Attitudes towards and Knowledge about Homosexuality among Medical Students in Zagreb
The aim of the study was to investigate whether students in their fifth and sixth years of medical school in Zagreb have homophobic attitudes and assess their knowledge about homosexuality. A survey was conducted among fifth and sixth year medical students during the 2009/2010 academic year. The survey consisted of: general demographic data, two validated questionnaires—“Knowledge about Homosexuality Questionnaire” and “Heterosexual Attitudes towards Homosexuality Scale”—and questions about personal experiences created for this study. The mean knowledge scores were M = 14.8 out of 20. Furthermore, gender differences in attitudes were observed, indicating less negative attitudes among the female participants. The regression model was significant (ANOVA: Sum of Squares = 38,065; df = 17, Mean Square = 2239, F = 10.6; p < 0.001) with 38% of explained variance. The significant predictor variables that indicate lower attitudes about homosexuality score were female gender (beta = –0.14, p = 0.015), sixth year of study (beta = –0.16, p = 0.009) and more knowledge about homosexuality (beta = –0.48, p < 0.001). Negative attitudes are present among the students; therefore, educational efforts should be included in the curricula of medical schools to diminish the negative perceptions of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
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