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Teachers' Attitudes and Beliefs about Homosexuality

  • Carles Pérez-Testor (a1), Julia Behar (a2), Montse Davins (a1), José Luís Conde Sala (a2), José. A. Castillo (a1), Manel Salamero (a1), Elisabeth Alomar (a1) and Sabina Segarra (a1)...

Schools play a key role in transmitting attitudes towards sexual diversity. Many studies stress the importance of teachers' and other professionals' attitudes towards gay men and/or lesbian women. This study evaluates attitudes and prejudices toward homosexuality in a sample of 254 elementary and high school teachers in Barcelona and its surrounding area. The results obtained using a scale of overt and subtle prejudice and a scale of perceived discrepancy of values indicate that discrepancy between likely behavior and personal values was significantly greater in women, those who hold religious beliefs, churchgoers and people without any gay or lesbian acquaintances. Approximately 88% of the teachers showed no type of prejudiced attitudes towards gay men and lesbian women. The experience of proximity to gay men and/or lesbian women reduces not only the discrepancy between personal values and likely behavior but also the presence of homophobic prejudice. It would be advisable to expand specific teacher training in the subject of sexual diversity in order to reduce prejudicial attitudes, thus fostering non-stereotyped knowledge of homosexuality.

La escuela juega un rol clave en la transmisión de actitudes hacia la diversidad sexual. Muchos estudios subrayan la importancia de las actitudes de los profesores y de otros profesionales hacia hombres gay y/o mujeres lesbianas. Este estudio evalúa actitudes y prejuicios hacia la homosexualidad en una muestra de 254 profesores de escuelas de primaria y secundaria de Barcelona y su zona metropolitana. Los resultados obtenidos al aplicar una escala de prejuicio manifiesto y sutil, y una escala de discrepancia percibida de valores, indican que la discrepancia entre la conducta probable y los valores personales son significativamente mayores en mujeres, aquellos que tienen creencias religiosas, los que practican la religión y las personas que no conocen a gays o lesbianas. Aproximadamente el 88% de los profesores no mostraron ningún tipo de actitudes prejuiciosas hacia los gays y lesbianas. La experiencia de proximidad a hombres gay y/o mujeres lesbianas no sólo reduce la discrepancia entre los valores personales y la conducta probable sino también la presencia de prejuicio homófobo. Sería recomendable ampliar la formación específica del profesorado en el tema de la diversidad sexual para reducir actitudes prejuiciosas, fomentando así un conocimiento de la homosexualidad no estereotipado.

Corresponding author
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Dr. Carles Pérez Testor. Instituto Universitario de Salud Mental Vidal y Barraquer (Universidad Ramon Llull). C/ Sant Gervasi de Cassoles, 88. 08022 Barcelona (Spain). E.mail:
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The Spanish Journal of Psychology
  • ISSN: 1138-7416
  • EISSN: 1988-2904
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