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The influences of LGBT curriculum on adolescent homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia

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The influences of LGBT curriculum on adolescent homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia
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Salazar, Jason Eric ( author )
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English
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Homosexuality and education ( lcsh )
Sexual minorities -- Education ( lcsh )
Multicultural education ( lcsh )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

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Current research has empirically supported that the public school system has an issue with poor social climates for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students, LGBT. This has had detrimental effects to the well-being and educational outcomes for LGBT youth, Kosciw, Greytak, Bartkiewicz, Boesen, and Palmer, 2012. Research has not only uncovered the problems, bullying, poor school policies, lack of education, that promote these issues, but they have also found solutions, which include supportive administration, the inclusions of programs like Gay Student Alliances, GSA, and LGBT curriculum. This research study attempted to uncover the effect to students levels of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia when exposed to a LGBT psychology and history lesson. The study found that a simple 45 minute lesson did in fact reduce levels of the sexual minority phobias in students but also provided evidence that more exposure, and a larger sample size, may provide a clearer picture of the actual potential of understanding concepts in LGBT psychology and history. It also validated that the inclusion of a GSA program and supportive educator can also establish a better social climate because all students exhibited low levels of phobia prior to the lesson.
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Thesis (M.A.) University of Colorado Denver.
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Include bibliographic references,
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School of Education and Human Development
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by Jason Eric Salazar.

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|University of Colorado Denver
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Full Text
THE INFLUENCES OF LGBT CURRICULUM ON ADOLESCENT HOMOPHOBIA,
BIPHOBIA & TRANSPHOBIA
by
JASON ERIC SALAZAR
B.A., Metropolitan State University, 2012
A thesis submitted to the
Faculty of the Graduate School of the
University of Colorado in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Masters of Arts
Educational Psychology
2015


11
2015
JASON ERIC SALAZAR
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


iii
This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by
Jason Eric Salazar
has been approved for the
Educational Psychology Program
by
Caron Westland, Chair
Patty Meek
Jung-In Kim
July 23,2015


IV
Salazar, Jason Eric (M. A., Educational Psychology)
The influence of lgbt curriculum on adolescent homophobia, biphobia & transphobia
Thesis directed by Associate Clinical Professor Caron A. Westland
ABSTRACT
Current research has empirically supported that the public school system has an
issue with poor social climates for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students
(LGBT). This has had detrimental effects to the well-being and educational outcomes for
LGBT youth (Kosciw, Greytak, Bartkiewicz, Boesen, & Palmer, 2012). Research has not
only uncovered the problems (bullying, poor school policies, lack of education) that
promote these issues, but they have also found solutions, which include supportive
administration, the inclusions of programs like Gay Student Alliances (GSA) and LGBT
curriculum. This research study attempted to uncover the effect to students levels of
homophobia, biphobia and transphobia when exposed to a LGBT psychology and history
lesson. The study found that a simple 45-minute lesson did in fact reduce levels of the
sexual minority phobias in students but also provided evidence that more exposure (and a
larger sample size) may provide a clearer picture of the actual potential of understanding
concepts in LGBT psychology and history. It also validated that the inclusion of a GSA
program and supportive educator can also establish a better social climate because all
students exhibited low levels of phobia prior to the lesson.
The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication.
Approved: Caron A Westland


V
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER
I. INTRODUCTION........................................................ 1
II. LITERATURE REVIEW....................................................6
Heteronormativity in Education.......................................7
LGBT Identity Development...........................................10
School Climate for LGBT Youth.......................................15
LGBT Curriculum.................................................... 17
Measures............................................................19
Current Study.......................................................21
III. METHODS.............................................................23
Participants........................................................23
Measures............................................................24
Measures of Homophobia........................................25
Measures of Biphobia..........................................26
Measures of Transphobia.......................................27
Procedures..........................................................28
Plan of Analyses....................................................31
IV. RESULTS.............................................................33
Overall Report......................................................33
Individual Differences in Changes: Show No Difference....34
Individual Differences in Changes: Showing Minor Improvement.35
Individual Differences in Changes: Showing a Major Improvement.36


VI
V. DISCUSSION................................................41
VI. CONCLUSION................................................45
REFERENCES.....................................................46
APPENDIX A MODERN HOMOSEXUALITY SCALE GAY....................49
APPENDIX B MODERN HOMOSEXUALITY SCALE LESBIAN................50
APPENDIX C ATTITUDES REGARDING BISEXUALITY SCALE...............51
APPENDIX D GENDERISM & TRANSPHOBIA SCALE.......................52
APPENDIX E SLRYEY RESULTS......................................54
E.l Survey Scale.........................................54
E.2 Student #2...........................................55
E.3 Student #5...........................................56
E.4 Student #7...........................................57
E.5 Student #3...........................................58
E.6 Student #6...........................................59
E.7 Student #8...........................................60
E.8 Student#!............................................61


LIST OF FIGURES
vii
LIST OF FIGURES
FIGURE
4.1 MHS-G Overall Student Averages..................................37
4.2 G&TS Overall Student Averages...................................37
4.3 MHS-L Overall Student Averages..................................38
4.4 ARBS Overall Student Averages...................................38


LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
LGBT Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender
MHS-G Modern Homosexuality Scale Gay
MHS-L Modem Homosexuality Scale Lesbian
G&TS Genderism and Transphobia Scale
ARBS Attitudes Regarding Bisexuality Scale
ARBS-M Attitudes Regarding Bisexuality Male
ARBS F Attitudes Regarding Bisexuality Female
GSA Gay Student Alliance
GLSEN Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network


1
CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION
Much of the research related to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)
youth has surfaced issues related to increased instances of substance abuse, mental health
issues and, of course, poor academic performance. Many researchers have been able to
relate these issues to poor environmental settings and attitudes towards LGBT people in
the public school system (Kosciw, Greytak, Bartkiewicz, Boesen, & Palmer, 2012).
Although the research is sound, it seems that the general population has yet to believe
that LGBT lessons and curriculum have a place in the public education system. This is
not to say there are not some schools that advocate for this change in their districts; this is
to say that the State governments in general have not required such education nor pushed
enough for policies that would help in the effort to improve conditions for LGBT youth.
The schools that do advocate for this type of education are far and few between and
because LGBT philosophies and beliefs contradict with some religious affiliations this
becomes a highly politicized topic making it difficult to promote change (Hannah, 2011).
The research question presented in this thesis originates from this understanding and
asks: would the inclusion of a simple LGBT history and LGBT psychology lesson help
reduce students levels of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia?
The learning environment has been found to have a tremendous effect on the
educational outcomes of students; many theorize the more contentious the experiences
for LGBT youth, the more the students become disengaged from education. LGBT
students all face similar problems in the educational environment in one form or another.


2
Most of these issues stem from the bias towards LGBT people and the lack of acceptance
and support by various groups involved in school systems. These groups include the
administrators, educators, school staff, parents and, of course, fellow students. Key
findings in the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Networks 2011 National Climate Survey
found that Schools nationwide are hostile environments for a distressing number of
LGBT students, the overwhelming majority of whom hear homophobic remarks and
experience harassment or assault at school because of their sexual orientation or gender
expression (Kosciw et. al., 2012, p. xiv). Part of the public school systems
responsibilities are to establish a safe learning environment to improve learning
conditions, adhering to best practices uncovered by research like that of theorist Abraham
Maslow and his theory of hierarchical needs. With the daunting statistics current
research expresses, it is clear that education is failing in this area.
Solutions have been identified by researchers and include supportive educators,
inclusive curriculums, student organizations like Gay Student Alliances (GSAs) and
comprehensive bullying policies set forth by schools and laws established by local
congressional leaders (Kosciw et. al., 2012). With this research, it has been shown that
simple modifications or additions to those mentioned does show positive effects on the
social conditions of the school. This in turn may result in better academic performance
because LGBT students are more likely to not attend school more regularly and are also
able to focus on their studies versus dealing with managing their social situations
(Kosciw et al., 2012).
When reviewing the solutions to the problems LGBT students face it becomes
quizzical as to why school districts do not use the empirical research in LGBT studies to


3
implement changes in their schools to better support these students. It does not take long
to see when discussing peoples feelings towards the LGBT community that attitudes
vary from accepting to condemning. Depending on the attitudes from those in
administration, faculty, parents and their students the social conditions can be devastating
and dangerous for LGBT students. Although it is extremely important to have positive,
supportive attitudes from administrators, educators and parents, it is important to
understand that the student body is an extremely influential and crucial force in how an
LGBT student will experience their education from an academic and social perspective
and how that experience can effect self-esteem, substance abuse measures and academic
performance.
All participating members of the educational institution do have important roles:
without supportive administrations, educators and parents, teaching an LGBT curriculum
would be impossible. The research study implemented attempts to provide evidence to
these important decision makers so they can personally affect the social climate of their
schools by advocating and allowing such curriculum to be taught. The research also
hopes to present proof that the lesson does not need to be complex and can use
empirically supported research and facts to help reduce levels of homophobia, biphobia
and transphobia in their student body. With more culturally sensitive students, one would
expect the social climate to improve LGBT students poor mental health rates, substance
abuse rates and academic performance. One could only hope that it can also
inadvertently affect all the participating members of the educational institution.
The research study was implemented at George Washington High School in
Denver, Colorado. The school consists of approximately 1,400 students. Of those


4
students, 29.8% are African American, 29.5% are Hispanic/Latino, 27.2% are White, 7%
are multi-racial, 6% are Asian and .5% are Native American. In regards to gender, 56.6%
of students are female and 43.3% are male (GWHS school profile, 2015). George
Washington High School would be classified as an urban school with a diverse
population obviously in terms of ethnicity and race but also in socioeconomic status. The
research study conducted at GWHS took a class of seniors and attempted to measure if a
simple 45-minute course would have an impact on a students measure of the various
sexual minority phobias. This was accomplished by creating a simple lesson plan that
covered the explanation of a LGBT identity development by using empirically supported
research as well as historical facts to educate how research has come to its current
position on the concepts of sexual orientation and gender identity. Students were given
four surveys that measure a persons homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. These
surveys were conducted prior to the lesson plan and after the lesson plan. The aim of this
approach was to study how a small exposure to LGBT material can have an impact on a
students various phobias levels, if at all. The hypothesis of the research study is that
even with a small exposure to empirically supported research there would be an increase
in a students scores on the surveys, which would represent levels of phobia that are
reduced.
This thesis will first be justified with a review of the existing literature and
research surrounding these sensitive LGBT issues and the instruments that are being used
to measure levels of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. Second, an explanation of
the methods used to conduct this research study will be discussed. Third, there will be an


5
explanation of the results, which will be followed by a discussion of those results and
implications. Finally closing thoughts will be addressed in the conclusion.


6
CHAPTER II
LITERATURE REVIEW
This research study first developed after researching many topics related to LGBT
experiences in schools, academic outcomes for these students and how to possibly
resolve such issues. One primary concern was the focus on heteronormative practices or
beliefs in classrooms. Heteronormativity is the attitude that heterosexuality is the only
normal and natural expression of sexuality (Definition of heteronormative, 2015). This
was first examined and found to be an important concept to understand in order to
understand the problem and address the issue. Also, before one could begin addressing
these problems, it was important to understand how one comes to develop an LGBT
identity. Understanding these experiences are important because the process of LGBT
development usually occurs during adolescence and can be affected by the school
climate. The positive or negative experiences can either help or hinder a students
development and academic progress. One must also need to understand the potential
solutions that researchers suggest in order to improve the school climate for LGBT
students. This would include an examination of the perpetuated heteronormative features
in schools. In education this is found in many ways. In addition to these items, an
examination of the different types of LGBT curriculums and approaches that has been
found to provide successful results was also advantageous to research. Finally, a measure
of attitudes and feelings (homophobia, biphobia and transphobia) towards LGBT people
was necessary to conduct the study in order to measure students feelings and attitudes
prior to and after the lessons were implemented. It was equally important to find such
measure which had strong validity evidence to measure these feelings accurately.


7
Heteronormativity in Education
Part of understanding the issues with the education system in regards to LGBT
students is to understand what heteronormativity is and how it exists in the school
system. As mentioned above, a heteronormative attitude or belief system is one that
believes heterosexuality is the only true and normal expression of human sexuality.
When you consider the education system it is easy to find examples of how
heteronormative practices are common and often overlooked, especially in school policy.
Take California for example, despite the states anti-discrimination mandate, the state
policy document articulates the superiority of heteronormative families...
heteronormative families are characterized as functional, stable, and consistent,
which link normative and affective concepts (McNeill, 2013, p. 833). The mandate
attempts to make clear that a students should not be taught in a way which does not
diminish their family structures, but still promotes the most preferred or desirable
outcome would be a two parent opposite sexed couple.
This is how feelings of heterosexual superiority becomes embedded in culture.
Through the process of education the messages are perpetuated and are done in subtle
(and sometimes not so subtle) ways. The assertion of the superiority of a particular
family form raises affective and pedagogical problems in the classroom. According to
these state policies, teachers in California and in Prince William County must
simultaneously teach their students that the heteropatriarchal family is most desirable
and manage (or discipline) the negative feelings that might emerge for students whose
families look different (McNeill, 2013, p. 834). It may seem appropriate that these


8
schools are teaching a practice to be mindful of non-traditional families, but the schools
are also in the same lesson distinguishing these families as only different and
abnormal which normalizes only heterosexuality. Normalization of homosexuality
would be the most ideal circumstance for LGBT students. Instead of teaching students
that their LGBT peers are only different and abnormal helps perpetuate the phobia
towards these sexually diverse group of students. This is not to say that education should
focus on how LGBT students and heterosexual students are the same, which is not
favorable either. Combating heteronormativity is about normalizing societies feelings
about diverse groups of people, making it normal to see things like same-sexed couples
holding hands. For the purposes of this thesis research study understanding the concept
of heteronormativity is important because it is part of the problem in the school system.
This research study suggests that an LGBT inclusive curriculum may teach students
about the diverse LGBT populations and also normalize their experiences at the same
time, hopefully providing some relief or hopefully a solution to the bullying, harassment
and violence LGBT students face.
In part, focusing on the content of the lessons taught regarding LGBT history and
psychology evolved from realizing how prominent the lack of understanding regarding
gender identity and sexual orientation was in society. Heteronormativity can also be
defined as a systematic process of privileging heterosexuality relative to homosexuality,
based on the assumption that heterosexuality and heterosexual power and privilege are
normal and ideal (Chesir-Teran & Hughes, 2009, p. 964). Many schools can be viewed
to have heteronormative components because general society views gender and sexual
orientation relative to the social influences in which it exists. Chesir-Teran and Hughes


9
point out that lack of school policies protecting LGBT students and lack of providing
gender inclusive environments is not just heteronormative but further reinforcement of
the existing status quo. The curriculum was rationalized based off the understanding that
people are a product of their social environmental influences. Educating students about
the history and psychology that surrounds LGBT individuals and making it common
knowledge is believed to potentially have an impact on the school environment as well as
overall society. Individual students who may be trying to understand the status of their
own identity, students who can become potential alleys to other LGBT students and
educators who may not realize that their own practices, tend to include many
heteronormative components that could all be addressed by making small lessons like
these a part of every day high school curriculum.
Another point of interest in regards to heteronormative practices in education and
this study is that research has found that school environments improve when policies and
programs are implemented in a school, making LGBT inclusion a more normative feature
of an educational environment. Anti-discriminatory and LGBT protection types of
school policies are important and should be implemented in every school to help create a
safe environment and provide consequences when that practice is not adhered to;
however, research indicates things like GSA programs are more effective on
heteronormativity and negative school environments for LGBT youth. Chesir-Teran and
Hughes were able to show in their study that when inclusive policies and GSA programs
were associated with harassment, the GSA programs were more effective then the school
policies. This was not to say that the policies did not have a positive effect, just that GSA
programs were more effective. Also, with the inclusion of a special program like a GSA,


10
the school policy appeared to become irrelevant as harassment was reduced (Chesir-
Teran & Hughes, 2009). This thesis studys aim is to focus on the content of a lesson to
help promote a rational understanding of how LGBT identities develop and how
understanding that has evolved in human history. LGBT identity and understanding of
gender is a socially constructed concept that in theory should help normalize these and
any other identity that is not of dominant practice.
LGBT Identity Development
The focus of this research began with a basic inquiry into the workings of LGBT
individuals identity development. This would start with the basic six-stage model of
homosexual identity development created by Vivienne Cass (1979). Cass changed
Psychologys view of how a homosexual developed their identities by presenting a
progressive model that homosexuals move through in order to acquire an identity of
homosexual fully integrated within the individuals overall concept of self (Cass, 1979,
p. 220). Although Vivienne Cass provided a wonderful start to homosexual identity
development, her research did not include the experiences of bisexual and transgender
individuals, making it limited in scope. Regardless of this fact, Cass was extremely
significant to LGBT psychology because her research marks a paradigm shift where
homosexuality stopped being viewed pathologically and began being viewed as an
attribute to someones personality. The first three stages can be the most complicated to
adolescents and are commonly experienced during the school years.
Stage 1 described as Identity Confusion is the stage in which a man or women
begins to feel confused about the meaning of homosexual and heterosexual expectations


11
and how they apply to their own personal feelings. The realization that feelings,
thoughts, or behavior can be defined as a homosexual presents an incongruent element
into a previously stable situation (Cass, 1979, p. 222). Confusion is the main component
of this stage. Realizing that the social behaviors that are expected and the desires that are
divergent exist creates a very confusing and freighting situation for a homosexual
individual. This leads to self-reflection and at this time a person can go through an
identity foreclosure (Cass, 1979) where the person will cease to develop emotionally
taking a tool into ones mental health. If foreclosure does not take place, Stage 2 is
reached.
Stage 2 is the Identity Comparison stage. During the identity comparison stage a
person is leaning towards acknowledging the fact that they may be homosexual. As Cass
points out it marks the first tentative commitment to a homosexual self (Cass, 1979, p.
225). A homosexual person begins to feel alienated during the identity comparison stage,
which prompts a person to compare themselves to heterosexuals and identify what is
different about them. They begin to see the differences and start to make decisions about
either trying to maintain a heterosexual image or not worry about the thoughts of others,
the latter being much more difficult depending on the social situation.
Stage 3 is titled the Identity Tolerance stage. This occurs after the comparison and
confirmation of homosexual feelings. During this process a person is likely to make the
statement that they are a homosexual or acknowledge their homosexual desires. The
greater level of commitment has important consequences. On the one had it frees [a
person] from the task of having to manage a state of identity confusion and turmoil, thus
allowing [a person] to acknowledge social, emotional, and sexual needs. On the other


