this paper analyses, in terms of social representations, the way university students express their prejudice against homosexuals and how this prejudice relates to explanations concerning homosexuality. questionnaires were used with 220 students of a public university in jo？o pessoa city. the results led to a classification of the students into three different groups: flagrantly-prejudiced, subtly-prejudiced and non-prejudiced. the analysis of the social anchorage of the students' type of prejudice revealed that the flagrantly-prejudiced group opposed the psycho-social explanations (typical of women and psychology students), more strongly adhering to ethical-moral and religious explanations (characteristic of engineer students). the non-prejudiced were students of psychology and adhered to psycho-sociological explanations, whereas the subtly-prejudiced explained homosexuality in terms of biological and psychological causes (explanations typical of medical students and women).