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Heteronormative Bias in Research

Heteronormative bias is the preconceived opinion that heterosexuality is the only normal and natural form of sexuality. Historically, heteronormative bias has been particularly prevalent in research on sexual minorities. As the European medical community became interested in human sexuality in the 18th century, homosexuality and other forms of nonprocreative sex were written about as deviations from “normal” sexuality. These writings continued well into the 19th century, until homosexuality and all other types of nonprocreative sexuality were specifically labeled as pathological in nature. Akin to insanity, homosexuality was considered to be a mark of a deeply disturbed individual. Perceptions of nonheterosexual behavior as pathological persisted into early psychoanalytic writings in the 20th century. For example, Sigmund Freud considered homosexuality as a less mature form of ...

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