1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research - Diversity
Rust College Student Journal 2014 - Social Science. This issue brings scholarly papers on Diversity including: "College Students’ Exposure to Information about Gays and Lesbians and How It Affects Their Attitudes towards Them" by Dominique Smith, "The Role of Religion in Public Acceptance of Homosexuality" by Lauren Turner, "The Relationship Between Parental Involvement and Student Academic Performance in Latin American Families" by Cusi De la Cruz and "Electoral Politics and Race: The Election of Eddie L. Smith as Mayor of Holly Springs, Mississippi, 1985 and 1989" by Tineka Barber. We hope you enjoy the good and hard work of our students!
Journal 1866: Rust College of Student Research Vol. II, No. 1, 2014 iversity Social Science Acknowledgements This second edition of 1866, Rust College’s digital student research journal is only made possible through the commitment of faculty to undergraduate research. Thanks to faculty across the College who continually involve our students in research experiences and who uphold high standards of scholarship. With this edition, special thanks then goes to the Social Science faculty who invested themselves in their student work from the proposal stage through to the final project. A goal is to have the work included here disseminated broadly, to create conversation around issues studied, and to prepare students for graduate work. Already, we can see that research experiences and the opportunity for publication are preparing students for the next level. Finally, thanks to Dr. Paul Lampley, Vice President for Academic Affairs, for pushing for the journal over the years and for providing the type of intellectual interest and support needed to see each edition to fruition. 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 2 Editorial Committee Alisea Williams McLeod, Ph.D., General Editor LaTanya Foreman, M.S.S.W., Social Work Rhonda Kuykindoll, Ph.D., Biology Meghann Oglesby, M.S. M.C., Mass Communications Helen Oliver, Ph.D., Education Nellie Smith, Ph.D., Business/Education Nilse Furtado-‐Gilliam, M.A., Journalism, Technical Assistance Disclaimer: All submissions to this journal were initially selected and approved by the individual divisions, represented by appropriate members of the editorial committee. All citation formats are as per the requirements of the divisions. Therefore, the divisions assume responsibility for the documentation and legitimacy of any submission. The General Editor has been responsible for proofreading final submissions. Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or storing without written permission from Rust College. To obtain permission, please write: Alisea Williams McLeod, Ph.D., General Editor, Rust College, 150 Rust Avenue, Holly Springs, MS 38635, or email@example.com. 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 3 Table of Contents Acknowledgements……………………………………………………………………………………………...2 Editorial Committee……………………………………………………………………………………………..3 Letter from the General Editor……………………………………………………………………………...5 From the Chair of Social Science……………………………………………………….............................8 Research Papers………………………………………………………………………………………………..…9 College Students’ Exposure to Information about Gays and Lesbians and How It Affects Their Attitudes towards Them by Dominique Smith………………………………....10 The Role of Religion in Public Acceptance of Homosexuality by Lauren Turner ………………………………………………………………………………………………36 The Relationship Between Parental Involvement and Student Academic Performance in Latin American Families by Cusi De la Cruz………………………….…….. 67 Electoral Politics and Race: The Election of Eddie L. Smith as Mayor of Holly Springs, Mississippi, 1985 and 1989 by Tineka Barber……………………………………………………..99 Appendix………………………………………………………………………………………………………....133 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 4 Letter from the General Editor Diversity at Rust I attended a large Midwestern university at the height of the culture wars, which was also the birth of the ideal of diversity and its twin, multiculturalism. I in fact attended one of the university’s first MLK days, attended what students would come to think of not always affectionately as Race 101, and, as a teaching assistant, I taught a writing course linked to diversity issues. To say that in the early 1990s the university was in a struggle over its move to expand its inclusion of different, especially non-‐western, cultures within its curriculum and to, at the same time, push for critical conversations of race, gender and class would be an understatement. I myself experienced from students some pushback during my green years of teaching at the forward-‐thinking university. Students rightly wanted to know what engagement of social issues had to do with essay writing, and the answer then was the same as now: one writes as one thinks, not in a vacuum, but, as Brazilian educator Paolo Freire would say, within the world. And in that world, one’s identity, as well as one’s location and implied politics, are not to be presumed but rather interrogated. I left the university in the late ‘90s, but I remain aware both that battles for inclusion and backlash against it are ongoing despite ever-‐rising levels of tolerance and even understanding and that what diversity actually is has been multiplied. Editing an edition of 1866 devoted to student research focused on diversity issues has been a learning experience for this new millennium professor despite past experiences. As much as we academics tried in the twentieth century not to see things in black and white, most of our perspectives continued to oversimplify the issues. We may have applauded ourselves for recognizing grey areas of moral issues, but a full spectrum was arguably yet unavailable to us because, well, we had not yet reached the fullness of the time that is now. Today’s college and university students have both conscious and unconscious commitments to diversity because in most cases they are growing up in anything but homogeneous environments not so much because America has become fully integrated but because their lives are fully mediated. Certain questions of acceptance or tolerance are for the youngest generation a no-‐brainer. Yet, one may wonder if this observation is true of students attending an historically black college or university (HBCU). In truth, diversity is at the very foundation of historically black colleges, most of which were founded by religious and philanthropic organizations whose leadership was white. In the earliest years of these institutions, the presidencies tended to be held by whites as well. Over the course of one hundred and fifty years, the make up of both the faculty and the student bodies of historically-‐black institutions have continued to a degree to reflect the historical presence of persons of various ethnic and racial backgrounds. 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 5 In the Division of Social Sciences, under the leadership of Dr. A.J. Stovall, a refreshed concept of diversity has been at work, a fact that is reflected in the student research included in this edition of the journal. In the first essay, “College Student’s Exposure to Information about Gays and Lesbians and How It Affects Their Attitudes towards Them,” Dominique Smith examined, using the Index of Attitudes toward Homosexuality (IAH), perspectives of Rust students across campus and found a very high level of exposure to knowledge of homosexuality and neutral attitudes concerning it. Focusing in on the attitudes of social work students within the division, Smith takes into account these students’ familiarity with the National Association of Social Work’s policy statement (see Appendix following article) concerning homosexuality. Exposure of social work students to the policy through its inclusion in their undergraduate training is one way in which an open, non-‐discriminatory climate for persons of all sexual orientations is being created at Rust. Such an achievement is no small matter especially at an institution associated with a mainline Christian denomination and whose students have ties to sometimes very conservative Protestant groups. In the second article in this edition, “The Role of Religion in Public Acceptance of Homosexuality,” Lauren Turner actually looks at effects of religion, age, and political party affiliation on public acceptance or non-‐acceptance of homosexuality. Indeed, she finds both religion and party affiliation to influence attitudes towards homosexuality; however, she also finds such attitudes less entrenched among people younger than thirty-‐five years of age. The final two papers in this edition, one by Cusi De la Cruz and another by Tineka Barber point nicely to the fact that diversity has been spreading quickly to the far reaches of the globe, so much so that diversity and global perspectives go hand in hand. De la Cruz’s work gives evidence of the role cultural difference plays in the lives of the students of Latino families living in DeSoto County, Mississippi. Rather than assuming that educational activities of such families within the home fit the behaviors of other families, De la Cruz’s study uncovered both a high level of parental involvement in Latino families, behavior directly connected to their students’ high academic performance, and she concluded, in agreement with an earlier study, that levels of involvement might increase if more second-‐language services were offered. De la Cruz’s study comes at a time ��when the rise of Latino populations within the state make such information on diverse families invaluable. Much the same can be said concerning the work of Tineka Barber, a timely study of the political process by which black mayors have been elected in the nation and within Holly Springs, Mississippi. Through a comparative study of two mayoral campaigns of Eddie Smith, Jr., who was eventually elected to the office, Barber found that Smith’s election in 1989 replicated the outcome of mayoral elections in other locales where blacks were a sizable percentage of the population and where cross-‐ race coalitions were built. Taken together, the scholarship included in this diversity edition might suggest that “so goes America, so goes the rest of the nation—even Mississippi”; however, the fact that there is a proven, growing level of openness and political 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 6 maturity in the state, especially on colleges campuses, does not eliminate the need for cultural study, scholarship that reveals both commonalities and differences, scholarship that more importantly presumes nothing. The work published here makes a significant contribution to this need and to diversity within the new millennium. Alisea Williams McLeod, Ph.D., General Editor 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 7 From the Chair of Social Science: Broadening Knowledge and Complying with Standards In an effort to broaden the knowledge base of Social Work students, a mastery of competencies is both mandated and valuable. Competency-‐based education is an outcome performance approach with measurable practice behaviors that are comprised of knowledge, values, and skills. Consistent with the missions and goals of the Social Work Program and with the Social Science Division of Rust in general, are specific competencies that require a Social Work professional to “engage diversity and differences in practice” and “advance human rights and social and economic justice.” In the research studies of the students whose work is published in this edition of the College’s student research journal, Cusi De La Cruz (Social Work), Dominique Smith (Social Work), Lauren Turner (Sociology), and Tineka Barber (Political/Pre-‐Law), these competencies are demonstrated. The expectation within the Division of Social Science is that students will advance their capacity to engage in research-‐informed practice and practice-‐ informed research. These students have followed a basic, beginning level and practical approach to the scientific method and have produced papers that assist in raising an important issue of evidenced-‐based knowledge related to diversity and economic justice. A.J. Stovall, Ph.D. Chair, Division of Social Sciences 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 8 Research Papers 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 9 RUNNING HEAD: COLLEGE STUDENTS’ EXPOSURE TO INFORMATION ABOUT GAYS College Students’ Exposure to Information about Gays and Lesbians and How It Affects their Attitudes toward Them Dominique Smith ABSTRACT This study examines social work, biology, education, and mass communication majors’ attitudes towards gays and lesbians with a particular focus on social work majors. The instrument used to measure college students’ attitude towards homosexuals was the Index of Attitudes towards Homosexuality (IAH) Scale. Results of this research study indicated that despite the fact that 97.5 percent of all participants were exposed to contact, knowledge, and visual media, all majors, including social work, had neutral feelings toward homosexuality (or gays and lesbians). Key Words: homosexuality, social work students, gays, lesbians, attitudes, and contact. 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 10 PROBLEM FORMULATION Introduction In last years of the 1960s, homosexuality came before the public’s eye. The Stonewall Riots in Greenwich Village paved a way for liberation of gays and lesbians. Within six months of the public incident that sparked rioting, two gay activist organizations were formed in New York, concentrating on confrontational tactics, and three newspapers were established to promote rights for gays and lesbians. However, it was not until December of 1973 that the Board of Trustees in the American Psychiatric Association, which has determined diagnostic criteria for social work practitioners, voted not to list homosexuality as a mental disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders (DSM IV). Problem Statement Negative attitudes toward gay men and lesbians have been expressed by the American public throughout the nation’s history. Nationwide probability samples of American adults surveyed between 1970 and 1984 consistently found that approximately 70 percent of the American public was of the opinion that homosexual relations were wrong (Newman, Dannenfelser & Benishek, 2002). Since the 1970s, American public services and educational systems have evolved and grown to accept homosexuality. Homosexuality is addressed by the NASW policy statement, encouraging social workers to become actively involved in the movement toward the inclusion of sexual orientation in its anti-‐discriminatory policy statement. In CSWE’s Educational Policy 3.1, which discusses diversity, it states that 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 11 the program is to provide a learning environment in which there is respect for all persons and understanding of diversity and difference in practice. Diversity focuses include gender, gender identity and expression, and sexual orientation, (Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards, 2008). While curricula concerning gender, race, and cultural diversity have a foothold in social work education, scholars have observed that discrimination and oppression related to sexual orientation and gender identity are not commonly addressed (Goldsen, Luke, Woodford, & Gutierrez, 2011). Study done by Cramer (1993) showed that of students from various majors who were enrolled in an undergraduate social work course at the University of South Carolina, 9 out of 10 scored in the homophobic range. Negative attitudes were associated with male gender, conservative sex role attitudes, and lack of contact with gay men and lesbians. A different study found that nearly half of a sample of graduate students perceived insufficient training in their professional degree programs and reported moderate levels of competence to serve LGBT (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, and Transgender) individuals and their families (Logie, Bridge, & Bridge, 2007). Findings in another study conducted by Chonody, Siebert, & Rutledge (2009), with social work students, were not significantly different from those of students majoring in other professions. The social work students scored on a moderate level of antigay bias while enrolled in a human sexuality course. Their scores remained within the same range for the pretest and posttest. Also, a study was done in South Korea on Korean social work students and their attitudes towards gay men and lesbians. The researchers found that the proportion of South Korean student 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 12 respondents scoring in the homophobic range on the IAH (Index of Attitudes toward Homosexuals) was much higher than the proportion of American students scoring in that range. In this South Korean study, one of the most important findings was that class discussion of homosexuality was significantly associated with lower levels of homophobia (Sung Lim & Johnson, 2001). While students’ attitudes about gays and lesbians are important, so is the inclusion of the group in the curriculum. According to Newman, Dannenfelser, & Benishek (2002), faculty members support the inclusion of multicultural content in graduate social work education in the United States and Canada. The survey of members included questions concerning support for content on the LGBT (Lesbian, Gays, Bisexual, and Transgender) population and different types of oppression, faculty attitudes regarding LGBT issues, the availability of LGBT curriculum resources and the willingness to use them, and program and respondent characteristics. Faculty from the United States and Canada reported generally supportive attitudes related to LGBT people and issues. But, the U.S. faculty (29 percent) and the Canadian faculty (24 percent) did not know if gender identity-‐related teaching resources existed at their schools (Newman, Dannenfelser & Benishek, 2002). Faculty members’ and college students’ attitudes are important to understand because the extent and type of acceptance found in these groups will dictate the kind of treatment that lesbians and gay men and their families receive from those in the helping professions (Newman, Dannenfelser & Benishek, 2002). 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 13 Theoretical Perspective Chonody, Siebert & Rutledge (2012) stated that Contact Theory illustrates that relationships are built through socialization, and negative attitudes towards an individual or group can be diminished if presented with contact. The contact hypothesis also identifies situations in which contact between groups decreases prejudice (Kwon & Hugelshofter, 2012). Contact theory is helpful with interaction among college students and gays and lesbians; it affects their attitudes towards gays and lesbians. Research Question The purpose of this study is to examine college students’ exposure to information about gays and lesbians and to understand how exposure affects their attitudes toward these individuals and groups. The independent variable is exposure to information about gays and lesbians. The dependent variable is student attitudes towards such persons. The operational definition refers to the information presented to students, including from a human sexuality course, contact, and a documentary or film on homosexuality (Sung Lim & Johnson 2001; Chonody, Siebert & Rutledge 2009). An operational definition for social work students includes students on a graduate level of social work and students on an undergraduate level, both groups enrolled in a university or college accredited by CSWE (Council of Social Work Education). Gays are operationalized as men who are openly attracted to or have a relationship with their same sex. Lesbians are operationalized as women who are openly attracted to or have a relationship with their same sex. 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 14 Introduction LITERATURE REVIEW This literature review has five different sections, and each section will be discussed in the order as presented: Nineteenth Century, Social Work Students, International Social Work Students, Social Work Faculty, and Theoretical Perspective. Nineteenth Century Homosexuality has been present in all historical periods since human life on earth began, yet the word homosexuality did not exist prior to 1869. The term first appeared in a pamphlet authored by Karl Maria Kertbeny (Tully, 2000). Between 1900 and the 1920s, society’s perspectives were being influenced by the Freudian idea that homosexuality was caused by a childhood trauma; thus, it was viewed as a condition that was not inborn but rather a psychological perversion that required therapeutic intervention (Tully, 2000). From the turn of the century to the end of the1930s, there was a gradual shift from the idea that homosexuality was a temporary affliction to the generalized belief that it was a lifelong condition that required intervention. In the 1940s, a psychoanalyst by the name of Sandor Rado rejected Freud’s assumption, arguing instead that heterosexuality is natural and that homosexuality is a “reparative” attempt to achieve sexual pleasure when a normal heterosexual outlet proves too threatening (Davis, 2012). This rethinking of the cause of homosexuality provided an opportunity for gays and lesbians to begin to socialize in larger groups, and this 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 15 would lead in turn to the formation of national gay and lesbians groups in the 1950s. The idea of mentally ill homosexuals who would remain hidden in fear of losing a job began to be publicly challenged in the 1950s and 1960s and culminated in the birth of the post-‐modern era of gay and lesbian history (Tully, 2000). Researcher Charles Socarides speculated that the etiology of homosexuality was pre-‐oedipal and, therefore, even more pathological than had been supposed by earlier analysts. Although psychoanalytic theories of homosexuality once had considerable influence in psychiatry and in the larger culture, they were not subjected to rigorous empirical testing (Davis, 2012). In a study done by Hooker in 1957, in which she gathered thirty homosexual males and thirty heterosexual males, she put them with two independent Rorschach experts to evaluate the men. When the two Rorschach protocols were obtained from homosexuals, the experts could not distinguish respondents’ sexual orientation at a level better than chance. Hooker concluded from her data that homosexuality is not a clinical entity and also that homosexuality is not inherently associated with psychopathology (Davis, 2012). By the end of the nineteenth century, medicine and psychiatry were effectively competing with religion and the law for jurisdiction over sexuality. As a consequence, discourse about homosexuality expanded from the realms of sin and crime to include that of pathology. Confronted with empirical evidence and changing cultural views of homosexuality, psychiatrists and psychologists radically altered their views, beginning in the 1970s (Davis, 2012). In 1973, the weight of empirical data, coupled with changing social norms and the development of politically active 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 16 gay communities in the United States, led the Board of Directors of the American Psychiatric Association to remove homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) (Davis, 2012). Social Work Students Given that social work students are tomorrow’s practitioners and the Council on Social Work Education mandates the inclusion of content on sexual orientation, the perspective of social education and practice has changed. According to Swank & Raiz (2010), future social workers were more likely to withhold support for same-‐ sex relationship rights when they embraced authoritarian orientations and expressed conventional beliefs regarding wifely duties and female sexuality. They also seemed to devalue same-‐sex relationship rights when they encountered parents and friends who opposed homosexuality. The students felt that their peers and parents showed negative attitudes towards gay men and lesbians, so they were more likely to reject same-‐sex relationship rights (Swank & Raiz, 2010). Among other promising results in promoting acceptance and affirmation of gays and lesbians are those from a study conducted among students in social work, allied health, and education professions. Chonody, Rutledge, & Siebert (2009) stated that this 211 students enrolled in a human sexuality course in a southeastern university were participants in a study to examine their attitudes on gays and lesbians. Scores from social work students were not different from those of participants majoring in other professions. Researchers used the IAH (Index of Attitudes toward Homosexuality) to measure the students’ attitudes. Social work 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 17 students scored a moderate level of antigay bias at pretest range but were lower at posttest (Chonody, Rutledge, & Siebert, 2009). Social work students can be defined in different ways, but for this study it was especially important to define the population of social workers as those most likely to engage in practice in which sexuality was likely to surface as a concern (Wisniewski, & Toomey, 1987). The study presents results obtained from administration of Hudson’s IAH questionnaire to a representative sample of MSW social workers in Columbus, Ohio. The sample of data was gathered from agencies recognized as offering clinical services. (Wisniewski, & Toomey, (1987). The researchers stated that as measured by IAH the MSW students were more accepting of gays and lesbians and nearly one-‐third of the students received scores falling in the homophobic range. Newman, Dannenfelser, & Benishek (2002) investigated the acceptance of lesbians and gay men among a large sample of graduate-‐level social work students compared to counseling students. They found that most respondents in a large sample of beginning MSW and graduate counseling students expressed positive attitudes toward lesbians and gay men while only 6.5 percent of respondents scored in the negative range (Newman, Dannenfelser & Benishek, 2002). Evidence by this group of researchers shows counseling students were slightly more likely to be intolerant of homosexuals than MSW students, with 94.5 percent of MSW respondents in this sample expressing positive attitudes toward lesbians and gay men. Some demographic differences accounted for a moderate amount of variance in these attitudes (Newman, Dannenfelser, & Benishek, 2002). 