Lgtbi, Aggressive Behaviors And Homophobia

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LGTBI, aggressive behaviors and homophobia


The recent report on the evolution of hate crimes in Spain indicates that the three areas with the highest number of registered incidents are those of "ideology", "racism/xenophobia" and ‘sexual orientation and gender identity’, which represent the totalof the set of hate crimes 37.3%, 33.2%and 16.2%, respectively (Ministry of Interior 2018);With respect to this last fact, in which if it includes discriminatory attitudes towards the LGTBI collective, homophobia is considered a hostile attitude that conceives and points to homosexual orientation as contrary, lower or abnormal, and to the people who practice it as sinners, sick, bad, criminals, criminals or unbalanced, even stripping them of their status as human beings (Pichardo 2007), it can also manifest through expressions of real or symbolic violence, analogous to other forms of exclusion. (Cornejo 2012).


In recent years, investigations have proliferated that have focused on the possible affective and cognitive variables that may be affecting the deployment of attitudes contrary to the non -heterosexual minorwhich include both affective and cognitive components (Van Langen, Wissink, Van Vugt et al 2014). It has been shown that empathy is negatively related to aggression and intimidating behaviors (Mayer, Justyte, Klimcki, and Schönenberg, 2018), has a modulating function in prosocial behavior and aggressive behavior, (Mestre, Samper, and cold-Navarro, 2002), becoming a strong predictor of openness to diversity (Gerson and Neilson. 2014), reducing prejudices and promoting prosocial behaviors (Batson et al., 2003;Eisenberg, Fabes, and Spinrad, 2006). 

Other studies have also demonstrated this negative relationship between prejudice and empathy (Batson et al., 1997;Birnie, Speca and Carlson, 2010). Specifically, and in relation to homophobic attitudes, it has been confirmed that empathic concern, correlates significantly with lower homophobic attitudes, less discomfort with respect to homosexuals and less possibilities to reduce the human rights of this group (Johnson and Bremsand Alford-Keating, 1997), therefore homophobic attitudes have been associated with subjects that have lower levels of empathy (Bastón et. All. 1997;Lillis and Hayes, 2007;Chaux and León, 2016;).), demonstrating a negative correlation between homophobia and empathy, (Wahlund, 2015), both in heterosexual adolescent population (Poteat and Digiovanni and Scheer, 2013), as in the perception of people with AIDS (Walters, Andrew. 1991) and homosexual or bisexual people (Rodríguez-Hidalgo and Hurtado-Mellado 2019).

Contradictory results of the role of empathy in aggressive and intimidating behaviors

However and despite the fact that empirical evidence demonstrates this inverse relationship between empathy and homophobia, there are contradictory results in studies that question that relationship. For example, studies that address the different dimensions of empathy indicate that the manifestation of intimidating or violent behaviors would be more related to low levels of affective empathy without this having an impact on the cognitive dimension of it (Blair, 2005). There is also evidence that the relationship between empathy and aggression is weak, and that only 1% of the variation in aggression is explained by empathy (Vachon, Lynam and Johnson 2013). 

In the same line, the goal analysis of empathy that reviewed its relationship with four categories of participation in intimidating behaviors, contradictory findings were observed when observing, studies that reported negative and positive associations with cognitive empathy, and studies that reported negative associations andNo association with affective empathy, these results highlight the importance of the distinction between cognitive and affective empathy in participation in intimidation to others (Van Noordden, Tirza & Haselager, Gerbert & Cillessen, Antonius & Bukowski, William. 2014), suggesting the need to obtain different measures in research for both types of empathy (Wang, and Lei, and Yang and Gao and Zhao. 2017)

Another of the variables intervening in the appearance of aggressive attitudes and behaviors is moral disconnection (Bandura, 1996,1999, 2004) In this sense, consistent associations have been demonstrated between the mechanisms of moral disconnection and intimidating behaviors in adolescents, youth and adults(Ortega-Ruiz et al., 2002), making a prediction of antisocial behaviors (Navas, 2018), therefore moral disconnection (DM) is a significant correlation of hostile and aggressive behavior (Gini, Pozzoli and Hymel, 2014). Despite the well -documented evidence that relates moral disconnection with antisocial and intimidating behaviors, its application to the scope of homophobic attitudes still raises numerous unknowns.

On the other hand, the need to relate the influence of multiple variables in the manifestation of aggressive behaviors has been found, in this sense, some studies indicate the interdependence of variables such as empathy and moral disconnection;For example, moral disconnection correlates negatively with prosocial behaviors and empathy (Stiths and Narváez 2019), so that the greater the behavior of physical or verbal aggression, direct or indirect, the greater the use of moral disconnection mechanismsTo justify actions considered reprehensible by society, and less is the sense of empathy and prosociality for the well -being of others (Raskouskas, Gregory, Harvey, Rifshana and Evans, 2010; Giulio et al., 2018;Kokkinos and Kipritsi, 2017). These findings have been confirmed in antisocial behaviors such as bulling and cyberbulling (Hymel, Rocke-Henderson, and Bonnano, 2005; Zych and Llorent 2018; Lazuras, Bright, Barkoukis, Guarini, Tsorbatzoudis and Genta, 2019), also inferring that the disconnectionMoral is a common characteristic of traditional aggression, but also cybernetics in peers. (Pornari, C. D., And Wood, J. 2010). A significant negative relationship between empathy and aggression at low levels of moral disconnection has also been confirmed, however, at high levels of moral disconnection, the relationship between empathy and aggression was not significant (Wang, and Lei, and Yang and Gaoand Zhao. 2017).  

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