CSUN Professor Luciana Lagana Shares Her Positive Findings on Reducing Homophobia Using Her LGBT UNITED Documentary at the Western Psychological Association Convention


There is certainly a need to develop and test original documentaries to hopefully reduce biases against discriminated minorities.

The movie LGBT UNITED — created, hosted, directed and produced by Dr. Luciana Lagana, a California State University Northridge (CSUN) professor and NIH-sponsored researcher – was tested experimentally at CSUN with the intent to increase empathy towards LGBT individuals and reduce homophobia in those who watched it. Dr. Luciana presented her preliminary findings in this area at the 97th Annual Convention of the Western Psychological Association, in Sacramento, California. In her study, conducted in collaboration with CSUN former graduate student, Kelcey Sholl, she documented the reduction in homophobia among individuals who watched her film. LGBT UNITED has won several film festival awards, including the Best Political Statement Movie Award at the 2016 Action on Film International Film Festival and the California Endowment Special Sons and Brothers Award for positive and balanced depictions of young men of color at the 2016 Long Beach Indie Film Festival.

(from the WPA poster presentation): The purpose of this randomized controlled study was to use an original documentary to attempt to enhance empathic feelings, knowledge, and attitudes towards LGBT individuals. To our knowledge, no published literature is available on the effects of watching a documentary on college students’ empathy, attitudes, and knowledge regarding the LGBT population. Attempting to fill a gap in the available literature on whether watching a movie could reduce bias against this population, we tested the potential anti-bias effect of a 90 minute award-winning documentary…

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