Title

Reasons Heterosexual Youth do not join GSAs

Presentation Type

Poster

Abstract

Sexual minority youth in high schools often experience victimization at significantly higher rates than their heterosexual peers (Bontempo & D’Augelli, 2002). The purpose of this study is to assess the reasons why heterosexual youth do not join gay-straight alliances (GSAs), which are student led groups for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals. If a GSA is to be a successful program it must have support from many areas such as teachers, LGBT students, and heterosexual allies. By identifying themes of reasoning as to why heterosexual youth do not join these groups, one can determine whether certain aspects of GSAs or the school environment might discourage inclusion into such organizations. The current study utilizes a subset of data obtained as part of a larger study involving heterosexual youth and homophobic attitudes and behaviors. Participants were recruited from introductory psychology courses, and eighty-five of the participant’s answers will be thematically coded and analyzed by the primary investigators and research lab peers. Participants were eighteen or nineteen years of age with an average age of 18.60 years. Of the eighty-five participants, thirty-seven were male and forty-eight were female. It is expected that particular themes will be present in reasons heterosexual youth provide for not joining GSAs. By identifying the common themes present in the data, one can see the factors that impact the decision to join, and with that knowledge we can improve the appeal for membership into GSA programs. This in turn may help to create a more cohesive school environment.

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Apr 13th, 11:00 AM Apr 13th, 12:00 PM

Reasons Heterosexual Youth do not join GSAs

UC Ballroom

Sexual minority youth in high schools often experience victimization at significantly higher rates than their heterosexual peers (Bontempo & D’Augelli, 2002). The purpose of this study is to assess the reasons why heterosexual youth do not join gay-straight alliances (GSAs), which are student led groups for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals. If a GSA is to be a successful program it must have support from many areas such as teachers, LGBT students, and heterosexual allies. By identifying themes of reasoning as to why heterosexual youth do not join these groups, one can determine whether certain aspects of GSAs or the school environment might discourage inclusion into such organizations. The current study utilizes a subset of data obtained as part of a larger study involving heterosexual youth and homophobic attitudes and behaviors. Participants were recruited from introductory psychology courses, and eighty-five of the participant’s answers will be thematically coded and analyzed by the primary investigators and research lab peers. Participants were eighteen or nineteen years of age with an average age of 18.60 years. Of the eighty-five participants, thirty-seven were male and forty-eight were female. It is expected that particular themes will be present in reasons heterosexual youth provide for not joining GSAs. By identifying the common themes present in the data, one can see the factors that impact the decision to join, and with that knowledge we can improve the appeal for membership into GSA programs. This in turn may help to create a more cohesive school environment.