Park`s Heterosexism Scale


The Heterosexism Scale (HS) is a 16-item self-report measure of heterosexism, developed by Sun-Ah Park (2001). Heterosexism is defined as “a system of attitudes, beliefs, institutional structures, and practices that privilege heterosexuality and heterosexual relationships” (Park, 2001, p. 127). The HS assesses two dimensions of heterosexism:

  • Superiority of Heterosexuality subscale: This subscale measures beliefs that heterosexuality is superior to other sexual orientations.
  • Tolerance/Acceptance of Non-Heterosexuality subscale: This subscale measures beliefs that non-heterosexual people should be tolerated or accepted.


The HS has good internal consistency, with Cronbach’s alpha coefficients ranging from .83 to .92 (Park, 2001). The HS also has good test-retest reliability, with correlations ranging from .75 to .85 (Park, 2001).


The HS has good construct validity. It has been shown to correlate with other measures of heterosexism, such as the Attitudes Toward Lesbians and Gay Men Scale (Herek, 1988) and the Homophobia Scale (Hudson & Ricketts, 1980). The HS has also been shown to predict negative attitudes and behaviors towards lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGBT) people.


The HS is a useful tool for measuring heterosexism in a variety of settings, such as research, clinical practice, and education. The HS can be used to assess heterosexism among individuals, groups, and organizations. The HS can also be used to track changes in heterosexism over time.


The HS is a self-report measure, which means that it is subject to social desirability bias. Additionally, the HS was developed in the United States, and its use in other cultures may be limited.


The HS is a well-validated measure of heterosexism. It is a useful tool for researchers, clinicians, and educators who are interested in understanding and addressing heterosexism.

Park’s Heterosexism Scale

1.    All sexual orientations are natural expressions of human sexuality.
2.    Positive aspects of various sexual orientations should be included in public education.
3.    I believe that the lives of lesbian‚ gay‚ and bisexual individuals could not be as fulfilling as those of heterosexual individuals.
4.    Only heterosexual individuals are appropriate religious leaders.
5.    I think society will benefit from fostering equal opportunity employment for lesbian‚ gay‚ and bisexual individuals.
6.    Heterosexual couples make better candidates for parents than do same-sex couples for adoption.
7.    I would accept my sibling’s partner regardless of his or her sex.
8.    No one sexual orientation is better than any other sexual orientation.
9.    An anti-discrimination law is incomplete without the inclusion of sexual orientation.
10.There is no reason to restrict lesbian‚ gay‚ or bisexual individuals from working in the military.
11.I think lesbian/gay/bisexual people are unfit as teachers.
12.I would not think less of my co-worker if I found out that he or she was a lesbian‚ gay‚ or bisexual individual.
13.My relationship with my friend would change if I found out that he or she was not heterosexual.
14.I make sure to invite the partner of my lesbian or gay friend to social functions.
15.In general‚ heterosexual people are more psychologically adjusted than lesbian‚ gay‚ and bisexual people.
16.Legalization of same-sex marriage will dismantle the fundamental foundations for society.
Strongly Disagree‚ Disagree‚ Neither Disagree or Agree‚ Agree‚ Strongly Agree
This instrument can be found at:

Park‚ Jeeseon. (2004). Development of the Heterosexism Scale. Manuscript submitted for publication.

Park‚ J.‚ & Bieschke‚ K. J. (2002). Development of the Heterosexism Scale. Poster presented at the meeting of the American Psychological Association‚ Chicago‚ IL.

Park‚ J. (2001). Development of the heterosexism scale. (Unpublished doctoraldissertation). The Pennsylvania State University‚ University Park.

Goodrich‚ Kristopher.M.‚ Selig‚ James.P.‚ Crofts‚ Gene. (2014). An examination of the heterosexism scale. Journal of Homosexuality‚ 61(10); 1378-1392

Gallor‚ Susanna. M. (2006).  heterosexual parents’ gender role attitudes‚ religious orientation‚ heterosexist beliefs support group experiences and relationship functioning with their lesbian or gay children. Doctoral Dissertation. University of Maryland‚ College Park