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Gregory M. Herek is a Professor the Psychology in ~ the college of California in ~ Davis (UCD). He received his Ph.D. In society psychology indigenous UCD in 1983, then was a postdoctoral other at Yale University. That co-edited hate Crimes: Confronting Violence versus Lesbians and Gay guys (1992), and also edited Stigma and Sexual Orientation (1998).
Social scientists attempting to describe why therefore many people hold negativefeelings toward homosexual persons have actually tended to sell either theoreticalspeculations or empirical data, with small synthesis that the two. Thetheoretical accounts frequently have revealed much more about the writer"s personalprejudices toward homosexuality than society"s reaction to it. For example,William James (1890) assumed that being repulsed by the idea of intimatecontact through a member that the same sex is instinctive, and exists much more stronglyin males than in women, Interestingly, in societies where such forms of""unnatural vice" as homosexuality room found, James supposed that theinstinctual aversion had been conquer by habit. In other words, he assumedthat yongin is learned and also revulsion is inborn. Quite than vice-versa. Thisis an especially surprising in view of his hypothesis that a ""germinalpossibility"" because that same-sex attraction exist in ""most men."

There room similarities between the thinking of James and Edward Westermarck(1908), however the latter went past instinct-based explanations in hiscross-cultural study of morality. He was willing to assert that societalcensure that homosexual practices is due to "the feeling of aversion ordisgust i beg your pardon the idea the homosexual intercourse has tendency to speak to forth innormally comprised adult individuals whose sex-related instincts have developedunder normal conditions." yet he believed this explanation was inadequate inaccounting for the specifically violent reaction against homosexualitydisplayed by the Jewish, Christian, and Zoroastrian religions. Their stronghostility exists, the said, due to the fact that homosexual techniques were associatedhistorically v idolatry and heresy, and so to be condemned by way of legislations andcustoms.

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Psychoanalysts readily available a more social-psychological view. Sigmund Freud (1905)asserted that an to exclude, heterosexual orientation does not only result frombiological causes, but likewise is influenced by societal prohibitions onhomoerotism and by early on experiences with parents. That assumed the all men andwomen had solid attractions to your same-sex parent but these feeling wereusually repressed in dissolving the finish Oedipus complex. In numerous cases,however, the repression is incomplete. Thus, Sandor Ferenczi (1914) suggestedthat heterosexual men"s feelings of aversion, hostility, and disgust towardmale homosexuality really room reaction-formations and symptomatic the defenseagainst affection because that the same sex. Ferenczi did not extend his evaluation towomen"s attitudes or to mindsets toward lesbians, but similar processes mightbe inferred.

The mass of studies have actually sought to i found it the correlates that negativeattitudes. Some findings space contradictory, such as the relationship betweensex-role conformity (i.e., masculinity, femininity, androgyny) and attitudes.In general, however, some continuous patterns have been it was observed acrossdifferent samples. When contrasted to those with much more favorable perspectives towardlesbians and also gay men, these research studies have discovered that persons v negativeattitudes:

1. Are much less likely to have had personal contact with lesbians or gay;

2. Are much less likely come report having involved in homosexual behaviors, or toidentify themselves together lesbian or gay;

3. Are much more likely to perceive their peers as manifesting negative attitudes,especially if the respondents are males;

4. Are much more likely to have resided in locations where an adverse attitudes are thenorm (e.g., the midwestern and southern joined States, the Canadian prairies,and in rural locations or little towns), especially during adolescence;

5. Are most likely to be older and less well educated;

6. Are more likely to it is in religious, to attend church frequently, and tosubscribe to a conservative spiritual ideology;

7. Are much more likely to express traditional, restrictive attitudes around sexroles;

8. Are less permissive sexually or manifest much more guilt or negativity aboutsexuality, although part researchers have actually not it was observed this pattern and othershave reported a substantially diminished correlation with the effects of sex-roleattitudes partialled out;

9. Are an ext likely come manifest high level of authoritarianism and relatedpersonality characteristics.

Sex differences in the direction and intensity of mindsets have to be observedfairly consistently. It appears that heterosexuals often tend to have an ext negativeattitudes toward homosexuals the their very own sex 보다 of the opposite sex. . ..

