Discomfort With Homosexuality: A New Measure Captures Differences in Attitudes Toward Gay Men and Lesbians

Martin Monto, University of Portland
Jessica Supinski

Journal of Homosexuality, 2014, Volume 61, Issue 6, 899-916.

© 2014 Taylor & Francis

Linked version is the final published version.


This study describes a creative and psychometrically sound method that allows researchers to measure homonegativity at a lower threshold than existing measures and to differentiate between homonegativity toward gay men and lesbians. Four hundred and thirty-one undergraduate students at a Western comprehensive university were asked to respond to a series of vignettes describing situations in which heterosexuals sometimes experience discomfort in the presence of homosexuals, indicating the degree to which they would feel comfortable or uncomfortable. The 12-item Homonegativity as Discomfort Scale (HADS) has adequate alpha reliability (.92) as well as good criterion and construct validity. Suggestions are made as to how the measure could be employed in research. Testing on this sample shows greater discomfort with gay men than with lesbians and greater discomfort among men than among women.