Friday, November 15, 2019
Social problem of homophobia in todays Canadian Society
Social problem of homophobia in todays Canadian Society This essay seeks to answer the social problem of homophobia in todays Canadian society. Four scholarly sources were consulted and made reference to in this essay regarding homophobia and the conflict theory. The textbook, Sociology your Compass for a New World written by Robert J. Brym, John Lie and Steven Rytina explores the topic of the conflict theory. The conflict theory explains the class struggle in society; the conflict theory can be used to show how homophobes, the upper class people, use their so called power to take advantage of the less powered, homosexuals. Upon reading this essay the reader will be educated on the social problem of homophobia, types of homophobic manifestation, movements against homophobia and how the conflict theory learnt about in chapter one of the textbook, Sociology your Compass for a New World can help us better understand the social conflict created by homophobia. Homophobia in Todays Canadian Society The social problem of homophobia is defined as the fear or hatred towards homosexuals or homosexuality. This fear has negative consequences towards the Canadian society, especially towards the gays, the lesbians and the bisexuals. Homophobia in Canada today can be manifested internally, externally, institutionally, socially and culturally. Homophobia has rapidly increased in the Canadian society, in most part, many not even aware of being homophobic. When one refuses to take part in a social activity because they might be perceived as guy or lesbian is considered a type of homophobia. This type of homophobia is when one is afraid of being supposed as gay or lesbian. The Canadian government has no control over the decision one takes to be homophobic, what they can do is educate the uninformed and reach out to the younger generations, the main source of this social problem comes from the primary agent of socialization, the family. Homophobia is often passed on from generation to genera tion; children are being raised to believe that homosexuals are not wanted in our society. On May 17th 1993, homosexuality was removed from the International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organization (WHO). Today Canadians celebrate this movement as the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia. Homophobia may be seen as a class struggle because homophobes associate the gay community as less important than themselves or the normal community. The conflict theory as read about in the textbook, generally focuses on large, macrolevel structures, such as class relations or patterns of domination, submission, and struggle between people of high and low standing. (Robert J. Brym, 2007) The conflict theory explains how homophobes use their power, vulgar words or acts of discrimination, to take advantage of homosexuals who to them, have less power. The conflict theory helps better understand the class struggle homosexuals go through as well as the class inequality. Gay and lesbian adolescents and youth are disproportionately homeless (Health Canada, 1996; Hellquist, 1996). Sexual orientation is a major precipitating factor leading youth to being and staying on the streets (Canadian Public Health Association, 1998), characterized by poverty and often survival conditions. (Ryan, 2003) This conflict created by homophobes has increasingly negative consequences on the gay community. Many homosexuals feel the need to leave their homes and home towns in fear of rejection. This just goes to show how powerful homophobes can be in regards to homosexuals. External, internal, institutional, social and cultural are all different ways in which homophobia can manifest itself. In the most part, homophobic people act negatively towards the gay community by either socially avoiding them, by verbally attacking them or by discriminating against them, also known as external homophobia. Homophobes act this way because they are afraid; they are afraid that homosexuals can convert people to their kind and feel the need to protect their children or their own identity. Homosexuals are discriminated against everyday of their lives, whether it is at school, in the street or at work. There is no getting away from homophobia because of all the norms and policies the Canadian society has created. The society of today is constantly surrounded by homophobic manipulation, most not even aware of it. The general population sees ads on a daily basis, watches the television and reads magazines all of which give off the same impression on homosexuals, which is, that they do not exist. Rarely, will TV shows have a gay couple as the main characters of the sitcom. Cultural homophobia is when one is thought to believe that heterosexuality is better than homosexuality; people are being influenced to believe this every single day of their lives. There is an absence of accurate and positive portrayals of GLB in mainstream media (OHanlan, 1995). There is also a lack of positive GLB role models in society (Morrow, 1993). (Banks, 2004) Most homophobes deny that they are even homophobic. In most cases, homophobes are uninformed on the homosexual community and base their fear on stereotypes, beliefs and myths. In other words, they are afraid of the unknown. Studies have shown that people who are personally involved with homosexuals either as a friend or just a mutual acquaintance demonstrate little to no hatred towards them. Homophobia is still a social problem today because the population has no accurate information on the subject, some religions are against homosexuality, children are not educated on the subject and the consequence of discrimination towards homosexuals is minimal. The reason in which homophobia has increased is due to the coming out of most homosexuals. Before, homosexuals were afraid to admit their sexual orientation because of the consequences they would have to face. Today, more and more homosexuals are coming out making the homophobic community increase. Both may be seen as parallel lines movin g as one. The homophobic line has been showing a slight decrease due to national movements such as the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia. To conclude, the social problem of homophobia has impacted the Canadian society, in the most part, negatively. Canada has done a great job in trying to put an end to this social problem and discrimination, by participating in the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia. This is a day not to show off your gay pride, but a day to try and silence the homophobes and speak up against them. Too many people are being hurt by homophobes and most of the time it goes unheard. According to statistic Canada in 2006 police data reported that, More than one-half (56%) of incidents driven by hatred towards a particular sexual orientation were violent, higher than the proportion of incidents motivated by race/ethnicity (38%) or religion (26%). Common assault was the most frequent type of violent offence. (Study: Hate-motivated crime , 2008) It is time for Canada to silence this social problem and become a more united country.