Homepage | Imprint
Lumrix Logo
Lumrix Wiki Logo
[ICD 10 Search]

[ICD 10 Search]




Self-hatred literally refers to an extreme dislike of oneself, or being angry at oneself. The term is also used to designate a dislike or hatred of a group to which one belongs. For instance, 'ethnic self-hatred' is the extreme dislike of one's ethnic group. Accusations of self-hatred are often used as an ad hominemattack.

The term 'self-hatred' is used infrequently by psychologists and psychiatrists, who would usually describe people who hate themselves as 'persons with low self-esteem'. Some people think that self-hatred and shame are important factors in some or many mental disorders, especially disorders that involve a perceived defect of oneself (e.g. body dysmorphic disorder). "Ethnic self-hatred" is considered by some people as being a cultural issue, to which psychological theories have limited relevance.


  • 1 Types of self-hatred
    • 1.1 Personal self-hatred
    • 1.2 Jewish self-hatred
    • 1.3 Black self-hatred
    • 1.4 White self-hatred
    • 1.5 Gay self-hatred
    • 1.6 Self-injury as self-hatred
  • 2 Controversy over the definition and use of the label self-hatred
  • 3 See also
  • 4 Reference

Types of self-hatred

The term Self-hatred can refer to either a strong dislike for oneself, one's actions, or a strong dislike or hatred of one's own race, gender, or sexual orientation.

Personal self-hatred

Personal self-hatred is similar to self-loathingand can result in an inferiority complex. Some sociologytheorists such as Jerry Mandersee television programmingas being deliberately designed to induce self-hatred, negative body image, and depression, with the advertisingthen being used to suggest the cure [1]. See also the arguments related to the Kill your television phenomenon.

Jewish self-hatred

Main article: Self-hating Jew

Black self-hatred

Blackself-hatred is generally defined as a Black person who hates his Black racial identity and may try to distance himself from this identity. Like Jewish self-hate, there is some disagreement as to what it means to be Black. Some Black people feel that those who demonstrate a preference for clothing styles, music choices, etc. that have been predominantly associated with white culture are self-hating. Thus for them being Black is more just one?s skin color. Some, such as journalist John Carlson, have suggested that gangsta rapis a form of Black Self-hatred. In his view, when Black rappers portray Black women as "bitches" and "whores" and Black men as "worthy of respect only in relation to their capacity to kill or maim others" they are essentially expressing a form of self-hate with basically buying into and propagating, through their music, racist stereotypesabout Black people. This term has been used by Black supremacistgroups to defend racism.

Black self hatred can show itself in the form of embarassment or shame in those things that are culturally identified with African heritage. It is ingrained in subtle ways from childhood. A person becomes reluctant to share or perpetuate activities or traditionns that have in the past cause them pain. They come to hate those things and in extention themselves.

White self-hatred

A rarer example of the phenomenon of self-hatred is Whiteself-hatred, similarly defined as a White person who is ashamed of, or hates, a White racial identity and may try to distance themselves from this identity. This term has been used by White supremacistgroups to defend racism.

Often people feel ashamed of perceived atrocities committed in the past by their ancestors. This includes colonialism and conflict in the 20th century. White self hatred is often related to feelings of dissatisfaction about the current capitalistic nature of society and social issues such as income inequalityand pollution. It is often argued that evidence of widespread Whiteself hatred in academic circles is the protection that political correctness offers to all racial or cultural group with the exception of mainstream whites.

A more benign version of this type of White self-hatred is referred to as White Liberal Guilt. White Liberal Guilt can cause a person to become overly-concerned with making up for past injustices and this influences their decisions and actions. For example, a person voting between two candidates for public office, one white and one a minority, may decide that even though they feel the white candidate is more qualified to be elected, they will feel guilty if they do not vote for the minority candidate because it helps make up for past discrimination.

Gay self-hatred

A self-hating homosexualwould be a gay person who actively supports efforts to limit the civil rightsof gays or either openly criticizes or openly engages in homophobicbehavior. Famous examples include Roy Cohn, Jeff Gannon, and the Mayor of Spokane, Washington Jim West. The groundbreaking 1970movie The Boys in the Band depicted gay characters engaged in and reacting to self-hatred. Some argue that latent homosexual tendencies, when repressed, often lead to homophobicactions.

Self-injury as self-hatred

Self-harmis a psychological disorder, which may involve self-hatred, where the subject feels compelled to physically injure themselves.

Controversy over the definition and use of the label self-hatred

Another example where this abuse has been said to occur was in relation to Ward Connerly, an African-American businessman and University of California Regent. Connerly vigorously led a campaign opposing affirmative actionin California and later across the country. Some affirmative action supporters claim he and other Black people opposed to affirmative action are denying the positive benefits they have received via affirmative action, and thus are self-hating Blacks. Connerly's supporters argue that affirmative action is a form of reverse racism that ultimately is bad for Black people and prevents society from becoming truly color blind, an ideal goal in their view.

See also

  • Anti-Semitism
  • Anti-Zionism
  • Zionism
  • Racism
  • Affirmative action


  • Is Black self-hatred racist? John Carlson, Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service, Feb. 9 1994.
  • Sander L. Gilman Difference and Pathology: Stereotypes of Sexuality, Race and Madness Cornell University Press, 1985fi:Itseinho

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-hatred Wikipedia article Self-hatred.

  All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License