious affiliation, sexual orientation and lastly age (Fedewa & Ahn, 2011; Feng et al., 2012).

Homosexuality Research Paper

Homosexuality Research Paper: Aim

The purpose of this Homosexuality Research Paper was to evaluate the attitudes towards homosexuality, whether individuals hold negative attitudes or positive attitudes towards homosexuality. Specifically;

  1. Males will have less favourable attitudes towards homosexuality
  2. Females will have more favourable attitudes towards homosexuality
  3. The religion an individual belongs to plays a role in influencing one’s attitude towards homosexuality
  4. The more religiously involved individuals are, the more negative their attitudes are towards homosexuality
  5. The less religiously involved individuals are, the more positive their attitudes are towards homosexuality
  6. Sexual orientation plays a role in shaping one’s attitude towards homosexuality
  7. The younger generation will have more favourable attitudes towards homosexuality
  8. The older generation will have less favourable attitudes towards homosexuality

Homosexuality Research Paper: Sample

An opportunity sample of 320 participants took part; 108 males and 211 females with seven participants who preferred not to state their gender. Participants ages ranged from 18-66+, producing the modal age of 18-25, with an overall mean age of 2.37. The sample consisted of a mix of ethnicities; European heritage, Asian heritage, Non-European heritage and multiple heritage.

Participants associated themselves with the following religions; Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism and lastly some participants associated themselves as not belonging to any religion. Lastly, within the sample the modal sexual orientation was heterosexual.

Homosexuality Research Paper: Method

An online based, independent measures design was utilised, with four independent variables being investigated and two dependant variables. The IV’s examined were; religion affiliation, sexual orientation, gender and age. The DV’s comprised of; The Duke’s University Index Scale (DUREL) (Koenig & Bussing, 2010) and Attitudes Towards Homosexuality Scale (ATHS) (Anderson, Koc, & Falomir-Pichastor, 2018). Both the measures used were validated and reliable for assessing the attitudes towards homosexuality.

Homosexuality Research Paper: Results

Hypothesis 1 and 2

males will have less favourable attitudes towards homosexuality (mean = 67.36 (2 d.p.) while females will have more favourable attitudes (mean = 55.89 (2 d.p.) was supported. The analysis produced a score of F(1,255) = 15.22 (2 d.p.), p = .001.

Hypothesis 3

Religion plays a role in influencing one’s attitudes towards homosexuality was supported with Islam (mean = 43.18 (2 d.p.) indicating the least favourable attitudes followed by Christianity (mean = 64.56 (2 d.p.), Hinduism (mean = 51.00 (2 d.p.), no religion (mean= 69.15 (2 d.p.), Buddhism (mean= 76.50 (2 d.p.) and lastly Judaism (mean= 79.00 (2 d.p.). The analysis produced a score of F(6, 255) = 9.22 (2 d.p.), p = .001.

Hypothesis 4

The more religiously involved individuals are, the more negative their attitudes are towards homosexuality was supported as participants who scored high, indicated a negative attitude towards homosexuality. The results of the ANOVA were F(4, 315) = 22.37 (2 d.p.), p = .001.

Hypothesis 5

The less religiously involved individuals are, the more positive their attitudes are towards homosexuality was supported. Participants who were less religiously involved with a non-organised religious activity indicated a positive attitude towards homosexuality. The results of the ANOVA were F(4, 315) = 22.37) 2 d.p.), p = .001.

Hypothesis 6

Sexual orientation plays a role in shaping the attitudes towards homosexuality was supported. The attitudes varied depending on the sexual orientation; heterosexual produced the least favourable attitudes (mean = 60.63 (2 d.p.) followed by other (mean = 70.75 (2 d.p.), pansexual (mean = 72.43 (2 d.p.), bisexual (mean = 73.27 (2 d.p.) and lastly homosexual (mean = 74.55 (2 d.p.). However, not much difference was identified. The analysis produced a score of F(4,255) = 11.60 (2 d.p.), p = .00.1.

Hypothesis 7 and 8

The younger generation will have more favourable attitudes towards homosexuality than the older generation was rejected. The results produced a nonsignificant difference, F(6, 255) = 1.34 (2 d.p.), p = 0.24.

Homosexuality Research Paper: Conclusion

The present Homosexuality Research Paper concluded that attitudes towards homosexuality are influenced by the following aspects; gender role, sexual orientation and religion. However, the negative attitudes are mainly due to religion enforcing strict emphasis on the normative sexual orientation and disregarding same sex attractions. Lastly, gender is a key aspect in forming these attitudes due to the strict gender role expectations.

Keywords: homosexuality, homonegativity, heterosexuality, religion, religiosity, gender

Read Also: How to Write a Nursing Research Paper 2022

Attitudes towards homosexuality

Homosexuality is defined as one’s desire for contact with or without overt sexual behaviour towards the same sex (Eidhamar, 2014) with women being referred to as lesbian and men as gay (Paul, DiGiovanni, & Scheer, 2012). The attitudes towards homosexuality have increasingly become open minded in western societies with a steady rise in positive attitudes towards lesbians and gays (Breen & Karpinski, 2013). Despite these global changes, heterosexuality is still viewed as the normative and homosexuality as the deviant sexual orientation (Lottes & Alkula, 2011).

The negative attitudes, reactions, beliefs or actions towards homosexuals are broadly defined as homophobia (Cárdenas, Barrientos, Gómez, & Frías-Navarro, 2012). The attitudes towards gay men are significantly more negative than the attitudes towards lesbians (Hall & LaFrance, 2012). Consequently, homosexuality is devalued in society with more than 80% of heterosexuals claiming that they would be worried if their friends or family members were homosexuals (Roggemans, Spruyt, Droogenbroeck, & Keppens, 2015).

According to Feng et al. (2012) the attitudes towards homosexuality are influenced by or related to the individual’s religious affiliation, gender, age and sexual orientation. Thus, some homosexuals engage in homosexual behaviour however, others do not commit such acts due to the sexual stigma and social conflicts (Fedewa & Ahn, 2011).

Gender

Traditionalism is often seen as a mediating factor in explaining the association between gender and the negative attitudes towards homosexuals (Roggemans et al., 2015). Individuals with more traditional gender role beliefs express antigay prejudice attitudes towards homosexuals (Hall & LaFrance, 2012). Hence, lesbians and gay men are perceived as being gender inconsistent and are evaluated negatively for violating social norms (Cárdenas et al., 2012).

According to Goodnight, Cook, Parrott, and Peterson (2014) heterosexual individuals tend to react negatively towards those who violate the traditional gender norms as the individuals making the judgment need to preserve a rigid femininity and masculinity distinction. However, the violation of the traditional male role is perceived more negatively than the violation of the female role (Petersen & Hyde, 2010) as the male role is clearly defined (Henry & Wetherell, 2017).

Further, attitudes towards women and gay men fluctuate based on the sex of the target in interaction with the opposite sex (McDermott, Schwartz, Lindley, & Proietti, 2014). The gender role system provides a viable clarification for a well-established pattern of sex variances in attitudes towards homosexuals (Wright, 2013). Male’s attitudes towards the homosexual population are less favourable while females are more favourable towards homosexuals (Keiller, 2010; Vincent, Parrott, & Peterson, 2011; Cárdenas et al., 2012).

In particular, male’s attitudes towards gay men tend to be more hostile than towards lesbians, whereas females hold similar attitudes towards both gay men and lesbians (Barringer, Gay, & Lynxwiler, 2013). Thus, indicating that female’s homophobia is less intense than male’s homophobia (Cárdenas et al., 2012). The strict gender role expectations pressurise men to distance themselves from anything which is associated with femininity, whereas there is more flexibility with the female role which allows greater acceptance towards homosexuality (Vincent et al., 2011).

Consequently, men feel the tendency to display antigay prejudice in order to emphasise their own masculinity (Petersen & Hyde, 2010). According to Wright (2013) the cultural pressure for men, more so than for women, to follow rigid gender role expectations is allied to male privilege. Therefore, homophobia in men is seen as a reaction to self-fears regarding their masculinity resulting in negative attitudes towards homosexuals in order to conform to the heterosexuality masculinity (Keiller, 2010).

