Accessibility to Media and Its Relation to Stigmatization toward Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Individuals: a Study among 2nd Year Midwifery Students in Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Background: Stigmatization and discrimination toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people are regularly reported. Both, in urban and in rural areas, LBGT individuals experience marginalization and detachment from the community. The media plays a major role in providing information related to LGBT people and HIV-AIDS since stigmatization and discrimination toward LBGT people are largely caused by inadequate knowledge related to HIV and AIDS transmission. The study aimed to examine the relationship of accessibility to media and the midwifery students’ attitudes toward LBGT.
Methods: The study employed a descriptive analytic method with a cross sectional approach. A total of 120 postgraduate midwifery students in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, who agreed to be involved in the study were recruited as participants.
Results: The vast majority of respondents (92.5%) lived in urban boarding homes and had no difficulty accessing media and obtaining reliable information related to LGBT people. Respondents expressed negative attitudes toward LGBT people; the data shows 28% unwilling to be in close proximity to LGBT people; and 90% agreed that parents should keep their children away from LGBT people because they are considered to be very dangerous. Although respondents’ access to media information is relatively good, their attitudes toward LGBT people are distorted based on their roles as health providers and as a family member. When it comes to their children, respondents perceived that it is important to protect their children from LGBT people for safety reasons; whilst in the working place, the vast majority of respondents agreed that LGBT people should not be discriminated.Conclusion: The misconception towards LGBT people highlights the urgent need for providing correct health education for lay people and health providers. Inconsistence and ambiguous attitudes toward LGBT people provides excellent evidence that the existing knowledge is not sufficient. With the role of media as a double edged-sword, there is a need for government and health providers to accurately and continuously provide health education for the general population in order to reduce stigmatization and discrimination toward LGBT people.
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