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Title: Is homophobia inevitable?: Evidence that explores the constructed nature of homophobia, and the techniques through which men unlearn it
Contributor(s): McCann, Pol (author); Minichiello, Victor  (author); Plummer, David (author)
Publication Date: 2009
DOI: 10.1177/1440783309103347
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Abstract: 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.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Journal of Sociology, 45(2), p. 201-220
Publisher: Longman
Place of Publication: South Melbourne, Australia
ISSN: 1440-7833
Field of Research (FOR): 111712 Health Promotion
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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