Psychology Colloquium - Hoffarth

Thursday, November 29, 2018
12:15 PM - 1:15 PM (ET)
Judd Hall Judd 116
Event Type
Race, Catherine

"The Psychology of Heterosexism"
Mark Hoffarth
New York University

Sexual minorities continue to face prejudice and discrimination. What social psychological factors promote and maintain heterosexism? How are sexual minorities impacted by heterosexism, and how do sexual minorities respond to heterosexism? I discuss how people may be motivated to justify the current social system because of the psychological needs that are fulfilled by maintaining a positive view of oneself and maintaining the perception that society is fair. As a consequence of these motivations, both heterosexuals and sexual minorities can be motivated to maintain the status quo in ways that promote heterosexism and lead to resistance to social changes and reduced activism. Specifically, I discuss the potential roles of religious beliefs, political ideologies, stereotypes, and social identities in influencing whether people oppose or support heterosexism.

Mark Hoffarth grew up in rural North Dakota, and attended the University of North Dakota as an undergraduate student. He developed an interest in social change and the factors that promote resistance to social change. He completed his Masters and PhD at Brock University, studying how anti-gay prejudice and opposition to gay rights are influenced by social psychological factors. He is currently a postdoctoral scholar in the Social Justice Lab at NYU, studying how sexual minorities respond to heterosexism.

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