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UNIVERSITY OF PERPETUAL HELP SYSTEM LAGUNA

Sto. Nino, Binan, Laguna


College of Arts and Sciences 1
Psychology Department

Internalized Homophobia, Gender Expression and Level of Stress among


Senior High School Students of University of Perpetual Help System Laguna

An Undergraduate Thesis

Presented to

The Faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences


University of Perpetual Help System Laguna
In Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirement for the Degree
Bachelor of Science in Psychology

By
De Leon, Charina Lois
Edralin, Jojie Rose
Karunungan, Mikhaela Bianca

October 2017
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Psychology Department

ABSTRACT

Title: Internalized Homophobia, Gender Expression and Level of Stress among

Senior High School Students of University of Perpetual Help System Laguna

Authors: De Leon, Charina Lois

Edralin, Jojie Rose

Karunungan, Mikhaela Bianca

Degree: Bachelor of Science in Psychology

School: University of Perpetual Help System Laguna

AY: 2017-2018

Adviser: Dr. Nonet Cuy

It is well known that homosexuals and bisexuals experience discrimination


and embarrassment within their families, school, workplace, peers, and romantic
relationships. Unknown to most people, these stigmatized behaviors and notions
result to internalized homophobia, which is a homosexual’s or bisexual’s negative
perception about their selves. This phenomenon is a reason why there are
homosexuals and bisexual who refuses to openly express their genders, and sadly
this also results to numerous forms of stress for them.
This study defines relationships between homosexual and bisexual senior
high school students’ internalized homophobia, gender expression and level of stress.
Specifically, this study sought answers to the following questions: What is the extent
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of internalized homophobia of the respondents?; What is the gender expression of


the respondents?; What is the level of stress of the respondents?; How is the extent of
internalized homophobia of the respondents related to their gender expression?; How
is the extent of internalized homophobia of the respondents related to their level of
stress?; How is the gender expression of the respondents related to their level of
stress? The researchers used the descriptive-correlational research design to answer
the questions.
The main findings of the study are as follows: a) the respondents’ extent of
internalized homophobia resulted to a low level with an average weighted mean of
2.23; b) the respondents’ gender expression showed that 54.69% of them express
their selves with masculinity; c) 48.44% of the respondents experience high level of
stress; d) with a computed p-value of 0.316, it has been concluded that there is no
significant relationship between the respondents’ extent of internalized homophobia
and their gender expression; e) with a computed p-value of 0.000, it has been
concluded that there is a significant relationship between the respondents’ extent of
internalized homophobia and their level of stress, meaning, the respondents’ level of
stress is directly related to their internalized homophobia; f) with a computed p-value
of 0.652, it has been concluded that there is no significant relationship between the
respondents’ gender expression and their level of stress.
In relevance to undying issues on gender discriminations, inferences derived
from the data gathered in this study shows that homosexuals and bisexuals tend to
suffer from high levels of stress, in accordance to the extent of their internalized
homophobia because of fear of people’s unacceptance and unwillingness to love
them.
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Chapter 1

THE PROBLEM AND ITS SETTING

Introduction

In the book Introduction to Sociology — 1st Canadian Edition adapted by

William Little in 2013, a person's sex, gender identity and gender role would be

determined entirely by the appearance of the genitalia, chromosomes and genes

before the 20th century. Those viewed as men by sex, were seen as having male

genitalia and one X and one Y chromosome, and were the ones who are took care of

responsibilities outside of home such as working, hunting, etc.; Those identified as

women by sex, have genitalia that were considered female and two X-chromosomes,

and were in charge of the domestic responsibilities — household chores, taking care

of kids, etc.. However, some individuals have combinations of these chromosomes,

hormones, and genitalia that do not follow the traditional definitions of "men" and

"women". In addition, other bodily attributes related to a person's sex may or may

not coincide with their social category of man or woman. For example, a person with

female genitalia, as well as a deep voice and facial hair, may have difficulty

determining which gender they identify with.

According to Cultural Bridges to Justice (2011), internalized homophobia

was defined as the gay/lesbian/bisexual person’s unintentional belief of the


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stereotyped negative social attitudes towards the self. Internalized homophobia

evokes denial, self-hatred, and horizontal oppression among the community. It made

homosexuals and bisexuals show disgust, resentment, and judgement towards other

lesbian/gay/bisexual people who don’t follow social and cultural norms, and try to

blend in.

In a country like Philippines, which was considered as one of the largest

Christian countries in the world, the society’s acceptance for people who belong in

genders considered outside of cultural norms was considered difficult to attain, albeit

possible. Some experience discrimination and embarrassment: in their families,

workplace, peers, and romantic relationships. Negative actions like these were

considered as an act of ‘homophobia’ or the aversion and discomfort that some

individuals experience in response to being around, or thinking about

lesbian/gay/bisexual behavior or people (Spencer, & Patrick, 2009), and can cause

homosexuals and bisexuals to experience internalized homophobia.

According to Litchfield Board of Education (2016), ‘Gender Expression’

refers to the way a person shows their gender in front others in ways that are socially

defined as either masculine or feminine, such as through behavior, clothing,

hairstyles, activities, voice or mannerisms. The first paragraph shows that a person's

gender expression can be inconsistent with their biological sex characteristics,

resulting in individuals dressing and/or behaving in a way which is perceived by


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others as outside cultural gender norms. These gender expressions may be described

as gender variant, transgender, or genderqueer; the most widespread of them were

homosexuality and bisexuality. ‘Homosexuality’ or ‘homosexual’, as defined in

Merriam-Webster Dictionary, was characterized by the tendency to direct sexual

desire toward another of the same sex, which was termed ‘gay’ for male

homosexuals and ‘lesbian’ for female homosexual. On the other hand, ‘bisexuality’

or ‘bisexual’ was characterized by a tendency to direct sexual desire toward both

sexes, which were the males and females respectively.

