The Psychology of Sexual Prejudice

  title={The Psychology of Sexual Prejudice},
  author={Gregory M. Herek},
  journal={Current Directions in Psychological Science},
  pages={19 - 22}
  • G. Herek
  • Published 1 February 2000
  • Psychology
  • Current Directions in Psychological Science
Sexual prejudice refers to negative attitudes toward an individual because of her or his sexual orientation. In this article, the term is used to characterize heterosexuals' negative attitudes toward (a) homosexual behavior, (b) people with a homosexual or bisexual orientation, and (c) communities of gay, lesbian, and bisexual people. Sexual prejudice is a preferable term to homophobia because it conveys no assumptions about the motivations underlying negative attitudes, locates the study of… 

Moral Foundations, Sexual Prejudice, and Outness Among Sexual Minorities

Recent decades have seen greater acceptance of sexual minorities and greater legal recognition of same-sex couples in the U.S. However, sexual minorities still experience sexual prejudice in their


  • Psychology
  • 2012
Biological theories of sexual orientation, typically presented in human sexuality classes, are considered by many social psychologists to cause reductions in students’ sexual prejudice. Yet when

Implicit Sexual Attitude of Heterosexual, Gay and Bisexual Individuals: Disentangling the Contribution of Specific Associations to the Overall Measure

The article aims to measure implicit sexual attitude in heterosexual, gay and bisexual individuals with a Many-Facet Rasch Measurement analysis, and finds a preference for heterosexuals relative to homosexuals is observed in heterosexual respondents, driven most by associating positive attributes with heterosexuals rather than negative attributes with homosexuals.

Toward a Greater Understanding of Antigay Prejudice: On the Role of Sexual Orientation and Gender Role Violation

Prejudice against gay men and lesbians could be driven by at least two types of expectancy violations: those pertaining to sexual orientation per se, and perceived violations of traditional gender

Anti-Homosexual Prejudice… as Opposed to What?

This article uses Sedgwick's distinction between minoritizing and universalizing theories of sexuality to analyze variability in social psychologists' studies of anti-homosexual prejudice, and examines how queer theory might enrich this area of social psychological inquiry by challenging assumptions about the politics of doing science and the utility of identity-based sexual politics.

Understanding sexual prejudice: The role of political ideology and strategic essentialism

Despite the increased visibility and acceptance of the LGBTQ community, sexual minorities continue to face prejudice and discrimination in many domains. Past research has shown that this prejudice is

The Fear of Femininity vs. the Fear of Death and Attitudes Towards Lesbians and Gay Men

Decades of research on attitudes toward non-heterosexuals has found that heterosexual males are significantly more negative towards gay men than lesbians, while females generally have similar

The Relationship Between Religious Orientation, Right-Wing Authoritarianism, and Implicit Sexual Prejudice

The relationship between intrinsic, extrinsic, and quest religious orientations, right-wing authoritarianism (RWA), and implicit and explicit attitudes toward homosexual individuals were examined

The Last Bastion of Sexual and Gender Prejudice? Sexualities, Race, Gender, Religiosity, and Spirituality in the Examination of Prejudice Toward Sexual and Gender Minorities

Regression analyses revealed gender and race were significant predictors of attitudes toward various sexual and gender categories, and holding a literalistic view of the Bible and self-identifying as more religious were related to more negative views toward sexual minorities, while self- identifying as more spiritual was related toMore positive views.



Black heterosexuals’ attitudes toward lesbians and gay men in the United States

Although the direction and intensity of Black heterosexuals’ attitudes toward homosexuality have been topics for considerable speculation, empirical data from representative samples previously have

Stigma and sexual orientation: Understanding prejudice against lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals.

Preface - Gregory M Herek Unassuming Motivations - Karen Franklin Contextualizing the Narratives of Antigay Assailants Homophobia in the Courtroom - Drury Sherrod and Peter M Nardi An Assessment of

Avoiding heterosexist bias in psychological research.

The authors describe various ways that heterosexist bias can occur in scientific research and suggest ways that social and behavioral scientists can avoid it. Heterosexist bias is defined as

Psychological sequelae of hate-crime victimization among lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults.

Compared with other recent crime victims, lesbian and gay hate-crime survivors manifested significantly more symptoms of depression, anger, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress.

"Some of My Best Friends" Intergroup Contact, Concealable Stigma, and Heterosexuals' Attitudes Toward Gay Men and Lesbians

In a two-wave national telephone survey, a probability sample of English-speaking adults indicated their attitudes toward gay men at Wave 1 (1990-91; n = 538) and toward both gay men and lesbians

Sex differences in how heterosexuals think about lesbians and gay men: Evidence from survey context effects

Two experiments were embedded in a 1997 telephone survey of U.S. households to assess possible differences in how heterosexuals think about lesbians versus gay men. In each experiment, one half of

Preventing heterosexism and homophobia

Introduction - Esther D Rothblum and Lynne A Bond PART ONE: INSTITUTIONS AND SYSTEMS Speaking of Oppression - Celia Kitzinger Psychology, Politics and the Language of Power Combating Heterosexism in

The Antigay Agenda: Orthodox Vision and the Christian Right

This text examines the values, beliefs, and rhetoric of the chief opponents of gay rights - the organizations of the Christian right. It traces the emergence of their antigay agenda and explores how

Hate crimes : confronting violence against lesbians and gay men

Foreword - The Honorable John Conyers Jr Introduction Survivor's Story - Claudia Brenner Eight Bullets PART ONE: AN OVERVIEW OF THE PROBLEM Anti-Gay Violence and Victimizaton in the United States -

Can functions be measured? A new perspective on the functional approach to attitudes.

This paper argues for the value of a reformulated and reoperationalized functional approach to attitudes. The development of two new procedures for directly assessing functions is described. First, a