Experiential attitudes develop when affects and cognitions linked withspecific interpersonal interaction are generalised to every lesbians andgay men. A human with positive experiences, therefore, expresses generallyfavorable attitudes and a human with an unfavorable experiences reports unfavorablefavorable perspectives because that the experiences. Keep in mind that experientialattitudes execute not inevitably follow interactions. The is necessary also thatthose interactions us (rather than, for example, ideologicalconsiderations)

provide the major basis because that the attitude. Interactions have consequences forboth beliefs and affects associated with lesbians and gay men. Due to the fact that theyprovide information, face-to confront interactions tend to refute stereotypes andreduce ignorance, which Marmor (1980) identified as the most essential sourcesof hostility toward homosexual persons. At the very same time, interpersonalencounters have an emotional influence that individuals have the right to generalize to alllesbians and also gay men. Thus, heterosexuals who recognize lesbians and also gay men arebetter able than others to identify stereotypes as inaccurate, and are morelikely come express tolerant mindsets as well. Due to the fact that only about one-fourth ofthe adult in the United states report the they have actually homosexual girlfriend oracquaintances (Newsweek Poll, 1983), it deserve to be hypothesized that attitudes willbecome more favorable in its entirety as much more lesbians and gay men disclose theirsexual orientation come friends or family. For the present, however, we mustassume that only a minority of civilization in the United says have mindsets basedon experience. The remainder have developed their opinions and beliefs there is no thebenefit of an individual contact. Consequently, stereotypical beliefs around gay menand lesbians room prevalent, and also it is ideal here to comment on their forms and effects.

Most usual stereotypes are related to cross-sex characteristics.Additionally, significant numbers of individuals characterize male homosexualsas holy spirit ill, promiscuous, lonely, insecure, and also likely to it is in childmolesters, while lesbians have actually been defined as aggressive and also hostile towardmen. Positive qualities are also component of the homosexual stereotypeincluding together traits together sensitivity, intelligence, honesty, imagination, andneatness.

Recent research study in society cognition has actually revealed the prominence of stereotypesas cognitive categories because that imposing order and predictability on the world.Some civilization feel the need for categorization so strongly that they increasetheir liking for a human simply because she or he labels one more ashomosexual. Homosexual persons who violate stereotypical expectation (e.g.,masculine happy men and feminine lesbians) may actually it is in disliked. Suchnonconformity might not it is in noticed, however, since labeling itself deserve to leadpeople to perceive stereotypical behaviors, whether or no they occur. . . .

It frequently is assumed the feelings of personal threat result in strongnegative attitudes toward homosexuality, whereas lack of danger leads toneutral or optimistic attitudes. This perspective regularly is associated with theterm homophobia, and it derives indigenous a psychodynamic see thatprejudiced perspectives serve to reduce tension aroused through unconsciousconflicts.

Attitudes are likely to offer a defensive role when an separation, personal, instance perceivessome analogy between homosexual persons and her or his own unconsciousconflicts. Subsequently, that human being responds to happy men and also lesbians as a wayof externalizing within conflicts and thereby reduce the stress and anxiety associatedwith them. The conflicts details to antihomosexual prejudice presumablyinvolve a person"s gender identity, sex-related object choice, or both. Because that example,unconscious conflicts around one"s own sexuality or gender identity could beattributed to lesbians and also gay males through a process of projection. Together astrategy permits human being to externalize the conflicts and to reject their ownunacceptable urges by rejecting lesbians and gay guys (who represent thoseurges) without consciously recognizing the urges together their own. Due to the fact that contactwith homosexual persons endangers to make conscious those thoughts the havebeen repressed, it inevitably arouses stress and anxiety in protective individuals.Consequently, defensive mindsets are most likely to it is in negative.

