A lesbian is a homosexual woman. The concept of "lesbian" to differentiate women with a shared sexual orientation evolved in the 20th century. Throughout history, women have not had the same freedom or independence as men to pursue homosexual relationships, but neither have they met the same harsh punishment as homosexual men in some societies. Instead, lesbian relationships have often been regarded as harmless, unless a participant attempts to assert privileges traditionally enjoyed by men.
How the Media Has Helped Change Public Views about Lesbian and Gay People
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center
In the United States and beyond, few shifts in public opinion have been as rapid and widespread as attitudes about lesbian women and gay men. In our recent work, we explore how the media has contributed to this major change. Our research shows that the media can play a transnational role in shaping political attitudes towards sexuality and minorities in general, especially affecting the views of more impressionable, younger individuals. Information that flows through media — via television, movies, music, books and many other channels — encourages contact and communication between groups and even across national boundaries. Gordon Allport, an influential psychologist, is often cited in scholarly research for his contact thesis — which, put simply, says that under the right conditions, interpersonal contact is one of the best ways to reduce prejudice between majority and minority groups. The central question driving our study is: Does the specific nature and context of a nation's media influence attitudes towards homosexuality?
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans & Queer identified People and Mental Health
Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. In this article the author reviews research evidence on the prevalence of mental disorders in lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals LGBs and shows, using meta-analyses, that LGBs have a higher prevalence of mental disorders than heterosexuals. The author offers a conceptual framework for understanding this excess in prevalence of disorder in terms of minority stress —explaining that stigma, prejudice, and discrimination create a hostile and stressful social environment that causes mental health problems. The model describes stress processes, including the experience of prejudice events, expectations of rejection, hiding and concealing, internalized homophobia, and ameliorative coping processes.
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