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 18 Gays and lesbians need support just as heterosexual individuals do. Allies are members of the dominant heterosexual social group who support and advocate for oppressed lesbians and gays. JI, Du Bois, & Finnessy (2009) conducted a study that had a LGBT (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual, and Transgender) ally courses that trained heterosexual students to become LGBT allies. Students participated in interviews and activities with LGBT persons, presented seminars on LGBT topics, and wrote papers about these experiences. Qualitative data were collected from students’ papers. Some students had negative opinions when they first entered the course. One student stated, I believe the main reason for my negative attitudes in the past was lack of knowledge which led to ignorance. LGBT topics were never taught to me before. Learning about coming-‐out stages, different terms, discrimination in society, and other related topics formed new thoughts and beliefs within me (JI, Du Bois, and Finnessy, 2009). Students needed a guide to help them learn and implement the knowledge, skills, and attitudes they needed to become allies. The positive feedback students received for acting as LGBT allies helped them gain confidence as allies. Student gained LGBT knowledge via their seminar presentations and course lectures, and they needed to practice showing their knowledge during their interviews and activities. Initially, students had many mixed emotions about becoming an ally, and anxiety and fear were present (JI, Du Bois, and Finnessy, 2009). 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 19 Many individuals or students find that the word gay is used in a derogatory manner. Using the word gay in a derogatory fashion to describe someone who is socially awkward is illustrative of the perception that people who identify as gay are different from people who do not identify this way. Not only using the word in the above sense, but using gay to indicate virtually anything that is considered stupid or boring is in vogue with young Americans. However, use of this kind of language is not necessarily related to high levels of antigay bias. In fact, findings from one study indicated that only about half of the sample that admitted to using the word fag or queer was also found to have high levels of sexual prejudice. This kind of language may be sending the message to gay and lesbian individuals that they are not part of the dominant group and are therefore legitimate targets of ridicule and derision (Chonody, Rutledge, & Smith). In some cases, contact with the individual group can make a difference. According to Kwon, Hugelshofter, (2012), a speaker panel containing lesbians, gays, and bisexuals (LGB) demonstrated that the use of LGB speaker panel presentations in psychology classes was effective in producing longitudinal change in positive attitudes in heterosexual individuals toward LGB individuals. International Social Work Students Social work is viewed in different forms around the world. The view of social work is not only critical in the United States but in other countries as well. Currently in South Korea, the perspective and acceptance of homosexuality is a new area of social work practice and education. In the last three to five years, gays 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 20 and lesbians have begun to publicize their sexuality in Korean society, insisting on basic rights and fighting discrimination against them (Sung & Johnson, 2001). The participants in Sung & Johnson’s (2001) study were 135 BSW and MSW students at the Kangnam and Halym Universities, in South Korea. All of the participants were enrolled in social work courses during the fall semester of 1999. The researchers found that the proportion of South Korean student respondents scoring in the homophobic range on the IAH was much higher than the proportion of American students in similar studies (Sung & Johnson, 2001). Another study that addresses social work in another country was a cross-‐ cultural extension of previous research concerning the relationship between attitudes toward homosexuality, attitudes toward heterosexual sexual practices, personal sex-‐guilt, and sex stereotyping. This study was conducted by Dunbar, Brown, & Vuorinen (1973) with two hundred students enrolled in either an arts or an engineering university in Campina Grande, Brazil. The students volunteered to participate in an unspecified psychological experiment (Dunbar, Brown, & Vuorinen, 1973). The relationship between attitudes toward homosexuality and sex appears to be of the same in Canada and Brazil. In both cultures those most prejudiced against homosexuals tended to have greater disapproval of sexual practices (Dunbar, Brown, & Vuorinen, 1973). In Finland, two Finnish universities conducted a study of the perception of homosexuality among college students. The results concluded that male students had more homophobic attitudes, and students who reported that religion had an 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 21 important role in their lives had significantly stricter attitudes towards sexual risk behavior (Korhonen, , Kylma, Houtsonen, Valimaki, & Suominen, ,2012). A more recent study by Cardenas, M, Barrientos, J, Gomez, F, & Frias-‐Navarro, D. (2012) suggested that men are more prejudiced than are women. The study was done in Chile among 283 students of Chilean University. The results of the findings suggest that according to gender roles and religious beliefs males are more prejudiced than females and non-‐religiously affiliated people are less prejudiced than people who state that they have a religious affiliation. Internationally, understanding of homosexuality is slowly evolving, but it still is not accepted among several countries of the world. Social Work Faculty According to Berkman and Zinberg (1997), “There is concern that inadequate attention is given to homosexuality in social work education and that social workers and counselors who maintain homophobic attitudes are less effective, if not actually harmful, in delivering social services to gay and lesbian clients (p.320). For this reason, not only do students have to be knowledgeable about gays and lesbians, but faculty members need also to possess this knowledge. Faculty members play a major role in administering information to the students about this topic. Given that social work educators have a critical role in educating and socializing upcoming social work practitioners, it is vital to enlarge their knowledge of social work educators’ attitudes while constantly evaluating how to influence those of social work students. Einbinder, Fiechter, Sheridan & Miller (2012) stated that one 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 22 research study reported low-‐grade homophobia among 235 social work, psychology, and education faculty in five Israeli universities. As predicted by the study’s first hypothesis, social work educators who participated in this study expressed, overall, a relatively low level of negative attitudes toward lesbians and gay men (Einbinder, Fiechter, Sheridan, & Miller, 2012). May (2010) stated that “The efficacy of teaching students in the areas of knowledge, attitude, and skills has been measured and defined as multicultural constructs. An understanding of these constructs is needed by SE educators to best provide education for students to meet the 2002 EPAS (Education and Policy on Accreditation Standard) guidelines for teaching content of multicultural groups with recommended inclusion of LGBT content” (p. 340). Social work educators did not initially recognize and address the evolution of multicultural awareness for LGBT, and content has been slow to develop regarding teaching content about diverse racial groups. Today, educational plans to teach about oppression and empowerment include teaching multicultural content regarding LGBT groups. May’s study dealt with 326 regionally stratified national social work instructors during January and February of 2006. The study measured how often social work instructors taught LGBT content compared to content about other multicultural groups. Multicultural group content consists of education on women, people of color, and LGBT. With theses groups, survey results from this study indicate that information is just now being infused into teaching. Assistant 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 23 professors, with regards to age differences, were more likely to teach LGBT information than associate professors (May 2010). Another article that presents findings from the first national surveys of United States and English-‐speaking Canadian MSW social work faculty studied faculty support of curriculum content on sexual orientation and gender identity. Faculty in both countries are generally supportive of including LGBT content. Findings suggest that faculty programs should address social attitudes among faculty as well as integrate gender identity into diversity discourse in social work education (Fredriksen-‐Goldsen, Woodford, Luke, & Gutierrez, 2011). Social work professors or instructors can promote the support of gays and lesbians through various indirect avenues. The importance of sexual orientation reinforces the need for human behavior courses to include information on sexual identity development. Faculty members and professors should promote greater critical and independent thought since the students who unconsciously defer to authority figures expressed less support for gay and lesbian rights (Swank & Raiz, 2010). Voorhis & Wagner’s (2002) study examined the content of articles on homosexuality that were published in four major social work journals between 1988 and 1997. The study found 77 articles that addressed homosexuality. That was 3.92 percent of the 1,964 articles published during the decade of this study. Voorhis & Wagner (2002) stated that ninety percent of the articles on homosexuality were published in two journals: Social Work and Families in Society, and the majority of articles addressed HIV/AIDS. A minor component of the articles in this survey 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 24 focused on individual intervention to help homosexual clients adjust to their heterosexist environments or addressed deficits in social workers to help practitioners become sensitive in their work with lesbian and gay clients (Voorhis & Wagner, 2002). Theoretical Perspective Theoretical perspective of gays and lesbians in this research utilizes the contact theory or contact hypothesis. Contact theory illustrates that relationships are built through socialization and negative attitudes towards an individual or group can be diminished if presented with contact. (Chonody, Rutledge, & Smith, 2012). A positive exposure to gays and lesbians accounts as a representation for an actual experience with a gay or lesbian member. According to Chonody, Siebert, & Rutledge (2009), “A sense of understanding and a positive valuation are cognitively and emotionally dissonant with biases and hostility, therefore facilitating a reduction in tendencies toward prejudice” (p. 501). Contact theory often lessens after people have face-‐to-‐face conversations with members of that stigmatized group. Swank & Raiz (2010) stated that their findings partially supported the theory. Meeting gay or lesbian peers at college boosted greater acceptance of their rights, yet interactions with gay and lesbian close friends did not. The contact hypothesis also identifies situations in which contact between groups decreases prejudice. Contact between groups is hypothesized to be effective when there is equal status among the majority and minority groups (Kwon & Hugelshofter, 2012). 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 25 While conducting a speaker panel, of gays and lesbians, to college students, they found that students who received the speaker panel intervention generally demonstrated more positive attitudes afterward. Researchers therefore concluded that contact hypothesis does have an effect on college students’ attitudes (Kwon & Hugelshofter, 2012). RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY Introduction The purpose of this study is to examine college students’ exposure to information about gays and lesbians and how it affects their attitudes toward them. The independent variable is exposure to information about gays and lesbians. The dependent variable is their attitudes about them. This is an exploratory study, which will examine college students’ attitudes about gays and lesbians based on the information they have been exposed to about them. Sample Population There were 40 individuals who participated with filling out the survey questionnaire. The data was collected from Human Growth, Development, and Diversity course classes and from students in the library. The student participants came from the education, mass communication, social work, and biology departments. The age ranges of the participants were from 21 to 50. All of the participants were African American. An availability sample was used in interviewing and gathering data for this research. The participants were informed that there were no wrong or right answers in this survey. They were also informed of the 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 26 purpose of the survey and that their personal information would be kept confidential. Instrument There are three different sections to the research instrument. Section A provides the demographics of the participants: such as age, gender, and major. Participants had to fill in this information according to their demographics for each question. Section B provides a standardized questionnaire for the participants. In this section, the IAH (Index of Attitudes toward Homosexuality) standardized questionnaire, which was developed by Ricketts and Hudson in 1980, was administered. This section measures the attitudes of the participants towards gays and lesbians: e.g. “I would feel comfortable working closely with a gay man” and “I would feel nervous being in a group of homosexuals.” This section scores every participant’s answers to the question and gives it a total score. Scores have three different measurements, which are: 25-‐50 (mostly positive feelings about homosexuals), 50-‐100 (neutral to negative feelings about homosexuals), and 100-‐ 125 (mostly negative feelings about homosexuals). Due to the time frame in which the survey was created, minor changes were made to fit societal acceptance. For example, the word queer was changed to homosexual. Section C provides the exposure component of this research study. Participants had to answer yes or no to series of questions pertaining to their exposure to information about gays and lesbians: e.g. Respondents were asked, “Have you ever taken a course on human sexuality?” 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 27 Reliability and Validity The instrument used in conducting the findings of this research was a survey. The slightly modified IAH questionnaire with internal and external validity was designed to measure students’ attitudes towards homosexuality with multiple questions relating to their attitudes. DATA ANALYSIS AND FINDINGS As stated previously, the purpose of this study is to examine college students’ exposure to information about gays and lesbians and how it affects their attitudes toward them. The independent variable is exposure to information about gays and lesbians. The dependent variable is their attitudes towards them. Demographic Analysis The demographic analysis included age, gender, credit hours, and major. The gender consisted of 35 percent male and 65 percent female. The credit hours of the participants resulted in 5 percent for 10-‐29 hrs, 22.5 percent for 30-‐59 hrs, 25 percent for 60-‐89 hrs., and 47.5 percent for 90 plus hrs. All majors (social work, biology, education, and mass communication) resulted with 25 percent of total participants, which equal out to be a 100 percent. Table I *Age of Participants* Age 19-‐25 26-‐35 Total: 77.5% 20% 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 28 36-‐45 Total: 2.5% 100% Table I shows the participant’s age in the survey. The participants’ ages range from 19-‐25 (77.5 percent), 26-‐35 (20 percent), and 36-‐45 (2.5 percent). Table II: Majors’ Scores on IAH Scale Majors Social Work Education Biology Mass Communication Table II demonstrates the participants’ IAH composite scores by major. The IAH score is measured in three ranges. The first range is positive feelings about homosexuality (a score of 25-‐50). The second section is neutral feelings, (a score of 51-‐100), while the third section is negative feelings scoring (a score of 100-‐125). All of the majors scored in the second section of the scale, which means they have mostly neutral attitudes about homosexuality. 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science Index of Attitudes towards Homosexuals (IAH) Score 69 84 72 60 Composite Score Neutral Neutral Neutral Neutral 29 Table III: Contact with Gays or Lesbians Contact Yes No Percentage 35 (87.5%) 5 (12.5%) Table III shows the percentage of participants who had contact with a gay or lesbian person. Of the participants, 87.5 percent stated that they had contact, while only 12. 5 percent reported that they had not. The majority of the participants had exposure to a gay or lesbian person. According to statistical analysis for this research, 97.5 percent of the participants stated that they had discussed homosexuality in their class. The participants were asked had they ever watched any educational film or television shows about homosexuality: 70 percent answered yes, while 30 percent answered no. Also, students were asked if they knew of someone who was a homosexual, 92.5 percent stated yes. All majors were exposed to have had some type of contact with a gay or lesbian person. Table IV Majors Compared with Class Discussion on Human Sexuality Major Yes No Total 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 30 Education Social Work Biology Mass Communication Total 10 (25%) 10 (25%) 9 (22.5%) 0 0 1 (2.5%) 25% 25% 25% 25% 100% 10 (25%) 0 39 (97.5%) 1 (2.5%) Table IV shows majors compared to class discussion. Education, Social Work and Mass Communication majors all stated that they had had class discussion about human sexuality. Nine out ten participants who were biology majors stated that they had had class discussion on the same topic. This indicates that students do receive exposure from faculty members. Table V Comparison of Gender, Credit Hours, and Acquaintance with a Homosexual Gender Total Credit Hours Male Female 10-‐29 30-‐59 60-‐89 90 plus Total Yes/No Yes/No 1/0 1/0 2/1 6/0 4/0 7/0 7/0 12/2 14 (35%) 26 (65%) 5% 22.5% 25% 47.5% 100% 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 31 Table V indicates a combination of gender, credit hours, and acquaintance with someone who is homosexual. Thirteen out of 14 males and 24 out of 26 females stated that they stated that they knew someone who was homosexual. At all credit hour levels, respondents, regardless of gender, knew of someone one who was a homosexual. Also, according to credit hours, 2 out of 21 participants stated that they did not know someone who was a homosexual. Overall, only 3 out of 40 participants stated that they did not know of any homosexuals. This leaves an overwhelming majority (92.5 percent) of the participants, regardless of gender and credit hours, having been exposed or having had contact with a homosexual. CONCLUSION In this research study, all the majors expressed neutral feelings towards homosexuality. In contrast, a large majority (92.5 percent) of the students stated that they knew someone who was a homosexual or had had contact with a homosexual. Even when contact with a homosexual was displayed among the participants, it did not affect their neutral feelings about homosexuality. Also, 97.5 percent of the respondents attended classes where human sexuality was discussed, which could mean that faculty members are knowledgeable about the topic and they are discussing homosexuality in their courses. Overall, all majors had neutral feelings about gays and lesbians, including social work, even though contact with that particular group was displayed. In comparison, in the Chonody, Rutledge, & Siebert, study in 2009, (where they used the IAH (Index of Attitudes toward Homosexuality) to measure the student’s attitudes), the researchers found that 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 32 social work students were not different from those of participants majoring in other professions. Limitations One of the limitations of the research was the size of the sample population who participated in this study, which was not substantial enough for the overall student population of Rust College. Another limitation was the timeframe in which the research paper had to be completed. Also, the scoring of Section B in the instrument was scored by hand, which caused limits on different tables that needed to be displayed. Lastly, this research did not measure the amount of knowledge different faculty members had on the topic of homosexuality. Instead, it illustrated only classroom discussion of homosexuality. References Berkman, C & Zinberg, G. (1997). Homophobia and Heterosexism in Social Workers. Social Work. Vol. 42 (4), 319-‐332. Cardenas, M, Barrientos, J, Gomez, F, & Frias-‐Navarro, D. (2012). Attitudes toward gay men and lesbians and their relationship with gender role beliefs in a sample of Chilean university students. International Journal of Sexual Health. 24(3), 226-‐ 236. Cramer, E. P. (1993). [Pre and post test data on lesbian and gay speakers’ panel]. Unpublished raw data. University of South Carolina, College of Social Work. Chonody, J, Siebert, D, & Rutledge, S. (2009). College student’s attitudes toward gays and lesbians. Journal of Social Work Education. 45, (3), 499. Chonody, J, Rutledge, S, & Smith, S. (2012). That’s so gay: language use and antigay bias among heterosexual college students. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services. 24, 241-‐259. 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 33 CSWE: Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards. Council on Social Work Education. Retrieved from http://www.cswe.org/Accreditation.aspx Dunbar, J, Brown, M & Vuorinen, S. (1973). Attitudes toward homosexuality among Brazilian and Canadian college students. Journal of Social Psychology. 90, 173-‐ 183. Einbinder, S, Fiechter, S, Sheridan, D, & Miller, D. (2012) Social work educators attitudes toward gay men and lesbians: a national assessment. Journal of Gay & Lesbians Social Services. 24, 173-‐200. Goldsen, K , Woodford, M, Luke, K & Gutierrez, L. (2011) Support of sexual orientation and gender identity content in social work education: results from national surveys of U.S. and Anglophone Canadian faculty. Journal on Social Work Education. 47, (1), p.19-‐35. Herek, G. (2012). Facts about homosexuality and mental health. Sexual orientation: science, education, and policy. Retrieved From: http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_mental_health.hmtl. JI, P & Du Bois, S, and Finnessy, P. (2009) An academic course that teaches heterosexual students to be allies to LGBT communities: A Qualitative Analysis. Journal of Gays and Lesbian Social Service. 21, 402-‐429 Korhonen, T, Kylma, J, Houtsonen, J, Valimaki, M & Suominen, T. (2012). University students’ knowledge of, and attitudes towards, HIV and AIDS, homosexuality and sexual risk behaviour: a questionnaire survey in two Finnish universities. Journal of Biosocial Science. 44(6), 661-‐675. Kwon, P & Hugelshofter, D. (2012) Lesbians, gay, and bisexual speaker panels lead to attitude changes among heterosexual college students. Journal of gay & lesbians social services. 24, 62-‐79. Lance, L.M. (2008). Social inequality on the college campus: a consideration of homosexuality. The College Student Journal. Vol. 42 (3), 789-‐794. Logie, C., Bridge, T.J., & Bridge, P.D., (2007) Evaluating the phobias, attitudes, and cultural competence of master of social work students toward the LGBT populations. Journal of Homosexuality, 53, 201-‐221. May, B (2010). Social work faculty and GLBT Diversity content: Findings from a National sample of social work faculty. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services. 22, 337-‐353. 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 34 Newman, B, Dannenfelser, P & Benishek, L. (2002) Assessing beginning social work and counseling students acceptance of lesbians and gay men. Journal of Social Work Education. 38 (2), 273-‐289. Sung, L & Johnson. (2001). Korean Social Work Students’ Attitude toward Homosexuality. Journal of Social Work Education. 37, 565-‐564. Swank, E & Raiz, L (2010). Predicting the support of same-‐sex relationship rights among social work students. Journal of gay & Lesbian Social Services. 22,.149-‐ 164. The Leadership Conference. (2009). Stonewall Riots: the Beginning of the LGBT Movement. Retrieved From: www.civilrights.org/archives/2009/06/449-‐ stonewall.html. Tully,C.T. (2000). Lesbian, gays, and the empowerment perspective. New York: Columbia University Press. Voorhis, R & Wagner, M. (2002) Among the missing: content on lesbian and gay people in social work journals. Social Work 47 (4), 345-‐354. Wisniewski, J & Toomey, B. (1987). Are social workers homophobic? Social Work. 32 (5), 454-‐455. 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 35 RUNNING HEAD: THE ROLE OF RELIGION IN PUBLIC ACCEPTANCE OF HOMOSEXUALITY The Role of Religion in Public Acceptance of Homosexuality Lauren Turner ABSTRACT This research explores the effects of religion, age, and political party affiliation on one’s public acceptance or non-‐acceptance of homosexuality. The study uses indicators such as morality and same-‐sex marriage to identify attitudes of social actors. It also aims at defining which age cohorts are more accepting of homosexuality. And lastly, this study examines how one’s political party affiliation underscores one’s acceptance of homosexuality. Characteristics such as freedoms and privileges of homosexuals will also be discussed focusing on how the attitudes of different cohorts vary when examining this subject. The research design of this study is descriptive, and surveys are used as the method of collecting data. Statistical analysis of cross-‐tabulations involving sub-‐group comparisons are produced in relation to public acceptance of homosexuality. 