John Longres

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

Physical Description

1 online resource (144 p.)


Homosexuality, Nurses -- Oregon -- Attitudes, Psychiatric nursing, Psychiatric aides -- Attitudes




Homosexuality is something which has been a part of almost every society throughout history. In western society this has been a subject of secrecy and taboo. Throughout our history homosexuals have been persecuted and forced to hide their sexual identity. The effects of this on an individual should be something of concern to professionals in the mental health field.

While in the past there has been little knowledge of homosexuality, and no self-expression on the part of homosexuals, there has, in recent years, been growing information and expression. The effect of this change on mental health workers is what this paper will examine.

An historical survey will present the forces which shaped the current attitude of the mental health profession about homosexuality. I will present a general examination of the social ideology toward homosexuality in western society. I will also review the history of those homosexuals who have banded together for companionship, reform, and protest.

This will be a context against which I will examine the attitudes of a specific group of people who care for the mentally ill--nurses and aides at a state mental hospital. The questionnaire I used to examine their attitudes surveys a broad range of possible attitudes about homosexuality. The responses will demonstrate what changes have occurred in society’s attitudes toward homosexuality. It will show, specifically, what the attitudes are of those who care for economically disadvantaged, severely disturbed homosexuals.

Persistent Identifier