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Homonegativity in Southeast Asia: Attitudes Toward Lesbians and Gay Men in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam


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How are sexual minorities like lesbians, gay men, and their sexualities viewed in the different societies of Southeast Asia? Previous studies have been limited by the reliance on data from university students and other non-representative samples, with little comparability across countries in the region. This research brief addresses this gap by comparing attitudes toward lesbians and gay men and about lesbian and gay sexualities in six Southeast Asian countries using nationally representative survey data. Combined data from the World Values Survey (total n = 9,182 respondents from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam) indicated that many Southeast Asians reject lesbians or gay men as neighbors, with the most homonegative attitudes to be found in Indonesia (66%) and Malaysia (59%), compared to
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Asia-Pacic Social Science Review (2017) 17(1): 25-33
Copyright © 2017 by De La Salle University
Homonegavity in Southeast Asia:
Atudes Toward Lesbians and Gay Men in Indonesia,
Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand,
and Vietnam
Eric Julian Manalastas
University of the Philippines
Timo Tapani Ojanen
Thammasat University, Thailand
Beatriz A. Torre
University of the Philippines
Raanakorn Ratanashevorn
Chulalongkorn University, Thailand
Bryan Choong Chee Hong
B-Change Foundaon
Vizla Kumaresan
MindWorks Psychology and Counselling Centre, Malaysia
Vigneswaran Veeramuthu
University of Malaya, Malaysia
Abstract How are sexual minorities like lesbians, gay men, and their sexualities viewed in the different societies of Southeast
Asia? Previous studies have been limited by the reliance on data from university students and other non-representative
samples, with little comparability across countries in the region. This research brief addresses this gap by comparing
attitudes toward lesbians and gay men and about lesbian and gay sexualities in six Southeast Asian countries using nationally
representative survey data. Combined data from the World Values Survey (total n = 9,182 respondents from Indonesia,
Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam) indicated that many Southeast Asians reject lesbians or gay
men as neighbors, with the most homonegative attitudes to be found in Indonesia (66%) and Malaysia (59%), compared to
26 E.J. Manalastas, et al
The system of negative attitudes, beliefs, feelings,
and behaviors toward lesbians, gay men, and same-sex
sexualities is called homonegativity (McDermott &
Blair, 2012). Homonegativity, also sometimes called
homophobia, heterosexism, or anti-gay prejudice,
forms part of the larger climate of social stigma faced
by sexual and gender minorities in many parts of the
world (Herek & McLemore, 2013; Lottes & Grollman,
2010; Stulhofer & Rimac, 2009). This research brief
contributes to this area of inquiry in the Asia Pacic
context by presenting a cross-country comparison of
attitudes toward lesbians, gay men, and lesbian/gay
sexualities in six Southeast Asian countries using
nationally representative data.
Homonegativity: Contexts and Correlates
Despite the existence of indigenous gender and
sexual diversity traditions in various Southeast Asian
societies (Wieringa, 2010), as well as the scientic
recognition by scientic professionals in Asia that
being lesbian and gay are normal variants of human
sexuality (e.g., Hong Kong Psychological Society,
2012; Psychological Association of the Philippines,
2011; Rao & Jacob, 2012), stigma against lesbian,
gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) populations
persist. Globally, LGBT people and other gender
and sexual minorities experience criminalization,
systemic violence, discrimination in employment and
health care, lack of legal recognition concerning their
families and partnerships, and restricted freedoms of
expression, association, and peaceful assembly (Ofce
of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human
Rights, 2012).
In Southeast Asia, same-sex sexual acts are
criminalized under the law in Malaysia, Singapore,
and Brunei Darussalam, as well as in South Sumatra
and the Aceh province in Indonesia (Carroll, 2016).
relatively less rejecting nations like Thailand (40%), Singapore (32%), Vietnam (29%), and the Philippines (28%). Same-
sex sexuality was least acceptable, based on a moral justiability measure, among Indonesians, followed by Vietnamese
and Malaysians. Singaporeans, Thais, and Filipinos were the least rejecting of lesbian and gay sexual orientations in the
region. We also explored a number of established correlates of homonegative attitudes in each country, including gender,
age, educational attainment, and religiosity.
Keywords: social attitudes, homosexuality, homonegativity, anti-gay prejudice, Southeast Asia
Violence in the form of hate crimes (UNDP & USAID,
2014b) and bullying of children and youth perceived
to be LGBT have been documented (UNESCO, 2015).
There is only one country in the region that protects
its citizens from workplace discrimination on the
basis of gender identity or sexual orientation through
a national law: Thailand, as of 2015. Despite the
often remarked cultural valuation of kinship, family
ties, and marriage, nowhere in Southeast Asia are
same-sex partnerships legally recognized, and joint
adoption by lesbian and gay couples remains a legal
impossibility (Sanders, 2013, 2015). And although
gender reassignment surgery is available in countries
like Thailand, transgender citizens cannot change
their legal markers in ofcial documents and remain
vulnerable to violence, harassment, and discrimination
(UNDP & USAID, 2014c).
