A systematic review of instruments that measure attitudes toward homosexual men

Jeremy A. Grey, Beatrice Bean E Robinson, Eli Coleman, Walter O. Bockting

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Scientific interest in the measurement of homophobia and internalized homophobia has grown over the past 30 years, and new instruments and terms have emerged. To help researchers with the challenging task of identifying appropriate measures for studies in sexual-minority health, we reviewed measures of homophobia published in the academic literature from 1970 to 2012. Instruments that measured attitudes toward male homosexuals/homosexuality or measured homosexuals internalized attitudes toward homosexuality were identified using measurement manuals and a systematic review. A total of 23 instruments met criteria for inclusion, and their features were summarized and compared. All 23 instruments met minimal criteria for adequate scale construction, including scale development, sampling, reliability, and evidence of validity. Validity evidence was diverse and was categorized as interaction with gay men, HIV/AIDS variables, mental health, and conservative religious or political beliefs. Homophobia was additionally correlated with authoritarianism and bias, gender ideology, gender differences, and reactions to homosexual stimuli. Internalized homophobia was validated by examining relationships with disclosing one's homosexuality and level of homosexual identity development. We hope this review will make the process of instrument selection more efficient by allowing researchers to easily locate, evaluate, and choose the proper measure based on their research question and population of interest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-352
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Sex Research
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Doctoral fellowship; Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Undergraduate fellowship from Ball State University

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Institute on Child Health and Human Development, Gender Identity and HIV Risk II, 9R01HD057595-04A1. The contents of this report are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH. Additional administrative resources were provided by the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Minnesota Medical School.

Funding Information:
National Science Foundation


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