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ERIC Number: EJ1138658
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1468-1811
That's so Homophobic? Australian Young People's Perspectives on Homophobic Language Use in Secondary Schools
Fulcher, Karyn
Sex Education: Sexuality, Society and Learning, v17 n3 p290-301 2017
It is generally accepted that hearing homophobic language can be detrimental to the well-being of same-sex attracted young people. "Writing Themselves In 3," a survey of Australian same-sex attracted young people, found that almost half of the respondents reported hearing such language on a regular basis, and considered it offensive. Less is known however about heterosexual young people's experiences. Homophobic language use is often assumed to be motivated by prejudice, but this topic has not been well studied. Using interviews and an online discussion with young people aged 16-21 years, this study explored heterosexual young people's perspectives on homophobic language use at school. Contrary to the framing often used in anti-homophobia education, the meaning of this form of language was seen to largely depend on the context in which it was employed, frequently functioning to reinforce masculine gender norms, particularly for popular male students. Furthermore, while many heterosexual participants in this study used homophobic language regularly, they did not see themselves as homophobic and viewed school policies against the use of homophobic language as largely ineffective. Findings suggest that heterosexual young people may respond more favourably to anti-homophobia education if these programmes acknowledge the variety of meanings and functions of language commonly understood to be homophobic in character.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A