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On the Use of the Term Homophobia

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What are the larger implications of this term?

::::::::

The argument seems to go something like this:


  1. We should respect one another's world views

  2. My world view states that certain people are diseased and should not have equal rights

  3. It is inappropriate to state that my position is itself the result of disease, as that does not respect my world view


Certain people have suggested that the term homophobia is inappropriate because it marginalizes those that are opposed to gay marriage. Yet these people themselves see no problem marginalizing gays by denying them the right to marry--and many of them want to see gays institutionalized, accusing them of having what they call "same-sex attraction disorder." And so their argument eats itself. If it is okay for you to try and deny certain people the right to marry, it is okay for me to say that the problem is with you and not them.


Research seems to suggest that the reasons behind the anti-gay movement are indeed rooted in fear:


http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/assault/roots/freud.html

http://www.oogachaga.com/downloads/homophobia_and_homosexual_arousal.pdf


Not all people who oppose gay marriage necessarily experience anxiety in the presence of homosexuals, but they are a part of a movement that has this anxiety at its base. Some people actually experience this anxiety (to one degree or another), whereas others simply follow the lead and rationalizations of those that do. But groups work in interesting ways. "The larger the lynch mob, the more brutal the lynching." What may be only a little anxiety on the individual level compounds in the presence of a group. A group may end up acting far more violent and fearful than any of its individual members.


http://psp.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/33/10/1340


The term homophobia, like the term xenophobia, has larger social implications than simply what is happening on the individual level. Cultures can be phobic of other cultures--that is to say, one group can show an aversion to or even an antagonism against another. While this is rooted in fear--one group experiences the other as being in some way a threat to it--the influence of this fear may be transmitted to the individual members of the group in any number of ways--even dispassionate rationalizations or religious dictates. "While the phobic person is aware of the aversion, even hatred, of the target group they may not identify it or accept it as a fear."


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xenophobia


If anyone can think of any reason other than fear as being the root cause motivating the anti-gay movement, let me know. I can't see any other basis for it.

 

http://bendench.blogspot.com/

Ben Dench graduated valedictorian of his class from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in the Spring Semester of 2007 with a B.A. in philosophy (his graduation speech, which received high praise, is available on YouTube). He is currently (more...)
 
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Out of respect for you, I will respond since you m... by Reverend Anthony Wade on Monday, Mar 2, 2009 at 4:52:30 PM
My friend, I am sorry that you have been treated s... by Ben Dench on Monday, Mar 2, 2009 at 11:53:58 PM
If Prop 8 really was about what you say it was abo... by Ben Dench on Tuesday, Mar 3, 2009 at 1:21:10 PM
My friend, I am sorry that you have been treated s... by Reverend Anthony Wade on Tuesday, Mar 3, 2009 at 9:21:00 PM
Sorry for the formatting on that response, but it ... by Reverend Anthony Wade on Tuesday, Mar 3, 2009 at 9:27:07 PM
“This article also cites other journal artic... by Ben Dench on Thursday, Mar 5, 2009 at 2:12:29 PM
There's something kind of off about asking wha... by Ben Dench on Thursday, Mar 5, 2009 at 9:14:01 PM
Ben, nothing is written with any anger or contempt... by Reverend Anthony Wade on Friday, Mar 6, 2009 at 12:13:45 AM
I did not ask what kind of child you would want, i... by Reverend Anthony Wade on Friday, Mar 6, 2009 at 12:15:21 AM
I'm sorry that you feel attacked. I'm not ... by Ben Dench on Saturday, Mar 7, 2009 at 12:42:00 AM
It has been real but I don't know if i should ... by Reverend Anthony Wade on Saturday, Mar 7, 2009 at 12:50:18 AM
Well, I appreciate your willingness to offer your ... by Ben Dench on Saturday, Mar 7, 2009 at 12:57:27 AM
We obviously posted our last posts at the same tim... by Reverend Anthony Wade on Saturday, Mar 7, 2009 at 1:12:07 AM
I don't remember ever actually asking you to c... by Ben Dench on Saturday, Mar 7, 2009 at 8:38:16 PM
I will give you a direct example of mischaracteriz... by Reverend Anthony Wade on Saturday, Mar 7, 2009 at 11:46:18 PM
You used the wikipedia line twice in the first thr... by Ben Dench on Sunday, Mar 8, 2009 at 12:07:07 PM
And having looked at the article Rady posted, it&#... by Ben Dench on Sunday, Mar 8, 2009 at 12:10:25 PM
And having looked at the article Rady posted, it&#... by Reverend Anthony Wade on Monday, Mar 9, 2009 at 2:08:47 PM
You used the wikipedia line twice in the first thr... by Reverend Anthony Wade on Monday, Mar 9, 2009 at 1:59:15 PM
Science looks to empirical evidence, and it is con... by Ben Dench on Tuesday, Mar 10, 2009 at 12:38:05 AM
You cite journals and books for every question tha... by Reverend Anthony Wade on Tuesday, Mar 10, 2009 at 11:14:01 AM
It wouldn't be fair of me to ask you to justif... by Reverend Anthony Wade on Tuesday, Mar 10, 2009 at 11:17:17 AM
So anyone who is interested in objective knowledge... by Ben Dench on Tuesday, Mar 10, 2009 at 1:20:32 PM
I do not want to continue to drag this out and wat... by Reverend Anthony Wade on Tuesday, Mar 10, 2009 at 9:35:17 PM
More ad hominem's, eh? The website in question... by Ben Dench on Thursday, Mar 12, 2009 at 2:23:01 AM
ad hominem? Against who? This guy you posted? I th... by Reverend Anthony Wade on Thursday, Mar 12, 2009 at 9:15:09 AM
ad hominem? Against who? This guy you posted? I th... by Reverend Anthony Wade on Thursday, Mar 12, 2009 at 9:15:10 AM
There is something still wrong with the formatting... by Reverend Anthony Wade on Thursday, Mar 12, 2009 at 9:16:27 AM
You are very quick to try and paint a source ... by Ben Dench on Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 4:36:42 PM