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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Concerning the title[edit]

Phobia means fear, however the scope seems a bit narrow and rather misleading for article titles such as this one. I believe the reason is due to widespread western media usage. However shouldn't wikipedia be more NPOV? If "Discrimination and/or hatred of Homosexuals" is not good enough, shouldn't "Anti-Gay" be more to the point and more appropriate (compare this to "Antisemitism" vs "Jewphobia")? Smk65536 (talk) 11:41, 9 March 2014 (UTC)

I believe your issues are covered in the "Frequently Asked Questions" at the top of this page. Marteau (talk) 15:40, 9 March 2014 (UTC)

The FAQ appears to be duckspeak. The article should be clear that homophobia is a political slur invented to belittle a particular form of bigotry. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:30, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

What's your feeling about Hydrophobes and lipophobia, then? Chemical slurs intended to belittle a particular form of molecule?— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 23:59, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
We use the term most commonly used in reliable sources. If you don't like it, then write a paper and persuade the experts to choose a new term. TFD (talk) 18:32, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
Actually, what is relevant is how reliable sources define the term. Trying to justify an approach from a publication or publications using the word is not correct for several reasons. In that context, they are not a source on the term or its usage, they are a user of the term. Second, even if they were a source in that context, they would be a primary source, and it would be the case of Wikipedia editors deriving something from primary sources. And regarding usage, probably the highest level weigh-in and source is Associated Press, and they have said the term should not be used in the way that editors of this article have used as a basis for the current state and content of this article. North8000 (talk) 13:36, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
And why is the AP a reliable source on the meaning of English words? Why isn't, e.g., the Oxford English Dictionary a "higher level weigh-in," it being written by linguists and other experts in the English language? The AP stylebook is a stylebook, not a reliable source on the acceptability of words. Their reasoning, which can be found here, is factually wrong: "Homophobia especially -- it's just off the mark. It's ascribing a mental disability to someone, and suggests a knowledge that we don't have. It seems inaccurate. Instead, we would use something more neutral: anti-gay, or some such, if we had reason to believe that was the case." The suffix "-phobia" in English does not in fact "ascribe a mental disability," as can be seen from any dictionary of the English language. Here's the OED: "-phobia Comb. form: Forming nouns with the sense ‘fear of ——’, ‘aversion to ——’." It's attested to in English in this sense since 1803. The psychiatric sense of the uncombined form phobia isn't attested to until 1897, almost a century later. Not only that, but the OED defines the term in question thusly: "homophobia, n. Fear or hatred of homosexuals and homosexuality." That is, it means the same thing as "anti-gayness" or whatever the OP wants to rename this article. What we have here is yet another example of the etymological fallacy and there's no reason we should pay attention to it at all. We should trust dictionaries to tell us the meanings of words, not stylebooks and the uninformed ramblings of " AP Deputy Standards Editor Dave Minthorn."— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 13:50, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
I think that 90% of your post is unintentionally agreeing with me. What the difference is what is at the core of it.....the neologism of expanding the meaning to include all opposition to homosexuality, (including those not involving fear or hatred) and folks trying utilize the article to work towards that neologistic expansion. By the way, I would not advocate renaming the article. I think that it should be a smaller article focusing on the term, and the topics within the non-neologistic meanings of the term. North8000 (talk) 14:28, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
I don't know what you mean. Maybe you could give an example or two. Also, it's not clear to me from your comment how you're using the word "neologism," let alone what you mean by "neologistic."— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 14:34, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
"Neologism" is a new word/phrase, or a new meaning for such. Wikipeda says that it is not to be used as a place to try to establish or promote these. And "neologistic" is just the adjective form of it. There is a section on this at Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not a dictionary#Neologisms and it refers to an additional section. The well accepted use of "homophobia" is that in most dictionaries.....namely fear or phobia related. The newer controversial use (in some circles) is to try to brand all opposition to homosexuality (or as many of them would say opposition to the practices of homosexuality) as "homophobia" . And thus to brand people who sincerely believe that that it is a willful behavior and wrong, e.g. based on religious teachings, their cultural norms) are branded as "homophobics" and any discussion of such as "homophobia". Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 14:09, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
I thought that's what you meant. That's a particularly silly bit of policy, which incorporates a fundamental misunderstanding of the meaning of the word "neologism." In fact, that guideline, using your terminology, is using a neologistic form of the word "neologism" as meaning something like "single word internet meme." Some huge percentage of our articles are about neologisms. E.g. electron, google, x-ray, quasar, meme, homosexual, superego, oxygen, DNA, homophobia (even the meaning found in dictionaries is a neologism), and on, and on, and on. Anyway, I'm not sure what we're talking about any more. Maybe I should go work on getting that policy section rewritten so it says what it means to say instead.— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 15:14, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
Bottom line is that the scope of this article should be reduced to the established, widely accepted meanings of the term. And the rest should be moved into a new article. North8000 (talk) 17:26, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
I agree, the article should be completely based upon the usage of the term by experts, not the way the media is using it now for propaganda purposes. The usage of the term by the media reminds me of "piracy" vs "copyright infringement". At least there was some more common sense regarding those articles. Smk65536 (talk) 21:08, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