Another variable considered in this study was the stress level. Stress is

defined as a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes tension and disease.

Lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals were shown to be one of the most stressed

population groups in society (Iwasaki, &Ristock, 2007). The alertness of the stigma

that surrounds homosexuality results to an extremely negative experience involving

shame and secrecy, and a strong sense of differentness and peculiarity (as cited by

Revel and Riot, 2015). All these cause stress to the people involved, and sometimes

lead to extremely negative consequences for the human mind, body and spirit.

Depression, self-esteem issues, suicide, and other complications arouse from the

stress.

This study attempted to understand how the extent of internalized

homophobia among homosexual and bisexual individuals relates with their gender
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expressions and level of stress. The once gender binary culture has turned into a

gender variant society where an individual was now able to express their gender

apart from the socially accepted ways of being a male or a female, but this was not

yet without what was left of the gender culture norm most of the people grew up

with, together with the fear, anxiety, anger and stress that comes with being part of a

stigmatized group of people.

Theoretical/Conceptual Framework

The study tackled the relationship between gender identity and level of stress

of internalized homophobia. Bem’s gender role theory (1981) served as an early

influence in the development of the psychology of gender.

The Gender schema theory, introduce by Sandra Bem in 1981 suggested that

cultural influences largely influence how children develop their ideas about what it

means to be a man or woman. The theory was first introduced during the early 1980s

by psychologist Sandra Bem, as cited by Boundless (2016). According to Bem,

individuals observed the people and culture around them, learned the various

associations with masculinity and femininity. This included not just the physical

differences between men and women, but also the societal roles that men and women

took the characteristics of each gender, and how society treated each gender. Cultural
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influenced that can have an effect on gender schemas included peers, schools,

parenting, and the media.

According to a study, minority stress was defined as a process along a

continuum of proximity to the self. Stressors most distal to the self are objective

stressors— events and conditions that happened regardless of the individual’s

characteristics or actions. Stress theory posits that stressors were any factors or

conditions that lead to change and require adaptation by individuals and has

extended this to discuss minority stressors, which strain individuals who were in a

disadvantaged social position because they required adaptation to an in hospitable

social environment (Meyer & Frost, 2009).

Stress has become such an ingrained part of our vocabulary and daily

existence, that it was difficult to believe that our current use of the term originated

only a little more than 50 years ago. Selye defined stress as “nonspecific”.

Psychologists have viewed stress as the outcomes of the neurological and

physiological responses in a variety of anxious situations. Throughout time, there

have been several definitions about stress (Rosch, 2017).

Internalized Homophobia has been defined as ‘the gay person’s direction of

negative social attitudes toward the self, leading to a devaluation of the self and

resultant internal conflicts and poor self-regard or as “the self-hatred that occurs as a

result of being a socially stigmatized person (as cited by revelandriot).


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Operational Framework

This study was composed of independent and dependent variables, wherein

the extent of internalized homophobia of the respondents was an independent

variable, the gender expression was both and independent and dependent variable,

and the stress level were a dependent variable.

Operational Model

Independent Variable Independent Variable /

Dependent Variable

Gender
Expression

Internalized Homophobia

Level of Stress

Dependent Variable

Fig. 1.The operational model of the study showing the variables relation to each
other.
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Statement of the Problem

This study aimed at determining the internalized homophobia, gender

expression and level of stress of Grade 11 and 12 students of University of Perpetual

Help System Laguna. Specifically, it sought answers to the following sub problems:

1. What is the extent of internalized homophobia of the respondents?

2. What is the gender expression of the respondents?

3. What is the level of stress of the respondents?

4. How is the extent of internalized homophobia of the respondents related to

their gender expression?

5. How is the extent of internalized homophobia of the respondents related to

their level of stress?

6. How is the gender expression of the respondents related to their level of

stress?

Statement of the Hypothesis

The following hypotheses were tested using appropriate statistical tools:

1. The extent of the respondents’ internalized homophobia was not related to

their gender expression.


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2. The extent of the respondents’ internalized homophobia was not related to

their level of stress.

3. The gender expression of the respondents was not related to their level of

stress.

Scope and Delimitation

The study focused on the internalized homophobia, gender expression and

stress level of senior high school students of University of Perpetual Help System

Laguna. The researchers intended to determine the extent of internalized

homophobia, gender expression and stress of the teachers. Any relation between and

among internalized homophobia, gender expression and level of stress was

determined by the subjects’ responses.

Significance of the Study

This study was significant and beneficial to the following individuals or

groups:

Senior high school students would benefit from this study since it would

provide more understanding and acceptance for their selves, as well as their stress

and its possible cause/s.


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UPHSL Faculty would benefit from this study since it would offer further

knowledge and understanding to the possible situations of their students and family

members undergoing similar situations.

Family members would benefit from this study since it would give them

further knowledge and help improve understanding to the possible situations of their

children.

Other gays, lesbians, and bisexuals would benefit from this study since this

would serve as information to their possibly current situations and experiences, an

eye-opener, and support.

Researchers would benefit from this study because it would provide

information in addition to those already published works in order to further

understand the topic discussed. This study would also serve as exposure and

experience to conducting research for future purposes.

Future researchers would benefit from this study since this would serve as

additional source of relevant data for future studies in relation to internalized

homophobia, and stress level.

