Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Freedom to Marry Week Day 4: On homophobia

boo-did-i-skeerd-u.jpgAs long as I'm just linking to what other, smarter people think, social scientist and brainy blogger Aaronish wrote a good post on why "homophobia" isn't as accurate a description as "homoprejudice." I think he has a point.

In order for “homophobia” to exist, the sufferer would have to present with terror, a gripping desire to flee, hyperarousal (non-sexual!), avoidance, and generalized fear when presented with the “stimulis” of a homosexual. (I am sure that even Rush Limbaugh does not meet that criteria.)

The more fitting term is “homo-prejudice.” This removes the pathology and suggest a much more adequate etiological underpinning: predjudice! A mental disorder, like a specific phobia, requires the attention of a mental health professional. Could a therapist bill an insurance company to treat someone suffering with “homophobia?”

No, because that person has a prejudice and, although they may benefit from therapy, does not have a mental illness. They have a prejudice against homosexuals. Would people accept the terms “Afro-Ameriphobia,” or “Chronic Womeniphobic?”

13 comments:

MB said...

interesting...thought provoking. Thank you. And a good reminder that I need to be participating in Marriage Equality Blogging this week.

monkeyrotica said...

I still think homophobia is accurate. It's not that the person is afraid of teh gheys themselves, but what they represent: buttsecks and hot girl-on-girl action. It's like an arachnaphobe isn't afraid of spiders, they're afraid of the thought of a spider crawling on them and biting them. Or agoraphobes; they're comfortable in an enclosed space, but wide open spaces represent something horrible. The space/spider itself is meaningless, yet is a "signifier" of some latent "text" which induces the flight-or-fight reaction. So in that context, it's the homosexual act itself (rootin for taters, tittyballs rubbing against eachother) and not the individual that the homophobe fears. Either in that they can't imagine themselves actually doing such a thing, or a projection of that lifestyle as "the other" to which they identify themselves as against. Like white wing republotards hating on immigrants. That's xenophobia, right?

TFO said...

sounds like Aaronish has at least added a term that is relevant though. Good points Monkeyrotica too...and graphic ones at that!

Kelly O said...

Thanks for the google search traffic, Monkey!

Christina said...

LOL. Yes, I was thinking the same things about goggle searches Kelly!

I've loved this blogging series and with proper preparation and time would have (and should have) been participating. However, I am going to link to you today because I think this is a particularly thought provoking way of pondering this.

Plus, that kitten is an almost twin to my Amber girl ;-)

Christina said...

Why can't I ever spell gOOgle right the first time?? *sigh*

Aaronish said...

Yo, Monkey! Those are ego defenses that attempt to move the individual away from the anxiety of wanting to have hot oiled up man-love. (Also consider the use of "reaction formation," which may help explain gay-bashing, and gay catholic priests. In short: Reaction formation is becoming the opposite of the thing you actually want). A phobia involves dread, hyperarousal, panic.. ect. Not liking something, or being disgusted by it is not a phobia. I may not want to think about cetain hetro couples having sex, but I do noy have obesecoupleaphobia.

Aaronish said...

....By the way, Monkey. Most emperically based treatments for phobias include systematic desensitization, or flooding (showing the sufferer a picture a spider, then having a spider in the room, and then helping the patient touch the spider). How exactly would/could that work with a homophobia?

monkeyrotica said...

But do you have "obesecouple prejudice?" "Chubby-pokey aversion?" "Fornicatin'-fatty-phobia?" I'm not sure "homoprejudice" works in this context, either. It really comes down to either not understanding human behavior, or accepting some religious reason why they are against gay behavior. I'd settle for something like "queer-ignorant."

amy t sharp said...

you have good post on this weeks topic- I am enjoying this. I need to post something on my blog-
you smart sassy woman after my heart

monkeyrotica said...

How exactly would/could [desensitization] work with a homophobia?

1. Take the homophobes to Cobalt on a Saturday night.

2. Lock the doors.

3. [?]

4. PROFIT!

Aaronish said...

We will need a control group and a pre/post assessment.

monkeyrotica said...

We send the control group to a Log Cabin Republicans icecream social.