General Question

nikipedia's avatar

Why is homophobia more acceptable than racism?

Asked by nikipedia (28071points) April 22nd, 2008

Serious question this time.

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30 Answers

Breefield's avatar

Because homophobia is a more recent “affliction” than racism. I think people need more time to assimilate to the growing homosexual movement.

squirbel's avatar

The reason is because a large majority of people still do not accept homosexuality as something more than a mental condition.

Breefield's avatar

Also, note* I don’t think homophobia is an “affliction”, I was speaking from the point of someone who’s homophobic (attempting to portray the reason I see them being less accepted)

Emilyy's avatar

I think one of the biggest examples of this is the fact that up until the 1960’s it was still illegal in many states to marry someone of another race. Now, such institutionalized racism has been deemed illegal. Racism still exists for sure, but it probably wouldn’t be acceptable for states to begin re-enacting laws prohibiting mixed-race marriages. Today, gays in the US are fighting for the same right to marry whomever they love. I think that the biggest reason why homophobia is still “accepted” is because so many people in society still consider homosexuality a choice. Even many people who don’t necessarily think that it is a mental disability or “affliction” still believe that people who call themselves gay could be dating and marrying opposite-sex partners but merely choose to instead date someone of their same sex. Also, religion plays a large role. I’m not very familiar with the bible, but many people seem to interpret certain passages as saying that being gay is wrong. I don’t know if there exist any religious beliefs that say that hating people of a different race is okay.

Response moderated
lorelei's avatar

10% of population vs 50%+ makes a difference

squirbel's avatar

Homosexuality is not only considered wrong by Christanity/Bible. Almost all societies in the world have considered homosexuality to be taboo. It will take time for people to get used to it being normal.

Breefield's avatar

But religious reasoning was used to aid racism as well.

Randy's avatar

I dont really understand the wording of the question. Why is (the fear of gays) more acceptable than (hate against someone of a different color or origin)? Is that correct translation?

If so, they are two different things and neither is acceptable. Why does it even matter. People would be better off if they just minded their own business and only offered their opinion when asked.

nikipedia's avatar

“Almost all societies in the world have considered homosexuality to be taboo.”


nocountry2's avatar

I think it’s historically contextual – back in the day racism was socially “acceptable” like homophobia is socially “acceptable” today – in the future we’ll look back on today with aghast and click our tongues at how ignorant and backwards the social mores and oppression were, just as we do on racism today. I have family friends who, when arguing against homosexuality, rant “It’s just not natural!” – a perfect echo of arguments against inter-racial marriages in the past. To me, it seems like our culture is, although slowly, evolving for the better – ie more tolerant. It just seems like the collective can only handle so many issues at once.

Randy's avatar

Actually, homosexuality has been around just as long as racism. Its came in and out of fashion for many years. More today are considering it as either acceptable or as a lifestyle though. I’m curious to see how the future turns out.

MisterBlueSky85's avatar

I think something just seems fundamentally wrong to some folks when they encounter men acting feminine or women acting masculine. Granted this isn’t always the case, but it’s common, and at its very core, this seems illogical and unnatural.

sereneadage's avatar

because people always need something to complain about or something to hate. it keeps them busy.

sereneadage's avatar

why do you think the world is the way it is. conflict.

MrKnowItAll's avatar

Who ever heard of being closet black man or a latent Asian?

ezraglenn's avatar

I think the difference is that homosexuality is something that scares people more than race, because they understand it less. Someone is black because their skin is darker, because they have more melanin (right?), more pigment. There is a scientific explanation. But why is someone gay? It isnt as understood as something built into people, like eye color and baldness (I think). Also, you cannot (necessarily) tell if someone is gay just by looking at them. It’s like a secret, and people are generally afraid of what they don’t know/understand.

I hope all of this makes sense.

ezraglenn's avatar

Also, @nikipedia, haha, your name is nikipedia and you linked wikipedia.

