Volume 13

Friendship Development With Regards to Sexual Prejudice Amongst College Students

Peter J. Farrell and Maria T. Rabbia

This study was created to examine views of homosexuality and how these views may influence willingness to befriend gay or lesbian persons. A sample of 109 undergraduate college students, whom were mostly Caucasian, were presented with a scenario depicting either a gay or lesbian fellow student. These students were asked to imagine themselves interacting with this scenario character in a typical college class. Participants completed questionnaires that measured perceived acceptability and comfort, as well as personal attitudes toward intimacy and homophobia. It was found that men viewed lesbians more favorably compared to the way they viewed gay men. Results further indicated that women’s comfort level with the scenario character did not differ based on gender. Contrary to hypotheses, findings also indicated that men’s perceptions of homosexual individuals were more positive than women’s. Findings are discussed in terms of social acceptance of students perceived as homosexual.

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