The term homophobia refers to the fear of or concern about being associated with homosexuality. Definitions used by social science researchers and theorists vary with regards to semantics. For example, some definitions state the fear as irrational; others specify that the fear is directed toward homosexual persons, homosexual behaviors, generalized belief systems, or some combination of these. However, there is overwhelming consensus that the term homophobia stems from the notion that homosexuality (actual or perceived) is devalued by society and that heterosexuality is the norm. There is also agreement among sociologists and gender theorists that attitudes and actions that result from this fear are a form of social control that supports intolerance. It should also be noted that this term has no direct clinical or ...

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