theory, which also suggests greater similarity among women and gay men as a causative factor for overall reduced homophobia (LaMar & Kite, 1998).
Perhaps of importance to the discussion of gender differences in homophobia is the societal misperception that nursing is a feminine career choice or that nursing is a profession that is gender-specific (Clifford, 2005). One might hypothesize that male nurses overstate their homophobia due to societal stigma of being a male nurse working in a female- dominated industry. Or, this stigma may lead to irrational thought process among male nurses. Perhaps knowing the existence of a social stigma placed on male nurses alters their rationality of male gender roles. Male nurses may irrationally believe that because society may associate nursing as feminine, effeminate behaviors often associated with homosexuality further perpetuate the social stigma. Irrational thought process has been positively correlated with male gender and homophobia (Plugge-Foust & Strickland, 2001).
Statistically significant differences in homophobia were also supported among the various age classifications of the sample. Explaining the variances in the overall homophobia scores is somewhat difficult. Research suggests that as age level increases, overall homophobia also increases (Finlay & Walther, 2003; Lewis, 2003; Herek 2002a, Landen & Innala, 2002; Herek 2000b). However, in this sample, overall homophobia and age wasn’t linear (as evidenced by scatter plots, not shown).