Internalized Heterosexism

Heterosexism presumes that heterosexuality, which promotes opposite-sex romantic and sexual relationships, is the normative, superior identity—suggesting that other types of sexual orientation identities (e.g., gay, bisexual, or queer identities) are deficient or pathological. Throughout U.S. society and across the world, heterosexist assumptions also have a significant impact on what is celebrated as the normative gender identity, typical gender expression, acceptable gender presentation, and standardized sexual behaviors. Heterosexism can manifest systemically (e.g., in the media, school systems, and other institutions that promote heterosexuality as the norm). Heterosexism can also manifest individually (e.g., through people who demonstrate biases toward nonheterosexual people) as well as through groups (e.g., families or communities that teach negative messages about nonheterosexual people). It is because of these heterosexist cultural norms that ...

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