Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 45, Issue 6, pp 1329–1346

The Internalized Homophobia Scale for Vietnamese Sexual Minority Women: Conceptualization, Factor Structure, Reliability, and Associations With Hypothesized Correlates

  • Trang Quynh Nguyen
  • Tonia Poteat
  • Karen Bandeen-Roche
  • Danielle German
  • Yen Hai Nguyen
  • Loan Kieu-Chau Vu
  • Nam Thi-Thu Nguyen
  • Amy R. Knowlton
Original Paper


We developed the first Vietnamese Internalized Homophobia (IH) scale for use with Vietnamese sexual minority women (SMW). Drawing from existing IH scales in the international literature and based on prior qualitative research about SMW in the Viet Nam context, the scale covers two domains: self-stigma (negative attitudes toward oneself as a sexual minority person) and sexual prejudice (negative attitudes toward homosexuality/same-sex relations in general). Scale items, including items borrowed from existing scales and items based on local expressions, were reviewed and confirmed by members of the target population. Quantitative evaluation used data from an anonymous web-based survey of Vietnamese SMW, including those who identified as lesbian (n = 1187), or as bisexual (n = 641) and those who were unsure about their sexual identity (n = 353). The scale was found to consist of two highly correlated factors reflecting self-stigma (not normal/wholesome and self-reproach and wishing away same-sex sexuality) and one factor reflecting sexual prejudice, and to have excellent internal consistency. Construct validity was evidenced by subscale associations with a wide range of hypothesized correlates, including perceived sexual stigma, outness, social support, connection to other SMW, relationship quality, psychological well-being, anticipation of heterosexual marriage, and endorsement of same-sex marriage legalization. Self-stigma was more strongly associated with psychosocial correlates, and sexual prejudice was more associated with endorsement of legal same-sex marriage. The variations in these associations across the hypothesized correlates and across sexual identity groups were consistent with the minority stress model and the IH literature, and exhibited context-specific features, which are discussed.


Internalized homophobia Sexual minority women Lesbian Bisexual Sexual orientation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mental HealthJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Department of Health, Behavior and SocietyJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Department of BiostatisticsJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA
  4. 4.Institute for Studies of Society, Economy and EnvironmentHa NoiViet Nam
  5. 5.Department of EpidemiologyJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA
  6. 6.The ICS CenterHo Chi Minh CityViet Nam
  7. 7.Health Policy and Strategy InstituteHa NoiViet Nam

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