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Examination Of The Relationship Between Gender Roles Of Mental Health Specialists And Levels Of Sexual Myths And Homophobia.
MAKALE #22931 © Yazan Psk.Melek TURAN | Yayın Nisan 2023 | 452 Okuyucu
Abstract---In this study, it is aimed to evaluate the approaches of
mental health experts in terms of the relationship between gender
roles, sexual myths and homophobia levels. For this purpose, experts
working in the field of mental health; when they were evaluated in
terms of their knowledge level on sexual orientation, professional
experience and gender, the analysis of the detectability of a direct
relationship with homophobia was made. The sample of the study
consists of 300 experts working in the field of mental health. In the
context of data collection tools in the research, "survey technique" was
used. The form containing the voluntary consent of the participants
and demographic information together, the “Gender Roles Scale” that
measures the gender roles of individuals, the “Sexual Myths Scale”
that detects sexual myths and the measures the level of homophobia
''Hudson and Ricketts Homophobia Scale'' were used. The data
obtained in the study were analyzed with the SPSS analysis program.
Within the framework of the findings, a moderate and negative
relationship between Gender Roles Attitude Scale and Hudson and
Ricketts Homophobia Scale scores, moderate and negative
relationship between Gender Roles Attitude Scale and Sexual Myths
Scale scores, Hudson and Ricketts Homophobia Scale and Sexual
Myths Scale. A moderate and positive relationship was found between
the scores. It has been reached that the mental health professionals
have an egalitarian and modern attitude towards gender role, their
belief in sexual myths is at a low level, their homophobia levels are at
a low level.Discussion
In this section, the findings obtained within the framework of examining the
relationship between gender roles, sexual myths and homophobia levels of experts
working in the field of mental health are discussed according to the main problem
of the research and the order of the sub-questions to be answered. It has been
discussed and interpreted in relation to the theoretical literature and empirical
studies.
Is there a significant relationship between gender roles and homophobia
levels of professionals working in the field of mental health?
There is a moderate and negative correlation between Gender Roles Attitude Scale
and Hudson and Ricketts Homophobia Scale scores. When the table of findings
was evaluated, it was seen that the independent variable of the gender roles
attitude scale predicted the dependent variable of homophobia. It has been
determined that the gender roles attitude scale has a negative effect on
homophobia. In most of the studies, the relationships between negative attitudes
towards LGBT individuals and homophobia with gender differences, traditional
gender roles, sexism, social relations with LGBT individuals, social superiority
orientation, attribution, friendship, authoritarianism, age, religiousness and
education level variables (Anderson, 2004; Polimeni et al., 2000; Ratcliff et al.,
2006; Sakalli-Ugurlu, 2006; Sakalli Ugurlu & Ugurlu, 2004). Accordingly, for
example, sexism and excessive adoption of gender roles (Davies, 2004),
authoritarianism (Franzoi, 2003), social superiority orientation (Whitley, 1999),
essentialist beliefs (Goregenli, 2004), extreme religiosity and low education level
796
(Herek et al., 1988) found a significant relationship between negative attitudes
towards LGBT individuals and homophobia.
Another finding seen in the studies carried out is that women have lower levels of
homophobia than men (Anderssen, 2002; Herek, 1988; Kite & Whitley, 1996;
Lock & Kleis, 1995). In terms of gender differences in studies conducted in
Turkey, similar to studies conducted abroad, it was found that women generally
exhibit more positive attitudes towards homosexuals than men (Cirakoglu, 2006;
Guney et al., 2004; Sakalli, 2002a; Sakalli & Ugurlu, 2001). Men with a high level
of religiosity; traditional and conservative ones; those who have little social
contact and acquaintance with homosexual individuals; sexist individuals; it can
be said that those who have traditional attitudes towards gender roles and those
who make causal attributions about the controllability of homosexuality exhibit
more homophobic attitudes than others. It is stated that there are prejudices and
negative attitudes towards homosexuals in Turkey. These negative attitudes can
occur in cognitive (for example, not conforming to the person's point of view),
emotional (for example, sadness and anxiety about the individual's situation) or
behavioral (for example, efforts to discourage the individual from their current
situation) (Camgoz & Orta, 2018).
Research findings examining whether university students' gender, gender roles
and whether both variables have an effect on the level of homophobia show that
university students' homophobia scores differ significantly in terms of gender and
gender role. According to the research findings, the scores of men and those with
masculine gender roles on the homophobia scale were found to be significantly
higher. However, it was determined that the common effect of gender and gender
role did not play a significant role on homophobia (Sanberk, Celik, & Gok, 2016).
