Psychology of Homophobia

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Psychology of Homophobia/Sexual Prejudice

Society began to rethink homosexuality in the 1960's when heterosexual psychologist George Weinberg coined the term "homophobia." Weinberg used the term to label heterosexuals' fear of being in contact of homosexuals as well as the self-loathing of homosexuals, meaning that homosexuals hated themselves for being gay. As of the new millennium, there has been a new special term that has been born to define the fear, hate and disgust that people show towards anyone's sexual orientation called "sexual prejudice." Like other types of prejudice, there are three main principals that surround sexual prejudice: it is an attitude, it is directed at social groups and its members, and it is negative as involving hostility or dislike. As time goes by there has been differing perspectives on sexual prejudice (homophobia).

In an interview with Karen Franklin, a forensic psychologist and former criminal investigator, which was conducted by PBS's program "FRONTLINE," reveals her interest and perspective on anti-gay hate crimes that relate to homophobia. Franklin has interviewed multiple perpetrators of anti-gay hate crimes and with San Francisco Bay Area College students that has lead to the production of important data of the nature and extent to the negative reactions to gays.

When Karen Franklin was asked, "What makes a person become a gay basher?" she answered, "there is no simple answer to that question." Franklin explains that for a person to commit any violent act one must have had something influence them to be violent and the fact that a gay person is being targeted is another motivation. She explains that there are several motivations for these acts. The first motivation is "peer dynamics," in which a person tries to prove masculinity, or to prove heterosexuality, or just not to back down and let one's peers down. The next most common motivation she found was what she called "anti-gay ideology" in which their



References: 1. Internalized Homophobia http://www.lgcsc.org/internalized.html 2. Psychological Perspective – Henry Adams http://www.rtis.com/reg/bcs/pol/touchstone/november96/muehlen.htm 3. The Mind of A Gay Basher – Karen Franklin http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/assault/interviews/franklin.html 4. Bigots and Buggers – Peter Tatcheell http://www.petertatchell.net/homophobia/bigots%20are%20buggers.htm 5. American Psychological Association – Henry Adams http://www.apa.org/releases/homophob.html

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