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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 persons 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 persons 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
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
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.
There are many factors that can cause a person to be homophobic. Research has shown that prejudice against gay people and homosexuality can be
influenced by the person:29 30

Having strong religious beliefs that disapprove of sex and/or homosexuality

Having little/no social contact with lesbian and gay people

Reporting no homosexual experiences or feelings

Reasons For Preferring:

early homosexual experience(s) with adults and/or peers - 22%

homosexual friends/ around homosexuals a lot - 16%

poor relationship with mother - 15%

unusual development (was a sissy, artistic, couldn't get along with own sex, tom-boy, et cetera) - 15%

poor relationship with father - 14%

heterosexual partners unavailable - 12%

social ineptitude - 9%

born that way - 9%

Homosexual experience:

any homosexual experience in childhood, especially if it is a first sexual experience or with an adult

any homosexual contact with an adult, particularly with a relative or authority figure (in a random survey, 5% of adult homosexuals vs 0.8%
of heterosexuals reported childhood sexual involvements with elementary or secondary school teachers

2. Family abnormality, including the following:

a dominant, possessive, or rejecting mother

an absent, distant, or rejecting father

a parent with homosexual proclivities, particularly one who molests a child of the same sex

a sibling with homosexual tendencies, particularly one who molests a brother or sister

the lack of a religious home environment

divorce, which often leads to sexual problems for both the children and the adults

parents who model unconventional sex roles

condoning homosexuality as a legitimate lifestyle welcoming homosexuals (e.g., co-workers, friends) into the family circle
3. Unusual sexual experience, particularly in early childhood:

precocious or excessive masturbation

exposure to pornography in childhood

depersonalized sex (e.g., group sex, sex with animals)

or girls, sexual interaction with adult males

4. Cultural influences:

a visible and socially approved homosexual sub-culture that invites curiosity and encourages exploration

pro-homosexual sex education

openly homosexual authority figures, such as teachers (4% of Kinsey's and 4% of FRI's gays reported that their first homosexual experience
was with a teacher)

societal and legal toleration of homosexual acts

depictions of homosexuality as normal and/or desirable behavior