12
hand it accentuates for [the person] the difference between the way [they] see self and
the way others are seen to view [them] (Cass, 1979, p. 229).
The remaining stages are more focused on the acceptance and movement towards
synthesis of such identity and living a life of congruency. Stage 4 is titled the Identity
Acceptance stage. In this stage a person would begin associations with other
homosexuals and feel the impact of those features of the subculture that validate and
normalize homosexuality as an identity and way of life (Cass, 1979, p. 231). This
stage is where an individual who is coming to terms with their sexuality realize they are
not alone in their feelings. Often someone in identity acceptance stage will surround
themselves with other homosexuals and exclude themselves from those who challenge or
disagree with that lifestyle. For youth often we see this in the form of running away.
Stage 5 Identity Pride, is the stage where an individual would have an awareness
of the differences (incongruence) that exist between [their own] concept of self as being
totally acceptable as a homosexual and societys rejection of this concept (Cass, 1979, p.
233). In this stage an individual begins to have feelings of belonging and acceptance. As
they find alliances with other homosexuals and allies of the LGBT community they begin
to disregard those who oppose their lifestyle, strengthening their commitment to a
homosexual lifestyle. This at times creates lack of trust with those in the heterosexual
community making the experience somewhat dichotomous. This is also a time when
someone would claim to be proud to be a gay man or lesbian woman (Cass, 1979).
Finally, stage 6 Identity Synthesis, a homosexual individual begins to enter an
awareness that the them and us philosophy espoused previously, in which all
heterosexuals are viewed negatively and all homosexuals positively, no longer holds


13
true... with increasing contact between [the individual] and supportive heterosexuals [the
individual] comes to trust them more and view them with greater favor (Cass, 1979,
234). Although this stage and the last stage today can be viewed as almost one complete
stage or blended stages, one characteristic is distinct. It is the synthesis of a homosexual
identity with the social identity in ones daily life. The acceptance of a circle of family
and/or friends and the ability to live a life where sexual orientation is accepted by such
circle is a major component to synthesis and overall development.
The stage models are extremely important to LGBT research. Cass presented an
understanding and explanation of experiences for a homosexual person and attempts to
explain through her research that there is nothing pathological about homosexuality, it is
simply an orientation or attribute of self. Homosexuality went from being viewed as a
behavior, to mental condition, to finally an orientation. Science would be forever
changed with her research.
Throughout the years, other research has emerged that has helped analyze the
processes that other sexual minorities face: For example some individuals may come to
bisexual identity after self-labeling as lesbian or gay. Others may identify bisexual
feelings from childhood onward. Still others may not become aware of bisexual feelings
until after experiencing heterosexual relationships or marriages (Bilodeau & Renn,
2005, p. 27).
Transgender individuals experiences are even more complex. Some current
research found that transgendered individuals displayed a similar pattern of life
experience, reflected in three prominent themes: an early sense of body-mind dissonance,
negotiating and managing identities, and the process of transition (Morgan & Stevens,


14
2012, p. 303). The stage models have been the prominent views for some time but they
have not gone without fault or criticism. The stage models of identity development have
been criticized for their linear, sequential and unidirectional (Clarke, Ellis, Peel &
Riggs, 2010, p. 157) approach, which tends to not always be applicable to every
individuals experience. Although there may be debatable views on LGBT identity
development, it is safe to assume that there is some validity to these stages and, like Cass
originally proposed, gaining access to the later stages of development requires
overcoming the previous ones. When development is interrupted or a stage cannot be
reached often it is due to poor social climates. Research has shown higher levels of
clinically diagnosed mental disorders for LGBT youth, which can be related to the social
climate one experiences during adolescents.
One of the repercussions to a poor social climate for LGBT youth is the higher
instance of clinically diagnosed mental disorders. Being unable to move onto later stages
of development end up causing detrimental effects to a students mental health. In a
study conducted by Mustanski et al. with a group of LGBT students the results found that
one third of the participants met criteria for any mental disorder, 17% for conduct
disorder, 15% for major depression, and 9% for posttraumatic stress disorder Mustanski,
Garofalo & Emerson, 2010, p. 12). In comparison to national samples LGBT youth
overall did have more prevalent mental illness. Comparisons of findings to similar
studies also found similar results (Mustanski et. al., 2010). In addition to Mustanski et.
al., DAugelli et. al. found that High school victimization was correlated with mental
health symptoms in general, and with posttraumatic stress symptoms in particular. Verbal
attacks that had occurred in high school were related to current posttraumatic stress


15
symptoms (DAugelli, Pilkington & Hershberger, 2002, p. 163). Part of overcoming the
various stages of LGBT identity is to work through the social rejection that comes with
coming out. Depending on how the school social climate is maintained and how
harassment and violence are regulated could really effect how an LGBT students own
self-identity develops and if they will be susceptible to developing mental illness.
School Climate for LGBT Youth
While gaining a background on the various perspectives of LGBT identity
development, the research quickly intersected with experiences and struggles LGBT
youth endure in education. This later helped form the concept surrounding the research
question(s): Can the way schools teach about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
individuals in the educational setting help improve the way people understand and feel
about this subculture? Would it help improve the school environment? Research has
already identified that an inclusive LGBT curriculum can help the social climate for
LGBT youth, but the content of the lessons was a point of interest.
Justification for this study which focuses on ways to improve conditions for
LGBT students learning environments began with reviewing research articles and
reports that discuss how LGBT students are treated in American schools. J. Kosciw, et
al. (2012) at the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network produced a research report
titled The 2011 National School Climate Survey that became the primary research report
used to help paint a vivid picture what the LGBT students experience is like. The report
discusses topics such as homophobic remarks and other biased language to instances of
physical violence and harassment. For example, 71.3% of students reported hearing


16
students make derogatory remarks, such as dyke or faggot, often or frequently in
school... 56.9% of students reported ever hearing homophobic remarks from their
teachers or other school staff (Kosciw et al., 2012, p. 14). What was more disturbing is
that the research indicated that homophobic remarks were more likely than any other type
of biased remark to be expressed in front of a teacher or faculty member: When school
staff were present, the use of biased and derogatory language by students remained
largely unchallenged (Kosciw et al., 2012, p. 16).
Safety or feeling safe in school for LGBT students also seemed to be a big
challenge: 6 in 10 students (63.5%) reported feeling unsafe at school because of their
sexual orientation; and 4 in 10 students (43.9%) felt unsafe because of how they
expressed their gender (Kosciw et al., 2012, p. 20). Feeling unsafe and being unsafe are
also two very important but different concerns. Feelings of safety are important
especially when taking into account Maslows hierarchy of needs and theories
surrounding human motivation. Considering that Maslows ideas are valid, adolescents
in school, in general, suffer if their safety needs are not met. Physical violence is also an
issue, making safety a concern separate from students feeling unsafe: 38.3% of LGBT
students had been physically harassed at school because of their sexual orientation, and
11.2% reported that this harassment occurred often or frequently; and a little more than a
quarter (27.1%) had been physically harassed at school because of their gender
expression, and 7.9% experienced this often or frequently (Kosciw et al., 2012, p. 24).
The hostile school environment is naturally a deterrent from a student coming
out. It may also create more confusion for questioning students potentially keeping these
or other curious adolescents from fully developing or finding their identity until after


17
high school; this tends to have negative impacts on their mental health: Sexually
questioning students reported significantly more depression/suicidal feelings, greater use
of alcohol/marijuana, and more truancy than [heterosexual or identifying lesbian, gay,
bisexual students]. Additionally, lesbian, gay, bisexual students reported more
alcohol/marijuana use and more truancy than heterosexual students, but did not report
more depression/suicidal feelings (Birkett, Espelage & Koenig, 2009, p. 994-995). In
addition to concerns over mental health, there is the factor that academic achievement has
been found to decline for LGBT students: Boys and girls reporting a same-sex romantic
attraction fare worse on most measures of academic achievement compared to their other-
sex attracted peers. Overall, they leave high school with lower grades, are more likely to
have failed a course, and are less likely to have completed algebra II and chemistry
(Pearson, Muller & Wilkinson, 2007, p. 8). Failure to address the issue in schools,
including educators lack of response, is often times attributed to the heteronormative
structure society is built upon.
LGBT Curriculum
A review of LGBT curriculum and the focus on the content in which studies were
being developed was necessary to move forward with this study. Research has shown
that including an LGBT inclusive curriculum improves the school environment for LGBT
youth. A review of LGBT curriculum and the focus on the content in which studies were
being developed was necessary to move forward with the present study. Ji, Du Bois and
Finnessy conducted research focusing on courses that would teach heterosexual students
to become LGBT allies. The important findings in this research surrounded the


18
understanding that many students felt that they could not become an LGBT ally because
of their lack of knowledge towards these communities: An initial theme was an issue of
questioned credibility. Despite having positive attitudes toward LGBT people, students
perceived themselves as inadequate to be allies because they did not possess what they
perceived to be the necessary or proper knowledge and skills (Ji, Du Bois & Finnessy,
2009, p. 406). Ji et al. was able to extract understanding from a student body about
development of LGBT ally identities with an educational instrument (the curriculum);
this included many hands on experiences with LGBT individuals, providing a sense of
context to the community. The comments from the students enrolled in the course
taught by new instructors confirmed that the course content (i.e., the interviews,
activities, seminars, and guest speakers), helped them develop into LGBT allies (Ji et al.,
2009, p. 271). It was this study and finding in the research which drove to the use of
GLSEN curriculum content to be used in the study. It included interviews, activities
which were easy to replicate and reproduce. With more LGBT allies in a school system
the environment tends to improve for LGBT youth. Lack of knowledge, like many other
instances of discrimination, seems to drive the negative attitudes towards the minority: in
this case LGBT youth.
Ryan, Patraw and Bednar implemented an intriguing study, which took
elementary school kids and gave lessons that surrounded gender diverse experiences and
transgender experiences. Ryan et al. provided evidence that showed how that gender
diverse instruction helped students who lived mostly by traditional gender norms realize
that the world might contain more than simply biological females who identify as girls
and act in feminine ways and biological males who identify as boys and act in masculine


19
ways. Therefore, the results of this study suggest that children are, in fact, quite ready to
learn about gender diversity (Ryan, Patraw & Bednar, 2013, p. 101). Ryan et al. gave
me hope that this study in LGBT history and psychology could provide larger benefits for
more than just high school aged students. Normalization for sexual minorities could
become embedded in the educational process, like it has done so for many other
disfranchised discriminated groups in history.
Measures
The focus on a LGBT historic and psychological approach in curriculum is not
the only necessary aspect of this study. A measuring tool that would help identify the
attitudes and feelings towards LGBT individuals before and after the treatment was
necessary in order to determine if the curriculum was effective or not. To do so, existing
tools were selected that have been documented, replicated and shown to provide valid
measures. Many of the previous homophobia scales do not ask about gay men and
lesbians. Instead, most scales ask about "homosexuals" in general, leaving unclear
whether the respondent was thinking of lesbians, gay men, or both when answering the
questions (Raja & Stokes, 1998, p. 115). Raja and Stokes provided the measure for
lesbians and gay men. From their work they produced the Modem Homophobia Scales
MHS-G, which measures attitudes towards gay men, and MHS-L, which measures
attitudes towards lesbian women. They were deemed valid in the study by correlating
them to other existing measures of attitudes towards homosexuality. Also, as
hypothesized, by separating the measures between lesbians and gay men, the authors
were able to determine differences by biological sex in MHS-G and MHS-L scores


20
supported the utility of separating attitudes toward gay men from attitudes toward
lesbians, and demonstrated the divergent validity of the MHS-L and the MHS-G
subscales. As predicted, women were more homophobic toward lesbians than toward gay
men, and men were more homophobic toward gay men than toward lesbians (Raja &
Stokes, 1998, p. 130).
When reviewing how to measure attitudes towards transgendered individuals, the
Genderism and Transphobia scale was selected: Genderism is an ideology that
reinforces the negative evaluation of gender non-conformity or an incongruence between
sex and gender. It is a cultural belief that perpetuates negative judgments of people who
do not present as a stereotypical man or woman (Hill & Willoughby, 2005, p. 534). Hill
and Willoughby generated potential items for the scale by reviewing the literature on
anti-trans sentiments and the difficulties trans persons have on a day-to-day basis (Hill
& Willoughby, 2005, p. 534). The measure reported to have good, valid evidence with a
calculated alpha of .88 for the overall scale. The subsection for genderism reported .80
and transphobia at .94, giving a strong confidence level in this tool (Hill & Willoughby,
2005).
The scale that would be used to measure biphobia is also important because it
includes reviewing how heterosexual individuals perceive bisexual individuals as well as
how homosexual men and women viewed bisexuals. Empirical work, theory, and
autobiographical writings suggest that negative attitudes about bisexuality are prevalent
among both heterosexual and homosexual people (Mohr & Rochlen, 1999, p. 353).
From this study Mohr and Rochlen developed the Attitudes Regarding Bisexuality Scale
(ARBS). The researchers established three versions of the ARBS: one that would assess


21
the attitudes towards bisexual males and females, one that would only asses the attitudes
towards bisexual males (ARBS-M) and one that would only asses the attitudes towards
bisexual females (ARBS-F) (Mohr & Rochlen, 1999). These were established in order to
identify what the differences are between how males and females each think of
bisexuality towards the same sex versus the opposite sex. These scales are relevant for
many other research studies but were not necessary for the scope of this study. This
study only attempts to see if the basic attitudes and feelings will improve towards LGBT
individuals, and therefore the more focused scales are not required. High internal
consistency estimates were obtained for subscales of the three versions of the ARBS
ranging from .83 to .91 (Mohr & Rochlen, 1999, p. 365). With such strong results, the
ARBS is a reliable and valid scale to gain knowledge of each students feelings towards
bisexuality.
Current Study
The research question probes the possibility that the inclusion of an LGBT history
and psychology lesson plan will notably affect the levels of various sexual minority
phobias that exist in students. Ambitious as it sounds, the rationale that justifies this
approach is engrained in the concept of teaching relatable history and factual empirical
science that surround the struggles and complications that LGBT individuals face, as well
as how their identities develop. Lack of understanding perpetuates the heteronormative
and negative feelings towards LGBT people, similar to other discriminated groups of
people in all societies. The previously mentioned hypothesis attaches itself to the fact
that understanding even these basic concepts of LGBT psychology would help gain


22
understanding and empathy for those in the LGBT community. In response, a decline in
rates of phobia would be expected.


23
CHAPTER III
METHODS
Participants
The approach taken to explore the research question presented had a lot of
moving pieces. The most complicated aspect of this project was to find a willing
educator and principal to take on the lesson plans and conduct the research. The research
study concluded with a total of nine students who attended the lesson, with the average
age of students being 18 years old, all students were in the senior grade level. Out of the
nine students, one student declined to complete the surveys, and another student entered
the class late towards the end of the 45-minute period and completed partial answers on
the survey, as well as defacing them. This left only seven completed pre and post lesson
surveys to be examined. General demographic information was collected on the surveys,
specifically age, ethnicity/race, gender and sexual orientation. All demographic
categories gave the option to write in a response in the event that the student did not
identify with the common items listed. Two students chose to use the write in options
under the category ethnicity/race and sexual orientation. One student wrote in they were
bi-racial, listing black and white, and one student listed asexual under the write in option
for sexual orientation.
Of the seven students who completed the study, 71% (five students) identified as
African American, while 14% (one student) identified as Latino/a and 14% (one student)
identified as bi-racial, black and white. From those students, 86% (six students)
identified as female, while 14% (one student) identified as male. In regards to sexual


24
orientation, 71% (five students) identified as straight, 14% (one student) identified as
bisexual and 14% (one student) identified as asexual. The sample had a high instance of
female students as well as all students were a minority and two students could be
classified as sexual minorities. It is also important to note that the educator must have
strategically selected the students who were 18 years of age to avoid obtaining parental
consent. It would have been interesting to see if parents or guardians would be oppose to
their younger students participating in the LGBT curriculum, however, because the
educator had a hard enough time to work through his administration he asked if his
eighteen year old students if they would be interested in participating.
As mentioned earlier finding a willing educator to participate was one of the most
complicated aspects of this research study. The school that was selected was due to the
fact that they were the only willing participants that could be found in a eight-month time
frame. Once the school was selected it was identified that institutional review boards
must be cleared prior to implementing the study. The graduate schools review board as
well as the Denver Public School districts review board required an extensive review of
all content used before approving the study to move forward.
Measures
The first order of business was to identify valid measuring devices that would
measure levels of the various sexual minority phobias that a person exhibits, as well as
distinguish the levels between those various phobias. In total four measures were used
for the current study to measure levels of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia., which
will be described in more detail below.


