Internalized Homophobia, Religious Affiliation, and Substance Use in Sexual Minority Women

Jennifer Phan, Regina Baronia, Anastasia Ruiz, Thomas McGovern, Terry McMahon

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Scopus citations


    Internalized homophobia (IH), defined by Meyer and Dean as “the gay person’s direction of negative social attitudes toward the self,” is a unique form of minority stress that affects the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) population, and its presence (or lack thereof) can greatly affect an individual’s self-esteem and mental health. The survey asked questions regarding demographics, religious affiliation, whether or not the subject’s religion (past or present) was accepting of homosexuality, frequency of substance use in the past year in combination with type of substance used, and evaluated feelings of IH via the Revised Internalized Homophobia Scale (IHP-R). The sample used substances at rates equal to or higher than previous literature has reported. Although no statistically significant relationship was found between religion and IH or IH and substance use, attaining a higher level of education was associated with lesser feelings of IH, an unexpected finding.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)403-414
    Number of pages12
    JournalAlcoholism Treatment Quarterly
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


    • Homophobia
    • homosexuality
    • religion
    • substance use
    • women


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