Riddle Me This—Where is True Tolerance on the Riddle Homophobia Scale?

question_riddle

Where’s the Tolerance?

School education systems,  are pushing “tolerance” training and acceptance on children, teachers, and families, with less true “tolerance” for differing views than you might imagine.

This is the training our children are getting when they talk about learning to be “allies” in public school.  Parents beware.

In doing research for the Alameda School District “tolerance” training, I came across the Riddle Homophobia Scale, used in many districts and programs to instruct students and teachers on how to avoid being homophobic.  This measuring stick seems designed to beat down opposing modes of thought, labeling any view that does not welcome homosexual behavior with open arms as strictly homophobic.

Interestingly the assumption Dr. Riddle’s “Homophobia Scale” makes is that homosexual feelings and homosexual acts are one and the same.  There is no room for the idea that you can love the person yet still disagree with the actions of that person.

In this assumption, Dr. Riddle and the purveyors of “Ally” week do the homosexual community a great disservice.  By lumping actions with desires and forcing the categorization of thoughts to one extreme or another, the majority of the religious who do not necessarily believe “God hates fags” yet disagree with the lifestyle are alienated.

Why make enemies unnecessarily? Tolerance is a two way street.  There are millions of people who will never change their minds on homosexual behavior, yet who are or can be encouraged to be truly tolerant.  If you can’t be tolerant of their ideas, how can you possibly expect them to be tolerant of yours?

—Beetle Blogger

Riddle Homophobia Scale:  Attitudes Toward Differences

from SafeZone Student Resources

In a clinical sense, homophobia is defined as an intense, irrational fear of same sex relationships that becomes overwhelming to the person.  In common usage, homophobia is the fear of intimate relationships with persons of the same sex.  Below are listed four negative homophobic levels, and four positive levels of attitudes towards lesbian and gay relationships/people.  They were developed by Dr. Dorothy Riddle, a psychologist from Tucson, Arizona.

Homophobic Levels of Attitude

Repulsion: Homosexuality is seen as a “crime against nature.”  Gays/lesbians are sick, crazy, immoral, sinful, wicked, etc. Anything is justified to change them:  prison, hospitalization, behavior therapy, electroshock therapy, etc.

Pity: Heterosexual chauvinism.  Heterosexuality is more mature and certainly to be preferred.  Any possibility of “becoming straight” should be reinforced, and those who seem to be born “that way” should be pitied, “the poor dears.”

Tolerance: Homosexuality is just a phase of adolescent development that many people go through and most people “grow out of.”  Thus, lesbians/gays are less mature than “straights” and should be treated with the protectiveness and indulgence one uses with a child.  Lesbians/gays should not be given positions of authority because they are still working through their adolescent behavior.

Acceptance: Still implies there is something to accept.  Characterized by such statements as “You”re not lesbian to me, you”re a person!”  or “What you do in bed is your own business.” or  “That”s fine with me as long as you don”t flaunt it!”

Positive Levels of Attitudes

Support: The basic ACLU position.  Work to safeguard the rights of lesbians and gays.  People at this level may be uncomfortable themselves, but they are aware of the homophobic climate and the irrational unfairness.

Admiration: Acknowledges that being lesbian/gay in our society takes strength.  People at this level are willing to truly examine their homophobic attitudes, values, and behaviors.

Appreciation: Value the diversity of people and see lesbians/gays as a valid part of that diversity.  These people are willing to combat homophobia in themselves and others.

Nurturance: Assumes that gay/lesbian people are indispensable in our society.  They view lesbians/gays with genuine affection and delight, and are willing to be allies and advocates.

Obear, K. (1989, March).  Opening doors to understanding and acceptance:  Facilitating workshops on lesbian, gay and bisexual issues.  Materials presented at the ACPA meeting in Washington, DC.

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32 Comments

  1. Shoes said,

    May 16, 2009 at 10:43 am

    Sorry–this is off your posted topic, but might be interesting to you (It’s probably here on your blog already and I missed it somehow!)

    The APA has toned down its previous statement regarding the genetic link to gay orientation. Their current position –“There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles….”
    http://www.apa.org/topics/sorientation.html

    The APA’s 1998 statement said, “There is considerable recent evidence to suggest that biology, including genetic or inborn hormonal factors, play a significant role in a person’s sexuality.” (Note the recent loss of the words “considerable” and “significant”.)

    If you want to check into it, my source was
    http://www.onenewsnow.com/Culture/Default.aspx?id=528376

  2. KingM said,

    May 16, 2009 at 10:57 am

    What is the “lifestyle” you’re suggesting for homosexuals? A lifetime of celibacy? Given that this is unrealistic (at best), why not offer homosexuals the same opportunities for long-term monogamy that heterosexuals enjoy? Namely, marriage.

