The 4 Types Of Homophobia, And How To Recognize Them

Types of homophobia

The existence of different types of homophobia It shows us that this type of discrimination based on sexual orientation is not something easy to isolate and detect according to stereotypical and repetitive behaviors, but that it can be adapted to any context, no matter how changing. Times are evolving, and so are the forms of homophobia.

However, that does not mean that we cannot establish categories to better understand this type of discrimination and the ways in which it occurs. In this article we will see several of the different forms that this type of discrimination can take, with explanations and examples.

The main types of homophobia

Discrimination is capable of taking many different forms. This is so, among other things, because when you discriminate, you also try to do it in a way that fits well with the mental frameworks that establish what is politically correct and what is not.

It may be possible in a certain social circle to criminalize a group based on its essence for example, but in others it will be necessary to attribute this criminalization not to what these minorities are, but to what they are supposed to do, for example.

In the case of discrimination against homosexual people, this translates into the existence of different types of homophobia, which is expressed in different contexts and situations.

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Types of homophobia according to its means of transmission

Considering the way in which homophobia is transmitted and perpetuated, we can find the following two categories.

cultural homophobia

This type of discrimination against homosexual people is based on unwritten laws that are transmitted from generation to generation. through oral transmission and imitation of behaviors

Most expressions of homophobia have to do with this category (which tends to overlap with others), and is expressed in very diverse ways: for example, assuming that young homosexuals are just confused about their sexual identity, or defending the idea that gay men are incomplete because they do not fit the ideal of masculinity.

Institutional homophobia

This is the type of homophobia that has to do with formalized norms present in the regulations of both public and private organizations For example, in laws that criminalize actions associated with homosexuality or that keep homosexuals from certain basic rights, or company statutes that justify the dismissal of homosexual people.

Also included in this category are displays of homophobia promoted by certain religious groups, even those that do not have a very defined organization or do not have sacred texts, although in this case it would be a phenomenon somewhere between cultural homophobia and the institutional one.

According to its degree of expression

It can also be divided according to the degree in which it is expressed or, on the contrary, remains latent

cognitive homophobia

This type of homophobia refers to beliefs that are part of the cognitive system of individual people and that show homosexuality as something negative, usually related to vague notions of what is “unnatural” and “degenerate” Thus, it is based on stereotypes and associations between concepts linked to homosexuality that are at the same time associated with rejection or even disgust.

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For example, the predisposition of some people to reject their children if they find out that they are homosexual is an example of cognitive homophobia.

Behavioral homophobia

This concept refers to objective expressions of homophobia by individuals who They do not hide behind any rule to discriminate against homosexuals for the fact of being homosexual.

For example, those who organize demonstrations to take away rights from those who have a sexual orientation other than heterosexuality, those who physically attack homosexuals for being so, those who exclude people by believing that they are homosexuals… the forms that homophobia can take behavioral are practically infinite, as varied as human behavior.

Seemingly well-intentioned discrimination

There are variants of behavioral homophobia that do not occur directly under a mental framework of confrontation, but rather of tolerance. In these cases, homosexuality is “tolerated” (implying that there is something about it that already causes discomfort), as long as it is not expressed in a very visible way.

In any case, in practice, it is assumed that people with a sexual orientation that does not belong to heterosexuality have fewer rights than heterosexuals, or that this lack of rights is justified under the need not to extend it to other members of the population (assuming once again that it is bad, since if not, no measures would have to be taken to prevent it from spreading). The idea that those who move away from the model of heterosexuality must be protected by limiting their freedom is still relatively common.

Conclusion: there is a lot to question

Centuries of homophobia have left a deeply rooted cultural mark on our way of acting and thinking. Therefore, it is important to question whether certain behaviors and beliefs that we believed to be innocuous are not actually a basis for homophobia.

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Sometimes discriminatory actions and attitudes go unnoticed because Since our childhood we have learned to see them as something normal, and to see any questioning of these as an out of tone or a ridiculous way of thinking. It is an intellectual neglect that results in suffering and victims, since although we do not have to participate directly in the harassment of homosexuals, we participate in the perpetuation of a cultural framework that legitimizes these actions.