Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Janet Barnes-Farrell; Mary Bernstein

Field of Study



Master of Arts

Open Access

Open Access


Research on harassment by sexual orientation is becoming increasingly relevant in society. Gay rights have progressed to be in the forefront of the political and social awareness, and organizations are turning their focus toward improving workplace diversity. Still, discrimination and harassment of LGB people continue to be a problem. Although a number of studies have begun to address this issue, large gaps still exist in the literature. The goal of this study was to identify antecedents and outcomes of workplace heterosexist harassment, as well as the influences of contextual and individual moderating variables. Participants from multiple organizations completed an online survey assessing their experiences with heterosexist harassment. They also answered questions regarding workplace climate, psychological distress, and other variables. Using a structural equation modeling framework, results showed that an inclusive diversity climate was significantly predictive of experiences with heterosexist harassment, in that greater diversity was related to fewer experiences. Job satisfaction, job stress, and psychological distress were also related to harassment experiences; the latter of these was moderated by sexual orientation. These results may have implications for the application of minority stress theory, and help direct researchers and practitioners toward future collaboration in preventing heterosexist harassment.

Major Advisor

Vicki Magley