Lessons about Gay and Lesbian Lives: A Spaceship Exercise

Jennifer Hillman, Renee A. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


We designed an active learning activity to allow students to experience stereotyping and consider the social stigma often directed toward gays and lesbians. We used an unusual fictional scenario to alleviate students' concerns about impression management and permit them to experience the role of someone faced with discrimination without the automatic recognition of gay stereotypes. Sixty-eight undergraduates gave the activity positive evaluations along a variety of dimensions. Although the long-term effect remains unclear, analysis of students' pretest and posttest scores on the Homophobia Scale (Wright, Adams, & Bernat, 1999) suggested that this activity fosters more positive attitudes toward gays and lesbians. This exercise is suitable for introductory, social, educational, clinical, and abnormal psychology courses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)308-311
Number of pages4
JournalTeaching of Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • General Psychology


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