Monday, April 7, 2008

Are Gay Men More Hated Than Lesbians?

It's my perception that gay men are more hated than lesbians, and are more likely to lie about their orientation? Is this true? H.

Interesting question, but it's hard to determine. Years ago a study (which both straight-identified men and women participated in) suggested that lesbians were more "admired" because they were seen as being "like men" while there was more contempt for gay men because they were supposedly "like women." But this was many years ago, and only one study, and hopefully women's rights has done away with this idea that men are superior to women (although this attitude persists in sexist and stupid individuals of both sexes).

Just because some straight guys find the idea of two women ("hot babes" only) making out or having sex with each other to be titillating, doesn't mean they are accepting of real lesbians or same-sex relationships between two women. There have been many cases of lesbians coming up against blatant discrimination, and I'm sure if you asked any of them if they there was less prejudice against lesbians than gay men they would, understandably, cry foul.

Is there a female equivalent of the "down low," where someone has a straight relationship but secretly has same-sex encounters on the side? Probably, but there hasn't been much research into it. Women may in general be more open about their bisexual habits than men.

Comedians often make stupid jokes about lesbians, although it does seem as if "fag" jokes -- as opposed to "dyke" jokes -- abound, but it has to be remembered that whether someone is putting down or making fun of a gay man or a lesbian, they are being homophobic in either case. Gay men are also being put down by "dyke" jokes because they are anti-gay -- and vice versa.

Somehow the notion of men having sex with each other (especially when it comes to sodomy) seems to disturb people more than the idea of two women together. But this doesn't mean that lesbianism is totally accepted in our society any more than male homosexuality.

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