25
Measure for homophobia. To measure a persons level of homophobia,
biphobia and transphobia, it was decided to use existing empirically supported measures.
To measure rates of homophobia, this being the dislike and/or prejudice against gay men
and lesbian women, the measure the Modern Homophobia Scale developed by S. Raja
and J. Stokes was the first tool selected. The Modern Homophobia Scale or MHS-G (gay
men), as shown in Appendix A 3.1, or MHS-L (lesbian women), as shown in Appendix B
3.2, use a Likert scale survey design, with the MHS-G consisting of 22 questions and the
MHS-L consisting of 24 questions. The MHS-G consisted of 13 questions that required a
reverse score calculation and the MHS-L consisted of seven reverse scored questions.
The rationale that Raj and Stokes used in creating their measure of homophobia was the
reason this measure was selected. First, Raj and Stokes attempted to provide a more
updated version of previously used homophobia scales. According to them, older
racism and sexism scales have been updated because respondents may no longer endorse
obviously racist and sexist items... homophobia scales appealed] to be in need of similar
updating (Raj & Stokes, 1998, p. 115). This, and the fact that previous measuring tools
combined statements for gay men and lesbian women, makes it difficult to distinguish if
rates of phobia were due to the objections to male or female homosexuality. Therefore,
Raj and Stokes wanted measures independent of each other, making the analysis of data
more precise and specific to each population (Raj & Stokes, 1998).
In addition to the rationale Raj and Stokes used when designing their measure of
homophobia, they also included questions that would gage an individuals sense of
institutional homophobia, as well as personal homophobia. This was to understand that


26
most homophobia scales would measure a persons personal feelings towards gay men
and women, but it would not address the types of homophobia that could express itself in
the workplace. The MHS does not directly measure discriminatory acts towards
lesbians and gay men, it measures the degree to which respondents believe that
institutional policies and practices should be free of sexual-orientation biases (Raj &
Stokes, 1998, p. 118). Raj and Stokes also validated their measure by hypothesizing that
homophobia as measured by the MHS would be correlated with other homophobia
scales and with attitudes toward women (Raj & Stokes, 1998, p. 119). By comparing
the results from the MHS to other measures that previously existed, Raj and Stokes are
able to claim consistent measures that have been previously validated and replicated.
Measure for biphobia. The Attitudes Regarding Bisexuality Scale, or ARBS, as
shown in Appendix D 3.3, was developed by J. Mohr and A. Rochlen (1999) and also has
a five-point Likert Scale design. This scale was selected to help measure the levels of
biphobia in the students who participated in the study. The scale consisted of 18
questions, with 13 of them requiring reverse scoring. Mohr and Rochlen had three
versions of the ARBS: one that measured attitudes towards male and female bisexuals,
one that measured attitudes towards only female bisexuals and one that measured
attitudes towards only male bisexuals. Validity was presented in Mohr and Rochlens
research by taking five studies that looked at the development and validation of the
ARBS: Factor analysis of an initial pool of 80 items yielded 2 factors assessing the
degree to which bisexuality is viewed as a tolerable, moral sexual orientation (Tolerance)
and a legitimate, stable sexual orientation (Stability) (Mohr & Rochlen, 1999, p. 353).


27
The various five studies examined by Mohr and Rochlen were used to measure the
consistency and validity of the questions presented by different populations.
The overall goal that Mohr and Rochlen were attempting to develop was the
ARBS for different research purposes, allowing for more specific gendered research.
The results of the current series of studies offers strong initial support for the reliability
and validity of the three versions of the ARBS for use with both lesbian and gay student
populations and heterosexual student populations. The ARBS exhibited factor structure
stability and moderate to-high estimates of internal consistency reliability and test-retest
reliability over a 3-week period (Mohr & Rochlen, 1999, p. 365). For the purposes of
this thesis research study, it was decided to use the measure that would include questions
geared towards both male and females. Although future studies could potentially include
the use of the ARBS-M and ARBS-F to determine if more specific lessons towards
bisexual males and bisexual females would effect specifically these two variations of
bisexuality, this was simply too complex for the scope of this study.
Measure for transphobia. The final measuring tool selected was a measure to
find rates of transphobia in the students. The Genderism and Transphobia scale (G&TS),
as shown in Appendix E, developed by D. Hill and B. Willoughby (2005) was selected.
Transphobia, as explained by Hill and Willoughby, indicates that this phenomenon
occurs when a person expresses their emotional disgust toward individuals who do not
conform to societys gender expectations. Similar to homophobia... transphobia involves
the feeling of revulsion to masculine women, feminine men, cross-dressers,
transgenderists, and/or transsexuals (Hill & Willoughby, 2005, p. 533). This is


28
distinguished in Hill and Willoughbys research from genderism. The G&TS was also a
Likert scale design that consisted of 32 questions, 30 of which required reverse scoring
conversions. Hill & Willoughby produced plenty of valid evidence, first with convergent
evidence by proving strong correlations between the G&TS and other homophobia and
gender role scales. Additional evidence indicated that the G&TS had the ability to
predict a parents reaction to gender non-conforming children as well as predicting a
persons previous contact with gender non-conformist (Hill & Willoughby, 2005).
Procedure
The design of the study remained simple. First, the MHS-G, MHS-L, ARBS and
G&TS would be given to the students prior to being exposed to the LGBT lesson plan
and then again after the lesson plan was conducted. To promote honest answers and
reduce fear and anxiety to report true feelings, the surveys were anonymous and
distributed in self-sealing manila envelopes. The self-sealing manila envelopes and
surveys were all assigned a unique number. The purpose of the number was to match the
individuals results from to their first round of answers to their second round of answers.
The surveys were conducted in exam fashion, not allowing students to look upon each
others answers and immediately sealed and given to the researcher once completed. The
researcher secured the sealed responses, and there was no list that would reference a
student to the number assigned to their packet of work. This was all explained to the
students the day the study took place to reassure all participants that their responses were
secure.


29
In regards to selecting the content for the lesson plans, there were many resources
available online to help find engaging content. Much of this content came from the Gay,
Lesbian, Straight Education Network or GLSEN website, an organization which
promotes positive and effective educational environments for all students, especially
those in the LGBT community. The GLSEN website has pre-organized lesson plans,
including visual and audio material, allowing an educator to pick and choose what is
relevant to the selected lesson plan desired. The use of pre-existing material that GLSEN
provides is valuable for many reasons. First, the use of empirical based research to
explain items like sexual orientation and gender identity helps validate the lessons and
the academic merit attached to each lesson. Second, given GLSENs objective, the use of
their material and using GLSEN as a resource in general makes this study easy to
replicate. Overall, the lesson was only forty-five minutes long and gaining enough
material was simple. It was more difficult to select which content would not be included
in the lesson. Material was selected by its importance to the LGBT equal rights
movement, as well as a thorough explanation of the differences between biological
assigned sex, sexual orientation and gender identity.
The lesson was created in a Prezi software format. Prezi is a presentation-based
software very similar to Microsoft Office software Power Point. In this software a user
can embedded videos and text making it easy to organize the structure of the lesson.
Initially there were three complete lessons. One lesson was on gay, lesbian and bisexual
history, another on transgender identity history and the third on LGBT Psychology.
Because of the time restraints the LGBT Psychology lesson was selected and selected
historical content was used and incorporated into the LGBT Psychology lesson. Alfred


30
Kinsey and his discoveries were discussed, this being significant because he was able to
show same sex behavior was much more common than previously thought. Also, events
like the Stonewall Riots of New York City were introduced. This event kicked of the
Gay Rights Movement bringing more awareness to general public about LGBT peoples
social injustices. Including these historical events, there was also a discussion regarding
the differences between biological sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender
expression. These were important topics to discuss because they help combat
heteronormativity by educating youth to move away from a binary way of thinking in
terms of sexuality and gender identity. It is understanding in content such as this in
which we hope to see benefit in understanding and sensitivity towards LGBT people and
their identities, it is expected to see reduction of instances of harassment. GLSENs
resources were more than adequate to address such topics also. They included media
files that could be played to the class and provide a personal account of events like the
Stone Wall Riots.
Finally, selecting the sample for the study became the most complicated aspect of
this research project. There was no demographic or criteria established to select a
participant for the research study, with the exception that participants must be a high
school student in a class that was willing to participate in the study and an instructor
willing to have the lesson conducted in their class. Initially, this appeared to be an easy
task, but as time went on it became painfully clear that participation would be the biggest
challenge. This is not to say that students were unwilling; this speaks more to the lack of
administrative and educator support. Prior to finding George Washington High School in
the Denver Public School system, there had been previous attempts or contacts with three


31
other schools. In all three cases prior to George Washington High School, contact was
made with an interested educator. As the review board processes would begin for each of
these locations, each would withdraw from the study citing reasons related to funding,
lack of time or, in one case, no response at all once the curriculum was provided. Even
after explanation that funding was not needed, participation was still denied. Speculation
can be made as to why it was so difficult to find willing educators or administration to
participate in the study; however, existing research does support the theory that the
attitudes or lack of support by administrators and educators who were initially contacted
could potentially be related to the experiences an ally could face by becoming subjects of
the social ridicule or the perceived negative reactions parents may give. The process of
becoming an LGBT ally can be difficult because heterosexuals experience negative
reactions from others when they openly defend LGBT persons (Ji et al., 2009, p. 403).
Even in the case of George Washington High School, the educator who was willing to
have the lessons and study conducted in his or her classroom was required to convince
the hesitant school principal who fundamentally disagreed with the focus of the study.
Even after consent was given by the principal, it was not clear that the principal would
actually be considered an advocate for LGBT curriculum in a public school system,
raising much insight into the importance of a LGBT supportive administration and the
value of continued training for individuals in these positions.
Plan of Analyses
The calculations of survey results were through Excel spreadsheets that were
created in a single workbook to tabulate the score for each survey. Those requiring


32
reverse scoring were automatically converted using a general if formula. The entries
would sum the total for the converted scores to the sum of the regular scored questions
giving the overall total for each survey. High numbers represented low levels of phobia
while low numbers expressed higher levels of phobia. Levels of high, medium and low
phobia were established by taking the highest and lowest possible score range for each
survey and dividing them into three equal parts, or as close to equal as possible. In
addition to individual scores, the spreadsheet would also tabulate all students scores
entered and provide overall classroom averages and outcomes.


33
CHAPTER IV
RESULTS
Overall Report
The findings in the study indicated an overall positive effect with the increase of
numeric scores for all surveys after the 45-minute lesson was conducted. Higher scores
represented lower instances of phobia for each measure, and in each category overall
there was a minor increase in scores. When reviewing the data in total, it was surprising
to find that, in general, students all scored low in phobia (scoring legend shown in
Appendix E. 1) in the surveys given prior to the lesson being conducted. Only one student
hit the medium range of phobia on all surveys, with the exception of the G&TS survey.
In this area they scored low in phobia. This student did show an increase in score,
meaning reduction in phobia after the lesson concluded. From the seven students who
did remain, those results were then taken and the mean was calculated for all surveys to
see the overall classroom response to the lesson. Overall, there was an increase in score
for all surveys conducted, which indicates a decline in phobia for the various sexual
minorities. The MHS-G, as shown in Figure 4.1, had the largest increase of 3%, from an
average of 100 pre-lesson score to an average of 103 post-lesson score. The G&TS, as
shown in Figure 4.2, had the second largest increase of 1.89% with a mean score of 127.6
pre-lesson and a mean score of 130 post-lesson. The MHS-L, as shown in Figure 4.3,
increased by 1.12% with a mean score of 106.8 pre-lesson and a mean score of 108 post-
lesson. Finally, the least amount of increase that occurred on the various measures was
with the ARBS, which is shown in Figure 4.4. The survey results showed an increase of


34
1.27%, taking the mean score of the students from 79 pre-lesson to 80 post-lesson survey.
The results of the study reflect the hypothesis presented.
Individual differences in changes: Show no differences. Three of the seven
students (student #2 shown in Appendix E.2, student #5 shown in Appendix E.3 and
student #7 shown in Appendix E.4) scored exactly the same on their surveys showing no
effect whatsoever from the lesson provided. This is not to be viewed as discouraging
because in each of these cases the student scored very low in phobias all around,
indicating that there may have been pre-existing acceptance and understanding prior to
participating in the lesson provided. Also, these three students all had the highest scores
on the surveys, which would indicate that they all express the lowest levels of phobia in
the classroom.
All three students were female; one was Latina while the other two were African
American. Two of the female students reported being straight, while the third identified
as asexual. For a student to identify as asexual brings to attention the possibility that this
student may have been educated in the area of sexual orientation and gender identity.
The expectation for this research project is that a person who is exposed to or has
knowledge of these concepts would display lower levels of phobia, and it could be
cautiously assumed that this students results would still hold true to the theory: one
possibility for the cause of the students scores could be exposure to this information
from somewhere outside of the classroom.


35
Individual differences in changes: Showing minor improvement. Three of the
seven students (students #3, shown in Appendix E.5, student #6, shown in Appendix E.6
and student #8, shown in Appendix E7) showed minor improvements with a minor
increase in score for each of the surveys conducted or expressed a minor decrease in one
of the areas. Student #3, for example, scored a 95 out of a possible 110 for the MHS-G.
Student #3 actually dropped in score to 87, which did not trend with the other surveys.
The MHS-L improved from a score of 93 prior to the lesson to a score of 94. The G&TS
also had improvement with an original score of 114 out of a possible 147 but showed a
growth to 118 after the lesson was provided. The scores for the ARBS for student #3
remained the same at 66. It is important to note that student #3 scored before and after
the lesson in the low end of phobia. Similar patterns existed with student #6 and student
#8. With these two students, however, there was no decrease in scores whatsoever, only
minor improvements by a couple points.
Student #3, who did show a decline in score from the pre-lesson survey to the
post-lesson survey, was the only male in the class. He also only declined in score from
the MHS-G and improved in all other areas. This finding is also consistent with existing
research, which indicates, although men are generally more homophobic than women,
people tend to be more homophobic toward homosexuals of their own sex (Raja &
Stokes, 1998, p. 116). It is unclear why this score would actually drop. One may
speculate it could be rushing through the surveys or making a mistake while marking the
responses only because the score, regardless of decreasing, still remained in the scope of
a low homophobia score.


36
Individual differences in changes: Showing a major improvement. The most
notable improvement was with student #1; results are shown on Appendix E. 8. Student
#1 was an eighteen year old, straight, African American female. Student #1 was the only
student to actually score in the moderate phobia categories on the MHS-G (score 72),
MHS-L (score 86) and ARBS (score 60). Prior to the lesson, the only score that was
considered low in phobia was the G&TS (score 124). After the lesson was conducted,
student #ls scores jumped, pulling her into the low phobia categories for all surveys.
The MHS-G scored post-lesson at 101, showing a 40% increase in score. The MHS-L
increased by 7% with a score of 92, the G&TS increased by 9.7% with a score of 136 and
the ARBS increased by 10% with the final score of 66.
As previously stated, there were two additional students who did participate in the
lessons but did not complete the surveys. Data was not provided by the two participants;
one declined to complete the surveys and one entered the class with less than twenty
minutes remaining. The latter missed the first set of surveys prior to the lesson and
defaced and only partially completed some of the surveys after the lesson was conducted,
which made the data unusable. The student who declined to participate was an African
American female, and the student who showed up late and defaced and partially
completed the surveys was an African American male. The decision to leave out the
partially completed surveys was based on the logic that no data was collected prior to the
lesson and calculating results would not be possible to effectively measure the lesson
plans effect.


Modern Homphobia Scale Gay
OVERALL STUDENT AVERAGE SCORES
108
106
104
102
100
98
96
94
MHS-G
1 Student Survey Data Pre-LGBT Curriculum Treatment
1 Student Survey Data Post-LGBT Curriculum Treatment
Figure 4.1 MHS-G Overall Student Averages
Genderism Transphobia Scale
OVERALL STUDENT AVERAGE SCORES
132 ->
130
130
128 i
i
126 -j
124
G&rTS
- Student Survey Data Pre-LGBT Curriculum Treatment
- student Survey Data Post-LGBT Curriculum Treatment
Figure 4.2 G&TS Overall Student Averages


38
Modern Homphobia Scale Lesbian
OVERALL STUDENT AVERAGE SCORES
110 -
108 i
106
104
102 -
100
108
MHS-L
Student Survey Data Pre-LGBT Curriculum Treatment
student Survey Data Post-LGBT Curriculum Treatment
Figure 4.3 MHS-L Overall Student Averages
84
82
80
78
76
Attitudes Regarding Bisexuality Seale
OVERALL STUDENT AVERAGE SCORES
80.14888714
ARBS
i Student Survey Data Pre-LGBT Cirrieulum Treatment
1 Student Survey Data Post-LGBT Cirrieulum Treatment
Figure 4.4 ARBS Overall Student Averages


39
The simple 45-minute lesson plan did have a positive effect on the various scores
for the measures used to gage homophobia, transphobia and biphobia. Although the
increases in scores were not extremely significant, there was a positive effect to student
levels of the various phobias by conducting a lesson that explains the differences between
biological assigned sex, sexual orientation and gender identity. Historical content also
provided a model of context in which a student can apply the knowledge gained by the
empirical research and relate it to real life events. Some students were obviously more
impacted than others by the content that was provided; however, probably the most
surprising finding in the study was the overall low levels of phobia before the lesson even
started. Going into the study, it was assumed that a younger generation would be more
accepting than older generations simply because of the differences in societys beliefs
from the past to now, but with the measures provided, it was not expected that the levels
of phobia would be so low initially.
One issue did surface during the calculation of the results that was overlooked
during the establishment of the documentation used to survey the students. The G&TS is
a 32-question seven-point Likert scale survey; however, when scoring the results a
typographic error was found. The G&TS was a three-page survey; during the printing of
the surveys, the second page, which consisted of questions 12 through 22, cut off the
seventh point scale option strongly agree. Because the issue complicated the
calculations of this one survey, the results being reported are based off an adjusted scale
of low, medium and high levels of transphobia and questions 12 through 22 were omitted
from the calculation of scores on the G&TS for all students. This does present challenges
in regards to validating the evidence that there was a positive effect with the lessons and


40
students levels of transphobia because it does not use the measure exactly as it is
outlined in the empirical research supporting the measure. However, calculating the
results that could be calculated does help support the possibility that the omitted 11
questions would have potentially trended in the same fashion as the results that were used
in the G&TS, as well as the other measures that were calculated with no issue.


