The effects of homophobia, legislation, and local policies on heterosexual pupil services professionals' likelihood of incorporating gay affirming behaviors in their professional work with sexual minority youths in public schools

The effects of homophobia, legislation, and local policies on heterosexual pupil services professionals' likelihood of incorporating gay affirming behaviors in their professional work with sexual minority youths in public schools

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The effects of homophobia, legislation, and local policies on heterosexual pupil services professionals' likelihood of incorporating gay affirming behaviors in their professional work with sexual minority youths in public schools
Smith, Lance Santoro
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[Tampa, Fla.]
University of South Florida
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Dissertations, Academic -- School Psychology -- Doctoral -- USF ( lcsh )
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


ABSTRACT: Research suggests that non-judgmental, unbiased counseling (that includes an advocacy component) is effective in addressing the psycho-social needs of sexual minority youths--a population of students considered at-risk (Reynolds & Koski, 1994; Savin-Williams, 1994). The ability to provide such services is impeded if the clinician has not first come to terms with his or her own feelings and attitudes about homosexuality (Pederson, 1988). This study examined the attitudes and anticipated professional behaviors relevant to sexual minority youths of 309 pupil services professionals in the fields of school psychology, school social work, school nursing, and school counseling. Participants from two regions of the US (Florida and New Jersey) responded to a survey comprising a homophobia measure and a measure of anticipated professional behavior toward sexual minority youths, and questionnaires collecting demographic information.Results of multiple regression analysis, with the significance level set at .05, indicated that levels of homophobic bias were positively correlated with political conservatism (r = .52), high religiosity (r = .51), and lower education levels (r = .30) among the participants. Furthermore, a backward elimination model predicting biased professional behaviors toward sexual minority youths was significant (p = .001). Results indicated that those less likely to employ gay affirming professional behaviors were more politically conservative (p = .001) than those more likely to do so. Implications of this study suggest that even among these counseling professionals, personal ideologies and dogmatic belief systems could potentially impede many of their ability or willingness to advocate in behalf of sexual minority students. Training efforts, therefore, should assist these professionals in distinguishing between their personal ideologies with regard to sexual orientation diversity and their professional responsibility to serve the needs of all students.
Dissertation (Ph.D.)--University of South Florida, 2007.
Includes bibliographical references.
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Document formatted into pages; contains 232 pages.
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Includes vita.
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by Lance Santoro Smith.

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Smith, Lance Santoro.
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The effects of homophobia, legislation, and local policies on heterosexual pupil services professionals' likelihood of incorporating gay affirming behaviors in their professional work with sexual minority youths in public schools
h [electronic resource] /
by Lance Santoro Smith.
[Tampa, Fla.] :
b University of South Florida,
ABSTRACT: Research suggests that non-judgmental, unbiased counseling (that includes an advocacy component) is effective in addressing the psycho-social needs of sexual minority youths--a population of students considered at-risk (Reynolds & Koski, 1994; Savin-Williams, 1994). The ability to provide such services is impeded if the clinician has not first come to terms with his or her own feelings and attitudes about homosexuality (Pederson, 1988). This study examined the attitudes and anticipated professional behaviors relevant to sexual minority youths of 309 pupil services professionals in the fields of school psychology, school social work, school nursing, and school counseling. Participants from two regions of the US (Florida and New Jersey) responded to a survey comprising a homophobia measure and a measure of anticipated professional behavior toward sexual minority youths, and questionnaires collecting demographic information.Results of multiple regression analysis, with the significance level set at .05, indicated that levels of homophobic bias were positively correlated with political conservatism (r = .52), high religiosity (r = .51), and lower education levels (r = .30) among the participants. Furthermore, a backward elimination model predicting biased professional behaviors toward sexual minority youths was significant (p = .001). Results indicated that those less likely to employ gay affirming professional behaviors were more politically conservative (p = .001) than those more likely to do so. Implications of this study suggest that even among these counseling professionals, personal ideologies and dogmatic belief systems could potentially impede many of their ability or willingness to advocate in behalf of sexual minority students. Training efforts, therefore, should assist these professionals in distinguishing between their personal ideologies with regard to sexual orientation diversity and their professional responsibility to serve the needs of all students.
Dissertation (Ph.D.)--University of South Florida, 2007.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (Electronic dissertation) in PDF format.
System requirements: World Wide Web browser and PDF reader.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Title from PDF of title page.
Document formatted into pages; contains 232 pages.
Includes vita.
Advisor: George Batsche, Ed.D.
0 690
Dissertations, Academic
x School Psychology
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.


The Effects of Homophobia, Legislation, a nd Local Policies on Heterosexual Pupil Services ProfessionalsÂ’ Like lihood of Incorporating Gay-A ffirming Behaviors in Their Professional Work with Sexual Mi nority Youths in Public Schools by La nce Santoro Smith A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Department of Psychological and Social Foundations College of Education University of South Florida Major Professor: George Batsche, Ed.D. J ohn Ferron, Ph.D. Li nda Raffaele Mendez, Ph.D. Je nnifer Baggerly, Ph.D. Date of Approval: J une 22, 2007 Keywords: homosexuality, attitudes, lesbian, counseling, bias Copyright 2007, Lance Santoro Smith


i TABLE OF CONTENTS List of Tables vi Abstract viii Chapter One: STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM 1 Purpose of the Study 13 Definition of Terms 14 Res earch Question/Hypotheses 15 Chapter Two: REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE 18 Homophobia as a Health Hazard 25 Mental Health Risks Faced by Sexual Minority Youths 29 Homophobia in the Schools: Physical and Verbal Threats Faced by Sexual Minority Youths 31 Homophobia on College Campuses 31 Homophobia on High School Campuses 32 Special Counseling Needs of Sexual Minority Youth 34 Iden tity Development 34 When Sexual Orientation is in Question 39 F acu lty and Staff Attitudes toward Sexual Minority Students 40 Review of the Literature on Attitudes and Homophobia 44 Measuring Homophobia: Correla tes and Gender Differences 46 Defining Homophobia 46 Assessing the Relationship between Knowledge about Homosexuality and Homophobia 50


ii Social Psychological Variables Underlying Homophobia 55 Limitations of HerekÂ’s Studies 66 Research on A dditional Correlates of Homophobia 67 Measuring Homophobia am ong Educators: Prospective TeachersÂ’ Attitudes and Feelings 76 Guidance CounselorsÂ’ Attitudes and Feelings 85 Attitudes of Florida Pupil Services Professionals Toward Sexual Minorities: Survey Results from Pilot Study 94 FloridaÂ’s School Climate for GLBTQ Students in Public Schools 97 The Importance of Statewide Initiatives 101 Other Relevant State Laws 103 Factors Contributing to StatesÂ’ Grades 105 General Education 105 State Safe Schools Laws 105 State Nondiscrimination Law 106 Sexuality Education 106 Lo ca l Safe Schools Policy 106 Statewide Law that Stigmatizes Sexual Minorities 107 New JerseyÂ’s vers us FloridaÂ’s Climate for GLBTQ Students 107 Summary of Chapter Two 125 Chapter Three: METHOD 127 In troduction 127 Participants 127


iii Design 138 In struments 139 Procedure 146 Data Analysis and Sample Size 149 Chapter Four: RESULTS 155 Hy pothesis Testing 155 Hy pothesis One 155 Hy pothesis Two 156 Hy pothesis Three 156 Hy pothesis Four 156 Hy pothesis Five 156 Hy pothesis Six 157 Hy pothesis Seven 157 Hy pothesis Eight 157 Hy pothesis Nine 157 Hy pothesis Ten 158 Hy pothesis Eleven 158 Hy pothesis Twelve 159 Chapter Five: DISCUSSION 167 L imitations 177 Recommendations 179 Directions for Future Research 179 Conclusions 181


iv Summary of Dissertation 183 References 185 Appendices 202 Appendix A: Cover Letter 203 Appendix B: Demographics Questionnaire 204 Appendix C: Correla tes Questionnaire 206 Appendix D: Attitudes Toward Le sbians and Gay Men Scale 208 Appendix E: Gay Affirming Behaviors Questionnaire 210 A ppendix F: American Psychologi cal Association Resolution on Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Youths in Schools 212 Appendix G: School Social Work A ssociation of America Resolution on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Questioning Youth 214 Appendix H: American School C ounselors Association Policy Statement 215 Appendix I: National Association of School Nurses Position Statement on Sexual Orie ntation and Gender Identity Expression 216 Appendix J: National Association of School Psychologists Position Statement on Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Youth 218 Appendix K: Recommendations for the U.S. Department of Education 221 Appendix L: Recommendations for St ate Governments and Local School Boards 223 Appendix M: Suggestions for Sc hool-Based Student Services Professionals 226


v Appendix N: Training Suggestions for Dealing with Public Controversy 230 About the Author End Page


vi List of Tables Table 1 Demographic Information by State 107 Table 2 Public School Information by State 109 Table 3 Safe Schools Law by State 110 Table 4 Other Relevant State Laws 112 Table 5 Sexuality and HIV/AIDS Education by State 115 Table 6 District Policy Information by State 117 Table 7 Student Activity by State 120 Table 8 Summary of Grading by State 121 Table 9 Psychometric Characteristics for Selected Demographic Variables 129 Table 10 Descriptive Statistic s for Selected Variables 134 Table 11 Frequency Counts for Selected Sexuality Variables 135 Table 12 Psychometric Characteristics for Selected Scales from Pilot Study 144 Table 13 Psychometric Characteris tics for Selected Variables 146 Table 14 Correlations for Bias with selected Variables 160 Table 15 Prediction of Lesbian Bi as on Selected Variables 162 Table 16 Prediction of Gay Bias on Selected Variables 163 Table 17 Prediction of Combined Bi as on Selected Variables 164


vii Table 18 Prediction of Biased Be ha vior on Selected Variables 165 Table 19 Prediction of Bias Differ ential on Selected Variables 166


viii The Effects of Homophobia, Legislation, a nd Local Policies on Heterosexual Pupil Services Professionals’ Like lihood of Incorporating Gay-A ffirming Behaviors in Their Professional Work with Sexual Mi nority Youths in Public Schools La nce Santoro Smith ABSTRACT Research suggests that non-judgmental, unbiased counseling (that includes an advocacy component) is effective in addre ssing the psycho-social needs of sexual minority youths—a population of students considered at-risk (Reynolds & Koski, 1994; Savin-Williams, 1994). The ability to provide such services is impeded if the clinician has not first come to terms with his or her own feelings and attitudes about homosexuality (Pederson, 1988). This study examined the attitudes and anticipated professional behavior s relevant to sexual minority youths of 309 pupil services professionals in the fields of school psychol ogy, school social work, school nursing, and school counseling. Participants from two regions of the US (Florida and New Jersey) responded to a survey comprising a homophobi a measure and a measure of anticipated professional behavior toward sexual mi nority youths, and questionnair es collecting demographic information. Results of multiple regression analysis, with th e significance level set at .05, indicated that levels of homophobic bias were positively correlated with political conservatism ( r = .52), high religiosity ( r = .51), and lower education levels ( r = .30)


ix am ong the participants. Furthermore, a backward elimination model predicting biased professional behavi ors toward sexual minority youths was significant ( p = .001). Results indicated that those less likely to employ ga y a ffirming professional be haviors were more politically conservative ( p = .001) than those more likely to do so. Implications of this study suggest that even among these counse ling professionals, pers onal ideologies and dogmatic belief systems could potentially impede many of their ability or willingness to advocate in behalf of se xual mi nority students. Training efforts, therefore, should assist these professionals in distinguishing between their personal ideologies with regard to sexual orientati on diversity and their professional responsibility to serve the needs of all students.


1 CHAPTER I Statement of the Problem Over the last several decades, our society has experienced radical social and technological changes and challenges. New valu es and beliefs have been asserted about individual freedom, minority rights, human relationships, and gl obal involvement. Schools have become a major arena of social conflict, as one gr oup asserts traditional values, and the other demands that children be prepared for changes in technology, the environment, and society/culture. One major i ssue that exemplifies this conflict within the educational system is the t opic of homosexuality (Callahan, 2001). Several social and historical factors have combined to make the controversy over homosexuality and education one of the most publicly volatile and pe rsonally threatening debates in our nationa l history (Apple, 2001). Since col onial times, American education has emphasized religious and moral development as a pr imary goal (Harbeck, 1992; Pulliam & Van Patten, 1995). Thus, teachers and other school pe rsonnel, as role models for impressionable youth and as employees of local government, often faced a wide variety of forbidden behaviors, such as prohibitions on smoking, drinking, dancing, dating, marriage, and pregnancy, that was unequaled in any other profession. In fact, historically, monitoring the activities of the educator has been an affirmative community responsibility, rather than a mere prurient interest (Apple, 2001). With this in mind, both sexuality and hom osexuality have been major threats to the traditional cultural ideology set forth in the schools (Craig, et. Al, 2002; Snider,


2 1996). Historically, homosexuality has been vi ewed as a sin, a sickness, and a crime (Bohan & Russell, 1997; Boswell, 1980; Via, et. Al, 2003). Additional sc ientific theories advanced in the early 1900’s explained it as a ge netic defect, a mental disorder, or even a learning disability (American Psychiatric Association, 1973; Friedman, 2002; Hatheway, 2003). Since the late 1960’s, however, lesb ians and gay men have joined other disenfranchised minority groups in our soci ety, such as African Americans, women, disabled individuals, and others to assert their civil rights personal freedoms, and social entitlements (Chadorow, 2002; Myers, 2003). Their struggle has not been without backlash, however, as evidenced by the resurgence of conservative political influence (Apple, 2001; Card, 1994; Dowsett, 2003). I ndeed, it is not surprising, given the historical context, that the men and women—and young student s—who had same-sex attractions chose to remain invisible rather than face the harsh consequences of the previous (almost unrestricted) power of educational adminis trators and the extremes of community intolerance (Dynes & Donaldson, 1992). Even today, most gay and lesbian educators and students remain invisible—some because of the very real experience of hostility, and others, because of internalized oppression that l eads to self-doubts and fears (Blumenfield, 1992; Edwards, 1996). Those students who choose to be open and truthful about their minority sexual orientation status often face severe and hurtful outcomes (B rowning, 2000). Consider, for example, the case of a female couple in Big Piney, Wyoming who were met at their high school homecoming dance by police officers. The couple was promptly removed from the dance due to an administrator’s decisi on to ban ‘same-sex dating’ at all school functions ( News & Issues, N ovember 20, 2003). A similar case occurred in


3 Clarksville, Maryland, where two female high school st udents were suspended from school for sharing a 12-second kiss. The two (heterosexual) girls reported that they engaged in the kissing as a form of protes t against homophobia, which, they asserted, was rampant in their high school. They also cont ended that heterosexu al couples frequently ‘made out’ in hallways for extended periods, but received no disciplinary actions. In addition to the suspension, one of the girls wa s also denied membership in the National Honor Society as a result of the incident ( News & Issues, November 14, 2003). Homophobia and heterosexism often extend to other ar eas of school policy as well. For example, at least seven states in th e U.S. have official prohibitions against the positive depiction of homosexuality or of sexual minorities in schools (Bauer, 2002; GLSEN, 2004). Furthermore, 75% of all students atte nd school in states with no laws or policies whatsoever to protect them from harassment and arbitrary discrimination based solely on sexual orientation (Bauer, 2002; GLSEN, 2004). Examples such as these abound (Kosciw, 2002) and underscore the imp act of homophobia and heterosexism in our educational institutions. Research over the past two decades sugge sts that the real cost of homophobia and invisibility in our society is becoming more apparent (Baker, 2002). In 1989, the Department of Health and Human Services Report on the Secretary’s Task Force on Youth Suicide was released (Alcohol, Drug A buse, and Mental Hea lth Administration of the U.S. Department of Hea lth and Human Services, 1989). Th e report suggested that of the approximately 5,000 suicides annually by young men and women between the ages of 15 and 24 years, over 30% of them may be di rectly related to emotional turmoil over


4 sexual orientation issues and societal pr ejudices surrounding same-sex relationships. Other data suggest that lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth are four times more at-risk for suicide than their heterosexual peer s (Gibson, 1998). These data indicate an overrepresentation of gay/lesbian youth among suicide cases, since most estimates of the percentage of homosexual persons in the ge neral population range from 1 to 10 percent (Bell, et al., 1981; Herek, et al., 2002). Other studies (e.g., Elliot, 2000; Engstrom, 1997; Fl owers, 2001; Fontaine & Hammond, 1996; Gr een, 2003; Hillier, 2004; Kourany, 1987; Sears, 1992; Uribe & Harbeck, 1992) reveal that gay, lesbian, and bisexual adolescents and young adults in our society are frequen tly struggling with the numerous and very serious consequences of soci al disapprobation and isolation. In addition to higher than average instances of suicide (Bernat, et al., 2001), these young people also experience higher levels of substance abuse, sexual abuse, homelessness, parental rejection, emotional isolation, drop-out risk, low se lf-esteem, prostitution, physical and verbal abuse, and sexually transmitted diseases (H erek, et. Al, 2002). According to a report on anti-gay and lesbian victimiza tion from the National Gay and Le sbian Task Force (1989), students who describe themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender are five times more likely to miss school because of feeling unsafe. Some 28% are forced to drop out of high school for this reason. More recent res earch (e.g., Bernat, et al., 2001; Bontempo & DÂ’Augelli, 2003; Callahan, 2001; Flowers & Bu ston, 2001; and Herek, et al., 2002) has confirmed high rates of dropping out of high school am ong sexual minority students due to their experiences of unchecked discrimination and harassment. Sears (1992) provides persp ectives on how homosexuality is frequently dealt with in middle and high schools. His interviews w ith sexual minority youths suggest that, by


5 and large, teachers and counsel ors fail to respond to issues concerning gay, lesbian and bisexual students, including instances of ove rt prejudice. In the Sears (2002) study, data ga thered from counselors and teachers concer ning their feelings and professional responsibilities with regard to this populati on of students indicates that while these educators believe that they can and shoul d adopt a supportive stance in dealing with homosexuality, in fact, personal prejudice, l ack of knowledge, and fear prevent them from being effective resources for these students. Clearly, gay, lesbian, and bisexual adoles cents should be considered an at-risk population. However, society’s hostile contem pt for homosexuality has resulted in an avoidance of examining the special mental h ea lth issues pertinent to gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth—even among mental health provi ders. This avoidance is reflected in the dearth of research articles in the profe ssional literature related to counseling and psychology. Indeed, from 1978 to 1989, only 43 of 6,661 articles publis hed in six major psychological journals addre ssed gay and lesbian issues (Buhrke, Ben-Ezra, Hurley, & Ruprecht, 1992). Research addressing adolescent homosexuality is even scarcer. For example, from 1977 to 1993, only three articles pertaining to ga y and lesbian adolescen ts were published in The School Counselor the primary professional jour nal for a national counseling association with access to the entire populati on of adolescents. During the 1990’s, only about 54 articles focusing on le sbian, gay, and bisexual yout h were published in journals that are most frequently read by school practitioners (i.e., school counselors, school psychologists, school social workers, and school nurses), includi ng the primary and secondary journals published by their pr ofessional associati ons (Callahan, 2001;


6 OÂ’Hanlan, et al., 2000) Most of these article s addressed general topi cs, such as identity development, support needs, creating a safe r environment, or counseling approaches. Some included specific interventions, such as developing a school-based support program (Williams, Doyle, Taylor & Ferguson, 1992) or the impact of a training program for school professionals on HIV/AIDS and a dolescent homosexuality (Remafedi, 1993). Three empirical st udies were conducted on school counselorsÂ’ knowledge, attitudes, and experiences with lesbian, gay, or bisexual students (Fontaine, 1998; Price & Telljohann, 1991; Sears, 1992), a ll demonstrating a need fo r increased professional training and guidance. In a random sample of secondary/high school counselors who were members of the American School C ounselors Association, Price and Telljohann found a notable lack of knowledge of the n eeds and experiences of gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth. A majority (71%) had counsel ed at least one gay student and 41% felt that schools were not doing enough to help se xu al minority students adjust to their school environment. In a follow-up study of 110 school counsel ors who worked with students in gr ades K-12, Fontaine (1998) found that only 1 in 10 counselors felt they had a high level of competence in working with lesbian, ga y, a nd bisexual youth, and 89% requested additional training. Nearly ha lf (42%) had worked with at least one sexual minority y outh, and 51% had worked with students who we re questioning their sexual orientation. In a recent pilot study examining the experien ces of school-based he lping professionals with GLBTQ students, Smith (2006) found that although 73% of his sa mple was aware of sexual minority youths in their schools, less than half had received training in dealing with the psychoeducational needs of thos e students. Furthermore, only 29% felt


7 adequately prepared to addr ess issues surrounding sexual orientation in a counseling situation. In assessing school climate for sexual minority students, counselors reported that no school environment was neutral toward homosex uality. Instead, counselors believed that attitudes of faculty, students and administrators ranged from negative to intolerant, with administrators having slightly less negative perceptions than others. According to Reynolds and Koski (1994) school counselors are in a key position for building alliances with sexual minority youth and lowering the psychological stress they encounter on a daily basis in schools. However, in order to effectively meet the needs of those students, school counselors mu st be able to provide the following: (a) support and affirmation, (b) knowledge and accura te information, (c) role modeling, and (d) the ability to be counselor/consultan t/advisor. Throughout the literature, it is emphasized that counselors who work with se xu al minority youth need a high degree of self-awareness and sensitivity and need to have addressed their own attitudes and biases (Calahan, 2001; Chodorow, 2002; Collins, 2004; Hillier, 2004; Hunter and Schaecher, 1987; Russell, 1989; Wakelee-Lynch, 1989). Some researchers have found that, although the majority of sexual minority young adults interviewed fe lt they would ha ve benefited from sensitive and informed counseling services when in high school, these individuals saw their counselors as ill informed, unconcer ned, and uncomfortable talking with them about issues surrounding sexual orientation and di scrimination based on their status as sexual minorities (Bernat et. Al, 2001; B ontempo & D’Augelli, 2003; Hillier, 2004; Sears, 1992). During 1997 and 1998, two special journa l issues were published on sexual minority youth related to sc hools—one by the Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social


8 Serv i ces and the other by Prof essional School Counseling the primary journal for members of the American School Counselor A ssociation. Publication of the special issue of Professional School Counseling significantly expanded the availability of information for school practitioners and in cluded new information that had been only marginally a ddressed in the existing literature, including a discussion of sexual minority student suicide (McFarland, 1998) and the first artic le in a school-relate d journal on sexual minority youth of color, in this case, Asia n-American lesbian, gay and bisexual youth (Chung & Katayama, 1998). In the year 2000, The School Psychology Review a journal published by the National Association of School Psychologists, published a speci al mini-series addressing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and questioning youth. Topics covered in this mini-series included developmental challenges faced by sexual minority students (Tharinger & Wells, 2000), strategies for reducing anti-gay harassmen t in schools (Henning-Stout, James, & MacIntosh, 2000), and addressing gender atypi cal behaviors in youth (Halderman, 2000), am ong other topics. Publication of this mini-series significantly expanded the availability of research on gay/lesbian/bisexual issues to an additional group of student services professionals (i.e., school psyc hologists). However, none of the research topics covered related to heterosexist bias on the part of counseling profe ssionals, or whether such bias might impede their willingness or ability to intervene in behalf of sexual minority students. Neither did those topics address the potential effect of homo-negative or homopositive societal factors in influencing c ounseling professionalsÂ’ services to LGBTQ students.


9 Despite recent interest in sexual minority youth on the part of some researchers, in terms of counselor training in issues specific to the mental health needs of gay, lesbian, and bisexual adolescents, such preparati on is virtually nonexistent. Burkh (1989) reported that almost one th ird of 213 female counseling psychology students in APAapproved doctoral gradua te programs stated that gay and lesbian issues were not discussed in any of their graduate course s. Seventy percent said they knew of no faculty, 80% knew no supervisors, and 48% knew no students who were c onducting research on ga y, lesbian, or bisexual subject matter. In a study conducted by Glenn and Russell (1986) with 36 female ma sterÂ’s-level counseling students, all of the students reported that they had not received sufficient training a bout gay and lesbian issues, and that their heterosexism and homophobia had not been challenged during their education. Since education is a socialization process that imparts the values of the dominant culture, the absence of such discourse on thes e issues in graduate programs reveals the influence of homophobia and heterosexism in soci ety. It should be no surprise, then, that gr aduate students and pr actitioners in mental health fi elds, though ethically bound by the tenants of their professions to be informed and compassi onate towards sexual minority clients, remain woefully une ducated and unprepared to help with issues concerning homosexuality. In fact, mental health students and professionals have been shown to display heterosexism, homophobia, and ig norance about gay and lesbian issues (Callahan, 2001; Chodorow, 2002; Herek, 2000; Lance, 1987; Lance, 2002; Pope, 2000; Rondahl, et al., 2004; Russell, 1989; Sears, 1992). Clearly, because the stigma of homosexua lity often gives rise to psychosocial problems for adolescents and complicates delivery of a ppropriate, ethical, and sound


10 mental health treatment, meeting the health car e needs of gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth has become a public health imp erative, and mental health providers should be prepared for the challenge. The neglect of this area rela tive to research coupled with the inadequate coverage of the mental health needs of gay, lesb ian, and bisexual adolescents in counselor training programs essentially precludes professionals from r eceiving adequate preparation for ethical and competent counseling of this neglected and ignored population. Besides the relative scarcity of available research and the lack of training resources, there is evidence to suggest th at homophobic and heterose xi st attitudes among mental health providers may present an even more insurmountable barrier to the provision of relevant and unbi ased counseling services to sexual minority youth (Callahan, 2001; Chodorow, 2002; Edwards, 1996; Rondahl, et al., 2004) Although the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its list of psychological disorders contained in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual in 1973, and the American Psychological Association followed its lead in 1975, many mental h ealth providers have been resistant to this newer pe rspective (Chodorow, 2002; Pope, 2000). More than a dozen years after the acti ons of those national mental health organizations actions, a survey of psycholog ists found that nearly 30% of responding c linicians felt that treating homosexuality per se as pathological constituted ethical practice ( Tabachnick, & Keith-Spiegel, 1987) A study of heterosexual bias in counseling trainees determined that 83% of participants a ssumed client he terosexuality when given ambiguous conditions (Glenn & Russell, 1986). Slater (1988), Chodorow (2002), Pope (2000), and Rondahl, et al. (2004) all have suggested that even those


11 clinicians who have relatively supportive attitudes toward sexual minoritie s and neutral attitudes about homosexuality may avoid opportunities to ga in knowledge and experience in providing unbiased helping services to this population because they fear public and agency backlash based on the confusion of moral and rationa l thinking and on homophobia. Wh at do mental health providers need to know in order to work effectively with sexual minority youth? Pederson (1988) iden tifies a well-known trip artite approach to diversity training which begins with awar eness of the counselo rÂ’s own attitudes and beliefs, moves into the acquisiti on of knowledge, and then finishes with a the final stage of skill acquisition. Supporting th is, effective unbiased counse ling with sexual minority y outh or those questioning their sexual orient ation cannot happen if the clinician has not first come to terms with his or her own feelings and attitudes about homosexuality and homosexually oriented individuals. The existing research on the topic of counseling needs of gay, lesbian, and bisexual adolescents appears to indicate that effective, unbiased counseling with this gr oup of students cannot happe n if the clinician has not first come to terms with his or her own feelings and attitudes a bout homosexuality and homosexua lly oriented individuals. Several researchers (e.g., Callahan, 2001; Chodorow, 2002; Ed wards, 1996; Rondahl, et al., 2004; Sears, 1992) have pr ovided perspectives on how homosexuality is frequently dealt with in schools. Their interviews with sexual minority youths and young adults reflecting on their experiences in high sc hool and middle school suggest that, by and large, teachers and counselors fail to respond to issues concerning gay, lesbian and bisexual students, including instances of ove rt prejudice. Data gathered directly from


12 school counselors and teachers concerning th eir feelings and prof essional responsibilities with regard to this population of students indi cate that while these educators believe that they can and should adopt a supportive stance in dealing with homosexuality, in fact, personal prejudice, lack of knowledge, and f ear may prevent them from being effective resources for these students (Sears, 1992; Smith, 2006). Furt her research (GLSEN, 2004) indicates that educators, including pupil se rvices professionals, may be less likely to em ploy gay-affirming professional practices, act as mentors and allies for GLBTQ students, or intervene in instances of an ti-homosexual bias against sexual minority students if they are working within an educational and social climate that is unwelcoming towards sexual minority individuals. In such cultural and educational climates, educators (including pupil services pr ofessionals) may perceive a lack of legi slative and administrative support for their efforts to a ssist GLBTQ students within a gay-affirming intervention framework. Therefore, they may fail to act in supportive ways toward those students out of fear of reta liation, job loss, or other ne ga tive effects on their careers (Blanford, 2003; GLSEN, 2004; Malinsky, 1996; Sears, 1992). The problem, therefore, is that when sc hool-based counseling professionals lack the training, experiences, and attitudes conducive to working effectively (i.e., within a ga yaffirming and unbiased framework) with se xu al minority students, those students may be denied the needed support for school success and emo tional well-being. Additionally, even when school-based couns eling professionals do possess attitudes, training, and experiences conducive to pr oviding supportive, unbiased, and effective services to LGBTQ youths, without perceiving that their efforts on behalf of those youths are supported administratively and protected through statewide legislation and local


13 policies, pupil services profe ssionals may be less likely to incorporate gay-affirming professional practices in their work with se xual mi nority students. The potential result is that GLBTQ students attending schools where such legislative and policy protections do not exist (or are exceedingly limited) may fail to receive the most effective services to meet their psychoeducational needs, even where counseling staff are both willing and able to provide those services. Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study is twofold. Firs t, this study is intended to determine whether or not student services personne l (i.e., school social workers, guidance counselors, school nurses, a nd school psychologists as we ll as advanced graduate students in those pupil services disciplines) possess the attitudes and experiences conducive to addressing effectively the need s of sexual minority students. The second purpose of this study is to determine the effect of region, the existence of antidiscrimination LGBTQ legisla tion, and gay-affirming official policy on the likelihood that pupil services professionals will incor porate gay-affirming behaviors into their professional repertoire when working with sexual minority youths in the public school setting. School-based counseling professionals working in the state of New Jersey were chosen for comparison with professionals working in the state of Florida because, according to the first objective analysis of st atewide “Safe Schools” policies pertaining to the safety of all students re ga rdless of sexual orientati on or gender expression, New Jersey ranks first in the nation in terms of pr ogressive legislati on and local policies ensuring equal access to edu cational opportunities and free dom from discrimination for sexual minority youths attendi ng public schools, and protec ting sexual minority adults


14 working in the public sector from arbitrar y discrimination (GLSEN, 2004). Florida, on the other hand, according to the same report, does little in terms of protecting sexual minority youths or adults fro m discrimination, or ensuring equal access to educational opportunities for LGBTQ students. The afor e mentioned issues are addressed by examining survey results from student services personnel regarding (a) their feelings/attitudes about homos exuality and homosexual persons in general; (b) their training on the topic of sexual orientati on diversity; (c) their willingness to receive additional training on the subject; (d) their pr evious social or prof essional contacts with sexual minority individuals; and (e) their willingness to engage in gay affirming behaviors within the scope of their job. De mographic data (i.e., age, gender, race, religion, college degree, work location/region (i.e., Florida vs. New Jersey), number of y ear s of professional experience, and political ideology were also collected. These data were used to determine th e correlates of homophobia among student services personnel surveyed and to predict those factors which are more or less likely to affect their willingness to employ gay-affirming behaviors into their work with sexual minority y ouths. Definition of Terms Homophobia: This term refers to either the irrational fear or the hatred of individuals who have sexual a nd/or affectional attr actions to members of their own sex. A more thorough discussion of homophobia is included in the following chapter. Sexual Minorities: This term refers to individuals who are gay, lesbian, bisexual (i.e., those with acknowledged same-sex sexual or affectional attractions), or transgender.


15 In the present study, this term also refers to thos e for whom their sexual orientation is in question. Student Services Personnel: This term is used to identif y t hose education professionals who are traditionally responsible for providing counseling services to students in the public school setting. Anti-discrimination Legislation: This term is used to descri be state-wide anti-harassment and/or non-discrimination laws that are inclusive of the categories of sexual orientation and/or gender identity/expression. These laws al so prohibit discrimina tion in employment (thus protecting sexual minority adu lt staff working in public schools). Safe Schools Policie s: This term describes those po licies passed by a local education agency (LEA) governing authority, genera lly a school board. These policies include provisions for the safety of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and (in some cases) transgender students attending public schools. These polic ies, however, generally do not pertain to a dult staff members working in public education settings. Research Questions/Hypotheses As previously stated, the present study a ttempts to answer the question, “Does the existence of LGBTQ supportive statewide legisl ation/district policy (as exists in New Je rsey) make it more likely that student serv ices personnel will act as supportive allies for sexual minority youths in their schools?” A dditionally, the present study also addresses the questions, “To what extent do student serv ices professionals in New Jersey (a state ranked first in the nation in terms of progre ssive and comprehensive legislative and local protections for LGBT students and sta ff) possess homophobic attitudes compared to those in Florida (a state lacking in progre ssive and comprehensive legislative and local


16 protections for sexual minor ities) (GLSEN, 2004)?”, “How can factors such as gender, religion, and political views be used as pr edictors of homophobic attitudes among student services personnel surveyed?” These questions were addressed by testing the following research hypotheses: 1. Women will report lo wer levels of homophobia than will men. 2. Those respondents who report previous (pos itive) social contact with gay men or lesbians will also report lo wer levels of homophobia. 3. Those participants who identify as more “liberal” will report lower levels of homophobia than those who identify as more “conservative.” 4. Those respondents who repor t more frequent attendance at religious/faith-based services will also report hi gh er levels of homophobia. 5. Individuals who have attained a higher level of education (e.g., specialist and doctoral level participants) will report more positive attitudes than will those with less education (e.g., bachelor’s and master’s level professionals). 6. Levels of homophobia will correlate positively with age of respondent. 7. Caucasian respondents will report lower levels of homophobia than nonCaucasian (i.e., African American, Hispanic, Asian) respondents. 8. Married participants will report higher levels of homophobia than will single participants, divorced partic ipants, or those living with a domestic partner. 9. Homophobia levels will positively correlate with participants’ number of years of professional experience. 10. All groups will express more sexual prejudice toward gay men than toward lesbians.


17 11. Those participants working and living in New Jersey (a state with an exemplary record for enacting legislation protec ting students and school staff from antihomosexual discrimination, a nd for having local policies in place to ensure co mpliance with that legislation and those policies) will express lower levels of homophobia and a higher likelihood of engagi ng in gay-affirming behaviors in working with sexual minority students in the public school setting compared with participants living/working in Fl orida (a state with a poor record for officially recognizing and protecting sexu al minority youths and educators in the public school setting). 12. In the combined New Jersey and Florid a samples, older participants, those who expressed higher levels of homophobi a, those who are more politically c onservative, or who are more highly religious will also report being less likely to engage in gay-affirming behaviors within the scope of their professional behavior when working with sexual minority youths.


