A be learned from parents or family members by

A good theory that helps us
understand prejudice against lesbian, gay and bisexual people is the social
learning theory in which Allport suggested prejudice can be learned from
parents or family members by being either taught or caught. By this he meant
that parents or other family members teach children prejudiced values –
children who have parents who openly tell them it is okay to speak or behave
negatively towards lesbian, gay and bisexual people will grow up thinking this
behaviour is acceptable and therefore repeat it. Children could also catch
their parents’ attitudes indirectly as they listen to their jokes, watch how
they interact with others – meaning if a child grows up hearing their parents
or family members making derogatory, homophobic jokes or see them behaving in a
homophobic way, then they may grow up to express these behaviours themselves.
For example, a child hears their parents making homophobic jokes quite often,
the child may then make their own homophobic joke to their parents which is
rewarded with laughter or praise, so from then on the child thinks this behaviour
is acceptable. Being homosexual was a crime itself in Britain until 1967, gay
and bisexual men could face a life sentence in prison just for their sexuality
up until this point – but even after this, in 1988 Section 28 of the Local Government
Act was introduced which meant local authorities were prohibited from promoting
homosexuality by teaching or by publishing material (legislation.gov). By
growing up being socialised that homosexuality is criminal and wrong many
people will unintentionally have this prejudice in them as – although much
progression has been made in normalising homosexuality in modern times – it can
be hard to change what someone thinks just by legalising it without properly
educating them on the subject. Similarly, a theory that agrees with this is the
differential association theory (Sutherland and Cressey, 1970) which says people
act in deviant ways because they were socialised to do so by a deviant
subculture e.g. friends and family.

Another theory that could
explain prejudice based on sexual orientation is differential identification
theory (Sutherland and Glaser) which suggested people model their behaviour on  models presented to them by the mass media
e.g. TV, music, movies, internet. Glaser said “a person pursues criminal
behaviour to the extent that he identifies himself with real or imaginary
persons from whose perspective his criminal behaviour seems acceptable”
(Deviance.socprobs, n.d.). An example of this is Donald Trump becoming
president and his homophobic, sexist and racist views being shown on TV not
only in America, but around the world, people watching will see he is a
powerful person and has these views so therefore it must be acceptable if they
behave that way as well. For example, Trump told the Family Research Council’s
Values Voter Summit – who are classed as a “hate group” – that their anti-LGBT
views would no longer be silenced.

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It is not only individuals
who commit hate crimes, as research shows it is usually committed by groups of
likeminded friends and associates rather than individuals or members of
organised hate organisations. Few people who get in trouble for committing
these hate crimes have any previous history of prejudice-based crimes, which
shows it may not only be the offenders own prejudices but the impact of group
dynamics (Gerstenfeld, 2004).