One component of the social ecology faced by
sexual and gender minorities is public opinion toward
them and their sexualities (Herek, 2004, 2007; Herek
& McLemore, 2013). These social attitudes may range
from afrmation and acceptance (homopositivity) to
disapproval, denial, and denigration (homonegativity).
Such public opinion provides important basic
descriptive information about how LGBT citizens are
viewed and accepted (or rejected) at a particular point
in a society’s history. Public opinion has been used
as a core component in popular metrics that measure
a country’s level of friendliness to LGBT people,
such as the Gay Happiness Index (Lemke, Tornow,
&, 2015). Other studies have
shown that public opinion, particularly low levels of
homonegative social attitudes, is a key predictor for the
eventual legalization of same-sex marriage in a country
(Badgett, 2009). The perception of homonegative
public opinion also plays a role at the individual level,
particularly in the adjustment and well-being of sexual
minority individuals, who are said to have to negotiate
Homonegativity in Southeast Asia 27
identity development processes in such social contexts
(Motoyama, 2015).
Global research into public opinion concerning
LGBT people point to ve factors that are associated
with homonegative attitudes: gender, age, education,
religion, and intergroup contact (Slootmaeckers
& Lievens, 2014). Generally, women have less
homonegative, more accepting attitudes than men
(Herek, 2002; Lim, 2002). Similar associations have
been found with younger individuals compared to older
generations, those with higher educational attainment
compared to those with less schooling, and people with
lower levels of religiosity versus those who are more
religious. Generally, young respondents, respondents
who are more educated, and those who view religion
as less central in their lives are also less homonegative
(Slootmaeckers & Lievens, 2014).
Apart from these demographic variables, attention
has been paid in the social attitudes literature
on intergroup contact as a predictor of lower
homonegativity. A large body of research has shown
that those who personally know many openly lesbian
and gay people, and especially those who interact
frequently with sexual minority individuals in contexts
that lead to uncertainty reduction and warm afliative
relations, have the least homonegative attitudes
(Detenber, Ho, Neo, Malik, & Cenite, 2013; Lewis,
2011; Pettigrew & Tropp, 2006). This effect has been
shown to be independent of the reverse (i.e., that
individuals who are LGBT-friendly at the onset will be
more likely to seek out interactions with LGBT people)
and can be the basis of interventions for prejudice
Despite the important empirical and theoretical
work on homonegative social attitudes and its predictors
globally, many of the studies on homonegativity in the
Southeast Asian region have had notable limitations.
First, many rely on opportunistic samples such as
university students (e.g., Bernardo, 2013; Lim, 2002;
Ng et al., 2013; Ng, Yee, Subramaniam, Loh, & Madeira,
2015). It is unknown how well these non-representative
samples generalize to the general population. Second,
though some nationally representative, within-country
studies exist (e.g., Manalastas & del Pilar, 2005), none
have attempted to use public opinion measures that
allow for cross-country comparison within the region.
Thus, we have no systematic evidence for the range of
social attitudes toward lesbians and gay men and about
same-sex sexualities in Southeast Asia.
This research addresses these two limitations by
presenting a secondary analysis of national survey
data collected from six Southeast Asian countries
using comparable measures. We contribute to this
area of empirical research in the Asia Pacic region
by presenting a cross-country comparison of social
attitudes toward lesbians and gay men and about lesbian
and gay sexualities using nationally representative
data. Such an analysis provides a more comprehensive,
evidence-based snapshot of homonegativity, particularly
homonegative public opinion, across the region. The
research addresses the question—How do public
attitudes about lesbians, gay men, and their sexualities
compare across Southeast Asia? Specifically, how
homonegative are people in Indonesia, Malaysia, the
Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam? The
goals of this analysis are: (1) to describe and compare
homonegative public attitudes within the Southeast
Asian region using nationally representative data, and
(2) to explore correlates of those social attitudes within
each of the six countries.
We analyzed the most recent available data from
the World Values Survey (WVS), a multi-national
interview-based survey that investigates people’s
beliefs and values concerning a wide range of social
issues, including same-sex sexualities. Based on
multistage cluster sampling of adults 18 years old and
above, nationally representative WVS data for six
Southeast Asian countries were used in this analysis:
Indonesia (N = 2,015), Malaysia (N = 1,300), the
Philippines (N = 1,200), Singapore (N = 1,972),
Thailand (N = 1,200), and Vietnam (N = 1,495), with
an aggregate total of N = 9,182 respondents. Combined,
the populations of these six countries represent 88%
of the total in ASEAN. Country-level datasets were
accessed via the WVS data portal (http://www.
