Still an occupational hazard? The relationship between homophobia, heteronormativity, student learning and performance, and an openly gay university lecturer

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Abstract

This study examined the complex relationship between homophobia, heteronormativity, and an openly gay lecturer in a British university setting. First, heterosexual undergraduate sports students’ levels of homophobia were recorded. Then, after taught sessions, participants were asked to estimate the frequency of homosexual-heterosexual examples and content used, as well as to complete tests to measure academic progress. This was followed by an end-of-course examination. Results indicated (a) no relationship between levels of homophobia and levels of heteronormativity; (b) that levels of heteronormativity and homophobia were unrelated to a student’s ability to learn from an openly gay lecturer or their examination performance; (c) the presence of an openly gay lecturer significantly reduced homophobia among undergraduate students. These findings offer support to gay educators by highlighting the minimal impact on student learning and performance from being open about their sexuality. Instead, these results suggest that being open about homosexuality could reduce homophobia among undergraduate students.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTeaching in Higher Education
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2018

Keywords

  • Sexuality
  • Gender
  • Teaching
  • Social justice
  • Inclusion
  • inclusion
  • gender
  • teaching
  • social justice

Cite this

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title = "Still an occupational hazard?: The relationship between homophobia, heteronormativity, student learning and performance, and an openly gay university lecturer",
abstract = "This study examined the complex relationship between homophobia, heteronormativity, and an openly gay lecturer in a British university setting. First, heterosexual undergraduate sports students’ levels of homophobia were recorded. Then, after taught sessions, participants were asked to estimate the frequency of homosexual-heterosexual examples and content used, as well as to complete tests to measure academic progress. This was followed by an end-of-course examination. Results indicated (a) no relationship between levels of homophobia and levels of heteronormativity; (b) that levels of heteronormativity and homophobia were unrelated to a student’s ability to learn from an openly gay lecturer or their examination performance; (c) the presence of an openly gay lecturer significantly reduced homophobia among undergraduate students. These findings offer support to gay educators by highlighting the minimal impact on student learning and performance from being open about their sexuality. Instead, these results suggest that being open about homosexuality could reduce homophobia among undergraduate students.",
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author = "John Batten and Matthew Ripley and Eric Anderson and Joanne Batey and Adam White",
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AB - This study examined the complex relationship between homophobia, heteronormativity, and an openly gay lecturer in a British university setting. First, heterosexual undergraduate sports students’ levels of homophobia were recorded. Then, after taught sessions, participants were asked to estimate the frequency of homosexual-heterosexual examples and content used, as well as to complete tests to measure academic progress. This was followed by an end-of-course examination. Results indicated (a) no relationship between levels of homophobia and levels of heteronormativity; (b) that levels of heteronormativity and homophobia were unrelated to a student’s ability to learn from an openly gay lecturer or their examination performance; (c) the presence of an openly gay lecturer significantly reduced homophobia among undergraduate students. These findings offer support to gay educators by highlighting the minimal impact on student learning and performance from being open about their sexuality. Instead, these results suggest that being open about homosexuality could reduce homophobia among undergraduate students.

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