Definition of Terms

The following terms were defined contextually and operationally with the

purpose of clarity in the study:


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Internalize is defined as the incorporation of values or patterns of culture

within the self as a conscious or subconscious guiding principles (Merriam-Webster,

2017).

Homophobia is defined as the anxiety, aversion, and discomfort that some

individuals experience in response to being around, or thinking about homosexual

(lesbian or gay) behavior or people (Davies, 1996; Spencer, & Patrick, 2009). It

includes phobia of the bisexuals.

Internalized homophobia is the gay/lesbian person’s direction of negative

social attitudes towards the self, leading to devaluation of the self and resultant

internal conflicts and poor self-regard. This includes bisexual people (Cultural

Bridges to Justice, 2011).

Extent refers to the point, degree or limit to which something extends

(Merriam-Webster, 2017).

Extent of Internalized Homophobia refers to the degree or level to which a

gay/lesbian/bisexual experiences negative social attitudes towards the self.

Gender pertains to either of the two sexes male and female; used especially

when referring to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones, without

corresponding to the established male and female roles (Oxford Dictionary, 2017).

Expression refers to the use of significant expression or symbolism

(Merriam-Webster, 2017).
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Gender Expression refers to the way a person expresses gender to others in

ways that are socially defined as either masculine or feminine, such as through

behavior, clothing, hairstyles, activities, voice or mannerisms (Litchfield Board of

Education, 2015).

Level is the scale of a quantity considered in relation to a subjective reference

value (Merriam-Webster, 2017).

Stress is a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily tension

and factor in disease causation (Merriam-Webster, 2017).

Level of stress refers to the kinds or degrees of stress experienced by and

individual, which may be acute, episodic acute or chronic stress (American

Psychological Association, 2017).

Homosexual is characterized by the tendency to direct sexual desire toward

another of the same sex (Merriam-Webster, 2017).


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Chapter 2

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE AND STUDIES

Several studies and literatures have already been conducted and written in

order to understand different situations for different groups of lesbian, gay, or

bisexual people because of the constant growth in the population of LGB people.

The researchers have selected studies, articles and journals that were aligned

with the purpose of this study, which was to understand how homosexual and

bisexual individuals accepted the nature of their genders and identify with it, and to

determine possible connections with their level of stress.

State of the Art

The following journals, articles and studies presented valuable materials

significant in the foundation of this study. Furthermore, these literatures provided

additional information which was essential in determining if there is significant

relationship between the respondents’ extent of internalized homophobia, gender

expression, and their level of stress.

Related Literature

Two articles entitled The Association of Sexual Orientation Measures with

Young Adults’ Health-Related Outcomes (Lindley et al., 2012), and Dimensions of

Sexual Orientation and the Prevalence of Mood and Anxiety Disorders in the United
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States (Bostwick et al., 2010) focused on the effects of sexual orientation and gender

identity to a person’s physical and/or mental health. Both articles stated that bisexual

behaviors provided greater risk to health-related indicators such as, smoking,

drinking, depressive symptoms, and/or any mood or anxiety disorder. Women who

claimed to have only same-sex partners proved to be of lower risk to most disorders.

Another journal titled Gender Minority Stress, Mental Health, and

Relationship Quality: A Dyadic Investigation of Transgender Women and Their

Cisgender Male Partners (Gamarel et al., 2014) focused on the relationship of people

who belong in the LGBT community, gender related discrimination, and relationship

stigma such as fear of being rejection. It stated that health differences among the

people who belong in the gender minority can be understood with their intimate

relationships and the social conditions that affect their partnership (Frost & Meyer,

2009; Operario et al., 2009). Transgender women in particular experienced

significant health discrepancies which included mental health distress, and social and

economic downgrading. Additionally, it was also said that financial hardship was

related to lower relationship quality.

One article, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity/Expression Related Peer

Victimization in Adolescence: A Systematic Review of Associated Psychosocial and

Health Outcomes (Collier et al., 2013) reviewed researchers on psychosocial and

health outcomes connected to peer victimization in relation to gender identity among

adolescent individuals. The studies included participants from 12 different countries.


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The results suggested that victimization among peers was associated with various

negative psychosocial and health outcomes. Although there were evidences of the

peer victimization being related to gender identity or expression, the most

characterized reasons were sense of belonging, depression and suicide.

An article entitled Managing and Coping with Sexual Identity at Work

(Chung et al., 2015) has stated that the factors that cause LGB people to come out at

work because of honesty and integrity, feeling a desire for closer relationships with

co-workers, and/or to advocate for existing LGB issues (Gusmano, 2008). It has also

stated that to cope with possible discrimination, LGB person often needed

consideration on possible ways to manage the disclosure of their sexual identity at

work, a process called ‘sexual identity management’ (Button, 2004; Croteau et al.,

2008).

Included in this article was a discussion of Chung’s (2015) five sexual

identity management strategies which were the following: (a) acting by revealing

oneself as heterosexual; (b) passing/counterfeiting or creating a fake heterosexual

identity by fabricating information; (c) covering, avoidance and carefully controlling

the information disclosed to co-workers that may expose one’s LGB orientation

without lying; (d) implicitly out, or behaving in an honest manner, without necessary

labels that pertains to oneself as LGB, and lastly (e) explicitly out, or openly

identifying or labelling oneself as LGB.


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Related Studies

A journal titled The Impact of Internalized Homophobia on Out-ness for

Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Individuals (Rose et al., 2008) included a study

conducted to gain better understanding in any relation present between a lesbian,

gay, or bisexual individual’s level of out-ness to their families, friends and

colleagues, and internalized homophobia. The study included a total of 290

individuals between ages 18 and 71 as its respondents. The questions used to assess

the level of out-ness of participants were adapted from a survey developed by Rankin

(2003), and the Internalized Homophobia Scale (IHP; Martin & Dean, 1987) as cited

by Iwazaki and Ristock in 2008. The result from this study showed that internalized

homophobia impacts one’s out-ness to their friends, colleagues, and extended

families, but not to their nuclear family.

