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REGISTERED NURSES’ ATTITUDES TOWARD THE PROTECTION OF GAYS AND - page 14 / 161

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Historic and Etiologic Sources and the Evolution of Discrimination Against Gays and Lesbians

Pervasive and commonplace in American culture, the exact etiologic source for discrimination against gays and lesbians is multifaceted (Herek, 2002). Research has shown a strong correlation between a Christian religious identification, male gender, belief in the “free choice” model of homosexuality (the thinking that gays and lesbians choose their sexual orientation), and other variables such as lack of association with gays, lower educational levels, and high regard for traditional family ideologies and structures with homonegative attitudes and discriminatory practices (Crawford, McLeod, Zamboni, and Jordan 2000; Swigonski, 2001; Lim, 2002; Rivers, 2002). The individual most likely to hold negative attitudes towards homosexuals is a theistic male who highly supports a traditional belief in family structure, believes homosexuality is a life-style choice, knows few or no gay or lesbian people personally, and surrounds himself by other people who share his opinions regarding homosexuality (Crawford, McLeod, Zamboni, and Jordan 2000; Swigonski, 2001; Lim, 2002; Rivers, 2002).

Perhaps some of the etiology for hatred and homophobia towards gays is rooted in psychological science itself (Morrow,

2001).

Freud’s psychoanalytic theory,

psychological

literature

well

into

the

which dominated 1960s, claimed that

homosexuals fixation in

were in arrested development, representing a the Oedipal stage of psychosexual development,

which

led

to

the

widely-viewed

belief

that

homosexuality

was

4

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