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Homophobia: a Definition

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  • Essay length: 4348 words
  • Submitted: 31/03/2006
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GCSE Sociology

The first 200 words of this essay...

Homophobia: a Definition

Even well-educated people seem not to know what the word "homophobia" actually means outside the political arena where the word is said to be nothing but an empty political charge. I'm sure that the charge of homophobia is sometimes made purely as a political tactic. But that fact should not make us blind to the other fact--that real homophobia also exists, and sometimes the use of the word is denotatively correct. However, recognizing that the word is sometimes validly used in a technically accurate way requires that the hearer know the technical meaning of the word. So here's my attempt to explain the technical meaning of the word.

The word "homophobia" was coined by a New York psychotherapist, George Weinberg, in 1972, based on his observation of a pattern of irrational behavior in patients he worked with. He noted in these patients a pattern of irrational fear, revulsion and distrust of homosexuals that was sometimes translated into hostility and even rage towards them. These feelings were irrational in the sense that they were not grounded in reality and were very resistant to change based on factual information that contradicted the false beliefs with which

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