Heterosexism and homophobia on fraternity row: a case study of a college fraternity community

Grahaeme A Hesp, Jeffrey Scott Brooks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


The lead author questioned five fraternity members, one former member, and one non-member to assess their reasons for joining - or attempting to join - a fraternity chapter at a large public university in the Southeastern United States. Specifically, the study investigated (a) how their membership affected their sexual identity development and intimate relationships; (b) the degree of homophobia and heterosexism encountered; (c) how sexual orientation affected the quality of their fraternal experiences; and (d) the level of acceptance or rejection they faced. We examined how fraternity brothers with a gay sexual orientation affected chapter culture, the experiences, perceptions, and transitions of the gay members, and whether the beliefs and behaviors of heterosexual brothers were consistent or in conflict with the values espoused by the inter/national fraternities. We also present details concerning the reactions from fellow members, assess satisfaction with the fraternity experience, and detail the cultural norms of males and importance of gentlemanly behavior in fraternities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395 - 415
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of LGBT Youth: An International Quarterly Devoted to Research, Policy, Theory, and Practice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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