Fear of homosexuals is what we popularly know as Homophobia, which is nothing more than the extreme fear of feeling love for members of the same sex or fear of homosexuals. The word is derived from the Greek homos, which means ‘self,’ and phobos which means fear or aversion. Many countries and cultures have accepted homosexuality today, and some have even legalized same-sex marriages. However, others remain firm in their beliefs that sexual contact between men (or between women) is unhealthy, immoral, and even non-existent. Naturally, Homophobia can be categorized into different types, namely personal or interpersonal.
Personal Homophobia is internalized Homophobia characterized by the personal belief that lesbians, gays, and bisexuals are incomplete men and women with sick or deranged minds. Therefore, anyone can be homophobic regardless of their sexual orientation or preference. Interpersonal Homophobia is the result of personal Homophobia that can lead to telling hurtful jokes or insults or even physical aggression due to the Homophobia of an aggressor. In this guide, we will stick to personal Homophobia or the intense dislike or fear of homosexuals.
The word homophobia was unknown until the early 1970s, but today it affects hundreds of thousands of men and women worldwide. This phobia can affect a person’s day-to-day life based on the severity of their symptoms and their sexual orientation.
Causes of fear of homosexuals
- Personal Homophobia also stems from the same reasons as sexism or racism. Generally, people are taught to be homophobic.
- Children learn the fear or hatred of homosexuals from their parents. They are rarely given adequate information about LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer or Quizzes).
- Homophobic adults generally carry the stereotypes they have acquired in their childhood.
- Some religious organizations also teach this prejudice and hatred towards homosexuals.
- They promote lies about lesbians, gays, and bisexuals – that they spread diseases like HIV or that they are sick and upset people.
- Many victims of rape, sexual assault, or an abusive childhood are likely to fear homosexuals throughout their lives.
Psychological factors also come into play :
- People afraid of their sexual preferences or orientation feel threatened, embarrassed, or ashamed of their feelings.
- They tend to be more rigid with others who feel the same way and try to reinforce, push, or punish other LGBTQ people.
- Institutional Homophobia includes biases in the workplace that could stem from the same social biases as those against Jews or African Americans that lead societies to blame these groups for socioeconomic problems.
- Culturally we also have certain norms about “what is correct and what is not.”
- Because society represses any other sexual relationship (other than that necessary to give birth and continue the race), same-sex sexuality is feared or condemned.
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Symptoms of Homophobia
Homophobia is a disease that affects the whole of society. Although the American Psychological Association has proclaimed that it is no more abnormal to be gay or lesbian than it is to be left-handed, people are still afraid of it. Common symptoms include:
- Homophobes try to prevent people from having same-sex preferences.
Being around them produces a fear or disgust response in phobics:
- Shaking, sweating, and the desire to run away or even anger or hatred.
- Many homophobes show violence towards these people.
- They feel that such men and women are abnormal (sick) or immoral (sinners).
- People who are LGBTQs try to change their sexual orientation or desperately try to deny or change what they feel.
- Many end up committing suicide out of extreme fear.
Homophobia hurts society by suppressing creativity and expression – it just locks people into rigid gender-based roles.
- It can stigmatize families, children, and those who have and have not expressed their orientation.
- You can keep vital information away from children and adolescents, information that is necessary for this age of HIV and AIDS.
- The phobia often leads a person to marry heterosexuals, which increases stress .
- Such a marriage is not only traumatic for homosexuals but also for their children and spouses.
- Prejudice or fear of homosexuals degrades these people and makes society unsafe for everyone.
Treatment for Homophobia
- Man is a product of society; therefore, organizations must collectively change their attitudes and get rid of Homophobia.
- The first step naturally begins with admitting the phobia and changing behavior and attitudes. One must learn to accept their choice.
- The main problem does not lie in homosexuality but the fear of homosexuals.
- By talking about this fear with colleagues or even with one’s children, one can better understand it and deal with it collectively.
- If necessary, one could speak to LGBTQ people and learn about their concerns. One could try to actively support campaigns or causes that address the problems of homosexuals and stop violence and prejudice against them.
- Misinformation regarding homosexuals also comes from the Bible – which is widely misinterpreted.
- First of all, no biblical text contains the word, homosexual.
- Corinthians and Timothy have used it, but it is primarily in the context of male prostitutes who are hired by both men and women.
- Many contemporary scholars have studied these texts and have concluded that the Holy Book has never condemned homosexuality.
- As a society, we must all challenge Homophobia to create a community that is not only safe for LGBTQ people but also accepts and celebrates the differences in all of us.
Hello, how are you? My name is Georgia Tarrant, and I am a clinical psychologist. In everyday life, professional obligations seem to predominate over our personal life. It's as if work takes up more and more of the time we'd love to devote to our love life, our family, or even a moment of leisure.