Morehead State University

Poster Title

Lesbian and Gay Perceptions of Felt and Enacted Stigma: Religion and Homosexuality in the Bible Belt

Institution

Morehead State University

Abstract

This quantitative study focuses on the extent, frequency and degree in which certain types of stigma happen to gay and lesbian persons in the Bible Belt. The region of the United States known as the "Bible Belt" covers most southern states and stretches north to Missouri, and west to Texas. Using results from an online survey, this poster explores the levels of enacted stigma (obvious, preformed acts of hate based on sexual preference) and felt stigma (internalized ideas that society dislikes and discriminates against homosexuals) that surveyed individuals reported. Responses to the survey show the levels of hate, sexual and violent crimes (Enacted). Respondents reported being evicted from their homes, and losing their jobs just because of their sexual orientation. Others reported being abused, or having their homes vandalized. Informants also answered questions about their perceptions of support from various institutions (Felt). Some reported that they were not supported by friends or family and felt unwelcome in places of worship. Over 70% of gays and lesbians grew up in a religion that criticizes homosexuality. The data shows that gay men experience more physical and sexual violence than lesbians do. The vast majority of participants believe that their sexual orientation matters to others in the Bible belt. This study examines gay and lesbian perceptions of the effects of felt and enacted stigma on homosexuals living in a staunchly conservative, religion-based environment.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 

Lesbian and Gay Perceptions of Felt and Enacted Stigma: Religion and Homosexuality in the Bible Belt

This quantitative study focuses on the extent, frequency and degree in which certain types of stigma happen to gay and lesbian persons in the Bible Belt. The region of the United States known as the "Bible Belt" covers most southern states and stretches north to Missouri, and west to Texas. Using results from an online survey, this poster explores the levels of enacted stigma (obvious, preformed acts of hate based on sexual preference) and felt stigma (internalized ideas that society dislikes and discriminates against homosexuals) that surveyed individuals reported. Responses to the survey show the levels of hate, sexual and violent crimes (Enacted). Respondents reported being evicted from their homes, and losing their jobs just because of their sexual orientation. Others reported being abused, or having their homes vandalized. Informants also answered questions about their perceptions of support from various institutions (Felt). Some reported that they were not supported by friends or family and felt unwelcome in places of worship. Over 70% of gays and lesbians grew up in a religion that criticizes homosexuality. The data shows that gay men experience more physical and sexual violence than lesbians do. The vast majority of participants believe that their sexual orientation matters to others in the Bible belt. This study examines gay and lesbian perceptions of the effects of felt and enacted stigma on homosexuals living in a staunchly conservative, religion-based environment.