Date of Conferral
The Modern Homonegativity Scale (MHS) is designed to measure a distinct modern form of prejudice against gay people. Based on the conceptual framework of old-fashioned and modern antigay prejudice advanced by Morrison and Morrison, the present study was conducted to assess the reliability and validity of the MHS as a measure of modern antigay prejudice in the southern United Statesâ??a region where antigay prejudice appears to be particularly pervasive and damaging. This purpose was achieved by analyzing survey responses from 691 adult residents of 14 southern states. As hypothesized, MHS scores were correlated with political conservatism, contact with gay people, nonabusive antigay behavior, and scores on a traditional measure of antigay prejudice. Contrary to hypotheses, MHS scores were not related to sexual orientation, educational level, income level, or religious self-schema. Results concerning the relationships between MHS scores and other known correlates of antigay prejudice were mixed. In factor analyses, items on the MHS and a traditional measure of antigay prejudice did not load on different factors. The results of this study suggest that the MHS is a highly reliable measure of modern antigay prejudice in the South, but that its validity as such is limited. This study promotes positive social change by providing evidence that should aid in the selection of appropriate measures to use in future studies of prejudice against gay people in the South. Such studies promise to result in the development of more effective interventions to reduce antigay prejudice in the southern United Statesâ??but such studies will produce useful findings only to the extent that the instruments used are reliable and valid measures of the constructs they purport to measure in this region.