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Study Reveals Homophobic Men Are, In Fact, More Likely To Be Gay

Does homophobia have anything to do with homosexual tendencies?

Apparently, the answer to this age-old question is an unabashed “yes.” A past study, published by the American Psychological Association, was designed to “investigate whether homophobic men show more sexual arousal to homosexual cues than non-homophobic men.”

The study recruited 64 heterosexual Caucasian males, ranging in age between 18 and 31 years old. All participants reported a history of having only been aroused in heterosexual situations.

The participants answered a series of questions regarding anxiety and comfort levels when around gay men and then were split into two groups based on their scores. One group was labeled as homophobic and the other was labeled as not homophobic.

Each participant watched three four-minute videos — one of heterosexual sex, one of lesbian sex and one of gay male sex. During the videos, the men had devices attached to their penis's to detect and measure sexual arousal.

The results concluded that both homophobic and non-homophobic men displayed increased penis circumference when watching straight and lesbian porn. However, only the homophobic men showed heightened penis arousal during the gay male porn; the non-homophobic men remained flaccid.

Not surprisingly though, it was the homophobic men who reported no feeling of sexual arousal by gay male porn during the screen. Obviously, their penises reported otherwise.

Additionally, the study aimed to define “homophobia” correctly, which is often confused with “homonegativism.”

It reported that “homophobia is an emotional or affective response including fear, anxiety, anger, discomfort and aversion that an individual experiences in interacting with gay individuals, which may or may not involve a cognitive component.”

Homonegativism is something completely different as a “multidimensional construct that includes judgment regarding the morality of homosexuality, decisions concerning personal or social relationships, and any response concerning beliefs, preferences, legality, social desirability, or similar cognitive responses.”

So, for example, “ego-dystonic homosexuality” (which refers to the marked distress about one’s sexual orientation) may be a kind of homonegativism but does not necessarily imply homophobia.

Furthermore, psychoanalysts often describe homophobia as an anxiety or anticipatory anxiety elicited by homosexual individuals.

This anxiety is believed to stem from the “straight” individual’s fear of possibly being or becoming a homosexual. Psychoanalytic theories have long postulated that homophobia may be a result of repressed homosexual urges, or a form of latent homosexuality (homosexual arousal, which the individual is either unaware of or denies).

The idea of repressed or latent homosexuality explains “the emotional malaise and irrational attitudes displayed by some individuals who feel guilty about their erotic interests and struggle to deny and repress homosexual impulses.”

Perhaps this may be an answer to why some of our “straight” friends often overreact with panic or anger when they come across a gay person or things that feel homosexual in nature.

In today's world, there are plenty of celebrities, athletes and other public figures who have decided to come out of the closet as a homosexual.

Take Gareth Thomas, the now retired rugby play who came out in 2009 after living as a straight man for over a decade, in the public eye. In a documentary titled, “Coming Out: My Secret Past,” he shared some intimate and dark secrets of his past:

“I had my first sexual encounter with a guy when I was 17. I hated myself so much. I remember trying to scrub myself clean. This is when things got tough for me. I couldn't admit even to myself that I was gay. And I started to lie to my teammates about what I was up to when we weren't together.

I had a lot of anger because I didn't like who I was when I stepped off the field. I used to relish the chance of being able to try and hurt somebody in a legal way. And in the laws of the game of rugby enable you to be able to do that. There have been games I've played when I've just felt uncontrollable.

If I didn’t have the rugby field to get rid of the aggression, I am sure that I would have been locked up a long time ago… And by hurting people and being aggressive, you could also be seen to be tough. And if you're known as a tough guy, it means that you’re not gay.”

Thomas also admitted that he used to take part in the homophobic banter swirling in the locker room in an effort to come across as heterosexual

Whether examined from a scientific perspective or from real life examples, it is likely that homophobia has some correlation with homosexual tendencies, that a homophobe might actually be a closeted homosexual himself or herself.

By being afraid to come out, the homophobe emerges as a strongly anti-gay person instead. The case of intolerance toward others may actually be a case of intolerance toward one’s true self.

Source: Psychologytoday, Top Photo Courtesy: Banksy

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Keay Nigel

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