Males who hold negative attitudes towards homosexuals, particularly towards gay men are insecure about their masculinity (McDermott et al., 2014). Moreover, resulting in heterosexual males to avoid circumstances which lead to questioning their masculinity (Barringer et al., 2013) thus avoiding interaction with homosexuals or accepting homosexuality (Stotzer & Shih, 2012).

Pistella, Tanzilli, Loverno, Lingiardi, and Baiocco (2017) state that males are generally more aggressive and socially avoidant of homosexuals when compared to women. Males display negative attitudes towards homosexuals with them displaying physical and verbal abuse however women are less direct when showing these attitudes (Keiller, 2010).

According to Harbaugh and Lindsey (2015) both men and women regard homosexuality as unnatural and wrong; with majority of men expressing disgust towards homosexuals. However, women who hold hostile attitudes may view homosexuals as sinners who threaten the traditional family values (Bettinsoli, Suppes, & Napier, 2019). Though, female’s attitudes do not differ substantiality towards homosexuals (Gormley & Lopez, 2010).

Lastly, analysing the above literature, it is evident that gender role plays a significant part in shaping one’s attitudes towards homosexuality (Cárdenas et al., 2012). Males attitudes towards homosexuality are more hostile than females (Barringer, Gay, & Lynxwiler, 2013; McDermott et al., 2014) however, males attitudes differ according to the target sex (Wright, 2013). This research intends to examine whether there still is a gender difference in the attitudes towards the homosexual population. Therefore, proposing the following hypothesis:

    • H1: Males will have less favourable attitudes towards homosexuality
    • H2: Females will have more favourable attitudes towards homosexuality

Religion

Attitudes towards homosexuality are allied to numerous explanatory factors such as the religious affiliation of an individual and the effect of the religiosity (Cárdenas et al., 2012). Religious aspects play a vital role for the social practices and norms of everyday life as a substantial explanation for fluctuating levels of homonegativity (Jahangir & Abdul-latif, 2015). The negative association between homonegativity and religiosity is expected with religion playing a significant factor towards the discrimination against lesbians and gay men (Swank & Raiz, 2010).

Considering the influence of religion on the attitudes towards homosexuality, neither homosexual orientation nor homosexual activity is acceptable (Souza & Cribari-Neto, 2015). Regardless of the overall negative attitudes towards homosexuality, some variation in strictness amongst the various religions exist (McDermott et al., 2014). According to Hooghe, Dejaeghere, Claes, and Quintelier (2010) Islam and other major religions such as Christianity condemn homosexual behaviour and if one engages in a homosexual act, they are perpetrating a prohibited act which is considered as a major sin.

The basic texts of various religious traditions comprise of hostile remarks with regard to homosexuality, and this is evidently true for both Biblical and Islamic traditions (Roggemans et al., 2015; Souza & Cribari-Neto, 2015). Religious beliefs initiate a major basis of discrimination and oppression for the homosexual population (Ciocca et al., 2016). Individuals who endorse these views hold hostile attitudes towards both gay men and lesbians with such beliefs of violating God’s laws (Swank & Raiz, 2010).

Further, religious orientation plays a key factor in shaping one’s attitudes towards homosexuality (Hooghe et al., 2010) which are often seen as hostile attitudes towards the homosexual population (Ciocca et al., 2016). Religious orientation comes in two forms, it is classified as extrinsic or intrinsic (Vincent, Parrott, & Peterson, 2011). An intrinsic orientation reflects the extent to which individual’s believe their religious teachings and live their lives accordingly (Cárdenas et al., 2012).

Whereas, extrinsic orientation reflects the extent to which the individual uses religion to gain comfort and social support (McDermott et al., 2014). Individuals who reflect extrinsic motivation hold attitudes based on the statements of fellow believers as well as religious leaders (Souza & Cribari-Neto, 2015). In comparison, individuals who are intrinsically motivated hold attitudes which are more liberal towards homosexuality (Vincent et al., 2011) as they occupy themselves intensely with the foundations of their religion (Jäckle & Wenzelburger, 2014).

Psychology

According to Whitley, Childs, and Collins (2010) attending religious services is acknowledged as a distinct factor which is associated with negative attitudes towards lesbians and gay men. The intensity of religious practice has a significant negative influence on tolerance which suggests that religious practice strengthens feelings of homophobia or at least resistance towards homosexuality (McDermott et al., 2014). Thus, supporting the idea that religious practices influence one’s attitudes (Hooghe et al., 2010) the more individual’s attend religious services, the less tolerant they are towards homosexuals (Jäckle & Wenzelburger, 2014; Jahangir & Abdul-latif, 2015; Ciocca et al., 2016).

However, Eldridge and Johnson’s (2011) findings differ, attendance at services had no impact on influencing individual’s attitudes towards homosexuality. While, Vincent et al. (2011) found that individuals who attended religious services infrequently were more tolerant towards homosexuality as they did not base their attitudes according to their religion. Further, supporting this, McDermott et al. (2014) also concluded individuals who attended church services once a year or a few times a year held more favourable attitudes towards homosexuality in comparison to those who attended more frequently.

The difference in these findings is due to the fact that some individuals live in highly religious countries which disapprove of homosexuality, hence much strongly utilise their religious beliefs and norms, this is further supported by van den Akker, van der Ploeg, and Scheepers (2012) study.

Individuals are drawn to religion as it provides them a means to participate in and to derive values from society (Cárdenas et al., 2012). As part of this process, followers of a given religion will habitually be exposed to the normative heterosexuality (Whitley et al., 2010) with the belief that heterosexuality is legitimised by religious organisations, resulting in greater levels of sexual prejudice (Jahangir & Abdul-latif, 2015). Additionally, some religions are more conservative and less accepting towards homosexuality than others (Jäckle & Wenzelburger, 2014).

Individuals who associate themselves with Islam and Christianity who are religiously devoted hence, show higher levels of homophobic attitudes (Roggemans et al., 2015). Whereas, Jewish individuals who are also religious do not hold negative attitudes towards homosexuality (Hooghe et al., 2010). According to van den Akker et al. (2012) this is related to the fact that Jewish leaders have a more understanding and accepting attitude towards homosexuality.

Further, in this reasoning, the attitudes towards homosexuality are based around the religion one belongs to and how much that individual is religiously involved (Jäckle & Wenzelburger, 2014; Ciocca et al., 2016). Individuals who are devoutly religious internalise their religions objections towards homosexuality (McDermott et al., 2014). Therefore, the proposed research intends to investigate whether in today’s era religion influences one’s attitude towards homosexuality, if belonging to a specific religion contributes towards forming those attitudes and lastly, is there a difference in the attitudes held due to how religious the individual is. Thus, shaping the following research hypothesis:

    • H3: The religion an individual belongs to plays a role in influencing one’s attitude towards homosexuality
    • H4: The more religiously involved individuals are, the more negative their attitudes are towards homosexuality
    • H5: The less religiously involved individuals are, the more positive their attitudes are towards homosexuality

Sexual orientation

According to Breen and Karpinski (2013) heteronormativity is the belief that heterosexuality is the default or normative sexual orientation. In regards to sexual orientation, heterosexual females and males hold negative explicit attitudes towards the homosexual population (Cárdenas et al., 2012). Heterosexual male’s attitudes differ in comparison to heterosexual females with straight male’s attitudes more negative towards gay men than they are towards lesbians (Iraklis, 2010).

However, surprisingly contradicting these findings, Whitley et al. (2010) found heterosexual male’s attitudes towards both lesbians and gay men were positive. The findings between both studies differed, as Iraklis (2010) study concluded that individuals who have contact with homosexuals tend to hold positive attitudes whereas no contact with none normative orientation leads to sexual prejudice (Whitley et al., 2010).

Likewise, supporting this idea, Pistella et al. (2017) states that being more conservative and traditional, and not knowing any homosexual individuals personally predicts more negative attitudes towards homosexuality. Further, regardless of contact with homosexuals, women display similar attitudes towards both lesbians and gay men with them remaining positive (Iraklis, 2010; Cárdenas et al., 2012).

