Heterosexism and Ageism
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Definition and Overview
Despite growing acceptance of sexual minority individuals in the USA (PEW 2013), heterosexism, the cultural ideology that perpetuates society’s negative regard for any nonheterosexual behavior, identity, relationship, or community, continues to pervade societal customs and institutions (Szymanski and Mikorski 2016). For example, 30 states in the USA lack legal protection from antigay discrimination in education, employment, and housing (Lopez 2016). Ageism (stereotyping of and discrimination toward older adults) is a serious social problem (Levy and Macdonald 2016) and is of growing concern as the population of older adults continues to increase see “Age Stereotypes”. The consequences of ageism range from workplace discrimination, elder abuse, to poorer physical and mental health (Abrams et al. 2016; Levy et al. 2016; Pillemer et al. 2015) see “Stereotype Embodiment Theory”.
Key Research Findings
As the population of adults ages 65 and older continues to...
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