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Acceptability of Homosexuals Among Selected Members of Fraternities in the University of the Philippines Los Banos

By NoryDelfin May 07, 2013 3436 Words
ABSTRACT

The level of acceptability to homosexuals among the selected fraternity members in UPLB was determined using a survey questionnaire with 25 respondents chosen using purposive sampling. Socio-demographic characteristics of the respondents were described and analyzed to see how it affects the level of acceptability of the respondents to homosexuals. The research found out that the classification (education) of the respondents and total number of homosexual peers (exposure) has a very strong linear relationship with their level of acceptability, thus the higher the classification and the more homosexual peers the male college students have, the higher also their level of acceptability. Moreover, it was also counted that almost half of the respondents (48%) accept homosexuals, thus it can be concluded that homosexuals are acceptable among male college students.

INTRODUCTION

A. Background of the Study
Even with increase of programs being implemented by the government for several homosexual communities in the country, homosexuals are still not yet fully accepted in the society. They are still subjected to discrimination, violence and unequal rights. According to Del Pilar (2005) “Filipinos held largely negative attitudes toward lesbians and gay men. Many Filipinos (about 28%) considered being gay/lesbian as “can never be justified” while only 4% thought it could “always be justified.” In addition, about 1 out of 4 Filipinos expressed not wanting gay men/lesbians as neighbors. These heterosexist views did not change significantly from 1996 to 2001 and were widespread, regardless of gender, socio-economic status, educational attainment, or religiosity. The Philippines has long been exposed to homosexuals but being a Christian country, the majority is still being repulsed by homosexuality.

There are a number of demographic variables that are correlated with the treatment of people towards homosexuals. Del Pilar (2005) suggests that “individuals with heterosexist [in favor of opposite sex sexuality attitudes are more likely to be older, be less well-educated, reside in geographic areas where heterosexism represents the norm, be more strongly religious and subscribe to a conservative religious ideology, be less likely to report having had sex with a person of the same sex, be less likely to self-identify as lesbian or gay, and to have fewer friends who are openly gay or lesbian.” In an academic institution like the University of the Philippines which has a diversity of culture and tradition and wherein academic freedom is highly promoted, it has become one of the institutions in the country that includes a high tolerance on homosexuality and among homosexuals. Even so, there is still a question on how high exactly the rate of this acceptability among homosexuals is, what factors are affecting this and how these factors contribute to their view and treatment on homosexuals.

B. Objectives
This study aimed to assess the level of acceptability of homosexuals among selected members of the fraternities in UPLB. Specifically, it intended to describe the socio-demographic characteristics of the respondents and to determine how these factors affect the level of their acceptability.

C. Significance of the Study
Nowadays, it is observable that there is an increasing number now of individual who are declaring that they are homosexual, and this has impact on the social situation of the country. This study will help the social developer to analyze some of the factors that may affect the acceptability of the male population of the society.

In addition, this study will be able to evaluate the current status of homosexuals among male community, specifically fraternities in UPLB, as well as making them be aware of their assessments to homosexuals.

The research can also serve as base line study for other researchers who will go beyond the same line of prospects. The study also adds to the available knowledge in the society. D. Date and Place of the Study

The study was conducted at the UPLB Campus from December to March 2013.

METHODOLOGY

A. Conceptual Framework

B. Hypotheses
Ho: homosexuals are still not acceptable among male college students. Ha: homosexuals are acceptable already among male college students.

Ho: Social and demographic characteristics have no effect on acceptability of male college students to homosexuals. Ha: Social and demographic characteristics have an effect on acceptability of male college students to homosexuals. C. Research Design and Sampling

The research was done through survey. The number of fraternities was determined by the researchers by getting the list at the website of Office of Student Affairs (OSA). Random number generator was used in determining 6 out 12 of the recognized fraternity groups in UPLB. From these six (6) groups that were identified, five respondents from each of the fraternity were selected purposively that comprised the target 30 respondents. However, five (5) of the respondents did not answer the questionnaire properly so the researcher decided to void their slot in the study, resulting to only 25 respondents.

D. Research Instruments
The research was conducted through survey questionnaire instrument that generated quantitative and qualitative data. This questionnaire were divided into different categories which are social and demographic characteristics of the respondents; level of acceptability. In addition to the survey questionnaire, the structure observational method will also be used by the researcher. This requires direct observation of the body language, reactions and gesture of the respondents. Moreover, social indicators will also be obtained by the researcher through making inferences from existing data.

E. Statistical Analysis
In this study, frequency distribution, percentages, and measures of central tendencies were used to analyzed the data and information gathered. Moreover, tables and figures that were generated were analyzed and interpreted. Furthermore, correlational analysis was also used in the research to see the relationships of different variables in the study.