This seems to differ with the dictionary's definition of the world. It seems as though the definition of homophobia has changed over the years. Anyone who doesn't approve of homosexuality is considered homophobic anymore. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:12, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

The media is using it now as a synonym for anti-gay activism. If the dictionary definition changes, then this article should be merged with existing articles on anti-gay activism instead, so the two separate meanings can co-exist. Smk65536 (talk) 21:11, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
The media's use of the term is worthy of discussion here. If you want an article on just the clinical meaning, go create Homophobia (psychiatry) but expect it to be challenged. EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 22:14, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
This article should be about the clinical meaning. The media's use of the term should be irrelevant here, it belongs to the anti-LGBT article. There shouldn't be a separate article just because the media likes to use one term over another. Why is there no piracy article just because the media uses it more over copyright infringement? See how many people are challenging this article. There should be something done about it.Smk65536 (talk) 06:57, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
The media reflects common usage, though. If most people called it "anti-LGBT feeling" then the media would follow suit. But they don't, so WP:COMMONNAME applies. Black Kite (talk) 09:05, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
The mass media pushed this term onto everybody. But whatever the case, usage depends on context. Anti-LGBT is the more neutral and formal term, WP:NPOV applies. To draw a parallel, just because many people call copyright infringement piracy, doesn't mean the article should be named as such. Smk65536 (talk) 09:30, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
It's not "people", it's reliable sources. When these sources commonly use "anti-LGBT" the article can be renamed. --NeilN talk to me 14:08, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
I think you're agreeing with me there. I'm calling for this article to only be about what reliable sources talk about, i.e. the clinical definition, instead of what the mass media talks about. Smk65536 (talk) 16:59, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Our definition of reliable sources includes "news organisations", i.e. what you label "the mass media". HiLo48 (talk) 18:32, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
That brings us back to piracy vs copyright infringement. The term piracy is used much more in "news organisations" than "copyright infringement". If both terms mean the same thing, with one being more neutral, then there is a clear winner. And please refrain from "us" vs "you" attacks, and let's speak instead about the issue at hand. Smk65536 (talk) 20:12, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
I made no "us" vs "you" attack. HiLo48 (talk) 22:53, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
That straw man is non-starter. The subject of the article is irrational fear and loathing of homosexuals. Homophobia has a well-established meaning in all range of sources and has been discussed at length on this talk page. Please refer to previous discussions in the archives and let's not repeat ourselves. If you have some specific edits to propose that are backed by strong sources, those would be worth considering, but we won't be changing the subject of the article or its title. - MrX 21:09, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
That is exactly what the article should be, irrational fear and loathing of homosexuals, in a clinical sense, not simply being anti-LGBT. Most of the article only has to do with the latter, religion being an example. These people are sticking to their beliefs, it is not a question of irrationality. The title should correspond to the meaning of the article. Otherwise either the article should be changed, or the title should be. Smk65536 (talk) 07:43, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
As others have already told you above, and as has been extensively discussed on this talk page before more than once, the subject of the article concerns more than simply "irrational fear and loathing of homosexuals." And it's well known that many people who discriminate against people who are homosexual also discriminate against people who are bisexual because of bisexual people's same-sex attraction, and that biphobia is therefore an aspect of homophobia. It's also well known that many people think that being transgender equals being gay, lesbian or bisexual, and that transgender people are partly discriminated against because of that; this makes transphobia an aspect of homophobia. We should be going by the WP:Reliable sources with WP:Due weight in this case, not the personal opinion of Wikipedia editors. And you should WP:Drop the stick; looking above in this section, you've been pushing your views on this matter since March (though I wouldn't be surprised if you've been at this article as a different account -- as an IP or a registered editor -- given how many times this talk page has dealt with WP:Sockpuppeting, WP:Meatpuppeting and WP:Single-purpose accounts, on this topic); WP:Consensus is obviously against you. Flyer22 (talk) 08:02, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
You are contradicting yourself there. "irrational fear and loathing of homosexuals." is what I quoted from MrX. And please stop the accusations and personal attacks. This is my only wikpiedia account. Just because there are opponents to your view, does not mean they are all sock puppets and meat puppets. I was not even aware of that, and that just means that there is no WP:Consensus on this issue. I've discussed this issue for a few days in March, and since yesterday in October. If I were to push my views, I would not be so reasonable. You are not addressing my issues here. I am not talking about discrimination. That topic belongs to the anti-LGBT article. This article should be a clinical one, based on reliable, scientific sources. Smk65536 (talk) 09:53, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
I have not contradicted myself in the least when replying to you; nor did I state that you have been WP:Sockpuppeting, WP:Meatpuppeting and that you are a WP:Single-purpose account (that stated, briefly checking your edit history, all the way to your first edit as Smk65536, before replying to you above told me all that I needed to know about how new you are and what type of editor you are). Your views of WP:Personal attack and WP:Consensus are also different than mine. And a clinical homophobia article? That proposal is ridiculous. Surely, editors at WP:Med (a WikiProject that I'm a part of) can tell you why a clinical homophobia article is ridiculous. I see you being WP:Pointy in this discussion. And with that, I am done replying to you. Continue on with your failure to go along with WP:Drop the stick, or whatever; it will get you nowhere. Flyer22 (talk) 10:23, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps I have misunderstood you then and you were not claiming I was using a sockpuppet account. I'm not a medical expert, but I find the contents of this article ridiculous given the title, and it being ridiculous that it is separate from the anti-LGBT article under a different banner. If a clinical homophobia article is equally ridiculous, then this article should not exist in the first place. With that said I'm ok with backing off until there is something new brought to this discussion. Smk65536 (talk) 10:49, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

