Heteronormative is a term used by social theorists to describe the viewpoint that heterosexual relationships are the most normal or natural, rather than simply one of many options. The term was popularized in 1991, when American social theorist Michael Warner used it in Introduction: Fear of a Queer Planet, a pioneering work of queer theory.
Heteronormative viewpoints are commonly expressed in the law, popular culture, and society in general. As heteronormative views present heterosexual relationships as preferred, LGBT relationships are seen to be different or unusual. Because of this, heteronormativity is often linked to homophobia and heterosexism.