Homophobia or Self-phobia?

26 Jun

I certainly do not wish to turn my creative blog into a gay issue place to visit. I really wish to get back to writing short stories that I hope people will enjoy reading. Unfortunately, in the real world work comes first and there must be some sleep inbetween which does not leave me much room for other chores like cooking dinner, cleaning the house, yard work, food shopping, school work and all the other normal things life brings to us.

But I could not resist adding this very important article written by Discover. Althought it is written for Homophobia it does raise the question of other phobias that we may have.

For those who have intense emotional, anti-gay reactions to homosexual groups, people or ideas, University of Rochester professor of psychology Richard Ryan hopes that new research prompts them to ask themselves, Why?

Four experiments conducted by Ryan and his colleagues at the University of Rochester, the University of Essex, England, and the University of California, Santa Barbara, concluded that people with an unacknowledged attraction to the same sex exhibit more signs of homophobia.

“In many cases these are people who are at war with themselves and they are turning this internal conflict outward,” Ryan told Newswise. “This study shows that if you are feeling that kind of visceral reaction to an out-group, ask yourself, ‘Why?’ Those intense emotions should serve as a call to self-reflection.”

The experiments also showed an association between homophobia and an authoritarian style of parenting. It’s the first study to conclude that both parenting and sexual orientation often form homophobic attitudes.

In the first experiment, students were shown a series of words and pictures of gay and straight couples on a computer screen. The words “me” and “others” flashed on the screen for 35 milliseconds before each screenshot. The length of time it took students to connect the words “me” and “gay” versus “me” and “straight” helped the researchers determine sexual orientation.

Then, the students browsed photos of either sex, with researchers recording the amount of time spent on same sex versus opposite sex photos.

Researchers used a survey with statements such as “I felt controlled and pressured in certain ways,” “I felt free to be who I am,” “It would be upsetting for my mom to find out she was alone with a lesbian,” and “My dad avoids gay men whenever possible,” to gauge the level of homophobia in a household.

Finally, students filled in blanks after the word “gay” appeared on a screen for 35 milliseconds, and researchers tracked the number of aggressive words written.

“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.

Photo: Supporters of California’s Prop 8 hold anti-gay marriage signs during a demonstration outside the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Credit: Getty Images.



Posted by on June 26, 2012 in gay, Gay Marriage, Same Sex Marriage


Tags: , , , ,

6 responses to “Homophobia or Self-phobia?

  1. in every atom

    June 28, 2012 at 1:37 am

    Ever since I became aware that there was such a thing as “homophobia”, a few years after that I concluded in my own unscientific method that most homophobics are actually homosexuals in denial. This article makes it all scientific for me now.

    But I still don’t understand the hatred. And how does one correct this phobia, for it must be corrected, otherwise, it is a viciously perpetuating cycle, with no end in sight.

    • Craig & Joe.

      June 28, 2012 at 12:01 pm

      I do not understand the hatred either, and it makes me sad that people can hate without actually knowing a person. How can you hate me if you never met me? We are all human and come from the same wonderous genetic code. We need to learn how to enjoy each other for what they are, not for what you want them to be. At least that is how I feel.

      • in every atom

        July 3, 2012 at 1:37 pm

        I agree.
        As I think now about this hatred, I suppose it happens at such a subconscious level that the homophobic person cannot see the hatred, and some of them use religion to justify their sexual denial and ensuing hatred. I just realized that this homophobia is in fact a mental disease, just like all other clinical phobias. Hope they go seek therapy and treatment, so this vicious cycle is stopped.
        The attitude towards homosexuality was very different in earlier christianity. If you can, check out these books: ‘Guidance Toward Spiritual Life: Answers to the Questions of Disciples by Sts. Barsanuphius and John’ and ‘Sayings of the Desert Fathers’. You will be surprised with their acceptance and tolerance, and their lack of condemnation that is so prevalent in contemporary christianity. And I think this was possible back then because there was no homophobia then, and therefore there was no need for righteous justifications for hatred and denial.

  2. in every atom

    June 28, 2012 at 1:41 am

    ps: I want to hug your gravatar – it is soooo cute!!! Is it a baby fox?

    • Craig & Joe.

      June 28, 2012 at 11:54 am

      Not a fox, it is a Red Panda. I wish they were around my area. I copied this from Wikipedia: The red panda is endemic to the temperate forests of the Himalayas, and ranges from the foothills of western Nepal to China in the east.

  3. charlesmichelduke

    July 31, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    I just don’t get it, why can’t people live and let live? People’s personal life should remain exactly that, and the rest of society should mind their own business. But then homophobes, racists, bigots in general miss out on all the fun things in life.


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