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Heterophobia: Wikis


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Heterophobia is a term used to describe irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against heterosexuals. Heterophobic is the adjective form of this term used to describe the qualities of these characteristics while heterophobe is the noun form given as a title to individuals with heterophobic characteristics. Heterophobia is used in the same manner as homophobia - that being, one who has a fear of something. In the case of homophobes, they are alleged to fear homosexuals. Heterophobes are alleged to fear heterosexuals. The argument of Heterophobia as a reversal of Homophobia is used in the same sense that reverse racism is said to correspond to racism.

The term is also used by some[1][2] to imply that extending equal rights to LGBT people inherently constitutes discrimination against heterosexuals. Heterophobia may also be an intentionally subversive use of language made generally by more conservative positions in LGBT debates, to counteract perceived pejorative bias of the term homophobia. Critics[3] of LGBT equality measures often see themselves as having rational and moral reasons for disagreeing with particular LGBT positions, while the other side may accuse them of taking the 'homophobic' position.


Criticism of the term

SUNY professor Dr. Ray Noonan, in his 1999 presentation to The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS) and the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) Conference[4] said,

The term heterophobia is confusing for some people for several reasons. On the one hand, some look at it as just another of the many me-too social constructions that have arisen in the pseudoscience of victimology in recent decades. (Many of us recall John Money’s 1995 criticism of the ascendancy of victimology and its negative impact on sexual science.) Others look at the parallelism between heterophobia and homophobia, and suggest that the former trivializes the latter. Yet heterophobia may be one of the root contributors in the etiology of homophobia, as Noonan argued in 1998. For others, it is merely a curiosity or parallel-construction word game. But for others still, it is part of both the recognition and politicization of heterosexuals' cultural interests in contrast to those of gays—particularly where those interests are perceived to clash.

The etymology of the word is possibly ill-formed, as it appears to have been formed from the Greek elements hetero- "different" and phobia, so that the word in fact means "fear of difference". Alternative words such as heteroerotophobia or heterosexophobia might be more correct in a linguistic sense. However, the word's common usage shows that it was coined on the analogy of homophobia (which is likewise etymologically incorrect). The usage of the word heterophobia may often be replaced by more accurate terms related to the concept of heteronormative.

Other uses

The term is used by Pierre-André Taguieff in his 1987 book The Force of Prejudice to signify "fear of the different".

See also

External links


  1. ^ Kinsey, Sex and Fraud: The Indoctrination of a People. An Investigation Into the Human Sexuality Research of Alfred C. Kinsey, Wardell B. Pomeroy, Clyde E. Martin, and Paul H. Gebhard by Judith A. Reisman and Edward W. Eichel
  2. ^ The Complete Dictionary of Sexuality by Robert T. Francoeur
  3. ^ Such as Bernard Chapin in On Heterophobia
  4. ^ Heterophobia: The Evolution of an Idea

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