Several psychodynamic explanations readily available for attitudes toward lesbians andgay guys fit with the defensive function. Heterosexual men may envy happy menbecause the last are no constrained by the mrs ideal. Heterosexualsmay additionally envy the sexual flexibility presumably enjoyed by lesbians and gay men. Ineither case, the envy is presumably analyzed unconsciously into hostility. Ina similar vein, Cory (1951) also proposed that an adverse feelings towardopposite-sex homosexuals result from heterosexuals" feel of refusal aspotential sexual partners. Weinberg (1972) hypothesized that due to the fact that many peoplestrive for vicarious immortality by having children, and since lesbians and also gaymen are viewed (incorrectly) as having rejected this method for eluding thefinality that death, the latter evoke one unconscious are afraid of death.

Many certain empirical findings I have mentioned make feeling if us assumethat an unfavorable attitudes frequently are based in component on a protective function: thefinding that people are more negative towards homosexuals of their very own sex thantoward those of opposing sex (since same-sex homosexuals presumably aremore threatening); the confident correlations between hostile attitudes towardhomosexuality and also variables such as authoritarianism" cognitive rigidity"intolerance that ambiguity, and also dogmatism (all of these personality traitspresumably indicate greater levels the defensiveness); and also the positivecorrelations between hostility and sex-guilt sex-related conservatism, andnonpermissiveness (all that which can indicate conflicts about sexuality). . ..

McConahay and also Hough (1976) defined symbolic racism together "the expression , in regards to abstract ideological symbols and symbolic behaviors, the emotion that blacks space violating cherished values and also making illegitimatedemands for transforms in the racial condition quo." This an interpretation can be supplied todelineate the third functional classification of perspectives toward lesbians and gaymen. Just like symbolic racism, symbolic sexual perspectives express the feelingthat cherished values space being violated and also that illegitimate demands arebeing made for changes in the standing quo. Ns will increase the definition,however, to include favorable perspectives that room based ~ above the id thatdiscrimination and prejudice themselves hurt the values of liberty andequality.

Whether favorable or unfavorable, symbolic attitudes derive indigenous socializationexperiences, past and present. They express values important to one"s conceptof self, thereby helping people to establish their identity and also affirmtheir notion of the kind of human they perceive themselves to be, whilesimultaneously mediating their relation come other vital individuals andreference groups. This is component of an ongoing social dialectic with whichone"s sense of self creates while it likewise defines interpersonalrelationships.

The symbolic pattern is noticeable in the empirical data currently summarized.Heterosexuals that express hostile perspectives toward homosexual persons likewise tendto endorse timeless ideologies of family, sexuality" and also sex roles, andoften are prejudiced versus other minorities together well. That few of these samefindings likewise apply to the defensive duty underscores the complex,overdetermined nature of mindsets toward homosexual persons. Perspectives servingdifferent features can be correlated with similar behaviors.

For persons through symbolic attitudes, details reference groups appear to beparticularly influential. As currently mentioned, civilization who are involved inchurch groups (as indicated by frequent attendance at church services) reflectthe historical spiritual bias against lesbians and also gay men, and also this isespecially so because that Christians. Civilization who flourished up in areas where highertolerance exists for diversity likewise hold much more positive mindsets towardlesbians and also gay men; these encompass city-dwellers and also people from thenortheastern and also Pacific seaside regions the the United claims The same studiesreport that more tolerant mindsets are organized by younger persons (whose cohorts"values reflect the liberalism of the 1960s and also 1970s) and by persons with moreeducation (who presumably have been exposed come liberal values on a collegecampus). Finally, civilization are an ext tolerant the lesbians and also gay men if theirparents also displayed tolerance.

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Excerpted v permission native "Beyond "Homophobia": A Social psychological Perspective on attitudes Toward Lesbians and Gay Men" by Gregory M. Herek in the journal of Homosexuality, Vol. 10, No. 1/2 (1984), pp. 1-15. Footnotes omitted.
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