Anti-homosexual prejudice ... as opposed to what? Queer theory and the social psychology of anti-homosexual attitudes

Hegarty, P. and Massey, S. (2006). Anti-homosexual prejudice ... as opposed to what? Queer theory and the social psychology of anti-homosexual attitudes. Journal of Homosexuality, 52(1-2) 47 - 71.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1300/J082v52n01_03

Abstract

This article uses Sedgwick's distinction between minoritizing and universalizing theories of sexuality to analyze variability in social psychologists' studies of anti-homosexual prejudice, focusing on studies of attitudes. Anti-homosexual prejudice was initially defined in conversation With gay liberationists and presumed, among other things, that fear of homoerotic potential was present in all persons. Later social psychologists theorized anti-homosexual prejudice in strict minoritizing terms: as prejudice towards a distinct out-group. In the first section of this paper we discuss corresponding shifts in the conceptualization of anti-homosexual attitudes. Next, using a universalizing framework, we re-interpret experiments on behavioral aspects of anti-homosexual attitudes which were originally conceptualized using a minoritizing framework, and suggest avenues for future research. Finally, we examine how queer theory might enrich this area of social psychological inquiry by challenging assumptions about the politics of doing scientific work and the utility of identity-based sexual politics.

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