Volume 3

Changes in Attitudes Toward Homosexuality as a Result of Personal Contact and Education

Richard P. Corso & Danielle Caira

Participants were 61 college students, enrolled in three social science courses. Baseline measures of attitudes towards homosexuals and homophobia were taken during a pre-test session. Approximately one month later, the classrooms were randomly assigned to one of three conditions. Students in the control group viewed a videotape on gender and participated in a general discussion on gender issues. Students in experimental group 1 viewed a videotape on myths about homosexuality with a discussion on homosexuality with a self-identified heterosexual. Students in experimental group 2 viewed the same videotape on myths about homosexuality with a discussion on homosexuality with a self-identified homosexual. The attitude measures were readministered following discussions. Results showed positive changes in attitudes toward homosexuals and homophobia from pre- to post-test. Response patterns also supported expected gender and prior contact differences in attitude. The value of even brief positive exposure to homosexuals is discussed.

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