F. Scope and Limitations
The respondents of this study were only limited to selected members of fraternities in UPLB, thus other kind of groups of individual were not included in this study. It only highlighted the general acceptability and factors affecting the degree of the acceptability of the respondents to homosexuals. Moreover, the degree of cooperation and availability of the study of the respondents also limit the study. Some of the resident members of fraternity may be hard to find due and they may be possibly inactive to their fraternity. Also, some of the questions included in the survey were left unanswered, thus forcing the researcher to void the questionnaire and to look for other respondents. These all contribute to randomization error of the study, in addition with the time constraints on the side of the researchers. As a result, the sampling became purposive in format. Furthermore, absence of the investigation about the female side also limits the study. Moreover, other gender such as bisexuals, pansexual and the likes are not included in the study.

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

For the past years, homophobia has been one of the major problems a lot of people deal with. In the United States alone, 11 gay youth committed suicide, thinking that it was the only alternative way to find an escape, because of going through such overwhelming harassment. By the fall of 2010, there quite a lot of states in the US that stated to legalize marriage of the same sex. Gay rights are now being viewed as a human right, and the appearance of gays in the broader culture is becoming high. (McCormack, 2012) In the UK on the other hand, Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations was introduced in 2007, and there was a significant increase in the affirmative attitude towards homosexuality. It was revealed by the British Social Attitudes Survey that 75% of the british people considered that homosexuality is immoral, but by 2008 this statistic has fallen into 32%. In addition, a survey conducted by Equality and Human Rights Commission of 5,000 people showed that 84% would be glad or unbiased to be treated by an open homosexual doctor. (Fish, 2012) In the past, only those loud and flashy homosexuals are being classified by Filipinos as gays. They are often called as bakla. Most of these people work on beauty parlos, entertainment clubs, and tv shows. They do their job as talk show hosts, comedians and impersonators. Being effortlessly distinguish through cross dressing and by the use of make-up, they have long been part of the Philippine culture. The knowledge that there are also straight looking gay men in the Philippines have only been put into consideration in the recent years. Lesbians on the other hand are called tomboy, only if they have a behavior like males or is markedly masculine in appearance. (Gays in the Philippines, 2010) As reported by several sources, Filipinos have a somewhat negative behavior towards homosexuals. This points to intolerance and inequality against homosexuals under fields such as healthcare, education, work and religion based on the observations made by activists and officials of nongovernmental organizations. According to Del Pilar (2005) “Qualitative research with lesbian/gay participants supports these observations. Using 32 focus groups and 13 in-depth interviews with Filipino adolescents in Metro Manila and Luzon, Gastardo-Conaco, Jimenez and Billedo (2003) found that young Filipino lesbians and gay men report experiences of heterosexism, especially in contexts like the home, school, and religion.” Experiences of discrimination include homosexuals being called names like bakla or tomboy and sometimes they are even subjected to bullying. Even though the Philippines is a Catholic dominated country, homosexuality is still widely accepted by Filipinos compared to the other cultures, especially in some western countries. According to the study made by Wade (2010) “…Catholics were the most likely to change their mind to favor homosexuality. They are as likely as political Democrats to support gays and lesbians. Religious non-Christians and the non-religious, however, kick everybody’s asses with 84% and 85% of them saying that gay and lesbian relations are morally acceptable.” In the absence of a well-built welfare of the nation, family is one of the defenses of Filipinos against poverty especially in a developing country that has a population nearly 100 million. Because of this, Filipinos have become more open-minded towards homosexuality. According to the culture critic Lilia Quindoza Santiago, culture contains a more adaptable concept of gender since the Tagalog word designated for gender means “genus” or “type” rather than the twofold meaning implied in English. On the other hand, according to Schroeder (2004) ”Herek (1984) stated that the negative attitudes towards homosexuals and homosexuality could be changed to positive attitudes through education on homosexuality or general human sexuality. Negative attitudes toward homosexuals can also be changed to positive attitudes by having a positive interaction with various homosexuals along with supportive family members or close friends with positive attitudes toward homosexuality, or even with close friends and family members who have disclosed their homosexuality.” Different diversity movements have been implemented in different colleges and universities in the country to decrease homophobia and encourage acceptance of students with different sexual orientations (Lance, 2002). This enables students to have more interaction with homosexuals, resulting to them becoming more comfortable around homosexuals. This allows these homosexuals to be more visible and avoid different types of discrimination and cruelty. However, the increase in the visibility of homosexual people cannot be easily taken for granted. (Nardi, 1998) Cultures always vary for the reason that the environment is also changing. No culture now, is the same as yesterday. (Naylor, 1996) In the case of Filipino gays, it is unquestionable that oppression of homosexuals is happening which offer us to study it fervently, and thus understand it’s complexity and inner mechanisms. (Garcia, 1996).