41
CHAPTER V
DISCUSSION
There is no question that the phrase knowledge is power gained popularity with
American society by people realizing the truth that exists in the statement for many
applicable areas in life. Often when someone refers to an individual as racist, words like
ignorant, naive and uneducated are used to describe the persons thought processes that
are used to justify their bias. Thinking of the bias, bullying and bad social climates for
LGBT youth, it would be irrational to not view the potential solution to the problem as
education. If knowledge is power and society believes this concept in regards to so many
other areas in life, the issue with the lack of acceptance and support for LGBT youth
could only be due to the lack of knowledge the general population has regarding such
topics. Many behavioral issues, including bullying, can often be traced back to family
circumstance or a social climate that has few sanctions against such behaviors. Education
is one of the only true factors that will help society move in a direction where it treats all
members of its communities with the same dignity and respect as the next. But how does
that happen?
An interesting finding in this study was that the students had lower rates of
homophobia, transphobia and biphobia prior to the lesson being conducted than expected.
Aside from the generational assumptions of more exposure and openness in society leads
to a more accepting youth, the question remains: are the measures already outdated due to
the rapid changes our society is facing with the progression of the LGBT movement?
The need for a larger widespread study would possibly address this issue because LGBT


42
issues tend to be more severe in various parts of the United States than others. Would
this study even be allowed in some states? It is very possible that the same results would
be replicated in a school with a different social climate.
This particular study was able to show that a 45-minute lesson could reduce the
overall averages of homophobia in a classroom by 3%. Biphobia reduced in averages by
1.27% and transphobia by 1.89%. As this study articulates, minor flashes of education
can be impactful. After many challenges getting the project vetted, approved and
implemented there were only 45 minutes the educator that volunteered was willing to
afford for such a lesson. The original intention of this project was to have more time with
students to dive deeper into the content of a LGBT psychology and history course.
Originally, two lessons were created independent of each other, but after the final
approval allowed for only the 45 minutes, the lessons were consolidated and adjusted to
fit into the assigned time slot. Improvements to this study would be to have a larger
sample size and more time to conduct a longer lesson. 45-minute lessons are fine if they
are conducted over multiple days. This presents an entirely different set of issues in
terms of valid evidence; however, those can all be managed with more planning.
The present research expresses how the lack of support starts with administration
and trickles down to educators and other school staff. Trying to gain participation and
approval from various schools in the Colorado public system reflects these findings.
Although there was only one circumstance where an administrator explicitly expressed
their personal disagreement with the focus of the research project, the reasoning not to
participate or the actual disregard of the communications sent implied there was some
apprehension by the educators or maybe their own administrators. Others who were


43
asked to participate would actively engage in communication until the focus of the
research project and material was viewed. Once an educator saw the lesson plans and
focus, communication would simply cease. Emails would no longer be replied to or, if
they were replied to, the responses would come sporadically and months apart. This
research project and seeking participation started in August of 2014. Final agreement to
participate from a willing administration and educator did not occur until April of 2015.
One strong predictor of improving social climate for LGBT youth, as outlined by
Kosciw et al., is the inclusion of a Gay Student Alliance (GSA) in the school. After the
findings, it was verified that George Washington High School does in fact have a GSA
program. The other predictor of a better social climate for LGBT youth is a supportive
educator. This research indicates that a student being exposed to even one supportive
educator could change the course of a LGBT students social experience (Kosciw et al.,
2012). The educator who agreed to participate does exemplify the type of educator who
makes it clear they support LGBT youth. Overall, George Washington High School does
have qualities in its system that promote a better social climate for LGBT students and
their allies, which can also be the cause of the findings in this study that the students
already had lower rates of phobia.
The process and outcome of this research study brings to attention items that are
worthy of noting. One of these items is the extreme importance of a supportive
administration. Supportive includes being up to date on the current research and
recommendations of various sources to protect all students. During this study, when
attempting to gain consent from school administration to conduct the study, there was a
resistant administrator who required convincing by the educator who agreed to do the


44
study. This member of administration had the ability to cancel the study, and in
conversation it became painfully clear that this individual fundamentally disagreed with
relevance for LGBT education in the classroom. Fortunately for the study, the educator
was able to successfully convince administration to consent to the study; however, it was
still concerning that administration had personal feelings that were contrary to current
research. Because a school administration has so much power over the curriculum that is
taught and the allowance of a GSA in the school system, it is important to note that the
school climate is just as much the responsibility of the administration as it is the
educators, students and parents. Should administration be required to take special
training to address and work with LGBT youth in order to promote the most healthy and
supportive policies in a school district?
This study validates the previous findings of several other studies, which claim
supportive educators, programs like GSAs and LGBT inclusive curriculum all help
improve the overall social climate of a school. Although it did not directly measure the
overall school climate, one can assume with lower rates of homophobia, transphobia and
biphobia the social climate would be marginally better than one which does not have the
empirically supported recommendations to improve a school climate. LGBT psychology
and LGBT history are extremely important topics to teach because they help not only
explain the evolution of human thought on homosexuality and transgender identity, but
they also explain the phenomenon of items like gender identity from an empirical
standpoint, making it easier for students to think critically about these topics. The point
is not to force belief on any student but to give them the opportunity to think of LGBT
issues from an objective point of view with all the facts presented.


45
CHAPTER VI
CONCLUSION
With the consistent reports of poor social climates for students, especially LGBT
youth, one must ask where does the responsibility fall to resolve such issues. Research
and evidence is growing and indicates that there are several approaches that can be made
to improve such poor conditions. Substance abuse and poor academic outcomes are some
of the items that LGBT youth suffer from far worse than the average student. The
responsibility falls on all active members of the institution of education. This includes
administrators, educators, parents, faculty and students themselves. Each has their own
role in education and all should be advocating for the best practices that help promote and
establish better learning conditions for all students. This research study shows that there
are benefits from a simple 45-minute psychology and history lesson. Regardless of the
sample size and limitations to the study, if studied on a larger scale, it is very possible the
results would be greater than they were for this forward thinking high school in the
Denver Public School system. The challenges do not reside in the empirical research or
understanding of the issues with LGBT youth as much as they reside in the resistance
from society to allow such education. Because this is such a complicated endeavor, it is
important to promote the inclusion of curriculum that teaches empirical truths about the
human experience and, as history can prove, this includes gay, lesbian, bisexual,
transgender and all the other gender non-conforming sexual minorities that have existed
since the beginning of time.


46
REFERENCES
Bilodeau, B. L., Renn, K. A., (2005). Analysis of LGBT identity development models
and implications for practice. New Directions for Student Services, 111, 25-39.
Birkett, M., Espelage, D. L., & Koenig, B. (2009). LGB and questioning students in
schools: The moderating effects of homophobic bullying and school climate on
negative outcomes. Journal of Youth Adolescence, 38, 989-1000.
Bontempo, D. E., & D'Augelli, A. R. (2002). Effects of at-school victimization and
sexual orientation on lesbian, gay, or bisexual youths' heath risk behaviors.
Journal of Adolescent Health, 30, 364-374.
Cass, V. C. (1979). Homosexual identity formation: A theoretical model. Journal of
Homosexuality, 4(5), 219-235.
Chesir-Teran, D., & Hughes, D. (2009). Heterosexism in high school and victimization
among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and questioning students. Journal of Youth
Adolescence, 38, 963-975.
D'Augelli, A. R., Pilkington, N. W., & Hershberger, S. L. (2002). Incidence and mental
health impact of sexual orientation victimization of lesbian, gay, and bisexual
youths in high school. School Psychology Quarterly, 17(2), 148-167.
Definition of heteronormative. (2015). In Merriam-Webster. Retrieved from
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heteronormative
GWHS school profile, (n.d.). Retrieved May 25, 2015, from George Washington High
School website: http://gwhs.dpskl2.org/school-profile/
Hannah, D., (2011). Shutting lgbt students out: How current anti-bullying policies fail
America's youth. LGBTQ Policy Journal at the Harvard Kennedy School, 1, 85-
92.


47
Hill, D. B., & Willoughby, B. L. B. (2005). The development and validation of
genderism and transphobia scale. Sex Roles, 53(7/8). 531-544
Ji, P., Du Bois, S. N., Finnessy, P., (2009). An academic course that teaches
heterosexual students to be allies to lgbt communities: A qualitative analysis.
Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services, 21(4), 402-429.
Kosciw, J. G., Greytak, E. A., Bartkiewicz, M. J., Boesen, M. J., & Palmer, N. A. (2012).
The 2011 National School Climate Survey: The experiences of lesbian, gay,
bisexual and transgender youth in our nations schools. New York: GLSEN.
McNeill, T. (2013). Sex education and the promotion of heteronormativity. Sexualities,
16(1), 826-846.
Mohr, J. J., & Rochlen, A. B. (1999). Measuring attitudes regarding bisexuality in
lesbian, gay male, and heterosexual populations. Journal of Counseling
Psychology, 46(3), 353-369.
Morgan, S. W., Stevens, P. E., (2012). Transgender identity development
as represented by a group of transgendered adults. Issues in Mental Health
Nursing, 33, 301-308.
Mustanski, B. S., Garofalo, R., Emerson, E. M., (2010). Mental health disorders,
psychological distress, and suicidality in a diverse sample of lesbian, gay,
bisexual, and transgender youths. American Journal of Public Health, 100(12)
2426-2432.
Pearson, J., Muller, C., Wilkinson, L., (2007). Adolescent same-sex
attraction and academic outcomes: The role of school attachment and
engagement. Social Problems, 54(4), 523-542.
Raj, S., & Stokes, J. P. (1998). Assessing attitudes towards lesbian and gay men: The
modem homophobia scale. Journal of Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Identity, 3(2),
113-134.


48
Ryan, C., Patraw, J.M., Bednar, M., (2013). Discussing princess boys and pregnant men:
Teaching about gender diversity and transgender experiences within an
elementary school curriculum. Journal ofLGBT Youth, 10(1-2)


49
APPENDIX A
MODERN HOMOSEXUAL SCALE GAY
Instructions:
This survey is intended for the research regarding individual feelings towards
homosexual men. There are no right or wrong answers to the statements that are being
asked. You are asked to indicate your honest response that most corresponds to your
personal feelings, beliefs and attitude regarding each statement. All responses will be
retained, however, participation is anonymous.
1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 Neutral 4 Agree 5 Strongly Agree
1.1 wouldn't mind going to a party that included gay men.
2.1 would not mind working with a gay man.
3.1 welcome new friends who are gay.
4.1 would be sure to invite the same-sex partner of my gay male friend to my party.
5.1 won't associate with a gay man for fear of catching AIDS. (R)
6.1 don't think it would negatively affect our relationship if I learned that one of my close
relatives was gay.
7.1 am comfortable with the thought of two men being romantically involved.
8.1 would remove my child from class if I found out the teacher was gay. (R)
9. It's all right with me if I see two men holding hands.
10. Male homosexuality is a psychological disease. (R)
11. Physicians and psychologists should strive to find a cure for male homosexuality. (R)
12. Gay men should undergo therapy to change their sexual orientation. (R)
13. Gay men could be heterosexual if they really wanted to be. (R)
14.1 don't mind companies using openly gay male celebrities to advertise their products.
15.1 would not vote for a political candidate who was openly gay. (R)
16. Hospitals shouldn't hire gay male doctors. (R)
17. Gay men shouldn't be allowed to join the military. (R)
18. Movies that approve of male homosexuality bother me. (R)
19. Gay men should not be allowed to be leaders in religious organizations. (R)
20. Marriages between two gay men should be legal.
21.1 am tired of hearing about gay men's problems. (R)
22. Gay men want too many rights. (R)
Note. (R) Indicates item is reversed scored


50
APPENDIX B
MODERN HOMOSEXUAL SCALE LESBIAN
Instructions:
This survey is intended for the research regarding individual feelings towards lesbian
women. There are no right or wrong answers to the statements that are being asked. You
are asked to indicate your honest response that most corresponds to your personal
feelings, beliefs and attitude regarding each statement. All responses will be retained,
however, participation is anonymous.
1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 Neutral 4 Agree 5 Strongly Agree
1. Employers should provide health care benefits to the partners of their lesbian
employees.
2. Teachers should try to reduce their student's prejudice toward lesbians.
3. Lesbians who adopt children do not need to be monitored more closely than
heterosexual parents.
4. Lesbians should be allowed to be leaders in religious organizations. (R)
5. Lesbians are as capable as heterosexuals of forming long-term romantic relationships.
6. School curricula should include positive discussion of lesbian topics.
7. Marriages between two lesbians should be legal.
8. Lesbians should not be allowed to join the military. (R)
9.1 would not vote for a political candidate who was openly lesbian. (R)
10. Lesbians are incapable of being good parents. (R)
11.1 am tired of hearing about lesbians' problems. (R)
12.1 wouldn't mind going to a party that included lesbians.
13.1 wouldn't mind working with a lesbian.
14.1 am comfortable with the thought of two women being romantically involved.
15. It's all rights with me if I see two women holding hands.
16. If my best female friend was dating a woman, it would not upset me.
17. Movies that approve of female homosexuality bother me. (R)
18.1 welcome new friends who are lesbian.
19.1 don't mind companies using openly lesbian celebrities to advertise their products.
20.1 would be sure to invite the same-sex partner of my lesbian friend to my party.
21.1 don't think it would negatively affect our relationship if I learned that one of my
close relatives was a lesbian.
22. Physicians and psychologists should strive to find a cure for female homosexuality.
(R)
23. Lesbians should undergo therapy to change their sexual orientation. (R)
24. Female homosexuality is a psychological disease. (R)
Note. (R) Indicates item is reversed scored


51
APPENDIX C
ATTITUDES REGARDING BISEXUALITY SCALE
Instructions:
This survey is intended for the research regarding individual feelings towards bisexual
individuals. There are no right or wrong answers to the statements that are being asked.
You are asked to indicate your honest response that most corresponds to your personal
feelings, beliefs and attitude regarding each statement. All responses will be retained,
however, participation is anonymous.
1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 Neutral 4 Agree 5 Strongly Agree
1) Male bisexuals are afraid to commit to one lifestyle.
(R)
2) Most women who identify as bisexual have not yet discovered their true sexual
orientation. (R)
3) Most men who claim to be bisexual are in denial about their true sexual orientation.
(R)
4) Most women who call themselves bisexual are temporarily experimenting with their
sexuality. (R)
5) Male bisexuals have a fear of committed intimate relationships. (R)
6) Lesbians are less confused about their sexuality than bisexual women. (R)
7) Male bisexuality is not usually a phase, but rather a stable sexual orientation.
8) Bisexual women have a clear sense of their true sexual orientation.
9) Just like homosexuality and heterosexuality, bisexuality is a stable sexual orientation
for women.
10) The only true sexual orientations for women are homosexuality and heterosexuality.
(R)
11) Bisexuality in men is immoral. (R)
12) The growing acceptance of female bisexuality indicates a decline in American values.
(R)
13) As far as I'm concerned, female bisexuality is unnatural. (R)
14) Bisexual men are sick. (R)
15) Male bisexuality is not a perversion.
16) I would not be upset if my sister were bisexual.
17) Female bisexuality is harmful to society because it breaks down the natural divisions
between the sexes. (R)
18) Bisexual men should not be allowed to teach children in public schools. (R)
Note. (R) Indicates item is reversed scored


52
APPENDIX D
GENDERISM & TRANSPHOBIA SCALE
Instructions:
This survey is intended for the research regarding individual feelings towards transgender
individuals. There are no right or wrong answers to the statements that are being asked.
You are asked to indicate your honest response that most corresponds to your personal
feelings, beliefs and attitude regarding each statement. All responses will be retained,
however, participation is anonymous.
1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 Neutral 4 Agree 5 Strongly Agree
1) Men who cross-dress for sexual pleasure disgust me (R)
2) Sex change operations are morally wrong (R)
3) God made two sexes and two sexes only (R)
4) If a friend wanted to have his penis removed in order to become a woman, I would
openly support him (R)
5) A man who dresses as a woman is a pervert (R)
6) It is morally wrong for a woman to present herself as a man in public (R)
7) Women who see themselves as men are abnormal
8) People are either men or women (R)
9) Feminine men make me feel uncomfortable (R)
10) Feminine boys should be cured of their problem (R)
11) 1 would avoid talking to a woman if I knew she had surgically created a penis and
testicles (R)
12) If I found out that my best friend was changing their sex, I would freak out (R)
13) Masculine women make me feel uncomfortable (R)
14) Children should be encouraged to explore their masculinity and femininity (R)
15) I would go to a bar that was frequented by females who used to be males (R)
16) Men who act like women should be ashamed of themselves (R)
17) If a man wearing makeup and a dress, who also spoke in a high voice, approached my
child, I would use physical force to stop him (R)
18) Men who shave their legs are weird (R)
19) My friends and I have often joked about men who dress like women (R)
20) Children should play with toys appropriate to their own sex (R)
21) If I found out that my lover was the other sex, I would get violent (R)
22) I cant understand why a woman would act masculine (R)
23) Its all right to make fun of people who cross-dress (R)
24) Passive men are weak (R)
25) Individuals should be allowed to express their gender freely
26) If I saw a man on the street that I thought was really a woman, I would ask him if he
was a man or a woman (R)
27) I have behaved violently towards a woman because she was too masculine (R)
28) If I encountered a male who wore high-heeled shoes, stockings and makeup, I would
consider beating him up (R)


53
29) I have behaved violently towards a man because he was too feminine (R)
30) I have beat up men who act like sissies (R)
31) 1 have teased a woman because of her masculine appearance or behavior (R)
32) I have teased a man because of his feminine appearance or behavior (R)
Note. (R) Indicates item is reversed scored


54
APPENDIX E
SURVEY RESULTS
Appendix E. 1 Survey Scoring Legend *presented in the order discussed


Appendix E.2 Student #2 Results


Student Survey Data Pre-LGBT Cirriculum Treatment
MM/DO/YYYY MHS-G Raw Scr. MKS-G Convert MKS-L Raw Scr. MHS-L Convert GATS Raw Scr. GATS Convert ARBS Raw. So. ARBS Convert
Question *1 5 5 5 5 2 6 1 5
Question *2 5 5 5 5 1 7 1 5
Question *3 5 5 5 5 4 4 2 4
Question *4 4 4 5 5 7 7 1 5
Question *5 1 5 5 5 1 7 2 4
Question *6 5 5 5 5 1 7 1 5
Question *7 5 5 5 5 1 7 5 5
Quest 0" *8 1 5 : 5 4 4 S S
Quest o" 5 5 i 5 1 7 5 S
Quest sr *10 1 5 i 1 1 7 1 5
Queston *11 1 S l 5 1 7 1 5
Queston *12 1 5 5 5 1 5
Quest on *13 1 5 5 5 1 5
Quest on *14 5 5 5 5 I S
Quest on *15 1 S 5 5 5 5
Quest on *16 1 5 5 5 5 5
Quest on *17 1 5 1 5 1 S
Queston *18 1 5 5 5 1 s
Quest on *19 1 S 5 5
Quest on *20 5 5 4 4
Quest on *21 1 5 5 5
Queston *22 1 5 1 5
Totals
57
109
67
115
40
88
Student Survey Data Post-LGBT Cirrlculum Treatment
Appendix E.3 Student #5 Results