The result of the study entitled The Effects of Race, Gender, Age, and Sexual

Identity, written by David Frost, et al. (2009) suggested that minority stress has

different effects of lesbian, gay and bisexual individual’s mental health. It showed

that bisexual and young respondents had lower levels of social well-being compared

to others, even when the level of their psychological well-being was no different than

the others. This outcome has shown that social well-being was a distinct factor, and

that people who belong to the disadvantaged social status experience lower levels of

their social well-being.


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In a study entitled Through the Eyes of Gay and Male Bisexual College

Students: A Critical Visual Qualitative Study of their Experiences (Robison, 2012),

the participants’ concept of safety was defined using their own experiences as

members of the LGB community within their campus. The results suggested that the

feelings of being involved and belongingness to the campus acted as a fundamental

element of their experiences as LGB students. Steering masculinity was difficult

because of given traditional gender roles, and the classroom environment was a

major factor for the safety of LGB students. This means that their sense of safety

relies on whether their surroundings accepts the way they identify and express their

gender. This particular study has clearly defined many challenges that gay and male

bisexual students face. However, the research also revealed that LGB students are

spirited, and they handle these challenges with grace, while depending on coping

mechanisms.

College Students’ Attitudes towards LGBT Individuals, a study conducted in

order to probe into the attitudes expressed toward LGBT individuals by surveying 50

university students chosen from five different majors. The researcher for this study

hypothesized that males would have a more heterosexist attitude toward the LGBT

community. The results proved the hypothesis to be true; majors with a higher male

population were overall more heterosexist than other majors.


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According to the study Internalized Homophobia In Relation To Attitudes

and Perceptions of Gay Men toward Gay Men (Quartly, 2011), homosexuality and

person’s level of internalized homophobia do not significantly affect how gay men

view other gay men. This suggested that although a person may have internalized

homophobia resulting to negative perceptions towards his self, these negative

perceptions do not apply to others of the same gender. Also, the result of this study

suggested that homosexual men were less likely to stereotype negatively other

homosexuals compared to male heterosexuals.

A study entitled Trans People's Experiences of Mental Health and Gender

Identity Services: A UK study. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Mental Health (2015), with

the purpose of exploring transsexual people’s experiences in regards to health

services in an attempt to understand their group and evaluate their mental health,

suggests that their participants thought mental health practitioners tend to be poorly

educated about transsexual issues. This result was evaluated as extremely

problematic, since they are one of the groups that cater gender identity issues and

offer solutions and understanding.

Results from studies conducted in the USA and Canada showed that bullying

because of homophobia was common among the sexual minority youths, stating than

about 87% of LGBTQ youths have been victims of at least one form of homophobic

bullying, the most common form being the psychological or verbal form. Senior high
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school students who belong in the gender minority suffered from humiliation,

damaged reputation, and exclusion or rejection.

Although homophobic bullying is prevalent, it was emphasized that the form

and reason for victimization may differ considerably. Homophobic bullying varies

from gender identity and age group. It was suggested that boys I sexual minority tend

to have higher chances of defending themselves against any form of homophobic

bullying compared to their female counterparts. At this point, it can be observed that

male sex in general has higher chances of showing active decisions, whether

negative or positive in issues involving homophobia, whereas females commonly,

but not always, play the victim.

In the study Internalized Homophobia as a Partial mediator between

Homophobic Bullying and Self-Esteem among Youths of Sexual Minorities in

Quebec (2014), 300 participants aged between 14 to 22 years old, with more women

(63.7%) than men (36.3%), most of them coming from urban suburbs. About 73% of

them described themselves as homosexual, 15% as bisexual, 7% predominantly

attracted to their opposite sex and 3% reported being unsure. Nearly half of the

participant reported to have suffered from verbal humiliation because of

homophobia, with 10% of them already expecting to experience more of this form of

bullying. Contrary to what is expected, gender doesn’t seem to significantly affect

homophobic bullying. Both males and females play an active part, possibly because
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the homosexuals are in the minority group, giving straight males and females a sense

of dominance. Homophobic bullying can happen at any form, in any environment,

and for various reasons. Age is the only given factor that has a predictable effect on

bullying. Generally, as homosexuals get older, they tend to experience or report less

homophobic bullying, showing consistency to the fact that bullying was most

prevalent 6th through 8th grade compared to the 9th and 10th grade students.

The study Internalized Homophobia in Homosexual Men: A Qualitative

Study (2015) emphasized on the stigma occurring in homosexual men because of the

negative stereotype towards their gender, which were often demeaning and

degrading. The study was designed in a way that did not require written informed

consent. Only a content analysis was done on a sample of homosexual men living in

culturally diverse cities in Bogotá and Cartagena. As a result, the researchers found

differences in the expression of internalized homophobia and heterosexism. 19 out of

20 used quantifiers equally, denoting a great number of internalized homophobia.

Meaning, there were biases towards certain traits like physical attributes, masculinity

and personality.

One study entitled Self-Acceptance of Sexual Orientation in Gay Men: A

Consensual Qualitative Research (2013) focused on self-acceptance. Self-acceptance

was defined in this study as the consciousness of oneself through understanding their

own life basing on reality, observing pros and cons, and accepting the limitations and
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error in their judgements and decisions. Self-acceptance also includes understanding

the contexts present in their environment which are involved in determining their

own ideas while carrying the responsibilities on their decisions and choices. It stated

that the acceptance and disclosure of the gender of lesbians, gay, and bisexuals was

important in their self-development, as well as increasing and emphasizing their self-

worth.