Many heterosexual men, being questioned about their attitudes towards gay men stimulates views and feelings allied with heterosexual masculine identity thus it is imperative to prove oneself through rejecting gay men (Moskowitz, Rieger, & Roloff, 2010).

Consequently, the attitudes expressed by women are significantly less passionate and negative as they are not based on to prove or assert one’s heterosexual femininity (Sloane & Robillard, 2017). In comparison to heterosexual women, men use explicit labels towards homosexuals who violate gender roles with pejorative terms such as ‘queer’ or ‘fag’ (Breen & Karpinski, 2013).

Lastly, according to Stotzer and Shih (2012) heterosexual men organise their attitudes in terms of sexual identity and gender, hence resulting in differed attitudes towards gay men and lesbians. Whereas, heterosexual women are more organised with their attitudes resulting in no differentiation between lesbians and gay men (Vincent et al., 2011).

To conclude, one’s sexual orientation influences their attitudes towards homosexuality, with the idea that heterosexuality is the normative sexual orientation (Moskowitz et al., 2010; Pistella et al., 2017). Thus, the attitudes heterosexuals have towards the homosexual population are less favourable as it is seen as a violation to the societal norms (Breen & Karpinski, 2013). The following research aims to investigate whether heterosexuals still devalue homosexuality, hence, proposing the following research hypothesis:

    • H6: Sexual orientation plays a role in shaping one’s attitude towards homosexuality

Age

Attitudes towards homosexuality fluctuate due to one’s age with the younger generation showing higher tolerance towards homosexuality than the older generation (Zivony & Lobel, 2014). In this era, negative attitudes towards homosexuality are slowly but surely diminishing, thus the younger generation is more accepting of the homosexual population (Swank & Raiz, 2010; Kite & Bryant-Lees, 2016).

However, contradicting these findings Henry and Wetherell (2017) found no difference between age and the attitudes towards homosexuality, both the older and younger generation feel comfortable in interacting with lesbians and gay men (Cárdenas et al., 2012; Feng et al., 2012; Poteat & Anderson, 2012). The difference in the findings may be due to the fact that Henry and Wetherell’s (2017) study was conducted in the United States where attitudes towards homosexuality are mainly positive.

While, Souza and Cribari-Neto (2015) found that both the younger and older generation’s attitudes towards homosexuality are hostile, though this difference can be perceived due to the individuals indicating high religiosity. Likewise, van den Akker et al. (2012) found no association between the age and the attitudes towards homosexuality with both generation’s attitudes alike however this study’s sample consisted of individuals who were not religious thus the attitudes were mainly positive.

Moreover, according to Roggemans et al. (2015) attitudes formed at a young age are likely to persist throughout adulthood with the beliefs and attitudes regarding homosexuality are shaped in the early growing years of the individuals. Therefore, not all of the younger generation perceive homosexuality positively, this depends on their upbringing and how homosexuality has been exposed to them (Sloane & Robillard, 2017). Further, certain life events impact the attitudes towards homosexuality such as getting married or starting a family, which promotes more of a traditional attitude towards homosexuality (Pistella et al., 2017).

Paul et al. (2012) found that adolescents who held prejudiced attitudes towards homosexuality are influenced by their parents. Fathers who express negative attitudes towards homosexuality, more explicitly aimed at gay men (Pistella et al., 2017) result in their sons also expressing negative attitudes towards the homosexual population (Moskowitz et al., 2010).

Whereas, mothers express similar attitudes towards both lesbians and gay men (Sloane & Robillard, 2017) while Moskowitz et al. (2010) found daughters to express less favourable attitudes towards lesbians than gay men. The homosexual role automatically entails that the individuals will not marry, concluding that he or she will not share the burden of continuing the family tradition and will not have any children (Gormley & Lopez, 2010). Given the strong prominence on family obligations, homosexuality is perceived as an act of selfishness (Paul et al., 2012).

Thus, the difference in the attitudes between the daughters are due to them feeling threatened by lesbians whom they perceive as violating the roles allied with them (Pistella et al., 2017). Parents perceive homosexuality negatively as it threatens the traditional family role which they do not wish their children break as it is allied with shame and stigma (Gormley & Lopez, 2010).

However, contradicting these findings Roggemans et al. (2015) concluded that family has limited influence on adolescent’s attitudes towards homosexuality. In the traditional Muslim family, instead of talking about homosexuality with their children, parents who hold more traditional gender role attitudes prefer to send indirect messages to their children by showing them examples of what is unusual or improper in terms of sexuality (Ahmed, Andersson, & Hammarstedt, 2013).

The reason for the varied views is due to religion and age interaction, religion impacts the older generation more than the younger generation (Vincent et al., 2011). Individuals who associate themselves with Islam cannot openly discuss topics such as homosexuality, it is a topic which has minimal to no discussion as Islam specifically states homosexuality is a sin, thus there is no need for further discussion (Ahmed et al., 2013).

Additionally, Harbaugh and Lindsey (2015) interestingly found adolescents held very hostile attitudes towards homosexuality and with age, adolescents become more prejudiced against the homosexual population (Paul et al., 2012). The younger generation internalise sexual stigma and grow up with social expectation to become heterosexual, as homosexuality is recognised as socially devalued (Kite & Bryant-Lees, 2016).

Young individuals with negative attitudes towards homosexuals are more likely to show anti-gay aggression resulting in bullying or gay bashing anyone who does not associate with heterosexual orientation (Harbaugh & Lindsey, 2015). Furthermore, Jahangir and Abdul-latif (2015) found that youths who strongly adhere to the Islamic faith are the most hostile and averse towards homosexuality as they are socialised in the traditional gender norms with homosexuality violating the accepted norms.

However, according to Paul et al. (2012) sexual prejudice decreases through early adulthood, individuals with age become more tolerant of lesbians and gay individuals. Thus, suggesting that in adulthood these individuals are less likely to endorse unfairness towards those who are lesbian or gay (Kite & Bryant-Lees, 2016).

Further, after analysing the above literature, there is mixed results regarding whether age is a significant factor which contributes in influencing one’s attitudes towards homosexuality. Swank and Raiz (2010) conclude that age plays a role in forming attitudes towards homosexuality whereas, Henry and Wetherell (2017) found no difference between age and attitudes towards homosexuals.

Thus, this research intends to establish if age does contribute as attitudes towards homosexuality are diminishing with more individuals accepting the homosexual population (Swank & Raiz; Zivony & Lobel, 2014; Kite & Bryant-Lees, 2016). The following research hypothesis are proposed:

    • H7: The younger generation will have more favourable attitudes towards homosexuality
    • H8: The older generation will have less favourable attitudes towards homosexuality

Method

Participants

An opportunity sample was utilised to recruit participants as this was the most convenient method of collecting data from the general public. The experiment consisted of 320 participants who were recruited online through social media platforms. This method was adopted due to the Covid-19 outbreak which meant, data could only be obtained from the public via an online method.

The sample consisted of 108 (33.8%) males and 211 (165.9%) females, with seven (0.3%) participants who preferred not to state their gender. This produced a modal gender of female participants with a mean gender of 1.67.

Participants had 8 options to select their age from; 18-25 (N=104, 32.5%), 26-35 (N=100, 31.3%), 36-45 (N=52, 16.3%), 46-55 (N=32, 10%), 56-65 (N=24, 7.5%), 66 or above (N=6, 1.9%) and prefer not to answer (N=2, 0.6%). The modal age for participants was 18-25 (N=104), with an overall mean age of 2.37.

The ethnicity of the sample comprised of European heritage (N=232, 72.5%), Asian heritage (N=57, 17.8%), Non-European heritage (N=12, 3.8%), Multiple heritage (N=8, 2.5%) and lastly prefer not to answer (N= 11, 3.4%). The modal ethnicity within the sample was European heritage (N=232), producing a mean ethnicity of 1.29.

