The Role of Gender in the Concept of Internalized Homophobia

Author(s): 

Jewellius Green

Advisor(s): 

HyeSun Lee, Psychology

Abstract:

Internalized homophobia (IH) is a type of internalized oppression, meaning that an individual will have negative thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and attitudes about themselves belonging to a minority group and about the minority group itself (Cross, 1991; Szymanski et al., 2008). This can have an effect on the self-esteem, level of depression, and over-all psychological well-being of LGB individuals (Szymanski & Carr, 2008; Szymanski et al., 2003). Gender role conflict (Szymanski & Carr, 2008) has also been found to play a significant role in IH, so the current study looks to examine the role of gender when it comes to the concept of internalized homophobia, while controlling for the variables of self-esteem, depression, psychological well-being, and social support, in a population of LGB individuals. Using the Project STRIDE study data (Meyer et al., 2006), ANCOVA was employed to examine the research question. The findings revealed a significant relationship between the IV (gender), the covariates (self-esteem, depression, psychological well-being, and social support), and the DV (internalized homophobia). However, the effects of gender on internalized homophobia was not found to be significant. This outcome could have happened for several reasons, including the fact that both genders experience internalized homophobia to varying degrees. Future research should continue to look into the role gender plays with internalized homophobia. Potential results can be used to help develop counseling programs that help LGB individuals deal with their internalized homophobia.

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