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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 36  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 344-350

An online survey of education, knowledge and attitude toward homosexuality in adults

Department of Psychiatry, Karpaga Vinayaga Institute of Medical Sciences, Maduranthakam, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. S Arumuganathan
Department of Psychiatry, Karpaga Vinayaga Institute of Medical Sciences, Maduranthakam, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijsp.ijsp_43_20

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Background: People across cultures have negative stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination toward homosexuality for many years. The concept is changing, and recently in India, the Supreme Court has decriminalized homosexuality and recognized it as natural, with people having no control over it. This study aims to find out if there is any change in knowledge and attitude toward homosexuality in the Indian adult population after the landmark judgment. Methods: The study was designed as an online survey using snowball sampling incorporating the questions from Sex Education, Knowledge about homosexuality questionnaire (SEKHQ), Attitudes toward Homosexuality Questionnaire (AHQ) and relevant sociodemographic details and the data were collected using google form for 3 months. Results: Six hundred and forty-three people over the age of 18 years participated in the study. The mean age of the study participants was 29.12 years. The mean score on SEKHQ was 16.18 ± 4.71, with a median score of 16. The mean score on the “Attitudes toward Homosexuals” questionnaire (AHQ) was 54.04 ± 8.43. On Pearson's correlation test, age of the participants is positively correlated with SEKHQ score (r = 0.014; P = 0.71 at 95% confidence interval and AHQ score (r = 0.151; P ≤ 0.001 at 95% CI) while SEKHQ score is negatively correlated with AHQ score (r = −0.20; P ≤ 0.001 at 95% CI). Conclusion: The participants had better knowledge and positive attitudes towards homosexuality, especially being single, student and from a medical background. The study showed that higher knowledge on SEKHQ scores did not reflect the positive attitudinal change with increasing age. Generation gap exists and explains the open and diverse attitude of the younger generation toward this marginalized population. More large scale studies in the community setting are needed not only to evaluate but also to educate and improve the attitudes of people toward homosexuality.

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