Not a "phobia" per DSM. Removing citation of their standards is activist censorship.[edit]

"Homophobia" is not a phobia, by definition of the term, per DSM. But stating as much causes immediate reversion of the edit, because, well... I'd like to assume good faith but I have too much experience here to do more than pretend it's so for sake of argument and decorum, for now. The text I used was direct from the "hoplophobia" article, edited slightly for context, where apparently it's fine and well and good, but it's not good to say the same thing here. You cannot have it both ways, Wikipedians. And no, simply saying "etymological fallacy" as if that means anything relevant doesn't suffice as an explanation for your reversion. Quote: "The etymological fallacy is a genetic fallacy that holds, erroneously, that the present-day meaning of a word or phrase should necessarily be similar to its historical meaning." So? If you're admitting it's not a true phobia, thus the "etymological fallacy" notion (it doesn't have to be a phobia even though it says "phobia" in the name), then what's wrong with pointing out that it's not a true phobia? Well, other than wanting to have it both ways: It's not a phobia but we can act like it is one for political purposes, and don't you dare point out that this is factually incorrect even though it's a common mistake and we go out of our way to point it out on the hoplophobia article.

Here is the "offending" text, which is completely factual, acceptable in other contexts as noted, and sourced:

The meaning and usage ascribed by proponents of the term falls outside of the definition of a phobia used by the DSM. For example, one diagnostic criterion of phobias is that the person be aware and acknowledge that their fear is irrational, and usually causes some kind of functional impairment.[1] True medical phobias of homosexuals or homosexuality can exist, but are unusual.

If you want to fit it into the article in some other way than I did or change something minor (like use an appropriate alternate word for "proponent", as I'm not particularly happy with that word myself there - I guess you could say "some proponents" or "some activists")... fine, provided you're not burying it, but the notion that it's not allowed at all because of "original research" (despite the citation and the mention of DSM already in the article supporting this) or "etymological fallacy" (as if pointing out it's not something is equivalent to an argument that it should be that thing) is predicated on falsehood.

