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J Homosex. 2013;60(4):575-95. doi: 10.1080/00918369.2013.760321.

"That's so gay!" Exploring college students' attitudes toward the LGBT population.

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1
Department of Sociology, Georgia Gwinnett College, Lawrenceville, Georgia 30043, USA. lholland@ggc.edu

Abstract

Traditional students are often introduced to unfamiliar subcultures for the first time on the college campus. Recent high school graduates find themselves transitioning from an atmosphere in which homophobia is likely to be tolerated and possibly even expected to an educational setting in which diversity is promoted. Research shows that the college years are influential in the re-socialization of core values, yet very little work focuses on the ideological shifts that may take place in attitudes toward the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) population. The research presented in this study includes a modified version of LaMar and Kite's Component Measure, which has been broken down into 6 distinctive components of tolerance. In addition to examining religion, gender, and race--factors that have been correlated in past research with differing levels of tolerance toward the LGBT community--this study adds politics, sexual orientation, academic class standing, and college of major--variables that have received little or no attention in this literature. Higher levels of LGBT tolerance are consistently observed across the indexes among women, more liberal Christian traditions, non-Christian faiths, the non-religious, and those who self-identify as LGBT. The distinctive contribution of this study is that students in the College of Arts and Sciences and students further along in their college careers are also more tolerant. Based on these findings, recommendations are made for inter-college curriculum changes that integrate students in all disciplines and students of all classifications.

PMID:
23469818
DOI:
10.1080/00918369.2013.760321
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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