Mangus's avatar

Funny, this goes back to some other questions asked in the last week or so. I think there’s something really interesting going on here. I think in “polite” circles, homophobic attitudes do seem to be more acceptable that racist attitudes. Likewise, there are many more instances of homophobic violence reported these days than directly racist violence (gay boys are killed more often than lynchings happen)—though that’s just a sense, can’t back it up with data at the moment.

However, though racist attitudes are less acceptable, the racist social patterns in the US remain strong. We may have not kept our eye on the ball. It is socially unacceptable to express racist attitudes, but by many measures segregation, even in schools (make no mistake, still separate and unequal), is close to the levels of the Jim Crow era. In contrast, it seems like folks get away with more public display of homophobic attitudes, even though heterosexist patterns of power aren’t nearly as pervasive or large-scale as those around race.

Really interesting contrast.

susanc's avatar

I don’t understand why it matters which one is more acceptable. Both are stupid,
ignorant, and soul-destroying. Neither is acceptable.
Actually, the answers above are interesting and thoughtful, but
the question scared me.

nikipedia's avatar

I didn’t ask the question because I think that either is or should be “acceptable”. But it is clear in society that even reasonable people who are capable of recognizing that racism is wrong are still okay with homophobia. The question was an effort to point out their hypocrisy and stretch out their brains a little bit.

loser's avatar

IT IS NOT ACCEPTED BY ME!!! To me theyre the same thing!!!

susanc's avatar

@nikipedia – I know, I really understood what you were doing, and it’s a good idea.
And then the question scared me ANYWAY. The horror, the horror.

monsoon's avatar

I’m gay. People make homophobic jokes around me all the time if they don’t realize I am ( and I’m really gay, people are dense), but to be fair, racism is still rapant.

Our society has shifted from institutionalized racism to covert racism, which is harder to battle, on every level. African Americans Have a harder time from statistically being charged more interest for loans, to having a harder time scoring a job interview if they have to put a “black” sounding name on their resume.

I just wanted to remind every one not to forget that racism is alive and well.

Riser's avatar

I dont believe I am born gay. So what? I am not asking people to force themselves into homosexual relationships so why should they force me to pretend to enjoy marriage to a woman. I like women… Especially at a distance

monsoon's avatar

@riser, then why do you think you’re gay?

Riser's avatar

Several variables having to do with a forced sexual birth, but the point is I need no scientific explanation to be with my partner.

nocountry2's avatar

Yeah…I never understood why people could get so high and mighty about other peole’s sexual prefereces…why do they care what others do in the privacy of their home? Why waste your time fretting about anothers’ sexual life? Get over it.

deaddolly's avatar

I think ppl still think that gay ppl are all child molesters or are disease ridden due to the nature of their sex lives. Let’s face it, among the older generation, oral sex is not something that was ever acknowledged. Whenever ppl don’t understand something, or see someone different, they react. Making fun of someone is easier than not, when a crowd of your peers is cracking homophobic jokes.
Things have gotten much better. I think a time will come when everyone, regardless or color or sexual orientation will be treated as EQUAL HUMAN BEINGS.
To the question tho…with all the gay themed TV shows on, people are becoming more excepting. They see gay ppl as people. Whereas the black TV shows are still mainly viewed by black ppl, and the nightly news is full of stories about murders, gangs, drugs and, atleast in my city, many of those responsible are black. No one stops to look further than the skin color. No one looks at economics etc
Am I making sense? Gay ppl are protrayed in a more favorable light, they are no longer to be feared. Ppl of color have not been portrayed that way…

eupatorium's avatar

I think that the answer is in the fact that there are those who believe it an abomination against nature to be gay, and since one cannot magically “turn black” (as if you could “turn gay”), there is more to fear from homosexuality; it’s also, unlike race, a “sin” that a trusted friend could hide. Our society as a whole has an immediately hostile attitude to anything different. Regardless, it all comes down to ignorance.

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