Though homosexuality was seen as mental disorder until the late 1970s, the majority of people have grown to understand the plight of the lesbian, gay, bisexual or transsexual people. Unfortunately, though, there is still some fear of them in our communities. This fear of a person’s own sexual preference and lifestyle is nearly always irrational and usually due to an inexperience around these different groups of people. Homophobia is an exaggerated, irrational or extreme fear of gay men or lesbian women, and will usually lead them to fear and sometimes hate these groups and subsequently avoid most people they envision as homosexual.

Causes of Homophobia

In contrast to most phobias, it is widely believed that homophobia is primarily caused by a person’s direct environment rather then an inherent view held within them or any series of traumatic events. Here are the most common demographics that have reported the highest levels of homophobia:

  • Older men
  • Low levels of education
  • Religious
  • Supportive of traditional gender roles
  • Politically conservative
  • Residing in a geographic area where tolerance of same-sex marriages are incredibly low (Southern regions of the United States, for example)

Homophobia is usually viewed in a socially negative context; gay men and women do not see themselves as making a choice in their relationship patterns but rather are born with a different sexual preference. This routes back to the idea that, even though hating a specific group of people will usually be viewed as morally wrong, it is unfair to hate a person based on a decision they are not capable of making (sex, race, sexual preference, etc.). While a person that is unsupportive of homosexual relationships may be entitled to their opinion, homophobia is commonly known for extending beyond the boundaries of the mind. This usually leads to separate issues like segregation, discrimination or even acts of physical violence.

Treatment of Homophobia

There are a variety of professional treatment options for homophobia. These include behavioral therapy, psychotherapy, exposure therapy, relaxation techniques and medication. No matter what treatment option you choose, researching an option that best fits your lifestyle is important.

Homophobia cannot only hold you back in your life, it can also hold back others around you. This condition is not only an extreme or irrational fear of gay or lesbian people, it is also usually coupled with a hatred or outspoken disapproval of their homosexual relationships. This has recently become a large issue in our society and especially in LGBT communities. Making the effort for change will make a huge difference in your personal life, usually resulting in a more calm and collected composure in previously perceived stressful situations. If you are ready to make this change, which will result in positive changes on both a personal and social level, do some early Internet research to find the best treatment options available near you.

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