Derogatory labels are terms that convey a negative attitude toward a group or a person. The present article investigates the effects of a specific class of derogatory labels, namely the homophobic epithets, on heterosexuals who are incidentally exposed to these terms. In particular, we first examine the charac374 teristics of derogatory labels and their distinctive features with respects to other forms of insults as well as their link with intergroup attitudes. The review of the theoretical efforts on this issue is mainly focused on homophobic epithets. Indeed, we discuss the novelty of the research that has shown how heterosexuals' attitudes, social perceptions and behaviors toward homosexuals are affected by the exposure to homophobic epithets, thus highlighting how homophobic epithets can contribute to the persistence of homosexuals' discrimination.
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