Fear and Self-Loathing

This will come as no great surprise to any of you:

Homophobia is more pronounced in individuals with an unacknowledged attraction to the same sex and who grew up with authoritarian parents who forbade such desires, a series of psychology studies demonstrates.

The study is the first to document the role that both parenting and sexual orientation play in the formation of intense and visceral fear of homosexuals, including self-reported homophobic attitudes, discriminatory bias, implicit hostility towards gays, and endorsement of anti-gay policies. Conducted by a team from the University of Rochester, the University of Essex, England, and the University of California in Santa Barbara, the research will be published the April issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

“Individuals who identify as straight but in psychological tests show a strong attraction to the same sex may be threatened by gays and lesbians because homosexuals remind them of similar tendencies within themselves,” explains Netta Weinstein, a lecturer at the University of Essex and the study’s lead author.

“In many cases these are people who are at war with themselves and they are turning this internal conflict outward,” adds co-author Richard Ryan, professor of psychology at the University of Rochester who helped direct the research.

Ted Haggard, Larry Craig, anyone?

64 replies
  1. 1
    srv says:

    Someone should do a movie on this American Beauty.

  2. 2
    Brachiator says:

    “Individuals who identify as straight but in psychological tests show a strong attraction to the same sex may be threatened by gays and lesbians because homosexuals remind them of similar tendencies within themselves,” explains Netta Weinstein, a lecturer at the University of Essex and the study’s lead author.

    As much as I despise homophobia, this sounds reductionist. Yeah, grain of truth stuff, but not much more than that.

    Ted Haggard, Larry Craig, anyone?

    These people overcompensated to save their careers, since they lived in communities which supposedly would not tolerate their being openly gay.

    And was Craig a homophobe, or just deeply (ya know, like deep, deep dish pizza) into denial?

  3. 3
    Fanshawe says:

    Typical liberal scientician lies. The only reason that conservatives are obsessed with thinking and talking about gay sex is because they hate it so much. That’s the reason that four of the top five most visited pages on Conservapedia are about gay people and their agendas.

  4. 4
    Richard says:

    I’m reminded that one of the arguments against gay marriage is that we shouldn’t allow it because “straight” people might be tempted to try it and as such is a threat to traditional family values.

  5. 5
    gex says:

    Straight Liberation Movement

    I’m not fucking joking. They feel heterosexuals need to be liberated.

    It is actually quite impressive how the people in the dominant groups with the most power find a way to portray themselves as victims of persecution.

    Every day I walk into my therapists office, I have to see the Newsweek cover about how Christians are persecuted in this country.

    Just fucking kill me already assholes. If you aren’t willing to do that, then let me live. Just quit torturing me.

  6. 6
    JGabriel says:

    __
    __
    AS I often say:

    Projection is not just a booth in a theater.

    .

  7. 7
    JGabriel says:

    __
    __
    Fanshawe:

    That’s the reason that four of the top five most visited pages on Conservapedia are about gay people and their agendas.

    I’m guessing the fifth is about either anal or oral sex?

    .

  8. 8
    Bud says:

    Any gay man who ever spent time in the closet knows this to be true. Nobody can talk a stream of “faggot, faggity, fag” better than a closet case. I should know. I used to do it.

  9. 9
    Soprano2 says:

    My husband had a friend who we speculated might have been a self-hating, deeply in denial homosexual. As far as I could tell he never had a healthy relationship with a woman in his 67 years of life, and seemed to have a special loathing for homosexuals. He was raised in an atmosphere that would never have allowed him to come out if he was indeed homosexual. We’ll never know because he died several years ago, but some of the signs were definitely there.

  10. 10
    dr. bloor says:

    Interesting. The methods used to assess same sex attraction appear to be less-than-gold-standard quality, although Ryan and Deci generally do pretty good work, and JPSP is a pretty well-refereed journal.

  11. 11

    Never before in the history of human endeavors has there been a more appropriate thread for this Onion classic: Why Do All These Homosexuals Keep Sucking My Cock?

  12. 12
    Fanshawe says:

    @JGabriel:

    Number 1 (aside from the main home page) is Atheism. Then number 6 is “Barack Hussein Obama” followed by “secularized language,” “Adolf Hilter,” and “Muslim agenda of the Obama administration.”

  13. 13
    gex says:

    @dr. bloor: There have been similar studies that, um, measured penile response that show the same results as these studies, FWIW. Bigger boner for the gay sex for the homophobic guys.

  14. 14
    bogdan says:

    @wenchacha: So what’s it like being a Cole apologist?

    He can do whatever he wants which often involves deleting my criticism and banning my handle and banning my IP.

    Since he doesn’t understand WordPress any better than the real world around him I can easily get around that and continue to call out his hypocrisy.

    Does that answer your question Cole apologist?

  15. 15
    Gin & Tonic says:

    I remember reading about this story on some blog just this morning.

  16. 16
    gex says:

    Never mind.

  17. 17
  18. 18
    dr. bloor says:

    @gex: Now that’s my kind of dependent variable.

  19. 19
    MikeJ says:

    American Clint Dempsey puts a header in to bring Fulham back.

