Contesting sexual prejudice to support sexual minorities: Views of Chinese social workers

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Professional development has been recognized as one of the strategies to effectively combat sexual prejudice and negative attitudes against lesbian, gay, bisexual, questioning/queer (LGBQ+) individuals and sexual minorities. Nevertheless, studies related to LGBQ+-inclusive training are rarely found in the Chinese Hong Kong context, where sexual prejudice still prevails without the establishment of antidiscrimination law. Sociocultural considerations, such as religious and parental influences, are obstacles to discussing the reduction of sexual prejudices, both within wider society and social work organizations, without institutional support. This paper aims to understand social workers’ perspectives on prejudice reduction training themes and perceived cultural barriers through qualitative in-depth interviews with 67 social workers. Qualitative thematic analysis yielded the following themes: (1) understanding sexuality; (2) initiating training legitimately; (3) contesting religious and cultural assumptions; (4) resolving value and ethical dilemma; (5) selecting relevant knowledge; (6) implementing diverse training strategies. The study suggests that social workers and service providers need to understand how sexual prejudice is manifested in Hong Kong through unique cultural forces. LGBQ+-inclusive content, addressing updated concepts and prejudice-free language, should be incorporated into the training curriculum. Intergroup contact, professional reflection, and experiential learning are suggested as training strategies (190). Copyright © 2021 by the author.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3208
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 02 Mar 2021


Kwok, D. K. (2021). Contesting sexual prejudice to support sexual minorities: Views of Chinese social workers. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(6). Retrieved from


  • Social work training
  • Chinese social workers
  • Sexual prejudice
  • LGBQ+
  • Heterosexism
  • Social service


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