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The effects of a school curriculum workshop addressing same sex attraction : impact and predictors of response : a thesis written in partial fulfilment of the requirements of a Master of Arts degree in Psychology at Massey University
This study evaluated the impact of a school teaching module aimed at reducing negative cognitive attitudes towards homosexuals. The study examined levels of homophobia, gender and religiosity differences in homophobic attitudes, and potential longevity of change. Fifty-one fifth form students (29 females and 22 males) from three different classes participated in the study. The students completed a cognitive measure of homophobia, an affective measure of homophobia, indicators of social desirability response, and recorded their level of religiosity prior to the intervention being delivered. The intervention workshop was delivered in the students' usual 'life skills' classes by facilitators who identify as experiencing same sex attraction. The workshop involved a variety of exercises requiring student participation and covered a variety of areas thought to influence homophobic level. The cognitive questionnaire was administered on two occasions after the intervention was delivered. Consistent with research exploring homophobic attitude, males and those identifying higher levels of religiosity recorded higher levels of homophobia at some measured points. Additionally, the study was consistent with past research identifying that education programmes were effective in reducing levels of homophobia.