  3. James R. said,

    May 16, 2009 at 11:15 am

    Everyone has opportunities for long term monogamy. Who says you have to be married to be monogamous?

  4. raytmimer said,

    May 16, 2009 at 11:43 am

    They teach this in schools under tolerance? That reminds me of the guy with a gun to your head that says, so baby, my way or the highway right? yeah tolerance. gimme a break.

  5. Mae said,

    May 16, 2009 at 11:55 am

    Hey don’t be so quick to tear down celibacy. If someone wants to live a celibate life, let them. Aren’t they free too? Can’t you respect their choices as well as your own? No need to talk it down.

  6. Emissary said,

    May 16, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    KingM,

    I left a similar comment to this on another post, but I don’t know if you read it, so I’ll repeat it.

    Here’s one of your previous comments:

    “If it were 100% free choice, why does that make a difference? So long as consenting adults are involved, it just doesn’t bother me what people do in the privacy of their own bedrooms.”

    Do you know that according to the above scale, you are considered homophobic? Does that bother you at all?

  7. beetlebabee said,

    May 16, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    Emissary, I have to confess after your comment I looked up information that led to this post. I couldn’t believe that any organization would be so harsh in their assessment of “homophobia”. It’s judgmental in the extreme, and I have to agree with the idea that it’s a my way or the highway type choice they give you. With impressionable children, hardwired to please, especially in an environment where a respected adult is presenting this information, this is just unacceptable.

  8. May 16, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    The invention of the word “homophobic” is just an attempt by some to make you feel bad if you disagree with homosexual sex. It’s like someone claiming that a person has a phobia because they disagree with adults abusing children.

    I liked the distinction you made between a person experiencing a same sex attraction and taking part in homosexual sex. One will destroy a persons life and the other is burden to carry.

  9. Brian said,

    May 16, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    The invention of the word “homophobic” is just an attempt by some to make you feel bad if you disagree with homosexual sex. It’s like someone claiming that a person has a phobia because they disagree with adults abusing children.

    Did you seriously mean what you typed? There is simply no comparison between the two things you just mentioned and, yes, your entire comment was homophobic.

  10. beetlebabee said,

    May 16, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    Brian,
    So what you’re saying is that it’s not ok for people to disagree? Everyone has to agree with you, or they’re bigoted? Do you know what bigoted means?

  11. Chino Blanco said,

    May 17, 2009 at 12:36 am

    Shoes –

    That paragraph that you quoted wouldn’t happen to be missing anything, would it? Say, for example, its final sentence? This one:

    “… most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation.”

  12. Michael said,

    May 17, 2009 at 9:38 am

    Good catch Chino. Obviously, you’re a reader of Americablog. However, it’s probably not Shoes’ fault. He saw it at OneNewsNow and assumed they were telling the whole story. Before he assumed it was gospel and posted it, he should have looked at the original material at the APA.

  13. May 17, 2009 at 9:56 am

    Chino:

    An in-depth reading of the entire APA page with the statement both you and Shoes referenced reveals a contradictory and highly politicized ideology. How, for instance, can you say that A) no one has any idea how or why people are straight, gay, etc, and then go on to say that B) people have little or no sense of choice…

    Waitaminnit… That’s it, isn’t it? “Little or no sense of choice.” And that’s what the militant homosexual agenda is about now, isn’t it? Keeping our side from alerting homosexuals to the fact that they have a choice. It’s funny to read the APA statement against “reparative therapy,” especially considering that they are so obviously politically motivated, and always have been, and especially considering that those who practice such therapies, and those who have benefited by it, can provide the evidence themselves that it works, and that no one has ever been harmed from attempting it, successfully or unsuccessfully. Most respectable organizations provide sources for their claims, and the APA goes to great lengths to avoid doing so.

    The APA also makes several ridiculous claims that fly in the face of common sense, and reality. They refer to “antigay violence” as a “major source of stress for lesbian, gay, and bisexual people.” That’s interesting. I wonder why Matthew Shepard is the only incident they can point to to support that claim, and that was more than a decade ago! AND it is not entirely certain that there was any anti-homosexual motivation in that crime’s commission to begin with!

    I’m sorry but, while I am glad that the APA have improved their statement somewhat, they are still controlled by their own pro-homosexual agenda.

  14. Chairm said,

    May 17, 2009 at 9:58 am

    “… most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation” appears to apply to those who experience GSA or Genetic Sexual Attraction — toward closely related people.

  15. Michael said,

    May 17, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    “I wonder why Matthew Shepard is the only incident they can point to to support that claim, and that was more than a decade ago!”

