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Riddle defined


 Homosexuality is seen as a ’crime against nature.’ Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) people are sick, crazy, immoral, sinful, or wicked. Anything is justified to change them, including: prison, hospitalization, negative behaviour therapy, and electroshock therapy.


 Hetersexual chauvanism. Hetersexuality is more mature and certainly preferred. Any possibility of ’becoming straight’ should be reinforced, and those who seem to be born ’that way’ should be pitied, ’the poor dears.’


 Homosexuality is just a phase of adolescent development that many people go through and most people ’outgrow.’ Therefore, LGB persons are less mature than ’straights’ and should be treated with the protectiveness and indulgence used with children. LGB persons should not be given positions of authority because they are still not working through their adolescent behaviour.


 Still implies there is something to accept. Characterized by such statements as ’You’re not lesbian to me, you’re a person!’ or ’What you do in bed is your business’ or ’That’s fine with me as long as you don’t flaunt it!’


 The basic ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) position. Work to safeguard the rights of lesbians, gays and bisexuals. People at this level may be uncomfortable themselves, but they are aware of the homophobic climate and irrational unfairness.


  Acknowledges that being LGB in our society takes strength. People at this level are willing to truly examine their homophobia, attitudes, values, and behaviours.


 Value the diversity of people and see LGB persons as a valid part of that diversity. These people are willing to combat homophobia in themselves and others.


Assumes that LGB persons are indispensable in our society. They view them with genuine affection and delight and are willing to be allies and advocates.



1. From Riddle, Dorothy. (1994). The Riddle Scale. In Alone no more: Developing a school support system for gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth. St. Paul: Minnesota State Department. As quoted in Peterkin A, Risdon C. Caring for Lesbian and Gay People: A Clinical Guide. 2003. University of Toronto Press Incorporated. Toronto, Ontario.

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