18 CHAPTER II Review of the Literature Sexual minorities may repres ent one of the most maligned groups in the United States today. Data on gay and lesbian U.S. citizens obtained from the Commission on Racial, Ethnic, Religious, and Minority Viol ence (1996), indicate that 86% of lesbian women and 91% of gay men reported having been the victim of anti-gay/lesbian verbal harassment. This includes anti-gay/lesbian names (e.g., faggot, dyke, sissy, queer), in sults, and threats of violence directed at them by heterosexual people because of their sexual orientation. According to a National Gay and Lesbia n Task Force survey (1996), 28% of gay men and lesbian women reported having been the victim of violence involving a weapon or physical battery because of their sexual orientation. Other than recent high profile cases in the media, accurate data on homophobic attacks resulting in death are difficult to obtain. According to the New York Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project Annual Report (1996), the vast majority of victims of anti-gay/lesbian violence— possibly more than 80%--never report the incide nt, often due to fear of being exposed as gay, lesb ian, or bisexual. Much has been written about the ways homophobia, the irrational fear and/or hatred of homosexuals, in Western culture targets sexual minorities, ranging from negative beliefs about these groups (which ma y or may not be expressed) to exclusion, denial of civil and legal prot ections, and, in some cases, ove rt acts of violence. Negative attitudes internalized by members of these groups ofte n damage the spirit and stifle


19 emotional growth (Callahan, 2001; C hodorow, 2002; Edwards, 1996). Homophobia operates on four distinct, but interrelated, levels: the personal, the interpersonal, the institutional, and the cultural (also called the collective or societal) (Blumenfeld, 1992). Personal homophobia refers to a personal belief syst em (a prejudice) that sexual minorities either deserve to be pitied as unfortunate beings who are powerless to control their desires or should be hate d in that they are psychologically disturbed, genetically defective, unfortunate misfits, that their existe nce contradicts the “laws” of nature, or that they are spiritually immoral, infected pa riahs. Simply stated, this homophobia views sexual minorities as inferior to heterosexuals (Bernat et al., 2001; Blumenfeld, 1992). Interpersonal homophobia is manifested when a pers onal bias or prejudice affects relationships among individuals, transfor ming prejudice into its active component— discrimination. Examples of interpersona l homophobia are name-calling or “joke” telling intended to insult or defame individuals or groups. A dditionally, this form of homophobia ex tends to verbal and physical harassment and intimidation as well as more extreme forms of violence; the withholding of suppor t, and thus rejection or abandonment by friends and other peers, coworkers, and family members; refusal of landlords to rent apartments, shop owners to provide services insurance companies to provide coverage, and employers to hire or promote based on act ual or perceived sexual orientation (Craig, et al., 2002; Blumenfeld, 1992). A survey of 191 employers revealed that 18% would fire, 27% would refuse to hire and 26% would refuse to pr omote a person they perceived to be lesbian, gay, or bisexual (Schatz & Ohanlan, 1994). According to a University of Maryland study, due to sexual orientation discr imination, lesbians earn up to 14% less


20 than their heterosexual fema le peers with similar jobs, e ducation, age, and residence (Blanford, 2003). In 1984, a study by the National Gay and Le sbian Task Force found that more than 90% of those surveyed had experienced some form of victimization based on their sexual orientation, and that 33% had been threatened directly with violence. More than one in five males, and near ly one in ten fema les reported being punched, kicked or beaten. One in ten males and one in twenty females reported being assaulted with weapons. Approximately one-third of the respondents were ve rbally assau lted, and more than one in fifteen were physically attacked by members of their own families. Reports of violence directed against sexual minority individuals have increased each year since the National Gay and Lesbia n Task Force has been keeping records (Bernat, et al., 2001; Bl umenfeld, 1992; Bull, 2002 ). These incidents ar e not isolated to certain locales; rather, they are widespread, occurring throughout the country (Cullen, 1997; Hammer, 1993; Herek, et al., 1999; Herek, 2000; Herek, et al., 2002). Institutional homophobia refers to the ways in wh ich governments, businesses, a nd educational, religious, and professional organizations systematically discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. Sometimes laws, code s, or policies actually enforce such discrimination. Few institutions have policies supportive of sexual minorities, and many actively work against not only the minorities but also heterosexuals who support them (Blumenfeld, 1992). Consider, for example, the Briggs Initia tive of the late 1970Â’ s. Had it passed, it would have required the di smissal of California teach ers who support gay rights, regardless of their own sexual orientation (Craig, et al ., 2002). The U.S. military has a


21 long-standing policy excluding sexual minorities from military service (Craig, et al., 2002). Rights usually gained through marriage, including spousal benefits, inheritance and custody considerations, do not extend to sexual minorities (Bradford, et al, 2002). Until the recent (2003) U.S. Supreme Cour t decision, Lawrence v. Texas, homosexual act s were outlawed in many states. At the time of that court decision (which effectively invalidated such laws) Idaho, Kansas, Louisi ana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Ut ah, and Virginia all had laws specifically outlawing consensual sexual expression be tween adult persons of the same gender. Notably, not only did the Supreme Court in its decision invalidate such laws, it also contained a declaration of the dignity of hom osexual citizens. Despite that recent advance in the protection of the privacy rights of GLBTQ persons, and although a number of municipalities and some states have extended equal protection in the areas of employment, housing, insurance, credit, and public accommodations, no such statutes ex ist on a national level to protect sexual minorities from arbitrary discrimination (ACLU We bsite, June 9,2003). Although agreement concerning same-sex relationships and sexuality does not ex ist across various religious communities, and while some denominations are rethinking their negative stands on homosexuality, others preach against such behaviors and as a matter of policy exclude people from many aspect s of religious life simply on the basis of sexual orientation (Gagnon, 2001; Miner & Connoley, 2002; Sheridan, 2001; Via & Gagnon, 2003). As alluded to earlier, until 1973, establishe d psychiatric associ ations considered homosexuality a disordered condition. People of ten were institutionalized against their


22 will, made to undergo dang erous and humiliating “aversion therapies,” and even, at times, lobotomized to alter their sexual desires (Blumenfel d, 1992). Same-sex life partners are often still denied access to loved ones in hospita l intensive-care units because of hospital policies allowing only blood relatives or legal spouses visitation rights. Today, although a number of practitioners within both ps yc hiatric and the medical professions hold genuinely enlightened attitudes regarding the realities of homosexuality and sexual minority persons, so me remain entrenched in their negative perceptions of same-sex attractions. These pe rceptions often affect the ma nner in which they respond to their clients (Friedman, et al., 2002). Cultural (sometimes called collective or societal) homophobia refers to the social norms or codes of be havior that, although not expre ssly written into law or policy, nonetheless work within a society to legitimize oppression. It results in attempts either to exclude images of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender persons from the media or from history or to represent these groups in negative stereotypical terms. The theologian Ja mes S. Tinney (1983) suggest s seven overlapping categ ories by which cultural homophobia is manifested. 1,2. Conspiracy of silence and denial of culture These first two categories are closely aligned. Although not ex pressly written into law, soci eties informally attempt to prevent large numbers of individuals of a particular minority (or target) group from congregating in any one place (e.g., in bars a nd other social centers), deny them access to materials, attempt to restrict representation in any given educational institution or employment in any business, and inhibit fra nk, open, and honest discu ssion of topics of interest to or concerning these groups.


23 In societies where homophobia is present, there have been active attempts to falsify historical accounts of same-sex re lationships—through censo rship, deletion, half truths, and the altering of pronouns signifying gender—making accurate reconstruction of ev en ts extremely difficult. Subsequently, many members of sexual minorities grow up without contemporary or histori cal role models (Boswell, 1980). 3. Denial of popular strength. Many studies have found that a significant percentage of the population experiences same-s ex desires or attractions and that these individuals often define their identity in terms of those desires. The cultural assumption ex ists, however, that one is heterosexual until “proven guilty.” According to Tinney, “Society refuses to be lieve how many blacks there are in this country ‘passing’ for white and how many lesbians and gays (a nd bisexuals) there are out there passing as heterosexuals” (Tinney, 1983, p. 5). 4. Fear of overvisibility. A form of homophobia is manifested every time members of a sexual minority are told that th ey should not define themselves in terms of th eir sexual orientation or when they are accused of being “blatant” by expressing signs of affection in public —behaviors that hetero sexual couples genera lly take for granted. They are given the message that something is inherently wrong with same-sex attraction and that individuals so inclined should keep such desires well hidde n and to themselves. In contrast, heterosexuals risk no social sa nctions for making their orientation known— through public displays of affection, engagement announcem ents, large weddings, and casual references to a spouse, fiancee, boyfriend or girlfri end in social conversation. 5. Creation of defined public spaces. Society tends to force disenfranchised individuals and groups into ghettos, where ther e is little possibility of integration into the


24 ge neral life of the community. Thus, neighbor hoods, business establishments, and even professions are set aside for sexual minoritie s, as they are for other target groups. I ndividuals enter these areas of public life hopi ng to find respite from the outside world’s homophobia. 6. Denial of self-labeling Epithets and other derogatory labels are directed at every target group. Sexual minor ities have chosen terms of self-definition (e.g., gay and lesbian) to portray the positive aspects of their lives and loves more adequately. Incr easing numbers of sexual minority people ha ve re-appropriated su ch terms as queer, faggot, and dyke in order to transform these venomous sym bols of hurt and bigotry into tools of empowerment. 7. Negative symbolism (stereotyping). Stereotyping groups of people is used as a m eans of control and further hindrance to understa nding and to meaningful social change. Stereotypes about sexual mi norities abound, ranging from their alleged predatory sexual appetites, to their physical appearance, to the possible “causes” of their desires. In addition to Tinney’s categories of cultural homophobia, psychologist Dorothy Riddle (1985) suggests that the concepts of tolerance and acceptance also should be included in the discussion of homophobia: to lerance because it can, in actuality, be a mask for an underlying fear or even hatred (one is tolerant, for example, of a baby crying on an airplane while simultaneously wishing it would go away or stop), and acceptance because it assumes that there is, indeed, something (negative) to accept. It must be noted that for some, the term homophobia does not precisely convey the true and complete exte nt of oppression based on sexu al orientation. Since, in psychological terms, a phobia is a fear, usually irrational, some theorists argue that what


25 is conventionally called homophobia is far more than that. In fact, it is a prejudice that often leads to acts of discrimination that are sometimes abusive and violent. Besides, they assert, the prefix homo (which, in Greek, means “the same”) places the onus on the oppressed rather than on the agents of oppression. Proponents of this position offer alternate terms: gay and/or lesbian hatred or hating, sexual orientationism (giving homophobia a parallel structure with racism and sexism ), and, heterosexism a fairly recent term that is used to denote the concurre nt beliefs that hetero sexuality is or should be the only acceptable sexual orientation and th at those who love and sexually desire members of the same gender should be f eared or hated. In this interpretation, heterosexism includes both the cultural precedence gi ven to heterosexuality and the beliefs or attitudes inherent in homophobia (Adam, 1998) While conceding many of these points, those who favor keeping the term homophobia point out that it is steadily gaining currency among sexual minorities, heterosexuals, researchers, and the mainst ream press. For those reasons, the term homophobia will be used in the present study. Homophobia as a Health Hazard Mental health practitioners are not immune to societal prejudice and may reflect learned disdain for sexual minority clients. Res earch in this area suggests that clients perceive this disdain, which may alienates them from vital intervention systems (American Medical Association Policy Co mpendium, 1995). This factor may reduce sexual minorities’ use of c ounseling and therapy services and can result in higher morbidity and mortality due to suicide, and research suggests that being gay, lesbian, or bisexual is not genetically or biologically hazardous, but that risk factors are conferred


26 through “homophobic fallout” (O’Hanlan, Loc k, Robertson, Cabaj, Schatz, & Nemrow, 2000). Homophobic fallout, in this instance refers to the social, medical and psychological effects of hom ophobia that negatively impact th e developing self-concept of youths as well as adults who possess a same-sex orientation. Therefore, homophobia, the socialization of heterose xu als, and concomitant conditi oning of sexual minority individuals against themselves, is a legitimate health hazard. The overall concept of disease vulnerability as a result of environmental stress and the development of poor coping styles underlies the discussion of homophobia as a cause of other health-related ri sk factors for gays and lesbia ns. A large body of literature supports the hypothesis that environmental stre ss factors interact w ith personal resources to produce behaviors which result in particular coping styles that help manage acute life crises, chronic life events, and major life tr ansitions (O’Hanlan, Lo ck, Robertson, Cabaj, Schatz, & Nemrow, 2000). Research on the development of adolescents, management of alcoholism, and depression s upport this kind of interactiv e linking of environmental health and stress. Homophobia negatively affects th e social environment of sexual minorities so that their risk for health problems increases. Studies have shown higher lifetime rates of depression, attempted suicide, and substance abuse among sexual minorities (Moos & B illings, 1993; Saghir, Robins, & Gentry, 1972). This has been attributed to chronic stress from societal hatred (O’Hanlan, et al, 2000) or to the ascription of inferior status that homophobia imposes. This type of stress ha s significant health implications because of the associated frequent loss of familial and other suppor t systems and the need to conceal and suppress of feelings and thoughts (Savin-Williams, 1989).


27 Though most sexual minority individuals are content with their orientation and function well in society, the vast majority of those who describe themselves otherwise c ite victimization by violence and familial, governmental, job or social discrimination as the reasons for their dissatisfaction (Isay, 1989). On the other hand, decreased levels of homophobia are associated with proactive copi ng style and decreased avoidant coping (Dupras, 1994). As stated earlier, increased difficulties with depression, suic idality, substance abuse, and intimacy problems are a re sult of homophobia. While estimates from numerous studies documenting the increased su icide rate among sexual minority youth vary, the data still fall into the range of 25 to 42%, which compared with the rate of 8 to 13% among high school students in gene ral (Garland & Zigler, 1993; Schneider, Fa rberow & Kruks, 1989). Studies of increased risk factors for suicide attempts before age twenty in gay and lesbian youths include d (a) discovering same -sex attraction early in adolescence, (b) expe riencing violence due to gay or lesbian identity, (c) using alcohol or drugs to cope, and (d) being rejected by family members as a result of being homosexual (Schneider, et al,., 1989; Shaffer, 1988). Several studies (e.g., Boston Public Health Commission, 2002; Dowsett, 2003; Gi bson, 1989; Herek, et al., 1997) found that while gay and lesbian youth are two-to-three times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers, African-American gay youth are twelve times more likely to attempt suicide than other young people. The repeated association of suicide behaviors with the risk factors common in the lives of sexual minority youth supports the experience of homophobia as a ri sk factor for suicide.


28 Additional sources of psychological stress among sexual minorities derive from the anxiety, depression, and guilt associat ed with being per ceived as immoral and deviant, an effect that has been com pounded by the HIV/AIDS epidemic (Moos & B illings, 1993). Individuals who carry multiple soci ally marginalized statuses, (e.g., race, ethnicity, and sexual or ientation) may carry an even high er risk of depr essive distress (Cochran & Mays, 1994; Herek & Capita nio, 1995; Mays & Cochran, 1988). In one study, lesbians of color scored as high on de pression scales as HIV-infected gay men of color, and both groups scored significantly higher in depression than heterosexual African Americans (Cochran & Mays, 1994). In contrast, the decision to “come out” has been associated with significantly less anxi ety and depression and a higher self-concept (Dupras, 1994). Despite this, in two large surveys of lesbians, only 15 to 28% had disclosed their orientation to all of the important people in their lives, presumably because of fear of social reprisals if th ey did so (Bradfor, Ryan, & Rothblum, 1994; By bee, 1990). Negative stereotypes of homosexuals perv ade television, theater and print media, thus increasing environmental stress for sexual minorities. For example, news articles about the proscription against homosexuals se rving in the military consistently fail to present the abundant data substa ntiating the absence of security risk; nor do they present evidence of performance inadequacy of homosexual service members (Herek, 1990; J ones & Koshes, 1995). This imbalance reinfor ces the belief in the unworthiness of homosexuals (Card, 1994). Despite the fact th at recent attempts by television and film producers to introduce gay and lesbian charact ers and themes into the collective popular culture have resulted in a new commercial acceptance of homosexuality unparalleled in


29 United States history, many critics argue that such representations are oversimplified and rife with one-dimensional characters (K eller, 2002; Keller & Stratyner, 2006). Relative to the roots of homophobia, ch ildren may be vulnerable to biases presented by television and theater (American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Communications and Media Violence, 1995). Fe w parents and even fewer religious or educational institutions teach children about dive rsity of sexual orient ation, particularly at the early ages when most youths begin to discern their own orie ntation. Critically, the fear that exposure to homosexuality may resu lt in conversion to homosexuality has been refuted. In studies comparing over 300 child ren raised in gay or lesbian headed households, no difference in self-concept, locu s of control, moral judgment, intelligence, sex-role behavior or orientation was observed (Patterson, 1992). Mental Health Risks Faced by Sexual Minority Youth The paucity of gay and lesbian role models in society diminishes the ability of ga y a nd lesbian youths to develop a positive self-identity, and to gain respect and understanding from their peers. In pediatri c interviews, the children who experienced homosexual feelings described a painful alienation from their family and perceptions (and fears) that heterosexua lity is the only acceptable “norm” (Remafedi, Resnic, Blum & Harris, 1992). Other studies found increased hi gh school drop-out rates, substance abuse, and family discord among gay youth and adolescents (Gipson, 1989). Thus, among y outh, homophobia leads to potentially life-long adverse effects to health, emotional development, and e ducational and occupa tional performance. The substance abuse rate across gender, geogra phic, and class lines for gay and lesbian individuals has previous ly been reported at 20 to 30%, in contrast to 10% for the


30 population at large (Cabaj, 1992; Lesbian and Gay Substance Abuse Planning Group, 1991; Paul, Stall, & Bloomfield, 1991). More re presentative studies have revealed gay male alcoholism rates of 19% versus 11% for heterosexual males in the same census areas in San Francisco (Stall & Wiley, 1988), 15% versus 14% in a survey of Chicago area newspapers (McKirnan & Peterson, 1989), and 12% among a New York City gay male population first surveyed in 1986, which declined to 9% at follow-up survey in 1987 (Cabaj, 1992). The model of environmental stress and disease, for which there is apparent support in the case of alcoholis m, supports the hypothesis that homophobia would be a risk factor (Moos and Billings, 1993). Fi nally, one of the greatest mental health risks for sexual minorities, especially ga y a nd lesbian youth, is being the victim of physical assault. Violent crimes against sexual minority individuals have been obser ved, but are not regularly tracked as hate crimes because (despite strong recommendati ons from liberal and moderate law makers) federal regulations do not requi re states to record homophobic violence as a hate crime. The 1996 Report of the Nationa l Coalition of Anti-Violen ce programs described 2,212 instances of homophobic violence including harassment, thr eats, assault, vandalism, arson, kidnapping, extortion, and murder, over a twelve month period in the eleven cities they monitored, including New York, Minn eapolis/St. Paul, Chicago, Denver, Boston, and San Francisco (National Co alition of Anti-Violence, 1996). According to a two-year national study, when compared with homicides against heterosexuals, homicides against sexual minorities are more violent and are more likely to involve mutilation and torture. Fu rthermore, such homicides are more likel y to go unsolved (Dunlap, 1994). The report concluded, “Each anti-gay episode sends a me ssage of hatred a nd terror intended to


31 silence and render invisible not only the victim, but all lesbians, gay men and bisexuals” (National Coalition of Anti-Violence, 1996, p.14). In a review of 23 survey studies, Berr ill (1992) found that the median proportion of gay and lesbian respondent s who were physically assau lted was 17%. In addition, 44% had been threatened with violence as a resu lt of their sexual or ientation and 80% had been verbally assaulted. Studi es of the impact of homophobia specific to gay and lesbian y outh are few. In one recent study of sexual minority youth (ages 15 to 21), it was found that as a result solely of their sexual orie ntation, 80% had experienced verbal insults, 44% had been threatened with violence, 33% ha d objects thrown at them, 31% reported being chased or followed, and 17% re ported being physically assaulted (i.e., punched, kicked or beaten) (Pilkington and D’Augelli, 1995). This compares with overall estimates from a comparative samp le of youth of verbal and physical assaults for any reason (presumably including sexual orientation) of 34% being threatened and 13% experiencing physical assault. Homophobia in the Schools: Physical and verbal threats faced by sexual minority youth Homophobia on College Campuses Homophobic violence is not limited to the uneducated: 37% of college freshmen a nd 9% of college women admitted to having verbally harassed a person they believed to be homosexual (Due, 1995). In a study of 484 students at six community colleges conducted by Dr. Karen Frank lin, 18% of the men intervie wed admitted that they had co mmitted physical violence or threats against men and/or women they perceived as gay or lesbian (Franklin, 1998). A surv ey of Yale lesbian and gay male students revealed that ma ny reported living their college years in secretiveness and dread because they feared


32 antigay violence and harassment on that tr aditionally “liberal” campus (Herek, 1993). More recently, a study of fema le college students yielded s imilar results to those reported by Due (1995), finding that 8% of college wo men surveyed indicated they have verbally assaulted other women whom they perceived as lesbian (Basow, 2000). All of these studies support that homophobia c ontributes as a specific and temporally related risk factor for violent assault, verbal harassmen t, and injury of pe rsons believed to be homosexual. Homophobia on High School Campuses According to the New York Gay and Le sbian Anti-Violence Report (2002), 76% of the people committing hate crimes are under age 30—one in three are under 18—and some of the most pervasive anti-gay violence occurs in schools at the pre-college levels. In fact, a study of Massachusetts high school students published in the journal, Pediatrics reports that nearly one-third of sexual minor ity teens had been thr eatened in the past month with a weapon at school, compared with 7% of heterosexual students surveyed (Garofalo, Wolf, Kessel, Pal frey, & DuRant, 1998). In tw o additional studies, similar percentages of gay, lesbia n, and bisexual youth repor ted hearing homophobic comments in their schools (Franklin, 1998; GLSEN’s Na tional School Climate Survey, 1999). In a study by the Massachusetts Governor’s Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth (1993), 97% of students in a Boston public high sc hool said they heard homophobic remarks on a regular basis from their peers. The Gay, Lesbia n, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) conducted a survey of 496 lesbian, ga y, bisexual, and tran sgendered students from 32 states. This survey found that over 90% of sexual minority youth reported that they frequently heard homophobic comments in their schools (GLSEN’s National School


33 Climate Survey, 1999). Even more alarming, over one-third of youth reported that no outside party ever intervened when hom ophobic remarks were ma de in their school environment. Results from earlier studies seem to suggest anti-gay harassment may be a gr owing trend in schools. For instance, The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force concluded from its 1984 survey: 45% of gay males and 20% of le sbians surveyed reported having experienced verbal harassmen t and/or physical violence as a result of their sexual orientation during high school (National Anti-Gay/ Le sbian Victimization Report, 1984). The subsequent (1999) GLSEN study, which measured the frequency and different types of anti-ga y harassment and found: 61.1% of sexual minority youth reported verbal harassment; 46.5% reported sexual harassm ent; 27.6% reported physical harassment; and 13.7% repor ted physical assault (being punc hed, kicked, etc.). Notably, of those who were victims of verbal harassment, almost half stated that this harassment occurred on a daily basis. A more recent st udy by GLSEN (2004), stated that 83.2% of LG BT students reported verbal harassment and 68.6% reported feeling unsafe at school because of othersÂ’ reactions to their sexual orientation. In addition to the threats they face at school, data have been collected about dangers sexual minority youth may face at home. In a survey of lesbians and gays in Pennsylvania, 33% of gay men and 34% of lesbians reported suffering physical violence at the hands of a family member as a result of their sexual orientation (Philadelphia Le sbian and Gay Task Force, 1996). Corliss, Cochran & Mays (2002) found similar results, with 36% of gay men and 29% of lesbians reporting physical abuse by immediate family members as a result of their sexual or ientation. Additional studi es are needed at a


34 national level, however, to determine the extent of antigay violence with family members as perpetrators (Corliss, et al., 2002). Special Counseling Needs of Sexual Minority Youth Id en tity Development In order to work effectively with sexual minority youth, the counseling professional may need to be prepared to a ssist in a variety of other areas besides developing coping strategies for violence and harassment. Like their heterosexual peers, sexual minority youth share the same physical, cognitive, psychological, and social tasks of development, many of whic h are unaffected by issues of sexual orientation. However, since one of the major psychological tasks of adolescence is that of identity formulation and consolidation, the sexual minority adolescent faces myriad challenges that the heterosexual adolescent does not (Baker, 2002; Goldstein & Horowitz, 2003; Hunter & Hickerson, 2002). The various components of an individual’ s identity include his or her sexual identity. Often adolescents clarify and consolid at e this particular sense of self through cohort comparisons, societal confirmation, and peer affirm ation. Environmental systems or settings such as school, family, neighbor hood, and work setting frame this process (Martell, et al., 2004). For the adolescen t struggling with a sense of undefined “differentness” regarding the focus of his or her sexual attractions these opportunities for sexual identity clarification and healthy formation in these settings are frequently limited at best. Most likely, they present a negativ e and stig matizing backdrop against which the adolescent must explore feelings and thoughts a bout this highly personal and integral part of personal identity. In schools, for example, it is commonplace for students to routinely


35 apply the words “faggot,” “gay” “dyke,” or “queer” to anyone or any thing they dislike for any reason, thus highlighting the devaluing of anything associated with being gay (Bontempo & D’Augelli, 2003). In addition, fo r sexual minority adolescents, support cannot be expected from family members as it is likely that they have expressed an tagonistic attitudes toward homosexuality at some point in the past (Dorais & La jeunesse, 2004). In contrast to the “development of a heterosexual identity, a norm requiring little conscious thought or effort, the attempt to develop a healthy and viable bior homosexual identity is draining, secretive, anxiety-producing, and lonely” (Hetrick & Martin, 1987, p.17). Hetrick a nd Martin (1987) found that the primary presenting problem for sexual minority adolescents was one of both social and emotional isolation and loneliness which, at times, included premature and inappr opriate sexual involvement with same-sex adults simply to satisfy a need for some type of social contact. Moreover, as the process of completing one’s gay, bisexual, or lesbian identity may not be completed during adolescence, this process (like the he terosexual process) may not include physical sexual behavior for many youth. At the same time, many sexual minority youth believe they have to directly experience a same -sex encounter to prove to themselves that they are gay, lesbian, or bisexual. Su ch beliefs put sexual minority teenagers at considerable risk for unsafe and inappropr iate sexual involvement (Bontempo & D’Augelli, 2003; Esparza, 1996). The process of self -identif ication is one that is long and generally characterized by extreme emotional turmoil. There are seve ral models describing this process that include self-labeling or “coming-out.” In the most well known of these models, Cass


36 (1979) identified six stages of identity fo rmation: confusion, comparison, tolerance, acceptance, pride, and synthesis. In Stage 1, identity confusion, heterosexual identity is called into question and the adolescent w onders, “Could I be gay?” Gay and lesbian information or awar eness becomes personally rele vant, and the assumption of heterosexuality begins to be undermined. At this stage, confusion is great and the adolescent may seek unbiased information on homosexuality—a difficult task given the inaccessibility of such information for this age group. Counseling interventions at this stage c ould assist the adolescent to redefine “different-ness”, discourage premature labeling, and attempt to normalize feelings. Denial is a primary defense at this stage. The adolescent may attempt to prematurely foreclose on the development process if not provided an acceptable environment in which to explore the possibility of gay, lesb ian or bisexual identity (Baker, 2002). Id entity Comparison, Stage 2, begins with accepting the potential that homosexual feelings are a part of the self. The realization that “I might be gay” may cross the adolescent’s mind. Alternately, a re-framing of same gender sexual attractions as a special case (“it just happens to be this one person I am attracted to and he/she happens to be the same sex”) may occur. The idea that “I may be bisexual” (which permits the potential for heterosexuality) can also be a manifestation of Stage 2 identity development. It is also at this level that “This is a ‘phase’ I’m going through” may surface. These strategies are developed to reduce the inc ongruence between same-sex attractions and a view of one’s self as heterose xu al (Hunter & Hickerson, 2002). According to Cass (1979), the task at this stage of identity comparison is to deal with social alienation as the individual become s aware of his or her difference from larger


37 society, and experiences a sens e of not belonging and the isol ation of perceiving himself or herself as an isolated cas e; that is, “I am the only one like this.” Counselors dealing with clients at this developmental level can explore their fears and anxieties, attempt to identify role models and, where possible, lo cate healthy and appropr iate support systems such as peer support groups and drop-in centers (Baker, 2002). Id en tity tolerance, Stage 3, is marked by such statements as “I probably am homosexual.” The individual has moved further from a heterosexual identity and more toward a homosexual one. This may include seeking out the company of other sexual minorities to meet psychosocial needs. This movement helps dispel the sense of confusion and turmoil of prior stages, but creates a greater gulf in the comparison between self and others (Martell, et al ., 2004). For the adolescent who experiences a heightened need for peer approval and acceptan ce, this can be a traumatically trying time. Adolescents attempting to dissipate the dissona nce of identities may adopt an asexual role or practice covert homosexua l behavior, which is particularly dangerous given the impulsive nature of sexual contacts among a dolescent males and the resultant risk of HIV infection (Dowsett, 2003; Esparza, 1996; H illier, 2004). Positive gay experiences are crucial to developing a degree of self-accep ta nce (vs. self-hatred) during this period (Hillier, 2004). Contacting other ga y, lesbian, and/or bisexual people becomes a more pressing issue to alleviate a sense of isola tion and alienation. Couns eling interventions at this stage can assist in interpreting negative experiences, developing interpersonal skills, a ddressing fears of exposure, facilitating decision making on coming out, and offering insight on the identity formation process as well as resource information (Baker, 2002).


38 Stage 4, identity acceptance, involves in creasing contact with other sexual minorities and developing a more clearly delineated homosexual or bisexual identity. Fi nding other sexual minority youths is diffi cult for many adolescents. Those in rural areas often find the social isolation nearly unbearable (Callahan, 2001; Corliss, et al., 2002; Elliot, 2000; Flowers, 2001). Many of th ese young people feel a need to leave home and school and move to an urban area simply to make contact with other gay people. Those adolescents fortunate enough to have access to support groups and/or gay social events often heighten their dual lifestyle existence, being heterosexual publicly and bior homosexual privately, as the fear of being “discovered” permeates their existence. The issues of “who am I?” and “how do I fit in?” have beg un to be addressed. Stages 5 and 6, identity pride and identity synthesis, move the individual from a “them and us” mentality towa rds a realization and acceptan ce of the similarities between the homosexual and heterosexual worlds. Str ong identification with the gay subculture a nd devaluation of heterosexuality and many of its institutions (stage 5) gives way to less rigid, polarizing views and more inclusiv e and cooperative beha vior (stage 6). Counseling interventions at these stages might include support of self-acceptance and pride, encouraging friendships with supportiv e heterosexuals, and supporting efforts to integrate the gay/lesbian/bisexual self w ith other aspects of identity (Baker, 2002; Callahan, 2001). These latter two stages, pride and synthesi s, are particularly difficult for schoolag ed adolescents to achieve, given the basic reality of their circumstances. Placing a gay, lesbian, or bisexual identity into appropriate perspective, as a part of an overall total identity, is made particularly difficult for a number of reasons. Society’s focus on the


39 sexual behavior component of a homosexual orientation, excl uding feelings of attraction, l ove, companionship, and subcultural mores, encourages the perpetuation of inaccurate sexual myths and stereotype s (Adam, 1998). For example, the myth that anonymous sexual liaisons are the only recourse for ga y me n, or that lesbians are a danger to children, derive from an exclusionary focu s on the sexual behavior component of homosexual orientation (Craig, et al., 2002). A dolescence in general is a time of natural heightened interest in sexuality—for both homosexual and heterosexual youth. The adolescent can easily be overwhelmed with an amplified version of sex as the primary component in a sexual minority person’s life, ve rsus it being just one of the many aspects of identity (Esparza, 1996). When Sexu al Orientation is in Question Given that sexual orientati on may be established before birth (Bell, Weinberg & Hammersmith, 1981; Whitman & Mathy, 1986) or is developed between the ages of three and nine years (Harry, 1982), a signifi cant number of the 30 million young people between the ages of ten and twenty in th e United States may be predominantly or exclusively gay or lesbian (Fontaine & Hammond, 1996). For many of those young people, a period of questioni ng or confusion is bound to occur. Student services personnel who provide counse ling to adolescents have the opportunity to make a substantial positive impact on the lives of a gr eat many teenagers who are uncertain about their sexual orientation simp ly by conveying the reality that orientation goes beyond sexual impulse or behavior. For example, a c onfused adolescent may be lieve that a single sexual contact, heterosexual or homosexual, defines sexual identity. Appropriate counseling encourages the young person to consider the meaning of daydreams,


40 affectional patterns, unexpressed physical attr actions, and emotional responses in sorting through issues of sexual orientation (C allahan, 2001). Many adol escents who question their sexual orientation will not develop a gay, lesbian, or bisexual identity. This c onfusion may be initiated by such behaviors as deviation from traditional gender roles, the o ccurrence of same-gender sexual fantasies a nd/or attractions, and incidents of samege nder sexual contact. The subs equent homosexual “panic” th ese behaviors can generate needs to be assessed within the context of the behavioral precipitants and the identity stages outlined previously. The apparent fact that same-sex behavior is relatively common (Fontaine & Hammond, 1996; Gates, 2004; Bradford, et al., 2002; Kinsey, et al., 1948) should also be kept in mind. Adolescent emotional lability and the lack of accurate information about homosexuality often exacerbate a young pers on’s fears. However, to dismiss the fantasies, behaviors, or f eelings as a “phase,” or to prematurely foreclose on an adolescent’s acceptance of his or her own gay or lesbian identity, ar e equally invalid and harmful courses of action (Bak er, 2002). Again, assisting teenag ers to explore their prior sexual attractions and fantas ies, differentiating between se xual orientation and gender roles, and providing literature to assist in the exploration of these questions can normalize the process and diminish their reactive fear. A bove all, counseling pr ofessionals need to recognize that for many adolescents, sexuality is an area of flux, and the process of arriving at an established se xu al orientation can take mont hs or years (Callahan, 2001). Faculty and Staff Attitudes Towa rd Sexual Minority Students Cl early, it has been established that sexual minority youth face a stressful, often openly hostile, environment in our nation’s schools (Bontempo & D’Augelli, 2003;


41 Callahan, 2001; Elliot, 2000; Flowers, 2001; Garo falo, Wolf, Kessel, Palfrey, & DuRant, 1998; GLSEN’s National School Climate Survey, 1999; Moos, 1992; Sears, 1992). The question naturally arises, “How has such an environment been allowe d to evolve?” While heterosexism has a general cu ltural presence in society, and schools are part of this, heterosexism also takes specific forms in par ticular institutions such as schools (Epstein & J ohnson, 1994). As Peter Redman (1994) argu es, “schools operate as significant cultural sites in which understa ndings and practices concerned with sexuality are actively constructed, reproduce d, and lived out, both in the formal curriculum and the hidden curriculum” (p. 141). They “operate as im portant public spaces in which young people learn about and construct thei r sexualities and come face to face with the different value society places on heterosexual as opposed to ga y and lesbian identities” (p. 142). In order to answer the question of how heterosexism has been allo wed to flourish in American schools, it is necessary to examine the attitudes toward homos exuality and sexual minority persons of those faculty and sta ff members charged with ensuring a safe learning environment for all students. One of the initial steps in helping sexual minority students is to establish an awareness of sexual diversity and homophobi a among school personnel and within the school setting where most students spend at least 13 years of their lives. All school em ployees have the capacity to create a positive and safe educational atmosphere of acceptance and understanding, or an atmosphere of rejection and discrimination that may result in intimidation, isolation, despera tion, violence or death (Baker, 2002). The few attempts to measure school pers onnel attitudes in this area have yielded alarming results. Sears (1991) c onducted a two-year survey of the perceptions of sexual


42 minority youth regarding the attitudes of school personnel toward homosexuality. Threefourths of the participants reported that their teachers had openly communicated negative attitudes about homosexuality, and more than 80% reported that few or none of their high school teachers considered homosexuality an a lternative lifestyle. A later study by Sears (1992) found that two-thirds of school c ounselors surveyed had “negative” attitudes about sexual minority youth. One out of three prospective teachers coul d be classified as “high grade homophobes.” The study also found that 52% of prospective teachers reported that they would feel uncomfortab le working with an openly gay colleague. Another study by the Massachusetts Gove rnor’s Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth (1999) found that an overwhe lming majority of teachers, 82%, opposed integrating lesbian and gay themes into their curricula According to the Na tional School Climate Survey of 904 sexual minority youth (GLSEN 2001), 82% of students reported that they cannot count on educators to intervene in res ponse to antigay harassment. Also, 81% said that they never had gay people portrayed positively in any class. Considering their degree of need and th e hostile school environment that some sexual minority youth face, many of these stude nts are clearly in need of a support system within their daily educati onal environments. They need advocates and supportive professionals. Student service personnel (i.e., guidance c ounselors, school psychologists, school social workers) are in unique positions to influence the cultures of their schools by providing information; support, respect, and tolerance; active prog ramming to address the concerns and attitudes of stude nts and teachers; and guidance in both the development of school policy and its transla tion into practice. Accordin g to Russell (1989), sexual minority students need “counselors as a source for positive intervention” (p.333).


43 Unfortunately few student serv ice personnel have been traine d to work effectively with sexual minority youth. For example, one st udy found that less than one-fifth of school counselors surveyed had participated in an y inservice program to expand their knowledge about sexual minority issues (Sears, 1991). Le ss than one-third of the counselors from the same study felt that their administrators viewed homosexual concerns as legitimate issues. There is a multitude of skills, sensitivities, and roles that school counselors and other student service personnel who provide (or potentially pr ovide) therapeutic services c ould, if willing, incorporate into their daily work lives to address the needs of sexual minority youth. However, many are ill-informed and some have expressed hostility toward this particular popula tion of students (Sears, 1992). Until gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered adolescents consistently experience school counselors and others who are willing to “promote understanding, tolera nce, empathy, and compassion” (Hunter & Schaecher, 1987, p. 187), they will con tinue to be at risk. Wh ile most of the data discu ssed thus far paint a bleak picture of the school lives of sexual minority youth, there also is res earch suggesting that supportive programs may make a difference. A study by the Massachus etts Department of Education (2000), found that schools with gay-straight alliances (G SA’s), school-based support groups for sexual minority students and their heterosexual “allies” (often including student service personnel), were significantly more likely than those without GSA’s to be welcoming places for sexual minority youth. Nearly th ree times as many students in schools with GSA’s, for example, said that lesbian, gay, and bisexual student s can safely be open about their sexual orientation at school, and they were sign ificantly less likely to hear


44 slurs such as “faggot,” “dyke,” and “that’ s so gay” on a daily basis (Massachusetts Department of Education, 1999). Gaystraight alliances, wh ich barely existed a decade ago, can now be found in more than 1,000 schools in 47 states, accordin g to GLSEN (2005). Usually after-school clubs, GSA’s are places for students to talk about how issues such as homophobia and heterosexism affect them in school, with peers, and at home; seek support from each other and their advisors; work to develop coping skills; and plan programs and activities. Review of the Literature on Attitudes and Homophobia One of the more extensive areas of resear ch in lesbian and gay studies focuses on a dult attitudes toward homosexuality or toward homosexuals. These studies often report the relationships between attitudes and personality traits or demographic variables. Herek (1984) has summarized some c onsistent patterns. For example, people with negative a ttitudes report less personal contact with gays and lesbians, less (if any) homosexual behavior, a more conservative religious ideology, and more traditional attit udes about sex roles than do those with less negative view s. Those harboring ne ga tive attitudes about homosexuality also are more likely to have resided in the Midwest or the South, to have grow n up in rural areas or in small towns, and to be male, older, and less well educated than those expressing more positive or neutral attitudes. Quasi-experimental research studies have demonstrated that adult males harbor more homophobic attitudes or feelings than fe males and are more c oncerned about male homosexuality than lesbianism (e.g., Ag uero, Bloch, & Byrne, 1984; Bassow, 2000; Br aungart & Braungart, 1988; Clift, 1988; J ohnson, et al., 1997; Parrott, et al., 2002; Reinhardt, 1997; Schatma n, 1989). Further, those with less negative attitudes or feelings


45 are more likely to have had a ssociations or friendships with lesbians or gay men (e.g., Ba sow, 2000; Johnson et al., 1997; Maddux, 1988; Parrott, et al., 2002, Raja & Stokes, 2004; Schneider & Lewis, 1984; Weiner, 1989; Whitley & Lee, 2000). Sears (1992), however, offers somewhat conf licting data in that he found that male guidance counselors were less homophobic than thei r female counterparts. A number of studies also have assessed the attitudes and feelings of people in the helping professions toward homosexuality and homosexual persons (e.g., Casas, Brady, & Po tterotto, 1983; Cribben, 1996; Engstrom & Se dlacek, 1997; Farr, 2000; Flowers, 2001; Fineran, 2002; Hochstein, 1988; Larkin, 1989; Rondahl, et al., 2004; Wisniewski & Toomey, 1987). These studies have found a heterosexual bias in these personsÂ’ professional attit udes and homophobia in their personal feelings. Very few studies, however, have examined issues related to homosexuality in the context of attitudes of individuals within the public elementary, middle, or high school (e.g., Baker, 2002; Callahan, 2001; Dressler, 1985; Engstrom & Sedlacek, 1997; Fischer, 1982; GLSEN, 2004; Griffin, 1992; Herek, 1984, 1988; Price, 1982; Sears, 1992). Those studies available have focused on teachers, high school students, principals and sexual minority teachers. Relevant findings he re indicated that most school administrators would dismiss a teacher for disclosing his or her homosex uality to students, a nd that one-fourth of college teacher-preparation st udents at one institution acknowledged their inability to treat a homosexual student fairly or to discuss homosexuality in the classroom. Furthermore, a majority of he terosexual high school student s and teachers at all levels have expressed disdain for their sexual mi nority peers/students ba sed solely on sexual orientation.


