International Journal of
Psychology and Counselling

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Psychol. Couns.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2499
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJPC
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 213

Full Length Research Paper

Knowledge about sexual orientation among student counselors: A survey in Japan

Yuka Matsutaka*
  • Yuka Matsutaka*
  • Department of Psychology, Faculty of Human Science, Hiroshima Bunkyo Women’s University. 1-2-1 Kabe-higashi, Asakita-ku, Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima 731-0295, Japan.
  • Google Scholar
Teiji Uchino
  • Teiji Uchino
  • Health Service Center, Hiroshima University. 1-7-1 Kagamiyama Higashi-hiroshima, Hiroshima 739-8514, Japan.
  • Google Scholar
Nobuko Kihana
  • Nobuko Kihana
  • Hiroshima University Hospital. 1-2-3, Kasumi, Minami-ku, Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima 734-8551, Japan.
  • Google Scholar
Yasuharu Hidaka
  • Yasuharu Hidaka
  • School of Nursing, Takarazuka University. 1-13-16, Shibata, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka 530-0012, Japan.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 03 October 2013
  •  Accepted: 17 April 2014
  •  Published: 30 June 2014


This study targeted clinical psychologists engaged in student counseling in Japan and investigated their level of clinical and psychological knowledge about sexual orientation. This study also assessed the relationship between sexuality education and self-learning experiences and knowledge. A questionnaire which included 13 items assessing basic and clinical knowledge about sexuality, experiences regarding education on homosexuality, experiences of self-learning, and experiences with sexual minorities, was anonymously administered to 484 student counselors trained as clinical psychologists. The total number of valid responses was 321 (66.3%). About 80% of the participants correctly answered the items under the category “basic knowledge about homosexuality,” although their clinical knowledge and knowledge regarding differences in sexual orientation and gender identity were limited. 277 had attended graduate school and the proportion of participants who had received education on homosexuality during graduate clinical psychology training was 14.8%. Education on homosexuality received during graduate clinical psychology training and that received via self-learning had little associations with the level of knowledge about sexuality. These results suggest that the level of clinical knowledge of Japanese student counselors was insufficient for appropriate clinical practice. Issues surrounding sexuality education and clinical psychologist training, as well as the limitations of this study, are discussed.
Key words: knowledge about sexual orientation, counselor education, student counselor.