Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Social Hypotheses of Homophobia

  • Alexandra Zapko-WillmesEmail author
  • Christian Kandler
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_3379-1



An umbrella term for a negative (attitudinal, affective, or behavioral) response towards homosexuality and homosexuals


Following societal change in thinking about the status of homosexuality and its politically motivated removal from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1974, research on the origin of homosexuality declined and was replaced by studies on homophobia. The term homophobia, defined as “the dread of being in close quarters with homosexuals – and in the case of homosexuals themselves, self-loathing” (Weinberg 1972, p. 4), has been repeatedly criticized for its inherent evaluation of the response as (fundamentally) fear-based, pathological, irrational, and even unscientific (e.g., O'Donohue and Caselles 1993). As a consequence, a variety of broad and narrow re-definitions of the term as well as alternative terms, among others, homonegativity, homosexism, and sexual prejudice, (Herek and...

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The authors received support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft KA 4088/2-1.


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Psychology and Sports ScienceBielefeld UniversityBielefeldGermany
  2. 2.Bielefeld UniversityBielefeldGermany