An encyclopedia should present facts and dispel common myths, not perpetuate them, let alone prevent myths from being dispelled because the myths are wrong (which is essentially the silly circle which is the "etymological fallacy" revert explanation). -- Glynth (talk) 21:17, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV TR (Text Revision). Arlington, VA, USA: American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc. June 2000. p. 449. doi:10.1176/appi.books.9780890423349. ISBN 978-0-89042-024-9. Criterion C: "The person recognizes that the fear is excessive or unreasonable. Note: In children, this feature may be absent." 
See the FAQ on this talk page above. Your edit was WP:OR. Please read that and WP:RS. But you already know this (Talk:Homophobia/Archive_13#"Phobia"). Welcome back from your 6 month hiatus. EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 21:26, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
You didn't address anything I posted, nor does the FAQ. But that's to be expected - because you can't and you don't care to. Like I said: Assuming good faith is foolish here. You do not get to dictate what is "original research", especially not in the face of citations. -- Glynth (talk) — Preceding undated comment added 21:29, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) It's already in the article, second paragraph of the 'Classification' section. Your phrasing "The meaning and usage ascribed by proponents of the term..." is argumentative. The term is well-established in common usage, so the idea of there being "proponents" seems to be a fringe point of view or original research.- MrX 21:37, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Sigh... you cited the DSM showing that homophobia is not listed there. I got that. Everything else you said was uncited. No one would assume from reading this article that is was a psychiatric disorder. A paragraph stating that it's not in the DSM is unnecessary. We already have Homophobia#Criticism_of_meaning_and_purpose. EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 21:38, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
Yet it is necessary on the "hoplophobia" page to have two paragraphs in their own section? What's the difference? FYI, there's already a paragraph stating it's not in the DSM. I've consolidated my citation with it and got rid of the term proponents (which as I stated, I didn't like either). Are you going to remove that, now, too? Someone else already did, claiming it didn't fit for some unspecified reason (simply using the insulting line "made by an editor who seemingly didn't read the text he added this to"). I don't want to get into an edit war, but that assertion was ridiculous. The text fits perfectly there and is a good, informative, and yes, relevant (not just to the article, but to that paragraph!) addition. -- Glynth (talk) 22:15, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
That's an WP:OTHERSTUFF argument. This article is much better quality than Hoplophobia (where you've already extensively opined). Hoplophobia should model this article, not the other way around. (PS, the reason it might be more important to mention it there is because it's a neologism and not a common word. Readers may mistake it for a DSM diagnosis, which they would not do here). EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 22:37, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
You've just used WP:OTHERSTUFF as a crutch in a manner it specifically proscribes against: Consistency is important. Moreover, the notion that people going to "Hoplophobia" will think it's a real phobia unless we spell it out for them whereas people going to the "Homophobia" article all already know it's not a real phobia and so we needn't spell out any such thing here is an unsubstantiated assumption (one which can quickly be disproven by looking around, even).
Now tell me, what exactly is wrong with the following change (first sentence already in existing article):
Homophobia has never been listed as part of a clinical taxonomy of phobias, neither in Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) or International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD); homophobia is usually used in a non-clinical sense.[1] One diagnostic criterion of phobias specified by the DSM is that the person be aware and acknowledge that their fear is irrational, and usually causes some kind of functional impairment. [2]
The valid criticisms of my previous addition are addressed (e.g. "proponent"), it's paired with relevant text, etc. And don't fall back on the "etymological fallacy" straw man. Read it for what it actually is. -- Glynth (talk) 23:06, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
  1. ^ Treichler, Paula A. (October 1987). "AIDS, Homophobia, and Biomedical Discourse: An Epidemic of Signification". AIDS: Cultural Analysis/Cultural Activism 43 (Winter): 31–70. doi:10.2307/3397564. OCLC 17873405. 
  2. ^ Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV TR (Text Revision). Arlington, VA, USA: American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc. June 2000. p. 449. doi:10.1176/appi.books.9780890423349. ISBN 978-0-89042-024-9. Criterion C: "The person recognizes that the fear is excessive or unreasonable. Note: In children, this feature may be absent." 
The article already says it isn't in the DSM. Explaining why it doesn't qualify as a DSM phobia, by citing the DSM definition of phobia as a primary source and attempting to distinguish homophobia from that definition, is synthesis of a new argument.That wording should be removed from hoplophobia. If we had some sources explaining that the DSM had considered whether either was a phobia or not and had ultimately rejected it, we could cite those. But in the absence of evidence that either has ever seriously been considered as a DSM phobia, the whole thing comes across as unwarranted.--Trystan (talk) 23:27, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for actually being reasonable about this instead of just relying on the standard crutches like the (irrelevant) FAQ. I'm not entirely convinced, if only because I found that reference in "hoplophobia" to actually be interesting (regardless of its use elsewhere) and very good information, but I'll hold off on any edits for the time being. -- Glynth (talk) 23:36, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm not opposed to your revised proposed edit, except to say that the last sentence seems like slightly unnecessary detail.- MrX 23:49, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
I do not think any reasonable reader would mistake homophobia for a psychiatric disorder. Also, in order to state that it is not a medical disorder, we would have to show that reliable sources on the subject generally point out that it is not a psychiatric disorder. This is just POV-scoring, an attempt to diminish a concept. We do not say for example that the Orioles are not birds, the Redskins do not have red skin, George Bush is not a recognized species of bush etc. TFD (talk) 00:06, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
  • I find the revised sentence interesting and helpful (my wife's doing her graduate studies in psychology, so she quotes me stuff from the DSM all the time) but I think it is the kind of clarification that would go better in either between parenthesis or in a footnote. Perhaps something like that could be a compromise here? ~Adjwilley (talk) 00:17, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
There is a disorder called "homosexuality anxiety", which is a type of OCD. Here is a link to an chapter about it in Leading-Edge Health Education Issues. It points out, "It should not be assumed that people with HOCD are homophobic....Homosexuality anxiety is not caused by dislike of homosexuals, but rather a fear that the person will no longer have access to the opposite sex, something they highly value." Notice the article uses the term "homophobic" without seeing any need to point out that it is not in the DSM. We could use a hatnote "Not to be confused with Homosexuality anxiety" (and link to Primarily Obsessional OCD which discusses it) or make a note about the distinction somewhere in the article. Or we could just omit as too trivial to the topic. There is not an article yet. Perhaps Glynth and Adjwilley with their interest in fear of homosexuality as a psychiatric disorder could write one. TFD (talk) 00:58, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
No thanks, I have little interest in and knowledge of the subject: fear of homosexuality. I happened to have this article on my watchlist from when I tried to help resolve a dispute last year. Those are good ideas though. ~Adjwilley (talk) 02:12, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