Participants associated themselves with the following religions; Judaism (N=1, 0.3%), Christianity (N=99, 31%), Islam (N=49, 15.4%), Buddhism (N=2, 0.6%), Hinduism (N=6, 1.9%), No religion (N=162, 48.6%) and prefer not to answer (N=1, 0.3%). The modal religion within this sample was no religion (N=162), producing a mean religion of 4.24.

Further, participants had to indicate what sexual orientation they associate with. The sexual orientation of participants comprised of; heterosexual (N=250, 78.1%), homosexual (N=29, 9.1%), bisexual (N=30, 9.4%), pansexual (N=7, 2.2%) and lastly, other (N=4, 1.3%). This produced a modal sexual orientation; heterosexual (N=250), with a mean of 1.41.

There was a clearly defined criteria for taking part within the research. The inclusion criteria required participants to be 18 and over. The exclusion criteria suggested individuals suffering from any mental health issues should not participate in the research to avoid any issues from arising as the study focused on a sensitive topic i.e., views regarding homosexuality.

Design

This Homosexuality Research Paper consisted of an online based, independent measures design, with 4 independent variables (IV) being investigated and 2 dependent variables (DV). The IV’s examined were: (IV1) age, (IV2) gender, (IV3) religion affiliation and (IV4) sexual orientation.

    • IV1: Respondents were asked to state their age which was coded as: 1 = 18-25, 2 = 26-35, 3 = 36-45, 4 = 46-55, 5 = 56-65, 6 = 66 or above and 7 = prefer not to answer.
    • IV2: Gender was categorised as: 1 = male, 2 = female and 3 = prefer not to answer.
    • IV3: Religion affiliation was coded as: 1 = Judaism, 2 = Christianity, 3 = Islam, 4 = Buddhism, 5 = Hinduism, 6 = no religion and 7 = other.
    • IV4: Sexual orientation was categorised as: 1 = heterosexual, 2 = homosexual, 3 = bisexual, 4 = pansexual, 5 = prefer not to answer and 6 = other.

The DV’s consisted of: (DV1) Attitudes Toward Homosexuality Scale (ATHS) and (DV2) The Duke’s University Religion Index Scale (DUREL). A one-way ANOVA was utilised to establish if (DV2) the religiosity scale (organised and unorganized religious activities) influences individuals’ attitudes towards homosexuality (DV1).

The results of the intrinsic religiosity (Duke’s religiosity scale) were analysed using an independent t-test to see if individuals’ attitudes towards homosexuality depend on their religious beliefs. To allow multiple comparison across the different IV’s, separately against the DV’s a multifactorial ANOVA was run which also produced an interaction effect. The hypothesis proposed were tested using an unrelated design.

Materials

Due to the research comprising of sensitive topics a questionnaire was deemed appropriate and an effective approach of collecting large amounts of data from the general public. Utilising a closed ended questionnaire allowed reliable and consistency of responses from participants (Desai & Reimers, 2018). The questionnaire formulated for this Homosexuality Research Paper entailed of 3 sections.

    • Section 1 comprised of demographic questions: age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity and religion
    • Section 2: Attitudes Toward Homosexuality Scale (ATHS) (Anderson et al., 2018)
    • Section 3: The Duke’s University Religion Index (DUREL) (Koenig & Bussing, 2010). The questionnaire was formed on Google Forms and uploaded to social media platforms to entice the wider population.

Anderson et al. (2018)

The first measure (Appendix A) used was the English version of the Attitudes Toward Homosexuality Scale (ATHS). ATHS is referred to as an attitude scale rather than a questionnaire as it requires factual information from participants, making a statement which indicates how closely that statement is to their attitude. This scale was utilised to measure individuals’ attitudes toward homosexuality. The scale comprised of 16 statements relevant to attitudes toward homosexuality. Participants endorsed the items on a 5-point Likert Scale ranging from (1) strongly disagree to (5) strongly agree.

A high score represented a positive attitude toward homosexuality whereas a low score meant a negative attitude toward homosexuality. The following statements were reversed: Q1, 4, 5, 7, 10 and 13 as these items were negatively worded. This scale was selected as it is considered reliable and a valid tool for assessing attitudes toward homosexuality. Anderson et al. (2018) study further confirms this as the results of the analysis reveal a strong Cronbach’s Alpha score of 0.97 which is above 0.7 and therefore, concluding the ATHS is considered reliable.

Koenig and Bussing (2010)

The Duke University Religion Index (DUREL) is a 5-item measure of religious involvement (Appendix B). This questionnaire entails three dimensions of religiosity which measures organisational religious activities (ORA), non-organisational religious activities (NORA) and intrinsic religiosity (IR).

    • Question 1 relates to ORA which entails public religious activities i.e., attending religious services or participating in religious activities (church etc). The ORA item consists of 6 response options, ranging from (1) never to (6) more than once a week.
    • Question 2 relates to NORA which includes religious activities that are done in private i.e., meditation and prayer. This item consists of 5 response option, ranging from (1) rarely or never to (5) more than once a day.

Lastly, question 3, 4 and 5 relate to IR which comprises of how much an individual holds their religious belief as a part of themself i.e., personal religious commitment or transporting religion into other aspects of life. The items within IR entail of 5 response options, ranging from (1) definitely not true to (5) definitely true of me.

As a result of combining all three subscales (ORA, NORA and IR) for the analysis purposes, this would result in subscale scores to cancel out the effects of each other (Koenig & Bussing, 2010). The ORA and NORA subscales were assessed together as they stand alone, whereas, the IR subscale was assessed separately. Within this questionnaire a high score indicates high religious affiliation whereas a low score indicates low religious affiliation.

Lastly, this measure was utilised as it is a widely used, reputable scale to measure religion affiliation. Thus, deemed suitable and reliable for the purpose of the current research.

Procedure

Prior to the recruit process, a questionnaire was devised using Google Forms. The questionnaire comprised of the brief, consent and debrief. Participants were approached in a professional manner via social media i.e., forums based on Facebook etc. The questionnaire was posted to the forums inviting individuals to participate voluntarily, with no participants approached individually so they did not feel pressurised to participate.

The homosexuality research study was online based due to the pandemic and therefore, this was an appropriate and suitable method to achieve data. Once participants opted to participate; they were then taken to a link of the study which presented them with an information sheet (Appendix C) informing them about the intent of the research.

Before providing consent, participants had the opportunity to email the researcher and also, during the study if any questions arose. The consent form entailed 7 statements that required participants to agree upon and could only proceed once the ‘participants consent’ option was selected (Appendix D). This then allowed participants to proceed to answering questions regarding attitudes towards homosexuality and religious involvement.

Upon completion of the questionnaire, participants were presented with a debrief (Appendix E) detailing further information for exploration, with useful websites: LGBT Foundation, LGBT Health and Wellbeing and LGBT Consortium. Participants were once again given the opportunity to ask further questions. Once all the data was collected, it was input and analysed using IBM SPSS Statistics 26.

Ethics

Ethical approval was granted by the research committee at UCBC and the research ensured to follow the British Psychological Society (BPS) Code of Ethics and Conduct (2018). Participants were briefed, debriefed and most importantly informed consent was given. Participants were given the opportunity before the study, during and after the study to ask any questions. Details of the researcher and supervisor were also presented in case the participant had any concerns.

Within the research sensitive topics were touched upon which could have possibly made some individuals feel uncomfortable. Therefore, it was evidently made clear to participants that they had the right to withdraw at any point without reasoning and any questions which made respondents feel uncomfortable could be missed. Participants were also advised not to participate if they suffered from any mental health issues. Confidentiality was assured as no individual participants details were identifiable from the results.

Participants were made aware through the materials provided that the study only requires basic information such as age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and religion. Additionally, participants were informed all data provided would be kept confidential and securely secured for researcher and supervisors use only and will be destroyed once served its purpose. Lastly, on completion of the questionnaire relevant links relating to the research were provided on the debrief and also contact details of the researcher and supervisor to discuss any issues or further interest.

Results

Reliability

A Cronbach’s Alpha was run to establish the variation within the participants answers and to check whether the data collected was reliable. Table 1 below indicates the Cronbach’s Alpha score for both the measures, with a high level of consistency resulting in the scores produced above 0.7 showing that the data is reliable.

