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REGISTERED NURSES’ ATTITUDES TOWARD THE PROTECTION OF GAYS AND - page 101 / 161

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The sample tended to be more sporadic in overall homophobia among the various age groups.

Some data have suggested that there is no statistical correlation between age and homophobia (Herek & Capitanio, 1995; Battle & Lemelle, 2002; Ellis, et. al, 2002). Age was found to be a statistically significant independent variable correlated with homophobia in this study. Although age 30 is often used to delineate differences in homophobia (Hoffman & Bakken, 2001), nurses aged 40-49 in this sample had an overall homophobia level that was very close to those nurses under the age of 30. In conclusion, perhaps using the age of 30 as a distinction point is inappropriate, especially in the nursing population.

Statistically significant differences were also found between the various ethnicities of the nurses in this study. Herek (2000b) indicated that race is a vastly understudied independent variable in examining homophobia. Lewis (2003) found African Americans to have higher levels of homophobia compared to Caucasians. However, the exact reason for this was only speculated to be related to decreased education, increased religious association, and male gender; however, this study underrepresented males and religious association was not a statistically significant predictor of homophobia. In addition, these variables tend to be predictive of homophobia regardless of race (Lewis, 2003; Battle & Lemelle, 2002). It is also suggested that African American women have less favorable attitudes toward homosexuals than white women.

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