Heterosexual perspectives of lesbian and gay men's social support and coping




Silva, Stephanie

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Prejudice has been a social issue faced by many throughout the decades. Prejudice, as experienced by lesbians and gay men, has increasingly gained public attention and research interest over the years. The current study explored heterosexual individuals' attitudes and perspectives of lesbian and gay men's prejudicial experiences, coping strategy use, and social support. A sample of heterosexual college students (N=195) were asked to fill out questionnaires that contained items measuring attitudes towards homosexual individuals as well as their perceptions of homosexual individuals' perceived social support and coping strategy use. Differences in perceptions of homosexual individuals' perceived social support and coping strategy use were found in relation to heterosexual attitudes towards homosexual individuals. Specifically, heterosexual individuals who held positive beliefs towards homosexual individuals believed that homosexual individuals received social support from friends and used coping engagement more than coping disengagement. This study illustrated the significant influence attitudes may have on an individuals' perceptions of a minority group members' prejudicial experience. Further investigation is needed to fully understand the implications of these findings.


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LGBTQ studies, Psychology, Social Psychology, Social Research