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REGISTERED NURSES’ ATTITUDES TOWARD THE PROTECTION OF GAYS AND - page 111 / 161

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discrimination issues. The reverse might also be true. If heterosexuals believe homosexuals do not comprise an oppressed group in American society, then workplace policies could be deemed unnecessary and counterproductive. Perhaps homophobic thought can lead to the belief that gays and lesbians are not oppressed in American life, and thus, lead to lack of support for a nondiscrimination policy in the workplace.

Limitations

Perhaps the greatest limitation of this study is generalizability. Study participants were selected from a randomized sample of registered nurses licensed in the State of Florida. Thus, the results of this study are generalizable only to registered nurses licensed in the State of Florida. In addition, some demographic data of the sample varied somewhat from the demographic data of registered nurses in Florida. The research findings are constrained by the overall assumptions of the study. In this study, the three assumptions included that study participants would 1) understand the terms homosexuality, gay, and lesbian; 2) acknowledged the existence of homosexuals in the workplace (although not necessarily within their clinical area of practice; and 3) would answer demographic and survey elements honestly.

Another threat to the study which must be considered is whether or not respondents honestly reported their sexual orientation. Although the researcher ensured the anonymity of all members of the sample, the existence of social stigma and

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