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Heterosexism in college classrooms: The effects of ‘invisibilization’ and overt discrimination

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  1. Introduction
  2. Review of literature
  3. Overt discrimination
  4. Effects of heterosexism
  5. Methodology
  6. Participants and data collection
  7. Data analysis
  8. Results
  9. Discussion
  10. References

Heterosexism is used as a tool to reinforce the norms of the status quo and maintain rigid gender roles (Eguchi, 2006). Heterosexism has been used to deny marriage and employment benefits to same-sex couples (Eguchi, 2006). Same-sex individuals of domestic abuse are less likely to receive full protection under the law (Eguchi, 2006). Heterosexism persists through all levels of society, and exists in all class, gender, race, and age groups. The purpose of this paper is to focus on the role of heterosexism and homophobia in college classrooms, specifically, whether or not overt and covert discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) occurs in college classrooms. Specifically, this paper attempts to answer the question, ?What are the implications of overt and covert heterosexism in college classrooms?? First, the relevant literature will be reviewed. Second a methods section will describe the nature of data collection. Third, the results of the research will be reported. This section will include direct quotations from the focus group participants. This paper will conclude with a discussion about the prevalence and impacts of heterosexism.

[...] There have been several recent communication studies that have backed up the theory that overt and covert discrimination against sexual others (those deviating from the heterocentric norm) persist in college classrooms and across college campuses. This literature review will be divided into three sections of analysis: research that pertains to ?invisibilization', research that pertains to overt harassment, and research about the effects of heterosexism. ?invisibilization' The rendering of LGBT individuals invisible is an often overlooked component of heterosexism. Covert discrimination can be as damaging as overt discrimination despite the fact that it is often overlooked in contemporary queer research. [...]


[...] And, it's something that happens, a situation you face in life. Overt discrimination was also discussed, and emerged as another important theme. The participants were then asked to describe any instances of heterosexism that they had witnessed in college classrooms. Several participants recounted stories about a person they had known that had come out of the closet, and it was universal that certain people treated these individuals different because of their sexuality. Other participants described much more specific and vicious forms of heterosexism. [...]


[...] Xander, who identified himself as a gay man, also spoke of overt discrimination by saying, think the first time you get called a fag really opens your eyes to homophobia, because its like directed towards you.? Other participants described their experiences in church, and how homophobia was taught from the pulpit. Lucy explained that she has first become aware of homophobia because of a gay man who came out of the closet when she was a young girl. Lucy recounts the story of this man It was one of my H.S. [...]

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