MeasuresItemsCronbach’s Alpha
Koenig and Bussing (2010)

The Duke University Religion Index (DUREL)
30.94
Anderson et al. (2018) Attitudes Toward Homosexuality (ATHS)160.95

Descriptive statistics

Table 2 underneath shows the means score for the measures used, producing a good spread of scores and normal distribution with the skewness and kurtosis scores falling within the 2 and -2 bracket. To further confirm this, Histogram 1, 2, and 3 show the data is normally distributed.

Table 2 – Normality

MeasuresSkewnessKurtosisMeanStd. Deviation
ATHS-1.130.3663.4615.29
ORA - DUREL1.280.582.111.49
NORA - DUREL1.390.201.861.48

Histogram 1: Distribution – Attitudes towards homosexuality

Homosexuality Research Paper

Histogram 2: Distribution – DUREL – ORA

Homosexuality Research Paper

Histogram 3: Distribution – DUREL – NORA

Homosexuality Research Paper

Correlation

To establish whether individuals with a high religious belief would score lower on the ATHS scale resulting in their attitudes being less positive towards homosexuality, a correlation analysis was utilised which can be seen below in table 3. The analysis produced a correlation coefficient of –

0.506, this suggests a moderate to strong negative correlation as the score is closer to 0 than 1. Further, producing a significant correlation p<0.0001. The results suggest, as one increases the other decreases, i.e., as intrinsic religiosity increases, the attitudes towards homosexuality decease. Therefore, the more religious an individual is, the less positive their attitude is towards homosexuality.

Table 3 – Correlation

Pearson’s Correlation Table   
Total attitude towards homosexualityTotal intrinsic religiosity
Pearson Correlation1-.506**
Total attitude towards homosexualitySig. (2-tailed).000
N320320
Pearson Correlation-.506**1
Total intrinsic religiositySig. (2-tailed).000
N320320

Independent samples test

DUREL – Intrinsic religiosity (IR) (Appendix F)

The t-test analysis shows that there is a difference of 16.27 between the means of the two conditions (low intrinsic religiosity = 68.80 SD = 11.36 (2 d.p.), high intrinsic religiosity = 52.53 SD = 16.51 (2 d.p.). This difference produced a score of t(153.60) = 16.27 which is shown to be a significant to the level of 0.0001. Based on this the null hypothesis can be rejected and the alternative hypothesis retained.

Therefore, a low intrinsic religiosity score is associated with a more positive attitude towards homosexuality whereas a high score is associated with a less positive attitude. (High intrinsic religiosity score means more religiously involved whereas a low score means less religiously involved).

One-way ANOVA : Table 4 – ORA descriptive

ORA (DUREL)N (Participants)MeanStd. DeviationMinimumMaximum
A few times a year5764.8012.0932.0079.00
A few times a year4562.6715.4822.0080.00
A few times a month1658.0013.6537.0079.00
Once a week2051.5018.7417.0079.00
More than once a week 1641.7614.5424.0067.00
Total32063.4615.2917.0080.00

To establish whether those who belong to an organised religious activity hold a positive or negative attitude towards homosexuality, a one-way ANOVA was run. The results of the analysis is significant to a high level of probability. Therefore, the difference between the groups has been caused by the IV. The results of the ANOVA was F(5, 314) = 13.72 (2 d.p.) which produced a p value of p<0.001. This value is lower than the necessary 0.05 to be considered significant.

In this case, there is a large variance between the groups and a small variance within the groups, with the minimum and maximum scores showing no overlap in the groups. Thus, the alternative hypothesis can be retained and the null hypothesis can be rejected. The results suggest that participants who are religiously involved with an organisation will score high indicating a negative attitude towards homosexuality.

(High score on the ORA measure means low score on the ATHS indicating a less positive attitude towards homosexuality, whereas, a low score on the ORA means high score on the ATHS indicating a more positive attitude towards homosexuality).

Table 5 – NORA descriptive

NORA (DUREL) N (Participants)MeanStd. DeviationMinimumMaximum
Rarely or never 22367.3812.8520.0080.00
A few times a month 2563.4016.2722.0080.00
Once a week 1060.1012.1736.0077.00
Two or more times a week 1857.9416.3717.0080.00
More than once a day 4446.6614.6522.0079.00
Total32063.4715.2917.0080.00

To investigate whether those who associate with a non-organised religious activity hold positive or negative attitudes towards homosexuality, a one-way ANOVA was utilised. The results of the analysis are confirmed to be significant to a high level of probability; hence the difference between the groups has been caused by the IV. The results of the ANOVA are F(4, 315) = 22.37 (2 d.p.) which produced a p value of p<0.001. This value is lower than the necessary 0.05 to be considered significant.

Further, there is a small variance within the groups and a large variance between the groups, with the minimum and maximum scores showing no overlap in the groups. Therefore, the alternative hypothesis can be retained and the null hypothesis can be rejected. The results suggest that participants who are less religiously involved with a non-organised religious activity will score low indicating a positive attitude towards homosexuality.

(High score on the NORA measure means low score on the ATHS indicating a less positive attitude towards homosexuality, whereas, a low score on the NORA means high score on the ATHS indicating a more positive attitude towards homosexuality).

Multifactorial ANOVA

Demographic: Does age have an effect? (Appendix H)

To establish whether age has an effect on the attitudes toward homosexuality, a multifactorial ANOVA test was run. The analysis results produced a score of F(6, 255) = 1.34 (2 d.p.) producing a sig score of 0.24 which is above p>0.05. Therefore, the alternative hypothesis is rejected and the null hypothesis is retained. The results indicate a statistically nonsignificant difference, concluding age does not influence individual’s attitude towards homosexuality. This is further confirmed by means plot 1.

Homosexuality Research Paper

Means plot 1

Does gender have an effect? (Appendix H)

To investigate if gender has an effect on the attitudes towards homosexuality, a multifactorial ANOVA test was run. The analysis results produced a score of F(1, 255) = 15.22 (2 d.p.) which produced a sig score of 0.0001 which is below p<0.05. The female participants had a mean score of 67.36 (2 d.p.) whereas the male participants had a mean score of 55.89 (2 d.p.).

Therefore, concluding females are more positive than the male participants towards homosexuality, however there is not much difference between both the mean scores. Based on the results the alternative hypothesis can be retained and the null hypothesis is rejected. The results indicate a statistically significant difference (Appendix I). This is further confirmed by means plot 2.

Means plot 2

Homosexuality Research Paper

Does sexual orientation have an effect? (Appendix H)

To establish whether sexual orientation has an effect on the attitudes an individual holds towards homosexuality, a multifactorial ANOVA was utilised. The analysis results produced a score of F(4, 255) = 11.60 (2 d.p.) producing a sig score of 0.0001 which is below p<0.05. Thus, the alternative hypothesis can be retained and the null hypothesis rejected. The results indicate a statistically significant difference.

Further, participants who identified themselves as heterosexual produced a mean score of 60.63 (2 d.p.), homosexual M = 74.55 (2 d.p.), bisexual M = 73. 27 (2 d.p.), pansexual M = 72.43 (2 d.p.) and lastly other M = 70.75 (2 d.p.). Based on the analysis results, it can be concluded that sexual orientation plays a role in shaping one’s attitudes towards homosexuality, however there is not much difference between the mean scores (Appendix J). This is further confirmed by means plot 3.

Means plot 3

Homosexuality Research Paper

Does religion have an effect? (Appendix H)

To investigate whether religion has an effect on the attitude’s individuals hold towards homosexuality, a multifactorial ANOVA test was run. The analysis results produced a score of F(6, 255) = 9.22 (2 d.p.) which produced a sig score of 0.0001 which is below p<0.05. Therefore, the alternative hypothesis can be retained and the null hypothesis rejected. The results indicate a statically significant difference.

The following mean scores were produced for the different religion’s individuals associated themselves with: Judaism M = 79.00 (2 d.p.), Christanity M = 64.56 (2 d.p.), Islam M = 43.18 (2 d.p.), Buddhism M = 76.50 (2 d.p.), Hinduism M = 51.00 (2 d.p.) and lastly, no religion M = 69.15 (2 d.p.).