28 E.J. Manalastas, et al
Homonegativity. Attitudes toward lesbians, gay
men, and same-sex sexualities were assessed in the
WVS data using two questions. The rst was a social
exclusion item that asked respondents, “Which do
you not want to be your neighbor?”. “Homosexuals”
was presented in a list of nine social groups that also
included foreign workers, drug users, and people
of a different religion, among others. Nominating
homosexuals as unwanted neighbors was classied
as a homonegative response. The second measure
was a single-item moral acceptability question that
asked respondents, “Do you think being homosexual
can always be justified, cannot be justified, or in
between?”. Responses were assessed using a 10-point
scale with anchors of 1 = never justiable to 10 =
always justiable. Scores closer to 1 indicate more
homonegativity. As for all WVS surveys, items were
translated from English into local languages and back-
translated to ensure conceptual equivalence.
Predictors. We tested associations between
homonegative attitudes in the six Southeast Asian
countries against four of the ve correlates found in
the global literature on homonegativity (Slootmaeckers
& Lievens, 2014) that were measured in the WVS.
These were: (1) gender, (2) age, (3) education, and (4)
religiosity. Gender was a binary category of female/
male. Age was classied along ve categories (18 to
30 years old, 31 to 40, 41 to 50, 51 to 60, and 61 to
older). Education was measured as an ordinal variable
with three levels: having nished primary school or
below, having reached secondary or high school, and
university level attainment. Religion was measured as
a response to the question “How important is religion
in your life?”. Intergroup contact, the fth predictor
of homonegativity, is typically assessed by asking
respondents how many lesbian or gay friends they have
(Lewis, 2011), but it was not measured in the WVS.
We conducted cross-tabulation analysis of the
six country data and cross-national comparison of
descriptives, including condence intervals set at 95%
when appropriate. We also ran country-level logistic
regression analyses on the social exclusion measure
to determine correlates of homonegative attitudes in
the different Southeast Asian countries in the dataset.
Homonegativity: Attitudes toward Lesbians and
Gay Men as a Social Group
Comparison of the six countries on the social
exclusion measure indicated that the highest
homonegative attitudes were found in Indonesia,
where 66.1% of respondents, CI [.64, .68], did
not want lesbian and gay neighbors, followed by
Malaysia, where 58.7% of Malaysians, CI [.56, .61],
expressed similar homonegative opinions (see Figure
Figure 1. Percentage of respondents in six Southeast Asian countries
who reject lesbians and gay men as neighbors.
Homonegativity in Southeast Asia 29
1). In these two countries, levels of homonegativity
in the population were higher than 43.1%, which
was the unweighted aggregate level for the region,
CI [.42, .44]. In contrast, relatively lower levels of
homonegativity were found in three other countries:
39.8% in Thailand, CI [.37, .42]; 31.7% in Singapore,
CI [.30, .34]; and 29.1% in Vietnam, CI [.29, .31].
Homonegative social exclusion attitudes were lowest in
the Philippines, with 27.9% or a little over a quarter of
the population, CI [.25, .31], saying they did not want
lesbian and gay neighbors. Overall, the data indicate
widespread moderate to high levels of homonegativity
among people in the Southeast Asian region, where
on average, four out of 10 Southeast Asians reject
neighbors who are lesbian or gay.
Homonegativity: Attitudes Toward Same-Sex
In addition to views about lesbian and gay people
as a social group, public attitudes in Southeast Asia
toward same-sex sexualities in particular followed
roughly similar patterns (see Table 1). The most
extremely homonegative attitudes were found in
Indonesia, where same-sex sexualities were judged as
highly unacceptable (M = 1.35, SD = 1.30) and 87.6%
of Indonesians answered at the extreme homonegative
end of the scale, considering being gay or lesbian
as something that could never be morally justied.
Vietnamese (M = 1.86, SD = 1.67) and Malaysians
(M = 2.37, SD = 2.12) had similar homonegative
views, with 63.6% of people in Vietnam and 60.5%
in Malaysia indicating that being gay or lesbian as
never morally justiable. Again, the lowest levels of
homonegativity was found in the Philippines (M = 4.47,
SD = 3.21), where only 31.1% of Filipinos considered
lesbian or gay sexualities as never justiable, along
with Singaporeans (M = 3.51, SD = 2.33) and Thais
(M = 2.85, SD = 2.33). Mean ratings in these three
countries (the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand)
were above the unweighted overall mean in the region
(M = 2.74, SD = 1.14), indicating relatively lower
levels of homonegativity. Overall, the data again show
widespread moderate to high levels of homonegative
opinion among people in the Southeast Asian region,
where lesbian and gay sexualities are considered
never justiable by three to as much as eight out of 10
Southeast Asians, depending on the country context.
Exploring Predictors of Attitudes Toward Lesbians
and Gay Men in Southeast Asia
We explored associations between the four
predictors of homonegativity previously identied in
the literature and available in the WVS dataset (i.e.,
gender, age, education, and religiosity) with the social
exclusion measure that asked respondents if they
would accept or reject lesbian or gay neighbors (a
dichotomously scored item). Responses on this item,
which taps into public opinion on lesbians and gay
Table 1
Mean Ratings on Justiability of Same-Sex Sexualities in Six Southeast Asian countries
MSD 95% CI
Indonesia 1.35 1.30 1.29, 1.41
Malaysia 2.37 2.12 2.26, 2.49
Philippines 4.47 3.21 4.29, 4.65
Singapore 3.51 2.33 3.41, 3.61
Thailand 2.85 2.33 2.71, 2.98
Vietnam 1.86 1.67 1.77, 1.95
Region 2.74 1.14 2.71, 2.76
30 E.J. Manalastas, et al
men as a social group in society, were entered into six
exploratory, country-level logistic regression analyses.