Sarac & Toprak (2017) found that there is a relationship between male athlete
identities of male participants and their total attitude scores towards lesbians and
gays. Karaca (2018) determined that there is a positive relationship between the
attitudes of individuals with heterosexual orientation towards the female gender
role and their attitudes towards the male gender role, the attitudes towards the
traditional gender role, the attitudes towards the gender role in marriage, and the
avoidant attachment tendency. In his research, Kara (2019) examined the
relationship between gender roles and homophobia in university students. A
positive correlation was found between the gender roles and sub-dimensions of
the low homophobia group and the high homophobia group. When the literature
is examined, it has been found that there is a positive and significant relationship
between the gender roles of professionals working in the field of mental health
and homophobia levels in parallel with the data obtained.
Is there a significant relationship between sexual myths and homophobia
levels of professionals working in the field of mental health?
Moderate and positive correlation between Hudson and Ricketts Homophobia
Scale and Sexual Myths Scale scores; Moderate and positive correlation between
Hudson and Ricketts Homophobia Scale and Sexual Orientation scores; Weak
and positive correlation between Hudson and Ricketts Homophobia Scale and
Sexual Behavior scores; A weak and positive correlation was found between
Hudson and Ricketts Homophobia Scale and Sexual Satisfaction scores. When
797
the table of findings was examined, it was seen that the variables of sexual
orientation, sexual behavior, and sexual satisfaction predicted the dependent
variable of homophobia. The independent variables in the model explain 49% of
the total variance in the homophobia dependent variable. The relative order of
effect according to beta is; sexual satisfaction, sexual behavior is in the form of
sexual orientation. It was determined that the subscale of sexual orientation,
sexual behavior, and sexual satisfaction had a positive effect. According to the
findings, it was determined that the variable that most explains homophobia is
the independent variable of sexual behavior.
150 people, 78 randomly selected male and 72 female, participated in the
research conducted by Sahbaz (2017) to examine the effect of sexual myths on
sexual dysfunction and anxiety. The research concluded that there is a positive
relationship between the effect of sexual myths on sexual dysfunction and
anxiety. Vural & Temel (2010) included 36 couples in the experimental group and
35 couples in the control group in their study to investigate the effect of sexual
myths on the prediction of sexual satisfaction. Diker (2017) studied the
relationship between women's belief in sexual myths and sexual knowledge levels
and sexual dysfunction of self-esteem. As a result of the research, it was
determined that there is a significant relationship between female sexual
dysfunctions and adult women's self-esteem, belief in sexual myths and sexual
knowledge levels. It has been found that as sexual dysfunctions increase, selfesteem decreases and the likelihood of sexual dysfunction increases as sexual
myths are believed.
Mental health professionals' having sexual myths does not only negatively affect
their own sexual health. At the same time, when he conveys inaccurate
information to his clients during therapy, it may endanger the sexual health of his
clients. Although sexual education enables individuals to realize their sexual
myths, it also has a therapeutic feature. It allows mental health professionals to
examine their own ideas and beliefs. Another important issue is that sexual
education can guide the experts in order to answer the questions asked by the
client in a scientific way and in the most accurate way.
Is there a significant relationship between gender roles of mental health
professionals and sexual myths?
Common beliefs and attitudes about sexuality constitute sociocultural
differences. This situation sometimes shows regional changes in sexuality even
within the same culture. These changes may differ from person to person,
according to education, family structure, gender and age, in terms of sexual
attitudes and beliefs. Inadequate sexual education paves the way for the spread of
sexual myths and for individuals to grow up in a normative environment. It is a
major factor in the occurrence of sexual dysfunctions in people who are ignorant
about sexuality, inexperienced, do not know the opposite sex and themselves,
have low self-confidence, exaggerated expectations and exaggerated expressions
(Aydin, 2012).
In the study conducted to determine the ideas of education faculty students on
gender equality in Turkey, it was found that teacher candidates have negative
798
attitudes towards gender, and this negative attitude was also affected by the time
they were in education faculty. In other words, it was concluded that as the grade
level increases, it contains more negative opinions (Erdol et al., 2019). In the
same study, it was determined that students studying in English Language
Teaching and Psychological Counseling and Guidance departments had more
egalitarianism and tolerance in gender issues than students studying in different
departments. This is explained by the fact that the educational program consists
of content that can directly or indirectly raise information and awareness about
gender equality, such as respect for individual differences, unconditional
acceptance, gender equality, etc. In another study, it was found that the students
of the Counseling Department were more tolerant of their attitudes towards
different identities, especially gender, than the students in other departments.