The finding of this study revealed 6 main themes in the experiences of self-

acceptance of the sexual orientation in gay men. The 6 main themes include: 1)

Beginning to sense homosexual orientation; 2) Experiences that facilitate adopting

their gay identity. This stage includes encountering social prejudice. The beginning

of their relationships with the same sex evolves from here; 3) the acceptance of gay

identity. They start to express their selves properly according to their gender while

facing the society with attitudes that show their self-acceptance. They become

positive, bright and graceful, not worrying about prejudices towards them; 4)

Disclosure of gay identity. Family is considered as the most important people in a

person’s life, and gay fear the rejection and disappointment that they might face from

trying to break away from what was expected of them; 5) Living the gay life. This

where they start properly thinking about the difficulties and limitations associated

with their new found way of life; 6) Emergence of an integrated personality. They

are being open to all experiences, aspiring to continuously develop themselves in


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different aspects, achieving a sense of self-worth, which is questioned at least once in

their lives.

Synthesis of the State of the Art

It can be concluded from the above given studies and literatures that LGB

individuals were prone to face mental and social difficulties; the notion that

environment plays a big part in the development and strengthening of one’s gender

identity has been proven to be true. Each article presented reviews on different issues

that involve lesbians, gays and bisexuals such as stress, relationship quality, coping,

and mental and physical health matters. Although variables were separated between

different articles, similarities between the conclusions appear. Articles and journals

focusing on relationships among the LGB also indicated similar assumptions, such

that LGB people who were romantically involved has a higher chance to suffer from

negative occurrences. According to Frost & Meyer (2009), Operario (2009) and

Collier (2013), stress has been pointed out to be one of the several mental health

issues that lesbian, gay and bisexual people are at risk of, including anxiety and

depression. Stereotyping also seems to be different between homosexuals and

heterosexuals, suggesting that homophobic tendencies are higher on straight male

than female, and while homosexuals suffering from internalize homophobia criticize

themselves, they do not perceive other homosexuals in the same negative way. Also,

according to Bailey (2015), Carter (2012), Frost (2009) and Lindahl (2013), age,
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religion and educational attainment also seems to be a significant factor on how LGB

people identify themselves and other people belonging to different groups gender.

Gaps Bridged by the Present Studies

Numerous studies have already been conducted concerning internalized

homophobia, gender expression and stress. Despite this, there have been a number of

noticeable differences for each study when it comes to the relationships between the

variables and choice of respondents. Base on this, the following gaps were

determined:

1. There were no studies conducted that determined the relationships among

the three variables: internalized homophobia, gender expression and level

of stress.

2. There were no studies conducted that involved a fairly new group of

people within a school system here in the Philippines: senior high school

students.

In view of the identified gaps, the present study determined the extent of

internalized homophobia, gender expression and level of stress of senior high school

students of the University of Perpetual Help System Laguna.


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Chapter 3

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

This chapter discusses the research design used in this study to give the

answer to its purpose. It tackles the instruments used in collecting the data needed.

The statistical treatment will be use to give a concrete interpretation and evaluation

of the gathered data.

Research Design

The descriptive-correlational design was used in this study. This design used

one set of subjects with two or more variables. It attempted to describe and explain

conditions of the present by using many subjects and questionnaire to fully describe

a phenomenon while also attempting to explore relationships to make predictions

Descriptive research endeavors to describe systematically, factually, accurately and

objectively a situation, problem or phenomenon. It seeks to describe “what is”. In

correlational research, the investigator tries to prove the significance of relationship

between two or more factors or characteristics (Bermudo et al., 2014).

Sources of Data

The Grade 11 and 12 Students from University of Perpetual Help System

Laguna were the primary sources of data. The related literature and studies that were
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used to gather further information about the research were used as the secondary

sources of data.

Population of the Study

The respondents of the study were 400 Senior High School students from the

University of Perpetual Help System – Laguna for the AY 2017- 2018. Among

those, only 64 students who identified themselves as homosexuals and bisexuals

were the main subjects of this study.

Instrumentation and Validation

The researchers used questionnaire for the purpose of collecting the needed

primary data. The survey questionnaire consisted of three parts. Part 1 was the extent

of internalized homophobia. The researchers used a modified questionnaire from IHP

Scale by Martin and Dean for Internalized Homophobia (1987) as cited by Iwazaki

and Ristock (2007).

Part 2 was for the gender expression. The researchers utilized a modified

questionnaire from The S.A.G.E Test; Sex and Gender Explorer (2002) and Gender

Expression and Mental Health Questionnaire for Lesbians (2016).

Part 3, was for the level of stress. A modified questionnaire from The Sexual

Identity Distress Scale by Wright & Perry (2006) was utilized.


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Modifications in the questionnaires were done to give an accurate set of

questions related to the study. The answers gathered from the grade 11 and 12

students were used to supply the necessary information needed to complete this

research study. The modified questionnaire was validated by panel of expert in the

fields of psychology, research, and statistics. The suggestions and recommendations

of the panel of experts were incorporated in the final draft of the research instrument.

Evaluation and Scoring

The following rating system was used to give a concrete interpretation of the

questionnaire.

