Self-hatred is a pejorative characterization of persons who are judged to hold members of their apparent identity group to a higher standard of behavior than those not in that social group. In academia, the term is generally taken to mean an internalization of the prejudices of a dominant culture against a subculture by members belonging to that subculture.
In psychology and psychiatry
The term "self-hatred" is used infrequently by psychologists and psychiatrists, who would usually describe people who hate themselves as "people with low self-esteem". Self-hatred, self-guilt 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). Self-hatred is also a symptom of many personality disorders, including borderline personality disorder, as well as mood disorders like depression. It can also be linked to guilt for someone's own actions that they view as wrongful, e.g., survivor guilt.
Some sociology theorists such as Jerry Mander see television programming as being deliberately designed to induce self-hatred, negative body image, and depression, with advertising then being used to suggest the cure. See also the arguments related to the Kill your television phenomenon. Some personal self-hatred can be linked to remorse for something a person did or did not do, or as a result of bullying.
Skin bleaching is common among various ethnicities, often because of an internalized belief that their skin is “too dark” for society. On July 5, 1999, The Ministry of Health held a press conference to publicize its counter strategy to skin bleaching resulting in taking it off on all markets; actions such as these often remind people with darker skin of the prevalence of racial prejudices, possibly reducing self-esteem, and as a result, increasing self-hatred. A dermatologist has estimated that about 10% to 15% of the patients seen by dermatologists are bleaching their skin.
In social groups
Self-hatred by members of ethnic groups, gender groups, and religions is postulated to be a result of internalization of hatred of those groups from dominant cultures.
Self-hating or "anti-Catholic Catholics" are terms of critique by traditionalist or conservative Catholics to describe modernist or liberal Catholics, especially those who seek to reform doctrine, make secularist critiques of the Catholic Church, or place secular principles above Church teachings.
Theodor Lessing, in his book, Jewish Self-Hatred (1930), identified this as a pathology, “a manifestation of an over identification with the dominant culture and internalization of its prejudices.” There have been studies from sources stated in the scholarly research, “mental illness in Jews often derived from feelings of inferiority and self-hatred resulting from persecution and their subordinate position in society.”
The term has been used to label American Jews accused of hiding their identity “by converting or intermarrying and raising their children in another faith” to overcome sociopolitical barriers due to antisemitism in the United States.
Racial stereotyping of African-Americans and negative American media portrayals of Black men and women have spread outside of the U.S., influencing people of all races worldwide, and increasing self-hatred.
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