New Study: Researchers Link Homophobia to Repressed Homosexual Arousal

By: Christopher Donaldson
4.9.2012

Contrary to what Ted Haggard, Larry Craig and Glenn Murphy Jr. might think, homophobia is more widespread among men who repress their own same-sex attractions. It's also common among those who have been reared by narrow-minded parents. At least, that's what researchers at the University of Rochester, the University of Essex, England, and the University of California in Santa Barbara report in a new study scheduled for publication in the April issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Medicalxpress.com reports:

"The paper includes four separate experiments, conducted in the United States and Germany, with each study involving an average of 160 college students. The findings provide new empirical evidence to support the psychoanalytic theory that the fear, anxiety, and aversion that some seemingly heterosexual people hold toward gays and lesbians can grow out of their own repressed same-sex desires."

And no matter how much some men might wish to deny their same-sex attractions, the same researchers also suggest that such homophobic attitudes and inner chaos can often eventuate in antigay hostilities (as if gay readers didn’t already assume that). Out of the nearly 640 participants, those who claimed to be “more heterosexual” than their performances in the study would suggest, were “most likely” to “lash out” against LGBT men and women and, in similar ways, endorse antigay policies.

"In many cases these are people who are at war with themselves and they are turning this internal conflict outward," said Richard Ryan, co-author and professor of clinical and social psychology at the University of Rochester, as reported by medicalxpress.com.

"This study shows that if you are feeling that kind of visceral reaction to an out-group, ask yourself, 'Why?'" continued Ryan. "Those intense emotions should serve as a call to self-reflection."

For more about the link between homophobia and homosexual arousal, listen to Professor Richard Ryan speak to these matters in the below video (via www.medicalxpress.com).

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