46 Several studies have explored this topi c with counselor trainees or counselors working in clinical settings (e.g., Chodor ow, 2002; Feathergill, 1994; Friedman, 1995; Glenn & Russell, 1986; Green, 2003; Herek, 1990; Schneider & Tremble, 1986), but apparently only four publishe d researcher articles (Fontai ne, 1998; GLSEN, 2004; Price & Telljohann, 1991, Sears, 1992, Smit h, 2006) have studied school guidance counselors’ attitudes regarding homosexuality and homosex ual individuals. Besides the Smith (2006) pilot study leading into the present investig ation, no other research appears to exist to date assessing the a ttitudes of student services personne l from a variety of disciplines (e.g., school psychologists, school social wo rkers). Thus, there is a need to conduct research to help determine what factors help or hinder student service personnel in providing relevant and a ppropriate counseling to sexual minority youth. Measuring Homophobia: Correla tes and Gender Differences Defining Homophobia In response to the dramatic shift in th e behavioral sciences away from viewing homosexuality as a sickness to recognizing that a sexual/affectional attraction to members of one’s own sex is me rely different from, rather than inferior to, opposite sex attraction, Herek (1980) attempted to answer the que stion, “If homosexuals are not unnatural or sick, why do so many people hol d such negative attitudes towards them?” Using a factor analysis with an oblique rotation and assuming that attitudes toward homosexuality are multidimensional, Herek anal yz ed questionnaire responses concerning a ttitudes toward homosexuality. The factor analysis suggested that, while attitudes toward homosexuality were probably multidimensional, the different dimensions were interrelated. Furthermore, the au thor found that while there we re some differences in the


47 structure of attitudes toward lesbians compared with attitudes toward male homosexuals, attitudes toward both groups invol ved the same general factor. This general factor, which was salient for both female and male respondents, s eemed to embody what has traditionally been called “homophobia.” In terms of methodology, Herek (1980) conducted a p ilot study in which a preliminary questionnaire was administered to 130 student volunteers (66 females, 64 males) at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. The questionnaire consisted of 59 statements relating to attitudes toward homosexuals and homosexuality that participants responded to along a five-point Li kert scale ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree Responses were analyzed using princi pal components analysis with various rotations to determine which solution best re vealed the interrelationships among the data. While the initial analysis suggested five orthogonal (i.e., uncorrelated) factors, there were two indications that the assumption of orthogonality was not warranted. First, a single factor accounted for a major propor tion of the variance--in this case, 41% compared to 6% for the other four factors combined. This suggested that one general factor best organized the items on the ques tionnaire. Second, inspections of the graphic representations obtained from plotting all possible pairs of factors, one against the other, suggested that any factors that existed were correlated. To confirm or reject this hypothesis, responses to the questionnaire were submitted to an oblique rotation. This yielde d a general factor which accounted for 39% of the total variance, and three lesser fact ors that together accounted for 11.5% of the total variance. Although the lesse r factors were not intercorrela ted, they did correlate with the single primary factor at leve ls ranging from r = .30 to r = .50. Thus, it appeared that


48 an oblique rotation (rather than a varimax ro tation) was appr opriate and that one single factor best explained the st ructure of the questionnaire. To confirm these results, Herek ( 1980) developed a s econd questionnaire (consisting of 66 items) and admin istered it to a larger samp le. For this administration, respondents were students in introductory psychology classes at the University of California at Davis, California State Univ ersity at Sacramento, California State University at Chico, and Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Since a previous study had found differe nces between attit udes toward male homosexuals and lesbians (Millham, 1976), tw o forms of the questionnaire were used, one focusing on lesbian targets and the other focusing on male homosexual targets. Each questionnaire employed a nine-point Li kert scale ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree A total of 437 subjects responded to the lesbian-focused questionnaire (276 females, 161 males) and 469 subjects completed the hom osexual-focused questionnaire (282 females, 187 males). Responses from the male and female participan ts were analyzed separately for each of the two forms of the questionnaire. E ach of the four resp ective data sets was submitted to principal component factor analys es, using oblique rotations with an initial delta value set at zero (this had yielded the most interpretable factors in the preliminary study). Additional analyses also were perfo rmed that varied the number of factors extracted and the degree of obliqueness to dete rmine if a more interpretable pattern of factors resulted In the end, the author found that, for all four groups, a single general factor accounted for about 35% of the total variance in responses. This factor consisted of items


49 that condemned homosexuality as “unnatural, disgusting, perver se, sinful, as a danger to society (and, therefore, requiring negative soci al sanctions), and as a source for personal anxiety to the individual respondent (and thus leading to avoidance of contact with homosexuals). Because it included cultural and personal attitudes, the author labeled this factor Homophobia the term generally applied to anti-homosexual attitudes in the personal and social spheres. A second factor also was apparent for a ll four groups, accounting for an additional 4.5% of the total variance. The author labeled this factor Sex-Role Discord as its items implied a view of intrinsic disharmony and antagonism between homosexuals and those who wish to uphold traditional social sex roles. The author concluded that while differences in attitudes toward homosexuals were apparent across the men and women in this study, the differences (i.e., the smaller factors) were so limited that th e single factor of Homophobia represented the best organization of the questionnaire for both partic ipants and targets (i .e., male homosexuals and lesbians). Thus, through this researc h, the author was successful in empirically defining homophobia as the general belief that homosexuality is sick, wrong, and disgusting; that it is a danger to society (a nd, therefore, should be negatively sanctioned); and that it is a threat to the individual (leadin g to an avoidance of contact with homosexuals). Another important issue a ddressed in Herek’s (1980) study is the relationship between attitudes toward homos exuality and attitudes about traditional sex roles. Two earlier studies (MacDonald & Games, 1974; Wi nnigerode, 1976), using different attitude scales, found strong correlations (near .60) be tween adherence to tr aditional sex roles and


50 negative attitudes toward homosexuals. Herek’s study seems to confirm that a significant proportion of negative attitudes toward homosexuality are rela ted to the perception that homosexuals violate traditional sex roles. Assessing the Relationship between Know ledge about Homosexuality and Homophobia In an attempt to gain further insight into the factors that influence heterosexuals’ perceptions of sexual minoritie s, Wells and Franken (1987) assessed univers ity students’ knowledge about homosexuality in relation to their degree of homonegativism, a term that includes physical, social, and emotiona l distancing from homosexuals and other selected personal variables. Unlike previous studies, the authors here investigated knowledge about homosexuality in relation to attitudes toward homosexuality. They hypothesized that greater knowledge on th e topic was related positively to lower homonegativism. In addition, the authors predicted that knowing an identified homosexual would relate positively to possessing greater information and fewer homonegative attitudes than not knowing an identified homosexual. To test these hypotheses, they selected knowledge as a depe ndent variable and pr edicted that it would relate positively to other homonegative-related variables previously identified in the literature—gender (Laner & La ner, 1980), religious affiliation and strength of religious conviction (Marmor, 1980), sexu al orientation (Hudson & Ri cketts, 1980), college major (Larsen, Reed, & Hoffman, 1980), sex role congruency (MacDonald, 1976), and personal feelings about homosexuality (Nyberg & Alston, 1976). The authors selected a sample of 137 students enrolled in a human sexuality course at a midwestern state university. The sample included 65 women, 67 men, and 5 students who did not indicate th eir gender. The distribution of class rank was as follows:


51 100 (73%) seniors, 23 (16.8%) juniors, 2 (1.5%) sophomores, 6 (4.4%) freshmen, 1 unmatriculated, and 5 who did not indicate class ra nk. Subjects ranged in age from 18 to 45 years with 76.6% between 21 and 23 years old. The couplehood status of respondents was 106 (77.4%) single, 10 (7.3%) married, 2 (1.5%) divorced, 1 (0.7%) widowed, 7 (5.1%) living with same sex, 3 (2.2%) livin g with opposite sex, 1(0.7%) other, and 7 (5.2%) not responding. The following college majors were represented: 59 (36.5%) business, 26 (19%) humanities and fine ar ts, 21 (15.3%) education, 21 (15.3%) natural sciences, 11 (8%) social and be havioral sciences, and 8 w ho did not indicate a major. Instrumenta tion for the study included thr ee measures: the Homosexual In formation Scale (HIS; Wells & Franken, 1987), The Homosexual Distancing Scale (HDS; Wells & Franken, 1987), and the Bem Sex Role Inventory (BSRI; Bem, 1974), along with a personal information questi onnaire that asked respondents about their ge nder, religious affiliation, stre ngth of religious conviction, sexual orientation, college major, whether or not they knew an identif ied homosexual, and pe rsonal feelings about homosexuality. The HIS was formulated and pilot tested by the authors. It is an 18-item scale consisting of true-false statements about homosexuality based on information documented in the literature. In a factor analysis of the HIS with 86 university students, four factors emerged that explained 81% of th e variance: Factor 1, th at explained 40% of the vari ance, was named Gay-Lesbian Life Sa tisfaction; Factor 2, that explained 23% of the vari ance, was called Homosexuals as Role M odels; Factor 3, that explained 10% of the variance, was named Sexual Behavior; a nd Factor 4, that explained 8%, was called In fluencing Heterosexuals To Become Homosexuals. The internal reliability alpha score


52 for the pilot group was 0.79, (p < .01). The HIS was found to ha ve test-retest reliability of .84 over a 7-day period. The HDS was developed by the author s in order to address a range of characteristics that represent homonegativism rather than homophobia. The authors relied on the literature addressing the measurement of racial attitudes for a conceptual framework for the HDS. In particular, WestieÂ’s (1953) work relating social distance to a personÂ’s (acceptable) relations hip with members of minority groups. It was used to organize individual HDS items into four scales: (a) the Residential Scale, which measured the degree of residential prox imity the respondent w ill permit the attitudeobject (i.e., a homosexual); (b) the Position S cale, which measured the extent to which the respondent is willing to have the attitude object occ upy positions of prestige and power in the community; (c) the Interpersonal-Physical Scale, which measured the degree to which respondents are averse to physical interaction with the attitude object; and (d) the Interpersonal-Social Scal e, which measured the degree of proximity the respondent a llows to the attitude-object during interpersonal interactions. The HDS, along with the Index of Attitudes Toward Homosexuals (IATH; Hudson & Ricketts, 1980), was ad ministered (as a pilot test) to 91 university students and was found to have a test-retest reliability of .73 over a seve n-day period. Through factor analysis, both the IATH and the HDS revealed one major factor a nd one minor factor. F actor 1 on the HDS accounted for 67% of the variance and focused on Personal Closeness, both physical and interrelational, to homosexua ls. Factor 1 on the IATH accounted for 64% of the variance and focu sed on Relationa l-Professional Closeness. Factor 2 on the HDS was named Political-Equa l Rights, and it accounted for 15% of the


53 variance; items related to Pe rsonal Closeness dominated the second factor on the IATH, accounting for 11% of the variance. The third measure used in the study, the Bem Sex Role Inventory (BSRI), is a 60Item instru ment used to determine sex role c ongruency-incongruency through selfidentification with adjectives that are design ated as masculine, feminine, androgynous, or undifferentiated. After the 137 students completed the thr ee instruments, the authors conducted a correlational analysis that revealed scores on the HDS and the HIS were related significantly (Pearson correlation coefficient, r = -.47, p < .0001). This finding supported the hypothesis that respondents with a high degree of information about homosexuality were less homonegative in th eir attitudes than were ot her respondents with less knowledge on the topic. Analysis of varian ce calculations revealed that women and men did not differ significantly in their knowledge of homosexuality as measured by the HIS. The mean score was 11.37 (SD = 2.74) for women and 11.52 (SD = 2.70) for men [F (1,22) = 0.09, p < .70]. Although there was consider able variance across gender groups on the HDS, women appeared to be less homonegative (M = 2.52, SD = 16.42) than men (M = -0.54, SD = 15.80). However, the two gr oupsÂ’ HDS scores did not statistically differ [F (1,128) = 0.49, p < .48]. Sixteen participants indicated on the que stionnaire that they had a homosexual friend or family member. Comparatively, these students had significantly higher scores on the HIS (M = 13.13, SD = 2.03) than peers without homosexual friends or family (M = 11.0, SD = 2.72). Those who reported that th ey knew an identified homosexual also were significantly less homonegative in th eir responses on the HDS (M = -22.56, SD =


54 13.94) than those without a homosexua l acquintance (M = 1.61, SD = 14.00), [F (1,113) = 41.04, p <.00001]. Surprisingly, no significant di fferences were evident when religious a ffiliation or degree of religiosity were considered. As part of the study, Wells and FrankenÂ’ s (1987) respondents we re asked to rate their sexual orientation using the 6-point Ki nsey scale (Kinsey, Pomeroy & Martin, 1948) ranging from 0 (exclusively heterosexual) to 6 (exclusively homosexual). Significant differences were found for both the HIS and the HDS. Not surprisingly, respondents who identified themselves as other than excl usively heterosexual had higher knowledge scores, [F (4, 112) = 3.52, p < .01], and lower homonegativity, [F (4, 116) = 7.74, < .00001], than those who classified themse lves as exclusively heterosexual. A nother finding which may have relevance to the current investigation was that a strong relationship existed between colle ge ma jor and level of homonegativity as measured by the HDS, [F (4, 126) = 3.19, p < .05]. Individuals majoring in the social and behavioral sciences demonstrated the l east homonegativism (M = -9.3, SD = 15.90), and those majoring in the natural sciences de monstrated the most (M = 5.0, SD = 17.26). In terestingly, those majoring in educati on exhibited the second highest level of homonegativism (M = 2.0, SD = 14.28). In the end, the authors did not find homone ga tivism to be rela ted to sex-role congruency-incongruency, regardless of whethe r men or women classified themselves as feminine, masculine, androgynous, or undiffe rentiated on the Bem. Mean scores on the HDS were very similar for all four of the Bem classifications with a wide variance within gr oups. However, they did find that there was a significant relationship between a


55 personal information question intended to assess overall attitudes toward homosexuality and scores both on the HIS, F (5,107) = 4.44, p < .001, and the HDS, F (5,109) = 25.97, p <.00001. Additionally, the results indicated that when the first three positive responses on the questionnaire (i.e., advocate of gay ri gh ts, support homosexuality as a lifestyle, a nd view homosexuality as a viable choice to meet sexual-affiliative needs) were combined, 63% of respondent s supported homosexuality as a lifestyle choice. This study was significant for a variety of reasons; most specifically because it established a positive association between knowledge and attitudes. The implication is that reduction of homonegativism might be accomplished by increasing knowledge about homosexuality, and that subse quent knowledge might increas e as individuals decrease their homonegativism. This relationship may have important implications for increasing both the competency and the comfort levels of student service personne l, at the preservice level, who will work with sexual minority youth. However, the generalizability of these results to student service personnel in the field is questionable since a young adult, undergraduate, student sa mple was used. Therefore, it woul d be imprudent to predict the behavior of (presumably) olde r, more educated and experien ced professionals in the field based on these results. Social Psychological Variables Underlying Homophobia A later study by Herek (1988) again addr essed heterosexualÂ’s attitudes toward lesbians and gay men in an attempt to determine some co rrelates of homophobia. In this study, the author was interested not only in attitude differences across gender, but also in the social psychological variables that underlie those attitudes. In this case, the chosen


56 social psychological variables underlyi ng homophobia (for both ma les and females) were: religiosity, adherence to traditional ideologies of family and gender, perception of friendsÂ’ agreement with oneÂ’s own attitudes, and past interactions with gays and lesbians. Herek (1988) conducted thr ee separate studies, posin g three questions, with student samples to investigate the basis fo r differences among heterosexuals in their reactions to gay people. The first question asked if th e in tensity of heterosexualsÂ’ a ttitudes toward gay people was consistently affected by gender of the (heterosexual) respondent, the (gay) target, or both. Th e second question asked about the relative c ontribution of other social psychological variables to heterosexualsÂ’ attitudes. The third question asked if the correlates exerted a differential influence on the attitudes of heterosexual men and women, and if they had a differential effect on attitudes toward lesbians and toward gay men. In the first study, Herek (1988), compared scores of hetero sexual males and females on separate measures of attitudes toward lesbians and gay men. The relative c ontributions to the variance in attitude scores by other social psychological variables were assessed through multiple regression analysis. The Attitudes Toward Lesbians and Gay Men (ATLG) scale, the dependent vari able, was ad ministered to a sample of undergraduate students, along with measures of related variab les to be disc ussed later. The ATLG scale, was developed specifically for this study to measure homophobia. It is a 20-item scale in Likert format with two 10-item subscales: Attitudes Toward Lesbians (ATL) and Attitudes Toward Gay Men (ATG). Alpha coefficients for the scale and subscales indicated satis factory levels of internal cons istency (alpha = .90 for the ATLG, .89 for the ATG, .77 for the ATL).


57 The author examined the ability of five sets of independent variables to explain ATLG scores. These variables were operationalized as follows: (a) sex-role attitudes were assessed with the 25-item short form of the Attitudes Toward Women Scale (AWS; Spence, Helmreich, & Stapp, 1973); (b) constructs related to authoritarianism were a ssessed with three measures-The Traditional Family Ideology scale or TFI, (Short Fo rm; Levinson & Huffman, 1955), a dogmatism scale (Trohldahl & Powell, 1965), and an ambiguity tolerance scale (MacDonald, 1970); (c) perceived social support was measured by asking respondents to estimate wh at proportion of their friends agreed with their attitudes toward homosexuality along a 7-point continuum ranging from “none” to “p ractically all;” (d) personal contact was assessed by asking respondents how many of their close female friends during the past tw o years were lesbian a nd whether their past interactions (if any) with lesbians were generally positive or generally negative, (these items were repeated with reference to gay men); and (e) Religiosity was assessed through three measures-frequency of attendance at re ligious services, the orthodoxy subscale of the Religious Ideology Scale, (RIS ; Pu tney & Middleton, 1961), and the “conservatism” of respondents’ religious de nomination (dichotomized as fundamentalism vs. liberal/no religion ; Paige, 1977). The reliab ility (alpha) coefficients for the scales were all greater than .70, with the exception of the ambi gu ity tolerance scale (alpha = .59). A sample of 368 undergra duate student volunteers en rolled in introductory psychology courses at a major California university (249 females, 119 male s) participated in the Herek (1988) study. Since the ATLG is designed to assess hete rosexuals’ attitudes, the 15 respondents who reported having enga ge d in homosexual behaviors after age 16 were eliminated from the subsequent analys is. After eliminating other respondents for


58 returning incomplete questionna ires, a sample of 110 responde nts remained (73 females, 37 males). One-hundred and seve n (107) respondents were si ngle, one was married, and two were divorced. The group’s mean age wa s 18.7 years. Ninety-six (96) of the respondents were college fresh men or sophomores, and fourt een (14) were juniors or seniors. A 2 (Gender of Respondent) x 2 (Gender of Target—ATL vs. ATG) analysis of variance with repeated measures was conducted to analyze the data. The significant main effect for respondents’ gender indicated that males held mo re negative attitudes than did females [(F) (1,366) = 7.61, p < .01)]. Both males and fema les tended to express more negative attitudes toward homos exual persons of their own ge nder {for the respondentby-target interaction, [(F ) = 7.89, ( p < .01)], the effect was more pronounced among males } W ith regard to the alternate forms of th e ATLG, differences between respondents’ attitudes toward lesbians a nd gay men were analyzed by comparing nonstandardized scores on the original subscales with scores on the alternate versions. When the ATL and alternate-ATG scores were compared with a 2 (Gender of Respondent) x 2 (Gender of Target) repeated measures ANOVA, no main effects were found. However, a gender-bytarget interaction suggested that males’ attitudes toward gay men were significantly more negative than any others [F (1,108) = 3.95, p < .05]. A similar analysis with nonstandardized ATG and altern ate-ATL scores yielded no si gn ificant effects, although males’ scores tended to be more negative [(F ) = 2.55, p = .11]. To address the problems associated with directly comparing raw scores between the ATG and ATL, scores on the two scales a nd the alternate forms were transformed and


59 entered in a 2 (Gender of Res pondent) x 2 (Gender of Target) x 2 (Set of Items) repeatedmeasures ANOVA. A significant gender-b ytarget-by-items interaction [(F ) = 8.72, p < .01] was found. Only the ATL items produced a significant gender-by-target interaction effect. These findings suggested that fema le respondents tended to hold equally positive (or negative) attitudes toward gay men and lesbians, whereas males from the sample tended to respond more negatively to gay men than to lesbians. ATL and ATG scores were significantly corre lated in the expected directions with a ttitudes toward sex roles, traditional family ideology, dogmatism, perceived agreement by friends, and positive contact with any lesbians or gay men. Additionally, female scores were correlated with the th ree religiosity variables ( liberal denomination, church attendance, and funda mentalist beliefs). In order to address the relativ e importance of the different variables, the author used hierarchical regression analysis with the alternate forms of the ATL and ATG as dependent variables. For this sample, gender did not explai n a significant proportion of variance. Two variables, however, were sign ificantly predictive of ATLG scores. More negative attitudes toward lesbians and gay men were associated with perceptions that oneÂ’s friends hold similar attitudes and adhere to a traditional family ideology (high TFI scores). The influence of family ideology was slightly stronger when gay males as opposed to lesbians were the target. On the other hand, favorab le attitudes toward lesbians were associated with reporting positive past experiences with lesbians; such ex periences exerted a marginally significant effect on attitudes toward gay men as well ( p = 06).


60 Herek (1988) conducted a fo llow-up study in order to assess the stability of previous findings (obtained fro m students at a single Califor nia university) with different samples in different geographic locales. The author administered the ATLG to 405 student volunteers (226 females, 179 males) at six different universities in Nebraska, I ndiana, at an East-coast Ivy-League univers ity, at a New England state university, at the California university used in the initial study, and at a California state university in a different city. As in the previous study, this multi-campus sample provided data about their religious denomination, attendance at re ligious services during the previous year, their number of friends who were gay or lesbian, and the quality of their past interactions with sexual minority individuals. They also completed abbreviate d versions of the Attitudes Toward Women Scale (AWS), to address the possibility of a correlation between homophobia and sexism, and th e Religious Ideology Scale. Again, only those respondents who reported exclusively heterosexual behavior since the age of 16 were included in the an alysis. Thus, six fema les and 10 males were excluded from the sample. The remaining re spondents had a mean age of 20 years and had completed an average of two years of college. Internal cons istency for the ATLG, ATG, and ATL was .95, .91, and .90, respectivel y. Results indicated more pronounced ge nder differences than in the initial study, with male respondent s expressing more negative attitudes on both scales than females. Analyses of variance uncovered a main effect for respondentÂ’s gender [F (1,403) = 5.37, p < .05] and a significant respondent-bytarget interaction [F = 22.61, p <.001]. This finding suggested that heterosexual malesÂ’ more negative attitudes were stronger when gay males were the target. Correlations of the


61 ATG and ATL with the supplementary measures were statistically si gn ificant and in the predicted directions. Dummy variables for the sample locations were created to control for regional variations in attitudes. Regr ession analyses indicated that participant location accounted for a significant proportion of the vari ance in ATL scores [R square = .1068, F (6,399) = 7.9545 p < .001] and ATG scores [R square = .1012, F = 7.4863, p < .001 for both]. Fu rther analysis revealed that the lowest scores (i.e., the most positive attitudes) were obtained by the East Coast samples and th e highest scores (i.e., the most negative a ttitudes) by the Nebraska samples. The participants from Indiana and California did not differ significantly from each other, bot h falling in the mid-range of scores. S ubsequent examination of individual regression coeffi cients indicated that negative attitudes toward sexual minority persons were most strongly associated with adherence to an orthodox religious ideology (i.e., high RIS scores), traditional views of sex roles (i.e., high AWS scores), and fre quent attendance at religious services. In terestingly, the author found that positive experiences with gay men contributed to positive attitudes toward both lesbians and gay men, especially the latter, and negative ex periences with lesbians contributed to negative attitudes toward both gay men and lesbians, especially lesbians. In a third study, Herek (1988) attempted to replicate his findings from the first two studies. Here, however, the author incl uded measures of va riables related to participants’ “intrapsychic conflicts” to examine their influence on attitudes toward lesbians and gay men. The decision to in clude this variable was based on the psychoanalytic theory of psychological defense. In other words, the author attempted to


62 determine whether individuals with hostile attitudes toward homosexuality were, themselves, insecure in their own gender identity or sexual orientation such that these insecurities were unconsciously and defensively projected onto others who symbolized th eir own unacceptable urges. The author operationalized the variables related to participants’ psychological defenses in three ways. First, defensiveness in attitudes toward lesbians and gay men was operationalized as involving the externaliza tion of unconscious conf licts (i.e., projecting one’s repressed homoe rotic desires onto a convenient symbol—lesbians and gay men) a nd the expression of hostility toward that symbol. This predicted that unfavorable a ttitudes toward sexual minorities would be associated with a general tendency to use externalizing defense mechanisms, such as projection and displacement. Second, the au thor hypothesized that personal insecurities regarding one’s own gender identity would be associated with hyper-conformity to gender roles. Finally, the author asserted that individuals with such insecurities would exaggerate differences between themselves and the symbols of their unconscious desires. In ot her words, compared with relatively secure heterosexual males, insecure males would be expected to see themselves as less similar to ga y men, and insecure women would view themselves as being less similar to lesbian women compared to more secure women. In this third study, the author used a ne w sample of hetero sexual undergraduate volunteers (n = 149) from the same Californi a university used in the first study. Respondents completed the ATLG and the same measures associated with the ATLG used in the previous two studies. In a ddition, the tendency to use externalizing psychological defenses was a ssessed using the Defense Mechanisms Inventory, or DMI


63 (Gleser & Ihilevich, 1969). Although the entire DMI was administered, only two subscales were relevant to th is particular investigation: the Turning-Against-Objects (TAO) and Projection (PRO) subscales. Th e PRO subscale assesses the tendency to justify aggression toward an external object by first attributing negative intent to it, and the TAO m easures the tendency to deal with conf lict by attacking a real or presumed frustrating object. Be y ond these measures, a semantic differen tial technique descri bed in Burke and Tully (1977) also was used to assess responde nts’ perceptions of similarity to men in ge neral and women in general. This technique utilized a scale to assess gender roles according to traits most salient to the s ubject population. Four ad jective pairs that differentiated participants’ views of males and females from a control sample were used (Smooth-Rough, Soft-Hard, Timid-Bold, Emoti onal-Not emotional). The author asked subjects to describe the concepts of “men in general” and “women in general,” and then to describe themselves. A “level of conformity” to sex-role standards was assessed by calculating the differences between participant ratings of self and their general ratings of their own gender. In order to assess res pondents’ perceptions of similarity between themselves and their concepts of “gay men” and “lesbians,” the same adjective pairs were used, requiring respondents to describe homosexual men a nd lesbian women in those terms. Once again, the author found that males expressed more unf avorable attitudes than did females, with a more pronounced e ffect when gay men as opposed to lesbians were the targets. Analyses of variance revealed a statistically significant main effect for ge nder [F (1,145) = 6.44, p < .01], as well as a significant respondent-by-target


64 interaction [F = 20.75, p < .001]. Further regression an alyses indicated that gender accounted for 2.2% of the variance in ATL scores [F (1,145) = 3.2506, p < .07] and 8.9% in ATG scores [F = 14.21, p ,< .001]. Beyond the variance explained by a respondentÂ’s ge nder, the supplementary variables adde d 0.5652 to the R square for the ATL (F = 9.659, p < .001) and 0.5282 for the ATG (F = 9.379, p < .001). With respect to the Defense Mechanisms Inventory, scores on that instrument did not significantly predict an y participant attitudes. However, perceptions of self compared to men and women in ge neral varied with ATL and ATG scores. Re spondents with positive attitudes did not see themselves as very similar to men or women in general. In other words, they did not describe themselves in terms of characteristics they perceived as typical of either gender. As in the previous studies, ATL and ATG scores were associated with traditional views of sex roles (high AWS scores) and c onservative religious ideologies (high RIS scores). There was also a correlation between attitudes and negative experiences with gay people. However, an unexpected cross-gende r effect was noted. Ne ga tive interactions with gay men negatively affected attitudes toward lesbians and negative interactions with lesbians negatively influenced attitudes toward gay men. Finally, perceived differences between oneself and gay indi viduals on gender-related charact eristics had a significant effect only with regard to ATG scores. Respondents with unfavor able attitudes were likely to perceive greater differences between themselves and gay men. As noted, the TAO and PRO subscales of the DMI did not explain significant amounts of variance when the analysis was conducted with genders combined. However, further analysis showed that females sc oring high on the TAO and low on the PRO ge nerally had higher ATL and AT G scores, with an opposite pa ttern emerging for males.


65 In other words, “heterosexual women who te nd to use projection hold more negative a ttitudes, and those who tend to direct their anger outward hold more positive attitudes. Males who use projection, in c ontrast, tend to express more positive attitudes, while those who turn against perceived frustrators tend to have more hostile attitudes” (Herek, 1988, p. 469). The Herek (1988) studies of heterosexual s’ attitudes toward sexual minorities are important for a number of reasons. First, a ge nder difference was obs erved consistently. Heterosexual males repeatedly reported more negative attitudes toward gay people than did heterosexual females. Furthermore, males’ attitudes were more hostile toward gay men than toward lesbians, whereas females’ attitudes did not differ significantly according to the gender of the target. Sec ond, no single correlate of heterosexuals’ a ttitudes was more predictive of ATLG scores than any other. Perceived agreement from friends, church attendance and ideology, contact with lesb ians and gay men, gender-role a ttitudes, and family ideology all appeared equally important when considering the correlates or predictors of homophobic attitudes. In addition, the first two Herek studies found that perceptions of dissimilarity between oneself and men in ge neral, women in general, a nd gay men (but not lesbians) emerged as important variables for study in th e third investigation, especially with regard to attitudes toward gay men. Finally, tolerant attitudes seemed to be correlated with perceptions of oneself as not fitting stereoty pes of either masculinity or femininity. In other words, heterosexuals who do not rigidl y a dhere to traditional views of gender tend to be more accepting of sexual minorities.


66 In the end, Herek successfully identified at least four separate sources of hostility toward sexual minorities. Based on these findi ngs, Homophobia appears to be associated with traditional attitude s about gender and family roles, perceptions that one’s friends hold similarly negative beliefs, st rong adherence to an ort hodox religious ideology, and past negative experiences with gay people. Conversely, this research suggested that individuals are less likely to express homophobi c attitudes if they belong to a liberal religious denomination or ar e not religious, endorse non-tr aditional views of gender and family, do not perceive their friends as holding attitudes similar to their own, and if they have had positive experiences with lesbians and gay men. L imitations of Herek’s Studies As with similar studies, respondents were drawn from a “convenience sample” of university students with an average age of ar ound 20 years. This factor might have had a significant impact on the research results, particularly with regard to the level of heterosexual male hostility toward sexual minorities observed. Relative to implications, when one considers the cultu ral construction of gender a nd the male sex role in contemporary society (particularly in Ameri ca), it is apparent that the importance of heterosexuality to ma sculinity is emphasized. Herek ( 1986) points out that many males feel the need to affirm their masculinity by rejecting men who violate the heterosexual norm. This need is likely to be stronges t during adolescence and early adulthood, the age of participants in Herek’s three studies. This is also the stage of life when this ideology of intolerance is likely to be most strongly supported by male p eers. Although Herek’s studies represent a valuable attempt to ta p into the factors that drive homophobia and important target areas for fu ture attitude-change research, a study involving a slightly


67 more heterogeneous (with regard to age) sample is needed to assess homophobia among helping professionals in the school system. In addition, a lthough Herek’s participants were students in introductory-level psychology classes, there is no indication that these individuals were psychology majors who might be entering the helping professions. A study of individuals in counseling professions or hoping to enter such professions would be valuable in examining how their attitudes regarding sexual minorities might impact their interactions w ith such persons. In addition, none of the studies reviewed thus far have investigated whether race might act as a predictor variable for homophobic attitudes. Finally, the Herek studi es are nearly fourteen years old, and were conducted during the height of the AIDS epidemic. Duri ng the midand late 1980’s, AIDS was viewed by a majority of Amer icans as a “gay” di sease. Thus homophobic backlash flourished during that time peri od (Dowsett, 2003; Reynolds & Koski, 1994). Since then, monumental efforts in the areas of HIV education and tolerance for those affected by AIDS have taken place. Alt hough AIDS-related anti-ga y sentiments persist among many Americans, it would be reas onable to assume that a more current investigation of attitudes toward sexual minorities might yield somewhat different findings from those discussed thus far (Dosett, 2003). Research on Additional Correlates of Homophobia A study by Reinhadt (1997) also examin ed some of the specific correlates of homophobia, including gender, previous contact with sexual minorities, the quality of that contact, religious affiliati on, and the degree of religious pr actice. The sample used in this study was drawn from underg raduate students enrolled in five sections of a human sexuality course at a large southwest la nd grant university. Three-hundred and twenty


68 students completed the research surveys. As in the Herek (1988) studies, those who did not describe themselves as predominantly heterosexual we re excluded from the study. The majority (85.63%) of those chosen for data analysis were Caucasian, 7.81% were Hispanic, 3.44% were African America n, and 3.13% were Asian. There were 200 females (62.5%) and 120 males (37.5%) in the study; mo st were seniors (60.31%) and juniors (23.75%), with the remainder made up of freshmen and sophomores (15.63%). Most respondents (97.19%) were single, 2.19% were married, and 63% were divorced. The mean age of the sample was 21.49 years. In terms of political orientation, most subjects described themselves as either moderate (40.31%) or moderate/conservative (33.44%). Six instruments were utilized in the study. The first was a demographic questionnaire that asked responde nts their date of birth, gende r, ethnicity, college major, y ear in college, marital status and number of children. The second instrument used was a Correlates Questionnaire that determined participants’ se xu al orientation, previous contact with lesbians and gay men, involvement in anti-gay beha vior, interest in the topic of homosexuality, religious affiliation and invol vement, and cons ervative/liberal classification. The third, instrument was th e Index of Attitudes Toward Homosexuals (IAH; Hudson & Ricketts, 1980), which contains 25 items and was reported to measure a unidimensional construc t of homophobia based a purely aff ective basis (i.e., on the way a person f eels about working or associating with se xu al minorities). Each item was rated on a five-point Likert scale ranging from “1 = Strongly Agree” to “5 = Strongly Disagree.” Bo th positive and negative statements about gay people and their social interactions were used to control for response set biases. Exam ples of statements in cluded, “I would feel


69 nervous being in a group of homosexuals,” and, “If a member of my sex made an a dvance toward me, I would feel flattered.” Persons who experience very little discomfort when close to gay and lesbian people tend to obtain very low scores on the I AH. Those who experience considerable dread in such situations (or believe they would) tend to obtain higher scores. Hudson and Ricketts (1980), developed the IAH using a multi-ethnic sample of 300 persons, reporting coefficient alphas at 0.9 and a standard error of measurement (SEM) of 4.75. Construct validity was previous ly assessed by calculating the correlation between IAH scores and the Sexual Attitude Scale ( Hudson, Murphy,& Nurius, 1983 ); the correlation was .53 (significant at p <.0001) indicating a mode rate positive correlation between attitudes toward homos exual persons and liberal a ttitudes about the expression of human sexuality in general. A factor analysis of the reliable variance of the IAH items produced a first unrotated factor that accounted for nearly 60% of the total item variance. The remaining 40% was divided among the re maining 24 factors. The authors indicated that this was evidence that the IAH is a unidimensional measure of homophobia. In a subsequent study (Pagtolun-an & Clair, 1986) the IAH obtained a reliability coefficient of .95. The fourth instrument used in Reinhard t’s (1997) study was the Attitudes Toward Lesbians and Gay Men (ATLG) scale discussed previously. A fifth measure was the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale (MCSDS) which evaluated the tendency for respondents to give socially desirable responses to questi onnaire items. Using a 5-point Li kert format, items here described cultura lly acceptable behaviors that have a low incidence of occurrence and have minimal implications of psychopathology. Sample


70 items include, “I sometimes f eel resentful when I don’t ge t my way” and “No matter who I’m talking to, I’m always a good listene r.” An abbreviated 13item form (Form C) of the instrument was used in this study. Reynolds (1982) had previously obtained a KR20 reliability coefficient with this scale of .76. The Results of this study were that women reported lower levels of homophobia in most cases than men on the cognitive, affective, and behavioral measures. There were statistically significant differences be tween the gender group means on pretest and posttest administrations of the ATLG, ATG (cognitive), and IAH (affective). The ATL was the only measure of homophobia that did not yield mean di fferences for the male and female participants. This finding suggested that homophobia towards lesbians may be the same for heterosexual men a nd women, but that women tended to report lower levels of homophobia than men in terms of homophobic behaviors, cognitive male homophobia, and generalized affective homophobia. Overall, both men and women in this study also reported lower levels of cognitive homophobia toward lesbians than gay me n. Only the ATLG separated homophobia towards lesbians from homophobia towards ga y men. The mean scores for ATLPR, ATLPT, and ATLFU, respectively, were consistently lower than the mean scores for ATGPR, ATGPT, and ATGFU. When the author compared the 95 percent confidence intervals for the two sets of means, none of them overlapped, indi cating that respondents (both male and fema le) reported lower le vels of homophobia towards lesbians than towards gay men. Additionally, the author found that homophobia negatively correlated with previous contact with gay men or lesbia ns, with the degree of positive previous


71 interaction with gay people, and with the number of gay and lesbian friends, family members, and acquaintances. Multiple regression analyses results, using the IAH, ATL, and ATG separately as the depe ndent variable, indicated that previous contact with gay men and lesbians explained 5 to 13% of the regression variance. Type of contact with gay men accounted for 35 to 51% of the between-subj ect variance, and type of contact with lesbians explained 7 to 12% of the variance. In addition, the number of gay male friends, acquaintances, and family memb ers accounted for 11 to 19%, 7 to 14%, and less than 1% of the explained variance, respectively. Th e number of lesbian fri ends, acquaintances, and family members accounted for 4 to 6%, 3%, and 1% or less of the explained variance, respectively. In addition, the author found that two of the most influential variables for predicting homophobic attitudes were whether a person identifie d himself or herself as liberal, moderate, or conserva tive, (this accounted for 66% of the regression variance), a nd whether the person admitted to having said an anti-gay word in the last six months (this explained 14 to 18% of the betw een-subjects variance). Fi nally, the author found that levels of self-reported antiga y attitudes were positively correlated with religiosity. This finding, in fact, was stronger for attendance at religious services than for oneÂ’s religious affiliation. Affiliation ex plained less than 3% of the regression variance, whereas attendan ce at religious services accounted for 13 to 22% of the between-subjects variance. This study was valuable in that it c onfirmed earlier findings about correlates of homophobia. It also addressed the concern th at self-report measures may result in an under-reporting of negative attit udes and behaviors through the use of the Marlowe-


72 Crowne Social Desireability Scale-Form C. Bivariate correlation coefficients of this instrument with each of the dependent vari ables were negligible (i.e., -.056, -.006, and .041, respectively) indicating that individuals w ith higher social desireability scores did not have homophobia scores that were lo wer than how they actually felt. Relative to limitations, Reinha rdtÂ’s (1997) results may not generalize beyond its ge neric university undergraduate population. As such, and similar to HerekÂ’s work, results shed little light on the issue of homophobia among members of helping professions who may come in contact with sexual minor ity clients. Additionally, although over 14% of the samp le were from ethnic minoritie s (i.e., Hispanic, African American, and Asian), no analysis was reported with regard to ethnic/racial differences in levels of homophobia. The studies discussed thus far (H erek, 1984, 1988; Hudson & Rickets, 1980; Reinhardt, 1997; and Wells & Fanklin, 1987) may represent the seminal work in research on correlates of homophobic attit udes (Adam, 1998; Raja & St okes, 2004). Thus, they are presented in great detail. It should be noted that a number of resear chers have continued the work begun by those pioneers by re-exa mining the issues addressed in those earlier studies within differing contexts. Shortly after ReinhardtÂ’s (1997) study, Johnson et al. (1997) explored the relationship between homophobia and several personality traits. Specifically, this study examined the co rrelations between homophobia and empathy, religiosity, and coping style in the context of respondentsÂ’ age and ge nder. Their sample comprised 714 undergraduate stude nts, with men and women about equally represented. The sample responded to the Homophobia A ttitude Scale (HAS, Johnson, et al., 1997), al ong with additional measures of the personality traits of interest (empathy, religiosity,


73 and coping style). Key findings were that wo men reported significantly lower levels of homophobic bias compared with men in term s of attitudes, belie fs, and behaviors. Additionally, ‘age of res pondent’ was negatively correla ted with homophobic bias, and religiosity was significantly co rrelated with more biased belie fs about the origins/etiology of homosexuality, greater affective discomfort in the presence of sexual minorities, less endorsement of human rights for gay a nd lesbian people, and greater homophobia. Notably, empathic concern and ‘perspective taking’ ability were associated with lower levels of homophobia, less affec tive discomfort in the presen ce of sexual minorities, and less likelihood to abridge the human rights of LGBT people. The strong association between hom ophobia and specific attitudes was also demonstrated by Basow (2000). That research er was interested in the predictors of homophobia in female college students. She found strong correlations between homophobia and authoritarian attitudes, non-be lief in sex-role egalitarianism, low frequency of contact with GLBTQ people, a nd a strong belief in the importance of feminine attributes to par ticipants’ ‘femininity.’ The st rongest predictor of homophobic attitudes based on this resear cher’s results was authorita rian attitudes which accounted for 62% of the sample variance. Later, in 2004, Raja and Stokes examined the relationship of authoritarianism and related constructs to attitudes toward homosexuality. Consistent with previous studies (e .g., Bosow, 2000; Herek, 1984, 1988; Hudson & Rickets, 1980; Wells & Franklin, 1987). Th eir findings indicated that homophobia was negatively correlated with having a gay/lesbia n friend or acquaintance, discomfort in the presence of sexual minorities, belief in the ‘deviance’ of homosexuality, support for ‘institutional’ homophobia, and belief in the ‘changeability’ of gay or lesbian people.


