An experiential attitude change: Social work students and homosexuality

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This paper describes and analyzes an attitude change among third year undergraduate social work students in a major university in Israel. The subject of attitudes towards homosexuality, while receiving extensive theoretical attention, lacks documentation of actual change in attitudes. This paper is an attempt to fill the gap by using a quasi-experimental non- equivalent control group design evaluation of the impact of an elective course on homosexuality on students' attitudes. The experimental group was comprised of 31 students who enrolled in an elective course, entitled 'Individual, familial, and social aspects of homosexuality.' The course combined theoretical as well as experiential frameworks. The control group was comprised of 56 third-year social work students who did not enroll in the course. Both quantitative and qualitative methodologies were employed in comparing the two groups prior to and following the intervention. Specifically, a 25-item questionnaire was used to measure homophobia attitudes, and an open-ended question was used to qualitatively explore the students' associations with the term 'homosexuality.' Findings are discussed within the frameworks of the current literature regarding attitudes towards homosexuality, attitude change, social work education, and the unique situation in Israel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-71
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Homosexuality
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • General Psychology


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