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Straight Allies: Supportive Attitudes Toward Lesbians, Gay Men, and Bisexuals in a College Sample



Little research has focused on the development of positive attitudes toward the LGB community amongst heterosexuals in the USA, despite evidence demonstrating increasing levels of acceptance for sexual orientation minorities. A convenience sample of 50 female and 18 male heterosexual Midwestern university students with positive attitudes toward LGB people participated in semi-structured interviews that addressed research questions about the formation of their attitudes. Results found three key features in attitude formation: (1) early normalizing experiences in childhood, (2) meeting LGB peers in high school or college as important to the development of their attitudes, and (3) experiences of empathy based on an LGB peer’s struggles and successes, or resistance to hatred expressed by those with negative attitudes.



Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Jan 1, 2009

DOI: 10.1007/s11199-008-9508-1

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