Reducing Homophobic Attitudes and Behaviors by Means of Sexual Orientation Curricula in High Schools
Anderson, Stephanie M.
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High schools that have implemented anti-discriminatory policies and specifically Gay Strait Alliances have improved the existing homophobic and heterosexist environments, however, the impact of teaching sexual orientation and the inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (GLBTQ) issues into classrooms has not been investigated. The proposed study aims to demonstrate that the inclusion of a Human Sexuality course that encourages GLBTQ dialogue will reduce homophobic attitudes and behaviors of students regardless of their sexual orientation. A self-selected sample of students from 2 schools in grades 11 and 12 of a middle socioeconomic status will complete the Index of Attitudes Towards Homosexuals, the Homophobic Behavior of Students Scale, and additional questions pertaining to sexual orientation. In School A, students enrolled in the course on Human Sexuality will be surveyed before and after taking the course, and a sample of the same size from School B will be surveyed simultaneously and serve as a control. Results will be analyzed using a 2X2 mixed ANOVA statistical test with follow-up post hoc between-groups independent t-tests.