Homophobia within schools: Challenging the culturally sanctioned dismissal of gay students and colleagues

Andrew S. Walters, David M. Hayes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

44 Scopus citations


In this paper we chronicle the prevalence of and cultural prescription for homophobia in the United States. The endemic nature of homophobia as it has been studied by behavioral scientists is reviewed. We then suggest that as social institutions reflecting cultural values, schools, colleges, and universities sanction an environment that neglects the value of gay students, staff, and faculty. Institutional homophobia dismisses the legitimacy of these individuals, thereby minimizing their contributions to learning. Addressed specifically are suggestions for training individuals who work with students to recognize, address, and challenge homophobia. We conclude that while the weight of American culture sanctions homophobia, training educators and personnel about the nuances of institutional homophobia may provide a fairer environment for gay students and colleagues. An appendix of resources describing effective programs for educational and training use is provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Homosexuality
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 24 1998


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Psychology(all)

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