Date of Award:

5-2010

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Psychology

Advisor/Chair:

Melanie M. Domenech Rodríguez

Abstract

Existing research has revealed a robust relationship between high religiosity and negative attitudes towards sexual minorities. To date, however, there have been few studies investigating this relationship within the membership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the LDS Church). The unique history, doctrine, and organization of this religion, along with its large size, rapid growth, and sizable influence, indicate that a study of homophobia among church members will provide additional information about the relationship between religiosity and negative attitudes. These data will shed additional light on the make-up and nature of homophobia, offer insight into the relationship between religious and homophobic attitudes and behaviors, and better inform mental health professionals working with individuals identifying as members of the LDS Church, as members of a sexual minority, or as members of both groups. The following research includes the administration of a survey to college-age LDS church members gathering data regarding several dimensions of LDS religiosity, several dimensions of attitudes towards sexual minorities, and demographic data. Subsequent analysis of the gathered data has clarified the nature of the relationship between the measured dimensions of LDS religiosity and homophobia, specifically, that overall LDS religiosity correlates positively with negative attitudes towards sexual minorities, and that some individual dimensions of religiosity, particularly commitment to the LDS Church, are particularly predictive of negative attitudes.

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