Sex Roles

, Volume 42, Issue 5, pp 391–404

Predictors of Homophobia in Female College Students


  • Susan A. Basow
    • Lafayette College
  • Kelly Johnson
    • Lafayette College

DOI: 10.1023/A:1007098221316

Cite this article as:
Basow, S.A. & Johnson, K. Sex Roles (2000) 42: 391. doi:10.1023/A:1007098221316


Although much research has investigated predictors of homophobia in males, little attention has been given to the predictors of homophobia in females. The current study investigated how self-esteem, self-discrepancy (how much females think they fit others' expectations of how they should act with respect to gender-stereotyped attributes), and gender-attribute importance (how important gender stereotypes are to their gender identity) related to homophobia in 71 primarily White and middle-class college women. Other predictors evaluated were gender role attitudes, authoritarian attitudes, and extent of contact with lesbians and gay men. Results indicated that unlike for college men, self-discrepancy did not correlate with attitudes toward lesbians. The highest correlations with homophobia for college women were authoritarian attitudes, belief in sex role egalitarianism, degree of contact with gay men and lesbians, and importance of feminine attributes to participant's femininity. The only significant predictor, however, was authoritarian attitudes, which accounted for 62% of the variance.

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© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2000