Sexuality Research & Social Policy

, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 41–55 | Cite as

Paths to homophobia

Article

Abstract

This paper draws on in depth case studies of antigay/lesbian activism as well as on the sociological literature on racial prejudice to develop and operationalize the concepts of group position and stereotypes as mediating mechanisms which explain homophobia. Based on this analysis, this paper posits the importance of the continued promotion of antigay/lesbian stereotypes as well as a sense of group position that views heterosexuals as more capable than lesbians and gay men for understanding homophobia. This paper then develops scales to measure both group position and stereotypes. Next, drawing on a survey of police department employees, the paper illustrates the explanatory value of these concepts via path analysis. This paper argues that these mediating concepts clarify contradictory findings within the literature on homophobia and concludes with policy implications.

Key words

prejudice police attitudes lesbian and gay politics social movements discrimination 

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Copyright information

© Springer 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of ConnecticutStorrs

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