Based on the analysis results, it can be concluded that participants who associated themselves with the religion Islam, they held the least positive attitudes towards homosexuality whereas Judaism was the most positive religion. However, one participant identified themselves as belonging to Judaism (Appendix K). This is further confirmed by means plot 4.

Means plot 4

Homosexuality Research Paper

Interaction effect

Table 6 – DV: Attitude toward homosexuality

Source (IV)dfMean SquareFSig
Age * Gender 565.6670.6890.632
Age * Sexual orientation7121.3601.2740.264
Age * Religion9498.5375.2330.000
Gender * Sexual orientation 20.30030.0030.997
Gender * Religion 2407.7014.2800.015
Sexual orientation * Religion4459.5944.8250.001
Age * Gender * Sexual orientation330.8420.3240.808
Age * Gender * Religion6443.7934.6590.000
Age * Sexual orientation * Religion 132.4450.3410.560

The table above shows that when some of the IV’s are combined together, they have the interaction effect.

Example 1: Age and religion

There was a statistically significant difference showing the interaction effect between both the IV’s. Based on the analysis, F(9, 255) = 5.23 (2 d.p.) which produced a sig score of 0.0001 which is below p<0.05. The results indicate that age plays a factor in contributing towards the attitudes towards homosexuality however only when age interacts with religion. Therefore, suggesting that religion plays a key part in shaping these attitudes towards homosexuality. The possible conclusion could be the fact that the older generation tend to associate themselves with a religion more than the younger generation.

Example 2: Gender and religion

There was a statistically significant difference showing the interaction effect between both the IV’s. Based on the analysis, F(2, 255) = 4.28 (2 d.p), which produced a sig score of 0.015 which is below p<0.05. The results indicate that gender and religion both influence the attitudes towards homosexuality. Certain major religions such as Islam have clearly defined gender roles as to what the ideal heterosexual male role consist of and what the heterosexual female role consist of. Further, some religions endorse the idea that heterosexual marriage is important.

Example 3: Sexual orientation and religion

There was a statistically significant difference showing the interaction effect between both the IV’s. Based on the analysis, F(4, 255) = 4.83 (2 d.p.), which produced a sig score of 0.0001 which is below p<0.05. Religion can be seen to play a key role in the attitudes towards homosexuality, thus suggesting that religious affiliation influences these attitudes. Lastly, with religions defining heterosexuality as the normative sexual orientation.

Example 4: Age, gender and religion

There was a statistically significant difference showing the interaction effect between all tree IV’s. Based on the analysis, F(6, 255) = 4.66 (2 d.p.), which produced a sig score of 0.0001 which is below p<0.05. Interestingly, it can be seen that age, gender and religion create a three-way interaction effect. However, age does not interact with gender alone. A possible conclusion for this could be the fact that regardless of age, gender has a significant impact on contributing to the attitudes towards homosexuality.

Discussion

The aim of the present homosexuality research study was to investigate the attitudes towards homosexuality, whether the attitudes held were negative or positive and what influences these attitudes to form. This study proposed eight hypotheses however, the findings resulted in six hypotheses being retained, with two rejected.

Gender

    • H1: Males will have less favourable attitudes towards homosexuality
    • H2: Females will have more favourable attitudes towards homosexuality

Based on the results of this homosexuality research study, male’s attitudes towards homosexuality are less favourable in comparison to female’s attitudes. The findings of this homosexuality research study are supported by previous literature (Keiller, 2010; Vincent et al., 2011; Cárdenas et al., 2012; Barringer et al., 2013; McDermott et al., 2014; Pistella et al., 2017).

It is evidently expected heterosexual males to disassociate themselves from any sort of violation of their clearly defined gender role, while the flexibility within the female role allows much more acceptance towards homosexuality (Vincent et al., 2011; Stotzer & Shih, 2012; Wright, 2013). Therefore, concluding that traditionalism is a mediating factor which explains the relationship between gender and the attitudes towards homosexuality (Petersen & Hyde, 2010; Goodnight et al., 2014; Roggemans et al., 2015; Henry & Wetherell, 2017).

However, contradicting the findings of the present homosexuality research study, Harbaugh and Lindsey (2015) concluded, both males and females hold negative attitudes towards homosexuality. Both genders expressed homosexuality as wrong and unusual. The findings rejected the current study due to the focus on married couples expressing their views on homosexuality. Thus, a possible explanation could be that women view homosexuality as a sin due to homosexuals posing as a threat to the traditional family which is also supported by Bettinsoli et al. (2019).

Religion

A significant relationship between religion, religiosity and the attitudes towards homosexuality was established with all three proposed hypotheses being supported.

    • H3: The religion an individual belongs to plays a role in influencing one’s attitude towards homosexuality

Religion is allied in influencing attitudes towards homosexuality which is based on the results of this study and further confirmed by previous literature (Hooghe et al., 2010; Swank & Raiz, 2010; Cárdenas et al., 2012; Jäckle & Wenzelburger, 2014; Jahangir & Abdul-latif, 2015; Roggemans et al., 2015; Souza & Cribari-Neto, 2015; Ciocca et al., 2016). In the present homosexuality research study, individuals who associated themselves with Islam presented the least favourable attitudes towards homosexuality followed by Hinduism, Christianity, no religion and lastly, with Judaism presenting positive attitudes towards homosexuality. However, there was not much difference between the scores within the study.

Within the sample the major religions were Islam, Christianity and no religion. Based on this, it can be concluded, Islam had the least positive attitudes, followed by Christianity and those who did not associate themselves with any religion presenting more favourable attitudes. This is further supported by Hooghe et al. (2010) who concluded, Islam and Christianity condemn homosexual behaviour as it is a major sin. Religious text within these religions consist of negative remarks in regards to homosexuality as it is viewed as disrespecting God’s laws (Swank & Raiz, 2010; Souza & Cribari-Neto, 2015).

Hooghe et al. (2010) study further supports the present study; Jewish individuals presented positive attitudes towards homosexuality regardless of what their religion states. Based on the present study, one participant associated themselves as belonging to Judaism. However, the difference between the religions could be due to the fact that Islam and Christianity are both strict religions (Jahangir & Abdul-latif, 2015; Roggemans et al., 2015) whereas, Jewish leaders are more accepting and show understanding towards homosexuality (van den Akker et al., 2012).

    • H4: The more religiously involved individuals are, the more negative their attitudes are towards homosexuality
    • H5: The less religiously involved individuals are, the more positive their attitudes are towards homosexuality

This homosexuality research study concludes, individuals who are more involved with their religion hold more negative attitudes towards homosexuality. Whereas, those who are less religiously involved are more positive towards homosexuality. This is further supported by previous literature (Hooghe et al., 2010; Whitley et al., 2010; Vincent et al., 2011; Jäckle & Wenzelburger, 2014; McDermott et al., 2014; Jahangir & Abdul-latif, 2015; Ciocca et al., 2016).

Thus, supporting the idea that religiosity is a factor which is associated with hostile attitudes towards homosexuality. Religious practices impact individuals negatively, specifically those who are more devoted to their religion, which strengthens the feeling of homophobia, indicating less tolerance towards homosexuality. Contradicting to the present study’s findings, Eldridge and Johnson (2011) found no association between attending religious services and the attitudes held towards homosexuality. Individuals who attended frequently or infrequently held the same attitudes.

The difference between the findings is due to the fact that some individuals live in highly religious countries where religion plays a key role in shaping these negative attitudes, hence, the disapproval towards homosexuality. Supporting this idea, Eldridge and Johnson (2011) found no association in their study which was conducted in the United States where individuals are more accepting of homosexuality. Whereas, Hooghe et al. (2010) study was conducted in Belgium amongst a sample consisting of individuals who were religiously involved with their religions.