MM/DD/YYYY
Question irl
Question >2
Question >3
Question >4
Question i5
Question 116
Question *7
Quest on W8
Quest or 9
Quest.on ItlO
Quest on mi
Quest on *12
Quest on el 3
Quest on >14
Quest on >15
Quest on *16
Quest on >17
Quest on >18
Quest on *19
Question >20
Quest on >21
Quest on >22
Quest on >23
Question >24
Quest on >25
Quest on >26
Quest on >27
Question >28
Quest on *29
Quest on >30
Question >31
Quest pn *32
Totals
Appendix E.4 Student #7 Results


Student Survey Data Pre-LGBT Cirriculum Treatment
MM/DO/YYYY MHS-G Rw Scr. MHS-G Convert MHS-L Raw Scr. MHS-L Convert GATS Raw Scr. GATS Convert ARBS Raw. Scr. ARBS Convert
Question ft 4 4 3 3 2 6 2 4
Question *2 5 S 4 4 2 6 4 2
Question *3 5 5 3 3 2 6 2 4
Question R4 4 4 4 4 6 6 2 4
Question RS 2 4 S 5 2 & 3 3
Question R6 5 5 4 4 2 6 4 2
Question *7 4 4 5 5 4 4 4 4
Queston rs 1 S 2 4 5 3 4 4
Quest on R9 5 5 4 2 2 6 4 4
Quest-on. RIO 1 5 4 4 2 6 2 4
Quest on Rll 1 5 S 1 3 S 3 3
Quest on R12 1 5 4 4 2 4
Queston R13 3 3 5 5 2 4
Quest on Rl4 4 4 4 4 1 S
Quest on RlS 2 4 4 4 2 2
Queston R16 2 4 4 4 4 4
Queston R17 2 4 4 2 2 4
Queston R18 3 3 4 4 1 5
Queston R19 1 5 4 4
Quest on R20 5 5 4 4
Queston R21 3 3 4 4
Queston R22 2 4 1 S
Totals
65
95
87
93
48
66
Student Survey Data Post-LGBT Cirriculum Treatment
Appendix E.5 Student #3 Results


Student Survey Data Pre-LGBT Cirriculum Treatment
MM/DO/mV MHS-G Raw Scr. MHS-G Convert MHS-l Raw Scr. MHS-L Convert G&TSRewScr. GATS Convert ARBS Raw. Scr. ARBS Convert
Question *1 5 5 5 1 7 1 5
Question *2 S 5 5 5 1 7 1 5
Question *3 5 5 5 5 1 7 1 S
Question *4 5 5 5 5 7 " 1 5
Question ns 1 5 5 5 1 7 1 5
Question *6 5 5 5 5 1 7 1 5
Question *7 5 5 5 S 1 7 5 5
Question R8 5 : 1 5 1 7 5 5
Question eg 5 5 1 5 1 7 5 5
Question *10 1 5 1 1 1 7 1 5
Question *11 1 5 1 5 1 7 1 5
Queston *12 1 5 5 5 1 5
Quest-on *13 1 5 5 S 1 1 S
Question *14 5 " 5 5 5 1 5
Question *15 1 5 5 S 5 S
Quest on *16 5 1 5 5 1 1
Quest on *17 1 5 1 5 1 5
Quesion *18 1 5 5 5 1 5
Quest on *19 1 5 5 5
Quest on *20 5 5 5 5
Question *21 1 5 5 5
Quest-on *22 1 5 : 5
Totals
66
102
88
116
27
141
34
86
Student Survey Data Post-LGBT Cirriculum Treatment
Appendix E.6 Student #6 Results


Student Survey Data Pre-LGBT Cirriculum Treatment
Student Survey Data Post-LGBT Cirriculum Treatment
MHS-G Raw Scr.
MH5-L Raw Scr. MHS-l Convert GATS Raw Scr. GATS Convert ARBS Raw Scr.
Appendix E.7 Student #8 Results


Appendix E.8 Student #1 Results


Full Text

PAGE 1

! "" THE I NFLUENCES OF LGBT CURRICULUM ON ADOLESCENT HOMOPHOBIA, BIPHOBIA & TRANSPHOBIA by JASON ERIC SALAZAR B.A Metropolitan State University 2012 A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado in partial f ulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Arts Educational Psychology 2015

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! "" 2015 JASON ERIC SALAZAR ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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! """ This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by Jason Eric Salazar has been approved for the Educational Psychology Program by Caron Westland Chair Patty Meek Jung In Kim July 23 2015

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! "# Salazar Jason Eric ( M.A. Educational Psychology ) T he influence of lgbt curriculum on adolescent homophobia, biphobia & transphobia Thesis dir ected by Associate Clinical Professor Caron A. Westland ABSTRACT Current research has empirically supported that the public school system has an issue with poor social climates for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students (LGBT) This has had detr imental effects to the well being and educational outcomes for LGBT youth (Kosciw, Greytak, Bartkiewicz, Boesen, & Palmer, 2012) Research has not only uncovered the problems (bullying, poor school policies, lack of education) that promote these issues, b ut they have also found solutions, which inclu de supportive administration, the inclusions of programs like Gay Student Alliances (GSA) and LGBT curriculum. T his research study attempted to uncover the effect to students' levels of homophobia, biphobia an d transphobia w h en exposed to a LGBT psychology and history lesson. The study found that a simple 45 minute lesson did in fact reduce levels of the sexual minority phobias in students but also provided evidence that more exposure (and a larger sample size ) may provide a clearer picture of the actual potential of understanding concepts in LGBT psychology and history. It also validated that the inclusion of a GSA program and supportive educator can also establish a better social climate because all students exhibited low levels of phobia prior to the lesson. The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication. Approved: Caron A Westland

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! # TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION . ..... . .. .... . 1 II LITER ATURE REVIEW . . ... .. ...... 6 Heteronormativity in Education . ... 7 LGBT Identity Development ... 10 School Climat e for LGBT Youth ... .. 15 LGBT Curriculum 17 Measures ... .. .. 19 Current Study .. .. 21 III METHODS .. .. .. 23 Participants ... .. .. . ... .23 Measures ... 24 Measures of Homopho bia ... ... 25 Measures of Biphobia ... 26 Measures of Transphobia ...... 27 Procedures ..... 28 Plan of Analyses 31 IV RESULTS ... ... 33 Overall Report ... ... . . 33 Individual Differences in Changes: Show No Difference .. .. 34 Individual Differences in Changes: Showing Minor Improvement ... 35 Individual Differences in Changes: Showing a Major Impro vement ... ..... 36

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! #" V DISCUSSION . .... ... ... 41 VI CONCLUSION 45 REFERENCES .. 46 APPENDIX A MODERN HOMOSEXUALITY SCALE GAY ... .49 APPENDIX B MODERN HOMOSEXUALITY SCALE LE SBIAN ... ... .50 APPENDIX C ATTITUDES REGARDING BISEXUALITY SCALE .. .51 APPENDIX D GENDERISM & TRANSPHOBIA SCALE ... ..52 APPENDIX E SURVEY RESULTS ... ..54 E .1 Survey Scale . . ..54 E .2 Studen t #2 . .. .55 E .3 Student #5 . . ..56 E .4 Stude nt #7... . 57 E .5 Studen t #3. . ..58 E .6 Stude nt #6 59 E .7 Stude nt #8 6 0 E .8 Student #1 61

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! #"" LIST OF FIGURES FIGURE 4.1 MHS G Overall Stude nt Averages. ... ....... 37 4.2 G&TS Overall Stude nt Averages .... ...... 37 4.3 MHS L Overall Stu de nt Averages. ... 3 8 4.4 ARBS Overall Student Avera ges.. .. ... 38

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! #""" LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS LGBT Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender MHS G Modern Homosexuality Scale Gay MHS L Modern Homosexuality Scale Lesbian G&TS Genderism and Transphobia Scale ARBS Attitudes Regarding Bisexuality Scale ARBS M Attitudes Regarding Bisexuality Male ARBS F Attitudes Regarding Bisexuality Female GSA Gay Student Alliance GLSEN Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network

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! 1 CHAPTER I INTRODUCT ION Much of the research related to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth has surfaced issues related to increased instances of substance abuse, mental health issues and of course poor academic performance. Many researchers have been able to relate these issues to poor environmental settings and attitudes towards LGBT people in the public school system (Kosciw, Greytak, Bartkiewicz, Boesen, & Palmer, 2012) Although the research is sound, it seems that the general population has yet to bel ieve that LGBT lessons and curriculum have a place in the public education system. This is not to say there are not some schools that advocate for this change in their districts ; this is to say that the State governments in general have not required such education nor pushed enough for policies that would help in t he effort to improve conditions for LGBT youth The schools that do advocate for this type of education are far and few between and because LGBT philosophies and beliefs contradict with some rel igious affiliations this becomes a highly politicized topic making it difficult to promote change (Hannah, 2011) The research question presented in this thesis originates from this understanding and asks : would the inclusion of a simple LGBT history and LGBT psychology lesson help reduce student s levels of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia ? The learning environment has been found to have a tremendous effect on the e ducational outcomes of students; many theorize the more contentious the experiences f or LGBT youth the more the students become disengage d from education. LGBT students all face similar problems in the educational environment in one form or another

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! 2 M ost of these issues stem from the bias towards LGBT people and the lack of acceptance a nd support by various groups involved in school system s These groups include the administrators, educators, school staff, parents and of course fellow students Key findings in the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Networks 2011 National Climate Survey found that Schools nationwide are hostile environments for a distressing number of LGBT students, the overwhelming majority of whom hear homophobic remarks and experience harassment or assault at school because of their sexual o rientation or gender expre ssion" ( Kosciw et. al. 2012, p. xiv). Part of the public school system's responsibilities are to establish a safe learning environment to improve learning conditions, adhering to best practices uncovered by research like that of theorist Abraham Maslow a nd his theory of hierarchical needs With the daunting statistics current research expresses, it is clear that education is failing in this area. Solutions have been identified by researchers and include supportive educators, inclusive curriculums, stud ent organizations like Gay Student Alliances (GSAs) and comprehensive bullying policies set forth by schools and laws established by local congressional leaders (Kosciw et. al. 2012). With this research it has been shown that simple modifications or add itions to those mentioned does show positive effect s on the social conditions of the school. This in turn may result in better academic performance because LGBT students are more likely to not attend school more regularly and are also able to focus on the ir studies versus dealing with managing their social situations (Kosciw et al 2012). When reviewing the solutions to the problems LGBT students face it becomes quizzical as to why school districts do not use the empirical research in LGBT studies to

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! 3 implement changes in their schools to better support these students. It does not take long to see when discussing people's feelings towards the LGBT community that attitudes vary from accepting to condemning. D epending on th e attitudes from those in admi nistration, faculty parents and their students the social conditions can be devastating and dangerous for LGBT students. Although it is extremely important to have positive supportive attitudes from administrators, educators and parents, it is important to understand that the student body is an extremely influential and crucial force in how an LGBT student will experience their education from an academic and social perspective and how that experience can effect self esteem, substance abuse measures and a cademic performance All participating members of the educational institution do have important roles : without supportive administrations, educators and parents teaching an LGBT curriculum would be impossible. The research study implemented attempt s to provide evidence to these important decision makers so they can personally affect the social climate of their schools by advocating and allowing such curriculum to be taught. The research also hopes to present proof that the lesson does not need to be co mplex and can use empirically supported research and facts to help reduce levels of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in their student body. With more culturally sensitive students one would expect the social climate to improve LGBT students poor men tal health rates substance abuse rates and academic performance One could only hope that it can also inadvertently affect all the participating members of the educational institution. The research study was implemented at George Washington High School in Denver Colorado The school consists of approximately 1,400 students. Of those

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! 4 students 29.8% are African American, 29.5% are Hispanic/Latino, 27.2% are White, 7% are multi racial, 6% are Asian and .5% are Native American. In regards to gender, 56 .6% of students are female and 43.3% are male ( GWHS school profile 2015 ) George Washington High School would be classified as an urban school with a diverse population obviously in terms of ethnicity and race but also in socioeconomic status. The resea rch study conducted at GWHS took a class of seniors and attempted to measure if a simple 45 minute course would have an impact on a student's measure of the various sexual minority phobias. This was accomplished by creating a simple lesson plan that cover ed the explanation of a LGBT identity development by using empirically supported research as well as historical facts to educate how research has come to its current position on the concepts of sexual orientation and gender identity Students were given f our surveys that measure a person's homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. These surveys were conducted prior to the lesson plan and after the lesson plan. The aim of this approach was to study how a small exposure to LGBT material can have an impact on a student's various phobias levels if at all The hypothesis of the research study is that even with a small exposure to empirically supported research there would be a n increase in a student's scores on the surveys which would represent levels of phobia that are reduced This thesis will first be justified with a review of the existing literature and research surrounding these sensitive LGBT issues and the instruments that are being used to measure levels of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia Secon d, an explanation of the methods used to conduct this research study will be discussed Third, there will be an

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! 5 expl anation of the results which will be followed by a discussion of those results and implications. Finally closing thoughts will be address ed in the conclusion.

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! 6 CHAPTER II LITERATURE REVIEW This research study first developed after researching many topics related to LGBT experiences in schools, academic outcomes for th ese students and how to possibly resolve such issue s One primary conce rn was the focus on heteronormative practices or beliefs in classrooms. Heteronormativity is the attitude that heterosexuality is the only normal and natural expression of sexuality (Definition of heteronormative, 2015). This was first examined and fou nd to be an important concept to understand in order to understand the problem and address the issue Also, b efore one could begin addressing these problems it was important to understand how one comes to develop an LGBT identity. Understanding these ex periences are important because the process of LGBT development usually occurs during adolescen ce and can be affected by the school climate. The positive or negative experiences can either he lp or hinder a student's development and academic progress One must also need to understand the potential solutions that researchers suggest in order to improve the school climate for LGBT students T his would include an examination of the perpetuated heteronorma tive features in schools. In educa tion this is found in many ways In addition to these items, a n examination of the different types of LGBT curriculum s and approaches that has been found to provide successful results was also advantageous to re search Finally, a measure of attitudes and feelings (homophobi a, biphobia and transphobia) towards LGBT people was necessary to conduct the study in order to measure student s feelings and attitudes prior to and aft er the lessons were implemented It was equally important to find such measure which had strong validi ty evidence to measure these feelings accurately.

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! 7 Heteronormativity in Education Part of understanding the issues with the education system in regards to LGBT students is to understand what heteronormativity is and how it exists in the school system. As mentioned above, a heteronormative attitude or belief system is one that believes heterosexuality is the only true and "normal" expression of human sexuality When you consider the education system it is easy to find examples of how heteronormative pr actices are common and often overlooked especially in school policy Take California for example, "despite the state's anti discrimination mandate, the state policy documen t articulates the superiority of heteronormative families heteronormative familie s are characterized as functional ,' stable,' and consistent,' which link normative and affective concepts" ( McNeill, 2013, p. 833). The mandate attempts to make clear that a student s should not be taught in a way which does not diminish their family st ructures, but still promotes the most preferred or desirable outcome would be a two parent opposite sexed couple. This is how feelings of heterosexual superiority becomes embedded in culture. Through the process of education the messages are perpetuated a nd are done in subtle ( and sometimes not so subtle ) ways. The assertion of the superiority of a particular family form raises affective and pedagogical problems in the classroom. Acc ording to these state policies, teachers in California and in Prince Wil liam County must simultaneously teach their students that the heteropatriarchal family is most desirable' and manage (or discipline) the negative feelings that might emerge for students whose families look different '" (McNeill, 2013, p. 834). It may see m appropriate that these

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! 8 schools are teaching a practice to be mindfu l of "non traditional" families, but the schools are also in the same lesson distinguishing these families as only "different" and "abnormal" which normalizes only heterosexuality. Norma lization of homosexuality would be the most ideal circumstance for LGBT students. Instead of teaching students that their LGBT peers are only "different" and "abnormal" helps perpetuate the phobia towards these sexually diverse group of students. This is not to say that education should focus on how LGBT students and heterosexual students are the same, which is not favorable either. Combating heteronormativity is about normalizing societies feelings about diverse groups of people, making it normal to see things like same sexed couples holding hands. For the purposes of this thesis research study understanding the concept of heteronormativity is important because it is part of the problem in the school system. This research study suggests that an LGBT in clusive curriculum may teach students about the diverse LGBT populations and also normalize their experiences at the same time, hopefully providing some relief or hopefully a solution to the bullying, harassment and violence LGBT students face In part, focusing on the content of the lessons taught regarding LGBT history and psychology evolved from realizing how prominent the lack of understanding regarding gender identity and sexual orientation was in society. Heteronormativity can also be defined as a systematic process of privileging heterosexuality relative to homosexuality, based on the assumption that heterosexuality and heterosexual power and privilege are normal and ideal (Chesir Teran & Hughes, 2009, p. 964). Many schools can be viewed to have heteronormative components because general society views gender and sexual orientation relative to the social influences in which it exists. Chesir Teran and Hughes

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! 9 point out that lack of school policies protecting LGBT students and lack of providing gen der inclusive environments is not just heteronormative but further reinforcement of the existing status quo. The curriculum was rationalized based off the understanding that people are a product of their social environmental influences. Educating student s about the history and psychology that surrounds LGBT individuals and making it common knowledge is believed to potentially have an impact on the school environment as well as overall society. Individual students who may be trying to understand the statu s of their own identity, students who can become potential alleys to other LGBT students and educators who may not realize that their own practices, tend to include many heteronormative components that could all be addressed by making small lessons like th ese a part of every day high school curriculum. Another point of interest in regards to heteronormative practices in education and this study is that research has found that school environments improve when policies and programs are implemented in a sch ool, making LGBT inclusion a more normative feature of an educational environment. Anti discriminatory and LGBT protection types of school policies are important and should be implemented in every school to help create a safe environment and provide conse quences when that practice is not adhered to; however, research indicates things like GSA programs are more effective on heteronormativity and negative school environments for LGBT youth Chesir Teran and Hughes were able to show in their study that when inclusive policies and GSA programs were associated with harassment, the GSA programs were more effective then the school policies. This was not to say that the policies did not have a positive effect, just that GSA programs were more effective. Also, wi th the inclusion of a special program like a GSA,