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Figure 2. Classification of the Respondents in Percentage.

Figure 2. Classification of the Respondents in Percentage.

In the survey that was conducted, there is no freshman respondent (0%) since they are prohibited to join any organizations and fraternities. On the other hand, there are 11 individuals (44%) who are sophomore; 10 individuals (40%) who are junior; and 4 individuals (16%) from senior. So when in terms of classification of the respondents, majority were sophomores and juniors (see Figure 1).

Looking at the age of the respondents, majority of them are in 19 years old (32% or 8) followed by 18 years old (28% or 7). There are also 22 (4% or 1) and 23 years old (4%or1) which are the least age. Age| Number| Percentage (%)|

17| 2| 8|
18| 7| 28|
19| 8| 32|
20| 3| 12|
21| 3| 12|
22| 1| 4|
23| 1| 4|

Table 1. Age of the respondents in number and percentage.
Table 1. Age of the respondents in number and percentage.

Moreover, in the religion of the respondents, Roman Catholic was the highest having 60% of the total respondents, followed by the respondents who have no religion comprising the 24% of the total respondents. Meanwhile, 8% of the respondents were protestant and 4% were Iglesia ni Cristo and also 4% were Born-Again. This means that there are varying religion of the respondents that have different beliefs and practices, thus can be possibly a factor in their degree of acceptance to homosexuals.

Figure 2. Religion of the Respondents (percentage).

Figure 2. Religion of the Respondents (percentage).

As seen in in Figure 1, there is no any significant difference from the type of residency of the respondents which is rural (12) and urban (13). Most of them came from Laguna and also Davao City. Figure 4. Distribution of the Respondents by Residential Classification.

Figure 4. Distribution of the Respondents by Residential Classification.

When it terms to the number of homosexuals in the respondents’ family and relatives, Figure 5 showed that majority of the respondents have only one (14).

Figure 5. Number of Family and Relatives of the Respondents. No. of Homosexual Family and Relatives
Homosexual

Frequency
Figure 5. Number of Family and Relatives of the Respondents. No. of Homosexual Family and Relatives
Homosexual

Frequency

On Figure 6, Number of Homosexual friends of the respondents is shown and majority of the respondents has 0-5 (21). This implies that most of the respondents accept homosexuals as their friends. Figure 6. No. of Homosexual Friends of the Respondents.

Frequency
Figure 6. No. of Homosexual Friends of the Respondents.
Frequency

Moreover, 14 of the respondents have homosexual classmates, specifically in recitations and laboratory classes, ranging from 0-2. Four (4) of them is between 5-6 and two (2) in 7-8 (see Figure 7). Figure 7. No. of Homosexual Classmate of the Respondents.

Figure 7. No. of Homosexual Classmate of the Respondents.

Figure 8 showed the number of homosexual orgmates of the respondents, and it is seen that 23 of them only have 0-4 homosexual orgmates, and one (1) of them have 13-16. No. of Homosexual Orgmates
Figure 8. No. of Homosexual Orgmates of the Respondents.
No. of Homosexual Orgmates
Figure 8. No. of Homosexual Orgmates of the Respondents.

Lastly, in the number of homosexual dormates of the respondents, majority of the respondents range from 0-2 only (21). Figure 9. No. of Homosexual Dormates of the Respondents.
Figure 9. No. of Homosexual Dormates of the Respondents.

In the total numbers of homosexual peers the respondents have, it is seen in Figure 10 that 17 of the respondents have homosexual peers ranging from 0-5, and it is observed that the total numbers of homosexual by which the respondents are exposed to is relatively high in general (see Figure 10). Homosexual friends and classmates of the respondents contributed more in the total number in this data.

Figure 10. Total No. of Homosexual Peers of the Respondents. Figure 10. Total No. of Homosexual Peers of the Respondents.

On the level of the acceptability to homosexuals, it showed in Figure 11 that almost half or 48% of the respondents said that they accept homosexuals, while 24% said that it is neutral or fair. Moreover, no one mentioned about the extremely acceptable which means that there is a point that they can “bully” or can able to give violence to homosexuals. These only pertain to say that the homosexuals are acceptable nowadays to the male population of college students. Figure 11. General Acceptability of the Respondents (percentage).

Figure 11. General Acceptability of the Respondents (percentage).