For the measurement of the extent of internalized homophobia and level of stress, the

following measures were used:

Assigned Numerical Categorical Verbal


Points Ranges Responses Interpretations

4 3.51-4.00 Strongly Agree Very high

3 2.51-3.00 Agree High

2 1.51-2.00 Disagree Low

1 1.00-1.50 Strongly Disagree Very low


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For the measurement of gender expression,the verbal interpretation below was used:

Ratings Numerical Values Verbal Interpretations

Yes 1 Feminine

No 2 Masculine

Either 3 Both

Data Gathering Procedure

The researchers asked approval from the director of the Senior High

Department and College of Arts and Sciences before conducting the survey. Then,

the questionnaires were distributed to 400 senior high school students, 200 grade 11

students and 200 grade 12 students. Among the 400 students, only the answers of the

64 students who have identified their genders as homosexual or bisexual would be

used since this study is about homosexuals and bisexuals only. The data were

gathered, tallied, tabulated, and subjected to statistical treatment for analysis and

interpretations.

Statistical Treatment of Data

The following statistical tools were used:

1. Weighted Mean was used to determine the respondents’ (a) internalized

homophobia, (b) gender expression and (c) level of aggression.


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2. Pearson r and chi-square test were used to determine if there were

significant relationship between the respondents’ internalized

homophobia, gender expression and level of stress.

Chapter 4

PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION OF DATA

The analysis and interpretation of the data gathered in this study is presented

in this chapter. The outline of the analysis and interpretation was guided by the

problems indicated in chapter 1.

1. The Extent of Internalized Homophobia of the Respondents

Table 1
Extent of Internalized Homophobia of the Respondents

Indicators Weighted Verbal Rank


Mean Interpretation
1. I have tried to stop being attracted to the 2.39 Low 2
same sex in general.
2. If someone offered me the chance to be 2.36 Low 3.5
completely heterosexual, I would accept the
chance.
3. I wish I weren’t homosexual/bisexual. 2.13 Low 8
4. I feel that being homosexual/bisexual is a 2.34 Low 5
personal shortcoming for me.
5. I would like to get a professional help in 2.17 Low 6.5
order to change my sexual orientation from
homosexual/bisexual to straight.
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6. I have tried to become more sexually 2.41 Low 1


attracted to the opposite sex.
7. I often fell it’s best to avoid personal or 1.91 Low 10
social involvement with other
homosexual/bisexual people.
8. I feel alienated from myself because of being 2.08 Low 9
homosexual/bisexual.
9. I wish that I could develop more erotic 2.36 Low 3.5
feelings about the opposite sex.
10. I often feel it’s best to avoid watching/series 2.17 Low 6.5
and YouTube videos that are related to
homosexual/bisexual people.
Average 2.23 Low

Based on the result of table 1, the overall extent of internalized homophobia

of the respondents was low. This means that most of them do not feel negatively

about themselves and their genders.

Indicator number 6, which stated “I have tried to become more sexually

attracted to the opposite sex”, got the highest weighted mean of 2.41.On the other

hand, indicator no. 1 got the second highest weighted mean of 2.39. This stated “I

have tried to stop being attracted to the same sex in general.” Item no. 7 got the

lowest weighted mean of 1.91 which stated “I often fell it’s best to avoid personal or

social involvement with other homosexual/bisexual people.” Lastly, the second

lowest mean of 2.08 is item no. 8. It stated “I feel alienated from myself because of

being homosexual/bisexual.”

As a whole, the extent of internalized homophobia of the respondents with an

average weighted mean of 2.23 was interpreted as low. This means that they have

tried to become more sexually attracted to the opposite sex.


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This finding contradicts the study of David Frost, et al. (2009). The result of

the study suggests that minority stress has different effects of lesbian, gay and

bisexual individual’s mental health. It showed that bisexual and young respondents

had lower levels of social well-being compared to others, even when the level of

their psychological well-being was no different than the others. This outcome has

shown that social well-being is a distinct factor, and that people who belong to the

disadvantaged social status experience lower levels of their social well-being.

2. The Respondents’ Gender Expression

Table 2
Gender Expression of the Respondents

Gender Expression Frequency Percentage


Masculine 35 54.69
Feminine 21 32.81
Both 8 12.50
Total 64 100.00

The table 2 shows the gender expressions of the respondents. Masculine

gender expression got a total of 35 out of 64 frequency, or 54.69%, feminine hada

total of 21 (32.81%), andthose who express themselves equally as masculine and

femininehad a frequency 8 (12.50%). It indicates that homosexual and bisexual

senior high school students tend to express themselves more as a male than a female.

(Please see appendix A, page 48)


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3. The Respondents’ Level of Stress

Table 3
Level of Stress as Perceived by the Respondents

Level of Stress Frequency Percentage


Very High 3 4.69
High 31 48.44
Low 26 40.63
Very Low 4 6.25
Total 64 100.00

As seen in the table above, 31 out of 64 (48.44%) respondents experience

high level of stress, 26 (40.63%) experience low level of stress, 4 (6.25%) experience

a very low level of stress, and 3 (4.69%) respondents experience very high level of

stress.

This means that nearly half of the respondents suffer from high level of stress

with how they assume their families and peers would accept them with regards to

their homosexuality

According to Robinson (2012), the sense of safety of gay and male bisexual

college students relies on whether their surroundings accepts the way they identify

and express their gender. These results show that stress is indeed a factor that is

always present in homosexual and bisexual people, and most of the time they

experience high level of stress.


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4. Relationship between the Extent of Internalized Homophobia and Gender


Expression

Table 4
Relationship between the Extent of Internalized Homophobia and Gender
Expression of the Respondents

Indicators Chi-square test p-value Interpretation


Extent of Internalized
Homophobia and 7.047 0.316 Not Significant
Gender Expression of
the Respondents
Significance level @ 0.05

Table 4 presents the relationship between the extent internalized homophobia

and gender expression of the respondents. The table shows the computed results of

the chi-square test got 7.047. The computed p-value got 0.316 which is higher than

the 0.05 level of significance, therefore, the null hypothesis stating “there is no

significant relationship between the extent of internalized homophobia and gender

expression of the respondents”, was accepted. This means that the extent of

internalized homophobia and has nothing to do with their gender expression.

