Professor of Counseling Psychology,
Graduate Program Director of the Counseling Psychology PhD program.
University of Massachusetts Boston.
This issue of "Psychology in Russia: State of the Art", focused on sexual orientation and gender identity, is a step toward meeting that obligation of contributing to the welfare of a stigmatized population, through highlighting current research and theory related to LGBT concerns.
Keywords: Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, Volume 10, Issue 2, 2017, Psychology in Russia: State of the Art
Background. Validated measures of sexual minority stress (Meyer, 2003), including that caused by experiences of discrimination directed toward gay, lesbian and bisexual (GLB) people, GLB-related stigma, and internalized homonegativity, are not readily available in Russia. Given the particular context of Russia with respect to GLB rights, it is to be expected that there would be cross-cultural variations in dimensions of minority stress, including internalized homo-negativity.
Objective. For the present study, we aimed to back and forward translate the commonly used Szymanski and Chung’s (2001) Lesbian Internalized Homonegativity Scale (LIHS), and explore its cross-language validity.
Design. Our design consisted of a completion of the adapted LIHS by a sample of 74 Russian lesbian-identified women; participants were asked about their age of coming out to self, friends, and family.
Results. Based upon an examination of construct validity and internal consistency, the results suggest support for a modified four-component, 24-item Russian version of the LIH (R-LIH).The components were: Connection with Lesbian Communities (9 items); Public Identification as a Lesbian (7); Public Visibility as a Lesbian (5); and Cultural Awareness of Lesbian Communities (3). From the original LIHS scale, Personal Feelings about Being a Lesbian, Moral and Religious Attitudes toward Lesbians, and Attitudes toward Other Lesbians failed to demonstrate cross-cultural validity.
Conclusion. The adapted R-LIH scale suggests there are some constructs of internalized homonegativity that are salient in both U.S. and Russian communities, however, there are others (i.e., Moral and Religious Attitudes, Attitudes Toward Other Lesbians) that may not be relevant in Russian lesbian communities. The implications for the use of the translated version are described.
Keywords: lesbian, measurement, Russia, internalized homo-negativity, internalized heterosexism, cross-cultural
Background. Negative attitudes toward Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual people in Russia are common, and may have become more prevalent due to recent policy changes.
Objective. This study explored whether interpersonal contact and personality characteristics predicted Hateful Attitudes Toward GLB people and Endorsement of GLB Rights.
Design. The design of the study included 154 heterosexual undergraduate students in Moscow and Volgodonsk who were surveyed about their attitudes toward GLB people as well as their personality characteristics assessed with the NEO-FFI. Results. Results suggested that Moscow students held less hateful attitudes and endorsed greater GLB Rights than Volgodonsk students. Women were also more favorable toward GLB Rights than men. In terms of Hateful Attitudes, having GLB friends or acquaintances was a negative predictor of Hateful Attitudes, while neuroticism and conscientiousness were positive predictors. In conclusion, living in a large urban area, knowing GLB individuals, and low levels of neuroticism and conscientiousness appear to be associated with positive attitudes toward GLB people in Russia, however, personality characteristics and knowing GLB people did not appear to relate to endorsement of GLB Civil Rights.
Conclusion. Current sociopolitical policies such as the propaganda ban, and historical censure of GLB rights during the Soviet era, may impact how “out” GLB Russian people can be, particularly outside of large urban centers, and may reinforce general lack of support for GLB Civil Rights in the Russian population.
Keywords: attitudes, gay, lesbian, bisexual, GLB Rights, personality characteristics, NEO-FFI, interpersonal contact