Heterosexism is a term used to describe people who discriminate against gays and lesbians. Throughout history, an intimate relationship between members of the opposite sex was considered the norm, and breaking this norm would make a person deviant. From birth, children are taught certain characteristics on how boys and girls are suppose to behave. Children learn these things from their parents, the schools they attend, and society that they live in. The characteristics that they learn shapes them into what they become when they’re adults. According to Barrie Thorne, “the sociological significance of children’s play is that boys and girls are helping to socialize one another into primary adult gender roles, girls being more concerned with intimacy, emotions, and romance, and boys with independence and sexuality (pg. 180)”. As children we are taught that sex and sexuality are about becoming mommies or daddies, we then bring that knowledge into our teenage lives and eventually into adulthood. We are taught that being heterosexual is normal and homosexuality and bisexual as wrong and out of the norm. Although heterosexuality dates all the way back to the days of Adam and Eve, the term didn’t come into effect until the late nineteenth century. The purpose of this paper is to give examples of how heterosexism has become institutionalized in the American social system.
Homosexuals have always been and probably will be under attack for years to come. The majority of people in society is heterosexual and will always look at homosexuality and people who engage in homosexual behaviors as wrong. Heterosexism in today society is considered the norm and there are many form of it seen today. In today’s society men who are homosexuals are considered to be feminine. Robert Brannon, a psychologist suggests that being a man can be best summarized in four phrases. To quote one, “No Sissy Stuff! One may never do anything that even remotely suggests femininity” (pg 85). The way...
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