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! 10 the school policy appeared to become irrelevant as harassment was reduced (Chesir Teran & Hughes, 2009 ). This thesis study's aim is to focus on the content of a lesson to help promote a rational understand ing of how LGBT identities develop and how understanding that has evolved in human history. LGBT identity and understanding of gender is a socially constructed concept that in theory should help normalize these and any other identity that is not of domina nt practice. LGBT Identity Development The focus of this research began with a basic inquiry in to the workings of LGBT individual s identity development. This would start with the basic six stage model of homosexual identity development created by Vi vienne Cass (1979) Cass changed P sycholog y's view of how a homosexual developed their identities b y presenting a progressive model that homosexuals "move through in order to acquire an identity of homosexual fully integrated within the individual's overa ll concept of se lf" (Cass, 1979, p. 220). Although Vivienne Cass provided a wonderful start to homosexual identity development her research did not include the experiences of bisexual and transgender individuals making it limited in scope. Regardless o f this fact, Cass was extremely significant to LGBT psychology because her research marks a paradigm shift where homosexuality stopped being viewed pathologically and began being viewed as an attribute to someone's personality. The first three stages can be the most complicated to adolescents and are commonly experienced during the school years. Stage 1 described as Identity Confusion is the stage in which a man or women begins to feel confused about the meaning of homosexual and heterosexual expectatio ns

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! 11 and how they apply to their own personal feelings. "The realization that feelings, thoughts, or behavior can be defined as a homosexual presents an incongruent element into a previously stable situation" (Cass, 1979, p. 222). Confusion is the main com ponent of this stage. Realizing that the social behaviors that are expected and the desires that are divergent exist creates a very confusing and freighting situation for a homosexual individual. This leads to self reflection and at this time a person ca n go through an "identity foreclosure" (Cass, 1979) where the person will cease to develop emotionally taking a tool into one's mental health If foreclosure does not take place, Stage 2 is reached. Stage 2 is the Identity Comparison stage. During the i dentity comparison stage a person is leaning towards acknowledging the fact that they may be homosexual. As Cass points out it "marks the first tentative commitment to a homosexual self" (Cass, 1979, p. 225). A homosexual person begins to feel alienated during the identity comparison stage, which prompts a person to compare themselves to heterosexuals and identify what is different about them. They begin to see the differences and start to make decisions about either trying to maintain a heterosexual ima ge or not worry about the thoughts of others, the latter being much more difficult depending on the social situation. Stage 3 is titled the Identity Tolerance stage. This occurs after the comparison and confirmation of homosexual feelings. During this p rocess a person is likely to make the statement that they are a homosexual or acknowledge their homosexual desires. "The greater level of commitmen t has important consequences. On the one had it frees [a person] from the task of having to manage a state of identity confusion and turmoil, thus allowing [a person] to acknowledge social, emotional, and sexual needs. On the other

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! 12 hand it accentuates for [the person] the difference between the way [they] see self and the way others are seen to view [them]" ( Cass, 1979, p. 229). The remaining stages are more focused on the acceptance and movement towards synthesis of such identity and living a life of congruency. Stage 4 is titled the Identity Acceptance stage. In this stage a person would begin associatio ns with other homosexuals and "feel the impact of those features of the subculture that vali date and normalize' homosexuality as an identity and way of life" (Cass, 1979, p. 231). This stage is where an individual who is coming to terms with their sexual ity realize they are not alone in their feelings. Often someone in identity acceptance stage will surround themselves with other homosexuals and exclude themselves from those who challenge or disagree with that lifestyle. For youth often we see this in t he form of running away. Stage 5 Identity Pride is the stage where an individual would have an "awareness of the differences ( incongruence ) that exist between [their own] concept of self as being totally acceptable as a homosexual and society's rejectio n of this concept" (Cass, 1979, p. 233). In this stage an individual begins to have feelings of belonging and acceptance. As they find alliances with other homosexuals and allies of the LGBT community they begin to disregard those who oppose their lifest yle, strengthening their commitment to a homosexual lifestyle. This at times creates lack of trust with those in the heterosexual community making the experience somewhat dichotomous. This is also a time when someone would claim to be "proud" to be a gay man or lesbian woman (Cass, 1979). Finally, s tage 6 Identity Synthesis a homosexual individual begins to enter an "awareness that the them and us' philosophy espoused previously, in which all heterosexuals are viewed negatively and all homosexuals pos itively, no longer holds

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! 13 true... with increasing contact between [the individual] and supportive heterosexuals [the individual] comes to trust them more and view them with greater favor" (Cass,1979, 234). Although this stage and the last stage today can b e viewed as almost one complete stage or blended stages, one characteristic is distinct. It is the synthesis of a homosexual identity with the social identity in one's daily life. The acceptance of a circle of family and/or friends and the ability to liv e a life where sexual orientation is accepted by such circle is a major component to synthesis and overall development The stage models are extremely important to LGBT research. Cass presented an understanding and explanation of experiences for a homos exual person and attempts to explain through her research that there is nothing pathological about homosexuality, it is simply an orientation or attribute of self. Homosexuality went from being viewed as a behavior, to mental condition, to finally an orie ntation. Science would be forever changed with her research. Throughout the years other research has emerged that has helped analyze the processes that other sexual minorities face : "For example some individuals may come to bisexual identity after sel f labeling as lesbian or gay. Others may identify bisexual feelings from childhood onward. Still others may not become aware of bisexual feelings until after experiencing heterosexual relationships or marriages (Bilodeau & Renn, 2005, p. 27). Transgende r individual s experiences are even more complex. Some current research found that transgendered individuals displayed a similar pattern of life experience, reflected in three prominent themes: an early sense of body mind dissonance, negotiating and mana ging identities, and the process of transition (Morgan & Stevens,

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! 14 2012, p. 303). The stage models have been the prominent views for some time but they have not gone without fault or criticism. The stage models of identity development have been criticize d for their "linear, sequential and unidirectional" (Clarke, Ellis, Peel & Riggs, 2010, p. 157) approach, which tends to not always be applicable to every individual's experience. Although there may be debatable views on LGBT identity development it is s afe to assume that there is some validity to these stages and like Cass originally proposed gaining access to the later stages of development require s overcoming the previous ones. When development is interrupted or a stage cannot be reached often it is due to poor social climates R esearch has shown higher levels of clinically diagnosed mental disorders for LGBT youth, which can be related to the social climate one experiences during adolescents. One of the repercussions to a poor social climate for LGBT youth is the higher instance of clinically diagnosed mental disorders. Being unable to move onto later stages of development end up causing detrimental effects to a student s mental health. In a study conducted by Mustanski et al. with a group of L GBT students the results found that "o ne third of the participants met criteria for any mental disorder, 17% for conduct disorder, 15% for major depression, and 9% for posttraumatic stress disorder Mustanski, Garofalo & Emerson, 2010, p. 12). In comparis on to national samples LGBT youth overall did have more prevalent mental illness. Comparisons of findings to similar studies also found similar results (Mustanski et. al., 2010 ). In addition to Mustanski et. al., D'Augelli et. al. found that High school victimization was correlated with mental health symptoms in general, and with posttraumatic stress symptoms in particular. Verbal attacks that had occurred in high school were related to current posttraumatic stress

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! 15 symptoms (D'Augelli, Pilkington & Hers hberger, 2002, p. 163). Part of overcoming the various stages of LGBT identity is to work through the social rejection that comes with "coming out." Depending on how the school social climate is maintained and how harassment and violence are regulated co uld really effect how an LGBT student's own self identity develops and if they will be susceptible to developing mental illness. School Climate for LGBT Youth While g aining a background on the various perspectives of LGBT identity development the resea rch quickly intersected with experien ces and struggles LGBT youth endure in education This later helped form the concept surrounding the research question (s): Can the way schools teach about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in the educa tional setting help improve the way people understand and feel about this subculture? Would it help improve the school environment? Research has already identified that an inclusive LGBT curriculum can help the social climate for LGBT youth, but the cont ent of the lessons was a point of interest Justification for th is study which focuses on ways to improve conditions for LGBT studen t s learning environments beg a n with reviewing research articles and reports that discuss how LGBT students are treated i n American schools. J. Kosciw et al. (2012) at the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network produced a research report titled The 2011 N ational S chool C limate S urvey that became the primary research report used to help paint a vivid picture what the LGB T students experience is like. The report discusses topics such as homophobic remarks and other biased language to instances of physical violence and harassment. For example, "71.3% of students reported hearing

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! 16 students ma ke derogatory remarks, such as dyke' or faggot,' often or frequently in school 56.9% of students reported ever hearing homophobic remarks from their teachers or other school staff (Kosciw et al., 2012, p. 14). What was more disturbing is that the research indicated that homophobic r emarks were more likely than any other type of bias ed remark to be expressed in front of a teacher or faculty member: "When school staff were present, the use of biased and derogatory language by students remained largely unchallenged (Kosciw et al., 2012 p. 16). Safety or feeling safe in school for LGBT students also seemed to be a big challenge : 6 in 10 students (63.5%) reported feeling unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation; and 4 in 10 students (43.9%) felt unsafe because of how they expressed their gender" (Kosciw et al., 2012, p. 20). Feeling unsafe and being unsafe are also two very important but different concerns. Feelings of safety are important especially when taking into account Maslow's hierarchy of needs and theories surrou nding human motivation. Considering that Maslow's ideas are valid, adolescents in school in general suffer if their safety needs are not met. Physical violence is also an issue making safety a concern separate from students feeling unsafe : 38.3% of L GBT students had been physically harassed at school because of their sexual orientation, and 11.2% reported that this harassment occurred often or frequently; and a little more than a quarter (27.1%) had been physically harassed at school because of their gender expression, and 7.9% experienced this often or frequently" (Kosciw et al., 2012, p. 24). The hostile school environment is naturally a deterrent from a student "coming out." It may also create more confusion for questioning students potentially k eeping these or other curious adolescents from fully developing or finding their identity until after

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! 17 high school ; this tends to have negative impacts on their mental health : "S exually questioning students reported significantly more depression/suicidal fe elings, greater use of alcohol/marijuana, and more truancy than [heterosexual or identifying lesbian, gay, bisexual students] Additionally, lesbian, gay, bisexual students reported more alcohol/marijuana use and more truancy than heterosexual students, bu t did not report more depression/suicidal feelings" (Birkett, Espelage & Koenig, 2009, p. 994 995). In addition to concerns over mental health, there is the factor that academic achievement has been found to decline for LGBT students : "B oys and girls repo rting a same sex romantic attraction fare worse on most measures of academic achievement compared to their other sex attra cted peers. Overall, they leave high school with lower grades, are more likely to have failed a course, and are less likely to have co m pleted algebra II and chemistry" (Pearson, Muller & Wilkinson, 2007, p. 8). Failure to address the issue in schools including educators lack of response is often times attributed to the heteronormative structure society is built upon. LGBT Curriculu m A review of LGBT curriculum and the focus on the content in which studies were being developed was necessary to move forward with this study. Resea rch has shown that including an LGBT inclusive curriculum improves the school environment for LGBT youth. A review of LGBT curriculum and the focus on the content in which studies were being developed was necessary to move forward with th e present study. Ji, Du Bois and Finnessy conducted research focusing on courses that would teach heterosexual students t o become LGBT allies. The important findings in this research surrounded the

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! 18 understanding that many students felt that they could not become an LGBT ally because of their lack of knowledge towards these communities : "An initial theme was an issue of ques tioned credibility. Despite having positive attitudes toward LGBT people, students perceived themselves as inadequate to be allies because they did not possess what they perceived to be the necessary or proper knowledge and skills" (Ji, Du Bois & Finnessy, 2009, p. 406). Ji et al. was able to extract understanding from a student body about development of LGBT ally identities with an educational instrument (the curriculum) ; this included many hands on experiences with LGBT individuals providing a sense of context to the community "The comments from the students enrolled in the course taught by new instructors confirmed that the course content (i.e., the interviews, activities, seminars, and guest speakers), helped them develop into LGBT allies" (Ji et al. 2009, p. 271). It was this study and finding in the research which drove to the use of GLSEN curriculum content to be used in the study. It included interviews, activities which were easy to replicate and reproduce. With more LGBT allies in a school s ystem the environment tends to improve for LGBT youth. Lack of knowledge like many other instances of discrimination seems to drive the negative attitudes towards the minority : in this case LGBT youth. Ryan, Patraw and Bednar implemented an intriguin g stud y, which took elementary school kids and gave lessons that surrounded gender diverse experiences and transgender experiences. Ryan et al. provided evidence that showed how that gender diverse instruction helped students who lived mostly by traditio nal gender norms realize that the world might contain more than simply biological female s who identify as girls and act in feminine ways and biological males who identify as boys and act in masculine

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! 19 ways. Therefore, the results of this study suggest that children are, in fact, quite ready to learn about gender diversity" (Ryan, Patraw & Bednar, 2013, p. 101). Ryan et al. gave me hope that this study in LGBT history and psychology could provide larger benefits for more than just high school aged students. Normalization for sexual minorities could become embedded in the educational process like it has done so for many other disfranchised discriminated groups in history. Measures The focus on a LGBT historic and psychological approach in curriculum is not the only necessary aspect of this study. A measuring tool that would help identify the attitudes and feelings towards LGBT individuals before and after the treatment was necessary in order to determine if the curriculum was effective or not To do so e xisting tools were selected that have been documented replicated and shown to provide valid measures Many of the previous homophobia scales do not ask about gay men and lesbians. Instead, most scales ask about "homosexuals" in general, leaving unclear whether the respondent was thinking of lesbians, gay men, or both when answering the questions" (Raja & Stokes, 1998, p. 115). Raja and Stokes provided the measure for lesbians and gay men. From their work they produced the Modern Homophobia Scales MHS G which measure s attitudes towards gay men, and MHS L, which measure s attitudes towards lesbian women. They were deemed valid in the study by correlating them to other existing measures of attitudes towards homosexuality. Also as hypothesized, by separ ating the measures between lesbians and gay men the authors were able to determine "d ifferences by biological sex in MHS G and MHS L scores

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! 20 supported the utility of separating attitudes toward gay men from attitudes toward lesbians, and demonstrated the d ivergent validity of the MHS L and the MHS G subscales. As predicted, women were more homophobic toward lesbians than toward gay men, and men were more homophobic toward gay men than toward lesbians" (Raja & Stokes, 1998, p. 130). When reviewing how to m easure attitudes to wards transgendered individuals the Genderism and Transphobia scale was selected : Genderism is an ideology that reinforces the negative evaluation of gender non conformity or an incongruence between sex and gender. It is a cultura l bel ief that p erpetuates negative judgments of people who do not present as a stereotypical man or woman" (Hill & Willoughby, 2005, p. 534). Hill and Willoughby generated potential items for the scale b y reviewing the literature on anti trans sentiments and the difficulties trans per sons have on a day to day basis" (Hill & Willoughby, 2005, p. 534) The measure reported to have good valid evidence with a calculated alpha of .88 for the overall scale. The subsection for genderism reported .80 and transphobi a at .94 giving a stron g confidence level in this tool (Hill & Willoughby, 2005). The scale that would be used to measure biphobia is also important because it includes reviewing how heterosexual individuals perceive bisexual individuals as well as how homosexual men and women viewed bisexuals. "E mpirical work, theory, and autobiographical writings suggest that negative attitudes about bisexuality are prevalent among both heterosexual and homosexual people (Mohr & Rochlen, 1999, p. 353). From this stu dy Mohr and Rochlen developed the Attitudes Regarding Bisexuality Scale (ARBS). The researchers established three versions of the ARBS : one that would asses s

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! 21 the attitudes towards bisexual males and females, one that would only asses the attitudes towards bisexual males (ARBS M) and one that would only asses the attitudes towards bisexual females (ARBS F) (Mohr & Rochlen, 1999). These were established in order to identify what the differences are between how males and females each think of bisexuality towa rds the same sex versus the opposite sex. These scales are relevant for man y other research studies but were not necessary for the scope of this study. This study only attempt s to see if the basic attitudes and feelings will improve towards LGBT individu als and therefore the more focused scales are not required. High internal consistency estimates were obtained for subscales of the three versions of the ARBS ranging fro m .83 to .91" (Mohr & Rochlen, 1999, p. 365). With such strong results the ARBS is a reliable and valid scale to gain knowledge of each student's feelings towards bisexuality. Current Study The research question probes the possibility that the inclusion of an LGBT history and psychology lesson plan will notably affect the levels of va rious sexual minority phobias that exist in students. Ambitious as it sounds, the rationale that justifies this approach is engrained in the concept of teaching relatable history and factual empirical science that surround the struggles and complications that LGBT individuals face, as well as how their identities develop. Lack of understanding perpetuates the heteronormative and negative feelings towards LGBT people, similar to other discriminated groups of people in all societies. The previously mention ed hypothesis attaches itself to the fact that understanding even these basic concepts of LGBT psychology would help gain

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! 22 understanding and empathy for those in the LGBT community. In response, a decline in rate s of phobia would be expected.

