Publication Date

2007

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Department

School for Social Work

Abstract

Attitudes towards bisexuality among mental health professionals in the United States have been vastly understudied. The existing research has been done primarily on and by psychologists and suggests that there is considerable bias against bisexuality found in the psychology field, and in the general population of the United States. There has been no systematic inquiry into social work attitudes towards bisexuality. This quantitative study was designed to make its contribution to filling this gap by surveying social workers' attitudes towards bisexuality, using an existing scale, the Attitudes Regarding Bisexuality Scale (Mohr, 1999), combined with a demographic questionnaire. The complete instrument was posted online using Survey Monkey software and was emailed to participants using a snowball technique. Eligibility criteria were that participants hold at least one social work degree and be currently practicing social work. The final sample was a non-randomized sample of 522 respondents. Findings from this study suggest that social workers, as a group, are less biased against bisexuality than psychologists and than the general population. Findings also suggest that there is a positive correlation between participants' amount of contact with lesbian, gay and bisexual clients and their attitudes regarding bisexuality. These findings have important implications for professional training. They indicate that bias against bisexuality can be reduced by increasing social workers' exposure to lesbian, gay and bisexual clients during the course of their schooling and/or post-graduate training, and that additional research is necessary to investigate the culture(s) of bisexuality, and to develop culturally competent practices for treatment providers.

Comments

iv, 70 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2007. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 50-56).