The Rise and Fall of Homophobia

Mark McCormack

in The Declining Significance of Homophobia

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199778249
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933051 | DOI:

Series: Sexuality, Identity, and Society

The Rise and Fall of Homophobia

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This chapter uses both survey data and qualitative research to examine the shifting nature of homophobia over the past thirty years. It argues that homophobia reached its apex in the 1980s, as a result of three factors: 1) the AIDS crisis; 2) a resurgence of conservative politics; 3) the rise of the religious right. However, recent evidence shows that there has been a dramatic cultural decline in homophobia since the 1990s, particularly among male youth. Highlighting that declining homophobia is an uneven social process, it is argued that rather than being the result of economic changes, declining homophobia is primarily attributable to the success of the gay rights movement and the democratizing power of the Internet.

Keywords: homophobia; internet; gay rights; decline; homohysteria; de-industrialization

Chapter.  5206 words. 

Subjects: Social Psychology

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