Heterosexism

Heterosexism is a system of attitudes, bias, and discrimination in favor of female–male sexuality and relationships.[1] It can include the presumption that other people are heterosexual or that female–male attractions and relationships are the only norm[2] and therefore superior.

Although heterosexism is defined in the online editions of the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language and the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary as anti-gay discrimination or prejudice "by heterosexual people"[3] and "by heterosexuals",[4] respectively, people of any sexual orientation can hold such attitudes and bias, and can form a part of internalised hatred of one's sexual orientation.[5]

Heterosexism as discrimination ranks gay men, lesbians, bisexuals and other sexual minorities as second-class citizens with regard to various legal and civil rights, economic opportunities, and social equality in many of the world's jurisdictions and societies. It is often related to homophobia.