Overall patterns were mixed, and in some instances,
the reverse direction was found, contrary to predictions.
Gender was a signicant predictor of homonegativity
in three out of the six countries. As predicted,
women compared to men were less homonegative,
in the Philippines, OR = 1.60, 95% CI [1.23, 2.07],
p < .001. Contrary to what was expected from the
literature, however, women in some areas more than
men appeared to be more rejecting of lesbian and gay
neighbors; this pattern was found in Malaysia, OR =
0.73, 95% CI [0.59, 0.92], p < .01, and in Vietnam,
OR = 0.75, 95% CI [0.60, 0.94], p < .01. Signicant
gender differences in homonegativity were not found
in Indonesia, Singapore, and Thailand. Age appeared
to be a more consistent predictor of homonegativity
in Southeast Asia; in ve out of the six countries,
older respondents were more rejecting of lesbian and
gay neighbors. We found this age effect in Indonesia,
Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand (all
OR’s >1.60, all ps < .05). In Vietnam, no signicant
age differences were found. Education effects were also
mixed. Higher education was associated with lower
homonegativity, as predicted, in the Philippines (OR
= 0.72, 95% CI [0.53, 0.98], p < .05) and in Thailand
(OR = 0.58, 95% CI [0.42, 0.79], p < .001). However
the reverse was found in the two most homonegative
countries: in Indonesia (OR = 1.35, 95% CI [1.03,
1.79], p < .05) and in Malaysia (OR = 1.39, 95% CI
[1.01, 1.93], p < .05), where respondents, particularly
those with secondary education were more rejecting
of lesbian and gay neighbors than those with only
primary education. Finally, religiosity as measured by
endorsement of the importance of religion in life, was
strongly associated with homonegativity in Malaysia
(OR = 2.24, 95% CI [1.17, 4.29], p < .01) and in
Thailand (OR = 3.45, 95% CI [2.11, 5.64], p < .01). In
those two countries but not in the others, respondents
who place more value in religion were more likely to
reject neighbors who are lesbian or gay.
Homonegativity persists in many parts of the
world (Carroll, 2016). The Southeast Asian region is
no exception. Nationally representative survey data
from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore,
Thailand, and Vietnam point to widespread moderate
to high levels of homonegativity among people in
the Southeast Asian region, where on average, four
out of 10 Southeast Asians reject neighbors who
are lesbian or gay. The most homonegative attitudes
were found in Indonesia and Malaysia, compared
to relatively less rejecting nations like Thailand,
Singapore, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Exploration
of associations suggested that traditional predictors of
homonegativity such as older age and higher religiosity
do operate in some Southeast Asian countries, while
other factors like female gender and higher education
less robustly so (and in some instances, even reversed).
Despite increasing LGBT visibility globally, survey
evidence suggests that homonegative attitudes persist
in Southeast Asia.
Public opinion is formed and expressed within
larger societal contexts, and as a region, the social
climate for lesbians and gay men in Southeast Asia
also varies (UNDP, 2015; UNESCO, 2015). This
variance is seen in laws and state action, for example,
criminalization in states with a history of British
colonial rule, such as Singapore and Malaysia (but
not in the Philippines or Thailand; Sanders, 2009),
and anticipatory anti-LGBT mobilization in Malaysia
(Bosia & Weiss, 2013; Weiss, 2013). Religious
condemnation, for instance, the institutionalized
moral exclusion of same-sex sexualities in Islam (in
Indonesia) and Roman Catholicism (in the Philippines),
but less so within Buddhism (in Vietnam or Thailand),
is another example (Adamczyk & Pitt, 2009; UNDP
& USAID, 2014a, 2014b, 2014c). Cultural exclusion
(e.g., traditional beliefs that being gay or lesbian is
incompatible with valued practices like marriage,
parenting, and family life, such as in Vietnam; Feng
et al., 2012) is yet another. Our ndings indicate
that apart from these structural and contextual levels
of analysis of homonegative social stigma, there is
also considerable variance in country-level public
opinion towards lesbians and gay men in six countries
of Southeast Asia — consistently higher levels of
homonegativity in Indonesia and Malaysia, ambivalent
attitudes in Vietnam, and relatively less rejecting views
in Singapore, Thailand, and especially the Philippines.