74 While Raja and Stoke s found no difference in homophobic attitudes toward lesbians between male and female re spondents, they did find that heterosexual women were significantly more supportive of gay men than were he terosexual men. Noting the consistency in the research s upporting a gender difference in levels of homophobia, Parrott et al. (2002) conducted a study to determine whether homophobia reflects a specific negative disposition to wards homosexual males or whether it incorporates a broader ‘anti-feminine’ sentiment. To achieve this, the researchers investigated both convergent validity (i.e ., masculinity, anti-fe minine attitudes) and discriminant validity (i.e., alc oholism, sexual coercion, depre ssion, and trait anxiety) of the homophobia construct. A sample of 385 he terosexual college males completed a battery of questionnaires including the Ho mophobia Scale (HS; Wrig ht, et al, 1999), the Hyper-masculinity Scale (HI; Mosher & Sirk in, 1984), the Adversarial Sexual Beliefs S cale (ASB; Burt, 1980), the Acceptance of In terpersonal Violence Scale (AIV; Burt, 1980), the Hostility Toward Women Scale (HTW; Check, 1985), the Beck Depression I nventory (BDI-II; Beck & Steer, 1984), the Tr ait Anxiety Inventory (TAI; Spielberger, 1983), the Brief Michigan Alcoholism Screen ing Test (B-MAST; Pokorny, Miller, & Kaplan, 1972), and the Sexual Experien ces Survey (Koss & Gidycz, 1985). The convergent validity of the homophobia construct was asse ssed by computing Pearson product-moment coe fficients between homophobia (t otal score and subscales) and hyper-masculinity, adversarial sexual be lie fs, acceptance of interpersonal violence, a nd hostility towards women. Results indicated that the total scores on the HS were positively correlated with both the total score of the HI and its subscales. Significant


75 associations were also found between HS total score and adversarial sexual beliefs, acceptance of interpersonal viol ence, and hostility towards women. Discriminant validity of the homophobia c onstruct was assesse d by examining Pearson product-moment corre lations between homophobia (tot al score and subscales) and measures of depression, al coholism, sexual coercion, and trait anxiety. Significant associations were not found be tween the total HS score, a nd any of those measures. The researchersÂ’ results supported their hypothesis by demonstr ating consistent convergent validity data for homophobia through the positive associations between responses to the Homophobia Scale and i ndices of hyper-masculinity and misogynistic attitudes. Parrott, et al. (2002) concluded from their finding s that homophobia may not reflect a specific negative sentiment against gay men per se but, rather, may incorporate general negative attitudes against feminine characteristics. They argued that the positive correlations found between the affective and be havioral subscales of the HS and indices of hypermasculinity and misogyny may he lp to elucidate the nature of homophobia and to explain homophobia-related aggression as the perpetratorsÂ’ behavior al expression of negative emotions experienced in the presence of homosexual stimuli. This contradicts, according to the researchers, the idea that homophobic responses are con tingent on the perpetratorÂ’s moralistic objection to homosexuality. In summary, the researchers suggested that homophobia is related to heighten ed levels of masculinity and may develop in men who feel threatened by individuals whom they pe rceive to have feminine characteristics (i.e., women, and gay men). They suggested that such a threat-driven homophobic constitution may explain increased likelihood of bot h anti-gay and anti-women aggression.


76 The Parrott, et al. (2002) study is significan t in that it appears to be the first to a ddress, through quantitative techniques, the apparent discrepancy between levels of homophobic bias in men versus women. The hypothesis that homophobi a may be related to other forms of bias has been supporte d previously (e.g., Baker, 2002; Herek, 1990; Sears, 2002). However, the failure of the re searchers in the Parrott study to include female respondents in their study precludes use of the re sults in explaining homophobia in women. Similarly, the exclusive focus on attitudes of heterosexual men toward gay men provides no insights into anti-homosex ual bias directed toward lesbians. Measuring Homophobia among Educators: Prospective Teachers’ Attitudes Bu tler (1994) recognized that student s in public schools were becoming increasingly diverse and that many teacher s lacked the knowledge or experience with these diverse populations to e ffectively deal with their di fferences in the classroom. Noting that sexual minority students were one of those diverse populations, the author conducted research to assess prospective teachers’ knowledg e, attitudes, and behavior regarding these individuals. Forty-two prospective teachers (who identified themselves as “predominantly heterosexual”) who were enro lled in the Human Diversity in Education c ourse at Kent State University completed a survey that measured general attitudes toward homosexuality, knowledge about sexual orientation diversity educator-specific a ttitudes toward sexual minority individuals, and anticipated educator behavior toward ga y, lesbian, or bisexual stude nts. Butler’s (1994) sample consisted of 29 women (69%) and 13 men (31%). Participants ranged in age from 19 to 42 years, with a mean age of 21.2 (SD = 4.24). There were 28 sophomores ( 66.7%), 10 juniors (23.8%), two seniors (4.8%), and two others (4.8%). The survey employed in the study consisted of five


77 sections: demographic information, a 20item general attitude toward homosexuality scale, an18-item knowledge about sexual orientation diversity scale, an 8-item educatorspecific attitude toward homosexuality scale, and a 14-item anticipated educator behavior toward sexual minority students scale. Demogr aphics included age, race, year in school, and sexual orientation. Homophobia was m easured using Here k’s (1988) Attitudes Toward Lesbians and Gay Men (ATLG) scale, described elsewhere in this literature review. Factual knowledge of homosexuality was assessed using We lls and Franken’s (1987) Homosexual Information S cale (HIS), also previously described in th is literature review. Educator-specific attitudes regarding gays and lesbians was assessed using a modified version of Sears’ (1991) Professional A ttitude Index (PAI). The PAI is a 14item questionnaire inte nded to measure prospective t eachers’ attitudes and behaviors relative to sexual orientation diversity in the school. The eight PAI items that measured a ttitudes toward gay or lesbian students comprised the Educator-Specific Attitude Scale (EAS). A four-point Likert scale, ranging from (1) “Strongly Agree” to (4) “Strongly Disagree” was used. Finally, anticipated educat or behaviors (AEB) were measured using a scale comprised of six items from the PAI (that measured behaviors toward gay or lesbian students) combined w ith eight items from Sears’ ( 1991) checklist of prospective teachers’ expected professional activities. A four-point response scale, ranging from (1) “Strongly Agree” to (4) “Strongly Disagree,” was again employed. The author reported reliability alphas of .95 for the ATLG, .74 for the EAS, and .93 for the AEB. The relationships between general a ttitudes, knowledge, educator-specific a ttitudes, and anticipated educator behaviors were analyzed using Pearson correlations.


78 Scores on the ATLG had a mean of 83.3 (SD = 34.46); 26.6% (n = 11) of the participants scored 106 or higher (very negative attitude s) and 16.7% (7) scored 48 or lower (very positive attitudes). Scores on the knowledge s cale ranged from 6 (33% correct) to 17 (94% correct) with a mean score of 12.7 (S D = 2.68); 38.1% scored 12 (67% correct) or below. Most respondents (73.8%) incorrectly answered the item, “In the last 25 years there has been an increase in homosexuality.” Half of the respondents (50%) provided the incorrect response to the item, “Heterosex ual teachers, more often than homosexual teachers, seduce their students or sexually exploit them.” A large number of respondents (40.5%) responded incorrectly to, “Most homos exuals follow ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’ behavior in their same-sex relationships.” Also, 35.7% of respondents provided the incorrect response to, “If the media portrays hom osexuality or lesbianism as positive, this could sway youths into becoming homosex ual.” Furthermore, 42.9% of respondents believed that homosexuals are usually id entifiable by their appearance and or mannerisms. EAS scores had a mean of 14.8 (SD = 3.82) and 35.7% (15) of the respondents scored 17 or higher (very ne ga tive attitudes). Only 26.2% (11) scored 12 or lower (very positive attitudes). A large number (33%) disagreed with, “I would feel comfortable if a student talked with me about his or her sexual orienta tion.” Many respondents (28.6%) agreed that, “I would feel uncomfortable if my school hired an openly gay or lesbian teacher.” More than a quarter (28.6%) indicated th at a teacher should not work in school to lessen prejudicial a ttitudes about homosexuality. Scores on the EAB had a mean of 30.1 (SD = 7.93) and 59.5% (n = 25) of the respondents scored 29 or higher (negative be haviors) with 14.3% (n = 6) scoring 19 or


79 lower (very positive behaviors). More than a qua rter of the prospective teachers surveyed (28%) reported that they would not discuss homosexuality in the classroom. More than half (59.5%) would not work in their commun ity to bar discrimination against sexual minority individuals. Ten respondents ( 23.8%) would not attend a school-sponsored workshop on strategies in working with ga y students, and 33.3% (n = 14) would not prepare educational materials for students interested in homosexuality. Nearly half (40.5%) of the respondents would not assemb le a resource packet on homosexuality for teachers in the school, and 26.2% would not di scuss the concerns of gay students at a faculty meeting. Sixteen respondents (38.1%) w ould not engage in dialogue with parents about homosexuality at a school-sponsored pr ogram, and 30.9% would not meet with homosexual adults to learn more about gay st udentsÂ’ special needs. Finally, more than half of the respondents (52.4%) would not in tegrate sexual minority themes into the curriculum. The author found significant relations hips between knowledge and general a ttitudes (r = -.3802, p < .05), knowledge and educator-specific attitudes (r = -.4523, p < .01), and knowledge and anticipat ed educator behaviors (r = -.5127, p < .01). The negative relationships found indicate that t hose who had more factual knowledge about sexual minorities were more likely to express more positive attitudes and exhibit more positive behaviors as educators. Another finding of equal importance to the present investigation was that general attitudes were found to be significantly re lated to educatorspecific attitudes (r = .6845, p < .01), as well as anticipat ed educator behaviors (r = .6863, p < .01). As would be expected, educator-s pecific attitudes and anticipated educator behaviors were hi ghly correlated (r = .7589, p < .01).


80 The Butler (1994) study is important in that it not only addressed the issue of ge neral attitudes about se xu al minorities, but it sought to evaluate the relationship between those general or pe rsonal beliefs and anticipated professional conduct. The finding that personal beliefs ma y predic t actual behavior is not surprising, but when one considers the diverse nature of a typical st udent population, the difficulties inherent when personal ideology interferes with professional re sponsibilities must be addressed. This study suggests that some prospective educat ors might be at least slightly homophobic and may rely on stereotypes rather than fact s for information about sexual minority individuals. Furthermore, many may be unwilling to adequately address gay and lesbian issues in the context of schools, or to be have in ways that are supportive of sexual minority students. Be fore such conclusions can be made a bout educators in general or student services personnel in partic ular, however, additional res earch must be conducted. The Bu tler study is affected by a number of sampling limitations (including small sample size, y oung age of respondents, and possible regiona l considerations) that call generalizability into question. Furthermore, this study make s no attempt to assess the attitudes and likely professional behavi or of those individuals anticipa ting a career (potentially) involving direct interventions (i.e., counselin g) with sexual minority students. Sears (1992) conducted one of the only studies to da te that investigated school personnel who provide counse ling services and their a ttitudes toward students from diverse sexual orientation backgrounds and the relationship between those attitudes and their professional conduct. The author gather ed survey data from school counselors and prospective teachers regarding their persona l attitudes and feelings about homosexuality.


81 A modified version of the Attitudes Toward Homosexuality (ATH) scale and the Index of Homophobia (IH) were administered to 483 middle school and high school guidance counselors working in South Carolina schools during the spring of 1987. These counselors also completed a que stionnaire with items relate d to their experiences in working with sexual minority students, knowledge and beliefs about homosexuality, assessment of the school clima te for homosexual-identified students, and their planned professional activities re lative to enhancing their knowledg e and skills in working with sexual minority youth. One hundred forty-two i ndividuals returned usable questionnaires. The typical respondent was a Caucasian, nativ e South Carolinian fe male in her late thirties with a masterÂ’s de gr ee and ten years counseling ex perience in rural schools. For this study, the author also involved 258 prospective teachers who were at the beginning and end, respectively, of their teach er preparation programs Participants here (n = 191) were nearly equally divided be tween secondary and elementary education majors. The typical respondent from the be gi nning-teacher sample was a Caucasian, unmarried 20-year-old, female from rural South Carolina in her sophomore year in college; an end-of-training sample of 67 prospective teachers who were completing their student teaching (and, thus, had completed an average of five more teacher education courses than the second samp le had) also completed questionnaires. The typical respondent from this sample wa s a Caucasian, 28-year-old, unm arried female teaching in a secondary school setting from which she had gr aduated eleven years prior to the study. The prospective teacher questionnaire in cluded the modified ATH and the IH along with questionnaire items pertaining to their encounters with homosexual students as a high school student, knowledge a bout homosexuality, pr ofessional attitudes


82 regarding homosexuality in the school curricu lum, and projected pr ofessional behaviors regarding homosexual students. The author used two instruments in order to treat a ttitudes and feelings as separate constructs. Thus, in this study, attitudes were conceptualized as a set of cognitive be liefs about homosexuals and homosexuality, whereas feelings were defined as a set of deep-rooted emotive reactions to homosexual situations or persons (Sears, 1992, p. 40). Ex amples of attitudina l questionnaire items were: “Homosexuality is unnatural,” “Homos exual marriage should be made legal,” and “I would not want homosexuals to live near me.” Examples of items that assessed respondents’ feelings are: “I would feel ne rvous being in a group of homosexuals,” “If I saw two men holding hands in public, I woul d feel disgusted,” and “I would feel comfortable if I learned that my best friend of my same se x was homosexual.” Respondents’ summative scores were assessed for each of the two scales. The adjusted scores could range from 0 (m ost positive) to 100 (most negative). The results from this study (Sears, 1992) i ndicated that preservi ce teachers’ scores on the ATH ranged from 0 to 98, with a mean score of 45 (SD = 18). Their scores on the IH were substantially more ne ga tive and ranged from 2 to 99, with a mean score of 65 (SD = 19). On the IH scale, scores of less than 25 indicate “High Grade NonHomophobics,” and those scoring between 25 and 50 are considered “Low-Grade NonHomophobics.” Individuals who score between 50 and 75 are considered “Low Grade Homophobics,” and “High Grade Homophobics” score above 75. The author found that 8 out of 10 prospective teachers surveyed ex pressed negative attit udes about homosexual persons. One-third of these re spondents, based on high scores on the IH, were classified as “High Grade Homophobics.” Those student s pursuing certification in elementary


83 education were more likely to express homophobic attitudes than were those pursuing secondary education certifi cation. Another finding wa s that African-American prospective teachers were more likely to express negative attitude s about homosexuality than their Caucasian peers, although they were no more homophobic in their feelings toward gay and lesbian individuals. S ears explored the effects of race, gende r, program status, and certification by entering these four categorical variables along with age, marital status, college gradepoint-average, and type of home community into multiple regression analyses using either respondentsÂ’ ATH scores or their scores on the IH as the dependent variable. The analyses revealed that these eight variables explained only 11% of the variance in prospective teachersÂ’ attitudes toward homos exuality and 13% of the variance on their feelings toward lesbians and gay men. A step-wise multiple regression indicated that certification area, home community, and point in professional studies explained less than 7% of respondentsÂ’ variance in attitudes toward homosexuality with area of certification explaining one-third of that variance. When prospective teachersÂ’ feelings, area of certification and point in their teacher educa ti on program were considered together, more than 10% of the variance in scores was explained; however, area of certification explained 95% of that variation. Regarding their prior exposure to hom osexual individuals, as high school students, nearly half of the respondents suspected a fellow hi gh school student of having a homosexual orientation and mo re than 25% knew such a st udent. However, fewer than one in five reported being fri ends with a lesbian or ga y student during high school. Pr ospective teachers who, as high school stude nts, knew a homosexual student or were


84 friends with a person they knew or suspect ed of being gay or lesbian reported less negative attitudes about homosex uality. By and large, however these students’ scores still fell within the “Low Grade Homophobic” category. In terestingly, when respondents were asked if (when in hi gh school) all or most of the schools’ faculty were know ledgeable about homosexuality, respondents rated twice as many of the faculty (.41) versus the counse ling staff (.21) as knowledgeable. Also, eight out of 10 respondents indicated that most, if not all, of their fellow students in high school expressed homo-negative a ttitudes, and few, if any, of their peers considered homosexuality an alternative lifestyle. Respondents’ current knowledge about homosexuality was assessed using a Homosexuality Knowledge Index (HKI; S ears, 1992), a researcher-developed, 14-item test with questions from the na tural and behavioral sciences Scores on this index could range from 0 (lowest possible score) to 100 (perfect score). The mean score for the sample was 57.5 (SD = 19.5). Analyses of the results indicated th at African-American respondents were less knowledgeab le on the subject than thei r Caucasian peers (AfricanAmerican M = 50, Caucasian M = 58, df = 31, t = 2.0; p < .001). In addition, females were less knowledgeable than males (females M = 56, Male M = 61; df = 110, t = 1.6; p < .001). Finally, respondents pursuing elemen tary education certif ication were less knowledgeable than those pursuing secondary certificates (elementary M = 55, secondary M = 59.2; df = 208, t = -1.7; p < .001). The author also found negative relationshi ps when scores on the knowledge test were correlated with responde nts’ scores on the ATH and the IH scales (ATH r = -.34; IH r = -.26). This finding suggested that the more knowledgeable the respondent, as


85 measured on the Homosexual Knowledge Index, the less negative attitudes toward homosexuality and feelings toward lesbians and gay men were evidenced. Those demonstrating the least knowle dge expressed the most nega tive attitudes and were the most homophobic. Guidance CounselorÂ’s Attitudes and Feelings Wh en analyses of the survey results fro m the in-field school guidance counselors were completed, Sears (2002) found that two thirds of th e school counselors expressed negative attitudes and feelings about homosexuality and homos exual persons. Taken as a whole, however, school counselorsÂ’ scores were slightly less homophobic than those of the prospective teachers in the study. Add itionally, the guidance counselors were much more likely to adopt liberal positions on civ il rights issues (e.g., decriminalizing of consenting adult homosexual relationships), but to hold conservative moral views (e.g., homosexuality is a sin) and to fear personal contacts with homosexuals (e.g., being uncomfortable around lesbians a nd gay men). The author conc luded from these data that almost none of the categoric-demographic va riables had any significant influence on counselorsÂ’ attitudes or feelings about sexual orienta tion diversity. The author also concluded that the only variable that had a consistent, albeit m oderate, effect on both factors (i.e., feelings and attitudes) was the e ducation level of the respondent. In no case, however, did this factor account for more th an 7% of the variance in these measures. Regression coefficients rev ealed that respondentsÂ’ gender (.19 for the IH; .11 for the ATH) and race (-.01 for the IH; .16 for the AT H) also modestly contributed to the variance on the two scales.


86 Parametric t tests were used to explore the modest relationships of gender, race, and education on counselors’ a ttitudes and feelings about se xu al orientation diversity. The author found that Caucasian, male c ounselors who had earned a degree beyond the master’s expressed more positive attitudes about homosexuality. With regard to respondents’ feelings about sexual minority individuals or reactions to homosexual situations, gender and educati on were salient factors. Specifically, males were likely to ex press more positive feelings in this area as were those who had extensive graduate education. Racial minorities and those with less education expr essed less favorable feelings and attitudes regarding sexual orientation diversity and toward sexual minority persons. Even among racial minorities and the less well-educated, the males in this sample were more supportive than were the female respondents. Multiple regression analysis was used to determine which items on each scale contributed the greatest vari ance in guidance counselors’ attitudes or feelings about sexual orientation diversity. When gender wa s entered as the predictive variable and scores on the IH were depende nt variables, the IH scale accounted for 36% of the total variance of gender. Three questionnaire items accounted for 22% of the total variance: “I’d feel comfortable if I learned that my boss was homosexual;” “It would not bother me to walk through a predominantly gay section of town;” and “I would feel comfortable working with a female homosexual.” When e ducation level was used as the independent variable and items on the IH served as the de pendent variables, the IH scale accounted for 26% of the total variance of education level. One item account ed for 33% of this total variance: “I would feel unc omfortable knowing that my son’s teacher was a male homosexual.”


87 Wh en race served as the independent vari able in a multiple regression analysis and the items on the ATH served as the inde pendent variables, th e ATH scale accounted for 22% of the total variance of race. Th ree items accounted for 50% of this total variance: “Homosexuals should not be allowed to hold important positions;” “Homosexuals should be locked up and not re leased until cured;” and “Homosexuality is a sin.” When education level was used as th e predictor variable w ith the same set of dependent variables, the ATH accounted fo r 30% of the variance and four items represented 16% of this variance: “Homosexuality is a sin;” “If homosexuality is allowed to increase, it will destroy our society;” “I find it hard to believe that homosexuals can really love each other;” and “Homosexuals are very unhappy people who wish they could be like everybody else.” The author also found that civil rights attitudes regarding sexual orientation diversity were the best discriminators between Caucasian and AfricanAmerican counselors. Furthe rmore, Caucasians were mo re willing to allow sexual minority individuals to hold important positions more likely to object to detention and “cu ring” of sexual minority individuals, and least likely to describe homosexuality as “sinfu l.” As stated previously, the Sears (1992) study was significant in that it represents perhaps the first attempt at assessing the occurrence of homophobia among school personnel who might potentially provide counseling services to sexual minority students or those questioning their sexual orient ation. The study found that, like prospective teachers and college students from a variet y of disciplines, many school guidance counselors harbor nega tive attitudes and feelin gs about sexual orient ation diversity and individuals whose sexual orient ation is other than heterosexu al. If the author’s findings


88 are reliable and valid, it would appear that situations wh ere school counselors are in contact with homosexual men and women may generate, among many, intensely negative feelings. And yet, it is in these personal s ituations (e.g., counse ling a sexual minority student, meeting with lesbia n parents) that these prof essionals must apply their knowledge, experience, and skills. The degree to which their personal feelings and beliefs a ffect their ability to enter into such “helping” relationships must be addressed through further investigations. The Sears (1992) study has a number of a pparent limitations. One of these is the ge ographical location (rural South Carolina) from which the sample of respondents was drawn. It is possible that a sample drawn from another region of the country (i.e., from outside the “Bible Belt”) might have provided different resu lts. Furthermore, the author did not assess the effects of religious f undamentalism (or dogmatism/orthodoxy). Such an analysis might have provided greater insight into the nature of the negativity expressed by so many of the respondents. Additionally the author collected the questionnaire data during the late 1980’s. It is reasonable to su spect that the general social climate has undergone some changes in that time. Update d information is necessary to obtain a contemporary picture of knowledg e and tolerance of sexual orientation diversity among school guidance counselors. Finally, the study focused on only one category of individuals responsible for providing counse ling services in the school setting. More complete information would have been obtaine d by examining the belie fs and feelings of a variety of professionals (e.g., guidance c ounselors, school social workers, and school psychologists) who potentially provide such services.


89 In a more recent study assessing the pe rceptions of guidance counselors with regard to sexual orientati on diversity, Fontaine (1998) attempted to extend existing information by including data on current sc hool environments and policies toward both racial and sexual minorities. As part of this study, the author surveyed school counselorsÂ’ knowledge about homosexual issues (e.g., causes and frequency of homosexuality). Info rmation also was collected on issues of professional developmen t in terms of how counselors acquired their knowledge of sexual orientation diversity and what they perceived as resources that w ould be helpful to them and ot her school staff in expanding their knowledge about the subject. The author distributed 350 surveys at th e annual conference of the Pennsylvania School counselorÂ’s Association in April of 1995. A total of 101 surveys (29%) were returned for analysis from 22 men and 79 women. The average age of the respondents was 42.4 years, although ages ranged from 24 to 58 years. Most respondents were Caucasian (96%); only 2% were African-A merican, and 2% did not respond to the question of ethnicity. Both elementaryand secondary-level guidance counselors participated in the study. Most of the sample (N = 55, 56%) were secondary school counselors and the remainder (N = 43, 43%) we re assigned to elementary schools. The average participant had about 11 years of pr ofessional experience in school counseling. Most of the schools (38%) in which the couns elors worked were in rural locations; 37% worked in suburban schools; 13% were from urban school sites; and 3% were assigned to inner city schools. The instrument used in the study was an adaptation of one used in an earlier investigation by Price a nd Telljohann (1991). The survey comprised 23 items about

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90 school counselors’ experiences with sexu al minority youth and students who were questioning their sexual orientation. The que stionnaire was divided into five sections: I. Demographic Information which comprised questions about gender, age, race, years of guidance counseling ex perience, professi onal association membership, work setting, school size and school location; II. Personal Experiences which assessed pr ofessional encounter s with sexual minority students and/or those questioni ng their orientation, the types of problems presented by these student s, and source(s) of referrals; III. School Environment which assessed the leve l of homophobia perceived, incidents of harassment, and any anti-discriminatory policies; IV. Perceptions Regarding Homosexuality, listed commonly held beliefs about supposed causes of homosexuality; and V. Professional Development, which assessed leve ls of comp etence, sources of knowledge, and respondents’ desire for further training on counseling homosexual students. Results of the study indicated that 51% of the secondary-level counselors reported that they had experience working with at least one student who was ‘confused’ about sexual orientation issues and 42% had worked directly with at least one self-identified ga y or lesbian student. At least 21% of el ementary-level counselors reported knowing of students in their schools w ho were either identifying as gay or lesbian or were questioning their sexual orie ntation. Elementary school couns elors had seen a total of 9 such students (collectively) and secondary -level respondents saw a total of 104 such students (collectively). The three most co mmon problems of sexual minority students

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91 at the secondary level were poor self-esteem (33%), depr ession (32%), and self-doubt (31%). These issues were grouped together under one category, sense-of-self issues. Sexual minority students had been seen by counselors for a second ‘cluster’ of presenting problems having to do with sp ecific fears. Students reported fear of disclosure to peers (26%) and to parents (22%), and fear of family rejection (24%). Another 24% of students repor ted feelings of difference and of social isolation, according to guidance counselors’ reports. Notably, guidance counselors indicated that 39% of lesbians and 40% of the ga y males they had seen for counseling had either a ttempted or seriously contemplated suic ide. Fears of physi cal violence were reported by only 11% of the students seen for counseling, and 24% reported fears of verbal harassment because of their sexual orientation. In terms of school climate fo r sexual orientation divers ity, 33% of secondary-level counselors reported observing more than 45 separate in cidents of harassment of students believed to be ga y or lesbian. In addition, 26% of elementary school counselors reported awareness of at least 20 such incidents, which ranged from namecalling to physical battery. Another finding was that school policie s protecting racial a nd ethnic minorities were more common than were policies protecting sexual minority students. In 66% of the secondary schools, policies prot ecting racial/ethnic minorities existed; whereas only 44% of these schools protected sexual minority students through policy. At the elementary level, 48% of the sc hools had policies in place protecting racial/ethnic minorities, a nd 35% had anti-harassm ent policies that mentioned sexual orie ntation. When counselors were asked to rate (on a 5-point Likert scale, 1 = Less Tolerant, 3 = No Chan ge, 5 = More Tolerant) how much of a

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92 shift in attitudes of students, faculty, and administrat ors had taken place over the last ten years in their schools with regard to se xu al orientation diversity tolerance, the average rating was 3.2. This finding indicat ed slightly above a no-change position. In order to assess their knowledge of issu es surrounding sexual orientation, the counselors in the study were given a lis t of eight commonly held beliefs about homosexuality, and were aske d to rate the degree to which they believed each contributed to a homosexual orientation. Ag ain, a 5-point Likert scale was used. The counselors, as a group, indicated their beliefs as follows: homosexuality is chosen by the individual (M = 4.02); is due to chil dhood sexual experiences (M = 3.63); is a hormone imbalance (M = 3.62); is due to pa rental neglect (M = 3.60); is due to a negative heterosexual experience (M= 3.31); is caused by influence from a gay adult (M= 3.10); or, is due to a lack of heterosexual options (M = 2.74). Fi nally, in the area of profe ssional development, when counselors were asked to rate their own level of pe rceived competence in counseling sexual minority youth, only 8% indicated a high level of percei ved competence. Close to the same number (8%) indicated little or no competence whatsoever. The mean rating, on a 5-point Li kert scale with 1 = Not at all and 5 = Ve ry competent, for the counselors as a group was 2.9. Encouragingly, when asked their le vel of interest in obtaining further training in the area of counseling skills to deal with issues of sexual orientation diversity, 89% of the respondents indicated th ey were interested to at least some degree. Only 11% responded that they had no such interest. The Fontaine (1998) study extended exis ting information by attempting a more comprehensive analysis of school counselor sÂ’ attitudes and beliefs compared to the

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93 Sears (1992) study, by addressing pe rceived school clima te; professional development activities; perceived professional competence; and anti-harassment policies for sexual minority students in addition to level of knowledge. This study did not, however, address differences among r acial/ethnic groups, e ducational levels, sexual orientations of res pondents, disciplines within th e student services area, or religious/spiritual categories. Research review ed thus far would suggest that any or all of these factors might influence leve ls of homophobia among student service personnel as well as the quality of their prof essional interactions with sexual minority students. The present study will address all of these factors. As with many studies that rely on su rvey data, caution may be warranted in ge neralizing these results. The author acknow ledged a relatively low response rate (29%). Therefore, it is possible that those counselors who actually returned questionnaires may have b een more sympathetic—or, pe rhaps, more hostile—toward the subject matter; thus, they may have felt a stronger n eed to express their opinions than did those who chose not to return survey s. It is also possible that those who did not return surveys had not (knowingly) en countered any sexual minority students in the course of their work. C onsequently, they may not ha ve felt the need to respond. The Fontaine (1998) study also utilized a sa mple of people who we re attending a state conference, and were thus ‘pre-selected’. The potential exists that state conference attendees are more inclined toward professional development (on a va riety of topics) than non-attendees would be. If a clear understanding of homophobia among student service personnel and an assessment of their ability to provide knowledgeable and sensitive intervention

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94 services for sexual minority students is to be gained, an up-to-date and comprehensive (i.e., including a variet y of personnel who pot entially provide counseling in schools) inves tigation is necessary. Recently Smith (2006) attempted to address this apparent gap in the research in this area. The author assessed the level of ant-GLBTQ bias in a sample of 180 pupil se rvices professionals from a variety of field (i.e., school social workers, guid ance counselors, school psychologist, and school nurses) and advanced gr aduate students in those pup il services fields working in Florida. The outcome of that research indicated that, as a group, those highly trained professionals were not as homophobic as previ ous studies (addressing gu idance counselors only). The results, however indicated there was great variability in levels of homophobic bias within that sample. Specifically, those professionals who were more religious, le ss well-educated, and (trad itionally) married expressed more bias. The Smith study, however, did not address the possible link between biased attitudes and the possibility that those attitudes would significantly impact professional behaviors of school-based counseling professionals toward GLBTQ clients. The Smith (2006) pilot st udy is discussed in greater deta il later in this chapter. Attitudes of Florida Pupil Services Prof essionals toward Sexual Minorities: Survey Results from Pilot Study In 2006, as a pilot study leading into the present investigation, Smith examined attitudes of pupil services profe ssionals working in FloridaÂ’s public school system toward sexual minorities. The purpose of that study was to determine whether or not student services personnel (i.e., school social workers, guidance c ounselors, school nurses, and school psychologists) in Florida possessed the attitudes and experiences conducive to

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95 addressing effectively the needs of sexual minority students. This question was addressed by examining survey results from student services personnel working in that state regarding (a) their feelings /attitudes about homosexuality and homosexual persons in ge neral; (b) their training on the topic of sexual orientation diversity; (c) their willingness to receive additional training on the subject; a nd (d) their previous social or professional contacts with sexual minority individuals. A total of 180 student services personnel participated in the study (Smith, 2006). Among the participants, the most co mmon professional pos itions were school psychologist (26.7%) and guidance counselor (23.9%) with the most common service setting being at a senior high school (37.8%). Most of the participants (82.2%) were female and Caucasian/ Wh ite (85.0%). Seventy-nine pe rcent had an education level beyond a BachelorÂ’s degree. Over half (62.2%) were married a nd another 23.3% were single. Fifty-seven percent had at least one child. Sixty percent were raised in the suburbs and 73.3% currently lived in the subur bs. About half (51.7%) currently worked in the suburbs with another 28.9% of the respondents reporting working in an urban setting. The most commonly identified religi ous affiliations were Catholic (30.0%) and Methodist/Wesleyan (10.6%). Thirty-six pe rcent reported a wide variety of other religious/spiritual viewpoints/traditions. Forty percent reported attendi ng religious services at least monthly. As for political leanings, the most common category was moderate (30.0%) with another 47.8% endorsing modera te-to-liberal or liberal leanings. Respondents ranged in age from 24 to 79 years ( M = 44.56, SD = 13.06). Professional experience ranged from 2 years (respondent in a trainee capacity) to 59 years ( M = 13.71, SD = 12.35) (Smith, 2006).

