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FSD2377 Ninth-Graders' Conceptions of Sexual Minorities 2004

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Authors

  • Malinen, Jari (University of Jyväskylä. Department of Special Education)

Keywords

attitudes, female homosexuality, homosexuality, minority groups, prejudice, schoolchildren, secondary schools, sex education, sexual minorities, tolerance

Abstract

The study canvassed lower secondary school ninth-graders' (i.e. about 15-year-olds') attitudes towards and knowledge of sexual minorities. The data were originally used in a Master's thesis in special education which examined topics such as students' attitudes towards minorities, their own sexuality and sex education taught in their school.

First, the students were asked to assess their general attitude towards various population groups, and to rank them according to how easily they would accept representatives of these groups as their friend or teacher. They were also asked whether they considered it possible to tell a person's sexual orientation based on his/her appearance, and where they had received information on sexual minorities. Further questions covered the respondents' acquaintances belonging to sexual minorities, their own sexual orientation, possible sexual experiences with a person of the same sex, and whether they considered themselves tolerant of sexual minorities.

Regarding sex education taught in the respondents' school, they were asked whether there had been discussions about dating or sexuality in their class during the past school year. If there had been some, they were also asked to identify the teacher and the subject of these classes, as well as the topics discussed during them. Finally, the respondents were presented with a set of attitudinal statements on homosexuality and school.

Background variables included the respondent's school (rural or urban, numbered), class, and gender.

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