Homonegativity in Southeast Asia 31
The ndings appear to provide some evidence for the
popular notion that the Philippines and Thailand are
indeed some of the most “gay-friendly” countries in
Southeast Asia, while Indonesia and Malaysia much
less so. Though the data do not allow for direct tests
at the aggregate level due to the small number of
countries in this Southeast Asian sample (n = 6), we
speculate that the inter-country differences in public
opinion may be partly associated with differences in
dominant religion (e.g., Islam versus the others) as
argued by European researchers of homonegativity
(e.g., Jäckle & Wenzelburger, 2015; van den Akker,
van der Ploeg, & Scheepers, 2013), as well as in the
varying degrees of visibility of LGBT life and culture
in a country, including popular positive representations
in media, which represent an indirect form of contact
with minority groups such as lesbians and gay men
(Schiappa, Gregg, & Hewes, 2005).
As in all secondary analyses of preexisting
data, some caveats merit mention. First, though we
analyzed nationally representative data from Indonesia,
Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and
Vietnam, there are other countries in Southeast Asia
like Laos, Cambodia, Brunei, Myanmar, as well as East
Timor, for which the WVS provides no comparable
information. Broadening the analysis will provide
a fuller snapshot of homonegativity in the region,
especially considering that same-sex relations may
be highly proscribed in countries like Brunei (where
gay sexuality is criminalized) and East Timor (with
its majority Roman Catholic population) but less
so in Laos and Cambodia (with their increasingly
visible LGBT populations). Second, measurement of
homonegativity was limited to single-item measures.
These do not permit disaggregation of social attitudes
toward lesbians versus toward gay men; likewise, other
dimensions of homonegative public opinion, such as
pathologization beliefs, support for criminalization,
or rejection of same-sex unions remain untapped by
the WVS measures (Andersen & Fetner, 2008; Lottes
& Grollman, 2010). Finally, other predictors that
have been found in the literature, most importantly,
intergroup contact, are not measured in the WVS.
Given the mixed pattern of associations we found
between traditional predictors to homonegativity at
the individual level across the six countries, it is likely
that other factors are at work and need to be studied
further. Future research would do well to include these
other variables.
Despite these caveats, we believe that empirical
assessment and comparison of public opinion across
the Southeast Asian region can provide a barometer of
how far we have gone — or need to go — in advancing
social acceptance of sexual minorities in this part of the
world (Laurent, 2005; van den Akker et al., 2013). This
empirical analysis, based on nationally representative
data from six Southeast Asian countries, is a small
contribution to this line of social science inquiry.
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... However, discrimination against lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgenders, queers, and other individuals with diverse genders and sexual identities (LGBTQ+) remained persistent (1)(2)(3). In addition, negative attitudes toward gay men and lesbians have been reported by about a quarter of the Filipino population over the years (5)(6)(7). Moreover, a study involving Filipino students found that non-gender-variant participants reported more genderism and transphobia than their gender-variant peers (8). ...
... Negative attitudes and discrimination against LGBTQ+ Filipinos may stem from Philippine heteronormative norms that promote a gender binary perspective (1,2,(5)(6)(7). In this perspective, only men and women are acknowledged, disregarding the spectrum and diversity of SOGIE (1, 2, 5-7). These norms are rooted in colonial, religious, and cultural factors. ...
... /fpsyt. . toward LGBTQ+ individuals (1)(2)(3)(5)(6)(7)(8). For instance, the proposed SOGIE Equality Bill, which seeks to penalize SOGIE-based discrimination, institute redress mechanisms for discrimination, and establish programs that promote non-discrimination and diversity, has languished in the Philippine Senate for about 20 years (1,2,23). ...
... Research by Flores (2019) has indicated a steady increase in social acceptance in the Philippines from 1981 to 2017. These iterations involve concealing their identity and dealing with prejudice, criminalization, systematic violence, a lack of legal recognition, and restricted freedom of expression (Manalastas et al., 2017). However, judgment, discrimination, and prejudice are far from being eliminated in collective thought, usually manifesting through disapprobation and poised to continually dilute social relations for years to come (Montaño et al., 2022). ...
... As such, transgender people who interact well with their biological family, the trans community, and society have a better quality of life (Gokilapriya & Annalakshmi, 2021;Motmans et al., 2012;Rood et al., 2016;Sawyer et al., 2016). Lack of social support, prejudice, discrimination, criminalization, systematic violence, lack of legal recognition, restriction of freedom of expression, and community belonging in society affect trans individuals' quality of life (Manalastas et al., 2017;Manalastas & Torre, 2012;Montaño et al., 2022). ...
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Quality of life is a broad multidimensional concept containing negative and positive aspects of life. For transgender individuals, significant challenges through a mass of internal and external factors impact their general view of their status in life. Moreover, transgender congruence, which is to feel authentic towards one’s inner and outward expressions of the self and genuine identity rather than that which is socially dictated, is essential for trans individuals. This study’s mixed-method sequential explanatory approach investigated transgender congruence and quality of life among selected transgender individuals of Filipino descent. A sample of 125 Trans Pinoys and Trans Pinays, ages 18 to 64, participated in Phase I, a predictive, cross-sectional design wherein participants completed the Transgender Congruence Scale and the Quality of Life Scale. Phase II, a phenomenological approach, further explained the results of Phase I among 10 trans participants. Quantitative results revealed that transgender congruence does not predict the quality of life among trans-Filipinos. Qualitative findings identified four themes (Social Support, Realizing Gender Identity, Authenticity & Self-Perception, and Challenges to Transitioning) as significantly impacting the quality of life among transgender individuals of Filipino descent in our study other than transgender congruence.