  20. 20
    Brachiator says:

    Is it a coincidence that one of the ads here is for the movie J Edgar?

  21. 21
    gex says:

    @dr. bloor: Yeah. Changed my mind on being a whiny bitch.

  22. 22
    CardinalRed says:

    cough Marcus Bachmann cough cough

  23. 23
    WyldPirate says:

    @gex:

    I hope the had stiff criteria when analyzing those data.

  24. 24
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @bogdan: You, apparently, don’t know how to use your web browser properly.

  25. 25
    Evolving Deep Southerner says:

    @bogdan: Damn, what’s that shit about?

  26. 26
    Pavonis says:

    Sometimes I wonder about the anti-marriage equality movement, “why do they even care?”, since homosexual marriage in no way affects the straight majority. Unless they are, like this article says, trying to repress their own homo/bisexual tendencies.

  27. 27
    nastybrutishntall says:

    Here’s more research on the stunningly obvious. Must be a day for low-effort thinking all around.

  28. 28
    El Tiburon says:

    Holy Moly.

    Rick Santorum is the gayest dude who ever fucking lived. When he finally gives in, Elton John and Liberace will be in awe of his gayness.

  29. 29
    Violet says:

    People that aren’t attracted to those of the same sex just don’t care that much about it. It’s long been a clear give away when someone gets really touchy about “the gays” or whatever. Nothing bugs you more in others that something you’ve got an issue about yourself.

  30. 30
    shortstop says:

    @Pavonis: I think a lot of it has to do with the right-wing mentality that if they don’t have 100 percent, they have nothing.

  31. 31
    shortstop says:

    @Pavonis: I think a lot of it has to do with the right-wing mentality that if they don’t have 100 percent, they have nothing.

  32. 32
    pragmatism says:

    Totes OT but I had a headhunter call me today about the general counsel position for The Susan G. Komen Foundation. I maintain my license to practice in D.C. and have some nonprofit experience so i guess that makes me a viable candidate. Oh how I laughed and laughed. I told the headhunter that they couldn’t pay me enough and that my wife would leave me.

    it’s posted on linkedin as well. http://www.linkedin.com/jobs?v.....nmp_rj_job

  33. 33
    S. cerevisiae says:

    They are tired of having the gay agenda rammed down their throats, they want a world where men are real men. Real, sweaty, leather-clad men…

  34. 34
  35. 35
    Brachiator says:

    @S. cerevisiae:

    They are tired of having the gay agenda rammed down their throats

    The homophobes are crying out for Dr Freud whenever they use this line.

  36. 36
    Egypt Steve says:

    Flash: Dog Bites Man on Dog.

  37. 37
    Roger Moore says:

    @Pavonis:
    The best explanation I’ve heard is that “traditional” western marriage is about transferring ownership of a woman from her father to her husband. It’s a relationship between people who are legally and socially unequal. That’s obviously been eroded by improvements in women’s legal and social status, but within their churches they can still pretend that it’s a socially unequal relationship. Same sex marriage undercuts that pretense by including two people who have exactly the same legal and social gender status.

  38. 38
    shortstop says:

    @Roger Moore: Good lord. Which of them says this out loud where normal people can hear them? Surely we ought to be able to make hay with that.

  39. 39
    Bludger says:

    I’m taking a wide stance on this subject.

  40. 40
    WereBear says:

    @pragmatism: Oh how I laughed and laughed. I told the headhunter that they couldn’t pay me enough and that my wife would leave me.

    This is a most excellent story and I hope you can dine out on it for a while :)

    Nice to have it scientifically confirmed; my gay, male, friends in high school were the first ones to bring up this hypothesis.

    Of course, once homophobia gets institutionalized in a culture, it spreads and affects straight parents who are afraid of how to handle having a gay child; gay children themselves, who see their peers thrown out in the street; bullies who sense a target with no protection.

    It doesn’t start or stop with the closeted ones; they just have the most to fear.

    And to add something else: women like Bachmann, who fear their own autonomy and sexuality, are the most likely to marry a closeted gay man; who behaves the way they are told “good boys” do.

    The irony; it is incredibly thick.

  41. 41
    cathyx says:

    @S. cerevisiae: Let me finish it for you. …in tight pants and no shirt on.

  42. 42
    gex says:

    @Roger Moore: And as they are authoritarians, they are pissed that they don’t get to be the king of the castle, able to do with women and children whatever they want.

    The GOP wanted to redefine “honest rape” for a reason. It’s not rape if you own the person. It’s just doing what you want with your property.

  43. 43
    cathyx says:

    I’m betting we all know someone personally who fits this description.

  44. 44
    gex says:

    An acquaintance of mine is married to a closet case who trolls for dick on Craigslist. They’re in their early thirties.

    It is incomprehensible to me, being significantly older and gay, that this is happening to generations younger than me. The conservative authoritarian hate machine is a gift that keeps giving I guess.

  45. 45
    Roger Moore says:

    @gex:
    I find it shocking that marital rape was only acknowledged by the American legal system within my lifetime. When a lot of wingnuts first got married, women didn’t have the right to say no to their husbands, and I’m sure a lot of those husbands are still pissed off about that change. It’s one more aspect of wanting to return our society to the way it was in the 1950s.