Sexual orientation

    • H6: Sexual orientation plays a role in shaping one’s attitude towards homosexuality

This homosexuality research study concluded that sexual orientation contributes towards forming attitudes towards homosexuality. Based on the results of this study, individuals who are allied with heterosexuality are negative towards homosexuals. Previous literature supports the findings of this study (Iraklis, 2010; Moskowitz et al., 2010; Vincent et al., 2011; Cárdenas et al., 2012; Strotzer & Shih, 2012; Breen & Karpinski, 2013; Pistella et al., 2017; Sloane & Robillard, 2017).

This is due to homosexuality being viewed as the deviant sexual orientation while heterosexuality is the normative sexual orientation (Lottes & Alkula, 2011). However, Whitley et al. (2010) study contradicts the findings of the present study. The study found no association between sexual orientation and homosexuality. Both heterosexual males and females held positive attitudes towards homosexuality.

The difference between the findings could be due to the fact that within Iraklis (2010) study, participants had no prior contact with homosexuals thus, they held negative attitudes. Whereas, in Whitley et al. (2010) study, participants had contact with homosexuals or at least knew of a homosexual. Supporting this idea, Pistella et al. (2017) concluded, not knowing any homosexuals personally leads to negative attitudes to form hence, it is important for heterosexual individuals to associate with the homosexual population to diminish these negative attitudes.

Age

    • H7: The younger generation will have more favourable attitudes towards homosexuality
    • H8: The older generation will have less favourable attitudes towards homosexuality

The analysis produced a non-significant score, rejecting both the proposed hypothesis. The results concluded regardless of your age, attitudes towards homosexuality do not differ. Therefore, concluding that both the older and younger generation hold the same attitudes i.e., positive or negative, or i.e., the older generation hold more favourable attitudes while the younger generation hold less favourable attitudes and vice versa.

Based on the results of this homosexuality research study, previous literature also supports the idea that age is not a contributing factor (Cárdenas et al., 2012; Feng et al., 2012; Poteat & Anderson, 2012; van den Akker et al., 2012; Souza & Cribari-Neto, 2015; Henry & Wetherell, 2017; Sloane & Robillard, 2017). However, the proposed hypothesis age does affect the attitudes was rejected in the present study, while in previous literature as a contributing factor (Swank & Raiz, 2010; Vincent et al., 2011; Zivony & Lobel, 2014).

The difference between the findings could be due to the fact that Henry and Wetherell (2017) study was conducted in the United States where attitudes towards homosexuality are mainly positive towards the homosexual population thus, concluding age does not contribute. While, within Vincent et al. (2011) study, participants indicated high religiosity which was allied with mainly the older generation.

Interaction effect

The analyses revealed that there was a significant interaction effect between age and religion, gender and religion, sexual orientation and religion and lastly a three-way effect between age, gender and religion. This indicates that religion plays a vital part in influencing the attitudes towards homosexuality. Further, the individuals who are committed to their religion indicate a significant contribution to negative attitudes towards homosexuality more than their characteristics.

This was further supported by Harbaugh and Lindsey’s (2015) study who also concluded that religion interacted with gender and age. Interestingly, age did not contribute to attitudes towards homosexuality however, when interacted with religion and gender it did, this was supported by Gormley and Lopez (2010) study.

Recommendations

This homosexuality research study can be used to build on future research and intervention programs that focus to decrease anti-lesbian and gay attitudes. Overall, findings of this study emphasise on the relations between religiosity and traditional gender attitudes which form the attitudes towards homosexuality. Based on this, to diminish these attitudes, individual and group interventions should focus specifically on modifying traditional gender attitudes.

Thus, understanding the nature of the negative attitudes towards homosexuality, particularly attitudes towards gay men, will allow to combat these attitudes effectively by developing programs that aim to reduce homophobia. The interventions should focus on deconstructing the gender roles and allowing flexibility in the beliefs regarding same sex attraction. Likewise, assisting men to develop more flexibility in their adherence to religious beliefs is a significant step to reducing prejudiced beliefs regarding homosexuality.

Further, not much research has been conducted on antigay behaviours, thus future research may benefit from examining the role of aggression towards lesbians and gay men. There are consistent and clear findings surrounding the attitudes towards homosexuality and the explanatory factors, however the focus should be on what factors influence behaviour which is directed towards the homosexual population. Lastly, great amount of research conducted on the association between attitudes towards homosexuality and religiosity has been descriptive, therefore future research should take an explanatory route, with the key focus on why the association exists.

Limitations & Strengths

This research was successful in highlighting the attitudes towards homosexuality. The study consisted of many strengths as well as its limitations. The main strength of this study was the closed ended questions which allowed consistency and reliable responses from participants. This was evidently supported by the reliability analysis which produced scores well above 0.7 indicating all the data collected was reliable. The questionnaire devised was appropriate as the research entailed sensitive topics, thus a strength of the study as participants could answer openly without feeling uncomfortable.

Further, the questionnaire was very easy and simple to complete, therefore minimising any confusion and ensured all questions were answered. This homosexuality research study consisted of a mixed sample, with participants from different ethnicities and religions, this allowed varied attitudes towards homosexuality to form. Furthermore, this study could have benefited by utilising a qualitative approach. This is due to the fact that a qualitative approach would have allowed more in-depth attitudes towards homosexuality.

The researcher would have been able to see raw reactions of participants. Another limitation of this study is the IV sexual orientation. This IV was very similar to gender, hence overlap between the two IV’s. Therefore, instead of examining sexual orientation, educational levels could have been investigated to see whether that is a contributing factor which shapes the attitudes towards homosexuality.

Conclusion

To sum up, a variety of factors such as religion, gender and sexual orientation have been identified to contribute in one developing attitudes towards homosexuality (Fedewa & Ahn, 2011; Vincent et al., 2011; Feng et al., 2012; Breen & Karpinski, 2013; Roggemans et al., 2015). These factors increase prejudice, resulting in negative attitudes towards homosexuality (Paul et al., 2012).

According to Lottes and Alkula (2011) the recent rise in anti-gay behaviours and stigmatization, solutions need to be in place to reduce such opposing attitudes towards lesbians and gay men. Individuals who do not associate with homosexuals are twice as likely to hold hostile attitudes, whereas, those individuals who have contact with homosexuals, their attitudes are more favourable (Whitley et al., 2010; Pistella et al., 2017). Further, religious beliefs and gender differences have great impact on attitudes (Harbaugh & Lindsey, 2015).

The firm gender role expectations enforce both females and males to dissociate themselves from anything that violates their roles in society (Goodnight et al., 2014). Adding on to the gender expectations, religion further endorses the view that same sex attractions are prohibited and deemed as a sin (Hooghe et al., 2010; Ciocca et al., 2016). Lastly, to control the negative attitudes towards homosexuality, individuals need to be educated and informed about the impact the attitudes can have on the receiving end of the stigma (Cárdenas et al., 2012).

