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Is Homophobia Inevitable? September 26, 2009

Posted by Geekgirl in homophobia.
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Unfortunately, I do not have access to the entire article

Is homophobia inevitable?

Evidence that explores the constructed nature of homophobia, and the techniques through which men unlearn it

Journal of Sociology, Vol. 45, No. 2, 201-220 (2009)Pól Dominic McCann   University of New England, Australia, poldominicmccann@gmail.com

Victor Minichiello   University of New England, Australia, vminichi@une.edu.au

David Plummer   University of the West Indies Trinidad, davidplummer@uwi.tt

The impact of homophobia on gay men and lesbians has been extensively studied, and shown to have profound, negative impacts on people. The current study examines how fear of being perceived as gay restrains the attitudes and behaviours of heterosexual Australian men. Choices of what subjects to study, sports to play, ways of interacting with other males and displays of emotion are shown to be influenced by homophobia. Homophobia is theorized as a social construct, not a phobia in the psychological sense, and as such is learnt through interaction and observation of which styles of male behaviour are valorized and which are devalued. The period of late childhood through to early adulthood is described as that most influenced by homophobia, and all -male environments during this period — single-sex schools and employment areas, team sports and other mono-gendered environments — are shown to elevate a narrow range of behaviours for boys and men . Participants described a loosening of ideas of what they felt was acceptable behaviour once they moved beyond these environs, allowing them to unlearn homophobia, and they describe impact that this has on how they feel they embodied masculinity.

Key Words: attitudes to homosexuality • Australian masculinity • gender norms • heterosexuality • sexuality
DOI: 10.1177/1440783309103347

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