  46. 46
    Herbal Infusion Bagger says:

    While this is a “no shit Sherlock” study, the “subliminal flash” method used in this nature of this research is gonna mean it’s gonna face some brickbats from the right on methodology.

    However, the fact it has the same findings (homophobes are more turned on by the ghey than non-homophobes) as the University of Georgia study that measured degree-of-mahogany on exposure to Ghey Pr0 n versus Straight Pr0 n for homophobes versus non-homophobes makes it pretty frickin’ reliable in my book.

  47. 47
    WereBear says:

    Nobody gets that worked up about Sin… unless it’s one they are worried about.

    They always want to be saved from themselves.

  48. 48
    les says:

    @Fanshawe:

    The only reason that conservatives are obsessed with thinking and talking about gay sex is because they hate it so much.

    Is this the rare, accurate example of “begging the question?”
    Apparently you didn’t notice that the study was going after why they hate; the answer is not “because they hate.”

  49. 49
    BDeevDad says:

    Can we add Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to the list soon?

    Gov. Scott Walker believes a new law that gives gay couples hospital visitation rights violates the state constitution and has asked a judge to allow the state to stop defending it.

  50. 50
    shortstop says:

    @les: Calibrate your snark detector.

  51. 51
    les says:

    @shortstop:

    les: Calibrate your snark detector.

    Really? Geeze, it just came back from the shop–I thought it was in good shape. It’s damn hard to tell when to trust it these days…

  52. 52
    El Cid says:

    Polls frequently indicate that high percentages of men believe that it is not homosexual to have anal intercourse with another man as long as you are inserting the penis, rather than receiving a penis insertion.

    So, if you’ve got a lot of men out there insisting that they can have gay sex with men but that it doesn’t really make them gay, you can also anticipate all sorts of other self-deception.

  53. 53
    Arclite says:

    Ooo, oo! *raises hand* Can we get Santorum tested?

  54. 54

    @Arclite:
    You will need a stool sample.

  55. 55
    Jay S says:

    @gex: Wait, there’s a dominant group movement to liberate me from heterosexuality? I thought the gay mafia was a myth:)

    Actually, I don’t see the facebook group referenced in the flyer. This looks like a gag.

  56. 56
    quannlace says:

    And was Craig a homophobe, or just deeply (ya know, like deep, deep dish pizza) into denial?

    Ugh, What I hate the most about these guys? When they’re making some kind of denunciation and/also replying to being dragged out of the closet. That same dead-eyed expression along with a death-heads rictus kind of grin.

  57. 57
    WereBear says:

    I knew the whole “gayness is a choice” thing was a lie, because I was twelve when I spied a Tiger Beat magazine at a girlfriend’s house… and discovered I was straight.

    I’d had a sheltered Midwestern upbringing, so I had no clue what those, ya know, “feelings” were. It was only in retrospect that I figured it out.

    A close friend confided he was having crushes in first grade… on other boys.

    And I had three proposals in first grade… by guys who apparently felt the same way, only about girls.

    It’s embedded in the brain, people. Deal with it.

  58. 58
    Soylent Green says:

    A good parallel to this report are the professed Christians who can’t tolerate any perceived challenge to their beliefs (raving about the “War on Christmas” or otherwise getting all bent out of shape by various artistic expressions that they think are disrespectful). This behavior reveals their own closeted doubts about the authenticity of their faith.

  59. 59
    gex says:

    @Jay S: I saw the facebook page and reported it as they wanted to cure lesbians by raping them.

  60. 60
    gex says:

    @Jay S: Also, people from the blog I discovered this on tried to join the group, but got kicked out for being pro-gay.

  61. 61
    WereBear says:

    @Soylent Green: Yesterday was Easter. And, for the first time, I got all the way through the movie, Barabbas, on Turner Classic Movies.

    Jiminy Goldurn Christmas. (I’m trying not to swear so much, on and off-line.)

    But really, I was urged to make sure to watch this thing as a religion soaked child, and there’s an awful lot of violence in it. Not as much as we’ve been promised, mind you. But a lot. Especially at the end.

    There’s a lot of gladiator battles. And a MASS crucifixion scene at the end. (Makes it less special if you ask me.)

    My internal BS detector, which has saved me many times, was operating full blast in the Baptist Church. Suffering is what God loves, I was told, so DO IT. And inflict it on others.

    Thank goodness I grasped that they had seriously lost the plot, and set out to find God/dess on my own.

  62. 62
    Marcellus Shale, Public Dick says:

    when will rick santorum come out and renounce tim tebow?

    a pink shirt? on easter?

  63. 63
    Jay S says:

    @gex: I had wondered if they had gotten the boot before I looked. However, I didn’t imagine such open virulence. I wonder what rock(s) they’ll scuttle out from next.

    But I couldn’t resist the ambiguity of your comment.

    And really, do people meet like minded people with public street messages like this?

  64. 64
    Gex says:

    @Jay S: Poe’s Law. It sounds ridiculous, so you’d think you can laugh it off…

    But right wing fascists have no depth to which they won’t sink, so you have to check.

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