According to Quartly (2011), homosexuality and person’s level of

internalized homophobia do not significantly affect how gay men view other gay

men. The result of this study suggests that homosexual men are less likely to

stereotype negatively other homosexuals compared to male heterosexuals.


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5. Relationship between the Extent of Internalized Homophobia and Level of


Stress

Table 5
Relationship between the Extent of Internalized Homophobia and Level of
Stress of the Respondents

Indicators Pearson r p- value Interpretation


Extent of Internalized
Homophobia and Level of 0.488 0.000 Significant
Stress of the Respondents
Significant @ 0.01

In table 5 clearly shows that there’s a significant relationship between the

extent of internalized homophobia and level of stress of the homosexual and bisexual

senior high school students of UPHSL. This implies that the higher the extent of

internalized homophobia of the respondents, the higher is their level of stress. This

means that they do feel comfortable with peers and with their family, but some of them

feel that either they do not belong to anything or they don’t know where they belong and

probably doubt about themselves. The more they internalize anxiety towards their

homosexuality, the higher their level of stress is.

As cited by (Iwasaki &Ristock, 2007) the impact of internalized homophobia

on outness for lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals (LGB) have been shown to be

one of the most stressed population groups insociety.


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6. Relationship between the Respondents’ Gender Expression and Level of

Stress

Table 6
Relationship between the Gender Expression and Level of Stress of the
Respondents

Indicators Chi-square Test p-value Interpretation


Gender Expression and
Level of Stress of the 4.180 0.652 Not Significant
Respondents
Significance level @ 0.05

As reflected in Table 6, there is no significant relationship between the

gender expression and level of stress of homosexual/bisexual senior high school

students of UPHSL.

This means that among gay and bisexual people, their own expressions of

themselves do not affect their stress levels in regards of their genders.

The findings of the study entitled Self-Acceptance of Sexual Orientation in

Gay Men: A Consensual Qualitative Research (2013) revealed that one of the main

themes in gay men’s self-acceptance is their full discovery and understanding of

their own nature and their gay identity is an important part of their being.
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Psychology Department

Chapter 5

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

This chapter presents the summary of findings and conclusions based on the

data gathered, as well as recommendations appropriately derived for this study.

The researchers sought for relationships between the extent of internalized

homophobia, gender expression and level of stress of senior high school students of

UPHSL. The respondents of this study were 69 senior high school students from the

University of Perpetual Help System Laguna. This study used a descriptive-

correlational research design. Specifically, it sought answers to the following sub

problems:

1. What is the extent of internalized homophobia of the respondents?

2. What is the gender expression of the respondents?

3. What is the level of stress of the respondents?

4. How is the extent of internalized homophobia of the respondents

related to their gender expression?

5. How is the extent of internalized homophobia of the respondents

related to their level of stress?

6. How is the gender expression of the respondents related to their level

of stress?
UNIVERSITY OF PERPETUAL HELP SYSTEM LAGUNA
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Summary of Findings

The following are the findings of the study:

1. Extent of internalized homophobia of the respondents

The extent of internalized homophobia of the respondents is low, with an

average weighted mean of 2.23.

2. Gender expression of the respondents

35 out of the 64 (54.69%) homosexuals and bisexuals senior high school

students have a masculine gender expression, 21 (32.81%) of them have feminine

gender expression, and 8 (12.50%) of them exhibits both masculine and feminine

gender expressions.

3. Level of stress of the respondents

31 out of 64, or 48.44% of the respondents experience high level of stress, 26

or 40.63% experience low level of stress, 4 or 6.25% experience very low level of

stress, and 3 out of 26, or 4.69% experience very high level of stress.

4. Relationship between the Extent of Internalized Homophobiaand

Gender Expression of the Respondents

There is no significant relationship between the extent internalized

homophobia and gender expression of homosexual and bisexual senior high school

students of UPHSL.
UNIVERSITY OF PERPETUAL HELP SYSTEM LAGUNA
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Psychology Department

5. Relationship between the Extent of Internalized Homophobia and Level

of Stress of the Respondents

There is a significant relationship between the extent of internalized

homophobia and level of stress of the homosexual and bisexual senior high school

students of UPHSL. This means that homosexuals or bisexuals that exhibit a certain

degree of internalized homophobia experience an equal stress level.

6. Relationship between the Gender Expression andLevel of Stress of the

Respondents

There is no significant relationship between the gender expression and level

of stress of homosexual and bisexual senior high school students of UPHSL.

Conclusions

The following conclusions were drawn:

1. The respondents had low extent of internalized homophobia.

2. The respondents’ most common gender expression was masculine.

3. The respondents’ level of stress was high.

4. The respondents’ gender expression was independent of their extent of

internalized homophobia.

5. The respondents’ gender expression and their level of stress were

independent of each other.


UNIVERSITY OF PERPETUAL HELP SYSTEM LAGUNA
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Psychology Department

6. The higher the extent of internalized homophobia of the respondents, the

higher the level of stress.

Recommendations

The following recommendations were given based on the conclusions derived:

1. In order not to experience internalized homophobia, homosexuals must

always practice self-acceptance. Homosexuals and bisexuals must accept

their gender as an important part of their selves, and by no means does it

affect their worth.