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96 All respondents (100.0%) reported that they were heterosexual with all but six (96.7%) having known someone who was gay, le sbian or bisexual (GLBTQ). Almost all (95.6%) rated the relationship with that pers on as being “mostly positive.” Seventy-three percent believed there are youths in their sc hools whom have self-ide ntified as GLBTQ. Fi fty-four percent believed that y ouths in their schools may enga ge in same sex behavior but have not self-identified as GLBTQ. In addition, 59.4% believed that there are students in their schools who app ear to be sexually attracted to persons of their own sex, but have neither self-i dentified as GLBTQ or engaged in same-sex sexual behavior. Half the respondents reported having provided counseling pertaini ng to sexual orientation issues. As for specific trai ning in the counseling needs of GLBTQ youth, 48.3% received training in school, 41.7% received training at work and 14.4% received training from other sources. Twenty-nine percent felt ad equately prepared for counseling GLBTQ y outh clients and 64.4% expresse d interest in receiving a dditional training (Smith, 2006). In the end, findings from the Smith (2006) pilot study indicated although the pupil services professionals and gr aduate students surveyed, as a group, did not report high levels of homophobia. However, there was notab le variability within the group relative to levels of anti-gay bias. Specifically, there were significant correlations between gay /lesbian bias and a number of factors hypot hesized to be relate d. Most importantly, results indicated that higher levels of anti-gay bias were associated with more c onservative political leanings, more frequent attendance at religious/faith-based services, and lower education levels am ong participants in this st udy. Also, married respondents demonstrated significantly more bias ag ainst gay men than against lesbians, and respondents with more years experience in thei r professions demonstr ated higher levels

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97 of bias against gay men and against homosexua ls in general, although they did not report high levels of bias against le sbians specifically (Smith, 2006). The Smith (2006) pilot study results suggest that, among pupil services professionals in Florida, personal ideologies and dog matic belief systems could potentially impede many of their ability or willingness to effectively advocate for GLBTQ students. Some research (Malikns ky, 1996; GLSEN, 2004) suggests that the cultural and social climate in that state is le ss conducive to tolerance of sexual orientation diversity compared to some other regions of the country, and that this factor could impact both school climate and attitudes among educators. Howeve r, as the Smith (2006) pilot study did not address the relationship between anti-homosexual bias and willingness on the part of pupil services prof essionals to incorporate gay affirming behaviors in their work with sexual minority students, the need to examine that relationship, as well as to assess the impact of cu ltural/social factors relating to region that may potentially affect services for those students remains. Apparen tly, no research exists to date addressing those issues. FloridaÂ’s School Climate for GL BTQ Students in Public Schools In 1992, the Florida State Board of Educati on added sexual orientation to the Anti-Discrimination Clause of the Department of EducationÂ’s Code of Ethics. The clause reads: State Board of Education Rule 6B-1.006, FAC (1) The following disciplinary rule shall constitute The Principles of Conduct of th e Education Profession in Florida. (2) Vi olation of any of these principles shall

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98 subject the individual to revo cation or suspension of the individual educatorÂ’s certificate, or other penalties as provided by law. (3) Obligation to the student requires that the individual: (g) Shall not harass or discriminate against any student on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, marital status, handicapping condition, sexual orientation, or social and family background and shall ma ke reasonable effort to assure that each student is protected from harassment or discrimination. Although the Department of EducationÂ’s Code of Ethics explicitly protects students from discrimination a nd harassment based on their se xu al orientation, according to Malinsky (1996), little or nothi ng is being done by school di stricts to implement this code. That author, working with the Huma n Rights Task Force of Florida (a group advocating on behalf of se xual mi nority students who are facing harassment and discrimination in FloridaÂ’s schools), conducted extensive qualitative research with 134 lesbian students attending high schools in eleven Florida counties. The purpose of the Malinsky (1996) study wa s to examine the challenges faced by GLBTQ students in Florida public high schools. C onsistent with previous research in this area, the author found a disproportionately hi gh number of suicide attempts among her sample. Additionally, a majority of the lesbian high sc hool students inte rviewed reported poor academic performance or dropping out of hi gh school altogether due to the feelings of isolation and alienation they experienced. The quality of the educational atmosphere

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99 the participants described ranged from unsupportive to openl y hostile regarding tolerance of sexual orientation divers ity. Students participating in the study also identified numerous forms of homophobia and heterosexism experienced in their schools. These expressions included anti-gay jokes, slurs, violent physical attacks, misinformation, and threats of harassment. Most notably, the participants in Malinsky’s study overwhelmingly reported that school staff (incl uding student services personnel) rarely, if ever, intervened in situations involving anti-gay/le sbian harassment or discrimination. Malinsky’s (1996) research suggests that Florida’s public hi gh schools may be failing to address the needs of this high risk population of students. By failing to address their needs, the author argues, Florida public schools are also failing to provide educational equity for sexual minority students since the ha rassment and abuse caused by homophobia and heterosexism interfe res with sexual minority stude nts’ right to learn in a safe environment—a right which is (in theory ) protected in the Florida State Code of Ethics. Finally, the author calls for the use of comprehensive initiatives addressing oppression of sexual minor ity students from the state and district levels. A study, by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straig ht Education Network (GLSEN), also addressed the school c limate for sexual minority yout hs attending Florida’s public schools (GLSEN, 2005). GLSEN is a nationa l organization, formed in 1995, which strives to ensure equity for sexual minor ity students in public schools through policy analysis and advocacy. The purpose of the study was to examine the inclusion of e numerated categories (specifically, sexual orientation and gender identity/expression) in Safe Schools legislati on and/or policies. GLSEN conduc ted an online survey with a nationally representative samp le of 3,450 public school stude nts ranging in age from 13

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100 to 18. From this sample, an over-sample of students was drawn from several states, including Florida. A total of 195 respondents attended schools in Flor ida at the time of the survey. Data were weighted to reflect the national population of children ages 13 to 18 for key demographic variables (gender, race, age, size of place, region, and parents’ education level). A post weight was applied to the student data to adjust for the 12 state over-sampling so that the regional distri bution reflected the nation as a whole. Demographic weights were based on U.S. Census data obtained via the March 2004 Current Population Survey (CPS). Results from the GLSEN (2005) survey indicated that the majority (76%) of Fl orida’s public high school st udents reported that they heard homophobic language in their schools at least some of the time, and a lmost a quarter of the students reported that they heard such language very often. Nota bly, respondents indicat ed that they heard homophobic remarks significantly more ofte n than they heard negative remarks pertaining to an individual or group’s raci al or religious identity. Also, 61% of the respondents reported that student s are bullied, called na mes or harassed “at least some of the time” at school because they are perceived to be lesbian, gay, or bisexual. One-third (33%) of the respondents indicat ed these incidents occurred “o ften” or “very often” in their schools. The GLSEN (2005) survey of Florida high school students also found that nearly 90% of respondents reported hear ing comments such as “that’s so gay,” or “you’re so gay,” in wh ich the word “g ay” was (presumably) used to mean stupid or worthless. Another startling result from the survey was th at the vast majority of respondents (88%) reported that homophobic remarks were made “at least some of the time” when educators

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101 (i.e., teachers, pupil services personnel, admin istrators) were present, and that those e ducators did little or nothing to intervene during these incidents. Moreover, the study suggested that most students who experience such harassment (59%) indicated that they never reported the incident(s) to school sta ff members (possibly out of fear of an unsupportive response). Among students who did report at least one incident to school personnel, 19% indicated that sc hool staff did not take steps to correct the problem or to ensure that the incident woul d not re-occur. The authors concluded from this study that there is much work to be done in Florida to ensure that all students can learn in a safe environment and suggested that State-level safe school legislation that provides for specific categories (including sexual minorities) should be adopted. Additionally, the authors recommended that teachers and othe r school personnel (e.g., student services professionals and administrat ors) should receive appropria te training to assess and respond to bias-related incident s of verbal or physical hara ssment and that statewide, legally enforceable legisla tion might enhance the likelihood that school staff would respond in such a manner The Importance of Statew ide Safe Schools Initiatives In 2004, the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) conducted the first objective analysis of statewide “Safe Schools” polic ies, which was released in the form of its State of the States re port (GLSEN, 2004). The purpose of the GLSEN (2004) study was to summarize state laws th at affect school envi ronments and school safety for all students, particularly lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students. The 2004 report represents the first systematic m easurement and comprehensive analysis of

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102 statewide policy to ensure the safety of all students, regardless of sexual orientation or ge nder identity/expression. The GLSEN report defined “Safe Schools La ws” as statewide anti-harassment and/or non-discrimination laws that are inclusive of the categories of sexual orientation and/or gender identity/expression and “Safe Schools Policies” as those passed by a local education agency (LEA), generally a school board. The report summarized state laws effecting school climate s and school safety fo r all students, partic ularly lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender pupils. In the report, all fifty states and the District of Columbia were assigned letter grades (from “A” to “F ”) based on points earned in six categories, including existence of statewide safe schools laws, statewid e non-discrimination (including discrimination in employment ba sed on sexual orienta tion) laws, support for education on sexual health a nd sexuality, local safe schools policies, gene ral education i ssues (e.g., student/teacher ratios, graduation rates) and the existence of laws that stigmatize sexual minority persons (e.g., laws prohibiting the positive depiction of sexual minorities in schools). Forty-two states receive d failing grades of “F”. Florida which received 34 out of 100 possible points and ranked 21st out of 51 states (and the District of Columbia). It should be noted that, althoug h Florida’s state ethi cal code for teachers prohibits discrimination based on sexual orient a tion (among other factors), it has no state Safe School Laws protecting LGBTQ student s from harassment and discrimination from other sources, nor any legally enforceable policies addressing this issue. New Jersey (with a score of 95 out of 100 points) was at th e top of the list (ranking first in the nation in terms of progressive laws and policies pertaining to se xual mi nority youths) and was one of only two states (along with Minnesota) receiving grades of “A”.

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103 The GLSEN (2004) report concluded that the vast majority of students nationwide do not have legal protections against an ti-gay/lesbian bullying and harassment. Only eight states and the District of Columbia cu rrently have statewide legal protections for students based on sexual orient ation. Only California, New Je rsey, and Minnesota include protections based on gender identity and expression (i.e., protections for transgender students). Additionally, more than 75% of the approximately 47.7 million K-12 students in the United States attend schools that do not include sexual or ientation and gender identity/expression as statewide protected classes alongside federally mandated protections based on religion, race, and national origin. Previously, GLSENÂ’s 2003 National School Climate Survey found a relationship between student safety, school attendance, and Safe Schools laws. That report found that sexual minority students who did not have (o r did not know of) a policy protecting them from violence and harassment were 40% more likely to report sk ipping school out of fear for their personal safety. Other Relevant State Laws The GLSEN (2004) report also points out that seven states have laws that specifically prohibit the positive portrayal of homosexuality or sexual minorities in schools. Those states are Al abama, Arizona, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah. Oklahoma law, in fact, requires that AIDS prevention education must specifically teach students that engaging in homosexual activity is primarily responsible for contact with the AIDS virus (Oklahom a School Code Sec. 11-103.3(D)(1). The report also indicates that at least eight states require the promotion of monogamous heterosexual marriage, exclusive of any othe r type of relationship. Florida is included

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104 among the states that require the promo tion of heterosexual marriage in schools, according to GLSEN (2004). GLSEN (2004) argu es that such laws and policies are stigmatizing and may not only encourage a hostile and dangerous climate for sexual minority students, but may also inhibit effo rts of educators (including pupil services professionals) to advocate in behalf of sexual minority st udents attending public schools in those states due to fear of negative consequences for doing so. The GLSEN (2004) report also highlighted fourteen states th at have workplace protections for administrators, faculty, and sta ff at schools. Only four of these, however, also have protections for the cat egories of sexual orientation and gender identity. The other ten have protections excl usively for sexual orientation. States with protections for sexual orientation and ge nder identity are California, Minnesota, New Mexico, and Rhode Island. States with protections only for sexual orientation ar e Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Neva da, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, and Wisconsin. Since Florid a has no laws protecting school personnel from discrimination based on se xu al orientation, GLSEN argues th at this may contribute to an environment where sexual minority educators ma y be less likely to advocate for or to act as positive role models for GLBTQ youths (out of fear of being identified as ga y /lesbian/bisexual and discriminated agains t because of their identity), and where heterosexual educators are less likely to advocat e in behalf of sexual minority youths out of fear of being (incorrec tly) perceived as gay or lesb ian and (consequently) being subjected to discrimination. Finally, GLSEN ( 2004) argues that these laws have a critical impact on social and school climate in that th ey play a role in creating an educational

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105 environment that is e ither welcoming to or rejecting of sexual minority students, staff, and faculty (and, by extension, th eir heterosexual allies). Factors Contributing to StatesÂ’ Grades GLSEN (2004) examined a number of critical factors in assigning grades to the 50 states (and the District of Columbia) included in its report. Those factors are discussed below. General Education St ates with high performing general edu cation provisions received a maximum of 20 points. Student/teacher ratio, teacher sala ry, per pupil funding and graduation rate each received a maximum of 5 points. The GLSEN (2004) report stated that these indicators were chosen to reflect a stateÂ’s commitment to providing adequate resources to its schools as well as its success in matric ulating students. The maximum number of points was awarded if a state was 25% or more above the median in the areas of student/teacher ratio, teacher salary and pe r pupil funding and 10 % or more above the median for graduation rates. Points were subtracted if a state was in the remaining ranges: four for being less than 25% above the median, three for be ing at the median, two for being up to 25% below the medi an, and one for being less th an 25% below the median. State Safe Schools Law States with a safe schools law that is sexual orientation and ge nder identity inclusive received a score of 30. If the la w excludes gender identity, however, then the state received only 24 points. According to the Report of the Nati onal Coalition of AntiViolence Programs (1999), transgender yout h are disproportionately likely to face harassment, even compared with other sexu al minority individuals. Results from that

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106 report indicated that 89.9% of transgende r students reported f eeling unsafe based on reactions to their gender expression. Also, hara ssment against transgender youths tends to be particularly violent. Results from the re port (which analyzed reported instances of bias-motivated violen ce against sexual minorities from 1995 through 1998) indicated that although anti-transgender violence accounted fo r a relatively small percentage of all reported cases, those incidents accounted for 20% of all reported murders, and approximately 40% of all police-initiated violence. GLSEN (2004) suggests that these conditions place transgender youths at greater risk of suicidal ideation and behaviors. Moreover, according to GLSEN (2004), harassment on the basis of gender nonc onformity perpetuates and reinforces gender-based stereotypes that harm everyone. State Non-Discrimination Law States with a non-discrimination law that is sexual orientati on and gender identity inclusive received a maximum of 20 points. If the law excludes gender identity, then the state received 16 points. Sexuality Education States with requirements to teach sexu ality education and HIV/STD education received a maximum of 15 points. Each state where there is a statewide requirement to teach sexuality education received 10 points. If there is a statewide requirement to teach HIV/STD education, an additi onal five points was awarded. Lo cal Safe Schools Policy St ates with safe schools po licies in their two largest districts received the maximum of 15 points. However, only a max imum of 7.5 points was awarded if only one of the school districts has a safe schools po licy. Percentages were weighted to take

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107 ge nder identity policies into account. Districts received a score of 80 percent (6 points) for a sexual orientation inclusive policy and 100 percent (7.5 points) for a sexual orientation and gender identity inclusive policy. Statewide Law that Stigmatizes Sexual Minorities Stat es with a law that specifically prohi bits the discussion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their families in schools had 10 points subtracted from their overall score. Other laws that may stigmatize sexual minorities (e.g., antimarriage laws, proscriptions against a doption, absence of domestic partnership provisions) are mentioned in the analysis as commentary on the climate for GLBTQ persons in a particular state; however, only those laws specific to schools were figured into the scoring criteria (GLSEN, 2004). New JerseyÂ’s Versus FloridaÂ’s Climate for GLBTQ Students The profile for Florida and New Jersey from the GLSEN (2004) State of the Stat es Report appears in the following tables. A brief narrative explanation and comparison follows each table. Table 1: State Info rmation by State Stat e Info rmation Florida New Jersey Population: 16,713,149 8,590,300 Governor: Jeb Busch (R) James E. McGreevey (D) Chief School Official: Education Commissioner Jim Horne (Elected statewide) Education Commissioner William L. Li bera (Appointed by the Governor) R = Republican, D = Democrat

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108 Table 1 (Continued). Stat e Information by State Stat e Information Florida New Jersey Senate: 26 R / 14 D 20 D/ 20 R House: 81 R / 39 D 44 D/ 36 R Education Revenue: $15,600,000,000 $13,200,000,000 Fe deral Funding: $1,300,000,000 $527, 334,000 State Funding: $8,280,000,000 $5,868,487,000 Lo cal Funding: $6,3010,000,000 $7,480,959,000 R = Republi can; D = Democrat In Ta ble 1, Senate and House/A ssembly statistics reflect the state legislature and gi ve a breakdown of Democrats (D) and Republicans (R) in each chamber. The population numbers reflect the Census Bur eauÂ’s 2002 estimates. E ducation revenue was obtained from the United States National Cent er for Educational StatisticsÂ’ (NCES) estimates for public elementary and secondary school budgets for grades pre-kindergarten through twelve for the 2001-2002 school year (fi scal year, 2002). The NCES is affiliated with the United States De partment of Education (G LS EN, 2004). GLSENÂ’s stated purpose for including this information in its report is to provide the reader with an overview of each stateÂ’s demographics a nd political climate in order to better contextualize the specific education and safe schools information (GLSEN, 2004). The information from Table 1 reveals that Florid a is a large state th at is under republican leadership, with majority republican repres entation in both the House and the Senate. The information from Table 1 also indicates that, in contrast to Florida, which is

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109 under Republican control in terms of the gove rnorship, the House of Representatives, and the Senate, New Jersey (at the time of the GLSEN report) was under majority Democratic control, w ith a Democratic governor, partisan balance in the Senate, and a Democratic majority in the House of Representativ es. Additionally, although New Jersey’s population of 8,590,300 is approxima tely half that of Flor ida (16,713,149), its education budget of $13,200,000,000 is approximately 65 % that for Florida ($15,600,000,000). GLSEN (2004) suggests that this factor mig ht provide some evidence of a stronger co mmitment to education (in general) in New Jersey compared to Florida. Table 2: Public School In formation by State In Ta ble 2, “students of color” includes Black/African American persons, Native American and Alaska Native persons, Asian Persons, Native Hawaiian persons, and other Pacific Islanders, and persons of Hispanic or Latino origi n. These percentages are based on NCES estimates for the 2001-2002 school year The number of districts, number of State Public School Inform ation Florida New Jersey Number of Students: 2, 500, 478 1,341,656 Number of Teachers: 134,684 103,611 Number of Schools: 3,314 2,410 Number of School Districts: 67 603 St udent/Teacher Ration: 19:1 13:1 Average Teacher Salary: $38,719 $54,575 Per-Pupil Expenditure: $6,170 $11,248 High School Gradua tion Rate: 84.6% 90.1% Percentage of Student s of Color: 47.1% 40.3%

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110 schools, number of teachers, teacher salary and student enrollment are all based on NCES data for the 2001-2002 school year (GLSEN,2004). GLSENÂ’s stated purpose for including this information is to allow the reader to understand the size, scope, and demographics of each stateÂ’ s education system. This information is also meant to provide the reader with a general understanding of each stateÂ’s overall education climate and of its financial commitment to education (GLSEN, 2004). Table 2 summarizes further evidence of a (possibly) stronger commitment to education in New Jersey versus Florida. The GLSEN (2004) report found that the perpupil expenditure in New Jersey of $11,248 is nearly double that for Florida ($6,170) and that the high school graduation rate for New Je rsey of 90.1% is slightly higher than Fl oridaÂ’s graduation rate of 84.6%. Notably, the percentage of students of color is similar for both states (New Jersey: 40.3%; Florid a: 47.1%). Also, the lower pupil-to-teacher ratio (New Jersey, 13:1 versus Florida, 19:1) and the teacher salary differential (New Je rsey, $54, 575 versus Florida, $38,719) are notab le and may also suggest a stronger state commitment to education in New Jersey compared with Florida. Table 3: Safe Schools Law by State State Safe Schools Law in New Jersey Present Type of Law: Civil Rights Statute Non-Discrimination Year Enacted: 1992 Categories Included: Sexual Orientation Type of Schools Covered: Any sc hool under Supervision of State Board of Education or State Commissioner of Education Explicit Private Right of Action: Yes Other Specific Requirements: None Type of Law: Education Statute Anti-Harassment

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111 Table 3 (Continued). Safe Schools Law by State State Safe Schools Law in New Jersey Present Year Enacted: 2002 Categories Included: Sexual Orientation Gender Identity Type of Schools Cove red: Public Schools Explicit Private Right of Action: No Other Specific Requirements: Dist rict must adopt policy (no less inclusive than language in law and with procedures for reportin g a nd investigating comp laints); Commissioner of Education must develop model policy; Notice of Policy must be provide d in rules and in student handbook. State Safe Schools Law in Florida None Table 3 reflects Safe schools laws in Fl orida, which, according to GLSEN (2004) are statewide anti-harassment a nd/or non-discrimination laws that are inclusive of the categories of sexual orientation a nd (ideally) gender identity/expression. GLSEN (2004) points out that this inform ation is one key to understanding each stateÂ’s commitment to schools that are free from discrimination a nd harassment against GLBTQ students. This information is intende d to allow the reader to understand whether a state has explicitly outlawed anti-LGBT discrimination and harassment and if so, the varying components of each law. Notably, Florida lacks a state Safe Schools law in clusive of sexual minority students; however, the Florida ethical code for teachers prohibits teachers and staff from harassing or discriminating against GLBTQ students. No explicit protections are in place, t hough, for sexual minority pupils receiving harassment or discrimin ation from other sources in the public school setting. Moreover, there area no legally enforceable protections against discrimination or harassment, provisions for seeking civil remuneration, or means of reporting or investigating such incidents in place for sexual minority st udents attending public schools in Florida

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112 (GLSEN, 2004). A ccording to the information in Table 3, unlike Florida, which lacks a statewide Safe Schools Law, New Jersey laws pertaining to school safety ex plicitly cover sexual orientation as a protected category in both its Civil Rights Statute of Non-Discrimination and its Education Statute of Anti-Harassmen t. Additionally, the latter law specifically includes gender expression as a covered categor y, t hus providing explicit protection for transgender students. Furthermore, the Ne w Jersey Civil Rights Statute of NonDiscrimination includes an exp licit Private Right of Action, allowing individual students to seek compensatory damages for the violati on of their civil rights when school officials fail to intervene, and the state’s Education St atute of Anti-Harassment requires districts to adopt policies to address the safety of sexual minority st udents (explicitly) and to make those policies known to a ll public school students th rough the student handbook (GLSEN, 2004). Table 4: Other Relevant Laws by State Other Relevant State Laws Florida New Jersey Non-Discrimination Law Yes Yes € Sexual Orientation Inclusive No Yes € Gender Identity Inclusive No No Domestic Partnershi p Benefits No Yes Domestic Partnershi p Registry No Yes *FL Code Sec.233.0672(2)(a)

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113 Table 4 (Continued) Other Relevant Laws by State Other Relevant State Law Florida New Jersey Anti-Same Sex Marriag e Law Yes; Passed 1997 No Hate Crimes Law Yes Yes Other Relevant State Laws Florida New Jersey € Sexual Orientation Inclusive Yes Yes € Gender Identity Inclusive No No Allows Adoption of Children by Sexual Minorities No Yes Promotion (in Schools) of Monogamous, Heterosexual Marriage Yes* Yes *FL Code Sec.233.0672(2)(a) According to GLSEN (2004), nondiscriminati on laws refer to those that prohibit discrimination in employment. This information is included in order to provide the reader with a greater understanding of the school and social climate in which students, teachers, administrators, pupil services professionals, and ot her school staff are working. GLSEN (2004) contends that these laws have a critical impact on school climate in that they play an important role in creating an educational environmen t that is either welcoming or hostile toward LGBT students, staff, and thei r heterosexual allies. For instance, without gu aranteed job protections, many pupil services personnel or other e ducators may decline to sponsor controversial Gay/ Straight Alliances for fear of retribution. GLSEN (2004)

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114 also argues that pupil services professiona ls and other educators best serve GLBTQ students when they experi ence workplaces that are fr ee from discrimination and harassment and that the best way to achie ve that goal is through adoption and enforcement of non-discrimina tion and anti-harassment policie s that are inclusive of sexual orientation and ge nder identity expression. The information from Table 4 reveals th at FloridaÂ’s nondiscrimination laws do not provide protections for se xu al minorities, although other cat egories of Florida citizens are protected (based on gender, handica pping condition, race/ethnicity, religious affiliation, and so forth). Furt hermore, Florida law does not formally recognize unions between sexual minority persons or extend benefits associated with marriage to individuals in same-sex unions. In fact, in 1997, the Florida legislature passed a law specifically banning formal recognition or th e extending of benefits associated with marriage to sexual minority couples (GLSEN 2004). In its favor, Fl orida law does make provisions for the tracking of violent crimes against lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons resulting from their status as sexual minorities and allows for stricter penalties in such cases. FloridaÂ’s Hate Crimes law, however, does not specifically extend to transgender individuals. Also according to the information in Ta ble 4, New JerseyÂ’s Non-Discrimination (in employment) Law makes discrimination ag ainst individuals (including public school employees) based solely on sexual orienta tion illegal, although it does not explicitly cover gender identity/expression. Additionally, New Jersey law recognizes and sanctions same-sex relationships through its Domestic Pa rtnership Registry, allowing them some of the legal benefits afforded heterosexual married couples. Fu rthermore, New Jersey law

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115 requires that same-sex partners of public em ployees receive the same benefits (medical coverage, death/retirement bene fits, etc.) that opposite-sex spouses are entitled to through its Domestic Partnership Be nefits program. Florida la w, on the other hand, does not recognize the rights of same-sex spouses of its public employees to receive benefits, nor does it recognize same-sex unions in any manne r. Also, New Jersey law allows for the adoption of children by gay and lesbian persons (on a cas e-by-case basis), whereas Fl orida law bans adoption by sexual minor ities under any circumstance. GLSEN (2004) suggests that such laws serve to either recognize the full citizenship of sexual minorities or to stigmatize them and their relationships This, according to GLSEN (2004) serves to create a social climate that influences the manner in which educators, including pupil services professionals, serve sexual minority youths and impacts the likelihood that they will act as allies and advo cates in their behalf. Table 5: Sexuality and HIV/STD Education Policies by State Sexuality and HIV/AIDS Education Florida New Jersey HIV/STD Mandated to teach Mandated to teach Sexuality and HIV/AIDS Education Florida New Jersey € Abstinence Lo cal Control Must be stressed € C ontraception Lo cal Control Local Control Sexuality Mandated to t each Mandated to teach € Abstinence Must be covered (esp. ab stinence until marriage) Must be stressed

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116 Table 5 (Continued). Sexuality and HIV/AIDS Education by State € C ontraception Lo cal Control Local Control (if taught, must address failure rates among adolescents) Parent OptOut Yes Yes, if based on moral or religious beliefs Sexuality HIV/AIDS Education, Cont’d Florida New Jersey Parent Consent No No In Table 5, “local determination” indicates there is no state mandate to teach abstinence (only) or about contraception. Rath er, substantive decisions about what to teach on those topics are made by the local district(s). GLSEN (2004) points out that states that receive Federal funds through sp ecific government programs, such as Welfare Refo rm, must follow specific abstinence-only guidelines with respect to the content of their sexuality education pr ograms, and that all states except California accept some Fe deral abstinence-only funding through the We lfare Reform program. This information was included in the report to assist the read er in understanding the subject matter that LG BT Q students are learning. Cert ain forms of sexuality education, such as Abstinence Only, do not provide sexual minority students w ith information regarding their current or future health needs. The information from Table 5 indicates that Florida law does mandate that information about HIV and STD’ s be taught in public schools. However, the content of

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117 what is taught is subject to local cont rol (individual school boards). Such content, ther efore, may be restricted to Abstinence Only messages and proscriptions against teaching information about c ontraception are possible. Like wise, Florida law mandates the teaching of sexuality courses in public schools; however, abstinence until (heterosexual) marriage must be covered and advocated. Based on information from Table 5, differences between Florida and New Jersey relative to the teaching of HIV/STD and se xu ality in public school s are negligible. GLSEN (2004) points out that states receivi ng federal monies are required to follow specific abstinence-only guidelines with respect to the content of sexuality programs. As previously stated, GLSEN (2004) contends that such forms of sexu ality education often do not provide LGBT students with inform ation regarding their unique and specific current or future health needs. Furthermore, GLSEN believes that st udents have the right to receive accurate information relating to LG BT health services and other resources. Neither Florida nor New Jersey, based on th e GLSEN (2004) report, appear to provide such information in sexuality education c ourses taught in public schools. However, it a ppears that in some respects, the New Jersey sexuality education requirement is broader th an that of Florida in that New Jersey law requires that if contraception is taught (a decision under local control), information on failure rates among adolescents must be covered. Table 6: District Polic y Info rmation by State District Policy Info rmation for Florida District Name Number of Students Safe School Policy Sexual Orientation Inclus ive Gender Id en tity Inclus ive

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118 Table 6 (Continued). District Policy Information by State Dade County School District 375,836 Yes Yes No Br oward County School District 262,055 Yes Yes No Hillsborough County Public Schools 169,789 No Pa lm Beach County School District 160,233 Yes Yes No Orange County School District 157,433 No District Policy Info rmation for New Jersey District Name Number of Students Safe School Policy Sexual Orientation Inclus ive Gender Id en tity Inclus ive School District Name Number of Students Safe School Policy Sexual Orientation Inclus ive Gender Id en tity Inclus ive Newark City School District 38,746 Yes Yes Yes Je rsey City School District 27,939 Yes Yes Yes GLSEN (2004) defines Safe Schools policies as those passed by a local educational agency (LEA) governing author ity, generally a school board. These policies are anti-harassment and/or non-di scrimination policies that are inclusive of the categories of sexual orientation and/ or gender identity. GLSEN (2004) gathered information from the largest two to five school districts from each state according to student population. School district population data was collected from the U.S. Department of Education. This information was included in the report in order to give the reader a more accurate picture of the number of students protected by anti-LGBT harassment or discrimination law or policy. Due to the large school popula tion of Florida, the maximum number (5) of

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119 its largest school districts was evaluated (GLSEN, 2004). The information from Table 6 indicates that to its credit, three out of five of Fl oridaÂ’s largest countie s have a Safe Schools policy. N one of those policies, however, extend protections to transge nder individuals, who, according to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (1999), may be even mo re at risk of harassment, violence, and intimidation than other sexual minorities. Of note, Hillsborough and Orange counties have no safe schools policies in place. Since 327,222 stude nts attend school in those two counties alone and (according to some estimates) as many as ten percent of those students may be sexual minority (Kinsey, et al, 1948) this may leave as many as 33,000 students in those two counties alone without lega lly enforceable protection from arbitrary discrimination and/or harassment. Due to student population differences, GL SEN (2004) examined only two of the largest school districts in New Jersey (as opposed to five districts examined in Florida) to assess district (school board) policy relative to GLBTQ stude nts. Results displayed in Table 6 indicate that the two la rgest school districts in that state have formal Safe Schools policies in place that specify both sexual orientation and gender identity/expression as protected categories from harassment. Althoug h FloridaÂ’s two largest school districts (Dade County and Broward County) have formal Safe Schools policies that are inclusive of sexual orientation, no Fl orida school district explicitly includes gender identity/expression (transgenderism ) in its policy (GLSEN, 2004).

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120 Table 7: Student Activity by State Student Group Activity Florida New Jersey Number of GSA Groups: 65 67 Day of Silence Yes Yes € Number of Schools with Participants 80 71 In the Table 7, the number of groups refers to gay-straight alliances (GSA’s) or similar support structures for sexual-minority students. GSA’s ar e student-led, schoolsupported groups that address LGBT issues f aced at school. The groups included in this study are only those that have opted to regi ster formally with GLSEN. Additionally, the number of schools with participants in the “Day of S ilence” (an annual day of silent protest against anti-LGBT discrimination spons ored by GLSEN) are based exclusively on participants’ self-reports to GLSEN. This information was included in the GLSE N (2004) report to allow the reader to understand the amount of direct support se xu al minority students and their allies (homosexual and heterosexual) are receiving from their peers in any given state. The information from Table 7 indicates that within Florida, there are si xty five st udent-led, school supported groups addressing issues faced by sexual minority youths in the public school setting, and that students representing eighty schools in the state participated in some way in the annual day of silent protest against anti-gay and lesbian bias, as reported to GLSEN. GLSEN (2004) points out that, while estimates vary, there may be 25-75% more student-led LGBT support groups in any state and that those represented in their report are only those groups that have forma lly registered with GLSEN. GLSEN (2004) also states that it is likely that Day of Silence activities occurred at many more schools

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121 than are indicated in the report. The numbers appearing in Table 13 merely reflect those participants who reported their participation directly to GLSEN. According to the information in Table 7, there were 67 Gay-Straight Alliances formally registered with GLSEN in the stat e of New Jersey at the time of the 2004 study. Additionally, students from 71 schools in that state reported to GLSEN that they participated in the National Day of Silence. Notably, more formally registered GSA’s exis t in New Jersey than exist in Florida (which has 65 registered GSA’s), despite the fact that Florida has 3,314 schools compared w ith New Jersey’s 2,410. Furthermore, the difference between the number of schools repres ented in the National Day of Silence in New Jersey (71) versus Florida (80) was neg ligible, despite Florida’s much larger student population. These numbers, according to GL SE N (2004), suggest that proportionally, there may be far more sexual minority stude nts receiving direct support in New Jersey compared with Florida. Table 8: Summary of Grading by State Summary of Grading All States Florida New Jersey Criterion Possible Points Points Earned Points Earned General Education (20) 7 19 € St udent/Teacher Ratio (5) 1 5 € Teacher Salary (5) 2 5 € Pe r-Pupil Expenditure (5) 2 5 € Graduation Rate (5) 2 4 Teach Sexuality Education (30) 0 € Sexual Orientation Inclus ive (24) 0 € Transgender Inclus ive (6) 0

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122 Table 8 (Continued). Summary of Grading by State Summary of Grading All States Florida New Jersey Criterion Possible Points Points Earned Points Earned Stat e NonDiscrimination Law (20) 0 16 € Sexual Orientation Inclus ive (16) 0 16 € Transgender Inclus ive (4) 0 0 Sexuality Education (15) 15 15 € Stat ewide Requirement to Teach HIV/STD Education (5) 5 5 € Stat ewide Requirement to Teach Sexuality Education (10) 10 10 Lo cal Safe Schools Policies (15) 12 15 € Sexual Orientation Inclus ive (12) 12 12 € Transgender Inclus ive (3) 0 3 School Law that Stigmatizes LGBT People (-10) 0 0 Summary of Grading Total: Florida New Jersey Overall Grade: 34 95 F (Failure) A (Excellent) Table 8 summarizes GLSEN’s (2004) a ssessment of the school climate for GLBTQ youths attending Florida’s public sc hools. Although the state scored well in terms of its mandated sexuality education requirement, its inclusion of sexual orientation (but not gender expression) as a protected category in its lo cal Safe Schools policies, and

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123 its absence of school laws that stigmatize sexual minority persons, the overall grade of ‘F’ for the state indicat es that, by GLSEN’s (2004) criteri a, the state of Florida does little to ensure that its public schools are welc oming places for sexual minority youths. GLSEN (2004) also suggests that in such an environment, it is unlikely that school staff (including pupil services profe ssionals) would be willing to act as allies and advocates for this highly at-risk population of young peopl e due to fears of reprisal and lack of perceived administrative and legislative support. The information in Table 8 suggests th at, based on the GLSEN (2004) criteria, New Jersey is doing an excellent job in supporting GLBTQ students attending public schools in that state through statewide, legally enforceable policies a nd legislation, and its ge neral commitment to education. Moreover, the state of New Je rsey has enacted laws that protect sexual minority educator s (including pupil services personnel), administrators, and other school staff fro m discrimination base d solely on sexual orientation. GLSEN (2004) cont ends that in creating such an environment, school personnel (including pupil servi ces professionals) may be more likely to act as advocates, allies, and role models for se xu al minority youths attending public schools in New Jersey, and thus support their general development and ability to recei ve an education in a safe and welcoming setting. The above profile contrasts sharply w ith that for Florida, which has no legally enforceable protections for se xu al minority students or staff working in public schools (GLSEN, 2004). As such, it may be less likely th at school staff (including pupil services professionals) would be willing to incorporate gay-affirming behaviors into their professional practices in Florida due to fears of retr ibution, negative public reaction, lack of administrative/legisl ative support, or job loss (G LS EN, 2004). To date, however,

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124 there has been no research addressing the w illingness of pupil servi ces professionals to employ gay-affirming technique s and behaviors in their dea lings with sexual minority students comparing those working in environm ents that are (theoretically) supportive of those students to those working in (theor etically) less supportive social and school c limates. The present study seeks to address this issue.

