Monday, June 13, 2011

Well. What Do You Know? Explains A Lot, Really.

From a 1996 article in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology:

The authors investigated the role of homosexual arousal in exclusively heterosexual men who admitted negative affect toward homosexual individuals. Participants consisted of a group of homophobic men (n = 35) and a group of nonhomophobic men (n = 29); they were assigned to groups on the basis of their scores on the Index of Homophobia (W. W. Hudson & W. A. Ricketts, 1980). The men were exposed to sexually explicit erotic stimuli consisting of heterosexual, male homosexual, and lesbian videotapes, and changes in penile circumference were monitored. They also completed an Aggression Questionnaire (A. H. Buss & M. Perry, 1992). Both groups exhibited increases in penile circumference to the heterosexual and female homosexual videos. Only the homophobic men showed an increase in penile erection to male homosexual stimuli. The groups did not differ in aggression. Homophobia is apparently associated with homosexual arousal that the homophobic individual is either unaware of or denies.

That really would seem to account for a lot of the bullshit from various Conservative government members around the world. You know the ones: by day they spend their time thundering away in Parliament or Congress or Diet or whatever, excoriating the Evils of Homo Secks You Allity... but by night they put on fishnets, rubber underpants and a gas mask and hang around public toilets with prominent holes in the walls.

It's been more or less accepted folklore for quite some time that "homophobe" is just another word for "closet case". In fact, apparently the idea goes back as far as Freud, who theorized that people get most uptight and condemnatory towards stuff they secretly want, but think they shouldn't have.

In any case, it's nice to know somebody actually investigated this, and the results stood up to peer review. I'm going to make a little note of the title of the article, the date of publication, and the authors, and the next time I'm involved in a discussion with a loud-mouthed closet case, I'll let him know that a) he's not fooling anybody, and b) there are people who can help him come to terms with his own feelings.

Mind you, I wouldn't recommend this course of action to everybody. I personally can probably survive most of the fistfights which may result from this, but then I've been practising.