Date of Conferral





Criminal Justice


Dr. Melanye Smith


AbstractJamaica has been listed among the most unfriendly nations for homosexual males. Previous research indicated that due to the biopolitical and sociocultural norms of the Jamaican society, homosexual males continued to be targets of various forms of discrimination based on their sexual orientation. However, research reflecting the lived experiences of homosexual males in Jamaica is sparse. The purpose of this phenomenological qualitative study was to provide details on the encounters of victimization due to homophobia of adult homosexual males in the parish of St. James, Jamaica. Data were collected through observations and in-depth interviews with eight men who identified as homosexual. Thematic analysis was carried out in order to provide an exhaustive description of the phenomenon. Among the findings are that adult homosexual males faced varying forms of violence due to their sexuality; some individuals viewed homosexual males as pedophiles and therefore sought to protect their children from exposure to those members of the LGBTQIA community. Additionally, the findings represented that heteronormative notions of sex, identity and gender reflected the distinctive values which are associated with a predominant societal group. Furthermore, it was found that homosexual males who had familial support were often able to cope mentally, despite the atmosphere of unacceptance. Also, it was found that religiosity impacted tolerance and or acceptance of homosexuality in Jamaica. Finally, homophobic attacks have nurtured mental trauma among homosexual males. The findings of this study may contribute to positive social change by providing a platform for affected individuals of the homosexual community to air their voices, which may impact policy changes.