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125 Summary of Chapter Two Chapter II presented some of the most cen tral research conducted to date on the homophobia theoretical construct (Blumenf eld, 1992; Boswell, 1980; Tinney, 1983 ). That research suggests that homophobia is a widespread phenomenon, affecting the quality of life of a large number of sexual minor ity members of society. Furthermore, it is apparent that particular factors may predict the leve l of homophobia of individuals. Specifically, those who are highly religious, less well-educated, more dogmatic in their belief that individuals should st rictly adhere to socially pr oscribed gender scripts, and who are older and male are more likely to hold or express anti-GLBTQ bias. Smith (2006) demonstrated that thos e same predictors of homophobic bias may also be likely to influence the attitudes of school-based help ing professionals. OÂ’Ha nlan, at al, (2000) presented a comprehensive analysis of th e ways in which homophobia affects both the health and mental health status of individuals victimized by it. Their research suggests that the overall concept of disease vulnerability as a result of environmental stress is salient in the discussion of hea lth and mental heath-related factors in the lives of sexual minority individuals, including children a nd adolescents. SavinWilliams (1989) and others (e.g., Baker, 2002; GLSEN, 2004; He rek, 2000) have argued that stressors resulting from the experience of in-school antiga y or anti-lesbian hara ssment, parental rejection, alienation, a nd abuse, and ineffectual respons es from potential support systems (such as school-based counse ling professionals) often lead to dramatic and negative

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126 outcomes for GLBTQ youths, including depr ession, self-destructiv e behavior resulting from lowered self-esteem, dropping out of hi gh school, substance abuse, and suicide. Additional information was presented relative to school climate for GLBTQ students. That research suggests that ant-GLBTQ sentiment and resulting violence may be even more salient within the middle and high school educational setting, than in the overall culture (GLSEN, 2004). It is, theref ore, crucial that school-based helping professionals be both prepared and willing to provided needed support to those students in order to increase their coping skills a nd enhance their equal access to educational opportunities (Baker, 2002; Sears, 1992). Fi nally, information was presented which suggests that school-based counseling professi onals may be in a better position to act as allies, advocates, and unbiased interventi onists on behalf of GLBTQ youths when working within a cultural and institutional structure where they perceive their efforts would be valued, rather th an condemned (GLSEN, 2004; GLSEN, 2005; Malinksy, 1996; Smith, 2006). It appears likely, from the resear ch presented, that statewide safe schools initiatives, local school-board policies protective of GLBTQ students and staff, and a commitment on the part of school-based helpin g professionals to pr ovide unbiased and appropriate (gay-affirming) serv ices to their clients are all key elements in improving the school climate for sexual minority students (GLSEN, 2004; Malinski, 1996; Smith, 2006. The present research seeks to further address this possibility.

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127 C HAP TER III Method In troduction The purpose of this chapter is to provide a description of the research methods chosen for the present study. Included in this chapter is a discussion of the criteria for participant selection, a description of the research design and selected instruments for the study, an identification of the dependent a nd independent variable s of interest, and specifications for the data analyses used to test the research hypotheses. Participants The present study utilized both new data (obtained from participants working in the st ate of New Jersey) and archival data (obtained from participants working in the state of Florida). Participants were identified via mailing lists, obtained from the Florida Department of Education a nd the New Jersey Department of Education, listing every certified and working pupil services profe ssional (i.e., school psychologists, school nurses, school social workers, and guidance counselors) in each respective state. The mailing lists identified each pr ofessional by name, professional title, a nd school address. Participants were then chosen randomly from those lists. In order to be included in the study, re spondents met the following criteria: (1) work in a school setting, (2) employed in the position of either school nurse, guidance counselor, school social worker, or school ps yc hologist, (3) primarily or exclusively heterosexual, (4) provide dir ect services at the elementa ry, middle (junior high), or secondary (high school) level, or (5) a gra duate student in one of the selected pupil

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128 services disciplines (i.e., school psychology, school nursing, school counseling, or school social work) with practicum or internship experience. Thus, questionnaires completed by supervisors and other administrators, academicians, and respondents working in nontraditional settings (e.g., hosp itals, clinics, community cen ters) were not included in the final data analysis since the focus of this study is on the attitudes of potential mental health providers in the schools Questionnaires from respondents indicating they are gay, bisexual, or lesbian were not included in the final analysis since this study concerns the a ttitudes of heterosexuals toward sexual minorities. There is research (e.g, Browning, 2000; Callahan, 2001; Cass et al., 1983) sugges ting that sexual minority counselors working with sexual minority clients are of ten confronted with unique challenges and concerns. Some of those include heightened concerns surrounding transference issues, confronting their own ‘internalized’ homophobi a, concerns about the unique concerns about the pros and cons of se lf-disclosure, and (when dealin g with gay youths) concerns about being accused of ‘recruitment’. The resear cher concedes that these are all important areas for further investigation. However, thes e issues are beyond the scope of the present study. Thus, the researcher decided to limit study participants to heterosexuals. Student participants were obtained from each respective graduate program at five large state universities and one private university located in Florida. The researcher also contacted the graduate program c oordinators for the relevant fi elds of study at five large state universities in New Jersey to request participation in the study. Only two out of ten program coordinators contacted agreed to a ssist in data collec tion, however. Ultimately, no surveys from graduate students attending New Jersey universities were returned.

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129 A total of 306 student services personnel participated in this study. Tables 9, 10, and 11 display the frequency counts for selected variables pertaining to participants. Participants for this study came from tw o states: Florida (59.5%) and New Jersey (40.5%). The most common professional pos itions were school psychologist (34.3%) or gu idance counselor (21.6%) with the most comm on service setting being at a senior high school (36.9%). Most (81.0%) were female and the most common ethnic/r acial category was Caucasian/White (87.6%). Eighty-three percent had education beyond a BachelorÂ’s degree. Over half (64.1%) were married and another 21.9% were single. Sixty-two percent had at least one chil d. Seventy-four percent were raised in the suburbs, 83.7% currently lived in the suburbs, and 70.9% currently worked in the suburbs. The most commonly identified religious affiliations were Ca tholic (35.9%) or Jewish (10.8%). Twenty-six percent reported a wide va riety of other religious/spiritual viewpoints/traditions. Forty-one percent repor ted attending religious services at least monthly. As for political leanings, about half (51.7%) endorsed m oderate-to-liberal or liber al leanings (Table 9). Table 9 Frequency Counts for Selected Demographic Variables (N = 306) ____________________________________________________________________________________ Variable Category n % n % ____________________________________________________________________________________ Region Fl orida 182 59.5 Ne w Jersey 124 40.5 Pr imary Professional Position Florida n Florida % New Jersey n New Jersey %

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130 __________________________________________________________________________ ____________ Table 9 (Continued). Frequency Counts for Selected Demographic Variables (N = 306) _____________________________________________________________________________________ Variable Category n % n % __________________________________________________________________________ ____________ Sch ool Psychologist 48 26.4 57 46 Guidance Counselor 43 23.6 23 18.5 School Social Wo rker 25 13.7 18 14.5 Sch ool Nurse 30 16.5 27 21 School Psychology Student 18 09.9 0 0.0 Guidance Counseling St udent 18 09.9 0 0.0 Service Setting Elementary 37 20.3 40 32.3 Middle School or Junior High 45 24.7 36 29.0 Senior High Sch ool 70 38.5 45 36.3 Other 30 16.5 3 2.4

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131 __________________________________________________________________________ ____________ Table 9 (Continued). Frequency Counts for Selected Demographic Variables (N = 306) _____________________________________________________________________________________ Variable Category n % n % __________________________________________________________________________ ____________ Gender Florida n Florida % New Jersey n New Jersey % Male 32 17.6 26 21 Fe ma le 150 82.4 98 79 R ace/Ethnicity Asian/P acific Islander 3 1.6 4 3.2 Black/African American 11 6.1 7 5.6 Hispanic/Latin o 13 7.1 0 0.0 Ca u casian/White 155 85.2 113 91.2 Hi ghest Degree B achelorÂ’s 37 20.3 16 12.9 MasterÂ’s 85 46.7 65 52.4 Specialist 47 25.8 23 18.5 Doctorate 13 7.2 20 16.2 Marital Status Married 112 61.5 84 67.7 Single 44 24.2 23 18.6 Unmarrie d 9 4.9 0 0.0 Divorced/Separat ed 13 7.2 14 11.3 Widowed 4 2.2 3 2.4

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132 Tabl e 9 C ontinued __________________________________________________________________________ ____________ Variable Category n % __________________________________________________________________________ ____________ Have a Child Florida n Florida % New Jersey n New Jersey % Ye s 105 57.7 86 69.4 No 77 42.3 38 30.6 Community Raised in Rural 33 18.1 7 5.6 Su burban 110 60.4 115 92.7 Urban 39 21.4 2 1.6 Community Currently Live in Rural 24 13.2 1 8.2 Su burban 134 73.6 122 83.7 Urban 24 13.2 1 8.2 Community Currently Work in Rural 35 19.2 2 1.6 Su burban 95 52.2 122 98.4 Urban 52 28.6 0 0.0

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133 Tabl e 9 C ontinued __________________________________________________________________________ ____________ Variable Category n % n % __________________________________________________________________________ ____________ Religion/Spirituality Category Florida n Florida % New Jersey n New Jersey % Catholic 54 29.7 56 45.2 Baptist 4 2.2 12 9.7 Methodist/Wesleyan 19 10.4 6 4.8 Presbyterian 14 7.7 4 3.2 Other Chris tian Grou p 15 8.2 13 10.5 Jewish 13 7.1 20 16.1 Other Viewpoints/Traditions 63 34.6 13 10.5 Frequency Attending Worship/ Faith Based Services More than once a week 11 6.0 8 6.5 Once per week 44 24.2 28 22.6 Once or twice a mo nth 19 10.4 14 11.3 Occasionally 49 26.9 39 31.5 Rarely 46 25.3 20 16.1 Not at all 13 7.1 15 12.1 __________________________________________________________________________ ____________

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134 Tabl e 9 C ontinued _____________________________________________________________________________________ Variable Category n % __________________________________________________________________________ ____________ Po litical Leanings Florida n Florida % New Jersey n New Jersey % Conservative 15 8.2 9 7.3 Conservative-to-Mode rate 27 14.8 17 13.7 M oderate 54 29.7 26 21.0 M oderate-to-Liberal 45 24.7 36 29.0 Liberal 41 22.5 36 29.0 __________________________________________________________________________ ____________ Table 10 displays additional descriptive statistics for selected participant variables. Respondents ranged in age from 25 to 80 years ( M = 46.28, SD = 12.19). Professional experience ranged from –2 year s (respondent in a trainee capacity) to 60 y ears ( M = 14.31, SD = 11.75). Tabl e 10 De sc ri ptive Statistics for Selected Variables (N = 303) ____________________________________________________________________________________ Variable M SD Low High _____________________________________________________________________________________ Differential Bias a 0.25 0.50 -1.40 2.00 Age 46.28 12.19 25.00 80.00 Years of Experience 14.31 11.75 -2.00 60.00 _____________________________________________________________________________________ a Gay Bias – Lesbian Bias

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135 Table 11 displays the frequency counts for selected participant sexuality variables. All respondents ( 100.0%) reported that they were heterosexual with all but nine (97.1%) having known so meone who was gay, lesbia n or bisexual (GLBTQ). Almost all (95.8%) rated the re lationship with that person as being “mostly positive.” Seventy-one percent belie ve there are youth in their school who self-identify as GLBTQ. Fo rty-eight percent believe that youth in thei r school may engage in same sex behavior but not self-identify as GLBTQ. In addition, 59.2% believe that there are students in their school who appear to be sexua lly attracted to persons of th eir own sex but have neither self-identified as GLBTQ or engaged in sa me-sex sexual behavior. About half the respondents (52.9%) reported havi ng provided sexual orienta tion counseling. As for specific training in the counseling needs of GLBTQ youth, 45.4% received training in school and 42.2% received training at work. Th irty-two percent felt adequately prepared for counseling GLBTQ youth clients and 66.7% ex pressed interest in receiving additional training (Table 12). Tabl e 11 Frequency Counts for Selected Sexuality Variables (N = 303) __________________________________________________________________________ ____________ Variable Category n % __________________________________________________________________________ ____________ Sexual Orientation He te rosexual 306 100.0 Know Someone GLBTQ Ye s 297 97.1 No 9 2.9

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136 Table 11 (Continued). Frequency Counts for Selected Sexuality Variables (N = 303) __________________________________________________________________________ ____________ Variable Category n % __________________________________________________________________________ ____________ Relationship with Them Mostly Positive 293 95.8 Neutral 11 3.6 Mostly Negative 2 0.7 Youth-Self Identified as GLBTQ Ye s 218 71.2 Unsure 42 13.7 No 46 15.0 Yout h-Engaged in Behavior but not SelfIden tified Ye s 148 48.4 Unsure 98 32.0 No 60 19.6 __________________________________________________________________________ ____________ GLBTQ = Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual

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137 Tabl e 11 C ontinued _____________________________________________________________________________________ Variable Category n % _____________________________________________________________________________________ Yout h-Sexually A ttracted by not Self-Identified or E ngaged Ye s 181 59.2 Unsure 80 26.1 No 45 14.7 Provided Se xual Orientation Counseling Ye s 162 52.9 No 144 47.1 R eceived School Training in GLBTQ Issues Ye s 139 45.4 No 167 54.6 R eceived Work Training in GLBTQ Issues Ye s 129 42.2 No 177 57.8 __________________________________________________________________________ ____________ GLBTQ = Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual

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138 Tabl e 11 C ontinued __________________________________________________________________________ ____________ Variable Category n % __________________________________________________________________________ ____________ Feel Adequately Prepared for GLBTQ Clients Yes 98 32.0 Unsure 90 29.4 No 118 38.6 Interested in Receiving Additional GLBTQ Traini ng Ye s 204 66.7 Unsure 43 14.1 No 59 19.3 __________________________________________________________________________ ____________ GLBTQ = Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual Design A causal-comparative research design was used in order to examine the relationships between the variables in the st udy. The dependent variab les were the scores of participants on the Gay Affirming Beha viors Questionnaire (GABQ) (Sears, 1992) and the Attitudes Toward Lesbians and Gays scale (ATLG; Herek, 1988; 1994) depending on the research question addressed. The independent variables in th is study were: (a) level of academic degree; (b) political cl assification; (c) frequency of attendance at worship/faithbased services; (d) previous so cial contact with a homosexua l person; (e) gender; (f) age; (g) race; (h) previous traini ng in issues related to c ounseling sexual minorities; (i) state/region in which participant works (i.e., Florida versus New Jersey), (i) level of

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139 homophobic bias, and (j) relations hip status. Survey methods were used to collect the data for the New Jersey sample. Those data were combined with archival data (from Florida) for the purpose of data analysis, which exa mined the interactions among the variables of interest. Specific procedures used for combining the data bases are described in the Procedure section of this chapter. Instru ments F our instruments were used in the pres ent study. First, s ubjects completed the Demographics Questionnaire (Appendix B). This instrument elicite d information about nine different areas: professional title/field of study, work setting/intended work setting, ge nder, date of birth, race/ethnicity, high est academic degree earned, date academic degree was (will be) earned, relationshi p status, and parenthood status. The second instrument used was the ‘C orrelates’ Questi onnaire (Appendix C), which collected data about par ticipants’ sexual orientation by asking that they indicate whether they are primarily gay /lesbian, bisexual, or heterosexual. In a ddition, participants were asked to indicate whether or not they have had past so cial contact with gay men or lesbians (i.e., gay/lesbian friends, coworkers, and family members), and to describe those contacts (i.e., positive vs. negative), whether or not they have an interest in receiving training in the counseling/mental health needs of gay/lesbian/ bisexual/questioning y ouths, whether or not they have previous traini ng in issues pertaining to sexual minority y ouths, their religious/faith-based affiliation frequency of attendance at religious or faith-based services, and their political status along a conservative-to-liberal spectrum. These information categories were select ed from previous research studies that showed a correlation between homophobia and each category. For exam ple, individuals

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140 who report having positive social contact w ith lesbians and gay men are less homophobic than those with no contact or negative contact (Basow, 2000; DÂ’Augelli & Rose, 1990; Honson, et al., 1997; Parrott, et al., 1997; Ra ja & Stokes, 2004; Re inhardt, 1997; Whitley & L ee, 2000). Knowing an openly gay person is correlated with lower levels of homophobia even in groups where hostility is pr evalent, such as among the highly religious or uneducated (Basow, 2000; DÂ’ Augelli & Rose, 1990; Johnson, et al., 1997; Parrott, et al., 1997; Raja & Stokes, 2004; Reinhardt, 1997; Schneider & Lewis, 1984; Whitley & Lee, 2000). Those who attend church mo re frequently tend to re port higher levels of homophobia (Basow, 2000; DÂ’Augelli & Rose, 1990; Henley & Pincus, 1978; Johnson, et al., 1997; Nyberg & Alston, 1977; Parro tt, et al., 1997; Raja & Stokes, 2004; Reinhardt, 1997; Smith, 2006; Whitley & Lee, 2000). Protestants a nd Roman Catholics exhibit more homophobia than Jews, members of other religions, or the nonreligious (Irwin & Thompson, 1977). Fundamentalist Prot estants are more likely than Jews to express homophobia (Klassen, Willia ms, & Levitt, 1989), and Epis copalians and Baptists (though not Southern Baptists) are likely to be more tolerant than Methodists, Presbyterians or Lutherans. Finally, lower levels of homophobia have been associated with increased openness to prof essional development and training in the areas of sexual orientation, diversity, tolerance, and readiness to couns el sexual minority youths and those questioning their sexual or ientation (Sears, 1992; Smith, 2006). The third instrument asse ssed levels of homophobia among participants in the study. Homophobia was measured using the Attitudes Toward Lesb ians and Gay Men S cale (ATLG; Herek, 1988) (Appendix D). The AT LG was chosen because of its short

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141 length, making it practical for survey re search. Additionally, the ATLG, unlike most ex isting scales in this content area, assesses attitudes toward gay men and toward lesbians separately and has scoring procedures for distinguishing attitudes between the two gr oups. The ATLG is a brief instrument that purports to measure he terosexuals’ attitudes toward gay men and lesbian women. This instrument treats these attitudes as one instance of intergroup attitudes, similar in psychological structure and function to interracial and interethnic attitudes. Borrowing from public di scourse surrounding sexu al orientation, the scale presents stat ements that tap heterosexuals’ aff ective responses to homosexuality and to gay men and lesbians. Exam ples of items include: “Lesbians just can’t fit into our society,” and, “Male homosex uals should not be allo wed to teach school.” The ATLG, according to its author, is appropriate for administration to adult heterosexuals in the United States. Scale development included extensive exploratory factor analysis, item analysis, and cons truct validity studies (Herek, 1984, 1987a, 1987b, 1988, 1994). The ATLG consists of 20 statem ents, 10 about gay men (Attitudes Toward Gay Men/ATG subscale) and 10 about lesbia n women (Attitudes Toward Lesbians/ATL subscale), to which respondents indicate their level of agr eement or disagreement. A 5point, Likert-type scale, with anchor points of strongly disagree and strongly agree is used for this purpose. According to the au thor, college-educated respondents will require approximately 30 to 60 s econds per item to comple te the questionnaire. Scoring is accomplished by summing numerical values (e.g., 1 = strongly disagree, 5 = strongly agree ) across items for each subscal e. With a 5-point response scale, total scale scores can range fro m 20 (extremely positiv e attitudes) to 100

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142 (extremely negative attitudes) with ATL and ATG subscale sores each ranging from 10 to 50. Reverse scoring is required for some negatively worded statements. The ATLG and its subscales have consiste ntly shown high levels of internal consistency. W ith college student samples completin g the ATLG or a shortened version of it, alpha levels have typically been greater than .85 for the subscales and .90 for the full scale (Herek, 1987a, 1987b, 1988). Test -retest reliability was originally demonstrated with alternate forms (H erek, 1988, 1994). Responde nts completed the original ATLG items and then, 3 weeks later, completed the alternate form (i.e., ATG items reworded to refer to lesbians, ATL items reworded to refer to gay men). Correlations were r = .83 for the ATG and its alternate, .84 for the ATL and its alternate, and .90 for the entire ATLG and its alternate. The ATLG and its subscales have demonstr ated consistent correlations with other theoretically relevant constructs. Higher scores (more negative attitudes) have correlated significantly with high religiosity, lack of contact with gay men a nd lesbians, adherence to traditional sex-role attitudes, belief in traditional family ideology, and high levels of dogmatism (Herek, 1987a, 1987b, 1988, 1994; Here k & Glunt, 1993; Herek & Capitanio, 1995, 1996; Johnson, et al., 1997; Parrott, et al., 2002; Basow, 2000; Rahas & Stokes, 2004; Reinhardt, 1997; Smith, 2006; Whitley & Lee, 2000 ). In addition, high ATG scores (more negative attitudes toward gay men) have positively correlated with AIDSrelated stigma (Herek & Cap itanio, 1995; Herek & Glunt, 1991). Discriminant validity for the ATLG also has been established. Members of lesbian and gay organizations scored at the extreme positive end of the range (Herek, 1988), and nonstudent adults w ho publicly supported a local gay rights initiative scored

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143 significantly lower on the ATLG than did community residents who publicly opposed the initiative (Herek, 1994). The internal consiste ncy of the ATLG for the Florida sample was previously calculated (Smith, 2006) and is discussed below. Thus internal consistency of the ATLG with the combined archival and new sample was assessed using ChronbachÂ’s alpha coefficient ( a) as well, and is reporte d in the Results section. In a pilot study leading up to the proposed investigation, Smith (2006) used the Attitudes Toward Lesbians a nd Gay Men Scale (ATLG, Herek, 1984) and its subscales, The Attitudes Toward Gay Men Scale (ATG) and the Attitudes Toward Lesbians Scale (ATL) to measure anti-gay bias among a sample of 182 school-based counseling professionals and advanced gra duate students in pupil serv ices disciplines. Table 12 displays the psychometric characteristics fo r the three GLBTQ bias scales from that study. All three scales had Cronbach Alpha reliability coefficients above a = .80 suggesting adequate intern al reliability (Rea & Parker 1997). The lesbian bias ( M = 1.89), gay bias ( M = 2.17) and combined bias ( M = 2.03) scales were all based on a fivepoint ordinal metric.

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144 Table 12 Psychometric Characteristic s for Selected Scales from Pilot Study (N = 182) ________________________________________________________________________ Number of Scale Items M SD Low High Alpha ________________________________________________________________________ Le sbian Bias (ATL ) 10 1.89 0.78 1.00 4.20 .86 Gay Bias (ATG) 10 2.17 0.90 1.00 4.60 .90 Combined Bias (ATLG) 20 2.03 0.81 1.00 4.30 .94 ________________________________________________________________________ The final instrument used in the st udy was the Gay Affirming Behaviors Questionnaire (Appendix E). This instrument was based on questions developed by Sears (1992). It asks respondents to indicate their acti ons, plans, or point of view related to each of 11 gay affirming behaviors. Specifically, respondents were instructed to choose one of the following stat ements as the best representation of their position on the 11 behaviors: (1) “I have done this,” (2) “I plan to do this ,” (3) “I don’t believe I would be allowed to do this,” (4) “I don’t believe th is would be effective,” (5) “I don’t know how to do this,” or (6) “I do not plan to do this”. Examples of the gay affirming behaviors included on the questionnaire are “I confront homophobic re marks” and “I am careful to avoid heterosexual bias in my lang uage.” The internal consiste ncy of this instrument was assessed using Cronbach’s alpha coefficient ( a ) for the present sample, and is presented in the Results section. Scoring for this instrument was accomplished by assigning a

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145 numerical value to each of the six position st atements. The first pos ition statement, “I have done this”, was assigned a value of 6. Th e last position statement, “I do not plan to do this”, was assigned a value of 1. Thus sc ores for the instrument range from 11 through 66, with lower scores indicatin g the respondent is less willing to engage in gay affirming behaviors within the scope of his or he r professional activities and higher scores indicating more willingness to do so. In a pilot study leading up to the present investigation, Smith (2006) used the GABQ (Gay Affirming Behaviors Questionnair e; Sears, 1992) to assess the likelihood that pupil services professionals and graduate students in pup il services disciplines would utilize LGBT –positive behaviors in their pr ofessional work with sexual minority students. Data were gathered from a sample of 182 respondent s working in Florida public schools. A Chronbach’s alpha coefficient of .8204 was obtained. This finding indicates the GABQ reliably assessed gay-affirming beha viors among that sample (Rea & Parker, 1997). Table 13 displays the psychometric characteristics for the four sexual bias scales from the present study. All four scales had Cronbach Alpha reliability coefficients above r = .70 suggesting adequate inte rnal reliability (Rea & Parker 1997). The lesbian bias ( M = 1.80), gay bias ( M = 2.06) and combined bias ( M = 1.93) were all ba sed on five-point ordinal metrics while the biased behavior scale ( M = 3.53) was constructed using a sixpoint ordinal metric.

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146 Tabl e 13 Psychometric Characteristics for Selected Variables (N = 303) __________________________________________________________________________ ____________ Scale Items M SD Low High Alpha __________________________________________________________________________ ____________ Lesbian Bias 10 1.80 0.75 1.00 4.30 .85 Gay Bias 10 2.06 0.87 1.00 4.60 .89 Combined Bias 20 1.93 0.77 1.00 4.40 .93 Biased Behavior 11 3.53 1.01 1.09 6.00 .79 ________________________________________________________________________ Procedure 1. Participants in the targ eted professional categories (i.e., school psychologists, school social workers, school nurses, and guidance counselors) were chosen randomly from mailing lists of certified a nd working pupil services professionals obtained from the New Jersey Department of Education (DOE) and the Florida DOE. Specifically, a table of random num bers was used, whereby each member of the pool of potential respondents wa s assigned a number from 1 through XXX (where XXX represents the total number of potential participants). For example, if the total number of poten tial participants in a gi ven category equaled 700, and 200 respondents were to be selected at random, each of the 700 members was assigned a number from 1 to 700. The firs t 200 numbers that appeared, wherever the researcher began in the random num ber table, determined the 200 potential sample members. Since, in this exam ple, there were only 700 members in the population, the researcher used thr ee-digit random numbers. If a number exceeding 700 appeared, the researcher s imply ignored it. Furthermore, if a

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147 number that had already b een selected appeared, it, too, was ignored, since a single member of the population would not be included twice in the sample (Rea & Parker, 1997). 2. Selected participants received envelopes (v ia U.S. First Class Mail) containing the four instruments described a bove, along with a postage pa id return envelope and a cover letter (Appendix A). Th e cover letter explained the purpose of the study and requested their participation. A statem ent was included in the cover letter explaining that participation was both voluntary and confiden tial. Questionnaires were labeled ‘Part A’ (D emographics Questionnaire) ‘Part B’ (Correlates Questionnaire), ‘Part C’ (the ATLG Scal e), and ‘Part D’ (the Gay Affirming Be haviors Questionnaire). This manner of labeling was used in order to avoid any response bias related to th e respondents’ awareness of the factors being measured by each scale. For example, if a respondent were aware that he or she was responding to a questionnaire intended to measure ‘Correlates’ of homophobia, such awareness might have influenced th e degree of candor of the responses due to a desire on the part of the respondent to provide more ‘s ocially desirable’ responses (Rea & Parker, 1997). 3. In an attempt to obtain st udent participants, envelopes containing the cover letter, questionnaires, and postage pa id return envelope were forwarded to the program director of each respective discipline (i .e., school psychology, school counseling, nursing, and school social work) at each of the universities selected for the study. Prior to the mailing, the researcher c ontacted each respective graduate program director and asked him or her for assistan ce in obtaining data for this research

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148 project. Specifically, the program dir ectors were asked to distribute the questionnaires to advanced gr aduate students (i.e., thos e with some sort of internship or practicum experience). One questionnaire packet per advanced gra duate student was pr ovided to the program director s who agreed to assist in data collection. 4. In order to ensure an ade quate number of returned survey s, the researcher sent out three times the number of questionnaires n eeded for an adequate sample size based on the power analysis. Since the Tabachnich and Fidel (2001) formula (discussed in a later section) indicates a sample size of 116 (in addition to the archival sample) was needed, 348 (new) su rveys were mailed. Th is strategy was used because, due to the anonymous na ture of the survey, follow-up of nonrespondents was not possible. A total of 124 (new) surveys were returned, representing a response rate of 36%. Therefore, more than the required number (based on power analysis results) of respondents to the questionnaire was obtained. The researcher used the additi onal respondents as pa rt of the overall sample, thereby achieving a still higher degree of accuracy than was initially planned (Rea & Parker, 1997). 5. Raw survey data was scanned for missing information and for responses that are out of range. No missing data or out-of-range responses were noted. 6. After scanning procedures were complete, raw survey data were entered into an Excel spreadsheet in preparation for analysis. An example of the spreadsheet appears in Appendix K.

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149 7. For purposes of data analysis, a new co lumn was added to the Ex cel worksheet used to record the data previously obt ained from the archival (Florida) sample. That column was used to code the data from Florida (code = 1) and the data from New Jersey (code = 2). The data origin a ting from New Jersey was added to the bottom of the same database containing the Florida (arc hival) data. Specifically, data from Florida participan ts ended at row 182, and the data from the New Jersey respondents began at row 183. Data Analysis and Sample Size Mean scores on the ATLG were computed for the total group of participants and for each demographic category. In addition, th e difference score for the subscales of the ATLG (i.e., ATL {items 1 through 10 of th e ATLG} minus ATG {items 11 through 20}) for each category was calculated in order to examine difference in sexual prejudice toward gay men versus sexual prejudice towa rd lesbians. Likewise, mean scores on the Gay Affirming Behaviors Questionnaire were co mputed for the total sample and for each demographic category to determine the like lihood that participants would employ gay positive techniques in their professional work with GLBTQ students. Alpha levels for this study were set at p = < .05. However, due to the exploratory nature of this study, findings significant at the p = < .10 level were noted to suggest trends for future research. Data initially were tabulated using standard summary statistics (e.g., means, standard deviations, frequencies, and percentages). Multiple regression prediction equations and paired/co rrelated t tests were used to test the hypotheses appearing at the

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150 end of this section. Specific techniques used to test each research hy pothesis are indicated at the end of the Procedure section as well. The determination of an ad equate samp le size for the regression models was calculated using a formula recommended by Tabachnick and Fidell (2001, p. 117). They recommend that the sample size be calcu lated based on the following formula: Sample Size = 104 + m where m equals the number of indepe ndent variables. For the pr esent study, Archival data from the pilot study was combined with new data. The pilot study data base comprised 182 respondents. An additional 124 respondents participated in the present study. This number exceeded the anticipated 116 (new) par ticipants needed, based on the Tabachnick and Fidell (2001) formula. The independent (p redictor) variables for the present study included (1) gender, (2) previous social contact with sexual minorities, (3) political classification (i.e., “conservativ e,” “moderate,”, or “liberal”) (4) frequency of attendance at religious/faith-based services, (5) educati on level, (6) age, (7) race, (8) relationship status, (9) previous training relative to sexu al orientation diversity (10) state/region in which respondent works (i.e., New Jersey vs Florida), (11) level of homophobic bias, and (12) number of years’ pr ofessional service. Given the Tabachnick and Fidell (2001) formula, the obtained (new) sample of 124 ex ceeds the anticipated sample size of 116 for this study. A multiple regression model was cr eated using either respondents’ scores on the ATLG or the GABQ (as appropriate) to test the following hypotheses: 1. Women will report lower levels of homophobia than will men. This hypothesis was tested, using Pearson Product Moment Correlation a nd examining the change

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151 in the R2 value associated with gender. Scor es on the ATLG were the dependent variable. 2. Those respondents who report previous (favor able) social contact with gay men or lesbians will also report lo wer levels of homophobia. Th is hypothesis was tested, using Pearson product moment correla tion, by examining the coefficient a ssociated with ‘previous positive social contact with gay men or lesbians’ and determining the significance of the change in the R2 value associated with that independent variable. Agai n, scores on the ATLG was the dependent variable. 3. Those participants who identify as more “liberal” will report lower levels of homophobia than those who identify as more “conservative.” This hypothesis was tested, using Pearson product moment co rrelation, by examining the coefficient a ssociated with ‘political classification’ a nd determining the significance of the change in the R2 value associated with that variable. ATLG scores were the dependent variable. 4. Those respondents who repor t more frequent attendance at religious/faith-based services will also report hi gh er levels of homophobia. Th is hypothesis was tested, using Pearson product moment correla tion, by examining the coefficient associated with ‘frequency of attendance at worship services’ and determining the significance of the change in the R2 value associated with that variable. As above, ATLG scores were th e dependent variable. 5. Individuals who have attained a higher level of education (e.g., specialist and doctoral level participants) will report more positive attitudes than will those with less education (e.g., bachelor’s and maste r’s level professionals ). This hypothesis

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152 was tested using Pearson product mo ment correlation, by examining the significance of the change in the R2 value associated with ‘education level.’ ATLG scores acted as the dependent variable. 6. Scores on the homophobia measure will positively correlate with age of respondent. This hypothesis was test ed, using Pearson product moment correlation, by examining the sign ificance of the change in the R2 value associated with ‘age’. ATLG scor es were the dependent variable. 7. Caucasian respondents will report lower levels of homophobia than nonCaucasian (i.e., African Amer ican, Hispanic, Asian) re spondents. This hypothesis was tested, using Pears on product moment correlation, by examining the coefficient associated with ‘race’ and determining the significance of the change in the R2 value. ATLG scores were the dependent variable. 8. Married participants will report higher levels of hom ophobia than will others (i.e., single participants, divorced participants, and those living with a domestic partner). This hypothesis was tested, using Pearson Product Moment Correlation and examining the significance of the change in the R2 value associated with relationship status. ATLG scores were the dependent variable. 9. Homophobia scores will positively correlate with participants’ number of years of professional experience (since older partic ipants are hypothesized to be more homophobic than younger participants). This hypothesis was tested, using Pearson product moment correlation, by examining the change in R2 values associated with ‘number of years’ prof essional experience.’ Again, ATLG scores acted as the dependent variable.

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153 10. Those respondents who had previous trai ning in issues relative to sexual orientation diversity will report lower levels of hom ophobia than respondents who have not had such training. This hypot hesis was tested, us ing Pearson Product Moment Correlation and examining the significance of the change in the R2 value associated with ‘previous training.’ The respondents’ ATLG scores were the dependent variable. 11. All groups will express more sexual prejudice toward gay men than toward lesbian women. This hypothesis was tested using a correlated (i.e., paired) t test to determine the significance of the difference in the mean gay prejudice score (ATG scale) versus the mean lesbian prejudice score (ATL Scale) for the entire sample. In teraction effects were also examined via a multiple regression analysis and by examining the significance of the change in the R2 value associated with ‘differential bias’ (i.e., bi as against gay males vs. bias against lesbians). The difference score between the ATL and the AT G was the dependent variable in this case. 12. Participants in the following demo gr aphic categories (which will act as independent variables) w ill report a lower likelihood of employing gay affirming behaviors in their professi onal practices concerning GL BTQ st udents: (a) older, (b) more politically conservative, (c) more sexually biased, (d) more religious, and, (e) work/reside in Florida. A multip le regression model was created using respondents’ scores on the Gay Affir ming Behaviors Questionnaire as the dependent variable and th e afore-mentioned demographic categories as the independent variables. It was predicted that this co mbination of independent

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154 variables would reliably pr edict respondentsÂ’ GAB scor es. This hypothesis was tested using Pearson product moment co rrelation and examining the change in R2 values associated with each of the independent variables.

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155 CHAPTER IV Results The purpose of this study was twofold. Firs t, this study was intended to determine whether or not student services personne l (i.e., school social workers, guidance counselors, school nurses, a nd school psychologists as we ll as advanced graduate students in those pupil services disciplines) possess the attitudes and experiences conducive to addressing effectively the need s of sexual minority students. The second purpose of this study was to determine the eff ect of region (specifically, the existence of an tidiscrimination LGBT legislation and gay-affirming official policy) and other factors on the likelihood that pupil services profe ssionals will incorporate gay-affirming behaviors into their professiona l repertoire when working with sexual minority youths in the public school setting. Hypothesis Testing Five measures of GLBTQ bias were used as dependent variables for the following hypotheses. These five measures were lesbia n bias, gay bias, combined bias, the biased behavior scale and an index of differential bias (gay bias minus lesbian bias). Hypothesis One Hypothesis One stated, “Women will repor t lower levels of homophobia than will men.” Inspection of Table 14 found that none of the five GLBTQ bias measures were significantly correlated with the respondent’s gender. Therefore, Hypothesis One was not supported.

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156 Hypothesis Two Hypothesis Two stated, “Those respondents who report previous (positive) social contact with gay men or lesb ians will also report lower levels of homophobia.” Positive social contact was negatively co rrelated with lesbian bias ( r = -.11) but none of the other four measures were significantly correlated with previous positive social contact. These data provided minimal s upport for Hypothesis Two. Hypothesis Three Hypothesis Three stated, “Those participants who identify as more “liberal” will report lower levels of homophobia than thos e who identify as more “conservative.” All five measures were significantly correlated with political leanings in the anticipated direction. Therefore, Hypot hesis Three was supported. Hypothesis Four Hypothesis Four stated, “Those respondent s who report more frequent attendance at religious/faith-based services will also report higher levels of homophobia.” All five measures were significantly co rrelated with attendance in th e anticipated direction. This provided support for Hypothesis Four. Hypothesis Five Hypothesis Five stated, “Individuals who have attained a higher level of education (e.g., specialist and doctoral level participants) will report more positive attitudes than will those with less education (e.g., bachelor’s and master’s level professionals).” A higher level of education resulted in more favorable attitudes (less bias) for three of the five bias scales: lesbian ( r = -.16), gay ( r = -.17) and combined ( r = .17), but not Gay

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157 Affirming Behavior ( r = .10) or Sexually Biased Behavior ( r = -.16). This provided partial support for Hypothesis Five. Hypothesis Six Hypothesis Six stated, “Levels of hom ophobia will correlate positively with age of respondent.” In Table 14, age was sign ificantly related to biased behavior ( r = .23) but not to attitudinal bias against lesbians ( r = .04), attitudinal bias against gay men ( r = .10), combined bias against gay men and lesbians ( r = .08), or differential sexual bias ( r = .11). This provided limited support for Hypothesis Six. Hypothesis Seven Hypothesis Seven stated, “Caucasian re spondents will report lower levels of homophobia than non-Caucasian (i.e., African Am erican, Hispanic, Asian) respondents.” For four of the five measures of bias, Caucasians had significantly lower levels of bias. This provided support for Hypothesis Seven. Hypothesis Eight Hypothesis Eight stated, “Married participants will report higher levels of homophobia than will single participants, divor ced participants, or those living with a domestic partner.” None of the fi ve measures of bias were significantly related to marital status. Thus, Hypothesis Eight was not supported. Hypothesis Nine Hypothesis Nine stated, “Homophobia le vels will correlate positively with participants’ number of years of professional experience.” Professional experience was positively correlated with biased behavior ( r = .23) but none of the other four measures of bias (Table 14). This provide d limited support for Hypothesis Nine.

