Cross-cultural and socio-demographic correlates of homophobic attitude among university students in three European countries



The aim of this study was to investigate homophobic attitudes in three European countries: Italy, Albania, and Ukraine. One thousand and forty-eight students were recruited in Italian (n = 766), Albanian (n = 180), and Ukrainian (n = 102) university centers.


A socio-demographic questionnaire and Homophobia Scale (HS) were administered by our staff.


Cross-cultural and significant differences among Italian, Albanian, and Ukrainian students were found on the Homophobia Scale (HS; Italy: mean = 22.26 ± 16.73; Albania: mean = 38.15 ± 17.28; Ukraine: mean = 59.18 ± 16.23). The analysis of socio-demographic characteristics revealed that the male gender emerged as main predictor of homophobic attitude in all the three countries, although also a conservative political orientation and the religious belief predict higher homophobia levels in Italy and Albania, particularly.


This study revealed that in these European countries assessed, attitudes toward homosexuality are different. Ukrainians display higher levels of homophobia than Albanians and Italians, confirming the central role of cultural differences in homophobic attitudes. Nevertheless, some socio-demographic aspects such as identification as male have a similar influence on homophobic attitudes in all assessed populations.

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Correspondence to E. A. Jannini.

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The study protocol was approved by our ethics committee for investigations involving human subjects.

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Informed consent was obtained from participants included in the study.

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Ciocca, G., Niolu, C., Déttore, D. et al. Cross-cultural and socio-demographic correlates of homophobic attitude among university students in three European countries. J Endocrinol Invest 40, 227–233 (2017).

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  • Cross-cultural differences
  • Homophobic attitude
  • Socio-demographic characteristics