Heterophobia is a term used to describe prejudice or discrimination against heterosexuals, usually in the context of the heterophobic person being homosexual or bisexual. This usage is a neologism, first appearing in print in 1990 as an analogy to homophobia. It does not have much currency outside the field of sexology, and has limited use even within that field. more...
Proven cases of discrimination against heterosexuals is rare. As coined by Daphne Patai, heterophobia entails a critique of perceived tendencies within the feminist movement. Patai claims that feminism has become virulently anti-male, so much so that women within the movement who associate with men or love men are ostracized.
The term is also used by some to imply that extending equal rights to LGBT people inherently constitutes discrimination against heterosexuals, or as an intentionally absurd use of language made generally by more conservative position in LGBT debates, to counteract perceived pejorative bias of the term homophobia.
Conservatives often see themselves as having rational and morality-based reasons to disagree with to particular LGBT positions, while the other side may accuse them of taking the 'homophobic' position. They may see the word 'homophobic' as an ad hominem attack and in response, they demonstrate the absurdity and inapplicability of this term by using variations of the term heterophobia or moralityphobia. SUNY profrssor Dr. Ray Noonan, in his 1999 presentation to the The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS) and the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) Conference said,
- "The term is confusing for some people for several reasons. On the one hand, some look at it as just another of the many me-too social constructions that have arisen in the pseudoscience of victimology in recent decades. (Many of us recall John Money’s 1995 criticism of the ascendancy of victimology and its negative impact on sexual science.) Others look at the parallelism between heterophobia and homophobia, and suggest that the former trivializes the latter. Yet heterophobia may be one of the root contributors in the etiology of homophobia, as Noonan argued in 1998. For others, it is merely a curiosity or parallel-construction word game. But for others still, it is part of both the recognition and politicization of heterosexuals' cultural interests in contrast to those of gays—particularly where those interests are perceived to clash."
In the song "Criminal," rapper Eminem used the term sarcastically when he says, 'Homophobic? Nah you're just Heterophobic'
Some have argued that the word is etymologically ill-formed, as it appears to have been formed from the Greek elements hetero- "different" and phobia. Such critics have proposed alternative words such as heteroerotophobia or heterosexophobia. However, the word's actual meaning shows that it is in origin a portmanteau of heterosexual and phobia; it was almost certainly coined on the analogy of homophobia (which is likewise a portmanteau).
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