Antigay Bias in Role-Model Occupations
Antigay Bias in Role-Model Occupations, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017
Posted: 27 Feb 2018 Last revised: 7 Mar 2018
Date Written: 2017
Employment discrimination against gay people has been used in a calculated and often systematic effort to dissociate gay people from certain positive qualities and values. At the same time, such employment discrimination against gay people has been used as a means to maintain and strengthen the association between these positive qualities and values and the heterosexual majority as well as the institutions that the heterosexual majority holds dear: the majority defines itself in contradistinction to the minority. Thus, sexual orientation discrimination in employment serves as a powerful tool to reinforce social understandings about the inferior nature of gay people.
This book seeks to elaborate this thesis by developing and exploring the record of employment discrimination against gay people with respect to six “role-model” occupations: lawyer/judge, soldier, teacher, politician, major league athlete, and clergy. Each of these role-model occupations evokes certain positive qualities and values. Thus, sexual orientation discrimination in each of these role-model occupations acts as an effective means to define certain qualities and values as heterosexual while reinforcing the notion that gay people lack these qualities and values.
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