Relationships of different factors affecting respondents’ level of acceptability are also calculated through correlational analysis. In Table 2, it seen that there is very strong linear relationship between level of acceptability and classification (0.82), as well as between level of acceptability and total number of peers (0.93). In contrast, there is a very weak relationship between level acceptability and religion and also with the level of acceptability with age of the respondents. Very strong relationship means that the increase of the one variable, can increase the other one, while in a very weak relationship, the change in one variable has no significant effect to the other.

Classification, pertaining to level of formal education; and number of peers, pertaining to exposure to homosexuals; are seen as main factors that could affect the level of acceptability of the respondents, just like what the researches of Schoeder (2004) and Lance (2002), where it is said that the two factors can increase or decrease the level of acceptability of an individual.

Type of residency as one type of variable is not included in the analysis since the distribution of the respondents is almost the same, thus it doesn’t have any effect anymore. Table 2. Correlational Analysis of Level of Acceptability to different variables Table 2. Correlational Analysis of Level of Acceptability to different variables

Variables| r|
Classification| 0.82|
Religion| 0.07|
Age| 0.08|
Total Number of Peers| 0.93|

SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
It is essential for a research to have results which can assert for high accuracy and precision, thus it is recommended for the study to increase its sample size and use probability samples.
Factors affecting the level of acceptability comes in variety, thus it is suggested to increase the variables in the study in order to generate more data and information. Also, the researchers recommend to vary techniques in analyzing different variables and its effect, not only contained in a descriptive and correlational analysis. Dagdag mo yung sa iyo, recomm lang ito. Pa discuss mga reasons, ung sa classification, age etc.

References
Fish, J. (2012). Social Work and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans People Making a Difference (pp. 1-3). Chicago, Illinois: The Policy Press.
Garcia, N. (1996). Philippine Gay Culture: Binabae to Bakla, Silahis to msm (pp. 1-3). Diliman, Quezon City: The University of the Philippines Press.
Gays in the Philippines. (n.d.). Retrieved March 3, 2013, from Tagalog Lang: animecrazy.net/ouran-high-school-host-club-reviews/254/15
Hendrie, D. (2011, September 7). Asia's Gay-Friendliest Nation? Retrieved March 3, 2013, from Huff Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/07/asias-gay-friendliest-nat_n_952111.html
Is Homosexuality Really Accepted in the Philippines? (2012, February 8). Retrieved January 21, 2013, from Anything Goes...Paganism. Activism. LGBT Rights. Pagan Rights. Human Rights.: http://angpagpanglakaton.blogspot.com/2012/02/is-homosexuality-really-accepted-in.html

Lance, L. (2002, December 1). Acceptance of diversity in human sexuality: will the strategy reducing homophobia also reduce discomfort of cross-dressing? Retrieved March 3, 2013, from IP Research & Communities: http://www.freepatentsonline.com/article/College-Student-Journal/96619966.html

Manalastas, E., & del Pilar, G. (2005). Filipino attitudes toward lesbians and gay men: Secondary analysis of 1996 and 2001 national survey data. Philippine Journal of Psychology .
McCormack, M. (2012).The Declinging Significance of Homophobia: How Teenage Boys are Redefining Masculinity and Heterosexuality (pp. 1-2). New York, New York: Oxford University Press, Inc.
Nardi, P. (1998). Social Perspective in Lesbian and Gay Studies. New York, New York: The Bath Press.
Naylor L. (1996). Culture Change: An Introduction (pp. 19-20). Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc.
Schroeder, M. (2004). Changing Social Attitudes in the United States: Increasing Acceptance of Homosexuals. UW-L Journal of Undergraduate Research VII , 1-2.
Wade, L. (2010, August 2). Who is Driving Increasing Acceptance of Gays and Lesbians? Retrieved March 3, 2013, from The Society Pages: http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2010/08/02/who-is-driving-increasing-acceptance-of-gays-and-lesbians/

APPENDICES
Questionnaire No. ____
Topic: Acceptability of Homosexuals among Selected Members of Fraternities in UPLB:

Name: Age: _ Classification: Religion: _________
Address:______________________________________
*Homosexuals - This refers to a person who is emotionally, and/or sexually attracted to someone of the same sex. No. of Homosexual in:
Family and relatives: ____
Friends: ____
Classmates this sem (recit/lab/small class): ____
Orgmates: ____
Dormates: ____
Total No. of Homosexuals: ____

General level of acceptability regarding homosexuals (encircle): 1. Extremely Acceptable
2. Acceptable
3. Neutral/fair
4. Unacceptable
5. Extremely Unacceptable

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