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 36 INTRODUCTION The debate of homosexuality has continually grown in the realms of social study and throughout the general population. This research explores the effect one’s religion has on their acceptance or view of homosexuality. The term public serves much importance in this analysis. An individual’s public acceptance of homosexuality is an indication of what they are willing to admit or share regarding their opinion of homosexuality. Age and political party affiliation are also explored in measuring acceptance of homosexuality and actions affiliated with it, specifically, same-‐sex marriage. While many of the previous studies concerning homosexuality have been subjected to cause and cure, this study embraces the new phenomenon and explores a social actor’s acceptance or disapproval of homosexuality. Same-‐sex marriages and gay rights play a particular role in measuring acceptance of homosexuality. Individuals in agreement with same-‐sex marriage can be deemed accepting of it. For this particular study this is an indicator for measuring acceptance of homosexuality. Same-‐sex marriage and gay rights are considered not only because of their contribution to the homosexual lifestyle but because they also dominate the debate of this growing trend. The social and political fields have swarmed the media with the debate of gay rights and same-‐sex marriages. Purpose The purpose of this study is to find the link between social and religious aspects of homosexuality. What role does religion play in acceptance of 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 37 homosexuality? Who is more likely to be accepting of homosexuality when measuring religion, age, and political party affiliation? Religion plays a vital role in the acceptance of homosexuality. Many people reject homosexuality on a religious basis. This study explores specifically which religions are more susceptible to homosexuality, if any. Religion may also be a basis of positive acceptance of homosexuality. Many different religions relay different perceptions of homosexuality. Overall, the importance of this study is to seek out, specifically, how religion influences one’s judgment of homosexuality. Does age really factor in acceptance of homosexuality as well as political party affiliation? Problem Statement Does religion influence people’s attitude toward homosexuality? How does political party affiliation and age factor in homosexuality? Do different political parties support or challenge same-‐sex marriages and gay rights? Is there a trend in acceptance of homosexuality concerning different age cohorts? The dependent variable of this study is acceptance of homosexuality, while the independent variables are religion, political party affiliation, and age. Hypothesis Religion plays a key role in people’s perception of homosexuality. Individuals who identify closely with a religion or religiosity are least likely to accept homosexuality and its practices. Political party affiliation such as conservative, liberal, and independent does reflect acceptance or non-‐acceptance of 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 38 homosexuality and its practices such as same-‐sex marriages. The age group of 35 and younger is more accepting of homosexuality and its practices. LITERATURE REVIEW Three specific variables are addressed in the literature review: previous studies relating religion and acceptance of homosexuality, political party affiliation and position on same-‐sex marriage, and support of homosexuality across different age cohorts. This exploratory study investigates various factors such as age, religion, and political party affiliation’s influence on acceptance of homosexuality. While homosexuality is becoming a more greatly recognized social construct, it is important to measure the weight of existing institutions and their effects. Recent poll data suggest that while a slight majority of Americans now accept homosexuality as a way of life (51 percent in 2006), and are increasingly more favorable toward allowing gays and lesbians to openly serve in the military (60 percent in 2006, up from 52 percent in 1994) and adopt children (46 percent in 2006, up from 38 percent in 1999), public support for legalizing gay marriage lags behind (Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, 2006). This study attempts to gather and analyze data concerning same-‐sex marriages. What trend in political party affiliation holds the most causation for this fact? This literature review explores previously established data on this topic, homosexuality, religion, age, and political party affiliation, concluding the study stating similarities or differences in data found. 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 39 Religion Religion impacts all aspects of life, shaping what people think and how they see the world. Rejection of homosexuality is often religiously based. In fact, previous research has shown that more religious individuals, defined as those who attend church more frequently and have a more devout sense of doctrinal commitment, are significantly less tolerant of gay men and lesbians (Beatty & Walter, 1984; Wilcox & Jelen, 1990). This evidence directly correlates with the hypothesis concerning religion in this study. Based on this data a hypothesis was formed; religion plays a key role in people’s susceptibility to homosexuality; individuals who identify closely with a religion or religiosity are least likely to accept homosexuality and its practices. When evaluating same-‐sex marriage, religious individuals conflict with those who advocate for it simply because they see marriage as the union of a man and woman. The phrase “devout sense of doctrinal commitment” is the separating factor in analysis of religion’s role in acceptance of homosexuality. Many individuals identify themselves with some type of religion, but the phrase “devout sense of doctrinal commitment” does not always define the vast amount of people that declare religion as a part of their life. Those who identify as well as faithfully practice the teachings and beliefs of specific religions are those who are less tolerant of homosexuality. In this study the independent variable, religion, is measured based upon one’s specific religion as well as identifying how religious the respondent is. The indicator for religion in this study is religiosity, how closely one follows the beliefs 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 40 and teachings of their religion. Several questions on the survey ask respondents about how much they attend religious ceremonies and how often do they follow their religious guidelines. Beginning in the 1970s, a study was done titled Religion and Public Opinion about Same-‐Sex Marriage; 341 surveys assessed Americans’ attitudes about the morality of homosexuality and their attitudes about restricting the civil rights and civil liberties of gay people (DeBoer, 1978; Levitt & Klassen, 1974). This study, in the same method, surveying, has further expanded the literature on this topic. Specifically, attitudes towards homosexuality will be viewed in terms of acceptance for this present study. Civil rights and civil liberties are reflected upon by measuring same-‐sex marriage opinions in this study. Which political parties are in favor of it? Age is also a factor in examining various attitudes towards homosexuality. A general opinion has been formed that younger generations are more accepting of homosexuality due to personal contact with homosexuals. Recent polls indicate that demographic factors such as education, gender, and age have significant influences on public opinion about homosexuality, as does the degree of personal contact individuals have with gay men and lesbians, and attitudes toward traditional morality (Brewer, 2003; Davis, 1992; Ellison & Musick, 1993; Finlay & Walther, 2003; Gibson & Tedin, 1988; Glenn & Weaver, 1979; Herek, 2002; Herek & Capitanio, 1996; Herek & Glunt, 1993; Kerns & Fine, 1994; Kite & Whitley, 1996; Loftus, 2001). 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 41 Homosexuality Homosexuality is defined as the general preference for sex with members of one’s own gender. For instance, a male orienting another male is considered gay, and a female with another female is considered lesbian. Many people view homosexuality as only a physical or sexual matter. Homosexuality extends further than sex, but constitutes natural feelings of compassion and affection towards individuals of the same gender. Homosexuality, or acceptance of homosexuality, as the dependent variable of this study, is measured based upon this definition of homosexuality. Same-‐sex marriage is the indicator within the study measuring acceptance of homosexuality. How respondents indicate their opinion of homosexuality is best represented in asking if they oppose or support homosexual marriages. The word homosexual is derived from Greek and Latin language, “homo” as the root word meaning same (Greek) and sexual from the Medieval Latin word sexualis, thus generating the concept of homosexuality as a preference for what is the same. Although the definition of homosexuality may seem clearly defined, it is also based on how individuals identify themselves with the meaning of the word. Identifying with homosexuality is a matter of self-‐concept and self-‐actualization. In other words, homosexuality is not a label of others; one has to first associate him or herself with the behavior. While this self-‐identifying action may be appropriate, individuals still take it upon themselves to label other individuals homosexual. Homosexuality also has different avenues outside of gays and lesbians. There are 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 42 bisexuals who express interest in both males and females and transsexuals who feel that they are actual members of the opposite sex. There are a wide range of theories that describe how individuals come to homosexuality. Like any other issue within society there is an ongoing debate and steady research based on the biological and sociological impact on individuals who identify with homosexuality. There are also psychological explanations of homosexuality, but they are not as widely focused on as social and biological explanations. Many people believe that homosexuality is a choice and that an individual within it can choose to fully walk out of the lifestyle. Others argue that homosexuality is not a choice and in essence is equivalent to heterosexuality. Research has suggested that the brain anatomy of heterosexuals and homosexuals is different (LaVay, 1991). Becoming a homosexual is not really an incident. Research suggests it is either learned or either a biological matter. Researchers have found that in some cases enough evidence is shown that the physiology of homosexuals and heterosexuals differs. The sociological side of homosexuality suggests that individuals learn homosexuality through peers rather than being developed from certain biological characteristics. Although sociological and biological parallel in some instances the two concepts are greatly separate. Through interaction with others, early on an individual knows whether the attraction to a being of the same sex feels natural or is uncomfortable. At some point in every individual’s life they experience a homosexual feeling or encounter some kind of homosexual run in. Some realize the 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 43 experience and let it go; others cling to it, believing it was meant for them and feels natural. Sex roles are obvious at a very young age, and although they are widely separated and clear, some individuals still flee from them. This guides the thought of homosexuality being innate or natural. Individuals develop their own sexual preferences, or orientations by learning to favor certain objects or practices and, alternatively, by not learning to favor other alternatives. Sex roles are a key in the explanation of individuals coming into homosexuality because they are taught at a young age and they are closely tied to what is feminine and what is masculine. Although these ideas or concepts are widely used to explain how individuals become homosexuals, they still fall short in an overall examination simply because not all individuals who are homosexual identify with sex roles opposite of their own sex. Many homosexuals that are male identify with male roles of masculinity and feel comfortable in doing so as well as with the roles of females; lesbians may still carry out their feminine sex roles. At the same time, a great number of individuals who are homosexual identify with opposite roles, so a general assumption cannot be concluded that individuals become homosexual due to not being able to identify with the roles that society has assigned them. Age Among younger people in particular, there is broad support for societal acceptance of homosexuality. More than six-‐in-‐ten (63 percent) of those younger 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 44 than age 50 and 69 percent of those younger than age thirty feel that homosexuality should be accepted. Individuals ages fifty and older (52 percent) favor societal acceptance of homosexuality (Pew Research Center, political typology survey, May 4, 2011). Studies have shown that this is a direct result of younger individuals having actual contact or personal relationships with homosexual individuals, a familiarity which ultimately lightens their aggression towards homosexuality or same-‐sex marriage. In another study focusing on age differences in acceptance of homosexuality, about half of the respondents (48 percent) reported that they knew someone homosexual, whereas 52 percent reported that they did not. The younger age group knew homosexual persons to a greater extent than the older age group. Those who knew someone homosexual had a significantly more liberal outlook on homosexuality and homosexual individuals than those who did not. This study seeks to further explore the variation of age in relevance to acceptance of homosexuality. Straying away from the causes of this acceptance this research study simply statistically analyzes the differences for further study on this topic. In this study, age, as an independent variable, is simply measured or gathered through asking the respondents their age. The age of respondents is then observed alongside other indicators to give a general view of how accepting they are of homosexuality. Political Party Affiliation The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation released the results of a survey of 3,130 adults about their position on same-‐sex marriage. The survey 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 45 found that just over half of all adults and registered voters thought same-‐sex couples should be able to get married. This varies greatly by political affiliation, with Democrats and Republicans mirroring each other and two-‐thirds of Democrats supporting same-‐sex marriage, while the same proportion of Republicans opposed it. Well over half of Independents also agreed that same-‐sex marriage should be legal. This study seeks to differentiate the views of political parties in relevance to gay rights and same-‐sex marriage. Also, a cross tabulation evaluation will be done observing age and political party affiliation when examining attitudes toward homosexuality. Recent data from a 2008 Pew Research Center study confirm this relationship, documenting that 83 percent of conservative Republicans and 73 percent of more religious individuals oppose gay marriage, compared to 26 percent of liberal Democrats and 43 percent of less religious individuals who oppose gay marriage (Masci, 2008). Conflict Theory The conflict theory, coined by Karl Marx, emphasizes the clash between power differentials or a general contrast between groups reflecting dominant ideologies within a society. Contrast between groups reflecting a dominant ideology is the most relevant for this study. In examining the role of religion in acceptance of homosexuality, emphasizing same-‐sex marriage, the conflict or contrast between political parties comes into play. The conflict theory is specific to this topic given that it explains the basis of conflict between individuals who are accepting of same-‐sex unions as a legitimate 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 46 marriage and individuals who are not as accepting. The dominant ideology in our society is that marriage is the union of one man and one woman; therefore, two men or two women cannot be legally or legitimately married. The conflict stands on the idea that if same-‐sex marriage becomes a completely accepted and recognized union the institution of marriage and family will then be questioned and, furthermore, transformed in the United States. Conflict theory analyses social conflict or socially conflicting issues on a macro level. It is safe to correlate conflict theory with the ongoing argument of same-‐sex marriage because of how widely discussed the topic has become in recent years. Evolving from just small talk to a widely-‐debated political issue, same-‐sex marriage has grown into division concerning acceptance among the major political parties in the United States. Previous research has also provided evidence of a direct and significant relationship between conservative ideological orientations, religiosity, and opposition to same-‐sex marriage (Becker and Scheufele, 2009; Brewer, 2008 Burdette, Ellison, and Hill, 2005; Rimmerman and Wilcox, 2007). Conflict theory also gives theoretical explanation for inequality and conflict homosexuals experience within the society. Gay bashing and discrimination are a common consequence for homosexual individuals within this society. Conflict theory states that these two groups, homosexuals and their supporters versus heterosexuals and non-‐supporters of homosexuality, clash because of their opposing ideas concerning this topic. The theory suggests that each group will continue to feud over the idea and dominance concerning the civil rights of homosexuals. 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 47 METHODOLOGY Does religion influence people’s attitude toward homosexuality? How do age and political party affiliation reflect judgment or acceptance of homosexuality? What are people’s position on same-‐sex marriage, examining different age cohorts and major political parties in the U.S.? A similar study done by Amy B. Becker and Dietram A. Scheufele, “New Voters, New Outlook? Predispositions, Social Networks, and the Changing Politics of Gay Civil Rights,” sought to examine factors that shaped public acceptance of homosexuality and support for same-‐sex marriage. In this study the researchers analyzed two national surveys to gather their data. The results of this study indicated that attitudes of younger subjects were positive in their acceptance of homosexuality because many of the respondents experienced personal contact with someone homosexual. While younger respondents were more accepting on such basis, older individuals had more religious and ideological predispositions about same-‐sex marriage and homosexuality. This study utilized previously developed surveys that examined their variables or variable groups and analyzed the data specific to their topic. They also used the interview method to gather data, using a random-‐digital dial methodology and online interviews through Survey Spot. For this research study the research method used was surveying. This quantitative study used several tables including cross-‐tabulations and frequency distributions to analyze the data collected. 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 48 Research Design This study found patterns and trends in public acceptance of homosexuality and same-‐sex marriage. Using cross-‐tabulations and frequency distribution tables this descriptive study pinpointed age, religion, and political party variations in perception of homosexuality. This descriptive study further expanded the existing data on trends in acceptance of homosexuality. With previous research suggesting the rapid growth of homosexuality, it is important to explore the etiology of its acceptance. This study is relevant given homosexuality was formerly considered a mental disorder or a socially deviant behavior. With the new trend of its acceptance, it is important to research which social group has conformed to new ways of thinking on this topic and which have maintained other norms relative to this topic. This study seeks to explore these questions. While this study yields limitation to why change has occurred, it describes various groups and their views of homosexuality and same-‐sex marriage. This is the purpose for studying the role of religion in public acceptance of homosexuality. Other limitations include the time-‐span given for completion and limited representation within the sample population due to location. Population The population used in this study was decided based on the environment subjects were in. The population for this study were students at The University of Mississippi. Given the diversified population at the University of Mississippi, the 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 49 questionnaire was administered to students and workers on the school’s Oxford campus. A non-‐random method of sampling was done for this study, requesting in the institution’s main library a subject’s participation on a basis of availability. A population of 100 people was explored for this study. The instrument of choice is a survey or questionnaire consisting of twelve questions using a Likert-‐ type scale to analyze data objectively with construct validity. The demographic information on the survey specifically asks for age, religion, and political party affiliation to measure the variables consistent with this study. Data Collection The method of collecting data for this research was the survey method. In order to measure public acceptance of homosexuality, a survey and 100 respondents were necessary to measure the opinions of social actors. The demographics or independent variables such as age, religion, and political party affiliation were critical in analyzing public acceptance of homosexuality. Surveys given to every person entering the library at the University of Mississippi, who gave their consent, created a non-‐random sampling method. Each individual was asked to complete the survey at their own will. I vaguely explained the purpose and the anonymity of the survey before respondents began. Questions on the instrument were used to operationalize variables. The indicators or variables within each question were chosen to best infer a respondent’s feelings or position on public acceptance of homosexuality. For example, question number five on the survey asks if the respondent spends a lot of 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 50 time following or adhering to religious guidelines. This question is critical for data collection in that it measures the individual’s level of religiosity. Religiosity is used in this study to determine whether the presence of religiosity in one’s life reflects their acceptance or non-‐acceptance of homosexuality. Question number six on the survey asks if participants feel all homosexual bars should be closed down. This question is used to infer, once again, an individual’s acceptance of homosexuality. Those who agree with this statement, for this study, are said to be non-‐accepting of homosexuality while those who disagree are said to be more accepting of homosexuality. Using this indicator for measuring public acceptance of homosexuality is also helpful when collecting specific data concerning age and political party affiliation. When comparing the indicators with these independent variables, we find the variance of acceptance of homosexuality based on age and political party affiliation. This study sought to determine whether age, political party affiliation, and religion factored into one’s public acceptance of homosexuality. Question four on the survey questions whether respondents feel same-‐sex marriages should be legal. This question was chosen because it best represents acceptance of homosexuality through legalization of same-‐sex marriages. Implementing age allows measurement of which age group is most accepting of homosexuality and its practices and which political group is most accepting of homosexuality. Determining which political party was most and least accepting of homosexuality was an objective of this study as well. When comparing the variable 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 51 political party affiliation and the indicator of morality, questioning the morality of homosexuality on an individual basis can determine which political party is most accepting of homosexuality. Morality, for this study, represents right, and we automatically associate what is right with the norm within our society. Using the instrument, data collection is obtained through the questions and responses to questions from participants. Construct Validity The Likert-‐type scale used in this study allowed construct validity in the results. The different levels of the Likert-‐type scale for this particular study are Strongly Agree, Agree, Strongly Disagree, Disagree, and Indifferent. These specific choices were chosen to eliminate any uncertainty within the responses. With Strongly Agree on one end of the spectrum and Strongly Disagree on the other, complete polarization of responses was allowed. Inferences or indicators used within the survey allowed clear-‐cut or legitimate data to be collected. The variables religion, age, and political party affiliation placed in the questions on the survey allowed reliable data to be collected when measuring public acceptance of homosexuality. Questions such as the morality of homosexuality, the legality of same-‐sex marriages, homosexuality being recognized as a norm in society, religious adherence and practice all allowed the concept of acceptance of homosexuality to be measured. The indicators pinpointed exactly what this study seeks to answer, allowing construct validity and reliability of responses. 