Even in today's society, gay men, lesbians, and bisexuals experience multiple pressures and constraints related to their lifestyles, in addition to the stresses of everyday life. This dual tension can result in psychopathology among gay men, lesbians, and bisexuals. Preventing Heterosexism and Homophobia examines the gay and lesbian experience in light of their tension and points toward a future free of heterosexism. The stress of “coming out,” the uncertainty of parenting their children, and the difficulties facing ethnic minority lesbians and bisexuals cannot be adequately addressed without confronting the heterosexual bias in society. The contributors to this informative volume propose methods geared toward eliminating heterosexual bias in various settings–health care, therapy, communities, corporate America, and education. Ultimately, this book examines both the risks and joys of being gay, lesbian, and bisexual, and how to prevent heterosexism and its effects on the lives of all people, including those of heterosexuals. Students and professionals in interpersonal communication and interpersonal relations, clinical psychology, and public health will benefit greatly from the original perspectives this book has to offer.

Chapter 11: Societal Reaction and Homosexuality: Culture, Acculturation, Life Events, and Social Supports as Mediators of Response to Homonegative Attitudes

Societal Reaction and Homosexuality: Culture, Acculturation, Life Events, and Social Supports as Mediators of Response to Homonegative Attitudes

Societal reaction and homosexuality: Culture, acculturation, life events, and social supports as mediators of response to homonegative attitudes
MichaelW.Ross

There is an important interaction between the way cultures and societies organize and structure homosexuality and the way the homosexual individual both perceives that structure and responds to it. One of the most significant, in terms of mental health, is the perception of a homonegative response and the internalization of that homonegative response. Although the term homonegative attitude is the more accurate one and is preferable to the term homophobia because there is frequently no classical phobic reaction in homonegative attitudes, there is widespread currency of the term homophobia, which ...

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