Homophobic Attitudes and Behaviours: Telling Which Teaching Strategies Make a Difference

Year: 1993

Author: Van de Ven, Paul, Bornholt, Laurel, Bailey, Michael

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Comprehensive, reliable and valid measurement of prejudicial attitudes and behaviours toward lesbians and gay males is essential to the effective evaluation of outcomes of recently implemented initiatives for reducing homophobia. A sample of undergraduate (N = 97) and high school (N = 40) students completed three instruments for measuring cognitive (Modified Attitudes Toward Homosexuality Scale: Price, 1987), affective (Affective Reactions to Homosexuality Scale: after Ernulf & Innala, 1987) and behavioural (Homophobic Behaviour of Students Scale: newly developed) reactions to homosexuals. All scales were found to be reliable (internally consistent). The undergraduate students’ responses confirmed the three-factor structure (Homophobic Guilt, Homophobic Anger, Delight) of affects in this domain, and supported the concurrent validity of the behavioural measure. Predictive validity of the behavioural scale was demonstrated by findings of a high school study which showed that students subsequently acted in accordance with their responses to this paper-and-pencil test. The fit of the overall measurement model was slightly less than optimal. However, the strategy of using the three scales to tell which teaching procedures make a difference in attempts to improve understanding and acceptance of homosexuality was judged to be tenable.