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 52 ANALYSIS OF DATA Table 1: Univariate Analysis: Morality of Homosexuality “Homosexuality is moral.” Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree Indifferent Value 1 2 3 �� 4 5 Total This univariate table describes the single variable, morality of homosexuality. Frequency 11 11 32 37 9 100 Percentage 11.00% 11.00% 32.00% 37.00% 9.00% 100.00% Question number 10 on the questionnaire asks subjects surveyed if they feel homosexuality is moral. The values on this table represent the numerical code given to each response in the codebook. These numerical codes, also known as values, were used for data manipulation in comparing other variables measured such as freedom, adherence, and favor of homosexuality. The frequency column describes the number of times a respondent chose a particular answer in relevance to the variable morality, such as strongly agree, agree, disagree, strongly disagree, and indifferent. The least frequent response to this question was indifferent, with a value of 5, and only 9 subjects had this answer to morality of homosexuality. The most frequent response was strongly disagree, with a value of 4 and a frequency of 37. The percent column simply represents the percentage each response held in the overall accumulation of data given for this particular response. For example, it can 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 53 be concluded that 37 percent of respondents strongly disagreed with the idea of homosexuality being moral. The total number of respondents matched the total responses given for this question, resulting in a total of zero missing cases and 100 valid cases accounted for. Table 2: Bivariate Analysis: Legality of Same-‐sex Marriages “Same-‐sex marriages should be legal unions.” Democrat (Liberal) 10 (10.0%) Democrat (Liberal) 9 (9.0%) 10 (10.0%) 16 (16.0%) 8 (8.0%) 53 (53.0%) Republican (Conservative) 0 (0.0%) Republican (Conservative) 1 (1.0%) 11 (11.0%) 10 (10.0%) 2 (2.0%) 24 (24.0%) Independent 1 (1.0%) Independent 2 (2.0%) 2 (2.0%) 4 (4.0%) 1 (1.0%) 9 (9.0%) Other 2 (2.0%) Other 2 (2.0%) 5 (5.0%) 3 (3.0%) 2 (2.0%) 14 (14.0%) Strongly Agree “Same-‐sex marriages should be legal unions.” Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree Indifferent Total This bivariate table represents the two variables, same-‐sex marriage and political party affiliation. Each political party column represents the actual number of participants who chose each response and the percentage each category possessed. The legality of same-‐sex marriage was most favorable among individuals who affiliated themselves with the Democratic Party. Ten democratic respondents strongly agreed that same-‐sex marriages should be legal, constituting 10 percent of 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 54 the total population surveyed. Surprisingly, 16 percent of Democrats surveyed felt same sex marriage should not be legal; they strongly disagreed with the statement. Twenty-‐two percent of Republicans either disagreed or strongly disagreed with same-‐sex marriage being legal, and twenty-‐six percent of respondents affiliated with all other parties felt same-‐sex marriage should be legal. A total of thirteen respondents were indifferent about the matter of same-‐sex marriage being legal. These results were helpful in determining which political parties felt the strongest about same-‐sex marriages. The relationship between political party affiliations and same-‐sex marriage was slightly lower than expected outside of the Republican Party. The number of individuals of democratic affiliation who disagreed or strongly disagreed with same-‐sex marriage was more than those who agreed at 26 percent to 19 percent respectively. Table 3: Bivariate Analysis: Normality of Homosexuality Agree Disagree Strongly Indifferent Disagree Total “It would be Strongly beneficial to Agree society to recognize homosexuality as normal.” Non Christian 3(3%) Catholic Orthodox Baptist Church of Christ 1(1%) 1(1%) 6(6%) 3(3%) 0(0%) 0(0%) 0(0%) 6(6%) 1(1%) 0(0%) 0(0%) 0(0%) 5(5%) 2(2%) 2(2%) 6(6%) 1(1%) 5(5%) 4(4%) 1(1%) 0(0%) 0(0%) 7(7%) 1(1%) 6(6%) 7(7%) 2(2%) 29(29%) 11(11%) 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 55 Episcopal Methodist Pentecostal Presbyterian Other 0(0%) 4(4%) 0(0%) 1(1%) 0(0%) 2(2%) 0(0%) 1(1%) 0(0%) 0(0%) 2(2%) 0(0%) 1(1%) 7(7%) 2(2%) 5(5%) 2(2%) 1(1%) 0(0%) 0(0%) 5(5.0%) 3(3%) 14(14%) 4(4%) 7(7%) 17(17.0%) 4(4.0%) 3(3.0%) 2(2.0%) 3(3.0%) This bivariate table analyzes the results of statement number 1 on the survey instrument, “It would be beneficial to society to recognize homosexuality as normal.” This table compares the results of answers from respondents of different religious denominations in relation to this particular question on the survey. The results were sparsely divided among the religious categories. Twenty-‐ three respondents, equivalent to 23 percent of participants, strongly agreed with this statement. The Baptist denomination held the most individuals in agreement, at 6 percent, followed by Methodist at 4 percent, and other religions also at 4 percent; Non-‐Christian and Church of Christ were each at 3 percent each, Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Presbyterian all at 1 percent each, and Episcopalian and Pentecostal at 0 percent. This study sought to determine if religion played a key role in how accepting individuals are of homosexuality. This table shows that 36 percent of individuals who identified themselves with either Non-‐Christian, Catholic, Orthodox, Baptist, Church of Christ, Episcopalian, Methodist, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, or any other 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 56 religion either agreed or strongly disagreed with the statement while 44 percent either disagreed or strongly disagreed. It can be concluded that religious affiliation does play a key role in acceptance of homosexuality. More individuals identifying with some religion were less accepting of the normality of homosexuality in society. The Baptist denomination or religion with 12 percent acceptance is most accepting of homosexuality. Table 4: Univariate Analysis: Freedom of homosexuality “Homosexuals should be free to date whomever they please.” Value 1 2 3 4 5 Total Frequency 16 31 11 16 26 100 Percentage 16.00% 31.00% 11.00% 16.00% 26.00% 100.00% Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree Indifferent Table 4 seeks to numerically analyze the results of survey statement number 8. “Homosexuals should be free to date whomever they please” was question number 8 on the survey instrument. This question sought to measure the acceptance of homosexuality based on this statement that suggests that individuals who are homosexual should be free to openly date whomever they please. Thirty-‐ 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 57 one percent agreed that homosexuals should be free to date who[m]ever they please. Surprisingly, 26 percent of respondents were indifferent about the matter. While this instrument does not provide raw data about the acceptance of homosexuality, it suggests that many individuals do not care either way about homosexuality or the actions of homosexuals. Sixteen percent of individuals strongly disagreed with the idea of homosexuals exercising freedom in dating. All respondents answered this question, allowing 100 valid cases and zero missing cases for this particular survey item. Table 5: Cross Tabulation: Political Party Affiliation and Age Political Party Affiliation Democrat Republican Age 18-‐20 12 (12%) 4 (4%) 21-‐25 22 (22%) 6 (6%) 4 (4%) 7 (7%) 39 (39%) 26-‐29 8 (8%) 0 (0%) 1 (1%) 1 (1%) 10 (10%) 30-‐35 4 (4%) 4 (4%) 2 (2%) 2 (2%) 12 (12%) 36-‐40 2(2%) 41-‐45 46-‐49 50 + 5 (5%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 4 (4%) 3 (3%) 1 (1%) 2 (2%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (1%) 0 (0%) 1 (1%) 2 (2%) 7 (7%) 8 (8%) 2 (2%) 4 (4%) Independent 1 (1%) Other Total 1 (1%) 18 (18%) This cross tabulation is an analysis of the two independent variables, political party affiliation and age. This table shows the number and percentage of participants in this study who identified with these variables. This quantitative analysis allows the results of the survey to clearly be recognizable when assessing participants and their acceptance or rejection of homosexuality. 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 58 Table 6: Bivariate Analysis: Religion and Religiosity “I spend a lot of Strongly Agree Disagree Strongly Indifferent time following/ adhering to religious guidelines.” Non Christian Catholic Orthodox Baptist Church of God in Christ Episcopal Methodist Pentecostal Presbyterian Other Total Agree Disagree 0(0%) 2(2%) 0(0%) 3(3%) 1(1%) 1(1%) 4(4%) 1(1%) 2(2%) 3(3%) 0(0%) 3(3%) 1(1%) 2(2%) 1(1%) 1(1%) 3(3%) 1(1%) 0(0%) 2(2%) 1(1%) 1(1%) 1(1%) 1(1%) 0(0%) 1(1%) 2(2%) 0(0%) 0(0%) 1(1%) 0(0%) 1(1%) 0(0%) 1(1%) 0(0%) 1(1%) 7(7%) 7(7%) 2(2%) 28(28%) 11(11%) 3(3%) 14(14%) 4(4%) 7(7%) 17(17%) 11(11%) 11(11%) 8(8%) 0(0%) 5(5%) 1(1%) 3(3%) 5(5%) 0(0%) 4(4%) 0(0%) 2(2%) 7(7%) 1(1%) This bivariate analysis is based on statement number 5 from the instrument administered to 100 participants. The item stated, “I spend a lot of time following/adhering to religious guidelines.” This statement measures the religiosity 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 59 of participants. Early on, we hypothesized that individuals who are more religious will be non-‐accepting of homosexuality. This table displays the individual religions of participants and also tells whether or not they consider themselves religious. Seventeen percent of individuals from all religions strongly agree that they spend a lot of time following/adhering to religious guidelines. This analysis is necessary when comparing religiosity and acceptance or non-‐acceptance of homosexuality. “All homosexu al bars should be closed down.” Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree Total Table 7: Bivariate Analysis: Age and Homosexual Bars 18-‐20 21-‐25 26-‐29 30-‐35 36-‐40 41-‐45 50+ 4(4%) 1(1%) 8(8%) 2(2%) 3(3%) 4(4%) 12(12%) 6(6%) 13(13%) 3(3%) 0(0%) 3(3%) 2(2%) 2(2%) 1(1%) 0(0%) 5(5%) 2(2%) 4(4%) 1(1%) 1(1%) 1(1%) 1(1%) 3(3%) 1(1%) 3(3%) 2(2%) 1(1%) 1(1%) 0(0%) 1(1%) 0(0%) 2(2%) 1(1%) Indifferent 4(4%) 19(19%) 38(38%) 10(10%) 12(12%) 7(7%) 8(8%) 4(4%) This bivariate table analyzes the variable acceptance of homosexuality inferred in statement number 6 as “All homosexual bars should be closed down” in comparison with the independent variable age. Early, we hypothesized that those individuals thirty-‐five and under would be less accepting of homosexuality compared to those older than age thirty-‐five. 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 60 This table shows 40 percent of participants thirty-‐five and below indicate that they are more accepting of homosexuality, either by strongly disagreeing or simply disagreeing with this statement. Only seven percent of participants thirty-‐six and older strongly agreed or agreed with this statement. Seven percent of adults thirty-‐six and older strongly disagreed with this statement and 5 percent were indifferent about it. Table 8: Bivariate Analysis: Political Party Affiliation and Homosexual Bars “All Democrat Republican Independent Other homosexual (Liberal) (Conservative) bars should be closed down.” Strongly Agree 9(9%) 3(3%) 0(0%) 1(1%) Agree 5(5%) 2(2%) 0(0%) 2(2%) Disagree 18(18%) 7(7%) 3(3%) 4(4%) Strongly 11(11%) 2(2%) 2(2%) 2(2%) Disagree Indifferent 10(10%) 10(10%) 4(4%) 5(5%) Total 53(53%) 24(24%) 9(9%) 14(15%) This bivariate analysis pinpoints the variables of homosexual bars and political party affiliation. This study sought to determine which political party was more accepting or non-‐accepting of homosexuality. This table states that 14 percent of democratic participants strongly agreed and agreed that all homosexual bars should be closed down, and 21 percent of Democrats strongly disagreed or disagreed. Five percent of Republicans strongly agreed or agreed with the statement and 9 percent did not. Twenty-‐one percent of Democrats felt that homosexual bars should remain open compared to only 5 percent of Republicans agreeing that all homosexual bars 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 61 should be closed down. From this analysis, the previous hypothesis proved to be true. Democrats or liberals appear to be more accepting of homosexuality as it relates to their opinion of homosexual bars. Equally, 10 percent of both Democrats and liberals were indifferent about the closing of homosexual bars. Table 9: Bivariate Analysis: Age and Same-‐sex marriage “Same-‐sex marriage 18-‐20 21-‐25 26-‐29 30-‐35 36-‐40 41-‐45 should be legal unions.” Strongly 4(4%) 3(3%) 1(1%) 2(2%) 0(0%) 2(2%) Agree Agree 2(2%) 8(8%) 3(3%) 1(1%) 0(0%) 0(0%) Disagree 3(3%) 10(10%) 2(2%) 5(5%) 4(4%) 5(5%) Strongly 7(7%) 10(10%) 3(3%) 3(3%) 2(2%) 3(3%) Disagree Indifferent 2(2%) 8(8%) 1(1%) 1(1%) 0(0%) 0(0%) Total 18(18%) 39(39%) 10(10%) 12(12%) 6(6%) 10(10%) 46-‐49 50+ 0(0%) 1(1%) 0(0%) 0(0%) 0(0%) 2(2%) 0(0%) 1(1%) 1(1%) 0(0%) 1(1%) 4(4%) Much of the debate concerning homosexuality is concerned with same-‐sex marriage. This table shows data concerning age and same-‐sex marriage. Thirteen percent of participants age 18-‐ 50+ strongly agreed that same-‐sex marriage should be a legal union. Fourteen percent of participants all ages agreed that same-‐sex marriage should be legal unions. A total of 27 percent of participants agreed with same-‐sex marriage to some degree. Specific to this study, of participants 36 -‐50+ only 3 percent felt same-‐sex marriage should be legal unions. Twenty-‐four percent of individuals 18-‐35 agreed to some degree that same-‐sex marriages should be legal unions. 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 62 Table 10: Bivariate Analysis: Political Party Affiliation and Morality of Homosexuality “Homosexuality Democrat Republican Independent Other is moral.” (Liberal) (Conservative) Strongly Agree 6(6.0%) 2(2.0%) 1(1.0%) 2(2.0%) Agree 7(7.0%) 1(1.0%) 1(1.0%) 2(2.0%) Disagree 22(22.0%) 4(4.0%) 1(1.0%) 7(7.0%) Strongly 13(13.0%) 16(16.0%) 3(3.0%) 3(3.0%) Disagree Indifferent 5(5.0%) 0(0.0%) 3(3.0%) 1(1.0%) Total 53(53.0%) 23(23.0%) 9(9.0%) 15(15.0%) This table analyzes the variables morality of homosexuality and political party affiliation. This table clearly distinguishes which political party most feels homosexuality is moral. Thirteen percent of Democrats agreed homosexuality is moral while 20 percent of Republicans disagreed with the idea of homosexuality being moral. CONCLUSION This study sought to find the variations of religion, age, and political party affiliation in determining public acceptance of homosexuality. A hypothesis was stated early on that religion plays a key role in people’s susceptibility to homosexuality. Individuals who identify closely with a religion or religiosity are least likely to accept homosexuality and its practices. Political party affiliation such as conservative, liberal, and independent does reflect acceptance of homosexuality and its practices such as same-‐sex marriage. The age group of thirty-‐five and younger is more accepting of homosexuality and its practices. This study also found that religion does play a key role in individual’s acceptance of homosexuality. Thirty-‐six percent of individuals who identified 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 63 themselves with some religion either agreed or strongly disagreed with the statement of it being beneficial to society to recognize homosexuality as normal while 44 percent either disagreed or strongly disagreed. It can be concluded that religious affiliation does play a key role in acceptance of homosexuality. More individuals identifying with some religion were less accepting of its normality in society. The results of determining political party affiliation in relation to acceptance of homosexuality suggested that 16 percent of Democrats surveyed felt that same-‐sex marriage should not be legal given that they strongly disagreed with the statement. While 22 percent of Republicans either disagreed or strongly disagreed with same-‐sex marriage being legal, 26 percent of respondents affiliated with all other parties felt same-‐sex marriage should be legal. The result of political party affiliation outside of the Republican Party being for same-‐sex marriage was slightly less than expected. The number of individuals who disagreed or strongly disagreed with same-‐sex marriage of democratic affiliation was more than those who agreed at 26 percent to 19 percent. References Andersen R. & Fetner, T. (2008). Cohort differences in tolerance of homosexuality: attitudinal change in Canada and the United States, 1981-‐2000. Public Opinion Quarterly, 72, 311-‐330. Beatty, K. M. & Walter, O. (1984). Religious preference and practice: reevaluating their impact on political tolerance. Public Opinion Quarterly, 48, 318–329. Becker, A. B. & Dietram, A. S. ( 2009). Moral politicking: public attitudes toward gay marriage in an election context. International Journal of Press Politics, 14, 186–211. 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 64 Becker, A. B., Kajsa E. D., Dominique B., Dietram A. S. & Albert C. G. (2010). Getting citizens involved: how controversial policy debates stimulate issue participation during a political campaign. International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 22, 181–203. Becker, B. A., Scheufele, A. D., (2011). New voters, new outlook? Predispositions, social networks, and the changing politics of gay civil rights. Social Science Quarterly, 92, 326-‐345. Brewer, P. R. (2003). The shifting foundations of public opinion about gay rights. Journal of Politics, 65, 1208–1220. Dynes W. R., Warren J., Percy, W. A. & Donaldson S. (1990). Encyclopedia of homosexuality (Vol. 492). New York: Garland. Engemann, M. K. & Wall, J. H. October (2009). The effects of homosexuality across different demographic and cultural groups Unpublished paper, Research Division Federal Bank of St. Louis. Working Paper Series. (http://research.stlouisfed.org./wp/2009/2009/). Farlie, W. R. & Robb, A. (2007). The new era of homosexuality: Have we learned to accept what is wrong? Unpublished paper, University of California, Santa Cruz. (http://people.ucsc.edu/~rfairlie/papers/published/cruzjolc%202007%20 %20black business). Glenn, N. D. & Weaver, C.N. (1979). Attitudes toward premarital, extra-‐marital, and homosexual relations in the U.S. in the 1970’s. Journal of Sex Research, 15, 108-‐118. Irwin, P. & and Thompson, N.L. (1977). Acceptance of the rights of homosexuals: a social profile. Journal of Homosexuality, 3,107-‐121. Larsen, S. K., Reed, M. &, Hoffman, S. (1980). Attitudes of heterosexuals toward homosexuality: a Likert-‐type scale and construct validity. Journal of Sex Research, 16, 245-‐257. Masci, D. (2008). A stable majority: most Americans still oppose same-‐sex marriage. Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. (http://pewforum.org/docs/?Doc-‐ID=290i). Olson L. R., Cadge, W. & Harrison, J. T. (2006). Religion and public opinion about same sex marriage. Social Science Quarterly, 87, 340-‐360. 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 65 Rimmerman C. A., Wald K. D., & Wilcox, C. (2000). Politics of gay rights. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Rimmerman C. A., Wald K. D. & Wilcox C. (2007). The politics of same-‐sex marriages. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Simon, L. (2011). Gay, straight, and the reasons why: Science of sexual orientation. 198 New York: Oxford University Press. Whitehead A. L. (2010). Sacred rights and civil right: religion’s effect on attitudes toward same sex unions and perceived cause of homosexuality. Social Science Quarterly, 91, 63-‐79. Williams E. M. (April 1999). Homosexuality. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press. 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 66 RUNNING HEAD: PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT AND ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF LATIN AMERICAN FAMILIES The relationship between parental involvement and student academic performance in Latin American Families Cusi De la Cruz ABSTRACT This research investigates the relationship between parental involvement and academic performance of children of Latin American families. The instrument developed was translated into Spanish for the convenience of the respondents. The sampling population for this non-‐probability research was residents of DeSoto County Mississippi. Findings suggest a positive relationship between parental involvement and academic performance of children in Latin American Families. Key Words: Latinos, academic performance, and parental involvement. 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 67 INTRODUCTION In his speech to the graduates of the Booker T. Washington High School, U.S President Barack Obama, said: Through education, you can better yourselves in other ways. You learn how to learn -‐-‐ how to think critically and find solutions to unexpected challenges. Education also teaches you the value of discipline -‐-‐ that the greatest rewards come not from instant gratification but from sustained effort and from hard work…with the right education, both at home and at school, you can learn how to be a better human being… The success of our economy will depend on your skills. (Obama, 2011) The purpose of this research is to investigate the relationship between parental involvement and student academic performance of Latin American families. Problem Statement The emotional attachment between parent and child prepares or predicts the quality of future relationships with teachers, peers and the emotions of the child. According to Jensen (2009), author of Teaching with Poverty in Mind, children who do not grow in a strong secure relationship with their parents often fail to learn appropriate emotional responses to everyday situations. This affects their school performance by creating a pattern of giving up on tasks, first at school, where they could get easily frustrated, and later beyond school. The pattern produces social dysfunction that affects job performance and social relations. Sar and Wulff (2003), authors of the article “Family Builders Approach: 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 68 Enhancing the Well-‐being of Children through Family-‐School Partnerships,” suggest that a child’s success in school is strongly influenced by parental involvement. Research on Latin Americans In this study, the word Latin American will be used to describe ethnic groups that belong to North, Central, and South America and who share similar traditions in which Spanish or Portuguese constitute the predominant language (Nicoletti, 2010; Feres, 2008). According to the National Council of La Raza (2007), Latin Americans under the age of 18 years of age are the second largest and fastest growing group of students in the United States. In 2003, nearly 2.9 million Latin Americans were enrolled in U.S high schools, representing 17 percent of all secondary public schools students. However, a lower percentage completed high school compared to non-‐Latin American peers (Kohler & Lazarin, 2007). The national report of the U.S Department of Education (2011) showed that the dropout rates for this population have decreased from 6.1 percent in 1972 to 3.4 percent in 2009. Also in 2009, the dropout rates for persons ages 15 through 24 was 4.8 percent for African Americans and 5.8 percent for Latin Americans compared to 2.4 percent for Whites. The national report also showed that a pattern developed over thirty-‐seven years in the dropout rate among Whites, African American, and Latin Americans. The White population decreased its dropout rate from 1972 through 1990, increased it from 1990 through 1995, and decreased it from 1995 through 2009. The rate among the African American population experienced a decline from 1972 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 69 through 1990 and saw an increase from 1990 through 1995; the report did not provide data for 1995 through 2009 for African Americans. The rate among the Latin American population saw no measurable change from 1972 through 1995, but saw a decrease from 1995 through 2009 (Chapman, Laird, Ifill, Kewal, Ramani, 2011). According to these data, the school drop-‐out rates of the Latin American population in the United States saw a decrease over a fourteen-‐year period. Relevance to Social Work Practice The current research is relevant to social work practice because cultural competency and social diversity are required in the undergraduate and graduate social work curriculum of the CSWE approved programs in the United States. This is stipulated in the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW, 2008)1. The National Council of La Raza states that Latin Americans have increased from 12 percent of the population in the year 2000 to 14 percent of the U.S total population in 2004, becoming the fastest-‐growing minority (Kohler & Lazarin, 2007). This trend continues as it is reflected in the latest Census Data (U. S. Census, 2010). The growth of the population has implications for social welfare practice, programs, policy, and education of social work. The article “Latino Population Growth, Characteristics, and Settlement Trends: Implications for Social Work Education in a Dynamic Political Climate (2007) suggests that the growth of the Latin American population presents a challenge to 1 See Appendix on page 133 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 70 the human services infrastructure because of the limited number of bilingual human service personnel and programs. This is especially true of personnel with knowledge of issues such as immigrant family structures, communication patterns, migratory experiences, and acculturation stress. In the same article, the authors De Hymes and Kilty state that being culturally competent and knowledgeable is required “to effectively serve and advocate on behalf of immigrants and their family members” (p.111). It is also important to understand the historical and current trends and how the United States has responded to these changes. The amount of Spanish, monolingual clients is increasing, but the number of skilled social workers able to speak Spanish is low. Data provided by the National Council La Raza indicate that the number of Spanish speakers in schools has increased from 17.5 percent in 1993 to 23 percent in 2004. Nearly half of all Latin American children are English Language Learners (ELL), and 75 percent are Spanish speakers (Kohler & Lazarin, 2007). Social workers could facilitate parental involvement in their children’s education by applying the role of mediator between home and school and preventive roles of trainer, resource developer, family educator, consultant and advocate (Feyl & Garza-‐ Lubeck, 1990). Theoretical background There are many children from Asia and Latin America who start school with a cultural and linguistic disadvantage, because they come from homes where English and Anglo Saxon customs are foreign (Curiel, 1990). This relates to the systems 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 71 theory as adaptation plays one of the major roles in the theory. “Adaptation may be directed to changing oneself in order to meet environmental opportunities or demands” (Friedman & Allen, 2011, p.12). Another assessment that is relevant when working with different cultures is the biopsychosocial development since social workers should not only evaluate the individual but also historical facts of the culture, family history, and societal context in order to provide a more effective intervention (Friedman & Allen, 2011). The exchange theory states how people minimize costs (living as an immigrant) and maximize rewards (the American Dream) through social exchange (National Catholic School of Social Service, 2008). This theory could be a way to understand some of the immigrant families and their children. According to the National Science Foundation 37 percent of immigrants in the United States come to the country for family-‐related reasons, 30 percent for educational opportunities, 21 percent for job opportunities, and 12 percent for other reasons such as scientific, professional infrastructure, and others (Kannankutty & Burrelli, 2007). The research “Parental Involvement and Expectations: Comparison Study between Immigrant and American-‐Born Parents (2004) states that parental involvement in education is intensely related to cognitive and social-‐emotional development, attendance and success in school and positive attitudes on education in children (Cakiroglu, 2004). This relates to the family systems theory, which suggests that family systems can influence an individual positively or negatively across their life span. (National Catholic School of Social Service, 2008). 