Multiple dimensions of attitudes about homosexuality: development of a multifaceted scale measuring attitudes toward homosexuality.

Published: November 9, 2010


Attitudes toward homosexuality are complex. To get a comprehensive view on the attitudes of people, different dimensions need to be included in research. Based on a review of the literature, we distinguish five dimensions: acceptance of homosexuality in a general sense; attitude toward equal rights; reactions to homosexuality "at close quarters"; reactions to homosexuality in public; and so-called modern homonegativity. In a study on a representative sample of Dutch Defence personnel (N = 1,607) we tested this model. Structural equation modeling of several items measuring the attitude toward homosexuality offers a six factor solution. These six factors are more or less comparable to the five dimensions we distinguished. The dimension "reactions to homosexuality at close quarters" is, however, empirically split in a dimension on affective reactions to homosexuality and homosexual persons in general and a dimension on affective reaction to homosexual friends or acquaintances.

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