... But still, sexual minorities face discrimination; they also feel many hurdles, including conflicts in acknowledging their feeling, disclosure and coming out. Manalastas et al. (2017), in an attitude analysis of six Southeast Asian countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam), found widespread moderate to high levels of homonegativity among people. National surveys reveal positive shifts in attitude and tolerance among heterosexuals concerning homosexuality in India (Dasgupta & Rivera, 2006). ...
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Introduction- Evidence of experienced discrimination by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals makes it necessary to investigate antecedents of prejudice towards them. Desired social contact (DSC) and social distancing practices towards LGBT community may be related to the knowledge about and attitudes towards the LGBT community. However, the inter-construct mechanism underlying such practices needs to be investigated. Considering this need, the present study explored the relationship between knowledge, attitude, DSC and social distance practices towards the LGBT community. Methods- A total of 315 heterosexual participants (male—184, female—131; Mage = 24.66, SDage = 3.38) were contacted through emails and social media between November 2021 and February 2022 and requested to fill the questionnaires. Results- The findings indicate that the relationships between knowledge, DSC and social distancing practices are significantly mediated by attitudes towards the LGBT community. The standardized indirect effect of knowledge (via attitude) on DSC was statistically significant (β = 0.47; 95% CI, 0.54, 0.40; p = 0.005). Also, knowledge’s standard indirect effect (via attitude) on social distancing was statistically significant (β = − 0.25; 95% CI, − 0.32, − 0.16; p = 0.005). Conclusions The findings assert that knowledge about and attitude towards LGBT community play a crucial role in shaping social contact and social distancing practices towards them. Increased knowledge about alternative sexualities may effectively reduce negative attitudes and social distancing practices and create a more inclusive and accepting society for sexual minority groups. Policy Implications - Policymakers should strive to enhance the knowledge of general populations concerning sexuality and homosexual attractions through awareness programs and formal teaching. Keywords LGBT · Attitude · Social contact · Social distance · Knowledge · Mediation · Prejudice
... Regionally across Southeast Asia LGBT+ people continue to face ongoing experiences of stigma and marginalisation. Though variations in attitudes exist between countries throughout the region (Manalastas et al., 2017), LGBT+ young people continue to endure discourses and narratives that position their diverse sexualities and genders as negative. Stigma and discrimination in many contexts lays the grounds for legislation that explicitly criminalises their sexual activities and expression, with punishments ranging from fines, to imprisonment, or even death sentences (Mendoz et al., 2020;. ...
This chapter examines the design of (trans)national digital wellbeing technologies for LGBT+ young people. In this chapter I focus on the design and development of one regional (trans)national digital wellbeing initiative for LGBT+ young people in Southeast Asia. The chapter interrogates the imagined (im)possibilities of the intervention, as well as the imagined potential queer users who might come into contact with this initiative. The chapter explores the complex design logics that contribute to constructing this online space, and how it responds to the key imagined local concerns facing queer youth. I show how ‘affective design’ (Ash in Theor Cult Soc 29:3–26, 2012) approaches are employed to create the feeling of safe(r) space/s to contribute to enhancing key capabilities (subcultural capital and social connection/belonging). That is, affect is deployed in design, alongside security protocols, to have an impact on the imagined health and wellbeing of the (potential) users from across Southeast Asia, and in turn to create the conditions for engagements in civic life and advocacy. I conclude by considering how safe design becomes embedded and entangled throughout design processes, and in so doing becomes a critical part of the design logics for a wellbeing initiative that is imagined to move across transnational and national spaces.
... Moreover, it is also the first study to test the relationship between Thai yaoi media consumption and travel motivation with Filipino viewers as respondents. Interestingly, even though the Philippines is known to be a gay-friendly country (Manalastas et al., 2017), media contents portraying male-to-male relationships are limited. One of the primary reasons for this is that most Filipinos are Catholics, and homosexuality is considered a sin. ...
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Lacap, J. P. (2023). Yaoi media consumption and travel motivation: Evidence from Filipino viewers of Thai boys' love series. Advances in Southeast Asian Studies, 16(1), 121-143. The Thai yaoi culture is getting a lot of attention in several parts of the world. Numerous Thai boy's love (BL) series are a huge hit in Thailand and other countries. Despite the notable success of Thai yaoi and BL culture, there is less attention given to this topic in past studies and literature. Moreover, no study has investigated how yaoi culture may affect travel motivation. Hence, the present study examines the effect of yaoi media consumption on travel motivation of Filipino viewers of Thai boys' love series. A prediction approach was employed, and partial least squares (PLS) path modelling was used to measure the hypothesized relationships. The study reveals that all dimensions of cultural proximity significantly affect Thai yaoi media consumption, and Thai yaoi media consumption was found to have an influence on emotional involvement and travel motivation. Emotional involvement was also found to significantly affect travel motivation, and, at the same time, act as a mediator between Thai yaoi media consumption and travel motivation. The current research offers novel theoretical insights about media consumption and its relation to travel motivation in the context of Thai pop-cultural boys' love series.