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 72 Problem Statement The purpose of this research is to investigate the relationship between parental involvement and student academic performance in Latin American families. According to the data reviewed, the operational definition for parent will be a legal guardian or other person such as a grandparent or stepparent with whom the child lives, or a person who is legally responsible for the child’s welfare (No child left behind, 2004). The operational definition for the independent variable “ parental involvement” will be the one used by the No Child Left Behind policy, which is: participation of parents in regular two-‐way, meaningful communication involving student academic learning and other school activities, including ensuring—a) that parents play a fundamental role in assisting their child’s learning; b) that parents are encouraged to be actively involved in their child’s education at school; c) that parents are full partners in their child’s education and are included, as appropriate, in decision-‐making and on advisory committees to assist in the education of their child; and d) the carrying out of other activities, such as extracurricular activities (No Child Left Behind, 2004). The operational definition of the dependent variable “academic performance” will be the assigned final grade from an instructor to a student based on performance in the course measured by the standard letter grades A, B, C, D and F in different subject areas in addition to awards that the students received at school and the grade point average (Jost, 2008). Based on the related studies, in this research the operational definition for the second independent variable, “Latin American families,” as previously defined. 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 73 LITERATURE REVIEW In this literature review section there are topics related to parental involvement and academic performance of Latin American families starting with a historical background of Latin America and an explanation of the differences in the terms “Hispanics” and “Latinos,” following theories that some authors (Wen & Lin, 2012; Barac & B Bialystok, 2012; Rettig, 2002) have used in their research. This review includes characteristics of the Latin American population including challenges and limitations they face regarding parental involvement and academic performance. Various factors that influence the academic performance of students in Latin American families are discussed. Historical Background Latin American cultures have for more than 500 years experienced oppression by the hands of different colonists such as the Spaniards and the British who left cultural influences of African, Asian, Arabic and European beliefs and practices. The most evident and lasting influence of this oppression has been that by European Spaniards. Many parts of Latin America were conquered by Spaniards, who imposed their religion (Catholicism), belief systems, and power structure through acts of genocide, sexual violence, and language. Moreno and Guido, in Cultural Competence, Practice Stages, and Clients, Systems (2005) state that “it is believed that these historical events of violence, discrimination, and oppression have perpetuated 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 74 continued violence, drinking, and other maladaptive behaviors among many Latin Americans” (p. 91). Theories in the Review of Literature The amount of clients that speak Spanish is increasing, but there are a limited number of skilled social workers speaking Spanish. It is not only a matter of speaking the language, but also of understanding the cultural background and being competent to interpret the information given by the client. A social worker should be familiarized with the different idioms of each country, for example, mental diseases that manifest with different symptoms and the ways the Latin Americans express themselves. It is important to understand and be knowledgeable about the systems of care from the United States as well as the options that they might have had in their countries of origin. These are essential for assessment, planning, and intervention (Moreno & Guido, 2005). The collection of these data may be accomplished by using a culturagram, including the following categories on Figure 1. Figure 1. Culturagram (Congress, 2004) 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 75 Ecological Model Different studies (Barac & Bialystok, 2012; Rettig, 2002) utilized the Ecological Model to evaluate situation of clients from different cultures. This set of studies suggests that by implementing the Ecological model the behaviors and the rituals that a population develops through the generations to enable the group to function in its environment can be analyzed. Therefore, it makes easier the decision regarding interventions (Franklin & Soto, 2002). This model relates to the purpose of this research as social work practice focuses on the person, situation, the system, and its environment (Ashford, LeCroy, & Lortle, 2006). According to the research study Cultural Diversity and Play from an Ecological perspective (2002), the ecological theory is based on elements in the environment that can influence or determine a person’s behaviors. For example, when a social worker applies this theory she/he will become aware of things such as holidays, religions, and how disabilities are treated in the community in which they are working (Rettig, 2002). There are different components that can be evaluated and that influence a person’s behavior. This multidimensional framework assesses the person in different aspects: biophysically which refers to the client’s functioning in relation to physical implication; for example, medical history that the Latin American client could have had before, current physical condition and medical conditions that the client developed after arriving in the United States, interventions such as ones given in their country of origin. 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 76 Psychologically refers to the cognitive development and information processing of the client. For example, focusing attention, distinguishing reality, learning abilities, performance (including academic performance), self-‐perception, managing emotions, having compassion and understanding for others, and generating solutions to problems. �� Moreno and Guido state, “some Latinos have [a] tendency to express psychological distress through physical symptoms” (2005). Socially refers to institutions that influence the client such as family, community, society, the relationship that the client develops with these institutions, and problems that might arise between client and institution. Some examples are issues within the family or situations at work or school such as discrimination or poverty (Ashford, LeCroy, & Lortle, 2006). According to Moreno and Guido (2005), some societal, political, and cultural factors create limitations to the biopsychosocial in Latin Americans. Many of them experience a life under stressful circumstances, especially women who are not aware of their rights in the United States and who find themselves isolated from family or friends; this makes them an easy target for oppressors (YWCA, 2012). Other stressors are the difference in language, experiences of prejudice, and the migratory status (Moreno and Guido, 2005). The Social Exchange Theory suggests that people minimize costs and maximize rewards (National Catholic School of Social Service, 2008). The exchange of social and material resources is a fundamental form of human interaction (Illman, 1996). The book Cultural Competence, Practice, Stages, and Clients Systems (2005) states that many Latin Americans decided to surrender their families, roles, 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 77 statuses, and culture in order to acquire benefits that this country provides such as a free educational system, more job opportunities, security, and freedom in areas such as religion, public speaking and even sexual orientation. They have decided to give up something to receive other things in exchange. The Latin American presence in the United States is perceived as a recent issue, but the journal Latino Population Growth, Characteristics, and Settlement Trends: Implications for Social Work Education (2007) explains that Latin American cultures are actually a part of the foundation of the United States. On the other hand, various research journals show that the Latin American immigrant population had become the fastest growing population. It has become the largest minority population. In the year 2000, the Latin American population in Mississippi was 39,569, in 2004 it increased to 41,495 and for 2010 the Latin American population was of 81,481 (Ballvé, 2011; Census, 2010). According to the book Cultural Competence, Practice Stages, and Client systems (2005) the Latin American population is usually young “The mean age is 29, and the median age is 26.6 with almost equal numbers of males and females” (p. 89). Latin Americans are more likely than other non-‐ Latin Americans to live in poverty (Moreno & Guido, 2005). Latin Americans, documented or undocumented, face many challenges and limitations. Knowledge of these limitations and challenges is important for social workers to improve their cultural competence (De Hymes & Kilty, 2007). 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 78 Latin Americans in School The 2010 Census shows that the fastest growing population of Latin Americans is in the Southern area of the United States (Gilberstson, 2012). According to the statistics from the Mississippi Department of education (2012), there has been an increase in thousands of Latin American students in Mississippi public schools from the year 2004 to 2011 as shown in Figure 2. Figure 2. Latin-‐ Americans’ Enrollment La+n Americans' Enrollment Thousands 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 5, 397 6, 221 8,346 6,946, 9,481 10,515 11,358 12,308 In Marshall County the enrollment increased from 1 percent to 6 percent (from 2003 to 2011) and in Desoto County it grew from 3 percent in 2003 to 6 percent in 2011 (Mississippi Department of Education, 2012). Regardless of the increasing numbers in enrollment there is also an increasing number of dropouts among the Latin-‐American students (Franklin &Soto, 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 79 2002; Kohler & Lazarin, 2007; Chapman, Laird, & Ifill, KewalRamani, 2011) throughout the country. In 2008, the graduation rate for Latin-‐Americans was 47 percent compared to Whites (66 percent) and African Americans (57 percent) (Alliance for Excellent Education, 2012). Latin Americans’ educational attainment is more deficient than that of non-‐Latin Americans (Kohler & Lazarin, 2007; De Hymes, 2007; Han, 2012). Minority low-‐income students often find themselves situated in schools that almost seem to expect mediocrity from them as the highest financial support goes to schools where the percentage of U.S-‐born White, middle class or upper class students is the majority. In schools populated with minorities, there is often a lack of support such as incentives for teachers and resources (Han, 2012). Those schools are also overpopulated and often have teachers with less experience than those employed at better supported schools. Poorly supported schools highly populated by minorities lack advanced academic programs or after-‐ school enrichment activities (NWLC& MAIDEF, 2009). These inequities affect the academic performance of minorities. Latin Americans are less likely to enroll in advanced courses not because of lack of skill but in many cases due to their English proficiency levels (Kohler & Lazarin, 2007; Franklin & Soto, 2002). On the other hand, not all the English Language Learners (ELL) have low academic performance; many succeed as well or better than non-‐ELL children even when attending schools with insufficient resources and with high risk factors (Han 2012). 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 80 Parental involvement and Academic Performance About half (45 percent) of all Latin American children in the United States are ELL. The limited English proficiency affects the parental involvement and academic performance of children. It affects parental involvement because parents may not be able to understand notices and school forms sent to their homes. For example, “teacher talk” at a conference or open house may become overwhelming, since the language barrier makes the necessary exchange of information between parent and school difficult. In addition, parents may not realize the importance of their attendance or involvement in the school (Dixon, 2005). No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is an act designed for public schools to improve academic performance of students. This act held the public schools accountable for the performance of ELL students. The program measured its effectiveness by giving standardized tests in English within three years of a child’s entering the school system. Parental involvement is defined as a two-‐way “participation from parents, and meaningful communication involving student academic learning and other school activities including: assisting their child’s learning; being actively involved in their child’s education at school; serving as full partners in their child’s education and being included, as appropriate, in decision-‐making and on advisory committees to assist in the education of their child; and serving as full partners in their child’s education and being included, as appropriate, in decision-‐making and on advisory committees to assist in the education of their child; and carrying out of other activities such as those described in section 1118 section 9101(32)of the 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 81 ESEA”(NCLB Action Briefs: Parental Involvement, 2004). (ESEA stands for Elementary and Secondary Education Act which was enacted on April 11, 1965 to aid low income children.) Some of the activities that the ESEA outlines include: a) that parents play an important role in assisting their child’s learning; b) that parents are partner with their child’s education and are included, as appropriate, in decision-‐making and on advisory committees to assist in the education of their child) the carrying out of other activities, such as extracurricular activities (No Child Left Behind, 2004). Golan and Petersen (2002) suggest that if there were more programs in the parents’ primary language, parental involvement could increase and therefore the academic performance of their children. Schools that offer different programs where parents can participate for parental involvement, show more success regarding their children’s academic performance (Cotton & Wikelund, 1989). Studies support that there is a relationship between participation of parent(s) at school and at home with the child’s school-‐related duties (homework, projects, and others) and the academic performance (such as grades) in Latin American families (Moore, 1997; Han, 2012; Franklin & Soto, 2002; Cotton & Wikelund, 1989; Cakiroglu, 2004). Family monitoring is beneficial for school engagement of adolescents but not for middle-‐school children (Wen & Lin, 2012). The most effective forms of parenting involvement are those that engage parents in working directly with their children on learning abilities at home such as reading and helping with homework. 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 82 A study by Cotton and Wikelun in 1989 suggests that training in parental involvement such as intensive seminars that offer extensive training components do not have an effective impact on children’s academic performance in comparison to effects of seminars that are short and basic. According to the research study The Effects of Parental Interaction on the Success of Children (1997), socioeconomics (measured by the household income level) is another factor that affects parental involvement. Children of parents of a lower socioeconomic status tend to have lower academic achievement (Cakiroglu, 2004). However, research on Parental Involvement in Education (2012) states that a parent can inspire or create a difference in their children regardless of their own level of education. It is important to know about the social and economic diversity within the Latin American population as not all occupy the lower class (Moreno & Guido, 2005). One of the limitations for parental involvement in school programs for this population is a lack of programs in the parents' primary language (Golan & Partersen, 2002). Another irrefutable factor is migratory status. “Around 1.6 million children under the age of 18 are undocumented and 3 million children are native-‐born U.S. citizens but have undocumented parents” (Kohler & Lazarin, 2007). The study Listening to Latinas: Barriers to High School Graduation (2009) states, Children who are undocumented or who live in mixed-‐status families face a great deal of emotional stress, which undoubtedly takes a toll on their education and may also encounter financial or legal barriers to pursuing higher 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 83 education…. Sometimes kids don’t always know that they’re undocumented, in middle school they are starting to figure it out, but they don’t really understand—it’s a hard thing to comprehend . . . . [But some kids] are worried about being called by immigration—they are sometimes not allowed to answer the door and stuff in case it’s a raid. They are living in fear. In many instances, the negative perception of minority students by teachers is related to poorer performance as many parents feel embarrassment or shyness about their educational level or linguistic abilities and their lack of understanding about the school policies and activities (Cotton & Wikelund, 1989). The lack of a translator for example in Parent Teacher Association (PTA) meetings makes parents feel unwelcome (NWLC & MAIDEF, 2009). This limits the parental involvement in their child’s education. METHODOLOGY In this study, the dependent variable is student academic performance, which was measured by a survey and a household chart using questions that inquire about grades and recognitions that the children of the participants have received. The independent variables are parental involvement and Latin American families. The survey and chart also measured parental involvement using questions in the form of a Likert Scale. These questions required information about the parent’s participation in school activities and their assistance with educational tasks at home. The independent variable Latin American families was operationalized by asking information related 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 84 to the length of time that the family had been in the United States and the country of origin. This study was organized by planned observation. A sample population was chosen by nonprobability sampling. Snowball sampling was used to identify participants. Population Sample The sample population comes from a Hispanic United Methodist Church in the area of Horn Lake, Desoto County, Mississippi. Participants were interviewed based on availability. Criteria for participants were women and men who have children in the Desoto County school system and who identify themselves as Hispanic or Latino. The number of families that participated in this study was 14. Descriptions of Instrument The instrument for the research consisted of 47 questions. Questions 1 to 5 and 19 provide demographic data with questions about denomination, marital status, gender, and if the children of the participants attended a public of private school (findings about demographics are include in an appendix not included in this publication but available by request). Questions 32 to 47 provide information about the participants’ education in their native country, as well as information about their education in United States. The independent variable, parental involvement, was operationalized with questions 20 to 22 and 24 to 26, where the participants answered using a 5-‐ point Likert scale with the options always, most of the times, sometimes, rarely, and never and questions 43, 44, and 47to indicate how often they participate in their children’s 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 85 academic responsibilities. Questions 28 to 31 measured the participation of the parents in school activities. The independent variable “Latin American families” was operationalized on questions 8 to 18,34,37, and 40 by asking the participants if they identify themselves more often as Hispanic, Latin American, as other ethnic groups, and to rate their knowledge of English. The dependent variable “student’s academic performance” was measured by questions 41 and 42 that asked about the grades and awards of the children. Also, there was an open-‐ended question (16) for the participants whose children studied outside of the U.S. regarding any differences in the academic performance and what they identify as the reason (s). Some of the questions that used 5-‐ point Likert scale with the options always, most of the times, sometimes, rarely, and never were taken and adapted from Blue Ribbon Panel on Education Parental Involvement Survey (2005) and Mansfield (2009) which asked: How does parental involvement affect middle school students’ achievement? In order to create reliability a pilot study was previously conducted. This allowed the researcher to do test-‐retest and make comparisons between the results of the pilot and the final interviews. To ensure validity, this research used face validity by making different questions that measured parental involvement in different ways. This instrument was translated to Spanish, the participant’s primary language for the interview. The use of the participant’s primary language increased the level of participation as it was easier to establish rapport. 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 86 Procedure Participants were informed in a worship service that there would be a voluntary survey about parental involvement and the academic performance of children of Latin American families. The congregation was informed that the data collected was going to be confidential and was asked to answer to the best of their knowledge. The nonprobability sampling method employed snowballed as participants referred their friends to the researcher. Half of the interviews was done at the participants’ homes and the other half was done at the church. Analysis The information provided in the analysis shows cross tabulation tables of the variable academic performance (measure by GPA of the students per household and awards) and the variable parental involvement (measured by the parental assistance in homework, parental supervision of students’ notebooks/folder, parental visitations to school, and parental participation in parent-‐teacher conferences and school committees). Also included are cross tabulation tables of the characteristics GPA per of students per households and awards of the variable academic performance and Latin American families, measured by the characteristic of language and its relationship with the academic performance of students. In this study fourteen Latin American individuals were interviewed. The findings included students from first grade of elementary school to twelfth grade of 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 87 high school. To measure the variable “academic performance” a grade point average of the student per household was made according to a scale shown in Table 1 below. Table 1. GPA scale Letter grade A B C F Value 4.0-‐3.7 3.6-‐2.7 2.6-‐1.7 1.6-‐0.0 Table 2 provides essential information about students between first and twelfth grades and the grade point average per household. This average is based on information provided by the participants, regarding the students’ grades. Table 2. Students in Household and their GPA Families Grade level of students in household Number of students from 1st to 12th grades Family 1 Family 2 Family 3 Family 4 Family 5 Family 6 Family 7 Family 8 Family 9 3rd 10th 5th and 2nd 4th and 3rd 12th and 11th 3rd 10th, 6th, and 3rd 9th and 8th 10th and 9th 1 1 2 2 2 1 3 2 2 B B B B B A A B A GPA per household 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 88 Family10 Family 11 Family12 Family 13 Family14 9th 2nd 2nd and 1st 2nd 4th and 3rd 1 1 2 1 2 A A B A A Table 3, shows that 14.3 percent of the households where students received help when they asked for it are less likely to make B’s compared to 28.6 percent of students that receive help always. Therefore, it shows that there is a relationship between how often Latin American students receive assistance with homework from their parents and their academic performance (measured by the GPA). Table 3. Students’ GPA and Homework Assistance Students’ GPA Always A B Total N= 14 3 (21.4%) 4 (28.6%) 7 (50%) Parental help in homework A few times 2 (14.3%) 3 (21.4%) 5 (35.7%) 0 2 (14.3%) 2 (14.3%) When asked Total 5 (35.7%) 9 (64.3%) 14 (100%) Table 4 shows that the students who always (14.3 percent ) or sometimes (14.3 percent) receive assistance from their parents with school projects, achieve better than those who receive help most of the time (7.1 percent) or never (0 percent). 