Psychology

References

  • Ahmed, A. M., Andersson, L., & Hammarstedt, M. (2013). Are gay men and lesbians discriminated against in the hiring process? Southern Economic Journal, 79(1), 565–585.
  • Anderson, J. R., Koc, Y., & Falomir-Pichastor, J. M. (2018). The English Version of the Attitudes Toward Homosexuality Scale. Swiss Journal of Psychology, 77(5), 117-126.
  • Barringer, M. N., Gay, D. A., & Lynxwiler, J. P. (2013). Gender, Religiosity, Spirituality, and Attitudes toward Homosexuality. Sociological Spectrum, 33(3), 240–257.
  • Bettinsoli, M. L., Suppes, A., & Napier, J. L. (2019). Predictors of Attitudes Toward Gay Men and Lesbian Women in 23 Countries. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 11(5), 1-12.
  • Breen, A. B., & Karpinski, A. (2013). Implicit and Explicit Attitudes Toward Gay Males and Lesbians Among Heterosexual Males and Females. The Journal of Social Psychology, 153(3), 351–374.
  • Breen, A. B., & Karpinski, A. (2013). Implicit and Explicit Attitudes Toward Gay Males and Lesbians Among Heterosexual Males and Females. The Journal of Social Psychology, 153(3), 351–374.
  • Cárdenas, M., Barrientos, J., Gómez, F., & Frías-Navarro, D. (2012). Attitudes Toward Gay Men and Lesbians and Their Relationship with Gender Role Beliefs in a Sample of Chilean University Students. International Journal of Sexual Health, 24(3), 226–236.
  • Ciocca, G., Niolu, C., Déttore, D., Antonelli, P., Conte, S., Tuziak, B., Limoncin, E., Mollaioli, D., Carosa, E., Gravina, G. L., Di Sante, S., Di Lorenzo, G., Fisher, A. D., Maggi, M., Lenzi, A., Siracusano, A., Jannini, E. A. (2016). Cross-cultural and socio-demographic correlates of homophobic attitude among university students in three European countries. Journal of Endocrinological Investigation, 40(2), 227–233. doi: 10.1007/s40618-016-0554-1
  • Desai, C. S., & Reimers, S. (2018). Comparing the use of open and closed questions for Web-based measures of the continued-influence effect. Behavior Research Methods, 51(1), 1426-1440.
  • Eidhamar, L. G. (2014). Is Gayness a Test from Allah? Typologies in Muslim Stances on Homosexuality. Islam and Christian–Muslim Relations, 25(2), 245–266.
  • Eldridge, J., & Johnson, P. (2011). The Relationship Between Old-Fashioned and Modern Heterosexism to Social Dominance Orientation and Structural Violence. Journal of Homosexuality, 58(3), 382–401.
  • Fedewa, A. L., & Ahn, S. (2011). The Effects of Bullying and Peer Victimization on Sexual-Minority and Heterosexual Youths: A Quantitative Meta-Analysis of the Literature. Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 7(4), 398–418.
  • Feng, Y., Lou, C., Gao, E., Tu, X., Cheng, Y., Emerson, M. R., & Zabin, L. S. (2012). Adolescents’ and Young Adults’ Perception of Homosexuality and Related Factors in Three Asian Cities. Journal of Adolescent Health, 50(3), 52–60.
  • Goodnight, B. L., Cook, S. L., Parrott, D. J., & Peterson, J. L. (2014). Effects of masculinity, authoritarianism, and prejudice on antigay aggression: A path analysis of gender-role enforcement. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 15(4), 437–444.
  • Gormley, B., & Lopez, F. G. (2010). Authoritarian and Homophobic Attitudes: Gender and Adult Attachment Style Differences. Journal of Homosexuality, 57(4), 525–538.
  • Hall, J., & LaFrance, B. (2012). “That’s Gay”: Sexual Prejudice, Gender Identity, Norms, and Homophobic Communication. Communication Quarterly, 60(1), 35–58.
  • Harbaugh, E., & Lindsey, E. W. (2015). Attitudes Toward Homosexuality Among Young Adults: Connections to Gender Role Identity, Gender-Typed Activities, and Religiosity. Journal of Homosexuality, 62(8), 1098–1125.
  • Henry, P. J., & Wetherell, G. (2017). Countries with Greater Gender Equality Have More Positive Attitudes and Laws Concerning Lesbians and Gay Men. Sex Roles, 77(8), 523–532.
  • Hooghe, M., Dejaeghere, Y., Claes, E., & Quintelier, E. (2010). “Yes, But Suppose Everyone Turned Gay?”: The Structure of Attitudes toward Gay and Lesbian Rights among Islamic Youth in Belgium. Journal of LGBT Youth, 7(1), 49–71.
  • Iraklis, G. (2010). Predictors of Greek students’ attitudes towards lesbians and gay men. Psychology and Sexuality, 1(2), 170–179.
  • Jäckle, S., & Wenzelburger, G. (2014). Religion, Religiosity, and the Attitudes Toward Homosexuality—A Multilevel Analysis of 79 Countries. Journal of Homosexuality, 62(2), 207–241.
  • Jahangir, J. B., & Abdul-latif, H. (2015). Investigating the Islamic Perspective on Homosexuality. Journal of Homosexuality, 63(7), 925–954.
  • Keiller, S. W. (2010). Masculine norms as correlates of heterosexual men’s attitudes toward gay men and lesbian women. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 11(1), 38–52.
  • Kite, M. E., & Bryant-Lees, K. B. (2016). Historical and Contemporary Attitudes Toward Homosexuality. Teaching of Psychology, 43(2), 164–170.
  • Koenig, H. G., & Büssing, A. (2010). The Duke University Religion Index (DUREL): A Five-Item Measure for Use in Epidemological Studies. Religions, 1(1), 78–85.
  • Lottes, I. L., & Alkula, T. (2011). An Investigation of Sexuality-Related Attitudinal Patterns and Characteristics Related to Those Patterns for 32 European Countries. Sexuality Research and Social Policy, 8(2), 77–92.
  • McDermott, R. C., Schwartz, J. P., Lindley, L. D., & Proietti, J. S. (2014). Exploring men’s homophobia: Associations with religious fundamentalism and gender role conflict domains. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 15(2), 191–200.
  • Moskowitz, D. A., Rieger, G., & Roloff, M. E. (2010). Heterosexual Attitudes Toward Same-Sex Marriage. Journal of Homosexuality, 57(2), 325–336.
  • Paul P. V., DiGiovanni, C. D., & Scheer, J. R. (2012). Predicting Homophobic Behavior Among Heterosexual Youth: Domain General and Sexual Orientation-Specific Factors at the Individual and Contextual Level. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 42(3), 351–362.
  • Petersen, J. L., & Hyde, J. S. (2010). A meta-analytic review of research on gender differences in sexuality, 1993–2007. Psychological Bulletin, 136(1), 21–38.
  • Pistella, J., Tanzilli, A., Ioverno, S., Lingiardi, V., & Baiocco, R. (2017). Sexism and Attitudes Toward Same-Sex Parenting in a Sample of Heterosexuals and Sexual Minorities: the Mediation Effect of Sexual Stigma. Sexuality Research and Social Policy, 15(2), 139–150.
  • Poteat, V. P., & Anderson, C. J. (2012). Developmental changes in sexual prejudice from early to late adolescence: The effects of gender, race, and ideology on different patterns of change. Developmental Psychology, 48(5), 1403–1415.
  • Roggemans, L., Spruyt, B., Droogenbroeck, F. V., & Keppens, G. (2015). Religion and Negative Attitudes towards Homosexuals. YOUNG, 23(3), 254–276.
  • Sloane, J. L., & Robillard, L. M. (2017). Factors Affecting Heterosexual Attitudes to Same-Sex Marriage in Australia. Sexuality Research and Social Policy, 15(3), 290–301.
  • Souza, T. C., & Cribari-Neto, F. (2015) Intelligence, religiosity and homosexuality non-acceptance: Empirical Evidence. Intelligence, 52(6), 63-70.
  • Stotzer, R. L., & Shih, M. (2012). The relationship between masculinity and sexual prejudice in factors associated with violence against gay men. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 13(2), 136–142. doi: 10.1037/a0023991
  • Swank, E., & Raiz, L. (2010). Attitudes Toward Gays and Lesbians Among Undergraduate Social Work Students. Affilia, 25(1), 19–29.
  • van den Akker, H., van der Ploeg, R., & Scheepers, P. (2012). Disapproval of Homosexuality: Comparative Research on Individual and National Determinants of Disapproval of Homosexuality in 20 European Countries. International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 25(1), 64–86.
  • Vincent, W., Parrott, D. J., & Peterson, J. L. (2011). Effects of traditional gender role norms and religious fundamentalism on self-identified heterosexual men’s attitudes, anger, and aggression toward gay men and lesbians. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 12(4), 383–400.
  • Whitley, B. E., Childs, C. E., & Collins, J. B. (2010). Differences in Black and White American College Students’ Attitudes Toward Lesbians and Gay Men. Sex Roles, 64(6), 299–310.
  • Wright, N. (2013). Attendance Matters: Religion and Ethical Affirmation of Gay and Lesbian Sexuality. Review of Religious Research, 56(2), 245–273.
  • Zivony, A., & Lobel, T. (2014). The Invisible Stereotypes of Bisexual Men. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 43(6), 1165–1176.

Read Also: Variables in a Research Study

Calculate Price


Price (USD)
$

Calculate Price


Price (USD)
$