Homophobia Scale

Homophobia Scale


The Homophobia Scale (HS) was developed to assess the cognitive, affective, and behavioral components of homophobia.


The HS consists of 25 statements to which respondents answer on a 5-point Likert scale of 1 (Strongly Agree) to 5 (Strongly Disagree). The majority of the homophobia scales currently in use measure attitudes toward‌ gay and lesbian individuals and what has been referred to as homonegativity, but do not capture the entire construct of homophobia. The inclusion of items that assess social avoidance and aggressive acting, in addition to the attitudinal items found on many homophobia measures, differentiates the HS from other scales.

The participants for the development and validation studies (= 321 for the initial field trial and = 122 for test-retest reliability) were students from a large midwestern university. Their average age was 22.38 (SD = 4.12).

The mean total score for the scale based on 145 participants was 32.04 (SD = 19.76). The mean score for the male participants (= 47) was 41.38 (SD = 19.32). The mean score for the female participants (= 98) was 27.56 (SD = 18.44). It is recommended that users of the scale conduct statistics on their samples to determine cut scores for high and low responding.

The scale contains three factors that accounted for 68.69% of the scale’s variance. The first factor, Behavioral/ Negative Affect, accounted for 40.88% of the scale’s variance and contained 10 items that assess primarily negative affect and avoidance behaviors. The mean score for Factor 1 = 10.79 (SD = 8.22). The second factor, Affect/Behavioral Aggressive, accounted for 23.05% of the scale’s variance and contained 10 items that assess primarily aggressive behavior and negative affect. The mean score for Factor 2 = 14.28 (SD = 12.51). The third factor, Cognitive Negativism, accounted for 4.77% of the scale’s variance and contained five items that assess negative attitudes and cognitions. The mean score for Factor 3 = 7.10 (SD = 4.84).

Response Mode and Timing

Respondents can indicate their level of agreement or dis- agreement with the statements by circling the number on the Likert scale that most closely matches their thoughts, feelings, or behavior. The scale can be completed in approximately 5 to 7 minutes.


A total score and three subscale scores can be calculated for the scale.

  1. Reverse score the following items: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 24, 25 (to reverse score the items 1 = 5, 2 = 4, 3 = 3, 4 = 2, 5 = 1). Use these reverse scores to calculate total score and factor subscale scores.
  2. To calculate the total scale score: Add the responses to items 125; then subtract 25 from the total scale score. The range of scores will be between 0 and 100, with a score of 0 being the least homophobic and 100 being the most homophobic.
  3. To calculate the subscale (factor) scores:
  • Factor 1 (Behavior/Negative Affect): Add items 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, and 22; then subtract 10. Scores should range between 0 and 40.
  • Factor 2 (Affect/Behavioral Aggression): Add items 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 24, and 25; then subtract 10. Scores should range between 0 and 40.
  • Factor 3 (Cognitive Negativism): Add items 3, 8, 16, 18, and 20; then subtract 5. Scores should range between 0 and 20.


The scale yielded an overall α reliability coefficient of = .94, < .01 and a 1-week test-retest reliability coefficient of = .96, <.01.


Concurrent validity was established using the Index of Homophobia (IHP; Hudson & Ricketts, 1980). A Pearson correlation coefficient was computed using overall scores for the IHP and the HS. The results yielded a significant correlation, = .66, < .01, indicating the two scales are measuring a similar construct. The moderately strong correlation suggests the HS measures something different than the IHP.

Other Information

A copy of the scale can be obtained at no cost from the corresponding author. Appropriate citation of the scale (Wright, Adams, & Bernat, 1999) is requested.

Address correspondence to Lester W. Wright, Jr., Department of Psychology, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI 49008; e-mail: [email protected]

This questionnaire is designed to measure your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors with regard to homosexuality. It is not a test, so there are no right or wrong answers. Answer each item by circling the number after each question as follows:

  • Strongly Agree

  • Agree

  • Neither Agree nor Disagree

  • Disagree

  • Strongly Disagree

  1. Gay people make me nervous.‌

  2. Gay people deserve what they get. 1 2

  3. Homosexuality is acceptable to me. 1 2

  4. If I discovered a friend was gay I would end the friendship. 1 2

  5. I think homosexual people should not work with children. 1 2

  6. I make derogatory remarks about gay people. 1 2

  7. I enjoy the company of gay people. 1 2

  8. Marriage between homosexual individuals is acceptable. 1 2

  9. I make derogatory remarks like “faggot” or “queer” to people I suspect are gay.

  10. It does not matter to me whether my friends are gay or straight.

  11. It would not upset me if I learned that a close friend was homosexual.

  12. Homosexuality is immoral.

  13. I tease and make jokes about gay people.

  14. I feel that you cannot trust a person who is homosexual.

  15. I fear homosexual persons will make sexual advances towards me.

  16. Organizations which promote gay rights are necessary.

  17. I have damaged property of gay persons, such as “keying” their 1 2

  18. I would feel comfortable having a gay roommate. 1 2

  19. I would hit a homosexual for coming on to me. 1 2

  20. Homosexual behavior should not be against the law.

  21. I avoid gay individuals.

  22. It does not bother me to see two homosexual people together in public.

  23.  When I see a gay person I think, “What a waste.”
  24. When I meet someone I try to find out if he/she is gay.
  25.  I have rocky relationships with people that I suspect are gay.

Address correspondence to Lester W. Wright, Jr., Department of Psychology, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI 49008; e-mail: [email protected]


Hudson, W. W., & Ricketts, W. A. (1980). A strategy for the measurement of homophobia. Journal of Homosexuality, 5, 357–372.

Wright, L. W., Jr., Adams, H. E., & Bernat, J. (1999). Development and validation of the Homophobia Scale. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 21, 337–347.