Stirring the Hornet’s Nest: a Study of Student’s Awareness, Perception and Tolerance of Homosexuality in a Ghanaian University

Umar Haruna



Homosexuality has been and continues to be a contentious subject in many quarters across many disciplines. It has generated many debates around political, religious, socio-cultural as well as medical domains. This study sought to contribute to debates on the issue by examining the views of students in a Ghanaian public University. The main objectives of the study were to ascertain student’s level of awareness of homosexuality, analyze their perceptions and gauge their degree of tolerance of the practice. An exploratory design was employed for the study. A sample of 200 undergraduate students of the University for Development studies were selected with a multistage sample procedure. Data was collected with the aid of a structured questionnaire. The main findings of the study were that the levels of awareness among students were very high, their perceptions largely negative; so was their level of tolerance. Generally students found the practice abominable, illegal and intolerable. The study concluded that students’ perceptions go a long way in shaping public discourse and influence the general attitude of the larger population toward homosexuality. As such, great care should be taken to ensure that homophobic tendencies do not result into a national security crisis. Key recommendations are that state authorities must ensure that the law criminalizing homosexuality must be clearly articulated. Also, a national dialogue should be embarked upon with the view to taking a common, humane and culturally acceptable position on the practice of homosexuality, mindful of cultural, religious as well as human rights considerations.

Key Words: Homosexuality, Students, Awareness, Perception, Tolerance, Culture, University


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Copyright (c) 2015 Umar Haruna

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Journal of Sociological Research ISSN 1948-5468


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