Science is now helping to prove the often held notion that homophobes are secretly attracted to the same sex, despite emphatic denials.
A paper to be released later this month in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology asserts that it has found evidence that gay men and lesbians remind homophobes of themselves, often leading to harsh and caustic reactions in those individuals who were often taught as children to hold contempt and disdain for same sex liaisons.
In essence as youth many homophobes are taught that being gay is unacceptable and therefore turn their torment and inner conflict against those individuals at later points in life who they would perhaps have an affinity for into rage as intense fear and aversion plays out in real life settings.
The study involved four different experiments, each using 160 students in the US and Germany, and measured differences between self-reports concerning sexuality compared to how the subjects reacted during a time-controlled task where they had to look at images and words associated with homo- or heterosexuality.
The second part of the experiment involved subject histories on family upbringing, after which they were invited to look at pictures of gay or straight couples. Then, levels of homophobia were measured both consciously and sub-consciously.
The findings support a previous study by Professor Ryan and Edward Dici at the University of Rochester whose work has shown that controlling parents can often have the effect of their offspring struggling to accept their innate identity, which may also suggest why hate crimes and bullying is so often directed at gays and lesbians- often as a response to fears that their own repressed desires may be brought out to the surface.
The irony of course is that most homophobes don’t necessarily really hate gays and lesbians but more likely themselves….