The truth about homophobes

Just got to love it when a bit of folk wisdom gets confirmed.  Via Chait:

One study asked heterosexal men how comfortable and anxious they are around gay men. Based on these scores, they then divided these men into two groups: men that are homophobic, and men who are not. These men were then shown three, four-minute videos. One video depicted straight sex, one depicted lesbian sex and one depicted gay male sex. While this was happening, a device was attached to each participant’s penis. This device has been found to be triggered by sexual arousal, but not other types of arousal (such as nervousness, or fear – arousal often has a very different meaning in psychology than in popular usage).

When viewing lesbian sex and straight sex, both the homophobic and the non-homophobic men showed increased penis circumference. For gay male sex, however, only the homophobic men showed heightened penis arousal.

Heterosexual men with the most anti-gay attitudes, when asked, reported not being sexually aroused by gay male sex videos. But, their penises reported otherwise.

Homophobic men were the most sexually aroused by gay male sex acts.

I’m almost wanting to hear somebody make a homophobic remark now.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

2 Responses to The truth about homophobes

  1. jonolan says:

    Not knowing their responses to the aggression questionnaire I can’t really comment on the overall validity of the study’s findings. I also don’t know how they picked their homophobes/

    There’s often a link between aggression and unconscious physical arousal and that, depending upon how they scored on aggression, could cloud the study.

    And there’s more than one reason for what is so often referred to as homophobia. Some of them being personal, some societal, and some religious in nature. Each would likely present differently in such a study.

    Of course this doesn’t change the fact that people are often most rampantly (pun actually intended) against in others those things in our own psyches that we are striving to deny out of shame.

    Sorry for the lack of homophobia in the response. Would a simple, “We need to burn these faggot sympathizers!” be enough to keep my union credentials? 😆

  2. itchy says:

    Agreed. While it would be funny and appropriate if this study were valid in a general, real-world sense, I’m not going to put *too* much stock in it just yet.

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