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! 23 CHAPTER II I METHODS Participants The approach taken to explore the researc h question presented had a lot of moving pieces The most complicated aspect of this project was to find a willing educator and principal to take on the lesson plans and conduct the researc h. The research study concluded with a total of nine students who attended the lesson, with the average age of students being 18 years old all students were in the senior grade level Out of the nine students, one student declined to complete the survey s, and another student entered the class late towards the end of the 45 minute period and completed partial answers on the survey, as well as defacing them. This left only seven completed pre and post lesson surveys to be examined. General demographic in formation was collected on the surveys, specifically age, ethnicity/race, gender and sexual orientation. All demographic categories gave the option to write in a response in the event that the student did not identify with the common items listed. Two st udents chose to use the write in options under the category ethnicity/race and sexual orientation. One student wrote in they were bi racial, listing black and white, and one student listed asexual under the write in option for sexual orientation. Of th e seven stud ents who completed the study, 71 % ( five students) identified as African American, while 14 % (one student) identified as Latino/a and 14 % (one student) identified as bi racial, black and white. From those students, 86% (six students ) identified as female, while 14 % (one student) identified as male. In regards to sexual

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! 24 orientation, 71% (five students) identified as straight, 14 % (one student) identified as bisexual and 14 % (one student) identified as asexual. The sample had a high instance of female students as well as all students were a minority and two students could be classified as sexual minorities. It is also important to note that the educator must have strategically selected the students who were 18 years of age to avoid obtaining par ental consent. It would have been interesting to see if parents or guardians would be oppose to their younger students parti cipating in the LGBT curriculum, however, because the educator had a hard enough time to work through his administration he asked i f his eighteen year old students if they would be interested in participating. As mentioned earlier finding a willing educator to participate was one of the most complicated aspects of this research study. The school that was selected was due to the fac t that they were the only willing participants that could be found in a eight month time frame. Once the school was selected it was identified that institutional review boards must be cleared prior to implementing the study. The graduate schools review b oard as well as the Denver Public School districts review board required an extensive review of all content used before approving the study to move forward. Measures The first order of business was to identify valid measuring devices that would measure l evels of the various sexual minority phobias that a person exhibits as well as distinguish the levels between those various phobias. In total four measures were used for the current study to measure levels of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia., which will be described in more detail below.

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! 25 Measure for homophobia. To measure a person's level of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia it was decided to use existing empirically supported measures. To measure rates of homophobia, this being the dislike and/or prejudice against gay men and lesbian women, the measure the Modern Homophobia Scale developed by S. Raja and J Stokes was the first tool selected. The Modern Homophobia Scale or MHS G (gay men) as shown in Appendix A 3.1 or MHS L (lesbian women ) as shown in Appendix B 3.2 use a Likert scale survey design with the MHS G consisting of 22 questions and the MHS L consisting of 24 questions. The MHS G consisted of 13 questions that required a reverse score calculation and the MHS L consisted of s even reverse scored questions. The rationale that Raj and Stokes used in creating their measure of homophobia was the reason this measure was selected. First, Raj and Stokes attempted to provide a more updated version of previously used homophobia scales According to them, o lder racism and sexism scales have been updated because respondents may no longer endorse obviously racist and sexist items h omophobia scales appear [ed] to be in need of similar updating" (Raj & Stokes, 1998, p. 115). This and th e fact that previous measuring tools combined statements for gay men and lesbian women, mak es it difficult to distinguish if rates of phobia were due to the objections to male or female homosexuality. Therefore, Raj and Stokes wanted measures independent of each other making the analysis of data more precise and specific to each popula tion (Raj & Stokes, 1998 ). In addition to the rationale Raj and Stokes used when designing their measure of homophobia, they also included questions that would gage an in dividual's sense of institutional homophobia as well as personal homophobia. This was to understand that

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! 26 most homophobia scales would measure a person's personal feelings towards gay men and women, but it would not address the types of homophobia that co uld express itself in the workplace. "The MHS does not directly meas ure discriminatory acts towards lesbians and gay men, it measures the degree to which respondents believe that institutional policies and practices should be free of sexual orientation bi ases" (Raj & Stokes, 1998, p. 118). Raj and Stokes also validated their measure by hypothesizing that homophobia as measured by the MHS would be correlated with other homophobia scales and with attitudes toward women (Raj & Stokes, 1998, p. 119). By co mparing the results from the MHS to other measures that previously existed Raj and Stokes are able to claim consistent measures that have been previously validated and replicated. Measure for biphobia. The Attitudes Rega rding Bisexuality Scale or AR BS, as shown in Appendix D 3.3, was developed by J M ohr and A. Rochlen (1999) and also has a five point Likert Scale design. This scale was selected to help measure the levels of biphobia in the students who participated in the study. The scale consiste d of 18 questions with 13 of them requiring reverse scoring. Mohr and Rochlen had three versions of the ARBS : one that measured attitudes towards male and female bisexuals, one that measured attitudes towards only female bisexuals and one that measured a ttitudes towards only male bisexuals. Validity was presented in Mohr and Rochlen's research by taking five studies that looked at the development and validation of the ARBS : Factor analysis of an initial pool of 80 items yielded 2 factors assessing the d egree to w hich bisexuality is viewed as a tolerable, moral sexual orientation (Tolerance) and a legitimate, stable sexual orientation (Stability) (Mohr & Rochlen, 1999, p. 353).

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! 27 The various five studies examined by Mohr and Rochlen were used to measure th e consistency and validity of the questions prese nted by different populations. The overall goal that Mohr and Rochlen were attempting to develop was the ARBS for different research purposes allowing for more specific gendered research. The results of the current series of studies offers strong initial support for the reliability and validity of the three versions of the ARBS for use with both lesbian and gay student populations and heterosexual student populations. The ARBS exhibited factor structure s tability and moderate to high estimates of internal consistency reliability and test retest reliability over a 3 w eek period" (Mohr & Rochlen, 1999, p. 365). For the purposes of this thesis research study, it was decided to use the measure that would incl ude questions geared towards both male and females. Although future studies could potentially include the use of the ARBS M and ARBS F to determine if more specific lessons towards bisexual males and bisexual females would effect specifically these two va riations of bisexuality, this was simply too complex for the scope of this study. Measure for transphobia. The final measuring tool selected was a measure to find rates of transphobia in the students. The Genderism and Transphobia scale (G&TS) as sh own in Appendix E developed by D. Hill and B. Willoughby (2005) was selected. Transphobia as explained by Hill and Willoughby indicates that this phenomenon occurs when a person expresses their "emotional disgust toward individuals who do not conform t o society's gender expectations. Similar to homophobia transphobia involves the feeling of revulsion to masculine women, feminine men, cross dressers, transgenderists, and/or transsexuals" (Hill & Willoughby, 2005, p. 533). This is

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! 28 distinguished in Hill and Willoughby's research from genderism. The G&TS was also a Likert scale design that consisted of 32 questions, 30 of which required reverse scoring conversions. Hill & Willoughby produce d plenty of valid evidence, first with convergent evidence by pr oving strong correlations between the G&TS and other homophobia and gender ro le scales. Additional evidence indicated that the G&T S had the ability to predict a parent's reaction to gender non conforming children as well as predicting a person's previous contact with gender non conformist (Hill & Willoughby, 2005). Procedure The design of the study remained simple. First the MHS G, MHS L, ARBS and G&TS would be given to the students prior to being exposed to the LGBT lesson plan and then again after t he lesson plan was conducted. To promote honest answers and reduce fear and anxiety to report true feelings the surveys were anonymous and distributed in self sealing manila envelopes. The self sealing manila envelopes and surveys were all assigned a un ique number. The purpose of the number was to match the individual's results from to their first round of answers to their second round of answers. The surveys were conducted in exam fashion, not allowing students to look upon each others answers and imm ediately sealed and given to the researcher once completed. The researcher secured the sealed responses and there was no list that would reference a student to the number assigned to their packet of work. This was all expla ined to the students the day t he study took place to re assure all participants that their responses were secure.

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! 29 In regards to s electing t he content for the lesson plans, t here were many resources available online to help find engaging content. Much of this content came from the Gay Lesbian, Straight Education Network or GLSEN website, an organization which promotes positive and effective educational environments for all students, especially those in the LGBT community The GLSEN website has pre organized lesson plans including vi sual and audio material allowing an educator to pick and choose what is relevant to the selected lesson plan desired. The use of pre existing material that GLSEN provides is valuable for many reasons. First, the use of empirical based research to explai n items like sexual orientation and gender identity help s validate the lessons and the academic merit attached to each lesson. Second, given GL SE N's objective the use of their material and using GLSE N as a resource in general make s this study easy to rep licate. Overall, the lesson was only forty five minutes long and gaining enough material was simple I t was more difficult to select which content would not be included in the lesson. Material was selected by its importance to the LGBT equal rights movem ent as well as a thorough explanation of the differences between biological assigned sex, sexual orientation and gender identity. The lesson was created in a Prezi software format. Prezi is a presentation based software very similar to Microsoft Office software Power Point. In this software a user can embedded videos and text making it easy to organize the structure of the lesson. Initially there were three complete lessons. One lesson was on gay, lesbian and bisexual history, a nother on transgender identity history and the third on LGBT Psychology. Because of the time restraints the LGBT Psychology lesson was selected and selected historical content was used and incorporated into the LGBT Psychology lesson. Alfred

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! 30 Kinsey and his discoveries were di scussed, this being significant because he was able to show same sex behavior was much more common than previously thought. Also, events like the Stonewall Riots of New York City were introduced This event kicked of the Gay Rights Movement brin g ing more awareness to general public about LGBT people's social injustices Including these historical events, there was also a discussion regarding the differences between biological sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. These were imp ortant topics to discuss because they help combat heteronormativity by educating youth to move away from a binary way of thinking in terms of sexuality and gender identity. It is understanding in content such as this in which we hope to see benefit in und erstanding and sensitivity towards LGBT people and their identities, it is expected to see reduction of instances of harassment. GLSEN's resources were more than adequate to address such topics also They included media files that could be played to the class and provide a personal account of events like the Stone Wall Riots. Finally, selecting the sample for the study became the most complicated aspect of this research project. There was no demographic or criteria established to select a participant for the research study with the exception that participants must be a high school student in a class that was willing to participate in the study and an instructor willing to have the lesson conducted in thei r class. Initially, this appeared to be an eas y task, but as time went on it became painfully clear that participation would be the biggest challenge. This is not to say that students were unwilling ; this speaks more to the lack of administrative and educator support. Prior to finding George Washing ton High School in the Denver Public School system, there had been previous attempts or contacts with three

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! 31 other schools. In all three cases prior to George Washington High School contact was made with an interested educator. As the review board proces ses would begin for each of these locations each would withdraw from the study citing reasons related to funding, lack of time or in one case, no response at all once the curriculum was provided Even after explanation that funding was not needed, parti cipation was still denied. Speculation can be made as to why it was so difficult to find willing educators or administration to participate in the study; however, existing research does support the theory that the attitudes or lack of support by administr ators and educators who were initially contacted could potentially be related to the experiences an ally could face by becoming subjects of the social ridicule or the perceived negative reactions parents may give. "The process of becoming an LGBT ally can be difficult because heterosexuals experience negative reactions from others when they openly defend LGBT persons" (Ji et al. 2009, p. 403). Even in the case of George Washington High School, the educator who was willing to have the lessons and study co nducted in his or her classroom was required to convince the hesitant school principal who fundamentally disagreed with the focus of the study. Even after consent was given by the principal it was not clear that the principal would actually be considered an advocate for LGBT curriculum in a public school system, raising much insight into the importance of a LGBT supportive administration and the value of continued training for individuals in these positions. Plan of Analyses The calculations of survey results were through Excel spreadsheets that were created in a single workbook to tabulate the score for each survey. Those requiring

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! 32 reverse scoring were automatically converted using a general "if" formula. The entries would sum the total for the conv erted scores to the sum of the regular scored questions giving the overall total for each survey. High numbers represented low levels of phobia while low numbers expressed higher levels of phobia. Levels of high, medium and low phobia were established by taking the highest and lowest possible score range for each survey and dividing them into three equal parts, or as close to equal as possible. In addition to individual scores, the spreadsheet would also tabulate all students scores entered and provide overall classroom averages and outcomes.

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! 33 CHAPTER IV RESULTS Overall Report The findings in the study indicated an overall positive effect with the increase of numeric scores for all surveys after the 45 minute lesson was conducted. Higher scores repre sented lower instances of phobia for each measure, and in each category overall there was a minor increase in scores. When reviewing the data in total, it was surprising to find that in general students all scored low in phobia (scoring legend shown in Appendix E 1 ) in the surveys given prior to the lesson being conducted. Only one student hit the medium range of phobia on all surveys with the exception of the G&TS survey. In this area they scored low in phobia. This student did show a n increase in s core, meaning reduction in phobia after the lesson concluded. From the seven students who did remain, those results were then taken and the mean was calculated for all surveys to see the overall classroom response to the lesson. Overall, there was an inc rease in score for all surveys conducted, which indicates a decline in phobia for the various sexual minorities. The MHS G as shown in Figure 4.1 had the largest increase of 3%, from an average of 100 pre lesson score to an average of 103 post lesson sc ore. The G&TS as shown in Figure 4.2 had the second largest increase of 1.89% with a mean score of 127.6 pre lesson and a mean score of 130 post lesson. The MHS L as shown in Figure 4.3 increased by 1.12% with a mean score of 106.8 pre lesson and a m ean score of 108 post lesson. Finally, the least amount of increase that occurred on the various measures was with the ARBS, which is shown in Figure 4.4 The survey results showed an increase of

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! 34 1.27% taking the mean score of the students from 79 pre l esson to 80 post lesson survey. The results of the study reflect the hypothesis presented. Individual differences in changes: Show no differences. Three of the seven students (student #2 shown in Appendix E 2 student #5 shown in Appendix E 3 and stud ent #7 shown in Appendix E 4 ) scored exactly the same on their surveys showing no effect whatsoever from the lesson provided. This is not to be viewed as discouraging because in each of these cases the student scored very low in phobias all around, indica ting that there may have been pre existing acceptance and understanding prior to participating in the lesson provided. Also, these three students all had the highest scores on the surveys, which would indicate that they all express the lowest levels of ph obia in the classroom. All three students were female; one was Latina while the other two were African American. Two of the female students reported being straight, while the third identified as asexual. For a student to identify as asexual brings to a ttention the possibility that this student may have been educated in the area of sexual orientation and gender identity. The expectation for this research project is that a person who is exposed to or has knowledge of these concepts would display lower le vels of phobia and it could be cautiously assumed that t his student s results would still hold true to the theory : one possibility for the cause of the student s scores could be exposure to this information from somewhere outside of the classroom.

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! 35 Indi vidual differences in changes: Showing minor improvement. Three of the seven students (students #3 shown in Appendix E 5 student #6 shown in Appendix E 6 and student #8 shown in Appendix E 7 ) showed minor improvements with a minor increase in score fo r each of the surveys conducted or expressed a minor decrease in one of the areas. Student #3 for example scored a 95 out of a possible 110 for the MHS G. Student #3 actually dropped in score to 87, which did not trend with the other surveys. The MHS L improved from a score of 93 prior to the lesson to a score of 94. The G&TS also had improvement with an original score of 114 out of a possible 147 but showed a growth to 118 after the lesson was provided. The scores for the ARBS for student #3 remaine d the same at 66. It is important to note that student #3 scored before and after the lesson in the low end of phobia. Similar patterns existed with student #6 and student #8. With these two students however, there was no decrease in scores whatsoever only minor improvements by a couple points. Student #3 who did show a decline in score from the pre lesson survey to the post lesson survey was the only male in the class. He also only declined in score from the MHS G and improved in all other areas. This finding is also consistent with existing research, which indicates, "a lthough men are generally more homophobic than wo men people tend to be more homophobic toward homosexuals of their own sex (Raja & Stokes, 1998, p. 116). It is unclear why this score would actually drop O ne may speculate it could be rushing through the surveys or making a mistake while marking the responses only because the score regardless of decreasing still remained in the scope of a low homophobia score.

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! 36 Individual di fferences in changes: Showing a major improvement. The most notable improvement was with student # 1; results are shown on Appendix E 8 Student #1 was an eighteen year old, straight, African American female. Student #1 was the only student to actually s core in the moderate phobia categories on the MHS G (score 72), MHS L (score 86) and ARBS (score 60). Prior to the lesson the only score that was considered low in phobia was the G&TS (score 124). After the lesson was conducted student #1 's scores jump ed pulling her into the low phobia categories for all surveys. The MHS G scored post lesson at 101, showing a 40% increase in score. The MHS L increased by 7% with a score of 92, the G&TS increased by 9.7% with a score of 136 and the ARBS increased by 1 0% with the final score of 66. As previously stated, there were two additional students who did participate in the lessons but did not complete the surveys Data was not provided by the two participants ; o ne declin ed to complete the surveys and one en tered the class with less than twenty minutes remaining The la tt er missed the first set of surveys prior to the lesson and defac ed and only partially complet ed some of the surveys after the lesson was conducted which made the data unusable The student who declined to participate was an African American female and the student who showed up late and defaced and partially completed the surveys was a n African American male. The decision to leave out the partially completed surveys was based on the logic t hat no data was collected prior to the lesson and calculating results would not be possible to effectively measure the lesson plans effect

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! 37 Figure 4 2 G&TS Overall Student Averages Figure 4.1 MHS G Overall Student Averages

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! 38 Figure 4 3 MHS L Overall Student Averages Figure 4 4 ARBS Overall Student Averages

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! 39 The simple 45 mi nute lesson plan did have a positive effect on the various scores for the measures used to gage homophobia, transphobia and biphobia. Although the increases in scores were not extremely significant there was a positive e ffect to student levels of the var ious phobias by conducting a lesson that explains the differences between biological assigned sex, sexual orientation and gender identity. Historical content also provided a model of context in which a student can apply the knowledge gained by the empiric al research and relate it to real life events. Some students were obviously more impacted than others by the content that was provided ; however, probably the most surprising finding in the study was the overall low levels of phobia before the lesson even started. Going into the study it was assumed that a younger generation would be more accepting th a n older generations simply because of the differences in societ y's beliefs from the past to now but with the measures provided it was not expected that th e levels of phobia would be so low initially. One issue did surface during the calculation of the results that was overlooked during the establishment of the documentation used to survey the students. The G&TS is a 32 question seven point Likert scale survey ; however, when scoring the results a typographic error was found. The G&TS was a three page survey; during the printing of the surveys the second page which consisted of questions 12 through 22 cut off the seventh point scale option "strongly ag ree." Because the issue complicated the calculations of this one survey the results being reported are based off an adjusted scale of low, medium and high levels of transphobia and questions 12 through 22 were omitted from the calculation of scores on th e G&TS for all students. This does present challenges in regards to validating the evidence that there was a positive effect with the lessons and

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! 40 students levels of transphobia because it does not use the measure exactly as it is outlined in the empirica l research supporting the measure H owever calculating the results that could be calculated does help support the possibility that the omitted 11 questions would have potentially trended in the same fashion as the results that were used in the G&TS as we ll as the other measures that were calculated with no issue.