2. For homosexual and bisexuals to avoid negative views about their selves, it is

highly recommended for their families, friends, significant other to refrain

from any form of stigmatized thinking regarding their genders. It is highly

recommended that they consider the homosexuals and bisexuals’ feelings and

thoughts about themselves before thinking about other people’s opinions. The

study showed that most of their stress comes from worrying what other

people would think about them once they became aware of their

homosexuality. Open mindedness and acceptance must be practiced at all

times.
UNIVERSITY OF PERPETUAL HELP SYSTEM LAGUNA
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Psychology Department

3. It is recommended for heterosexuals to be properly educated on how to

identify a homophobic or bi-phobic behavior. This is to avoid any display of

such act.

4. Although there is no significant relationship between the extent of

internalized homophobia and gender expression, and gender expression and

stress level, everyone—homosexuals, bisexuals, heterosexuals, must always

remember that gender expression is an important part in defining who you are

as a person. In some ways, it also shows self-expression. Thus, it must be

done with honesty.

5. It is recommended for teachers and/or faculty members to build a healthy and

non-discriminatory environment within their classes. This is to assure the

students, specifically homosexuals, that gender is not a basis of school

performance. Equal chances to improve and prove their selves must be given

to all students.

6. It is highly recommended for family members to recognize the existence of

stress and anxiety that comes with a person battling with internalized

homophobia. Family members should be aware of the situation, show

acceptance and encouragement towards the homosexuals, and never dismiss

the fact that homosexuals are prone to suffer from stress and anxiety.
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Rose, S., Rubinstein, R., & Weber-Gilmore, G. (2008). The Impact of Internalized
Homophobia on Out-ness for Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Individuals.
Retrieved from http://tpcjournal.nbcc.org/the-impact-of-internalized-
homophobia-on-outness-for-lesbian-gay-and-bisexual-individuals/
Rosch, P.J,.(2017). Reminiscences of Hans Selye and the Birth of “Stress”. Retrieved
from http://www.stress.org/about/hans-selye-birth-of-stress/

The S.A.G.E Test; Sex and Gender Explorer (2002). Retrieved from:
http://www.hemingways.org/GIDinfo/sage/test.html
UNIVERSITY OF PERPETUAL HELP SYSTEM LAGUNA
Sto. Nino, Binan, Laguna
47
College of Arts and Sciences
Psychology Department

APPENDICES
UNIVERSITY OF PERPETUAL HELP SYSTEM LAGUNA
Sto. Nino, Binan, Laguna
College of Arts and Sciences 48
Psychology Department

APPENDIX A

Questionnaire
Internalized Homophobia, Gender Expression and Level of Stress among Senior
High School Students of University of Perpetual Help System Laguna
PUT A CHECK
Gender: Heterosexual Male: Homosexual Male (Gay): Bisexual:
Heterosexual Female: Homosexual Female (Lesbian):
Part I. Extent of Internalized Homophobia
Rate each of the items below by putting a check on the scale.
4- Strongly Agree 2- Disagree
3- Agree 1- Strongly Disagree

Indicators 4 3 2 1
1. I have tried to stop being attracted to the same sex in general.

2. If someone offered me the chance to be completely


heterosexual, I would accept the chance.
3. I wish I weren't homosexual/bisexual.

4. I feel that being homosexual /bisexual is a personal


shortcoming for me.
5. I would like to get professional help in order to change my
sexual orientation from homosexual /bisexual to straight.
6. I have tried to become more sexually attracted to the opposite
sex.
7. I often feel it’s best to avoid personal or social involvement
with other homosexual /bisexual people.
8. I feel alienated from myself because of being homosexual
/bisexual.
9. I wish that I could develop more erotic feelings about the
opposite sex.
10. I often feel it’s best to avoid watching movies/series and
YouTube videos that is related to homosexual/bisexual people
UNIVERSITY OF PERPETUAL HELP SYSTEM LAGUNA
Sto. Nino, Binan, Laguna
49
College of Arts and Sciences
Psychology Department

Part II. Gender Expression: Rate each of the items below by putting a check on the
scale.

Indicators Yes No
1. Do you like watching modeling show/beauty pageant?
2. Do you like wearing nail polish?
3. Do you like watching romantic movies?
4. Do you frequently remove your body hair (face, chest, under
arms, legs)?
5. Do you sit with your legs together?
6. Do you wear make-up (eyeshadow, lipstick, blush on, etc.)?
7. Do you wear feminine clothes?
8. Do you wear flashy accessories?
9. Do you like wearing your hair long?
10. Do you like wearing heels and flats?
UNIVERSITY OF PERPETUAL HELP SYSTEM LAGUNA
Sto. Nino, Binan, Laguna
50
College of Arts and Sciences
Psychology Department

Part III. Level of Stress: Rate each of the items below by putting a check on the
scale.
4- Strongly Agree 2- Disagree
3- Agree 1- Strongly Disagree

Indicators 4 3 2 1
1. I worry that someone will not love me back
2. I feel uneasy around people who are very open in public about
being (gay/lesbian/bisexual).
3. I often feel ashamed that I am (gay/lesbian/bisexual).
4. I worry a lot about what others think about my being
(gay/lesbian/bisexual).
5. I worry a lot about what my family thinks about me being
(gay/lesbian/bisexual).
6. I feel troubled with being attracted to a person who has same
gender as mine.
7. I’m not proud that I’m (gay/lesbian/bisexual).
8. I worry that my family will reject me for being
(gay/lesbian/bisexual).
9. I worry that people will not respect me for being
(gay/lesbian/bisexual).
10. I worry that my peers would be ashamed of me being
(gay/lesbian/bisexual).