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 89 Table 4. Students’ GPA and Parent’s Assistance in School Projects Students’ GPA Always Parental assistance with School Projects Most of the time A B Total 2 (14.3%) 4 (28.6%) 6 (42.9%) 1 (7.1%) 1 (7.1%) 2 (14.3%) 2 (14.3%) 3 (21.4%) 5 (35.7%) 0 1 (7.1%) 1 (7.1%) 5 (35.7%) 9 (64.3%) 14 (100%) Sometimes Never Total N= 14 According to Table 5, there is a relationship between the academic performance of the Latin American students and how often their parents monitor their folders/ notebook. Those students whose parents check their folders/notebooks most of the time (14.3 percent) achieve lower than those whose parents answered always (21.4 percent). Table 5. Students’ GPA and Parental Monitoring of folders/notebook Students’ GPA Always A B Total N=14 3 (21.4%) 4 (28.6%) 7 (50%) Parental Monitoring of Folders/notebook Most of the time 2 (14.3%) 5 (35.7%) 7 (50%) Total 5 (35.7%) 9 (64.3%) 14 (100%) 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 90 Table 6 shows that students whose parents visit their school when necessary (42.9 percent) are more likely to have a “B” GPA than those whose parents visit school multiple times (0 percent) or often (14.3 percent). Table 6. Students’ GPA and Parental visitation to School Students’ GPA Multiple times Parental visitation to School Often When necessary A B Total 1 (7.1%) 0 1 (7.1%) 2 (14.3%) 3 (21.4%) 5 (35.7%) 2 (14.3%) 6 (42.9%) 8 (57.1%) 5 (35.7%) 9 (64.3%) 14 (100%) Total N= 14 Table 7a shows that parents who have difficulties with participating in parent-‐teacher conferences (P-‐T Conferences) do not have a strong influence on their children’s academic performance. In the data collected 21.4 percent have a “A” GPA, and 7 percent of the students whose parents do not participate in P-‐T Conferences have an “A” GPA. Table 7a. P-‐T Conference Difficulties Students’ GPA Yes A B Total 1 (7%) 5 (36%) 6 (42.9%) Difficulty for Parental Participation in P-‐T Conferences No 3 (21.4) 4 (28.6%) 7 (50%) No answer 1 (7%) 0 1 (7.1%) Total 5 (36%) 9 (64%) 14 (100%) 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 91 N=14 As shown in Table 7b, the greatest difficulty for parents to participate in a conference with a teacher is the lack of translation (35.7 percent), followed by time (14.3 percent). Table 7b. P-‐T Conference Difficulties Reasons No translation Time Time and no translation Not applicable to participant Total Percentage 5 (35.7%) 2 (14.3%) 1(7.1%) 6(42.9%) 14 (100%) N=14 According to Table 8, there is not a strong relationship between the involvement of a parent on school committees and the academic performance of Latin American students. Students whose parents do not participate in a school committee (28.6 percent) achieve higher than those whose parents do participate in a school committee (7.1 percent). Table 8. Parental Participation in School Committees Students’ GPA Parents’ participation in a School Committees Yes No Total 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 92 A B Total N=14 1(7.1%) 1(7.1%) 2(14.3%) 4 (28.6%) 8 (57.1%) 12 (85.7%) 5 (35.7%) 9 (64.3%) 14 (100%) Table 9 shows that Latin American students who use English (14.3 percent) have a higher academic performance than those who use Spanish only (7.1 percent), revealing that the language spoken by students influences their academic performance. Table 9. Language Used by Latin American Students and Students’ GPA Students’ GPA A B English only 2 (14.3%) 5 (35.7%) 7 (50%) Language Used by Students Spanish only Both 1(7.1%) 3 (21.4%) 4 (28.6%) 2 (14.3%) 1(7.1%) 3 (21.4%) Total 5 (35.7%) 9 (64.3%) 14 (100%) Total N=14 For Latin American students whose parents communicate with them in Spanish, 50 percent did not receive an honor roll award and only 14.3 percent did receive an award for being on honor roll. But, they are more likely to receive an award for being on honor roll in comparison to students whose parents communicate in English only or in English and Spanish. (Shown in Table 10). Table 10. Award for Honor Roll and Language used from Parent to Student Honor Roll award Language used from Parent to Student English Spanish Both Total 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 93 Receive an award Did not Receive an award Total N=14 1(7.1%) 1(7.1%) 2 (14.3%) 3 (21.4%) 7 (50%) 10 (71.4%) 2 (14.3%) 0 2 (14.3%) 6 (21.4%) 8 (57.1%) 14 (100%) Table 11 shows that there is a relationship between the language that children speak and whether or not they receive awards (perfect attendance, honor roll, principal’s list, good citizenship). Students who use English and Spanish (50 percent) are more likely to receive awards than those who only speak English (21.4 percent) or Spanish only. Table 11. Language and awards Receive Awards Language Used by children Spanish only English only Spanish and English Yes No Total N=14 0 1 (7.1%) 1 (7.1%) 3 (21.4%) 2 (14.3%) 5 (35.7%) 7 (50%) 1 (7.1%) 8 (57.1%) 10 (71.4%) 4 (28.6%) 14 (100%) Total CONCLUSION Golan and Petersen, authors of the research Promoting Involvement of Recent Immigrant Families in Their Children’s Education (2002), suggest that if there were more programs in the parents’ primary language, parental involvement could increase and therefore the academic performance of their children. In this study, 6 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 94 (42.9 percent) of the participants reported difficulties with participating in P-‐T Conferences. When asked to explain the reason, five (35.2 percent) identified the lack of translation as the major inhibitor of parental participation in conferences. This supports Golan and Petersen’s suggestions. Other studies (Moore, 1997; Han, 2012; Franklin & Soto, 2002; Cotton & Wikelund, 1989; Cakiroglu, 2004) support that there is a relationship between participation of parent(s) at home with the child’s school-‐related duties (homework, projects, and others) and academic performance in Latin American families. This study confirms that there is a relationship between how often Latin American students receive assistance in homework from their parents and their academic performance (measured by the GPA) and that students who “always” or “sometimes” receive assistance from their parents with school projects achieve better than those who receive help “most of the time” or “never.” Family monitoring is beneficial for school engagement of adolescents, but not for middle school children (Wen & Lin, 2012). This study shows that there is a strong relationship between the academic performance of Latin American students and how often their parents monitor their folders/ notebook. Implications The article “Children and School,” in the NASW journal, states that it is usually believed that a child’s success in school is strongly influenced by parental involvement (Sar & Wulff, 2003, p.241). This research is relevant to social work because it contains information, which would increase the knowledge for practice 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 95 competencies related to culture. This research is not only beneficial to social work professionals but also to parents as well as educators to have a better understanding of facts and issues that may affect the academic performance of Latino students. Limitations Two limitations for this research study were that the sampling population was not varied and large enough to develop a comprehensive study and a lack of adequate time to reach potential participants for extended interviews. References Alliance for Excellent Education. (2012). Mississippi high schools. Alliance for Excellent Education [PDF document]. Retrieved September 13, 2012, from http://www.all4ed.org/files/Mississippi_hs.pdf Ashford, J., LeCroy, C., & Lortie, K. (2006). Human behavior in the social environment: a multidimensional perspective. (3rd ed). Belmont, CA: Thomson Inc. Ballvé, M. (2011). Latinos in Mississippi: A force for reconstruction. New America Media. Retrieved on September 13, 2012, from http://newamericamedia.org /2011/09/latinos-‐in-‐mississippi-‐a-‐force-‐for-‐reconstruction.php Barac, R. & Bialystok, E. (2012). Bilingual effects on cognitive and linguistic development: role of language, cultural, background, and education. Child Development. 83, (2), 413-‐422. Blue ribbon panel on education. (2005). Parental Involvement Survey 2005[PDF document]. Retrieved November 23, 2011, from https://volunteer.ocps.net/ forms/BlueRibbon-‐ParentSurvey-‐050222.pdf Cakiroglu, S. (2004). Parental involvement and expectations: comparison study between immigrant and American-‐born parents. UT Dallas [PDF documents]. Retrieved on September 6, 2012 from http://www.utdallas.edu/scimathed/res ources/SER/SCE5308_s04/PARENTAL_INVOLVEMENT_EXPECTATIONSC.pdf 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 96 Census Interactive Population Search. (2010). 2010 Census. Retrieved September 13, 2012, from http://2010.census.gov/2010census/popmap/ ipmtext. Php ?f l =28 Chapman, C., Laird, J. Ifill, N. KewalRamani, A. (2011). Trends in high school dropout and completion rates in the United States: 1972-‐2009. U.S Department of Education [PDF document]. Retrieved on September 4, 2012 from http:// nces.ed.gov/pubs2012/2012006.pdf Congress, E. (2004). Cultural and ethical issues in working with culturally diverse patients in and their families: the use of the culturagram to promote cultural competent practice settings. University of Arizona [PDF document]. Retrieved on October 13, 2012 from http://www.hispanichealth.arizona.edu/cultural% 20and%20ethical%20issues%20working%20w%20diverse%20patients%20cul turagram%20(2).pdf Cotton, K. & Wikelund, K. (1989). Parental involvement in education. School Improvement Research Series. Retrieved on September 12, 2012 from http:// educationnorthwest.org/webfm_send/567 Curiel, H. (1990). Bilingual education and the American dream: a bridge or a barrier? Social Work in Education, 13 (1), 7-‐21. De Hymens, M. Kilty, K. (2007). Latino population growth, characteristics, and settlement trends: implications for social work education in a dynamic political climate. Social Work Education, 43 (1), 101-‐115 Department of Education. (2012). Mississippi Assessment and Accountability Reporting System. Department of Education. Retrieved on September 15,2012 from http://orsap.mde.k12.ms.us/MAARS/maarsMS_TestResultsProcessor.jsp? userSessionId=260&EmbargoAccess=0&TestYear=2010&TestPanel=1 Dixon, J. (2005). Limited English proficient (LEP) parent involvement project: a guide for connecting parents and schools. Bridging Refugee Youth & Children Services [PDF document]. Retrieved on October 13, 2012 from http://www. brycs.org/documents/upload/LEP-‐Parent-‐Involvement-‐Project-‐User-‐Guide.pdf Ennis, S. & Albert, N. (2011). The Hispanic population 2010. 2010 Census Brief. Retrieved on October 14, 2012 from http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/ briefs/c2010br-‐04.pdf Feres, J. (2008). La historia del concepto Latin América en los Estados Unidos de América. (2nd Ed). Espain: Cantabria University. 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 97 Feyl, N., Garza-‐Lubeck, M. (1990). Multicultural approaches to parent involvement. Social Work in Education. 13(1), 22-‐33. Franklin, C. & Soto, I. (2002). Keeping Hispanic youth in school. Children & School, 24 (3), 137-‐200. Friedman, B. & Allen, K. (2010). Systems Theory. Brandell, J. (2 Ed). Theory & practice in clinical social work [PDF document]. SAGE Publications, Inc. Retrieved on September 6, 2012 from http://www.sagepub.com/upm-‐ data/32947_Chapter1.pdf Gant, L. & Gutierrez, L. (1996). Effects of culturally sophisticated agencies on Latino social workers. Social Work, 41 (6), 624-‐ 631. Gilberstson, A. (2012). Rise in Spanish speakers has school trying to adapt. National public radio. Retrieved on September 15, 2012 from http://www.npr.org/2012 /01/04/144670575/rise-‐in-‐spanish-‐speakers-‐has-‐school-‐trying-‐to-‐adapt Golan, S., Petersen, D. (2002). Promoting Involvement of recent immigrant families in their children’s education. Harvard Family Research Project. Retrieved on September 6, 2012 from http://www.hfrp.org/family-‐involvement/ publications-‐resources/promoting-‐involvement-‐of-‐recent-‐immigrant-‐families-‐ in-‐their-‐children-‐s-‐education Han, WJ. (2012). Bilingualism and academic achievement. Child Development. 83 (1), 300-‐321. Illman, D. (1996). Pathbreakers. Office of Research. Retrieved on September 14, 2012 from http://www.washington.edu/research/pathbreakers/1978a.html Jensen, E. (2009). Teaching with poverty in mind. United States: ASCD Press. Retrieved on November 7, 2011 from http://www.ascd.org/publications /books/109074/chapters/How-‐Poverty-‐Affects-‐Behavior-‐and-‐Academic-‐ Performance.aspx Jeynes, W. (2005). Parental Involvement and Student Achievement: A Meta-‐Analysis. Retrieved on November 7, 2011 from Harvard Family Research Project: http://www.hfrp.org/publications-‐resources/browse-‐our-‐publications/ parental-‐involvement-‐and-‐student-‐achievement-‐a-‐meta-‐analysis Jost, B. (2008). The relationship among academic performance, age, gender, and ethnicity in distance learning courses delivery by two year colleges (p. 6). Ann Arbor: ProQuestLLC. Kannankutty, N. &Burrelli, J. (2007). Why did they come to the United States? A profile of immigrant scientists and engineers. Science Resources Statistics [PDF 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 98 Mansfield, A. (2009). How does parental involvement affect middle school students’ achievement? Ohio University [PDF document]. Retrieved on September 6, 2012 from http://www.cehs.ohio.edu/resources/documents/Mansfield_2009.pdf Moore, D. (1997). The effects of parental interaction on the success of children. Undergraduate Research Journal. 6, 122-‐133. Moreno & Guido. (2005). Social Work Practice with Latin Americans. Cultural Competence, Practice Stages, and Client Systems. Book/Cole Cengage Learning: USA. National Association of Social Workers (2008). Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers: NASW Press. National Catholic School of Social Service. (2008). Overview of theories of human behavior and the social environment. National Catholic School of Social Service [PDF document]. Retrieved on September 6, 2012 from http://ncsss.cua.edu/ res/docs/field/theories.pdf NCLB Action Briefs: Parental Involvement. (2004.). National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education (NCPIE). Retrieved October 14, 2012, from http:// www.ncpie.org/nclbaction/parent_involvement.html Nicoletti, K. (2010). Habla Español? Working with Spanish speaking victims/survivors in rural settings. Purdue University [PDF document]. Retrieved on 8/30/12 from http://ccasa.org/wp-‐content/themes/skeleton/documents/ Publications_Habla-‐Espanol-‐Working-‐with-‐Spanish-‐speaking-‐Victims.pdf No Child Left Behind. Department of Education. (2004). Parental Involvement: Title I, part A. Retrieved from www.ed.gov/programs/titleiparta/parentinvguid.doc NWLC & MAIDEF. (2009). Listening to Latinas barriers to high school graduation. National Women’s Law Center and Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund [PDF document]. Retrieved on October 13, 2012 from http: //www.maldef.org/assets/pdf/ListeningtoLatinas.pdf Kohler, A., Lazarin, M. (2007). Hispanic education in the United States. National Council of La Raza: Issue Brief.8 [PDF document].Retrieved on September 5, 2012 from http://www.nclr.org/images/uploads/publications/ file_SB8_HispEd_fnl.pdf document]. Retrieved on September 6, 2012 from http://www.nsf.gov/ statistics/infbrief/nsf07324/nsf07324.pdf 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 99 Obama, B. (2011) .Commencement address at booker t. Washington high school. Presidential Rhetoric. Retrieved on September 4, 2012 from http://www. presidentialrhetoric.com/speeches/05.16.11.html Passel, J. & Taylor, P. (2009). Who’s Hispanic? Pew Hispanic Center [PDF document]. Retrieved on August 28, 2012 from http://www.pewhispanic.org/files/reports/ 111.pdf Rettig, M. (2002). Cultural diversity and play from an ecological perspective. Children & Schools, 24 (3), 175-‐187. Santa Ana, O. (2004). Is there such a thing as Latino identity? American Family: Journey of Dreams. Retrieved on October 13, 2012 from http://www.pbs.org/ americanfamily/latino2.html Sar, B., & Wullf, D. (2003). Family builders approach: Enhancing the well-‐being of children through family-‐school partnerships. Children & School, a Journal of the National Association of Social Workers, 25(4), 241. Wen, M. & Lin, D. (2012).Child development in rural china, children left behind by their migrants parents and children of non-‐ migrant families. Child Development, 83 (1), 120-‐136. YWCA of Greater Memphis: Eliminating Racism, Empowering Women -‐ About Us. (2012). YWCA of Greater Memphis: Eliminating Racism, Empowering Women -‐ Home. Retrieved August 5, 2012, from http://www.memphisywca.org/about-‐ us. 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 100 RUNNING HEAD: ELECTING BLACK MAYORS Electoral Politics and Race: The Election of Eddie L. Smith as Mayor of Holly Springs, Mississippi, 1985 and 1989. Tineka Barber ABSTRACT In 1989, Eddie Smith Jr. made history by becoming the first African American to be elected Mayor of Holly Springs, Mississippi. Four years prior, Smith’s first bid for mayor was unsuccessful. The primary objective of this study is to perform a comparative analysis examining the population demographics, newspaper coverage and voter turnout in the mayoral campaigns of several notable African American candidates. The earlier campaigns are juxtaposed to Smith’s election to determine whether a national paradigm for electing black mayors exists. A secondary objective is to analyze the degree to which a shift in African American population in Holly Springs and/or campaign strategies contributed to the success or failure of Eddie Smith’s mayoral campaigns. The primary questions that this study seeks to answer are (1) did the population increase of African Americans in Holly Springs catapult Smith to victory? And, (2) did he employ a racial or deracial strategy to galvanize large voter turnout? 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 101 INTRODUCTION Holly Springs, Mississippi is located in Marshall County, which was established in 1836. As of 2010 the population of Holly Springs, Mississippi is 7,699, which is 3.24 percent less than it was in 2000 (USA, 2012). The population growth rate is lower than the state and national average rates. Blacks represent 79.23 percent of the population. Holly Springs has been majority black for a long time (A. DeBerry, personal communication, September 18, 2012). This level of concentration is due to the fact that a lot of blacks moved to Holly Springs during and after the Civil War and stayed, (Refer to Table 1). In addition, the establishment of Rust College in 1866 helped maintain a large portion of the black population. DeBerry, current mayor, believes that Holly Springs has been transitioning progressively in the last 25 to 30 years. However, before 1989, regardless of the black population’s majority status, no African American had ever occupied the office of mayor. The purpose of this study is to analyze and compare the factors that contributed to the election of the first black mayor of Holly Springs. In 1989, Eddie Lee Smith Jr. made history by becoming the first African American to be elected Mayor of Holly Springs, Mississippi. Four years prior, Smith had run unsuccessfully for mayor. However, he was reelected for three consecutive terms including terms in 1993 and 1997. During terms in office, he improved race relations more than any elected official in Holly Springs (Oliver, 2009). Smith’s focus on community unity and the economic development of all citizens of Holly Springs repaired the relations between blacks and whites. During Mayor Smith’s Administration, the City of Holly Springs experienced phenomenal economic 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 102 growth, improvement in the local school districts, and an aura of unity. Most importantly, African Americans, during the Smith era, began to participate fully in the political process after nearly a one hundred year hiatus (Oliver, 2009, p.21). Additionally, this study will shed light on the following questions: (1) Do the factors that led to the election of Eddie Smith as mayor emulate the national paradigm for electing black mayors in America? (2) What are the circumstances that explain Smith’s victory in 1989, as compared to his defeat in 1985? And (3) What were the voting population dynamics of the City of Holly Springs and how did newspaper coverage impact the elections in 1985 and 1989? The Purpose of the Study and Theoretical Considerations The purpose of this study is to delineate the factors that led to the election of the first African American mayor in Holly Springs. There are two independent variables and one dependent variable. The first independent variable is racial/deracialized strategy and the second is population shift. The dependent variable is voter turnout. For the purpose of this study, racial/deracialized strategy can be defined as a campaign strategy that either focuses on race-‐specific issues or avoids them (McCormick & Jones, 1993). Population shift can be defined as a change in the relative numbers of African Americans making up the population in Holly Springs. Equally important, voter turnout can be operationalized as the total number of voters who participated in the elections in Holly Springs. Gilliam (1975) defines black politics as the process of articulating black needs and of eliciting white response. On the other hand, Preston, Henderson, and 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 103 Puryear (1982) noted that electoral politics represented a new way for blacks to gain equality and have some significant policy implications that included improving the social and economic condition of blacks and the belief that more can be gained from working in the system than outside it. By 1974, the growth of black mayors in the nation had increased to 108 from 29 in 1968. In short, the participation and influence of the black community has made a difference because it has given blacks the independence they have always been looking for in the political arena. Preston et al., (1982) believe that despite the gains made by blacks in public office, they still have not achieved their policy goals. According to Preston et al., (1982) black political leadership can provide resources in ways that can benefit the black community. For instance, Mayor Maynard Jackson of Atlanta, Georgia insisted on minority participation in all jobs and building projects by companies that do business in his city Strategies for electing Black Mayors Some of the strategies for electing black mayors include the percentage of the black population and coalitions. (Preston et al., 1983) The percentage of the black population is important because if the population is over 50 percent it works in the favor of the black mayor. Coalition strategies are important as well because they helps elect mayors in cities that are not predominately black. Preston et al., (1982) gives five different coalitions that could possibly result in the election of a black mayor. 