Sexualism refers to either discrimination based on sexuality, or sexuality itself.

Sexual Bias

Sexualism is a predisposition towards heterosexual people, which some see as biased against lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, transgender or intersex, people among others. A related term is Sexual Prejudice, a negative attitude toward someone because of her or his sexual orientation. [ Matlin, Margaret W.,Ph.D., "The Psychology of Women", (2004)] This bias is not the same as Homophobia, but rather is the discrimination towards or against non-heterosexual behavior. Heterosexism suggests that the basis for this bias is not found in the individual per se but rather has a broader cultural or biological basis that results in weighted attitudes towards heterosexuality over other sexual orientations. Heterosexism is one form of structural violence.

An earlier definition of this term is:Sexualism is a belief or argument that heterosexuality is the only natural, normal, or moral mode of sexual behavior, and is also used to refer to the effects of thatinstinct. The word "heterosexism" has also been proposed to mean essentially the same thing. [Corsini, Raymond J., "The Dictionary of Psychology" (2001), ISBN 1-58391-328-9
] This word has been suggested as an alternative to homophobia, [Herek, Gregory M., Ph.D., " Beyond 'Homophobia': Thinking About Sexual Prejudice and Stigma in the Twenty-First Century." Sexuality Research & Social Policy (April, 2004)] in part because it uses a parallel structure to sexism or racism. The intent of heterosexism is the examination of the cultural bias towards non-heterosexuals rather than individual bias, which is the focus of homophobia.

Sexualism should not be confused with "heterocentrism", which is an (often subconscious) assumption that everyone is heterosexual, and the attitudes associated with that assumption. In queer theory, "heterocentrism" is closely related to heteronormativity.Fact|date=February 2007

Sexuality / Sexual Nature

The term sexualism has often been used in literature to refer to man's sexual nature. [Coleman, Julie, 'Love, Sex and Marriage: A Historical Thesaurus' (1999)] [Glicksberg, Charles Irving, 'The Sexual Revolution in Modern English Literature' (1973), etc.] The term pansexualism, seen especially in the field of early-20th century psychoanalysis , [Malinowski, Bronislaw , 'Sex and Repression in Savage Society' (1955)] was based on this usage. The terms homosexualism and bisexualism were also based on this usage, and were commonly used before the general adoption of the terms homosexuality and bisexuality. [Kodaigaku - 'Bi-sexualism in Buddhist Literature', by Kodaigaku Kyōkai (Japan)] The word sexualism is still in use, though often as part of a hyphenated compound word (for example, "anti-sexualism"). ['For Sex Education, See Librarian: A Guide to Issues and Resources,' by Martha Cornog, Timothy Perper (1996) ]

Example Usage

Dr. C.G. Jung, in his book THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE UNCONSCIOUS, wrote: "Just as the sexualism of neuroses is not to be taken literally but as regressive phantasy and symbolic compensation for a recent unachieved adaptation, ..."


#White, Chris, 'Nineteenth-century Writings on Homosexuality: a sourcebook' -ISBN 0415153050
#Wolman, Benjamin B., 'International Encyclopedia of Psychiatry, Psychology, Psychoanalysis & Neurology' (1977)
#Fish, J. Heterosexism in Health & Social Care. Basingstoke: Palgrave. (2006)

See also


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