Self-perceived origins of attitudes toward homosexuality.

Published: January 25, 2012

Abstract

Undergraduate students (N = 417) at a large southern university responded to open-ended questions designed to assess self-perceived origins of attitudes toward homosexuality and circumstances that may prompt a shift in attitudes. Inductively coded responses pointed to a positive correlation between attitudes toward homosexuality and experience interacting with gay men or lesbians; this is discussed in the context of Allport’s (1954 ) contact hypothesis and Herek’s (1984 , 1986 ) theory of functional attitudes. Implications are discussed for education and intervention efforts aimed at facilitating understanding and tolerance of gay men and lesbians.

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