Social environmental conceptions of homosexuality: a university climate assessment

Reynolds, Arthur Justus, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia
Wilson, Melvin, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia
Wilcox, Brian, University of Virginia
Mitchell, Tina, University of Virginia

Research on homosexual behavior has relied primarily on individual and clinical levels of analysis at the relative exclusion of social and environmental ones. Utilizing social models of behavior, developing social and descriptive research has shown that homosexuals possess unique social problems. The present study expanded research in this area by examining directly the university social climate of homosexual students. Matched groups of 32 selfidentified male homosexual and heterosexual students completed a questionnaire package consisting of a derived university climate scale and predictor m~asures of selfesteem, alienation, university homophobia, and sex roles. Results indicated that homosexual students perceived measures of emotional support, intellectuality, change, and innovation more negatively than the heterosexual group. It was also found that sexual identity and isolation/estrangement were significant predictors of the composite university measures, adaptability/nurturance and social tradition. Despite its limitations, this study indicated that the person-environment fit of homosexual students as compared to heterosexuals was dissonant. This lack of congruence is traced to social environmental dimensions of the university. Further development of social/interactional models of homosexual behavior is suggested using social climate analyses.

Note: Abstract extracted from PDF file via OCR.

MA (Master of Arts)
University of Virginia -- Students, Gay college students -- Virginia -- Charlottesville -- Conduct of life, Gays -- United States -- Social conditions
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