System of bias and prejudice in favor of heterosexuality / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Heterosexism is a system of attitudes, bias, and discrimination in favor of heterosexuality and heterosexual relationships.[1] According to Elizabeth Cramer, it can include the belief that all people are or should be heterosexual and that heterosexual relationships are the only norm[2] and therefore superior.

Although heterosexism is defined in the online editions of the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language and the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary as anti-gay discrimination or prejudice "by heterosexual people"[3] and "by heterosexuals",[4] respectively, people of any sexual orientation can hold such attitudes and bias, and can form a part of internalised hatred of one's sexual orientation.[5]

Heterosexism as discrimination ranks gay men, lesbians, bisexuals and other sexual minorities as second-class citizens with regard to various legal and civil rights, economic opportunities, and social equality in many of the world's jurisdictions and societies. It is often related to homophobia.

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