Faculty Research at Morehead State University


Explaining Comfort with Homosexuals Among Social Work Students

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2007


While recent research explores the determinants of homophobia among college students, only a few studies look at the perceptions of homosexuals among social work students. Unfortunately these rare studies generally present a modest list of predictor variables or small sample sizes. To address this gap, this research explores the ways in which undergraduate social work students (N=748) from 12 colleges feel about homosexuality. In doing so, the work initially delineates the extent to which future social workers feel comfortable being around gay and lesbian persons. The work then explores the impact of specific social statuses, educational processes, and ideological beliefs. In the end, the role of homosexual peers is emphasized, as are the effects of familial attitudes, the perceived cause of homosexuality, conservative religious maxims, traditional gender role beliefs, and anxieties over AIDS.