Riddle Homophobia Scale

Homophobic Levels of Attitude:

  • Repulsion
    Homosexuality is seen as a crime against nature. Gays and lesbians are sick, crazy, immoral, sinful, wicked. Anything is justified to change them—prison, hospitalization, negative behavior therapy, violence, etc.
  • Pity
    Represents heterosexual chauvinism. Heterosexuality is more mature and certainly to be preferred. Any possibility of becoming "straight" should be reinforced, and those who seem to be born that way should be pitied.
  • Tolerance
    Homosexuality is just a phase of adolescent development that many people go through and most people grow out of. Thus, gays and lesbians are less mature than heterosexuals and should be treated with the protectiveness and indulgence one uses with a child. Gays and lesbians should not be given positions of authority because they are still working through their adolescent behavior.
  • Acceptance
    Still implies there is something to accept. Characterized by such statements as “you’re not a lesbian, you're a person" or “what you do is your own business” or "it’s fine with me, just don't flaunt it.”

Positive Levels of Attitude:

  • Support
    Works to safeguard the rights of lesbians and gays. People at this level may be uncomfortable themselves but they are aware of the homophobic climates and irrational unfairness.
  • Admiration
    Acknowledges that being gay or lesbian in our society takes strength. People at his level are willing to truly examine their homophobic attitudes, values, and behaviors.
  • Appreciation
    Values the diversity of people and see gays and lesbians as a valid part of that diversity. These people are willing to combat homophobia in themselves and others.
  • Nurturance
    Assumes that gay and lesbian people are indispensable in our society. They view gays and lesbians with genuine affection and delight, and are willing to be allies and advocates.

Riddle, D. I, (1994). The Riddle scale. Alone no more: Developing a school support system for gay, lesbian and bisexual youth. St Paul: Minnesota State Department.

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