Chinese university students' perspectives toward their gay and lesbian peers
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In this research, our participants were asked five questions: Do gay and lesbian people fit into Chinese society? Are Chinese university students open and tolerant on gay and lesbian issues? How do these students perceive their gay and lesbian peers? How do their beliefs affect their attitudes toward their gay and lesbian peers? Is their university a safe and welcoming place for gay and lesbian students? To answer these questions, a qualitative methodology was employed involving six one-on-one interviews and two focus group interviews. The participants did not believe that gay and lesbian people fit into Chinese society; however, the students themselves are becoming more open and tolerant on gay and lesbian issues in recent years because of the influence of technological innovation, media, and Western culture. The findings suggest a degree of acceptance of gays and lesbians though the participants simultaneously distanced themselves from their homosexual peers. They perceived the university to be a safe place for gay and lesbian students in the sense that nobody would hurt them, but they did not see the university as a welcoming place. To better understand the students’ perspectives, the transcripts were analyzed within a Chinese cultural and social context. Offering a realistic picture of heterosexual students’ perspectives might encourage them to reduce discrimination against their gay and lesbian peers, and to create a better learning environment for both heterosexual and homosexual students.
DegreeMaster of Education (M.Ed.)
SupervisorCochrane, Donald B.
CommitteeWard, Angela; Kelly, Ivan W.
chinese university students