... Filipino men's sexual attitudes may be instrumental to determine behaviors that impact other sexual health-related issues including the continuously increasing number of HIV-infected men (Gangcuangco, 2019), condom use (Calaguas, 2020), premarital sex (Chiao C, 2010), teenage pregnancy (Marque, 2015), abortion (Gipson et al., 2011), gender equality (Gipson et al., 2014;Manalastas et al., Guzman et al. ...
Background and Purpose: It is essential to address sexual health to ensure quality of life and sexual well-being; however, studies to measure sexual attitudes remain scarce. This aimed to find reliability and validity evidence of the Brief Sexual Attitudes Scale (BSAS) using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) among Filipino men. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted. Results: BSAS shows Cronbach’s alpha of 0.90. CFA demonstrates goodness of fit (adjusted goodness-of-fit index = .82; goodness-of-fit index = .86; comparative fit index = .91; incremental fit index = .91; expected cross-validation index = 2.27; root mean square error of approximation = .08; [χ ² (213) = 927.45, p ≤ .001], χ ² / df ratio 4.35). Conclusions: BSAS is a valid and reliable questionnaire to assess sexual attitudes among Filipino men. Further research is needed to evaluate sexual attitudes in the promotion of sexual health across cultures.
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Background Among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBM), sexual orientation disclosure to social groups can act as a significant risk for depression. The primary goal of this research is to understand the association between disclosure and depression, the association of social support and intimate partner violence (IPV) experiences, depression, and disclosure. Methods This project uses a secondary dataset of Thailand from a larger cross-sectional study distributed in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region. This study utilized web-based answers from 1468 Thai GBM respondents between the ages of 15–24 years. Results Prevalence of depression was over 50%. Across the social groups of interest, those who disclosed to everyone had the lowest depression prevalence. This association was statistically significant for all groups ( p <0.050) except for “Family members” ( p = 0.052). There was a statistically significant association illustrated between full disclosure to social groups and increased social support. Most respondents (43.9%) had low social support, and additionally this group had the highest level of depression, compared to those with high social support. There was a statistically significant association for lowered depression outcomes and increased social support. IPV experiences that occurred within the last six months had a statistically significant relationship with depression ( p = 0.002). There was a notable association between those with experiences of being a victim of IPV, alone and in conjunction with experience of being a perpetrator of IPV, which was associated with increased odds of depression. However, the type of IPV experiences an individual had did not differ based on disclosure status. Discussion This study provides strengthened evidence of the impact that differences in supportive networks can have on mental health outcomes. In addition, they provided a wider consideration for how people may have different IPV experiences, either as a perpetrator, victim, or both, and how those shapes health outcomes of depression. GBM communities still face adversity and challenges that affect their long-term health outcomes, even if they do live in what is considered an accepting country.
This chapter begins with a historical account of the emergence of digital technologies in Southeast Asia (Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand), and the critical role they are playing for sexuality and gender diverse young people. As transnational digital technologies are employed by health services and used by young people to make sense of their experiences and ongoing stigma and discrimination, this book interrogates the design of these digital wellbeing technologies. The chapter surveys the existing literature, examining how emerging technologies are used by sexuality and gender diverse young people, and their experiences with them. The chapter outlines the focus of the book, which aims to extend literature on transnational digital practices, and better understand the development, design and construction of ‘transnational digital wellbeing initiatives’ in LGBT+ lives. The chapter also introduces the framework underpinning this study—the capability approach, and how it provides a tool to make sense of wellbeing and, when used in conversation with social theories, provides a critical framework for making sense of the (im)possibilities of technological design.
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This perspective piece focuses on and analyzes several lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender (LGBT) individuals' rights and their limitations in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region, including the limited recognition of self-determined gender identity, limited legal provisions for LGBT marriage, inadequate anti-discrimination policies, and the criminalization of homosexuality. These inadequacies in LGBT rights may stem from colonial, religious, and cultural factors. Moreover, these limited LGBT rights and their societal repercussions may contribute to the minority stress of LGBT individuals, leading to their higher rates of mental health problems. Thus, there may be a need to uphold, recognize, and protect LGBT rights as the region pursue equitable mental health. Toward this pursuit, the region may possibly benefit from culturally adapting gender-affirming practices, increasing their social support, opposing the practice of conversion therapy, and decriminalizing homosexuality. It may also be necessary to explore, analyze, and study the intersection of LGBT identity and mental health, especially longitudinal and interventional studies.