    Maybe you’re not looking. Most bashers don’t sign their work, so it does require some investigation. However, you have my promise to bring all reports of suspected bashing to this blog.

    http://www.cbs12.
    com/news/delray-4717881-shot-homicide.html

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2009/05/14/2009-05-14_nearfatal_beating_of_buffalo_man_in_west_village_investigated_as_possible_hate_c.html

  16. Brian said,

    May 17, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    Brian,
    So what you’re saying is that it’s not ok for people to disagree? Everyone has to agree with you, or they’re bigoted? Do you know what bigoted means?

    I must not be making myself clear in the comments that I’m leaving on this site, because you always respond with a string of questions about my intent. My previous comment was directed at the person who dared to compare homosexuality to child abuse. It is a disgusting notion and one that I hope you don’t support.

  17. Euripides said,

    May 17, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    Under this scheme, there is no tolerance or acceptance, both of which maintain a forced definition of homophobia. There is only nurturance, the implication that we as a society must all become willing allies and advocates of homosexuality, homosexual sex and other homosexual behaviors. Sorry folks, that is a pipe dream that just will not happen in any society. Homosexual sex still has attached taboos to social structure and the nature of gender differentiation to gain this status. Any actions on the part of gay activists to achieve “nurturance” will be perceived and forced and unwanted. The more homosexuals push, the more the remainder of society will push back.

  18. Lahona said,

    May 17, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    “… the assumption Dr. Riddle’s “Homophobia Scale” makes is that homosexual feelings and homosexual acts are one and the same. There is no room for the idea that you can love the person yet still disagree with the actions of that person.”
    This is what really gets me about the gay activist movment. They simply refuse to understand that we do not hate them and that our actions are not motivated by homophobia. There is no middle ground with them. Euripides I agree with your statement that the more homosexuals push, the more the remainder of society will push back. We will not stand by and watch our rights trampled on and our childrens minds filled with nonsense by the gay community.

  19. Agnes said,

    May 18, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    You are simply incapable of understanding how deeply condescending the last set of remarks are, aren’t you?

  20. Chairm said,

    May 19, 2009 at 7:21 am

    What is so special about same-sex sexual behavior that it must be “nurtured”?

    I’m not denying there might be something special, but I am asking for the pro-nurturing side to explain themselves better.

  21. May 22, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    That’s a good question Chairm.

    Brian, how do you catch homophobia, is it contagious and how do you get cured of it?

  22. Brian said,

    May 26, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    @ Secular Heretic: Normally it’s a genetic disorder that is passed down from one generation to the next. It isn’t very contagious and can even be cured – usually when a close friend or family member reveals their sexuality and the homophobe realizes that love transcends petty differences. :)

  23. May 27, 2009 at 2:53 am

    Any research done to support your ideas?

  24. Brian said,

    May 27, 2009 at 5:06 am

    Only my own experience.

  25. Justin Ayers said,

    June 25, 2009 at 1:02 am

    Beetle Blogger, you’re homophobic and a heterosexist.

    Heterosexism = the belief in heterosexual superiority. (This is like racism’s white superiority and sexism’s male superiority).

    Homophobia = irrational dislike of gay people, stemming from fear.

    Your specious arguments to try to defend these bigoted attitudes fail. They’re not logical. They’re not rational. Riddle’s Scale makes good sense, especially the way she shows that tolerance and acceptance are not the same thing as appreciation. Appreciation is not prejudice. People tolerate things they don’t like, not only as long as they think they have to. After that, it’s the gas chambers or the ghettos.

  26. beetlebabee said,

    June 25, 2009 at 11:22 am

    Do you always call names to reinforce your faulty logic?

  27. Smokezero said,

    June 25, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    Riddle’s scale makes no sense. In this point, I concede the point to those opposed to same sex marriage, because there are lots of things I simply “tolerate,” and that doesn’t make me a bigot. It makes me opinionated.

    As for “experiences other than Matt Shepard” how’s this for ya: Two years ago, my cousin (who’s mother had died the month before) was walking home from a gay night club with a buddy. His buddy was attacked and beaten to death right before my cousin’s eyes.

    And Justin, Beetle’s right. Stop calling names, it doesn’t help the argument.

  28. beetlebabee said,

    June 25, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    Smokezero, that is a terrible experience. How was it resolved?

  29. Smokezero said,

    June 25, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    Other than him moving to San Francisco and becoming more involved as a gay rights activist? I’m not exactly sure. I do know he’s still haunted by that memory, and the association of the death of his mother. I’ll have to ask him next time I talk with him.

  30. beetlebabee said,

    June 25, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    I was just wondering if the perpetrator was caught, if he went to jail etc.

  31. beetlebabee said,

    June 25, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    I was just wondering if the motive was discovered in court, if perpetrator was caught, if he went to jail etc.

  32. Smokezero said,

    June 25, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Oh, if I remember right, the perps got caught and thrown in prison. Where they can get their own version of “gay bashing.”


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