The Attitudes of The Undergraduate Nursing Students Towards Lesbian Women and Gay Men
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Aims and objectives. This study was conducted to determine the attitudes of undergraduate nursing students towards lesbian women and gay men. Background. Nursing education in Turkey is conducted holistically; in other words, it is an integration of the physical, spiritual, mental and social realms. Students are therefore expected to not express any discrimination due to factors such as religion, language, race and gender. However, some serious problems still exist in terms of the practical applications of that philosophy. Design. This study was descriptive. Methods. This study included 964 students. The Attitudes towards Lesbian Women and Gay Men scale and a questionnaire were used to learn about the attitudes of undergraduate nursing students regarding gay men and lesbian women. Results. Results of this study have indicated that the attitudes of religiously educated and/or conservative students towards lesbian women and gay men were negative. Female students from families with high incomes and highly educated families attended social activities and read more than other female students. The students with free life choice options expressed very positive attitudes towards gay men. Conclusion. The nursing education curriculum should cover information about patients with diverse sexual orientations and their absolute rights for equally optimal healthcare. Strategies to discourage traditional gender role stereotypes and educational and media experiences for better acceptance of sexual minorities need to be developed by educational policy makers. Antidiscrimination policies protecting lesbian women and gay men should be developed by the legislative authorities and then taught to students during their nursing education. Getting familiar with diverse sexual orientations might create awareness among nursing students and reduce their attitudinal and behavioural prejudices and biases. Relevance to clinical practice. To provide equal healthcare services for all patients, nurses must have accurate information about lesbian women, gay men and modify their attitude and behaviour accordingly.