Perceived Stigma Scale

The Perceived Stigma Scale is a 7-item measure of experiences of internalized homophobia. Perceived stigma refers to beliefs or awareness that others are engaged in heterosexist acts or hold heterosexist belief systems; however, being aware of the stigma does not necessarily reflect an individual’s personal beliefs.


Geographies Tested: United States of America

Populations Included: Male

Age Range: Adolescents, Adults


In this section we want to know what you think about OTHER people’s attitudes and beliefs. Using the response scale, please answer according to your point of view, feelings and experiences.

1. Many people believe that gay men have psychological problems.
2. Many people do not see gay men as real men.
3. Most families would be disappointed to have a gay son.
4. Many people think that gay men have HIV and will die of AIDS.
5. Many people do not accept same-sex male couples.
6. Many people believe that gay men should not raise children.
7. Many people believe that gay men should not hug, hold hands, or kiss in public.

Response Options:
Strongly Disagree - 1
Disagree - 2
Agree - 3
Strongly Agree - 4

Scoring Procedures

A scale score is derived by calculating the mean of the individual items, with higher scores indicating greater perceived stigma.

Original Citation

Puckett, J. A., Newcomb, M. E., Ryan, D. T., Swann, G., Garofalo, R., & Mustanski, B. (2017). Internalized homophobia and perceived stigma: a validation study of stigma measures in a sample of young men who have sex with men. Sexuality Research and Social Policy, 14(1), 1-16.

Psychometric Score

Ease of Use Score

Scoring breakdown

Formative Research

Qualitative Research

Existing Literature/Theoretical Framework

Field Expert Input

Cognitive Interviews / Pilot Testing








Criterion (gold-standard)



Ease of Use


Scoring Clarity


Join the EMERGE Community

to get the latest updates on new measures and guidance for survey researchers