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158 Hypothesis Ten Hypothesis Ten stated, “All groups will expr ess more sexual prejudice toward gay men than toward lesbians.” To test this, a paired t test was used to compare the respondent’s gay bias score with their lesbian bias score. Ba sed on a five-point scale, gay bias score ( M = 2.06) was higher than for the lesbian bias ( M = 1.80) at the p = .001 level. In addition, after inspecting the Pearson product-moment correla tions in Table 14, differential bias was found to be significantly higher for respondents with a more c onservative political leaning ( r = -.14), more frequent relig ious service attendance ( r = .13) and for non-Caucasian respondents ( rpb = -.14) (Table 14). These findings provided support for Hypothesis Ten. Hypothesis Eleven Hypothesis Eleven stated, “Those particip ants work ing and living in New Jersey (a state with an exemplary record for enacting legislati on protecting students and school staff from anti-homosexual discrimination, a nd for having local policies in place to en sure compliance with that legislation and those policies) will express lower levels of homophobia and a higher likelihood of engaging in gay-affirming behaviors in working with sexual minority students in the public school setting compared with participants living/working in Florida (a state with a poor record for officially recognizing and protecting sexual minority youths and e ducators in the public school setting).” Respondents in Florida had significantly higher le vels of bias for three of five measures. Specifically, they were higher for attitudinal lesbian bias ( rpb = -.13), attitudinal gay bias ( rpb = -.15), and attitudinal combined bias ( rpb = -.15). No significant differences were

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159 found for biased behavior ( rpb = .01 ) or differential bias ( rpb = -.08 ). This finding provided some support for Hypothesis Eleven. Hypothesis Twelve Hypothesis Twelve stated, “For the combin ed Florida and New Jersey samples, older participants, those who expressed higher levels of homophobia, those who are more politically conservative, or who are more highly religious will also report being less likely to engage in gay-affirming behavior s within the scope of their professional behavior when working with sexual minority y ouths.” To test this, a series of five backward elimination regression models were created using the eleven independent variables found in Table 14 as candidate variables. The de pendent variables for these models were lesbian bias (T able 15), gay bias (Table 16), combined bias (Table 17), biased behavior (Table 18) a nd differential bias (Table 19). B ack ward elimination has an advantage over other stepwise procedures for simplifying multiple regression equations, such as fowrad selection or stepwise regression, because it is possible for a set of variables to have c onsiderable predictive capability even though any subset of them doe s not (Dallal, 2007). Fo rward selection will often fail to identify them. Because the vari ables do not predict well individually, they will never enter the model to have their joint behavior noticed. Backwards elimination, on the other hand, begins with a ll variables of interest in th e regression model. Thus, their joint predictive capability will be observed.

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160 Tabl e 14 Co rre la ti ons for Bias Scales with Selected Variables (N = 306) _____________________________________________________________________________________ Lesbian Gay Combined Biased Bias Bias Bias Bias Behavior Differential a ____________________________________________________________________________________ Lesbian Bias (ATL) 1.00 Ga y Bias (ATG) .82 **** 1.00 Co mbined Bias .95 **** .96 **** 1.00 Bi as ed Be ha vi or 31 **** .36 **** .36 **** 1.00 Bias Differential a -. 07 52 **** .26 **** .16 *** 1.00 Gender b -.09 -. 10 -.10 -.04 -.05 Po sitive Social Contact -.11 -.06 -.09 -.03 .06 Po litical Leanings c -. 45 **** -.46 **** -.48 **** -.29 **** -.14 Religious Service A tte nd an ce 45 **** .46 **** .48 **** .16 *** .13 ________________________________________________________________________ p = .05. ** p = 01. *** p = .005. **** p = .001. a Differential = Gay Bias Lesbian Bias b Gender: 1 = Male 2 = Female c Leanings: 1 = C onservative to 5 = Liberal Tabl e 14 C ontinued

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161 Tabl e 14 C ontinued __________________________________________________________________________ ____________ Lesbian Gay Combined Biased Bias Bias Bias Bias Behavior Differential a __________________________________________________________________________ ____________ Hi ghe st De gr ee -. 16 ** -.17 *** -.17 *** -.10 -.06 Ag e 04 10 08 23 **** .11 Cau casian d -. 14 -.20 **** -.18 *** -.04 -.14 Married d 02 .05 .04 .06 .07 Y ear s of Ex pe ri en ce 06 11 09 23 **** .10 Region e -.13 -. 15 ** -.15 ** .01 -.08 Previous Trai ning d 07 04 06 -. 28 **** -.04 ________________________________________________________________________ p = .05. ** p = 01. *** p = .005. **** p = .001. a Differential = Gay Bias Lesbian Bias d Code: 0 = No 1 = Yes e Region: 0 = Florida 1 = New Je rs ey

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162 Table 15 displays the results of the backward elimination model predicting lesbian bias. The final model was significant ( p = .001) and accounted for 32.9% of the variance in the independent variable. Inspec tion of the beta weights found bias to be higher for those with less positive social contact ( p = .04), more conservative political l eanings ( p = .001), more frequent relig ious service attendance ( p = .001), being nonCaucasian ( p = .01) and living in Florida ( p = .02) (Table 15). Tabl e 15 Prediction of Lesbian Bias Based on Selected Variables. Backward Elimination Regression (N = 306) __________________________________________________________________________ ____________ Variable B SE p sr sr2 __________________________________________________________________________ ____________ Intercept 3.77 0.46 .001 Po sitive Social Contact -0.30 0.14 -.10 .04 -.10 .01 Po litical Leanings a -0 .19 0.03 -.32 .001 -.30 .09 Re lig io us Service Attendance 0.17 0.03 .32 .001 .30 .09 Cau casian b -0. 28 0.11 -.12 .01 -.12 .01 Region c -0. 17 0.07 -.11 .02 -.11 .01 ________________________________________________________________________ Final Model: F (5, 300) = 29.44, p = .001. R2 = .329. a Leanings: 1 = C onservative to 5 = Liberal b Code: 0 = No 1 = Yes c Region: 0 = Florida 1 = New Je rs ey

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163 Table 16 displays the results of the backward elimination model predicting gay bias. The final model was significant ( p = .001) and accounted for 37.2% of the variance in the independent variable. In spection of the beta weights found bias to be higher for males ( p = .01), those with more conservative political leanings ( p = .001), those who attended religious servi ces more frequently ( p = .001), being non-Caucasian ( p = .001) and liv ing in Florida ( p = .003) (Table 16). Tabl e 16 Prediction of Gay Bias Based on Selected Variables. Backward Elimination Regression (N = 306) __________________________________________________________________________ ____________ Variable B SE p sr sr2 __________________________________________________________________________ ____________ Intercept 4.06 0.28 .001 Gender a -0. 26 0.10 -.12 .01 -.12 .01 Po litical Leanings b -0 .24 0.03 -.34 .001 -.32 .10 Re lig io us Service Attendance 0.19 0.03 .32 .001 .29 .09 Cau casian c -0 .48 0.12 -.18 .001 -.18 .03 Region d -0 .24 0.08 -.14 .003 -.13 .02 __________________________________________________________________________ ____________ Final Model: F (5, 300) = 35.60, p = .001. R2 = .372. a Gender: 1 = Male 2 = Female b Leanings: 1 = C onservative to 5 = Liberal c Code: 0 = No 1 = Yes d Region: 0 = Florida 1 = New Je rs ey

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164 Table 17 displays the results of the backward elimination model predicting combined bias. The fina l model was significant ( p = .001) and accounted for 38.6% of the variance in the independent variable. Insp ection of the beta weig hts found bias to be higher for males ( p = .01), those with more conservative political leanings ( p = .001), those who attended religious services more frequently ( p = .001), being non-Caucasian ( p = .001) and living in Florida ( p = .004) (Table 17). Tabl e 17 Prediction of Combined Bias Based on Selected Variables. Backward Elimination Regression (N = 306) __________________________________________________________________________ ____________ Variable B SE p sr sr2 __________________________________________________________________________ ____________ Intercept 3.65 0.24 .001 Gender a -0. 22 0.09 -.11 .01 -.11 .01 Po litical Leanings b -0 .22 0.03 -.35 .001 -.33 .11 Re lig io us Service Attendance 0.18 0.03 .33 .001 .31 .09 Cau casian c -0 .38 0.11 -.16 .001 -.16 .03 Region d -0 .20 0.07 -.13 .004 -.13 .02 __________________________________________________________________________ ____________ Final Model: F (5, 300) = 37.70, p = .001. R2 = .386. a Gender: 1 = Male 2 = Female b Leanings: 1 = C onservative to 5 = Liberal c Code: 0 = No 1 = Yes d Region: 0 = Florida 1 = New Je rs ey Table 18 displays the results of the backward elimination model predicting biased behavior. The final m odel was significant ( p = .001) and accounted for 18.4% of the

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165 variance in the independent variable. Inspec tion of the beta weights found bias to be higher for those with more conservative political leanings ( p = .001), those who were older ( p = .001) and for those who had no relevant previous training ( p = .001) (Table 18). Tabl e 18 Prediction of Biased Behavior Based on Selected Variables. Backward Elimination Regression (N = 306) __________________________________________________________________________ ____________ Variable B SE p sr sr2 __________________________________________________________________________ ____________ Po litical Leanings a -0 .22 0.04 -.26 .001 -.26 .07 Ag e 0.01 0.00 .17 .001 .17 .03 Previous Trai ning b -0 .48 0.11 -.24 .001 -.23 .05 ________________________________________________________________________ Final Model: F (3, 302) = 22.71, p = .001. R2 = .184. a Leanings: 1 = C onservative to 5 = Liberal b Code: 0 = No 1 = Yes Table 19 displays the results of the backward elimination model predicting differential bias. The final model was significant ( p = .001) and accounted for 5.1% of the variance in the independent variable. Insp ection of the beta weig hts found bias to be higher for those with more conservative political leanings ( p = .02), older respondents ( p = .04) and non-Caucasians ( p = .007) (Table 19).

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166 Tabl e 19 Prediction of Bias Differential a Based on Selected Variables. Backward Elimination Regression (N = 306) __________________________________________________________________________ ____________ Variable B SE p sr sr2 __________________________________________________________________________ ____________ Po litical Leanings b -0. 05 0.02 -.13 .02 -.13 .02 Age 0. 00 0.00 .11 .04 .11 .01 Cau casian c -0 .23 0.09 -.15 .007 -.15 .02 __________________________________________________________________________ ____________ Final Model: F (3, 302) = 5.41, p = .001. R2 = .051. a Differential = Gay Bias Lesbian Bias b Leanings: 1 = C onservative to 5 = Liberal c Code: 0 = No 1 = Yes The reader will note that the researcher chose not to test the assumptions of the statistical applications selected. In general, the question of normality and related a ssumptions becomes less important when the sample is large due to the Central Limit Theorem. In larger samples, the F test (and therefore also the t test) has been demonstrated to be robust to violation of this assumption. Stevens (2002, p. 262) quoted Bo ck (1975, p.111) who stated “even for dist ributions which depart markedly from normality, sums of 50 or more observations approximate to normality. For moderately non-normal distributions th e approximation is good with as few as 10 or 20 observations.” Given that the size of the samp le in the current study (N = 306) was many times larger than 50 observations, a decision was made not to test those assumptions for the model.

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167 CHAPTER V Discussion The purpose of this study was to deter mine whether or not student services personnel (i.e., school social workers, school psychologists, guidance counselors, and school nurses) possess the attitudes and experiences to address effectively the psychosocial needs of sexual minority students. This issue was addressed by examining the results from 306 pupil services professiona ls regarding (a) their feelings/attitudes about homosexuality and homosexual persons in ge neral; (b) their training on the topic of sexual orientation diversity; (c) their willingness to employ gay affirming behaviors in their professional work with sexual minority youths; and (d ) their previous favorable social or professional contact s with sexual minority indivi duals. Demographic variables, including participants’ gender, race/ethnicity political leanings, frequency of attendance at worship services (i.e., religiosity), age, marital/relationship status, and years of professional experience were also examine d. The study was intended to answer the questions, “Which, if any, pupil services professionals possess the attitudes and experiences conducive to working effectivel y with sexual minority students?” and by extension, “To what extent do student services professionals possess homophobic attitudes?” and “What factors combine as the best predictors of both homophobic attitudes and likelihood of employing gay a ffirming professional behaviors among pupil services professional surveyed?” Similar to the Smith (2006) study, key findi ngs from this research suggest that, overall, the pupil services pr ofessionals surveyed did not endorse strong negativity

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168 toward homosexuality or toward sexual minor ity individuals. The vast majority (92.8%) of the study participants repor ted having had at least one favorable relationship with a sexual minority individual. Also similar to the Smith (2006) study, a majority of respondents (71.2%) are aware of the presence of sexual minority youths in their schools. Fu rthermore, more approximate ly onehalf (52.9%) of the respondents reported having provided counseling to at least one sexual minority youth regarding a related issue. However, less than half the sample have r eceived training--either in their pre-service preparation (45.4%) or during ongoing prof essional development (42.2%)—in counseling issues relevant to sexual minority youths. Ev en more concerning is that only 32% of the respondents reported feeling ad equately prepared to pr ovide such counseling. Although the pupil services professionals surveyed did not, as a group, report high levels of homophobic bias, the variability of responses within the group was noteworthy. Results indicated that correlates of homophobi a found in other groups are also salient among these school-based mental health provi ders. Analysis of responses suggests that certain key factors are useful in predic ting both anti-gay bias among pupil services professionals and their likeli hood of employing gay-affirmin g professional be haviors in their work with sexual minority populations Specifically, those participants who reported more homophobic bias (in general) had more conservative political leanings, were more likely to have repor ted at least one past negativ e relationship with a sexual minority person, were more high ly religious, were more likely to live/work in Florida versus New Jersey, and were more likely to be from a racial/ethnic minority group. There was also support (although weak) that those w ho reported lower levels of education were also more likely to report hi gh er levels of homophobic bias.

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169 The finding that those pupil services pr ofessionals who re ported more negative a ttitudes toward homosexuality and sexual minority individuals had a more conservative political ideology, less education, and atte nded worship services more frequently is consistent with Henley & LincusÂ’ (1978) ; HerekÂ’s (1980; 1984; 1988), MarmorÂ’s (1980), Nyberg & AlstonÂ’s (1977); Sear sÂ’ (1992); and ReinhardtÂ’s ( 1997) findings that higher levels of homophobia were associ ated with high religiosity political conservativism, and lower education levels. The finding that nonCaucasian individuals reported lower levels of homophobic bias is not consistent with those from the Smith (2006) study, which did not find significant differences based on race. It should be noted, however, that the Smith (2006) study utilized a smalle r sample size than the present one (N = 182 vs. N = 306, respectively). Thus the sample used in the previous Smith study may have lacked a large enough minority representation to uncover this difference. The current finding, however, is consistent with other studies (e.g., Lo iacana, 1989; Rhue & Rhue, 1997; and Sears, 1992) which did find that Caucasian indivi duals reported lower levels of homophobic bias than did non-Caucasian individuals. The hypothesis that respondents would repor t more anti-gay bias against gay men than against lesbians was supported. Although inconsistent with the Smith (2006) study, which did not find significant differential bias, this finding was consistent with previous research (e.g., Aguero, Bloch, & Byrne, 1984; Clift, 1988; Herek, 1980; Millham, 1976; Schatman, 1989; Wells & Frankli n, 1987) which suggests that i ndividuals tend to express more hostile or negative attitudes toward gay men versus lesbians. Those previous researchers who did find significant differentia l bias have suggested that this may be related to a strong adheren ce to trad itional sex role beliefs, a nd a perception that the

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170 lifestyles of gay men are more incongruent with those beliefs than are the lifestyles of lesbian women. Others (Whitma n & Mathy, 1986) have argued that this difference may be related to misogyny, which they see as inherent in the construction of homophobia as a phenomenon. Such individuals may find it less re prehensible that a woman might assume a “masculinized” (and, thus, more valued) role than they would a man assuming a “feminized” (and, thus, less valued) societal role. There were a number of findings that app ear to contradict those from previous research. For example, the findi ng that student services prof essionals surveyed did not (as a whole) report high levels of homophobia a ppears inconsistent with Sears’ (1992) finding of high levels of homophobia among e ducators. However, it is important to note that Sears’ study focuse d on school counselors and classroom teachers’ a ttitudes. A previous study of university students’ homonegativity (Wells and Franken, 1987) found that those majoring in education exhibited very high levels of homophobia compared to those entering other fields, wh ereas those majoring in the social and behavioral sciences demonstrated significantly lower levels. W ith this in mind, it is possible that the exclusive focus on mental health/student services professionals in the present study might account for this apparent disc repancy with Sears’ finding. Additionally, there is evidence of a cultural shift towards greater acceptance of sexual orientati on diversity (Hiller & Harrison, 2004). This may suggest that educat ors in general (including pupil services professionals) have de veloped more tolerant attitudes since the original Sears (1992) study. It is also possible that, even wh en responding to an anonymous self-report measure, that (due to their training and knowledge of the importa nce of objectivity and

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171 nonjudgmental service delivery) these respondent s sought to provide “socially desirable” responses which may not represen t their actual personal beliefs. The original hypothesis that married indi viduals would report higher levels of homophobic bias than would non-married i ndividuals was not supported. Previous research (e.g., Aguero, Bloch, & Byrne, 1984; Braungart & Braungart, 1988; Clift, 1988; Herek, 1988; MacDonald, 1976; a nd Schatman, 1989) suggested th at married individuals may be more likely to adhere to traditional gender/family role behaviors and to believe that the lifestyles of gay men are in c onflict with those behaviors. One possible explanation for the lack of support for this hy pothesis in the present study is that, unlike the previous studies, this research combin ed single individuals, widowed individuals, divorced individuals, separated individuals, and individuals in domestic partnerships into the “unmarried” group. It is unlikely that the status of widowhood, for example, would preclude adherence to traditional family ideology. Furthermore, with the increasing acceptance of divorce in contemporary culture (Apple, 2001), divorce or separation may have little to do with an i ndividual’s attitudes a bout traditional marriage either. Also, since the previous studies referred to utilized general community samples rather than trained mental health profe ssionals, it is possible that the education and training characteristic of the present sample may have mediated any relationship between their belief in traditional family roles and prejudice toward those in non-traditional relationships. A final considera tion on this point is that previous studies investigating differences in homophobic bias did not exclude sexual mi norities from their samples. Thus, it is likely that the ‘unmarried’ categor y incl uded some sexual minority individuals. Since (logically) sexual minorities tend to be tolerant of sexual orientation diversity than

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172 heterosexuals are as a group (Craig, et al., 2002) it stands to reason that previous studies would have found higher tolerance among unmarried versus married populations. The finding that previous training wa s unrelated to levels of homophobic bias among participants in this study is consiste nt with the Smith (2006) study. However, this finding appears to contradict other previous research indi cating that increased knowledge about the topic of homosexuality is relate d to lower levels of homophobic bias (e.g., Bu tler, 1994; Fontaine, 1998; Wells & Franke n, 1997). It should be noted, though, that the Butler (1994) study involved pre-servi ce teachers. Fontaine (1998) focused on gu idance counselors (exclusively), and Wells & Fr anken (1987) relied on a sample drawn from a generic, undergraduate university popul ation. Given that both the present study and the Smith (2006) study are more recen t and focused on school-based counseling professionals exclusively and included a significant pr oportion of individuals with education levels above a masterÂ’s degree (33.7% in the present example), it is possible that this group relied less on st ereotypes and misinformation in forming its opinions of sexual minorities than did samples studied pr eviously. This factor might account for the lack of association between prev ious training in sexual orient ation diversity and levels of homophobic bias among the present sample. A nother concern is that both the present study and the Smith (2006) study merely assessed whether res pondents had received tr aining on the subject of sexual orientation diversity or had not received such training (i.e., this was a dichotomous variable). Alt hough nearly half of the respondents reported having received some type of training in th is area (at either the pre-service level or through their jobs), the design of the su rvey did not allow respondents to report how much training they had received or the quality (i.e., depth and breadth) of that training.

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173 Given the proportion of respondent s that had received training while in school (45.4%) or through their jobs (42.2%) compared with the proportion of re spondents who reported feeling adequately prepared to provide counselin g addressing GLBTQ issues (32%), one might safely assume that in many cases training provided had been insufficient or inadequate. Specific recommendations, adap ted from Callahan ( 2001) for effective training elements for school-bas ed counseling professionals d ealing with studentsÂ’ sexual orientation issues appear in Appendix N of this document. Relative to factors influencing predic ted use of gay-affi rming professional behaviors among respondents, results from the present study suggest that older individuals, those who are more politically c onservative, and those who have not received training in GLBTQ diversity issues during th eir education may be less likely to employ ga yaffirming behaviors in thei r professional work. Alt hough use of gay-affirming professional behavi ors appears to be influenced by those factors mentioned above, it did not appear to be influenced by religiosity or by region. This finding was surprising, considering previous research by Sear s (1992) and others (e.g., Apple, 2001; Bl umenfield, 1992; GLSEN, 2004; Herek, 1988; Malinski, 1996; Wells & Franken, 1997) that suggests that homophobic bias might be more prominent in the Southern United States compared with other regions of the country. Also, the influence of fundamentalist and evangelical Christia n religious groups (who are traditionally vehemently opposed to homosexuality) on Southe rn politics, society and attitudes may be stronger compared with other regions of the U.S. (Apple, 2001). Sears (1992) points out that, in the South, religion has always influe nced public policy decision-making and civic behavior The present research did, in fact, confir m an association between higher levels

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174 of homophobic attitudes and southern (i.e., Florida) reside ncy. That this association did not appear to impact professional behavior may suggest that these respondents (perhaps as a result of their training in pupil services fields) have made so me effort to avoid allowing their personal views to interfere with their profe ssional responsibilities. The finding that the use of gay-affirmin g be haviors may be influenced by age, political leanings, and lack of training is c onsistent with previous research which found similar associations (e.g., Clift, 1988; Henley & Lincus, 1978; Herek, 1980, 1984, 1988; Marmor, 1980; Reinhadt, 1997; Schatman, 1989). It appears that more conservative i ndividuals, older individuals, and those w ho had not received training in sexual orientation diversity issues ma y be less likely to employ gay-a ffirming behaviors in their work with sexual minority youths. The lack of association between the use of such behaviors a nd region appears to contradict previous research (e.g., A pple, 2001; Blumenfield, 1992; GLSEN, 2004; Herek, 1988; Malinski, 1996; Wells & Franken, 1997) which would imply that such an association would be likely. GLSEN (2004) suggests that educators working in states that have en acted specific legislation protecting GLBTQ students and ensuring their equal access to educational opportunities may be more w illing to publicly support and advocate in behalf of sexual minority youths in their schools. This study, which included professionals from Florida--a state without such explicit pr otections written into law--and New Jersey--a state that has such legal pr otections-did not provi de evidence that New Jersey professionals are more likely to employ gay a ffirming professiona l behaviors than those working in Florida. This finding sugge sts that the factors influencing use of gay-

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175 affirming behaviors among pupil services pr ofessionals are more complex than the a ttitude/legislation issue alone. One possible factor contributing to the co mplexity of this issue may have to do with the degree to which school-based couns eling providers’ profe ssional behaviors are influenced by the constraints and perceived support (or lack thereof) of supervisors, school boards, colleagues and other faculty members, parent/teacher associations and legislation. It is conceivable that although one’s personal views ma y not be altered by such influences, one’s public (professional) behavior is—perhaps out of concerns of being subject to the virulence of public censure. In many instances, for example, respondents endorsed gayaffirming behaviors that were of a more private nature. For example, 89.5% indicated that they ha ve assessed their pe rsonal views about homosexuality; 65% indicated that they m onitor their personal assumptions about a students’ sexual orientati on; and 77.8% indicated that they are careful to avoid heterosexual bias in their language. The re luctance on the part of many school counseling professionals to publicly support sexual minority students is problematic given that the ethical and professional standa rds of the student services professions (see Appendixes F through J) either explicitly or implicitly oblig e such professionals to assume leadership roles in promoting societal attitudes that a ffirm the dignity and rights (within school settings) of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youths. This apparent reluctance may suggest that societal influe nces discouraging such advocacy may be robust enough to cause these professionals to ignore this as pect of the ethical standards of their professions. It may also be likely that prof essional training programs are not placing

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176 sufficient emphasis on these standards or are not equipping their students with the skills necessary for resisting anti-gay so cietal pressures impacting schools. I ndeed, the results of this study indi cate low percentages of respondents who indicated a willingness to take on more of a public advocacy stance in support of sexual minority youths. For example, only 29.1% had pr epared or intend to prepare educational materials related to sexual orientation issues; 25.9% ha ve assembled (or plan to assemble) a resource packet on the subject (for distributi on); only 22.2% have discussed or plan to discuss sexual orientation issues at faculty /staff meetings; only 9.4% have advocated integrating or plan to advocate for the integration of gay-related themes into curricula; only 9.4% have starte d or plan to start a support group for GLBTQ students; and only 17% have displayed or plan to display materials s upportive of sexual orientation diversity in their offices/work spaces. To their credit, most school-based counseling professionals surveyed appear to be more likely to public ly express support for sexual minority students in circumstances that present immediate dangers to sexual minority y ouths at their schools. For instance, 83.6% indi cated that they either have or plan to confront homophobic remarks and 66.6% indicated that they have or would confront instances of heterosexual bias (which incl uded harassment of sexual minority students by heterosexual peers). Notably, however, these professionals seem less willing, as illustrated by the above comparisons, to a ssume a publicly supportive role that might improve overall school climate for GLBTQ student s and possibly make more immediately threatening events (such as harassment and overt discrimination) less likely in the first place.

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177 Although it is important for pupil services professionals to assu me a visible role in their support of sexual minority youths in their schools so that those youths know that they are safe and have access to adults who accept them for who they are (Baker, 2002), these results indicate that fe w school-based counseling profe ssionals are willing to take on such a role. This may be because counsel ors, regardless of le ga l anti-discrimination legislation (if it exists) feel at-risk for discrimination (incl uding involuntary termination) or censure from other faculty members, admin istrators, and the community. The finding that professionals who have ha d training at the pre-service level in sexual orientation diversity issues were more likely to employ gay-a ffirming behaviors in their professional work is encouraging, however. That finding lends some support to the idea that such training is important. Such training appear s to be associated with more action (i.e., advocacy) related to assisting sexual minority youths in observable ways. It is likely that training in dealing effectivel y with public controversy surroundi ng issues such as sexual orientation (or sexuality in general), while serving the best interest of students, may be an important component in the pre-serv ice education of sc hool based counseling professionals. Personal discomfort in addressing such issues is certainly a possible ex planation for the reluctance of many professionals (as illustrated in the present study) to engage in observable gay-affirming prac ti ces. Specific training recommendations for dealing with potentially controversial profe ssional issues were de veloped by Warwick, Chase, & Aggleton (2004) and appear in Appendix N of this manuscript. Limitations A possible limitation of the present study has to do with the mode of administering the survey. In this instance, the questionnaires ar e self-administered.

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178 According to Schuman (1992), disadvantages of mailed surveys include lack of control over exactly who answers the questions (i.e., it may or may not be the target respondent), in what order the questionnair e is filled out, and the unavaila bility of an interviewer for respondents who do not fully understand the ques tions. Also, there is a possibility that responders may differ significantly fro m non-responders. As previously noted, respondents, as a whole, did not report high levels of homophobic bias. It is possible that those with views on the very negative end of the tolerance spectrum may have been disinclined to respond to a survey dealing w ith subject matter they found offensive. Thus, they may have discarded the survey, so that their views were not re presented as part of this research. Since this survey was anonym ous, no tracking procedures were in place and follow-up with non-responders was not possibl e. Thus the researcher was unable to follow up with non-responders in order to asse ss their reasons for declining participation. Had such a procedure been in place, perhap s valuable qualitative in formation could have been gleaned that would have shed further light on the obtained results. Despite these potential problems, Schum an (1992) concedes that the selfadministered, mailed survey affords the responde nt greater privacy. This factor may lead to more candor on the part of respondents a nd reduce the likelihood that they might “fake g ood” (i.e., provide what they perceive as soci ally desirable responses ) in order to make a g ood impression on the researcher. Due to the se nsitive nature of many of the questions involved in the present study, the use of the se lf-administered, mailed su rvey is justifiable (Krathwohl, 1998). Another consideration has to do with the generalizability of results. Since samples were obtained from Florida and New Jersey, and the literature suggests that the populace

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179 of these two states may represent opposite ends of the spectrum relative to sexual orientation diversity tolera nce (GLSEN, 2004), this suggest s results may be limited in terms of applicability to practitioners working in other states. In other words, practitioners in Florida and New Jersey may not be representative of those in states in the ‘center’ of the afore mentioned continuum. A larger sample size might also have improved generalizability of obtained results. The afore mentioned issue might be address in future research. Recommendations Directions for Future Research Fu ture research on this topic should in clude an opportunity for respondents to provide specific reasons for th e responses they provided. Although it is possible that fear of discrimination and recriminations may prevent some pupil services professionals from publicly supporting sexual minority youths, th ere are other possible explanations. Other possible explanations include time limitations, perceived lack of need due to few instances of homophobic bias in th eir particular school(s), or the view that some of the gay-a ffirming behaviors may not be appropriate depe nding on the devel opmental level of the students with whom a par ticular counseling pr ofessional works. A nother concern may be that some school-based counselors may legitimate ly believe that such intervention (in the form of advocacy) may not be appropriate in the school setting due to the compulsory nature of the American edu cational institution. In other words, because students from diverse backgrounds, belief systems, and pers pectives on morality ar e required to attend school, some counselors may be reticent to expose students to any ‘controversial’ issues. Those holding this perspective might wish to limit their interventions with sexual

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180 minority youths to those focused on ‘protecti on’ issues (i.e., dealing with physical and verbal harassment) and avoid interventions wh ic h might be perceived as advocacy. In this way, they may be more likely to feel ‘protect ed’ by their school board in their efforts and a void possible criticism for ‘promoting’ homosexuality. It is possible that those same individuals might be much more willing to a ssume an advocacy role as a counselor in a different work setting (e.g., a mental health clinic or a private practice). Future research addressing these issues and comparing school -based counseling prof essionals to other types of mental health provide rs might shed further light on how intervention strategies for sexual minority youth are moderated by the institution of the public school. Additionally, some school-based counseling professionals w ho would otherwise like to assume an advocacy role in be half of sexual minority stude nts may feel intimidated to do so if they are working within a school sy stem with explicit po licies prohibiting or forbidding such practices (e.g., school systems that forbid the formation of gay/straight student alliances or other activities supportive of sexual minority youths). Additional research in this area of study should addre ss and seek to clarify the reasons why some pupil services personnel may be reluctant to advocate (public ly) in behalf of sexual minority youths, despite espousin g ga ypositive personal beliefs. It is also important that future research examine the role of ethical and professional standards in the in fluence of behavior. Such an examination should seek to uncover whether such influen ces differ when professionals are dealing with sexual orientation issues versus othe r professional issues. Such an investigation would further el ucidate the attitude versus behavior question and provide additional insight as to

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181 whether or not the results of this study may be related to the presence of (or knowledge of) those standards. Conclusions Just as r acial and ethnic minority clients can be harmed by the unexamined racism of therapists or racial bias inherent in a research design (Pendersen, 1988), sexual minority clients can be similarly harmed by unexamined heterosexist bias among counseling professionals (B aker, 2002). Although many student services-oriented professional organizations have advised practitioners to challenge heterosexist bias in training, research, school polic y, and professional practice, th ere is little in the formal training of many school-based counseling providers to prepare them to make the necessary shifts in practice and attitudes, or to effectively challenge the constraints placed on them by school systems, local g overnments, or parent groups. It is imperative that current information and re search findings relative to the counseling needs and general life experiences of se xu al minority individuals and groups be discussed in depth in gradua te training programs, conti nuing education, and inservice training as well as in undergra duate courses. It is also cr itical that graduate programs in pupil services disciplines arm their students with effective strategies for resisting outside pressures as they a ttempt to serve the needs of all students. Results of this study suggest that, overa ll, school-based couns eling professionals surveyed possess relatively positive attitudes regarding sexual minority students. However, their positive attitude s rarely translate into action (i.e., advocacy). Few gay affirming behaviors are performed by this gr oup in their professional practice. The behaviors which place one in a public positi on as being supportive of sexual minority

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182 y ouths occurred far less frequently than thos e behaviors which a llow one to remain private about one’s be liefs and values. Be y ond availing themselves of information on the clinical issues of sexual minority youths, school-based mental hea lth workers or couns eling professionals should examine their own personal biases (a nd fears) to enable them to assume a position of advocacy in order to improve the school climate for GLBTQ youths. Advocacy must be a part of ethical, responsible, proactive, and effective mental health services for sexual minority youths, as suggested by the ethical and professional standards for th e pupil services professions (see Appendixes F through J). As e ducators, pupil services professionals mu st realize that the role of public education is teaching students what is for our own good both the good of the individual learner and the collective good of society. This point was eloquently stated by Lightfoot (2003), who suggested that school s are “society’s theater, the large stage on which our major cultural sagas are enact ed and the opportunitie s and casualties of social change are most vi sible and vivid…inside schools we see, in microcosm, the struggles over how we define and enact equality, justice, oppr ession, and democracy in our society” (p. 29). Lawrence (2003) emphasized that schools are not only a reflection of vividly visible social issues, but also shine a light on society’s less obvious ethical struggles a nd are central in the quest for our collective selfunderstanding. Thus, school-based counse ling professionals, as well as other educators,—where the opportun ity exists—must take an active role in social issues of justice and equality. Those barriers to assu ming such a role should be addressed by student services professionals (and other educators) and gr aduate programs preparing

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183 those professionals. Where misinformation, s ectarian moral conceptions, or fear of negative public perceptions and reprisals ar e themselves the problem, they must be confronted as such and thei r influence put in a perspec tive that improves equity and incr eases the developmental prospects of a minority that has already given much ev idence of resilience. Summary of Dissertation Research on the counseling needs of GLBT Q adolescents indicates that this group is particularly at-risk for psychological stress resulting from their stigmatized status, particularly at school (S avin-Williams, 1994). Further research suggests that nonjudgmental, unbiased counseling (that incl udes an advocacy component) is effective with this group of students (Reynolds & Koski, 1994). However, this process is impeded if the clinician has not first come to terms with his or her own feelings and attitudes about homosexuality and homosexua lly oriented individuals (Pederson, 1988). Little is known, however, about the prevalence of homophobic attitudes among school-based counseling professi onals and how those attitudes might potentially impact the students they serve. Results from this study suggest there is both little preparation to effectively work with GLBTQ youths and considerable vari ability in levels of homophobic bias among pupil services professionals and graduate students survey ed. Partic ipants in the present study appear to be similar to othe r populations, in that those who were more politically conservative, more involved in organized relig ion, and who live/work in Fl orida were also more likely to expre ss higher levels of homophobic bias. These findings suggest that, even among these well-educated counse ling professionals,

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184 personal ideologies and dog matic belief systems could potentially impede many of their ability or willingness to effec tively advocate for GLBTQ students. Relative to use of gay-affirming prof essional behaviors am ong pupil services professionals results indicate that, although most professionals surveyed are privately supportive of sexual minority youths, fe w are willing to assume a public role advocating for their equality and acceptance. The specific factors attributing to their reluctance to publicly support such students were not addressed by this study. Fu ture research should further investig ate the possible link between attitudinal bias and predicted pr ofessional behaviors. Such resear ch should include the mediating effects of explicit legislation designed to assure GLBTQ students equal access to educational resources, specific school/distr ict policies encourag ing or discouraging support for such students, administrator attitudes, and commun ity climate on the choice of (otherwise supportive) pupil servi ces professionals to publicly advocate in behalf of sexual minority students versus supporting them only in clandestine ways.

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201 Wells, J., & Franken, M. (1987). University studentsÂ’ knowledge about and attitudes toward homosexuality. Journal of Humanistic Education and Development 26 (2), 81-85. We stie, F. A. (1953). A technique for the measurement of race attitudes. American Sociological Review 18 73-78. Whitley, B.E., & Lee, S. E. (2000). The re lationship of authorita rianism and related c onstructs to attitudes toward homosexuality. Journal of Applied Social Psychology 30 144-170. Whitman, F., & Mathy, R. ( 1986). Male homosexuality in four societies: Brazil, Guatemala, the Philippines, and the United States New York: Praeger. Williams, K.L., Doyle, M. S., Taylor, B. A ., & Ferguson, G. (1992). Addressing sexual orientation in a public high school. Journal of School Health 62 (4), 154-156. Wi snewski, J., & Toomey, B. (1987). Are social workers homophobic? Social Work 32 (5), 454-455. Wr ight, L.W., Adams, H.E., & Bernat, J. (1999). Development a nd validation of the homophobia scale. Journal of Psychopat hology and Behavioral Assessment 21 337347.

