Development and Validation of the Internalized Sexual Prejudice Scale
A deconstruction of the existing concept of internalized homophobia (IH) demonstrated the need for a new understanding of this experience, and a different means of operationalizing the construct in men who have sex with men. This quantitative cross-sectional study validated a new psychometric tool measuring the concept of internalized sexual prejudice (ISP). The construct if ISP was determined to have 5 dimensions representing internalized norms in the following categories; gender, group, civil, sexual, and attitudes. A review of the research included the works of Diaz, Herek, and others supported this model of internalized sexual prejudice. A sample of 125 men who visited websites popular among men who have sex with men (MSM) were recruited to complete a survey that assessed ISP. Instrument development procedures, including factor analysis, reliability, and validity analysis were conducted to refine the new ISP measure. Participants also completed the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale (CES-D), the Rosenberg Self esteem scale (RSE), the Reactions to Homosexuality Scale (RHS), and the Sexual, and Substance Use Risk Behavior (SSRUB) questionnaires to aid in validation. The results indicated a valid construct of internalized sexual prejudice consisting of the theorized 5 domains. Validity was substantiated by the ability of the tool to predict certain sexual and substance use behaviors. The study contributed to social change by providing clinical psychologists with a new assessment tool in their continuing treatment of MSM. The behavioral HIV intervention campaigns in the MSM population can modify their social marketing campaigns to account for the experiences of ISP within this population.
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