This is explained by the thought that the education they receive supports their
attitudes such as empathy, respect and unconditional acceptance (Yazici &
Budak, 2017).
Examining the table of findings, it was found that people who are strongly
committed to gender roles believe more in sexual myths. The independent variable
in the model explains 39% of the total variance in the dependent variable of
sexual myths. It has been determined that the gender roles attitude scale has a
negative effect. Moderate and negative correlation between Gender Roles Attitude
Scale and Sexual Myths Scale scores; Moderate and negative correlation between
Gender Roles Attitude Scale and Sexual Orientation scores; Moderate and
negative correlation between Gender Roles Attitude Scale and Gender scores;
Weak and negative correlation between Gender Roles Attitude Scale and Age and
Sexuality scores; Moderate and negative correlation between Gender Roles
Attitude Scale and Sexual Behavior scores; Moderate and negative correlation
between Gender Roles Attitude Scale and Masturbation scores; Moderate and
negative correlation between Gender Roles Attitude Scale and Sexual Violence
scores; Moderate and negative correlation between Gender Roles Attitude Scale
and Sexual Relationship scores; A moderate and negative relationship was found
between Gender Roles Attitude Scale and Sexual Satisfaction scores.
Conclusion and Recommendations
According to the findings obtained within the framework of examining the
relationship between gender roles, sexual myths and homophobia levels of experts
working in the field of mental health; It has been found that mental health
professionals have an egalitarian and modern attitude towards gender role, their
belief in sexual myths is at a low level, and their homophobia levels are at a low
level. 72.7% of the participants are female and 27.3% are male mental health
specialists. This data does not reflect the equal ratio in terms of gender
distribution. Among the mental health specialists of the participants, 1.3% were
psychiatrists, 24.7% were psychologists, and 74% were psychological counselors;
The data of the sample group mostly includes the data of working psychological
counselors. When we analyze the findings, there is a weak and positive
relationship between age scores and Hudson and Ricketts Homophobia Scale,
Gender Roles Scale and Sexual Myths Scale scores. There is a weak and positive
relationship between Gender and Age scores. When we examine the data we have
obtained, it has been found that the level of knowledge about sexual orientation of
799
the experts working in the field of mental health is in a more meaningful
relationship with the level of homophobia, rather than the experience in the
profession.
There is a moderate negative significant relationship between gender roles and
homophobia levels of mental health professionals. There is a moderate and
positive relationship between Hudson and Ricketts Homophobia Scale and Sexual
Myths Scale and sexual orientation scores. There is a moderate and negative
correlation between Gender Roles Attitude Scale and Sexual Myths Scale scores.
Most of the data subject to the research was collected from working psychological
counselors. Therefore, it is thought that it would not be a correct approach to
generalize the findings to all mental health professionals. When the studies
conducted in Turkey are examined, it is seen that the studies on the homophobia
level, gender roles and sexual myths of mental health professionals are limited.
However, Human Rights, in its report published in 2008, states that LGBTI
individuals encounter unpleasant attitudes not only from citizens but also from
mental health professionals. In the written report, it was stated that
homosexuality is not a disease according to medicine, but despite this, 50% of the
participants were pressured to go to a psychologist or psychiatrist. Some of the
participants who applied to a psychologist or psychiatrist were faced with the
negative attitudes of the relevant specialist (27%, the specialist saw
homosexuality as a disease, 45% had insufficient knowledge about
homosexuality, 24% forced the client to be heterosexual, 24% forced the person to
take medication despite his/her reluctance). This research report shows that
mental health professionals also display homophobic attitudes. When families
encounter a situation outside the norms determined by social conditions or when
their children experience existential diversity, they first apply to mental health
professionals. It is important for the client that the mental health professional
exhibits an objective attitude and has up-to-date information about sexual
orientation. As a result of this study, which was carried out in this direction, the
fact that the primary preference of families in terms of both economic convenience
and ease of transportation is the psychological counselors working in the school
guidance service and the majority of the data we obtained consists of
psychological counselors, shows the importance of the study. When the
relationship between professional experience, age variable, sexual orientation
knowledge level and homophobia levels is examined; It is predicted that as the
level of knowledge increases, there will be a decrease in homophobic attitudes.
For this reason, it is recommended that psychological counselors be more
intensely involved in sexual education programs that include sexual orientation
and respect for individual differences and should be supported by in-service
trainings affiliated to the Ministry of National Education.
https://doi.org/10.53730/ijhs.v6nS3.5473
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