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 104 The first is a conservative coalition of blacks and a city’s white businesses and financial community. Alliances of this type existed in Atlanta before the election of Maynard in 1973. Richmond’s current mayor Roy West was elected in this manner as well. Second, blacks can form an alliance with lower-‐income whites. However, culture and politics in the South make this strategy difficult to accomplish for black candidates. The third possibility is a liberal coalition of blacks and Hispanics, labor unions and liberal whites. This coalition is common in contemporary municipal elections. The fourth is an independent black political strategy. The cities of Washington, Detroit, Gary, and Newark used this strategy. The fifth is crossover voting (Preston et al., 1982). Additionally, Stone (1968) claims that in order to gain the black vote three preconditions must exist: black voter cohesion, a two-‐way split of the vote, and the political oscillations of fragile loyalties among blacks. If black candidates get supporters to the polls in large numbers and create alliances, they can have success. Stone (1968) has also suggested nine preconditions for black candidates to be successful in campaigns. They include being recognized as a serious candidate by the black community, the belief of the black community that the candidate has a chance to win, the black community uniting in a solid bloc vote, the black candidate having strong organization, good campaign techniques, and plenty of money; and campaigning for the white vote as well as the black vote. The black candidate must be a member of the majority party, no other candidate of significance should enter the race, there should be a minimum of one-‐third black voters in the city, and the 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 105 media must endorse the black candidate or remain neutral. These preconditions can reveal what conditions had a direct effect on the election of Eddie Smith. Significance of the Study This study will illuminate and assess the factors that influenced the election of an African American mayor in a rural North Mississippi town. The prevailing body of literature only covers the circumstances of black mayors elected in urban areas. Moreover, this study assesses political paradigms across urban and rural terrains to determine commonalities and differentiation useful for political scientists to determine effective strategies for electing African American candidates. African Americans remain underrepresented in all public offices (Nelson & Horne, 1974). Furthermore, this research highlights the changing population dynamics of the electorate and how minority candidates have benefited from these changes. This paper continues with a literature review that gives an overview of the political history of Holly Springs, the history of electing African American mayors in the United States, and information on Eddie Smith’s mayoral elections in 1985 and 1989. The methods to be used to describe Smith’s successful election are discussed to evaluate the circumstances surrounding his campaign. Additionally, the paper reveals the results that came from the investigation of information available in The South Reporter, the community newspaper of Marshall County since 1865. Finally, the paper concludes with all of the significant implications discovered during the research. 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 106 REVIEW OF LITERATURE Two periods are important to the development of Holly Springs’ political culture: the Post-‐Civil War Period and the Civil Rights Era starting in the 1950s and ending in the 1980s. In 1862, slavery virtually ended in Holly Springs (Oliver, 2007). The city’s population at that time was 2,987; 1,912 were white and 1,074 were African American. By 1870, the population had changed; in 1870 out of 2,406 residents, 1,500 were African American. Due to the epidemic of the yellow fever in 1878, the total population dropped to 1,200 African Americans and 300 whites (Sylvester, 2007). Like African Americans elsewhere between 1863 and 1870 there were four pieces of legislation that affected blacks in Holly Springs politically. First, the Emancipation Proclamation (1863) freed slaves in the rebellion states and freed others after the Civil War. Secondly, the 13th Amendment (1865) abolished slavery in the United States. Thirdly, the 14th Amendment (1868) gave citizenship to the newly freed slaves. And finally, the 15th Amendment (1870) granted African American males the right to vote. From 1863-‐1877 African Americans in Holly Springs experienced the period of Reconstruction. During this period, the Reconstruction Act of 1867 brought African Americans into the arena of politics for the first time (Oliver, 2007). The act was designed to give African Americans social and political rights that they had not enjoyed before. Several African Americans rose during this period of political freedom. In 1870, Alexander Phillips was the first African American appointed to 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 107 serve as a Public School Board Director for Marshall County. In 1871, out of the 552 registered voters in Holly Springs 350 were African American. This same year, Logan Gorman and Mack Hill were the first African Americans elected to the Board of Aldermen in Holly Springs. George Albright became the first African American from Marshall County to serve in the Mississippi Senate from1874 to 1878 (Oliver, 2007). Additionally, seven African Americans served in the Mississippi House of Representatives from Marshall County between 1872 and 1883 (Oliver, 2007). They were, Robert Cunningham, James Hill, Alfred Peel, A.A. Rodgers, G.C. Shelby, Adam Simpson and R. Williams. Despite these political gains by African Americans, by 1877 their political fate had changed. The federal troops had been withdrawn from the South, taking way the only federal enforcement of equal rights African Americans had. By 1890, African Americans had once again been disenfranchised; the Mississippi Legislature had passed new voting laws (Oliver, 2007). The next major era in the African American campaign for political office would be the Civil Rights Era. In the late 1950s, there were two civil rights organizations that worked to help African American communities politically and economically (Oliver, 2009). These two organizations were the Regional Leadership Council (RLC) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The Marshall County branch of NAACP was organized by S.T. Nero, a prominent figure in the Civil Rights Movement in the county (Oliver, 2009, p.1). By 1957, the RLC’s major goal was to increase the number of blacks on voter rolls. 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 108 According to Oliver (2009), African Americans were not free politically because in the early 1950s and 1960s nearly 18,000 African Americans in Marshall County could not vote. Due to the disenfranchisement, racial tensions would explode. In Mississippi counties where the population of African Americans was over seventy percent fewer than fifty African Americans were registered to vote out of almost 8,000 potential voters (Oliver, 2009, p.3). Of the miniscule number of African American voters, most were not active in their participation. Motivated, however, to gain voting rights for all, protest from African Americans in Marshall County officially started in the 1960’s. Before then, African Americans were afraid to speak out because of intimidation and violent tactics used against them. Also, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) came to Marshall County under the leadership of Robert Moses to organize voter registration drives and to develop African Americans in Mississippi as a political force. Frank Smith was sent by SNCC in 1962 to organize voter education drives. In 1964 the Freedom Summer project came to Holly Springs. SNCC was led by the Council of Federated Organization (COFO) to create a summer voter registration project (Oliver, 2009). The summer project was first led by Ivanhoe Donaldson. The project had three objectives: to expand African American voter registration, to open/operate freedom schools, and to organize Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) precincts. On July 26, 1964 the first Freedom Day took place; there were fifty applicants. At the end of that day, out of the fifty applicants forty five passed the 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 109 voter registration test (Oliver, 2009). Throughout July and August several freedom days were held to register voters. By the 1960s, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voter Rights Act of 1965 allowed blacks to regain their voting rights. By 1968, thousands of African Americans in Marshall County were registering to vote, making it possible for them to be elected to such positions as members of the board of supervisors, coroner, sheriff, tax collector, and members of the election commission, constables, school superintendents, school board members, city alderman and mayors (Oliver, 2009). For example, in 1977, Eddie Smith became the first African American alderman since Reconstruction. Osborne Bell became the first African American coroner (1966-‐1979) and Sheriff (1979-‐1986) in Holly Springs. The work of SNCC and COFO made it possible for African Americans to vote and participate in the political process in Holly Springs and other places around the country. Without a doubt, the Civil Rights Era in Holly Springs became the most influential period since Reconstruction (Oliver, 2009, p.21). African Americans made their breakthrough in the mayoral office with the elections of Richard Hatcher and Carl Stokes in 1967 (Chalmers, 2002). Hatcher was elected mayor of Gary, Indiana, and Stokes was elected mayor of Cleveland, Ohio. Over the next thirty years black mayors were elected in several cities including, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Birmingham and Dallas. Even cities that did not have majority black populations, like Denver, Ann Arbor, and Spokane elected black mayors. In most cities African American mayors got elected by sweeping energized black electorates, combined with a sufficient portion of 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 110 liberal white, Jewish, gay and Latino voters. Chalmers (2002) also cites race, performance in office, and political alliances as important factors to electing African Americans to office. By the end of the 1960’s, urban political campaigns had taken the stage from the civil rights movement (Chalmers, 2002). During this time, African Americans fought for participation in the politics and out of all the mayors that ran for political office only Richard Hatcher (Gary, Indiana) Andrew Young (Atlanta, Georgia) Marion Berry (Washington, DC) and Carl Stokes (Cleveland, Ohio) were elected during the Civil Rights Movement. Moreover, the protest of the Civil Rights Movement shifted to politics during this time period (Preston et al., 1982). This meant that the search for equality shifted to political participation and brought on an era of new black politics. Electing Black Mayors According to O’Loughlin and Berg (1977), strong challenges were made by black candidates for the office of mayor in the cities of Detroit, Los Angeles and Atlanta in 1969. O’Loughlin and Berg’s study analyzed the electoral support for mayoral candidates in six elections. This study specifically used these three cities because they had nonpartisan ballots. Of the five mayoral elections analyzed in this paper, only three of the preconditions suggested by Stone (1968) were not met. Based on the analysis of this study two more preconditions may be added. The first includes a black candidate previously running for the office of mayor, and, second, the turnout of black voters must be greater than that of white voters 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 111 (O’Loughlin & Berg, 1977). In O’Loughlin’s (1980) study on the election of black mayors, it showed significant changes in the electoral support of black mayors in 1977. In the previous study, O’Loughlin & Berg (1973) examined the bases of electoral support for black mayors in Detroit, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. They found that black mayors were elected in cities in 1973 because of black bloc-‐voting, small support from the white population, and higher black voter turnout. However, in the 1977 study these predictions were used to test and evaluate electoral trends since 1973 in Detroit, Los Angeles, Atlanta and New Orleans. Based on the 1977 elections, there were new trends seen in the mayoral elections with black candidates. Trends included black bloc-‐voting, and large white support. Furthermore, this study emphasized social cleavages as a determinant of vote choice and showed that neighborhood factors such as race are declining as black candidates are gaining more white support in elections (O’Loughlin, 1980, p.370). This means that social factors such as race are no longer affecting African American elections and that African Americans are gaining more white support because of this. Another study examined the elections of four minority mayors: Henry Cisneros in San Antonio in 1981, Federico Pena in Denver, Harold Washington in Chicago, and Wilson Goode in Philadelphia, all in 1983 (Munoz & Henry, 1986). Before the election of Mayor Washington, Chicago had been dominated by machine politics. The election of Washington marked an electoral transformation and a political coming of age for blacks. This transformation occurred because of an increase in the black population, a fact that led to an increase 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 112 in registration and turnout. Another factor that helped Washington’s election was a split vote (Munoz & Henry, 1986). Philadelphia on the other hand had a Republican machine that remained active until 1951 (Munoz & Henry, 1986). In 1983, when Goode ran for mayor he had to attract more white support than did Washington. Of the four cities studied, Chicago had the greatest potential for maintaining rainbow coalitions. The findings from this study support the political incorporation theory of Browning, Marshall, and Tabb (1984) with some differences. Mayors were elected because of coalitions, the size of the minority population, white support, organizational development, and political experience of minorities. Munoz and Henry (1986) also found that the political systems in those cities had become more open over the years because of political incorporation. By electing black mayors, blacks have become involved in the policymaking process. In order to keep the momentum, blacks will have to maintain rainbow coalitions. In addition, Stovall (1996) illustrated why it was so difficult for African Americans to get elected to Detroit’s official class. This study illustrated how African Americans from Detroit were elected at state and federal levels before they were elected at the city level. However, on November 6, 1973 Detroit finally elected a black mayor, Coleman Young. The factors that led to his election were the continual exodus of white residents from the city, the addition to voting rolls of predominantly African American votes in the eighteen to twenty-‐one age bracket, and a much higher registration among African Americans (Stovall, 1996, p.202). 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 113 Another study analyzed black mayors in 309 cities from 1971-‐2000 (Marschall & Ruhil, 2006). This study found that race, black representation on city council, black educational attainment and reformed governments led to election of black mayors in the 309 cities observed. On the other hand, Southern states and partisan elections did not help increase mayors in America (Marschall & Ruhil, 2006). Additionally, Orey and Ricks (2007) did a study on how the deracialization concept could have negative impacts on the black community. In 1989, the concept of deracialization gained notoriety because a lot of African American candidates captured victories in majority-‐white electoral jurisdictions. Some of the mayors elected during this election were David Dinkins from New York, Norman Rice from Seattle, and Chester Jenkins from Durham, North Carolina. The research in this study created a quantifiable variable for measuring deracialization (Orey & Ricks, 2007, p.330) Cooper (2012) explored how black mayoral candidates in Denver have succeeded while black mayoral candidates in Boston have not. However, Wellington Webb was the first black mayor of Denver elected in 2003. Surprisingly, Boston has a greater black population but still has not elected a black mayor (Cooper, 2012). Only two blacks in Boston have run for the office of mayor. Some reasons why Boston has not elected a black mayor include a relatively small population, long-‐ serving incumbents and limited opportunities for African Americans. To deeply explore how black mayoral candidates have succeeded in Denver the campaigns of Webb and Hancock were examined. According to Cooper, neither of the candidates 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 114 was expected to win. Both candidates were pro-‐business, moderate Democrats, and they assembled broad coalitions (Cooper, 2012, p.4). Until 1991, Memphis was the only majority black population that had not elected a black mayor (Vanderleeuw, Liu, & Marsh, 2004, p.505). At that time, former school superintendent Willie W. Herenton was elected as mayor in Memphis (Vanderleeuw et al., 2004). Vanderleeuw et al., (2004) gave several reasons why an African American had not earlier been elected as mayor. These reasons include racial reflexivity, divided black leadership, and in-‐fighting competition among blacks. Herenton was elected as Mayor three times. In 1991, Herenton was elected as mayor because he was the only black candidate and also because of heavy mobilization of the black electorate. In 1995, Herenton was re-‐elected because of forging a biracial coalition that gained him a third of the white vote. In 1999, Herenton was elected again with a vote-‐plurality. In a study on the election of Jackson, Mississippi’s first black mayor, Orey (2005) used three research questions to determine the extent to which the media of the Clarion Ledger racialized the 1993 and 1997 mayoral elections of Harvey Johnson. Each news item was coded by campaign issues, mention of race, the placement of the story, and the tone of the overall news item. The findings of this study revealed that in contrast to the 1993 mayoral election, in 1977 the media decreased its mention of race. This change in media is argued to have contributed to Mayor Johnson’s victory. The findings did not however offer evidence of the Clarion Ledger using race as an issue in either election (Orey, 2005). 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 115 1985 Mayoral Election of Eddie Smith During the 1985 primary election in Holly Springs, six candidates sought the office of mayor. Among the six, five were white and one was African American. D. Rook Moore, a graduate of Mississippi School of Law and a practicing attorney in Holly Springs for nineteen years, was the first to announce in The South Reporter his candidacy for mayor. Eddie Lee Smith Jr., the only African American candidate, announced his candidacy on March 21. His qualifications included professional training (Master of Business Administration), four years as Alderman, and forty years of experience in the community in many areas. Bill Fitch announced his candidacy as well. His qualifications included his having been the first vice-‐ president of the Chamber of Commerce and a member of the board of directors. John D. Brown, the fourth candidate, listed his previous positions as Alderman at large and Mayor Pro-‐Tempore, chairman of trustees, president of Holly Springs Development Corporation, and Director of the Chamber of Commerce as his qualifications. The last two candidates were Johnny Alldredge and Thomas Boone. Some of Thomas Boone’s experience came from his Bachelor Degree in Mechanical Engineering, sales engineering, and real estate. Eddie Smith had been a long-‐time local civil rights leader, and he employed a deracialized strategy. For the duration of his campaign he avoided making reference to race-‐specific issues. He also employed a coalition-‐building strategy (A. DeBerry, Personal Communication, September 18, 2012). During the 1985 primary, 2,200 voters cast their ballots. Smith received 39 percent of the vote, Brown received 22 percent, Boone received 18 percent, Fitch received 8 percent, Moore received 7 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 116 percent, and Alldredge received 2 percent. In the runoff election Brown defeated Smith with 52 percent of the vote. According to Smith, Brown defeated him because he was able to gain five percent of the black vote. The 1989 Mayoral election In the 1989 election, three candidates ran for the office of mayor, two of them white. The two whites were William (Bill) Minor, a business owner, and Scott Robinson, a part-‐time pharmacist at Robinson’s Drugstore. The African American candidate was Eddie L. Smith, Jr. Of the three candidates, Smith took 46 percent, Robinson took 28 percent, and Minor took 26 percent of the vote. This set the stage for a runoff between Smith and Robinson. The first results showed that Robinson had defeated Smith by 342 votes to win the race for Mayor of Holly Springs in a record-‐setting runoff (Webb, 1989). It was alleged however that Robinson in fact had received a substantial vote to defeat his opponent, Robinson with 1,151 votes and Robinson with 1,209 votes. DeBerry questioned this result, reasoning that his winning Alderman-‐at-‐large indicated that Smith should have won Mayor. The votes, he argued, were parallel. Typically, the people that voted for DeBerry would have voted for Smith (A. DeBerry, Personal communication, September 18, 2012). A week following the ’89 election, the Democratic Executive Committee would declare Smith the winner of the Holly Springs Mayoral race (Webb, 1989). When originally declared the loser of the election, Smith challenged the results; stating that the name of his opponent and his had been reversed on the electronic voting machine. Also, Shoupe Voting Machine 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 117 Company revealed testimony that their company committed an error, which switched names on the ballots so that when voters had pressed a button to vote for Smith, the machine had recorded a vote for Robinson. Smith eventually won with 56 percent of the vote, becoming the first African American mayor of the city. METHODOLOGY This study employs methods of historical analysis and collection of quantitative data to bring light to the circumstances under which Eddie Lee Smith, Jr. was elected Mayor of Holly Springs. Population demographics of Marshall County from Reconstruction to 1989 will be examined. Second, voter turnout will be examined to demonstrate the impact it had on the 1985 and 1989 mayoral elections. Last, the local press’ coverage of the election will be analyzed to see if the media racialized Mayor Smith’s campaign efforts. The newspaper used in this study is The South Reporter. This study argues that the print media racialized the 1985 mayoral election, which caused Smith to be unsuccessful in winning the office of mayor in his first bid. In a racialized election between white and black opponents, anti-‐black sentiments are likely to surface and make it hard for a black candidate to get vote support from the white electorate (Orey, 2005). The Purpose of the Study As mentioned earlier, the purpose of this study is to delineate the factors that led to the election of the first African American mayor in Holly Springs. There are two independent variables and one dependent variable. The first independent 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 118 variable is racial/deracialized strategy, and the second is population shift. The dependent variable is voter turnout. For the purpose of this study racial/deracialized strategy can be defined as a campaign strategy that either focuses on race-‐specific issues or avoids them (McCormick & Jones, 1993). Conversely, population shift can be defined as a change in the relative numbers of African Americans making up the population in Holly Springs. Equally important, voter turnout can be operationalized as the total number of voters who participated in the elections. The secondary data used to conduct this study was newspaper coverage of the mayoral elections of 1985 and 1989 in The South Reporter. Similar to Reeves, Jefferies, and Orey (1997, 2000, & 2005) this study examines whether the newspaper items made a reference to race. Each news item was coded on the basis of the key campaign issues, the race of the candidate, date of the story, placement of the story, and the tone of the overall news item. First, the number of items that included a reference to the race of the candidate was recorded. Secondly, the number of items that included a reference to any aspect of race in discussing the electorate or campaign issues was recorded. Finally, the tone of the news item was classified as favorable, somewhat favorable, unfavorable, balanced or neutral (Jefferies, 2000). A favorable news item included any news item that identified only positive aspects of the candidate or his campaign. Conversely, an unfavorable news item only focused on negative aspects of the candidate or his campaign. A somewhat favorable news item made reference to both positive and negative aspects of the candidate or his campaign while the number of positive aspects outweighed negative aspects. Similarly, a somewhat unfavorable news item 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 119 made reference to both positive and negative aspects of the candidate or his campaign but the number of negative aspects outweighed the positive. A balanced news item made references to both positive and negative aspects of the candidate or his campaign. A neutral news item did not make any positive or negative references to the candidate or his campaign. The tone of Smith’s campaign news coverage in the two elections (1985 and 1989) was compared to ascertain media bias. The unit of analysis is each newspaper item. Validity is another important factor to take into account. Validity “describes a measure that accurately reflects the concepts it is intended to measure” (Babbie, 2010, p.12). In this study, the instrument is analyzing how the news coverage racialized Mayor Smith’s campaign efforts and if the voter turnout for Mayor Smith increased from 1985 to 1989. This study contains content validity, the “the degree to which a measure covers the range of meaning included within a concept” (Babbie, 2010, p.3). The mayoral elections in Holly Springs during the years of 1985 and 1989 are studied on a local level. This gives the study its content validity. This study is valid because it will show whether the media racialized the campaign and if the voter turnout for Eddie Smith increased during the elections in 1985 and 1989. Content analysis, “the study of recorded human communications,” was used to examine the articles and ads published in the South Reporter. (Babbie, 2010, p.333) The timeframe of the analysis extends from January 1 of the election year until election day in 1985 and 1989. In 1985, twenty-‐seven news items dealing with the election were coded for The South Reporter. In 1989, twenty-‐one news items were coded. If 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 120 the percentages of racial references are high in both campaigns one can infer that the news coverage of The South Reporter racialized the campaigns of Mayor Smith. If the percentages of racial references are not high in both campaigns one can infer that the news coverage of The South Reporter did not racialize the campaigns of Eddie Smith. FINDINGS The type of data used for analysis consists of four multivariate tables, two bivariate tables, and one univariate table. Two of the multivariate tables identify the issues of the campaigns reported in The South Reporter in the mayoral elections of 1985 and 1989. The other two multivariate tables report the tone of the South Reporter’s campaign coverage in the mayoral elections of 1985 and 1989. The bivariate tables show the population of Marshall County from 1860-‐1980 and the voter turnout by ward in the 1985 mayoral election. The univariate table will show the voter turnout in the 1989 mayoral election. Analysis Table 1: Marshall County Population by Race Census Year 1860 1870 White 11,376 (39.46%) 12,917 (43.91%) Black & Other 17,447 (60.54%) 16,499 (56.09%) 18,338 (62.53%) 16,312 (62.64%) Total Population 28,823 (100%) 29,416 (100%) 29,330 (100%) 26,043 (100%) 1880 10,992 (37.47%) 1890 9,731 (37.36%) 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 121 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 8,966 (32.39%) 7,454 (27.81%) 7,264 (27.82%) 7,093 (28.52%) 7,556 (29.60%) 7,374 (29.37%) 7,264 (29.64%) 9,101 (37.87%) 13, 647 (46.58%) 18,708 (67.61%) 19,342 (72.19%) 18,841(72.18%) 17,776 (71.48%) 17,966 (70.40%) 17,732 (70.63%) 17,239 (70.36%) 14,926 (62.13%) 15,649 (53.42%) 27,674 (100%) 26,796 (100%) 26,105 (100%) 24,869 (100%) 25,522 (100%) 25,106 (100%) 24,503 (100%) 24,027 (100%) 29,296 (100%) As stated earlier, racial dynamics between the populations in Marshall County have impacted the voting body since the end of Reconstruction, blacks at that time largely disenfranchised at city and county levels. However, the black population and the voting base in the area increased during the post 1960’s era as blacks moved from neighboring counties to work in factories newly opened in Holly Springs in the 1970s and ‘80s. Table 1 shows the population of Marshall County a year before the Civil War until twenty years after the Civil Rights Movement. It shows how the population fluctuated over the years and how by 1980 the county had its biggest population since Reconstruction. The population shift eventually put African Americans in Holly Springs in the position to elect the first African American mayor because it gave them more in numbers than any other race. Yet, the office of mayor could not be won until a Black candidate could garner at least 10-‐20 percent of the white vote. Mayor Smith accomplished this when he was elected in 1989. 