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In this contribution, we elaborate on disapproval of homosexuality in 20 European countries. We mainly focus on the explanation of differences in the disapproval of homosexuality at the individual and the national level. Data from four waves of the European Social Survey are used, using multilevel techniques to test our hypotheses. Individual differences in disapproval of homosexuality can be derived from theories of socializing agents (religious institutions, schools) and socializing circumstances as well as from psychological theories on conventionalism and tradition. We find that religious people, people who support conventionalism, and those who attach to traditions disapprove of homosexuality more, whereas highly educated people disapprove less. Differences between countries can be explained by socializing circumstances of the national context as the countries' religiosity and laws on homosexuality turned out to be important determinants of the disapproval of homosexuality. We found that disapproval of homosexuality is the least in countries where law permits homosexuals to marry. In addition, people who live in more religious countries disapprove of homosexuality more than people who live in secular countries.
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Abstract Although the attitudes towards homosexuality have become more liberal, particularly in industrialized Western countries, there is still a great deal of variance in terms of the worldwide levels of homonegativity. Using data from the two most recent waves of the World Values Survey (1999-2004, 2005-2009) this article seeks to explain this variance by means of a multi-level analysis of 79 countries. We include characteristics on the individual level, as age or gender, as well as aggregate variables linked to specificities of the nation-states. In particular, we focus on the religious denomination of a person and her religiosity in order to explain her attitude towards homosexuality. We find clear differences in levels of homonegativity among the followers of the individual religions.
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Using data from national surveys conducted by the Social Weather Station in 1996 and in 2001 (N = 1,200 each), we examined the attitudes of Filipinos as a general population toward lesbians and gay men. Secondary analysis of two heterosexism measures included in the surveys indicated that Filipinos held largely negative attitudes toward lesbians and gay men. Many Filipinos (about 28%) considered being gay/lesbian as “can never be justified” while only 4% thought it could “always be justified.” In addition, about 1 out of 4 Filipinos expressed not wanting gay men/lesbians as neighbors. These heterosexist views did not change significantly from 1996 to 2001 and were widespread, regardless of gender, socio-economic status, educational attainment, or religiosity. Respondents from NCR had the least negative evaluations, and attitudes toward lesbians and gay men were positively correlated to attitudes toward sex work, abortion, and divorce.
The late 19 th century saw the spread of anti-homosexual criminal laws to British colonies. The iconic example was the Indian Penal Code of 1860, with its prohibition of ‘carnal intercourse against the order of nature,’ a rewriting of the anti-Catholic ‘buggery’ law of 1534. The language of 377 travelled around the British colonial world. France and certain other parts of Europe had decriminalized homosexual acts a century earlier, so the colonial powers of Europe spoke with different voices. Modern decriminalization is largely the product of the human rights era - sixty years since the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
While homophobia is commonly characterized as individual and personal prejudice, this collection of essays instead explores homophobia as a transnational political phenomenon. Contributors theorize homophobia as a distinct configuration of repressive state-sponsored policies and practices with their own causes, explanations, and effects on how sexualities are understood and experienced in a range of national contexts. The essays include a broad range of geographic cases, including Cameroon, Ecuador, Iran, Lebanon, Poland, Singapore, and the United States. © 2013 by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. All rights reserved.
Heteronormative society requires non-heterosexuals to come out in order to be recognized. Coming out is often the most challenging experience for non-heterosexuals and heteronormativity and homophobia are two powerful obstacles that they have to deal with. This paper considers how non-heterosexuals come out to themselves and to heterosexual others under the effect of Japanese cultural norms. Interviews with 24 non-heterosexuals and their experiences revealed that they have to deal with not only heteronormativity and homophobia like non-heterosexuals in the Western culture, but also “perceived homophobia,” which is created by the expectation of “respectable Japanese selves.” Thus, coming out in Japan requires a continuous process of negotiation with cultural norms embedded in a society. The paper raises questions about the necessity of considering cultural differences in coming out and explains how non-heterosexuals negotiate with themselves and others in order to live “happily” in Japan’s strongly conformist culture. This paper provides a better understanding of sexual minority issues in the Japanese context.
IntroductionThis study aims to examine the validity and reliability of the Malay version of Attitudes toward Lesbians and Gay Men (MVATL/MVATG) among a group of medical students in Malaysia. Methods It is a cross-sectional study of 173 medical students in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The participants were given the MVATL/MVATG, Index of Attitudes toward Homosexuals (IATH), Homosexuality Attitude Scale (HAS) and the English version of Attitude toward Lesbians and Gay Men. Two weeks later, these students were given the MVATLG again. ResultsSignificant correlation was found between the individual scores of MVATL and MVATG with IATH and HAS in the results. The scale was able to differentiate Muslim and Non-Muslim subjects. The internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha) of both the MVATL and MVATG were good, at 0.76 and 0.82, respectively. The parallel form reliability (Pearson's correlation) of MVATL was 0.0.73 and 0.74 for MVATG. The test-retest reliability of MVATL/MVATG was good (Intraclass correlation coefficient, ICC = 0.67 for MVATL and 0.60 for MVATG). DiscussionThe MVATLG demonstrated good psychometric properties in measuring attitudes toward homosexuality among a group of medical students in Malaysia and it could be used as a simple instrument on young educated Malaysian adults.