An investigatory study exploring societal attitudes toward homosexuality and levels of heterosexism in Ireland

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Wade, Sharon
Issue Date
BA in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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The purpose of the current study was to investigate and explore societal attitudes towards homosexuality in Ireland. The Attitudes Toward Lesbians and Gay Men (ATLG) scale was used to examine respondents' attitudes homosexuals. The Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ) was used to measure personality. The Personal Social Contact (PSC) Questionnaire was used to assess previous and future contact with gay men and lesbians. There were 62 participants chosen randomly for this study. A significant difference in how men and women rate gay men was found (t(60) = -3.00, p < .05). A significant correlation was found between age and attitudes towards homosexual individuals in both the ATL (r = - .452, p < .01) and ATG (r = -.516, p < .01) scales. A significant correlation between religious practice and attitudes towards gay men (r = .336, p < .01) was also found. There was a significant correlation between personal social contact and favourable attitudes towards gay men as shown in the ATL (r = .310, p < .05) and the ATG (r = .477, p < .01). Participants who were identified as extraverted are more likely to hold favourable attitudes towards both gay men and lesbians shown in the results of the ATL (r = .334, p < .01) and ATG (r = .383, p < .01) scales. Age had the strongest influence on attitudes (b = -.390, p < .05) which suggested that more favourable attitudes towards lesbians would be influenced, although moderately, by age. The last significant variable was found to be the personality variable of extraversion (b = .278, p < .05).