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 122 Table 2: Voter Turnout for the 1985 Mayoral Election in Holly Springs, MS. Mayor Brown Ward 1 101 (7.92%) Smith 323 (27.73%) In the 1985 runoff between John D. Brown and Eddie L. Smith Jr., Brown received 1,274 votes to Smith’s 1,165 of the 2,439 total votes. Of his 1,274 votes, Brown received 7.92 percent from Ward 1, 9.10 percent from Ward 2, 45.22 percent from Ward 3, and 37.76 percent from Ward 4. Of Smith’s 1,165 votes, 27.23 percent came from Ward 1, 38.89 percent came from Ward 2, 15.27 percent came from Ward 3, and 18.11 percent came from Ward 4. When assessing this election there are some important considerations to take into account. They include the fact that Wards 1 and 2 are predominately African American and that Wards 3 and 4 are predominately white. This is important because it explains the disparity in votes among the wards. It explains why Smith received substantial votes in Wards 1 and 2 but not in Wards 3 and 4. It also explains why Brown had a heavy margin of victory in Wards 3 and 4, which were due to approximately 65 to 75 more voters coming out, electors who did not come out in the primary election (Webb, 1985). In this election Brown received a larger turnout because he was able to garner at least five percent of the black vote. In Mayor Smith’s opinion, the reason he did not win the election was because whites were not ready to vote for blacks. 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 123 Ward 2 116 (9.10%) 453 (38.89%) Ward 3 576 (45.22%) 178 (15.27%) Ward 4 481 (37.76%) 211 (18.11%) Total 1274 (100%) 1165 (100%) Table 3: Voter Turnout for the 1989 Mayoral Election in Holly Springs, MS. Mayor Smith Robinson Total In the 1989 runoff between Scott Robinson and Eddie Smith Jr., Smith Votes 1,543 (56.47%) 1,189 (43.53%) 2,732 (100%) received 1,543 votes and Robinson received 1,189 votes out of the 2,732 votes that were cast. Of those accounted votes, Smith received 56.47 percent and Robinson received 43.53 percent. In the 1989 election Smith was able to galvanize a larger voter turnout than in the 1985 election because of his ability to form coalitions with youth and his ability to siphon a percentage of the white vote. In general, more voters turned out in 1989 than in 1985. However, data for the 1989 election at the ward level was not available as previously shown in the 1985 election. Table 4: Campaign Issues Identified in the South Reporter Coverage of the 1985 Mayoral Primary Election Holly Springs, MS. Issue Jobs Business Economic Development N 22 16 14 Percent 81% 59% 51% 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 124 Drugs Crime Education Race Taxes Neighborhood Poverty 12 8 7 5 4 2 1 44% 29% 25% 18% 14% 7% 3% Among the twenty-‐seven news items in The South Reporter pertaining to the 1985 mayoral election, jobs were the most mentioned item at 81 percent. Most of the candidates thought that if the residents of Holly Springs had more jobs it would eliminate crime and poverty. Business was also an important news item in the 1985 campaign. It was mentioned 59 percent of the time. Among the candidates Eddie Smith mentioned business the most. His platform was effective management, which wanted to invest in the people and businesses in Holly Springs. The issue of economic development was identified approximately 51 percent of the time. Other major issues that were identified in the 1985 campaign included drugs (44 percent), crime (29 percent), education (25 percent), race (18 percent) and taxes (14 percent). Nevertheless, The South Reporter’s coverage of the 1985 election did not conform to the previous finding of media bias in biracial political contest (Reeves, 1997; Jefferies, 2000). The least mentioned issues in the 1985 campaign included, neighborhoods (7 percent) and poverty (3 percent). 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 125 Table 5: Campaign Issues Identified in the South Reporter Coverage of the 1989 Mayoral Primary Election Holly Springs, MS. Issue Economic Development Jobs Business Education Environment Taxes Race Neighborhoods Police/Fire Department Among the twenty-‐one news items on the 1989 mayoral election published in The South Reporter, 14 percent of them made reference to race. In 1989, there was a 4 percent decrease in the number of items that mentioned the race of candidates compared to 1985. This decrease is significant because it created a less racialized political environment that positively impacted the campaign efforts of Smith. All three of the items in the 1989 election that mentioned race were included towards the last few weeks of the campaign and were within the first five pages of The South Reporter. Similarly, the other important news items published on the 1989 mayoral election were economic development (38 percent), jobs (33 percent), 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 126 N 8 7 7 5 5 3 3 2 1 Percent 38% 33% 33% 23% 23% 14% 14% 9% 4% business (33 percent), education (23 percent), environment (23 percent), and taxes (14 percent). The least mentioned issues in the 1989 mayoral election were neighborhoods (9 percent) and police/fire department (4 percent). Table 6: Tone in the South Reporter’s Campaign coverage of the 1985 Mayoral Election in Holly Springs, MS. Tone Favorable Somewhat Favorable Balanced Neutral Somewhat Unfavorable Unfavorable Smith 7% (2) 11% (3) 3% (1) 14% (4) 0% (0) 0% (0) Moore 11% (3) 0% (0) 0% (0) 3% (1) 0% (0) 0% (0) Fitch 22% (6) 7% (2) 0% (0) 3% (1) 0% (0) 0% (0) Brown 18% (5) 0% (0) 3% (1) 3% (1) 0% (0) 0% (0) Alldredge 0% (0) 0% (0) 0% (0) 7% (2) 0% (0) 0% (0) Boone 14% (4) 0% (0) 0% (0) 7% (2) 0% (0) 0% (0) ( ) = Total number of news items Table 6 reveals that Smith received 7 percent of favorable news coverage. A favorable news item is one that only identifies positive aspects of the candidate or 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 127 his campaign. Moreover, Fitch received 22 percent of the news items that mentioned his name. This was the highest percentage received by any of the candidates. The next highest was the 18 percent received by Brown who was the mayor-‐elect for 1985. Other favorable news coverage included Boone (14 percent) and Moore (11 percent). The vast majority of all the candidates’ news items fell under the neutral category. None of the candidates’ news items were unfavorable. In the somewhat favorable news category Smith received 11 percent and Fitch 7 percent. In the balanced category, Smith and Brown received 3 percent. In the neutral category, Moore received 3 percent, Smith 14 percent, Fitch and Brown 3 percent, and Alldredge and Boone 7 percent. Table 7: Tone in the South Reporter’s Campaign coverage of the 1989 Mayoral Election in Holly Springs, MS. Tone Favorable Somewhat Favorable Balanced Neutral Smith 9% (2) 0% (0) 9% (2) 23% (5) Robinson 19% (4) 0% (0) 0% (0) 9% (2) Minor 33% (6) 0% (0) 0% (0) 9% (2) 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 128 Somewhat Unfavorable Unfavorable 0% (0) 0% (0) 0% (0) 0% (0) 0% (0) 0% (0) ( ) = Total number of news items Table 7 reveals that Smith received 9 percent of favorable news coverage. This finding also reveals that Smith had more coverage in this election than in the one in 1985. Conversely, Robinson and Minor received 19 percent and 33 percent of favorable coverage respectively. Also, Smith received 9 percent of balanced coverage in the news items that mentioned his name. Another interesting finding was that Smith received more neutral coverage (23 percent) than he did in 1985; this shows that the media was racially unbiased in 1989. Additionally, Robinson and Minor received 9 percent of neutral coverage. CONCLUSION The findings from this study reveal that the population shift in Holly Springs from Reconstruction to 1980 had a direct effect on the larger voter turnout that elected Holly Springs’ first African American mayor. This study agreed with previous research (Preston et al., 1983) that some of the strategies for electing black mayors include the percentage of the black population and the use of coalitions. These are two factors that made a difference in Mayor Smith’s successful campaigns. 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 129 Also, the explanation for Mayor Smith’s victory in 1989 when compared to his defeat in 1985 is the fact that he was able to garner some 10-‐20 percent of the white vote (Gibbes, 1989). Furthermore, this study of Mayor Smith’s bids for office concurs with (Stone, 1968) preconditions for black candidates to be successful in campaigns. In detail, Mayor Smith had strong organization, good campaign techniques; he campaigned for the white vote as well as the black vote (deracial strategy), and the media for the most part remained neutral for the duration of his campaigns. This study shows that the factors that elected Smith as mayor emulate the national model for electing black mayors in America. Additionally, this study agreed with previous research that the media was not biased in biracial political contests (Orey, 2005). This study revealed that race received little attention in both elections. Therefore, The South Reporter did not engage in racially polarizing news coverage during the 1985 and 1989 elections because the percentage of racial references was not high in either election. The limitation and weakness of this study was the unavailability of information, the limited number of interviews and the inability to obtain a copy Smith’s speeches. References Babbie, E. (2010). The practice of social science (12th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning. Bullock, C. (1984) Racial crossover voting and the election of Black officials. Journal of Politics. 44, 238-‐251. Chalmers, D. (2002). Black mayors. Retrieved from http://becklibrary.emory.edu/ southernchanges/article.php?id=sc24-‐3-‐4_021&keyword=thejournalof thesouthernregionalcouncil, 1978-‐2003. 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 130 Cooper, K.J. (2012). Denver and Boston: Why one city elects black mayors and the other has not. Trotter Review 20 (1), 1-‐30. Retrieved from http://scholar works.umb.edu/trotter_review/vol20/iss1/5. Gibbes, D. (June 25, 1989). Mayor-‐elect wants to make a difference. p. 1A. Gilliam, R.E. (1975). Black political development: An advocacy analysis. Port Washington, N.Y. Dunellen Publishing Company Inc. Jeffries, J.L. (2000). Virginia’s native son: The election and administration of governor L. Douglas Wilder. West Lafayette, Indiana: Purdue University Press. Marschall, M.J. & Ruhil, A.V. (2006). The pomp of power: Black mayoralties in urban America. Social Science Quarterly 87 (4), 829-‐850. McCormick, J.P. II & Jones E.C. (1993). “The conceptualization of deracialization" in dilemmas of Black politics. New York: Harper Collins College Publishers, 66-‐ 84. Munoz, C., & Henry, C. (1986). Rainbow coalitions in four big cities: San Antonio, Denver, Chicago, and Philadelphia. PS Summer, 598-‐609. Nelson, W.E. & Horne, W.V. (1974). Black elected administrators: The trails of office. Public Administration Review 34 (6), 526-‐533. Retrieved from http://www. jstor.org/stable/974347. Oliver, Sylvester, O. (2007, March 15). African Americans in 19th century Holly Springs. Retrieved from http://www.southreporter.com/2007/ wk10/ sylvesteroliver.html. Oliver, Sylvester. (2009). Sweetening the Magnolia. Unpublished manuscript. O’Loughlin, J. & Berg, D.A. (1977). The election of black mayors, 1969 and 1973. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 67 (2), 223-‐238. Retrieved from http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici. O’Loughlin, J. (1980). The election of Black Mayors, 1977. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 70 (3) 353-‐370. Retrieved from http://links.jstor.org/ sici?sici= Orey, B.D. (2005). Framing race: The election of the first African American Mayor of Jackson, Mississippi. Faculty publications: Political Science. Paper 23. Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/poliscipub/23. 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 131 Orey, B.D & Ricks, B.E. (2007). A systematic analysis of the deracialization concept. Faculty Publications: Political Science. Paper 24. Retrieved from http://digitialcommons.unl.edu/poliscifapub/24. Preston, M. B., Henderson, L. J., & Puryear, P. (1982). The new black politics: the search for political power. New York & London: Longman. Preston, M. B., Henderson, L. J., & Puryear, P. L. ( 1987). The new black politics: The search for political power. (2nd ed). New York & London: Longman. Reeves, K. (1997).Voting hopes or fears? : White voters, Black candidates, and racial politics in America. New York: Oxford University Press. Stone, C. (1968). Black political power in America. Indianapolis: Bobbs-‐Merrill, Inc. Stovall, A. J. (1996). The growth of Black elected officials in the city of Detroit. NewYork: Edwin Mellen. USA.com. Holly Springs, MS population and races. Retrieved September 23, 2012, from www.usa.com/hollysprings-‐ms-‐population-‐and-‐races.htm. Vanderleeuw, J., Liu, B., & Marsh, G. (2004). Applying the Black threat theory, urban regime theory, and deracialization: The Memphis mayoral elections of 1991, 1995, and 1999. Journal of Urban Affairs 26 (4), 505-‐519. Webb, W. (May 23, 1985). Brown wins. South Reporter, pp.1A. Webb, W. (May 4, 1989) Robinson & Smith in mayor’s runoff; DeBerry, Calhoun meet for at-‐large. South Reporter, 1A. Webb, W. (May 18, 1989). Robinson wins Mayor; DeBerry alderman post; Collins short by three votes. South Reporter,1A-‐3A. Webb, W. (May 25, 1989). Committee hands win to Smith in mayor race; Robinson may appeal. South Reporter,1A-‐3A. 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 132 Appendix 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 133 Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers Approved by the 1996 NASW Delegate Assembly and revised by the 2008 NASW Delegate Assembly The 2008 NASW Delegate Assembly approved the following revisions to the NASW Code of Ethics: 1.05 Cultural Competence and Social Diversity (c) Social workers should obtain education about and seek to understand the nature of social diversity and oppression with respect to race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, marital status, political belief, religion, immigration status, and mental or physical disability. 2.01 Respect (a) Social workers should treat colleagues with respect and should represent accurately and fairly the qualifications, views, and obligations of colleagues. (b) Social workers should avoid unwarranted negative criticism of colleagues in communications with clients or with other professionals. Unwarranted negative criticism may include demeaning comments that refer to colleagues’ level of competence or to individuals’ attributes such as race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, marital status, political belief, religion, immigration status, and mental or physical disability. 4.02 Discrimination Social workers should not practice, condone, facilitate, or collaborate with any form of discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, marital status, political belief, religion, immigration status, or mental or physical disability. 6.04 Social and Political Action (d) Social workers should act to prevent and eliminate domination of, exploitation of, and discrimination against any person, group, or class on the basis of race, 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 134 ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, marital status, political belief, religion, immigration status, or mental or physical disability. Purpose of the NASW Code of Ethics Professional ethics are at the core of social work. The profession has an obligation to articulate its basic values, ethical principles, and ethical standards. The NASW Code of Ethics sets forth these values, principles, and standards to guide social workers’ conduct. The Code is relevant to all social workers and social work students, regardless of their professional functions, the settings in which they work, or the populations they serve. The NASW Code of Ethics serves six purposes: 1. The Code identifies core values on which social work’s mission is based. 2. The Code summarizes broad ethical principles that reflect the profession’s core values and establishes a set of specific ethical standards that should be used to guide social work practice. 3. The Code is designed to help social workers identify relevant considerations when professional obligations conflict or ethical uncertainties arise. 4. The Code provides ethical standards to which the general public can hold the social work profession accountable. 5. The Code socializes practitioners new to the field to social work’s mission, values, ethical principles, and ethical standards. 6. The Code articulates standards that the social work profession itself can use to assess whether social workers have engaged in unethical conduct. NASW has formal procedures to adjudicate ethics complaints filed against its members.* In subscribing to this Code, social workers are required to cooperate in its implementation, participate in NASW adjudication proceedings, and abide by any NASW disciplinary rulings or sanctions based on it. The Code offers a set of values, principles, and standards to guide decision making and conduct when ethical issues arise. It does not provide a set of rules that prescribe how social workers should act in all situations. Specific applications of the Code must take into account the context in which it is being considered and the possibility of conflicts among the Code‘s values, principles, and standards. Ethical responsibilities flow from all human relationships, from the personal and familial to the social and professional. Further, the NASW Code of Ethics does not specify which values, principles, and standards are most important and ought to outweigh others in instances when they conflict. Reasonable differences of opinion can and do exist among social workers with respect to the ways in which values, ethical principles, and ethical 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 135 standards should be rank ordered when they conflict. Ethical decision making in a given situation must apply the informed judgment of the individual social worker and should also consider how the issues would be judged in a peer review process where the ethical standards of the profession would be applied. Ethical decision making is a process. There are many instances in social work where simple answers are not available to resolve complex ethical issues. Social workers should take into consideration all the values, principles, and standards in this Code that are relevant to any situation in which ethical judgment is warranted. Social workers’ decisions and actions should be consistent with the spirit as well as the letter of this Code. In addition to this Code, there are many other sources of information about ethical thinking that may be useful. Social workers should consider ethical theory and principles generally, social work theory and research, laws, regulations, agency policies, and other relevant codes of ethics, recognizing that among codes of ethics social workers should consider the NASW Code of Ethics as their primary source. Social workers also should be aware of the impact on ethical decision making of their clients’ and their own personal values and cultural and religious beliefs and practices. They should be aware of any conflicts between personal and professional values and deal with them responsibly. For additional guidance social workers should consult the relevant literature on professional ethics and ethical decision making and seek appropriate consultation when faced with ethical dilemmas. This may involve consultation with an agency-based or social work organization’s ethics committee, a regulatory body, knowledgeable colleagues, supervisors, or legal counsel. Instances may arise when social workers’ ethical obligations conflict with agency policies or relevant laws or regulations. When such con-flicts occur, social workers must make a responsible effort to resolve the conflict in a manner that is consistent with the values, principles, and standards expressed in this Code. If a reasonable resolution of the conflict does not appear possible, social workers should seek proper consultation before making a decision. The NASW Code of Ethics is to be used by NASW and by individuals, agencies, organizations, and bodies (such as licensing and regulatory boards, professional liability insurance providers, courts of law, agency boards of directors, government agencies, and other professional groups) that choose to adopt it or use it as a frame of reference. Violation of standards in this Code does not automatically imply legal liability or violation of the law. Such determination can only be made in the context of legal and judicial proceedings. Alleged violations of the Code would be subject to a peer review process. Such processes are generally separate from legal or administrative procedures and insulated from legal review or proceedings to allow the profession to counsel and discipline its own members. 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 136 A code of ethics cannot guarantee ethical behavior. Moreover, a code of ethics cannot resolve all ethical issues or disputes or capture the richness and complexity involved in striving to make responsible choices within a moral community. Rather, a code of ethics sets forth values, ethical principles, and ethical standards to which professionals aspire and by which their actions can be judged. Social workers’ ethical behavior should result from their personal commitment to engage in ethical practice. The NASW Code of Ethics reflects the commitment of all social workers to uphold the profession’s values and to act ethically. Principles and standards must be applied by individuals of good character who discern moral questions and, in good faith, seek to make reliable ethical judgments. Ethical Standards The following ethical standards are relevant to the professional activities of all social workers. These standards concern (1) social workers’ ethical responsibilities to clients, (2) social workers’ ethical responsibilities to colleagues, (3) social workers’ ethical responsibilities in practice settings, (4) social workers’ ethical responsibilities as professionals, (5) social workers’ ethical responsibilities to the social work profession, and (6) social workers’ ethical responsibilities to the broader society. Some of the standards that follow are enforceable guidelines for professional conduct, and some are aspirational. The extent to which each standard is enforceable is a matter of professional judgment to be exercised by those responsible for reviewing alleged violations of ethical standards. 1. SOCIAL WORKERS’ ETHICAL RESPONSIBILITIES TO CLIENTS 1.05 Cultural Competence and Social Diversity (a) Social workers should understand culture and its function in human behavior and society, recognizing the strengths that exist in all cultures. (b) Social workers should have a knowledge base of their clients’ cultures and be able to demonstrate competence in the provision of services that are sensitive to clients’ cultures and to differences among people and cultural groups. (c) Social workers should obtain education about and seek to understand the nature of social diversity and oppression with respect to race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, marital status, political belief, religion, immigration status, and mental or physical disability. 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 137 To read the full Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers, please visit: http://www.socialworkers.org/pubs/code/default.asp 1866: Rust College Journal of Student Research – Social Science 138