B.A. (Bachelor of Arts)
Department of Anthropology
Confidential interviews were conducted with members of the Dekalb /NIU homosexual community. The general experiences and opinions of the people interviewed were combined with information regarding American society’s present social, ethical, and legal attitude toward homosexuality. The forty page paper deals primarily with concerns mentioned by the respondents. The main topics covered include: 1) Gender-role socialization; 2) The concept and process of "coming out"; 3) Reactions of parents and friends to an individual's sexual orientation; 4) Stereotypes in the homosexual and heterosexual communities; 5) The Kinsey Scale theory of sexual orientation; 6) Perceived homosexual and heterosexual "behavior"; 7) Homosexual role models in the media and in everyday life; 8) “Roles" in homosexual and heterosexual relationships; 9) Concerns in the formation of a legally sound homosexual family unit; and 10) Homophobia and gay activism. Major findings included: 1) Homosexual people remember having felt from a very early age that there was something "different" in their outlooks; 2) The process of “coming out” is a difficult but important one; 3) Behavioral stereotypes exist and are followed to varying degrees in both the heterosexual and homosexual communities; 4) Positive role models in the media and in everyday life are very important to a person struggling with his or her sexual orientation; 5) All of the subjects interviewed expressed a desire fora permanent relationship, and many also expressed a desire to raise children; 6) The American legal system is becoming more lenient toward homosexual family units; and 7) Homophobia still exists in American society to some degree, although successful educational measures have been taken and continue to be taken to remedy this situation.
Hasse, Gretchen, "Myths and realities : the homosexual community of DeKalb/NIU" (1991). Honors Capstones. 823.
Northern Illinois University
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The homosexual community of DeKalb/NIU