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202 Appendices

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203 APPENDIX A Lan ce S. Smith, Ed. S. 6706 Seaport Avenue Ta mp a, FL 33637 (813) 899-0667 im4ch Date Dear Survey Participant, Ba sed on your professional title, you have been chosen to participate in a research project I am conducting for my Ph .D. in school psychology at the University of South Florida in Tampa. The purpose of the study is to explore the attitudes, opinions, behaviors, and plans that student services personnel have about providing co unseling to sexual minority (i.e., gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and questioning) students. Your participation is critical to the success of the study. A high response rate is necessary to accurately identify the views of counseling professionals in the schools as they relate to this important issue. Pl ease be assured that your responses will remain completely anonymous. Since surveys are not coded, there is no way for anyone to identify which individual returned any given questionnaire. Also, there are no ‘correct’ or ‘incorrect’ responses in the survey. Please answer the items as honestly as you can. Your views are important, regardless of their nature. Completing the survey should only take 5 to 10 minutes. Please take a few minutes to complete this questionnaire and re turn it to me in the enclosed, postage-paid envelope. Completing and returning the qu estionnaire constitutes your consent to participate. Should you decide not to participate, simply discard th e packet. Your cooperation and assistance are greatly appreciated. Tha nk you, Lan ce S. Smith, Ed.S. School Psychology Doctoral Student University of South Florida

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204 APPENDIX B Demographics Questionnaire : Sur vey Instructions : Pl ease read each question and all instructions carefully, as all of the questions are equally important in this research project. Please make every attempt to provide a response to each item. All of your responses will be kept confidential and will be analyzed only through combin ing data from all respondents. P ART A: 1. What is your primary prof essional position in you r school(s)? (Check one response.) ( ) School Psychologist ( ) Guidance Counselor ( ) School Social Worker 2. At which school le vel(s) do you provide servi ces? (Check all that apply.) ( ) Elementary ( ) Middle School or Junior High ( ) Senior High School 3. What is your gender? (Check one response.) ( ) Male ( ) Female 4. In what year were you born? (Provide th e four-digit year of your birth; e.g., 1950, 1962). 19__ __ 5. How would you describe yourself? (C h eck those categories that apply.) ( ) Asian or Pacific Islander ( ) Black or African American ( ) Hispanic/Latino ( ) Caucasian/White ( ) Other (please specify)______________ 6. What is the highest academic degree you have acquired? (Check only one response.) ( ) BachelorÂ’s (e.g., BA, BS, BSW) ( ) MasterÂ’s (e.g., MA, MS, MSW) ( ) Specialist (e.g., EdS) ( ) Doctorate (e.g., EdD, PhD, DSW, PsyD ) 7. In what year did you receive your highest academic degree? (Write in the fourdigit year; e.g., 1987.) __ __ __ __ 8. What is your current relationship status? (Check only one response.) ( ) Married ( ) Single ( ) Unmarried, living with domestic partner ( ) Divorced/Separated ( ) Widowed

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205 9. Do you have at least one child? ( ) Yes ( ) No (Please proceed to ‘Part B” of the survey on the following page)

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206 APPENDIX C Correlates Questionnaire: P ART B: 1. How would you describe your sexual orientation/affectional preference? (Check only one category.) ( ) Exclusively or Primarily Heterosexual (i.e., straight) ( ) Bisexual ( ) Exclusively or Primarily Homosexual (i.e., gay, lesbian) ( ) Other (p lease describe)___________________________ 2. To your knowledge, have you had a clos e relationship (i.e., friend, coworker, fa m ily member) with any person who is gay, lesbian, or bise xual? (Check one response.) ( ) Yes ( ) No (If No, skip the next question.) 3. If Yes, how would you describe the qua lity of your past relationship(s) with that/those i ndividual(s)? (Check one Response.) ( ) Mostly positive ( ) Neutral ( ) Mostly negative 4. Do you believe there are any students in your school(s) that could be described in the following ways? (Check one response for each statement listed below.) a. Have self-identified as gay, lesbian, or bisexu al or are questioning their sexual orientation? ( ) Yes ( ) No ( ) Not Sure b. May have engaged in same-sex sexual behavior, but NOT self-identified as gay, lesb ian, or bisexual? ( ) Yes ( ) No ( ) Not Sure c. Appear to be sexually attracted to persons of their own sex, but have neither self-identified as gay nor engage d in same-sex sexual behavior? ( ) Yes ( ) No ( ) Not Sure 5. Have you ever provided counseling services to a student or students addressing issues surrounding sexual orientation (e.g., counseling to cope with anti-gay ha rassment from peers; counseling about sexual orientation confusion; counseling gay /lesbian/bisexual students about pr acticing safer sex; counseling pa rents who have concerns about their childÂ’s sexual orientation; consulting with staff about a studentsÂ’ non-gender conformi ng behavior). (C heck only one response.) ( ) Yes

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207 ( ) No 6. Have you received education or training at the undergraduate or graduate college level on the counse ling and mental health i ssues of students who are gay/lesbian/bisexual/questionin g? (Check only one response.) ( ) Yes ( ) No 7. Have you received education or training through your work experience(s) (e.g., wo rkshops, conference sessions) on the counseling and mental health needs of gay/lesbian/bisexual students? (Check one response.) ( ) Yes ( ) No 8. Do you believe that you are adequate ly prepared to provide counseling and mental health services related to sexual orientat ion issues to gay/lesbian/bisexual students? (Check one response.) ( ) Yes ( ) No ( ) Not Sure 9. Are you interested in receiving (additional) training on the counseling and mental health needs of gay/lesbian/bisexual/questioning students? (Check one response.) ( ) Yes ( ) No ( ) Not Sure 10. What is your religious denomination? (Write your response on the line below.) _________________________________ 11. Please indicate the frequency with whic h you typically attend religious services. (Check only one response.) ( ) More than once per week ( ) Once per week ( ) Once or twice per month ( ) Occasionally (i.e., a few times annually) ( ) Rarely (e.g., holidays, fune rals, weddings, baptisms, Bar Mitzva) ( ) Not at all 12. How would you describe your politic al leanings? (Ch eck one response.) ( ) Conservative ( ) Conservative-to-Moderate ( ) Moderate ( ) Moderate-to-Liberal ( ) Liberal ( ) Other (p lease describe):________________________ (Please proceed to ‘Part C’ of the survey on the following page)

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208 APPENDIX D ATLG Scale [Scale items for Attitudes Toward Lesbians and Gay Men (ATLG) scale items 1 through 10 comprise the ATL subscale; items 11 through 20 constitute the ATG. Short form items are 1, 4, 5, 7, 10 (ATL-S); 12, 14, 15, 18, 20 (ATG-S). Scoring is reversed for starred (*) items.] P ART C Instructions: Pl ease respond to each item by indicating the degree to which you agree with each statement from strongly disagree to strongly agree, according to the following scale: 1 = strongly disagree 2 = disagree somewhat 3 = neither agree nor disagree 4 = agree somewhat 5 = strongly agree. Please circle your response. 1. Lesbians just canÂ’t fit into our society. 1 2 3 4 5 2. A womanÂ’s homosexuality should not be a cause for job discrimination in any situation.* 1 2 3 4 5 3. Female homosexuality is de trimental to society because it breaks down the natural divisions between the sexes. 1 2 3 4 5 4. State laws regulating private, consenting lesbian behavior shoul d be loosened.* 1 2 3 4 5 5. Female homosexuality is a sin. 1 2 3 4 5 6. The growing number of lesbians indicat es a decline in American morals. 1 2 3 4 5 7. Female homosexuality in itself is no problem, but what society makes of it can be a problem.* 1 2 3 4 5 8. Female homosexuality is a threat to many of our basic social institutions. 1 2 3 4 5 9. Female homosexuality is an inferior form of sexuality. 1 2 3 4 5 10. Lesbians are sick. 1 2 3 4 5 11. Male homosexual couples should be a llowed to adopt children the same as heterosexual couples. 1 2 3 4 5 12. I think male homosexuals are disgusting. 1 2 3 4 5 13. Male homosexuals should not be allowed to teach school. 1 2 3 4 5 14. Male homosexuality is a perversion. 1 2 3 4 5 15. Just as in other species, male homosexuality is a natural expre ssion of sexuality in human men.* 1 2 3 4 5 16. If a man has homosexual feelings, he should do everything he can to overcome them. 1 2 3 4 5 17. I would not be too upset if I learned th at my son were a homosexual.* 1 2 3 4 5 18. Homosexual behavior between two men is just plain wrong. 1 2 3 4 5 19. The idea of male homosexual marri ages seems ridiculous to me. 1 2 3 4 5

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209 20. Male homosexuality is merely a diffe rent kind of lifestyle that should not be condemned.* 1 2 3 4 5 (Researcher Use Only) ATLG SCORE:________ ATG SCORE:__________ ATL SCORE:__________ (Please proceed to ‘Part D’ of the survey below.)

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210 APPENDIX E P ART D Instructions: Please respond to each item to indicate your actions, plans, or point of view related to each of the 11 behavior s described. Behavior 1. Assess your personal values related to homosexuality ( ) Have done this ( ) Plan to do this ( ) Not allowed ( ) Not effective ( ) Do not know how ( ) Do not plan to 2. Prepare educational materials related to homosexuality ( ) Have done this ( ) Plan to do this ( ) Not allowed ( ) Not effective ( ) Do not know how ( ) Do not plan to 3. Assemble resource packet related to homosexuality ( ) Have done this ( ) Plan to do this ( ) Not allowed ( ) Not effective ( ) Do not know how ( ) Do not plan to 4. Discuss concerns related to homosexuality at faculty meetings ( ) Have done this ( ) Plan to do this ( ) Not allowed ( ) Not effective ( ) Do not know how ( ) Do not plan to 5. Integrate gay-related themes into curriculum ( ) Have done this ( ) Plan to do this ( ) Not allowed ( ) Not effective ( ) Do not know how ( ) Do not plan to 6. Start a support group for gay/lesbia n/bisexual/questioning students ( ) Have done this ( ) Plan to do this ( ) Not allowed

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211 ( ) Not effective ( ) Do not know how ( ) Do not plan to 7. Display books, posters, or symbols s upportive of gay/lesbian individuals ( ) Have done this ( ) Plan to do this ( ) Not allowed ( ) Not effective ( ) Do not know how ( ) Do not plan to 8. Monitor your personal assumptions about st udentsÂ’ sexual orient ation under ambiguous conditions ( ) Have done this ( ) Plan to do this ( ) Not allowed ( ) Not effective ( ) Do not know how ( ) Do not plan to 9. Use non-heterosexist language ( ) Have done this ( ) Plan to do this ( ) Not allowed ( ) Not effective ( ) Do not know how ( ) Do not plan to 10. Confront heterosexism ( ) Have done this ( ) Plan to do this ( ) Not allowed ( ) Not effective ( ) Do not know how ( ) Do not plan to 11. Confront homophobic remarks ( ) Have done this ( ) Plan to do this ( ) Not allowed ( ) Not effective ( ) Do not know how ( ) Do not plan to

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212 APPENDIX F American Psychological Association (APA ) Resolution on Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Youths in Schools WHEREAS societyÂ’s attitudes, behaviors, and tendency to render lesbian, gay and bisexual persons invisible permeate all societal institutions includi ng the family and school system; (Gonsiorek, 1988; He tr ic k & Martin, 1988; Ponse, 1978; Uribe & Harbeck, 1992) WHEREAS it is a presumption that all persons, including those who are lesbian, gay, or bisexual, have the right to equal opportunity within all public ed u cational institutions; WHEREAS cu rre nt literature suggests that some youths are aware of their status as lesbian, gay, or bisexual persons by early adolescence; (Remafedi, 1987; Savin-Williams, 1990; Slater, 1988; Troiden, 1988) WHEREAS many lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths are at risk for lowered self-esteem and for engaging in se lf-injurious behaviors, including suicide; (Het rick & Martin, 1988; Gonsiorek, 1988; Savin-Williams, 1990; Harry, 1989; Gibson, 1989) WHEREAS gay male and bisexual youths are at an increased risk of HIV infection; (Savin-Williams, 1992) WHEREAS lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths of color have additional challenges to their self-esteem as a resu lt of negative conseq uences of discrimination based on both sexual orientation and ethnic/racial mi no rity status; (Garnets & Kimmel, 1991) WHEREAS lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths with physical or mental disabilities are at increased risk due to the negative consequences of societal prejudice toward persons with mental or physical disabilities; (Pendler & Hingsburger, 1991; Hingsburger & Griffiths, 1986) WHEREAS lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths who are poor or working class may face additional risks; (Gordon, Schroeder & Abromo, 1990) WHEREAS psychologists affect policies and practices within educational environments; WHEREAS psychology promotes the individualÂ’s development of personal identity including the sexual orienta tion of all individuals; THEREFORE be it resolved that the American Psychological Association and the National Association of School Psychologists shall take a leadership role in promoting societal and familial attitudes and behaviors that affirm the dignity and rights, within the educational environments, of all lesbian, gay, and bisexual yo ut hs including those with physical or mental disabilities, and from all ethnic/racial background and classe s. THEREFORE be it resolved that the American Psychological Association and the National Association of Sc h ool Psychologists support providing a safe and secure educational atmosphere in which all youths, including lesbian, gay and bise xual youths, may obtain an education free from discrimination, harassment, vi olence, and abuse, and promotes an understanding and acceptance of self;

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213 THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Ameri can Psychological Association and the National A ssociation of School Psychologists encourage(s) psychologists to develop and evaluate interventions that foster nondiscriminatory environments lower risk for HIV infection, and decrease self-injurious behaviors in lesbian, gay an d bisexual yout hs. THEREFORE be it resolved that the American Psychological Association and the National Association of School Psychologists shall advocate efforts to ensure the funding of basic and applied research on and scientific evaluations of interventions and programs designed to address the issues of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths in schools, and programs for HI V prevention targeted at gay and bisexual youths. THEREFORE be it resolved that the American Psychological Association and the National Association of School Psychologists shall work with other organiza tions in efforts to accomplish these ends (February, 1993)

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214 APPENDIX G The School Social Work Association of America (SSWAA) 2001-2002 Resolutions: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Questioning Youth The School Social Work Association of Am erica (SSWAA) believes that all students, regardless of sexual orient ation, should be afforded e qual educational opportunity. SSW AA also believes that each school distri ct should provide, for students who are struggling with sexual or gende r orientation, appropr iate school social work services and programs, staffed by trained and qualified school social workers. Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and questio ning youth (GLBTQQ) are at greater risk for suicide; physical and ve rb al harassment; exposure to sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS; and, substance abuse. GLBTQQ youth also often experience emotional and physical rejection by family and community, increasing their feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem. GLBTQQ youth require strong and caring advocates within the school setting to cope with these situations and to assist them in developing strong pe rs on al identities. SSWAA believes that a safe school environment should be provided to all students. Students should be able to attend school without fear of threat, harassment, or denial of rights. To achieve this positive school climate, SSWAA supports educating both students and staff regarding misconceptions about GLBTQQ yout h, a ppropriate ways to address discrimination and harassment, and the importance of mutual respect. SSWAA believes that the school social worker should serve as an advocate for GLBTQQ youth. GLBTQQ yo ut h ha ve the right to expect that school social workers will be knowledgeable about issues regarding sexual identification and will respect choices articulated by the student. SSWAA believes that the school soci al worker must play an integral part in ensuring th at the school environment is a safe and respectful one for ev ery student. School Social Work Association of America

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215 APPENDIX H The Professional School Counsel or and Sexual Minority Yout h: Policy statement adopted by the American School C ounselor Association (1995) Th e members of the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) are committed to facilitating and promoting the fullest possible development of each indi vi dual by reducing the barriers of misinformation, my th, ignorance, hatred, and discrimination which prevent sexual orientation minorities from achieving individual potential, healthy esteem, and equal status. School counselors are in a field committed to human de velopment and need to be sensitive to the use of inclusive language and positive modeling of sexual orientation minority equity. ASCA is committed to equal opportunity regardless of sexual orientation. THE RATIONALE: Id entity is determined by a complex mix of nature and nurture. Developmentally, the literature clearly states that sexual orientation is firmly establishe d by age five and much research indicates such establishment occurs even earlier. Many internal and external, as well as interpersonal obstacles exist in school and society that inhibit students from accurately understanding and positively accepting their sexual orientation. Counselors need to become accurately informed and aware of the wa ys verbal/nonverbal and conscious/unconscious communication limit the opportunities and infringe upon the healthy development of sexual orientation mi no rities’ self-acceptance and healthy esteem solely because of their identity. Harm is perpetuated against sexual minorities through language, stereotypes, myths, misinformation, threat of expulsion from social and institutional structures and other entities, and from beliefs contrary to the reality of their identity. Sexual orientation minority youth begin to experience self-identification and the “coming out” process, bot h essentially cognitive activities, during adolescence. Such identification is not indicative of sexual activity. TH E PROFESSIONAL SCHOOL COUNSELOR’S ROLE: Th e school counselor uses inclusive and non-presumptive language with equitable expectations toward sexual orientation minority individuals, being especially sensitive to those aspects of communication and social structures/institutions which provide accurate working models of acceptance of sexual orientation mi no r ity identities and equality. Counselors must become vigilant to the pervasive negative effects of stereotyping and rubricizing individuals into rigid expressions of gender roles and sexual identities. Th e professional school counselor is sensitive to ways in which attitudes and behavior negatively affect the individual. School counselors are called to provide co nstruc tive feedback on the negative use of exclusive an d pr es umptive language and inequitable expectations toward sexual orientation minorities. The school counselor places emphasis on a pe rson’s behavioral choices and not on their unalterable identity and uni queness. Demonstrations of sexual orientation mi no rity equity also includes fair and accurate re pr esentation of sexual identities in visible leadership positions as well as other role positions. SUMMARY: AS CA is committed to the inclusion and affirmation of sexual orientation minorities. ASCA supports conscious-raising among school counselors and incr eased modeling of inclusive language, advocacy and equal opportunity for participation am ong sexual orientation minorities’ id entities. This is done in order to br eak through individual, social and institutional behaviors and expectations which limit the development of human potential in all populations.

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216 APPENDIX I National Association of School Nurses (NASN) Position Stat ement on Sexual Orientation a nd Gender Identity/Expression HISTORY: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgen der adolescents, as well as youth who desire or engage in same-sex se xua l behavior face the same growth and development issues as other adolescents. They have the same h ealth education needs and safety and health concerns (Bakker & Cavender, 2003). Most develop into h ealthy, productive adults (Harrison, 2003). However, there are unique health risks for this population, both physically and emotionally. An awareness of these risks is beginning to develop among school health personnel, educators, and administrators (Bakker & Cavender, 2003). Yout h who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ) are at significantly higher risk than their heterosexual peers for sexually transmitted infection (including HIV), unwanted pregnancy, substan ce abuse, harassment, ostracism, and violence. These youth report higher rates of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts than their heterosexual peers (Russell & Joyner, 2002). Sexually active males who ha ve sex with males account for 34% of all new AIDS cases among 13-24 year olds in the United States (CDC, 2000). GLBTQTQQ youth are reported to have double the rates of tobacco use, four times the rates of cocaine use, and significantly increased use of alcohol and marijuana (CDC & Massachusetts De partment of Education, 1999). Yo ung women who identify themselves as lesbian or bisexual are at twice th e risk for unwanted pregnancy as their heterosexual peers (Saewyc, Bearinger, Blum, & Resnick, 1999). LGBTQ a dolescents are frequently targets of harassment and abuse at school as well as in the community. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth report significantly higher rates of victimization in school, and GLBTQTQQ youth who have been victimized appear to be at greater risk than non-victimized youth for uns afe sex, alcohol and drug use, and skipping school due to feeling unsafe (Bontempo & DÂ’Augelli, 2002). Up to 70% experience verbal and/or physical assault at school with 28% eventually becoming sc h ool drop-outs (Lindley & Reininger, 2001). One fifth of LGBTQ youth are injured in a fight significantly enough to need medical attention, compared with 4.2% of their peers (CDC & Massachusetts De partment of Education, 1999). DESCRIPTION OF ISSUE: Development of sexual identity is a natural part of growth and development. This process is more stressful fo r students who are LGBTQ (Harrison, 2003). In both society and our school systems this group of st ud ents continues to be stigmatized (Bakker & Cavender, 2002; Harrison, 2003). All students are equally deserving of respect and fair treatment and have th e right to a school environment that is safe and su pportive. RATI ONALE: School nurses are skillful in identifying at-risk populations of students and developing programs to promote h ealth and safety (Bakker & Cavender, 2003). Students who are LGBTQ have been an invisible population in our sch ools and school nurses need to consider the unique needs of this group of students in school pr og ra m de ve lopment. Discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender expression and gender identity is difficult to eradicate, and all students are entitled to a safe and supportive environment. The stress bro ught about by discrimination and stigmatization of LGBTQ youth leads to increased health and safety risks. C ONCLUSION: It is the position of the National Association of School Nurses that all students, regardless of sexual orientation, gender expression, and gender identity are entitled to equal opport un ities in the education system. The school nurse needs to be aware of students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and

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217 qu estioning; sensitive to their needs; knowledgeable about the health needs of these students; and effective in interventions to reduce risk factors. The school nurse should be actively involved in fostering a safe e nvironment, demonstrating an understanding of the issues and modeling respect for diversity.

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218 APPENDIX J National Association of Sc hool Psychologists (NASP) Position Statement on Gay, Lesbia n, and Bisexual Youth Yo ut h wh o become aware of minority sexual orientation within themselves during childhood or adolescence are at greater risk for a number of dangerous or harmful situations or activities. The most prominent risks include suicide, physical and verbal harassment, exposure to the HIV virus, and substance abuse. In addition, these youth are often rejected, emotionally and physically, by their families and become ho me less as a result of the disclosure of their sexual orientation. SocietyÂ’s attitudes and behaviors toward these youth render them invisible. As a result, this group suffers from a lack of resources to deal with the problems caused by the internalized sense of inadequacy and low self-esteem. Gay, lesbian, and bisexual yo ut h wh o also have disabilities or are members of other minority groups have additional barriers to receiving appropriate education and mental health care within the school system and society as a whole. Th e National Association of School Psychologists su pports equal access to education and mental health services for sexual minority youth within public and pr ivate schools. This can be accomplished through: 1) education of students and staff, 2) direct counseling with students who are experiencing difficulties within themselves or with others due to actual or perceive d minority sexual orientation, 3) advocacy for such yo ut h w ith in the school and the community settings, 4) support of research on evaluations of interventions and programs designed to address the needs of gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth in schools, and 5) support of programs for HIV prevention directed at gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth. Vi ol en ce an d in tim id a tio n directed at sexual minority youth, whether aimed at an individual through direct harassment or at the entire group through antigay statements or biases, violate the right of these students to receive equal education opportunities. NASP believes that school psychologists are ethically obligated to ensure that these students have an equal opportunity for the development of their personal identity in an environment free from discrimination, harassment, violence, and abuse. To achieve this goal, efforts must be ma de through education and advocacy for these youth to re du ce discrimination and harassment against sexual minority youth by both students and staff. Creating Safe Schools for Sexual Minority Youth Schools must maintain campuses that are safe and conducive to learning for all students. NASP believes that efforts to create safe schools for sexual minority youth should include but not be limited to education of all students and staff, direct intervention with victims and perpetrators of harassment and di scrimination of those at risk, and promoting societal and familial attitudes and behaviors that affirm the dignity and rights of gay, lesbian, an d bisexual yout h. Education of Students and Staff B ecause many gay, lesbian, and bisexual students choose not to reveal their sexual orientation for fear of harassment, other students and staff are often not aware of their presence. Staff and students who are aware and supportive may fear openly speaking out for sexual minority youth because of the possibility of being discriminated against themselves. Even among those who are aware of the existence of sexual minority yout h in their school, many maintain misconceptions regarding these youth and may be unsure how to address their needs. NASP supports educating students and staff regarding the existence and needs of sexual minority youth through inservice training on the risks experienced by these youth, research relevant to these youth, and appr opriate ways of addressing harassment and discrimination directed toward any student. In addition, issues pertaining to sexual orientation can be infused in the curriculum, such as

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219 presenting theories regarding the de vel opment of sexual orientation in a science class, reading works of fa mo us gay, lesbian, or bisexual authors in a literature class, or discussing the gay rights movement in historical context with other civil rights movements in a social studies class. Sexual minority youth must also be educated to reduce unsafe behavior such as substance abuse and exposure to HIV. In addition, educating these youth can reduce the isolation they often feel as a result of perceiving themselves as i nvi si ble or as misunderstood. Direct Intervention with Victims and Perpetrators of Harassment and Discrimination As w ith any instance of school violence, harassment and discrimination against sexual minority youth should be addressed through applying consequences and educating the perpetrator and by su pporting and pr ot ec ti ng the victim. Both goals can be achieved through nonjudgmental counseling for students who have been victims of such harassment or who are questioni ng their sexual orientation an d may become targets of harassment in the future by disclosing their status as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. Counseling and education sh ould also be provided to the perp etrator to help prevent future episodes of harassment. Because school staff may, knowingly or unknowingly, discriminate against sexual minority youth, NASP believes that education and support for sexual minority youth must occur at all levels of schooling. This education sh ould include students, teachers, support staff, and admi ni st rators and should stress that discrimination and harassment must be addressed regardless of the status of the perpetrator. Promoting Societal and Familia l Attitudes that Affirm the Dignity and Rights within Educational Environments of Ga y, Lesbian, and Bisexual Youth By educating students and staff, school psychologists can help change negative or indifferent attitudes toward sexual minority youth. However, a much more powerful agent of change may be the example of the school psychologist who refuses to allow slurs or discrimination to occur and who is willing to provide services to all students regardless of sexual orientation or other minority status. Within their own schools and in society as a whole, school psychologists can promote attitudes that affirm the dignity and rights of sexual minority youth by removing biases from their ow n practi ce. They can also point out the actions and statements of other school staff who discriminate or neglect needs of sexual minority youth and attempt to address these issues in a fair way. In particular, school policies should mandate fair treatment of all students and equal access to educational and mental health services within the schools. School psychologists can provide expert opinions and research-based informa tion to assure that such policies are in place and enforced. Finally, school psychologists can encour age local, state, and national organizations to disseminate information to parents and other groups that need to be aware of the issues related to gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth in the schools. Role of the School Psychologist B ecause they work directly with students as well as staff and administrators, school psychologists are uni qu ely positioned to affect policies and practices within the schools. They can also teach by example. School psychologists can explicitly inform students that they are available to all students regardless of sexual orientation. In counseling sessions, they can be mindful that not every student is heterosexual and that sexual minority status can affect self-esteem and peer relationships. School psychologists can address issues of sexual orientation in inservice sessions as well. In presenting material on sexual harassment and discrimination, for example, they can take care to include examples and information involving sexual mi no r ity youth. School psychologists are also in a position to educate students on a number of issues related to high risk behaviors that are especially freq uent among gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth, targeting both the school population in general and sexual minority youth in particular.

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220 Su mmary NASP recognizes that students who are of a minority se xual orienta tion, or are perceived to be, are at risk of a number of dangerous and destructive behaviors as well as harassment, discrimination, and low selfesteem. A successful program to address these issues educates both those who discriminate and those who are discriminated against because of sexual orientatio n. This education can occur on a number of levels: intervention with individual students, schoolwide inservice training, and modeling attitudes and behaviors by school psychologists in daily in teractions with all students and staff. Any program designed to address the needs of sexual minority youth should also in clude efforts to educate parents and the community through involvement with other organizations committed to equal opportunity for education and mental h ealth services for all youth. Schools can only be truly safe when every student, regardless of sexual orientation, is assured of access to an education without fear of harassment and violence. National Association of Sch ool Psychologists (6-04-04)

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221 APPENDIX K Recommendations for the U.S. Department of Education General Recommendations Based on the Review of Literature Regarding Threats Faced by Sexual Minority Stude nts in Public Schools 1. Direct school districts to Protecting Students from Harassmen t and Hate Crimes the 1999 guide developed by the department Â’s Office for Civil Rights and Bias Task Force of the National Association of A ttorneys General. This guide provides step-by-step guidance, sample school policies and checklists, and reference materials that can assist school districts in protectin g students from discrimination based on sexual orientation. 2. The Office for Civil Rights should increase its monitoring of school districts that fail to protect employees from discrimina tion on the basis of sexual orientation. When federal legislati on is enacted to provide explicit protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, the Office of Civil Rights should monitor compliance and enforce this legislation. 3. Analyze all regulations a nd policies addressing nondisc rimination on the basis of sex or gender for effectiveness in recogniz ing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth. 4. The department should monitor school dist ricts for compliance with the principle of nondiscrimination, and intervene where existing policies are failing. Include

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222 sexual orientation and gender identity in any data collection tools measuring discrimination in education. 5. Ensure that all existing and model complaint mechanisms include provisions for comp laints by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth.

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223 APPENDIX L R ecommendations for State Governm ent and Local School Boards General Recommendations Based on the Revi ew of Literature Regarding Threats Faced by Sexual Minority Students in Public Schools 1. Introduce students to the principles of respect and tolerance at an early age, starting with elementary school. In late r grades, general programs on tolerance and respect should integrate the idea of tolerance and respect for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons in an age-appropriate manner. 2. Provide lesbian, gay, bise xu al, and transgender staff w ho wish to be open about their sexual orientation or gender identity with the institutional support to make them feel safe to do so. 3. Make information about gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transg ender issues available in school libraries. This information s hould include age-a ppropriate videos, pamphlets, and books—including those wr itten by youths, for use by students, t eachers, and parents. 4. Repeal laws and regulations that prev ent educators from including information relevant to lesbian, gay, bi sexual, transgender, and que stioning youth in health e ducation on sexuality and sexually transmitted diseases. 5. Include lesbian, gay, bisexual, transg ender, and questioning youth in all regulations and policies related to diversity issues.

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224 6. Establish and implement policies providing confidentiality in discussions between counselors and students. School-based c ounseling professiona ls should advise students of the existence and limits, if an y, on counselor-student confidentiality. Policies should include a prohibition on disclosing information concerning students’ sexual orientation or gender identity to their classmates, parents or gu ar dians, or local communities. 7. Enact legislation to protect school adminis trators, teachers, counselors, and other school staff, and all other employees fro m discrimination in employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Specific Recommendations Resulting from the Outcomes of the Present Study 1. State governments should ensure that all university programs for the education of state-certified student serv ices personnel include mandatory training on working with diverse students, including those that are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender and those who are questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity. Perhaps this are could be included under Cultural Competency requirements. 2. Provide introductory and ongoing training to all staff—teachers, administrators, support staff, cafeteria pe rsonnel, and maintenance wo rkers—on addressing the needs of sexual minority youths. Provide sp ecialized training for student services professionals on these issues. 3. Require that some of the continuing e ducation credits required for state-certified student services professiona ls address issues related to working with diverse students, including gay, lesbian, tran sgender, and questioning students.

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225 4. School counseling prof essionals should be guided by the ethical standards of the American Psychological Association, th e School Social Work Association of America, the American Sc hool Counselors Association, the National Association of School Nurses, and the National Asso ciation of School Psychologists with regard to serving gay, lesbian, bisexual transgender, and questioning youths.

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226 APPENDIX M Suggestions for School-Based St udent Services Professionals The most important factor for school-b ased counseling professionals when working with sexual minority youths is that the professional must be supportive of the y outh, contribute to a school culture that is welcoming to such youths (regardless of personal ideologies), and must feel co mfortable with the issues surrounding homosexuality and sexuality in general. Results from the current study suggest that many pupil services professionals are willing to engage sexual minority youths in a positive therapeutic relationship. However, due to inadequate training and variable levels of comfort with addre ssing sexual orientation issu es within a school counseling context, many professionals may be struggling with this issue. Even among those professionals who possess s upportive attitudes regarding sexual minorities refrain from making a public commitment to supporting sexual minority students. It may be assumed that a perceived lack of institu tional support for such efforts may impede their willingness to advocate in behalf of those students. The following suggestions, adapted from Callahan (2001) mig ht be helpful to profe ssionals who are struggling with this issue. 1. Understand that, although sexual minor ity professionals will undoubtedly have special insights into the experience of the GLBTQ youth, being gay, lesbian, or bisexual is not necessarily a prerequi site for counseling this population. Both homosexual and heterosexual counseling professionals can be effective in

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227 addressing the psychological needs of these youths. Having an accurate knowledge of the population, as well as being understanding, empathetic, and able to provide non-biase d, non-judgmental advice ar e attributes which are essential when counseling sexual minority youths. 2. Let the LGBTQ youth know that it is alright to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or heterosexual Let him or her know that it is also alright to be confused or to change his or he r mind about a suspected orientation. 3. Help the student to understand and clarif y his or her own feelings about sexual orientation. Become knowle dgeable about the impact of internalized homophobia on the developing self-concept. 4. Prepare to provide accurate and adequa te information, which is readable and understandable, to the young person. Litera ture written by gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender young people for GLBTQ youths is most helpful. This information helps the young person to abolish myths and stereotypes. 5. Be able to refer the young person to non-sexually charged, healthy peer support gr oups within his or her local community or school, where these are available. Social interaction among other sexual minority youths will help alleviate the social isolation and loneliness which many GLBTQ adoles cents experience. Professionals should educate themselves about these resources and be willing to refer youths to them. 6. Help the young person to de velop effective intrapersona l and interpersonal coping strategies to deal with the negative eff ects of societal stigmatization. Assist the

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228 y outh in exploring and developing mech anis ms for dealing with conflict, relationships, depression, protect ed sex, and peer pressure. 7. Be prepared to help the student deal with a wide variety of family issues, and be prepared to educate families also. School -based counseling providers should be cautious in assisting GLBTQ young people w ho wish to disclose their orientation to their families. They should be able to have a thorough discussion of the risks involved, as well as the advantages, si nce no one can predict how a family will respond. 8. Train other professionals by providi ng them with accurate and adequate information about GLBTQ adolescent issues Help other professionals to view homosexuality from a non-judgmental non-pejorative perspective. 9. Be willing to be an advocate for the young ster who is having trouble at school, in a group or foster home, or in their family The protection of the GLBTQ youths is an important task for th e counseling professional. 10. Contextualize your professional inte ractions with GLBTQ youths from a framework of oppression. 11. Examine your own biases both in te rms of overt homophobia and more subtle heterosexism. 12. Recognize the legitimate risks faced by GLBTQ youths, but avoid labeling and pathologizing. Be careful not to over-treat or under-treat. 13. Educate yourself about se xu ality, adolescent developmen t, and issues and risks facing GLBTQ youths. This educa tion process should include becoming

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229 comfortable with current language and terminology and awar eness of same-sex practices. 14. Avoid using a heterosexual paradigm a nd assuming it applies to lesbian and gay people. 15. Become aware of diversity among sexual minority individuals. DonÂ’t assume they are all the same. At the sa me time, understand that these y ouths have a range of needs, so become knowledgeable about ga y and lesbian culture, community, and resources. 16. Seek good supervision when working with GLBTQ youths, including getting input from lesbian and gay people.

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230 APPENDIX N Training suggestions for Dea ling with Public Controversy Working from a commitment to social justice and respect for diversity can enable educators (including pupil serv ices professionals) to link to gether di fferent forms of discrimination and help build alliances among pupils, admin istrators, and like-minded civic or parent groups to address a wide ra nge of forms of intolerance and prejudice, in cluding anti-gay bias. Highlight research and examples of how race, gender, and homophobia interact and overlap. Best pr actice in challenging homophobia requires partnership across a variety of agencies, including health and law enforcement (as a school/community safety issue) (Warwick, Chase, & Aggleton, 2004). Pervasive homophobia may be the factor that hinders not only pupil services professionalsÂ’ use of gay affi rming behavior, but also lear ning and full inclusion of GLBTQ students in the educational settin g. Such homophobia may also prepare the gr ound for vindictive and violent forms of ha rassment and discrimin ation. Within such settings, staff, pupils, and ot her members of school commun ities can, at best, fail to understand or appreciate the diversity of pupils Â’ sexuality-related needs, or, at worst, collude in the abuse of children and young people. Given the broader contexts within which educators (including school-based c ounseling professionals ) operate, those who challenge homophobic bias or advocate proac tively against such bias may find their efforts challenged and undermin ed. Such educators should expect that some community members (especially those representing highly religious or politically conservative

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231 interests) will resist attempts to counter homophobia, vi ewing expression and discussion of same-sex sexuality as wrong (Warwick, Chase, & Aggleton, 2004). However, given that all sc hool personnel have a duty to protect pupils from abuse and harassment, encourage prosocial behavior, and establis h environments conducive to learning, school professionals should appropriately turn to more inclusive frameworks in order to counter resistance from outside forces opposed to addressing homophobia in schools. These inclusive frameworks (in the fo rm of civic and res earch organizations co mmitted to social justice) generally emphasize that all children and young people have a right to benefit to the full extent from education, and that homophobic bias (like other forms of discrimination) undermines the fulfillment of this right. Fi ve key steps in this process, adapte d from Warwick, Chase, & Aggleton (2004) can be identif ied for this process: 1. Creating opportunities for further dialogue a. To enable key agencies and organizations to pool knowledge and resources. b. To raise awareness of innovative and good practice c. To draw on the expertise of advocacy and lobbying groups and raise the status of this area of work. d. To identify how homophobia-related ac tions and activities might best be included as part of other initiatives and programs in which organizations and agencies are involved. 2. Identifying common principles of eff ective practice when addressing homophobia in schools

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232 a. To encourage educators to deve lop, refine, and share activities that contribute to real change w ithin schools and classrooms. 3. Promoting research a. To generate new and reliable know ledge about the extent of homophobic incidents in (and around) schools b. To identify the nature and extent of the impact of homophobic incidents in (and around) schools among GLBTQ y ouths, and pupils in general c. To identify what approaches a nd activities to address homophobia work best in which educational settings d. To identify the extent of bullyin g and harassment towards the school workforce and how this might best be addressed in and out of school 4. Communicating findings a. To support the development of a sh ared understanding that, regardless of type of school, homophobic incident s can not only be successfully addressed, but also there are concre te steps to take when doing so. b. To raise awareness among staff a nd students (and parents/care-givers) that they have the right not to be discriminated against on the grounds of their sexual orientation and, if they are, to know where assistance and support can be obtained 5. Reviewing and communicating pr ogress about this dialogue a. To identify areas of success—as we ll as those needing further work— when building partnerships, identifyi ng common principles, encouraging research and communicating findings.

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About the Author La nce S. Smith received his BachelorÂ’s De gr ee in Psychology from the University of Central Florida in 1990 and an Educati onal SpecialistÂ’s Degree in School Psychology from the University of South Florida in 1995. He began his professional career as a behavior training specialist working with a dult clients with autism and severe behavior disorders. He then worked briefly as a Children, Youth, and Families Counselor for the State of Florida while pursu ing his SpecialistÂ’s degree. After practicing as a school psychologist for two years, Mr. Smith entered the University of South Florida to pursue his doctoral degree in 1997. He has been a practicing school psychologist fo r approximately ten years.


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