Masters Thesis

LGBT allies: a social movement analysis

A clear gap exists in the availability of quantitative data regarding characteristics for determining the likelihood that individuals will self-identify as allies to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Many studies have provided valuable qualitative information as far as what defines allyhood, the participants in the social movement aimed at LGBT equality, and the developmental processes involved in forming an identity, comparing that identity to the goals of the social movement, and autonomously participating in providing a support structure for oppressed minority populations, in this case those with a sexuality considered out of the societal norm. Seventy students at California State University participated in a survey to measure the various attitudes, beliefs, and perspectives they hold towards LGBTs, as well as the different interpersonal experiences that influence an individual’s decision to be an ally. Of the 12 variables selected for analysis, having heterosexual friends that identify as allies, the degree of agreement that homosexuality is a sin, and having parents that are supportive of LGBT equality all can provide means by which the likelihood that an individual will self-identify as an LGBT ally can be determined.

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