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heterosexism A diverse set of social practices—from the linguistic to the physical, in the public sphere and the private sphere, covert and overt—in an array of social arenas (including work, school, church), in which the binary distinction of homosexual (attracted to members of the same sex) versus heterosexual (attracted to members of the opposite sex) is at work in such a way that heterosexuality is privileged. Allied concepts include those of ‘compulsory heterosexuality’ and the more psychological notion of homophobia.

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