Negative Attitudes to Lesbians and Gay Men: Persecutors and Victims

  • Vittorio Lingiardi
  • Nicola Nardelli


Negative attitudes toward lesbians and gay men widespread in multiple spheres including mass media, politics, public institutions, pseudoscientific contexts, and interpersonal relationships can be very distressing and sometimes unbearable for the victims. The adoption of the term “homophobia” [Weinberg (Society and the healthy homosexual, 1972)], although it is not entirely satisfactory, can be considered a milestone in Social Sciences because it marked the transition of scientific paradigm from homosexuality (and its “causes”) to antigay hostility (and its causes). For clinical and research purposes, it is important to consider the role of prejudice in affecting psychological well-being and producing minority stress in gay people and their families. At the same time, a comprehensive understanding of sexual prejudice as a form of abuse is necessary to develop prevention policies and practices (e.g., against homophobic bullying) and to avoid antigay biases and secondary victimization (e.g., in the clinical settings). Some tools for the assessment of both explicit and implicit sexual prejudice (both in straight and gay people) will be briefly discussed.


Sexual Orientation Sexual Minority Secondary Victimization Implicit Association Test Implicit Attitude 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Dynamic and Clinical PsychologySapienza University of RomeRomaItaly

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