Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

December 2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Rehabilitation Counseling

First Advisor

JoAnne Holbert

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of an educational workshop on the implicit and explicit attitudes of graduate counseling students toward homosexuality. Counseling students' attitudes toward sexuality and homosexuality were measured before and after participating in an educational workshop on human sexuality. The setting for the study was a human sexuality workshop being taught within a counselor education graduate program. The weekend workshop was an elective class for graduate students who were enrolled at a large urban university. A total of 23 individuals volunteered to participate in the study.

The participants were asked to complete three surveys; the Homosexuality Attitude Scale, the Brief Sexual Attitudes Scale, and an original demographic survey developed by the researcher at the beginning and following the completion of the human sexuality workshop. The workshop consisted of two weekends with a one weekend interval between the sessions. The survey responses were entered into a computer file using IBM-SPSS Ver. 19.0. The subscale and total scores for perceptions regarding homosexuality and sex did not provide evidence of statistically significant changes from pretest to posttest. These findings indicated that the attitudes of students who participated in the Human Sexuality Workshop regarding homosexuality and sexuality did not change after participating in the program. Limitations of this study were greatly influenced by small sample size and the time span over which the study was conducted. Suggestions that further research is needed to determine the influence of different information content or different approaches to change on knowledge and attitudes. Researchers should study counselors' development qualitatively to learn when and how attitudes toward a controversial topic (i.e., homosexuality) change. A longitudinal research design was suggested as a way to examine the effects of multiple training interventions and identify the conditions necessary to illicit changes in attitudes.

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