What is homophobia?

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Homophobia is the aversion to or extreme fear of homosexuality that can lead into discrimination or even violence. Homophobia is a recognized form of phobia in the medical world.

There are however some studies that show that homophobia is not a phobia since homophobia comes from being disgusted rather than from fear and anxiety like in the usual cases of phobia.

Researches on Homophobia

Researches from the University of Arkansas showed that homophobic tendencies are closely related to conservative views and issues of contamination. The basis of homophobia is not a psychopathological one but rather more of attitudinal and social.

Another research revealed that homophobia is widely related to homosexual tendencies.

A study by American Psychological Association concluded that “homophobia is an emotional or affective response including fear, anxiety, anger, discomfort and aversion that an individual experiences in interacting with gay individuals, which may or may not involve a cognitive component.”

Causes of Homophobia

Homophobia is mainly caused by a person’s environment rather than a traumatic event or series of traumatic even like in most phobias.

The highest levels of homophobia are found among older men and religious people. Those with low levels of education as well as grew up in supportive traditional roles and or who have grown up in areas where there is almost zero tolerance for same sex marriage are likely to develop homophobia.

It is widely believed that homophobia is highest among individuals who had a conservative upbringing and grew up with religious beliefs that homosexuality is a sin.

Homosexuality after all was once considered as a disease by the medical profession. It was only in 1073 that the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its list of psychological disorder s.

Treatment for Homophobia

There are treatments for homophobia just like with other phobias. A patient can get psychotherapy, behavioral therapy, relaxation techniques, medication and exposure techniques among others.

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