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Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people: prejudice, stereotyping, discrimination and social change
chapterposted on 18.10.2021, 10:40 by Elizabeth PeelElizabeth Peel, Damien Riggs, Sonja Ellis
As targets of prejudice, many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people experience considerable scrutiny, regulation and violence as a result of living in societies that are shaped by normative ideologies in relation to sexuality and gender. Social psychologists have studied anti-LGBT prejudice since at least the 1970s with the development of ‘gay affirmative’ psychology (see Clarke & Peel, 2007; Ellis, Riggs & Peel, 2020; Kitzinger & Coyle, 2002). This chapter explores both subtle and extreme forms of prejudice as experienced by LGBT people and argues that all forms of prejudice experienced by LGBT people can be understood through specific theoretical concepts that account for why such prejudice occurs. In order to provide a framework for the chapter, the different groups are first introduced, and their intersections and some of the complexities involved in understanding LGBT populations are explored. Then the key theoretical concepts utilised in this chapter are outlined, namely (i) homophobia, (ii) heterosexism, (iii) heteronormativity, (iv) cisgenderism, (v) minority stress and (vi) decompensation. Using these concepts, the chapter then examines prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination in turn, demonstrating that each can be directed towards LGBT people in very specific ways. The chapter concludes by discussing the role that social psychology can play in creating positive social change with regard to LGBT people, with a focus on attitudinal change and its relationship to prejudice.
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