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Discussion 5: Sexuality and Heterosexism


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The term 
heterosexism is used to describe the belief that heterosexuality is the norm or superior. 
Heterosexual privilege gives unearned and unchallenged advantages and rewards to straight people because of their sexual orientation. These same benefits are not automatically granted to LGBTQIA+ people.

Heterosexism is manifested in both personal behavior and social institutions. Unlike homophobia (i.e. the irrational fear of homosexuals), the prevalence of heterosexism in social institutions can result in the denial of services, resources, and civil rights.

The following are the components of heterosexual privilege:

1.    The assumption that everyone is heterosexual.

2.    Heterosexuality is the only “normal” sexual orientation.

3.    Social institutions, laws, and public policies may exclude the acknowledgment of other sexual orientations or deny rights to LGBTQIA+ individuals.

Please respond to the following questions. Use and cite 
at least 2 of the week’s resources in your response.

· What are some of the “single stories” we have in our culture about LGBTQIA+ people in our culture? How did you learn these stories?

· Consider the last 2-3 movies or TV shows you have watched. How many LGBTQIA+ characters were represented in them? How were these characters portrayed compared to straight characters?

· If you were a television or movie executive or director, how could you improve diversity in your industry? Why might this be important?

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