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! 41 CHAPTER V DISCUSSION There is no question that the phrase "knowledge is power" gained popularity with American society by people realizing the truth that exists in the statement for many ap plicable areas in life. Often when someone refers to an individual as racist, words like ignorant, naive and uneducated are used to describe the person's thought process es that are used to justify their bias. Thinking of the bias, bullying and bad social climates for LGBT youth it would be irrational to not view the potential solution to the problem as education. If knowledge is power and society believes this concept in regards to so many other areas in life, the issue with the lack of acceptance and s upport for LGBT youth could only be due to the lack of knowledge the general population has regarding such topics. Many behavioral issues, including bullying, can often be traced back to family circumstance or a social climate that has few sanctions again st such behaviors. Education is one of the only true factor s that will help society move in a direction where it treats all members of its communities with the same dignity and respect as the next. But how does that happen? An interesting finding in thi s study was that the students had lower rates of homophobia, transphobia and biphobia prior to the lesson being conducted than expected. Aside from the generational assumptions of more exposure and openness in society leads to a more accepting youth, the question remains: are the measures already outdated due to the rapid changes our society is facing with the progression of the LGBT movement? The need for a larger widespread study would possibly address this issue because LGBT

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! 42 issues tend to be more seve re in various parts of the United States than others. Would this study even be allowed in some states? It is very possible that the same results would be replicated in a school with a different social climate. This particular study was able to show that a 45 minute lesson could reduce the overall averages of homophobia in a classroom by 3%. Biphobia reduced in averages by 1.27% and transphobia by 1.89%. As this study articulates, minor flashes of education can be impactful. After many challenges getting the project vetted, approved and implemented there w ere only 45 minutes the educator that volunteered was willing to afford for such a lesson. The original intention of this project was to have more time with students to dive deeper into the content of a LGBT psychology and history course. Originally two lessons were created independent of each other, but after the final approval allowed for only t he 45 minutes the lessons were consolidated and adjusted to fit into the assigned time slot. I mprovement s to this study would be to have a larger sample size and more time to conduct a longer lesson. 45 minute lessons are fine if they are conducted over multiple days. This present s an entirely different set of issues in terms of valid evidence; however, tho se can all be managed with more planning. The present r esearch express es how the lack of support starts with administration and trickles down to educators and other school staff. Trying to gain participation and approval from various schools in the Colo rado public sy stem reflect s these findings. Although there was only one circumstance where an administrator explicitly expressed their personal disagreement with the focus of the research project the reasoning not to participate or the actual disregard o f the communications sent implied there was some apprehension by the educators or maybe their own administrators Others who were

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! 43 asked to participate would actively engage in communication until the focus of the research project and material was viewed. Once an educator saw the lesson plans and focus communication would simply cease. Emails would no longer be replied to or if they were replied to, the responses would come sporadically and months apart. This research project and seeking participation started in August of 2014 F inal agreement to participate from a willing administration and educator did not occur until April of 2015 One strong predictor of improving social climate for LGBT youth, as outlined by Kosciw et al., is the inclusion of a Gay Student Alliance (GSA) in the school. After the findings it was verified that George Washington High School does in fact have a GSA program. The other predictor of a better social climate for LGBT youth is a supportive educator T his research indica tes that a student being exposed to even one supportive educator could change the course of a LGBT student's social experience (Kosciw et al 2012). The educator who agreed to participate does exemplify the type of educator who makes it clear they suppor t LGBT youth. Overall, George Washington High School does have qualities in its system that promote a better social climate for LGBT students and their allies, which can also be the cause of the findings in this study that the students already had lower r ates of phobia The process and outcome of this research study br ings to attention items that are worthy of noting. One of th e se items is the extreme importance of a supportive administration. Supportive includes being up to date on the current research and recommendations of various sources to protect all students. During this study when attempting to gain consent from school administration to conduct the study there was a resistant administrator who required convincing by the educator who agreed to d o the

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! 44 study. This member of administration had the ability to cancel the study, and in conversation it became painfully clear that this individual fundamentally disagreed with relevance for LGBT education in the classroom. Fortunately for the study, the educator was able to successfully convince administration to consent to the study ; however, it was still concerning that administration had personal feelings that were contrary to current res earch Because a school administration has so much power over th e curriculum that is taught and the allowance of a GSA in the school system, it is important to note that the school climate is just as much the responsibility of the administration as it is the educators, students and parents. Should administration be re quired to take special training to address and work with LGBT youth in order to promote the most healthy and supportive policies in a school district? This study validate s the previous findings of several other studies, which claim supportive educators, programs like GSAs and LGBT inclusive curriculum all help improve the overall social climate of a school. Although it did not directly measure the overall school climate, one can assume with lower rates of homophobia, transphobia and biphobia the social c limate would be marginally better than one which does not have the empirically supported recommendations to improve a school climate. LGBT psychology and LGBT history are extremely important topics to teach because they help not only explain the evolution of human thought on homosexuality and transgender identity, but they also explain the phenomenon of items like gender identity from an empirical standpoint making it easier for students to think critically about th e se topics. The point is not to force b elief on any student but to give them the opportunity to think of LGBT issues from an objective point of view with all the facts presented

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! 45 CHAPTER VI CONCLUSION With the consistent reports of poor social climates for students, especially LGBT youth, one must ask where does the responsibility fall to resolve such issues. Research and evidence is growing and indicate s that there are several approaches that can be made to improve such poor condi tions. Substance abuse and poor academic outcomes are some of the items that LGBT youth suffer from far worse than the average student. The responsibility falls on all active members of the institution of education. This includes administrators, educators, parents, faculty and students themselves. Each has their own role in education and all should be advocating for the best practices that help promote and establish better learning conditions for all students. This research study show s that there are benefit s from a simple 45 minute psychology and history lesson. Regardless of the sample size and limitations to the study, if studied on a larger scale it is very possible the results would be greater than they were for this forward thinking high school in the Denver Public School system. The challenges do not res ide in the empirical research or understanding of the issues with LGBT youth as much as they reside in the resistance from society to allow such education. Because this is such a complicated endeavor it is important to promote the inclusion of curriculum that teaches empirical truths about the human experience and as history can prove, this include s gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and all the other gender non conforming sexual minorities that have existed since the beginning of time.

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! 46 REFERENCES B ilodeau, B. L., Renn, K. A., (2005). Analysis of LGBT identity development models and implications for practice. New Directions for Student Services 111, 25 39. Birkett, M., Espelage, D. L., & Koenig, B. (2009). LGB and questioning students in schools : The moderating effects of homophobic bullying and school climate on negative outcomes. Journal of Youth Adolescence 38, 989 1000. Bontempo, D. E., & D'Augelli, A. R. (2002). Effects of at school victimization and sexual orientation on lesbian, gay, o r bisexual youths' heath risk behaviors. Journal of Adolescent Health 30, 364 374. Cass, V. C. (1979). Homosexual identity formation: A theoretical model. Journal of Homosexuality 4(5), 219 235. Chesir Teran, D., & Hughes, D. (2009). Heterosexism in high school and victimization among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and questioning students. Journal of Youth Adolescence 38, 963 975. D'Augelli, A. R., Pilkington, N. W., & Hershberger, S. L. (2002). Incidence and mental health impact of sexual orientation victimization of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths in high school. School Psychology Quarterly 17(2), 148 167. Definition of heteronormative. (2015). In Merriam Webster Retrieved from http://www.merriam webster.com/dictionary/heteronormative GWHS s chool profile. (n.d.). Retrieved May 25, 2015, from George Washington High School website: http://gwhs.dpsk12.org/school profile/ Hannah, D., (2011). Shutting lgbt students out: How current anti bullying policies fail America's youth. LGBTQ Policy Jour nal at the Harvard Kennedy School 1, 85 92.

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! 47 Hill, D. B., & Willoughby, B. L. B. (2005). The development and validation of genderism and transphobia scale. Sex Roles 53(7/8). 531 544 Ji, P., Du Bois, S. N., Finnessy, P., (2009). An academic course t hat teaches heterosexual students to be allies to lgbt communities: A qualitative analysis. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services 21(4), 402 429. Kosciw, J. G., Greytak, E. A., Bartkiewicz, M. J., Boesen, M. J., & Palmer, N. A. (2012). The 2011 Nat ional School Climate Survey: The experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth in our nation's schools. New York: GLSEN. McNeill, T. (2013). Sex education and the promotion of heteronormativity. Sexualities 16 (7), 826 846. Mohr, J. J., & Rochlen, A. B. (1999). Measuring attitudes regarding bisexuality in lesbian, gay male, and heterosexual populations. Journal of Counseling Psychology 46(3), 353 369. Morgan, S. W., Stevens, P. E., (2012). Transgender identity development as represent ed by a group of transgendered adults. Issues in Mental Health Nursing 33, 301 308. Mustanski, B. S., Garofalo, R., Emerson, E. M., (2010). Mental health disorders, psychological distress, and suicidality in a diverse sample of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youths. American Journal of Public Health 100(12) 2426 2432. Pearson, J., Muller, C., Wilkinson, L., (2007). Adolescent same sex attraction and academic outcomes: The role of school attachment and engagement. Social Problems 54(4), 523 542. Raj, S., & Stokes, J. P. (1998). Assessing attitudes towards lesbian and gay men: The modern homophobia scale. Journal of Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Identity 3(2), 113 134.

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! 48 Ryan, C., Patraw, J.M., Bednar, M., (2013). Discussing princess boys a nd pregnant men: Teaching about gender diversity and transgender experiences within an elementary school curriculum. Journal of LGBT Youth 10(1 2)

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! 49 A PPENDIX A MODERN HOMOSEXUAL SCALE GAY Instructions: This survey is intended for the research reg arding individual feelings towards homosexual men. There are no right or wrong answers to the statements that are being asked. You are asked to indicate your honest response that most corresponds to your personal feelings, beliefs and attitude regarding ea ch statement. All responses will be retained, however, participation is anonymous. 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 Neutral 4 Agree 5 Strongly Agree 1. I wouldn't mind going to a party that included gay men. 2. I would not mind worki ng with a gay man. 3. I welcome new friends who are gay. 4. I would be sure to invite the same sex partner of my gay male friend to my party. 5. I won't associate with a gay man for fear of catching AIDS. (R) 6. I don't think it would negatively affect our relationship if I learned that one of my close relatives was gay. 7. I am comfortable with the thought of two men being romantically involved. 8. I would remove my child from class if I found out the teacher was gay. (R) 9. It's all right with me if I see two men holding hands. 10. Male homosexuality is a psychological disease. (R) 11. Physicians and psychologists should strive to find a cure for male homosexuality. (R) 12. Gay men should undergo therapy to change their sexual orientation. (R) 13. Gay men could be heterosexual if they really wanted to be. (R) 14. I don't mind companies using openly gay male celebrities to advertise their products. 15. I would not vote for a political candidate who was openly gay. (R) 16. Hospitals shouldn't hire gay male do ctors. (R) 17. Gay men shouldn't be allowed to join the military. (R) 18. Movies that approve of male homosexuality bother me. (R) 19. Gay men should not be allowed to be leaders in religious organizations. (R) 20. Marriages between two gay men should be l egal. 21. I am tired of hearing about gay men's problems. (R) 22. Gay men want too many rights. (R) Note. (R) Indicates item is reversed scored

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! 50 A PPENDIX B MODERN HOMOSEXUAL SCALE LESBIAN Instructions: This survey is intended for the research regardi ng individual feelings towards lesbian women There are no right or wrong answers to the statements that are being asked. You are asked to indicate your honest response that most corresponds to your personal feelings, beliefs and attitude regarding each st atement. All responses will be retained, however, participation is anonymous. 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 Neutral 4 Agree 5 Strongly Agree 1. Employers should provide health care benefits to the partners of their lesbian employe es. 2. Teachers should try to reduce their student's prejudice toward lesbians. 3. Lesbians who adopt children do not need to be monitored more closely than heterosexual parents. 4. Lesbians should be allowed to be leaders in religious organizations. (R) 5 Lesbians are as capable as heterosexuals of forming long term romantic relationships. 6. School curricula should include positive discussion of lesbian topics. 7. Marriages between two lesbians should be legal. 8. Lesbians should not be allowed to join t he military. (R) 9. I would not vote for a political candidate who was openly lesbian. (R) 10. Lesbians are incapable of being good parents. (R) 11. I am tired of hearing about lesbians' problems. (R) 12. I wouldn't mind going to a party that included lesb ians. 13. I wouldn't mind working with a lesbian. 14. I am comfortable with the thought of two women being romantically involved. 15. It's all rights with me if I see two women holding hands. 16. If my best female friend was dating a woman, it would not up set me. 17. Movies that approve of female homosexuality bother me. (R) 18. I welcome new friends who are lesbian. 19. I don't mind companies using openly lesbian celebrities to advertise their products. 20. I would be sure to invite the same sex partner of my lesbian friend to my party. 21. I don't think it would negatively affect our relationship if I learned that one of my close relatives was a lesbian. 22. Physicians and psychologists should strive to find a cure for female homosexuality. (R) 23. Lesbian s should undergo therapy to change their sexual orientation. (R) 24. Female homosexuality is a psychological disease. (R) Note. (R) Indicates item is reversed scored

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! 51 A PPENDIX C ATTITUDES REGARDING BISEXUALITY SCALE Instructions: This survey is intende d for the research regarding individual feelings towards bisexual individuals There are no right or wrong answers to the statements that are being asked. You are asked to indicate your honest response that most corresponds to your personal feelings, belie fs and attitude regarding each statement. All responses will be retained, however, participation is anonymous. 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 Neutral 4 Agree 5 Strongly Agree 1) Male bisexuals are afraid to commit to one lifestyle. (R) 2) Most women who identify as bisexual have not yet discovered their true sexual orientation. (R) 3) Most men who claim to be bisexual are in denial about their true sexual orientation. (R) 4) Most women who call themselves bisexual are temporarily ex perimenting with their sexuality. (R) 5) Male bisexuals have a fear of committed intimate relationships. (R) 6) Lesbians are less confused about their sexuality than bisexual women. (R) 7) Male bisexuality is not usually a phase, but rather a stable sexual orientation. 8) Bisexual women have a clear sense of their true sexual orientation. 9) Just like homosexuality and heterosexuality, bisexuality is a stable sexual orientation for women. 10) The only true sexual orientations for women are homosexuality and heterosexuality. (R) 11) Bisexuality in men is immoral. (R) 12) The growing acceptance of female bisexuality indicates a decline in American values. (R) 13) As far as I'm concerned, female bisexuality is unnatural. (R) 14) Bisexual men are sick. (R) 15) M ale bisexuality is not a perversion. 16) I would not be upset if my sister were bisexual. 17) Female bisexuality is harmful to society because it breaks down the natural divisions between the sexes. (R) 18) Bisexual men should not be allowed to teach child ren in public schools. (R) Note. (R) Indicates item is reversed scored

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! 52 A PPENDIX D GENDERISM & TRANSPHOBIA SCALE Instructions: This survey is intended for the research regarding individual feelings towards transgender individuals There are no right or wrong answers to the statements that are being asked. You are asked to indicate your honest response that most corresponds to your personal feelings, beliefs and attitude regarding each statement. All responses will be retained, however, participation is anonymous. 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 Neutral 4 Agree 5 Strongly Agree 1) Men who cross dress for sexual pleasure disgust me (R) 2) Sex change operations are morally wrong (R) 3) God made two sexes and two sexes only (R) 4) If a friend wanted to have his penis removed in order to become a woman, I would openly support him (R) 5) A man who dresses as a woman is a pervert (R) 6) It is morally wrong for a woman to present herself as a man in public (R) 7) Women who see themselves a s men are abnormal 8) People are either men or women (R) 9) Feminine men make me feel uncomfortable (R) 10) Feminine boys should be cured of their problem (R) 11) I would avoid talking to a woman if I knew she had surgically created a penis and testicles ( R) 12) If I found out that my best friend was changing their sex, I would freak out (R) 13) Masculine women make me feel uncomfortable (R) 14) Children should be encouraged to explore their masculinity and femininity (R) 15) I would go to a bar that was fr equented by females who used to be males (R) 16) Men who act like women should be ashamed of themselves (R) 17) If a man wearing makeup and a dress, who also spoke in a high voice, approached my child, I would use physical force to stop him (R) 18) Men who shave their legs are weird (R) 19) My friends and I have often joked about men who dress like women (R) 20) Children should play with toys appropriate to their own sex (R) 21) If I found out that my lover was the other sex, I would get violent (R) 22) I c an't understand why a woman would act masculine (R) 23) It's all right to make fun of people who cross dress (R) 24) Passive men are weak (R) 25) Individuals should be allowed to express their gender freely 26) If I saw a man on the street that I thought w as really a woman, I would ask him if he was a man or a woman (R) 27) I have behaved violently towards a woman because she was too masculine (R) 28) If I encountered a male who wore high heeled shoes, stockings and makeup, I would consider beating him up ( R)

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! 53 29) I have behaved violently towards a man because he was too feminine (R) 30) I have beat up men who act like sissies (R) 31) I have teased a woman because of her masculine appearance or behavior (R) 32) I have teased a man because of his feminine appe arance or behavior (R) Note. (R) Indicates item is reversed scored

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! 54 Appendix E.1 Survey Scoring Legend *presented in the order discussed APPENDIX E SURVEY RESULTS

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! 55 Appendix E.2 Student #2 Results

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! 56 Appendix E.3 Student #5 Results ! ! !

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! 57 Appendix E.4 Student #7 Results ! !

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! 58 Appendix E.5 Student #3 Results

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! 59 Appendix E.6 Stu dent #6 Results

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! 60 Appendix E.7 Student #8 Results

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! 61 Appendix E.8 Student #1 Results