Origin of word[edit]

@Alexander Domanda: Despite multiple sources being provided for the existing text, you still insist on changing the origin without providing any sources. Please desist and discuss. --NeilN talk to me 19:08, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

See my comments. Go the dictionary and verify yourself (and your colleagues) what I have written. The article as it stands offers NO definition of homo in homophobia. Fear of???? the word means fear of the same from Greek homos and Greek heteros i.e. heterophobia means fear of the opposite.

Meaning of homophobia[edit]

Discussion is closed. "Homophobia" means...well, we all know what it means. Drmies (talk) 02:37, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The definition in the article gives the meaning for 'phobia,' but not of 'homo,' which comes from the Greek word 'homos' (mas.) or homei (fem.) singular which means 'the same.' Homos does not mean sexual as indicated in the article. Homophobia means fear of the same, i.e. of a homosexual, a person of one's own sex, specifically of a person who is perceived to be homosexual by a heterosexual. Hetero means the other in binary sexes. So a heterophobia is fear of the other sex. 'Homo' is not from the Latin word for human being (vir is male and mulier is woman).

It would be nice to see the definition completed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Alexander Domanda (talkcontribs)

Homo in the word homophobia comes from homosexual according to the article's sources. Do you have better sources that support your etymological theory?- MrX 19:25, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
@Alexander Domanda: But that's not what you're adding. "homophobia is a blend of (1) the word homo which means 'the same in Greek, itself a mix of neo-classical morphemes, and (2) phobia" contradicts the sources provided: "1960s: from homosexual + -phobia." --NeilN talk to me 19:27, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes. The problem is that you're removing the sourced derivation. The "homo" part of the word is derived from a shortening of the word "homosexual". Now whilst the "homo" part of "homosexual" does indeed derive from "homos" and means "same", we need to point out that it comes from that base ("fear of homosexuality") rather than the plain "homos" (which would be "fear of the same"). The same applies to heterophobia. Black Kite (talk) 19:31, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

Do I have sources? yes, English, Greek and Latin dictionaries and a BA and MA in Greek and Latin and an M. Litt. in Classics from Cambridge University. You can go to the dictionary to look up homo-sexual and you will see I am correct.

Then why not explain in the entire matter by writing that homophobia derived from homosexual is short for homosexualphobia. Without the full definition readers who don't know what homos means will not know and m ay confuse it with the Latin homo which is very common. Signed Alexander Domanda. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Alexander Domanda (talkcontribs)

The subject is homophobia, not homosexual. I'm not aware of a dictionary that defines homophobia as fear of the same. We don't permit synthesis or original research in articles. - MrX 19:46, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
See WP:V: "Wikipedia does not publish original research. Its content is determined by previously published information rather than the beliefs or experiences of its editors. Even if you're sure something is true, it must be verifiable before you can add it." Again, please provide a precise cite for the origin of the word homophobia. --NeilN talk to me 19:49, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.