Objective. The goal of this study was to empirically verify that the combination of negative attitudes of LGB people towards homosexuality in general and to their own personal characteristics associated with a gay orientation has a negative impact on their self-esteem.
Design. To test this hypothesis we adapted and standardized the Russian version of the personal homonegativity scale (Mayfield, 2001). Using the adapted measure, we studied how personal homonegativity affects the self-esteem of LGB people. We explored the reliability and validity of the adapted measure with 92 gay respondents aged over 21. Confirmatory factor analysis revealed a two-scale structure — the method was proved. The modified measure includes ten statements divided into two scales: Homonegativity (internalized homophobia; Cronbach’s alpha =0.96) and Acceptance of one’s own homosexuality (Cronbach alpha’s = 0.88). The results indicated that the adapted measure was suitable for assessing internalized homonegativity among gay individuals in Russia.
Results. More than a half of the respondents (55.4 %) had a rather low level of internalized homophobia which was related to fewer neurotic symptoms and emotional discomfort in comparison with other respondents. However, a higher level of internalized homophobia in remaining respondents (44.6 %) was related to a more positive emotional acceptance of their own homosexuality and to a higher level of self-esteem.
Conclusion. The results of the analyses of the original hypothesis were confirmed only partially. Internalized homophobia of LGB people appeared to adversely affect the severity of neurotic symptoms and subjective well-being.
Keywords: homonegativity, personal homonegativity, standardization, adaptation, homophobia