Homophobia Is Totally Gay, As Proven By Science

Illustration for article titled Homophobia Is Totally Gay, As Proven By Science

It's long been theorized that many hardcore, anti-gay homophobics are often repressed homosexuals themselves. There certainly has been a lot of anecdotal evidence from notable political figures to support this theory, but now science is stepping in with some raw data.

The paper, recently published in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, covers six studies conducted in the U.S. and Germany, using a total of 784 university students. Students were first asked to rank their sexual orientation from 1 (highly gay) to 10 (highly straight). They then took a computerized test designed to determine their actual sexuality. How in the hell can a computer program determine your implicit sexuality, you ask? Subjects were shown pictures and words closely associated with homosexuality and heterosexuality (words like "gay," images of straight or gay couples, etc.), and were then asked to sort them into the appropriate category (gay or straight) as quickly as possible. But there was a very critical additional element, as Dr. Richard Ryan explains:

The twist was that before each word and image appeared, the word "me" or "other" was flashed on the screen for 35 milliseconds - long enough for participants to subliminally process the word but short enough that they could not consciously see it. The theory here, known as semantic association, is that when "me" precedes words or images that reflect your sexual orientation (for example, heterosexual images for a straight person), you will sort these images into the correct category faster than when "me" precedes words or images that are incongruent with your sexual orientation (for example, homosexual images for a straight person). This technique, adapted from similar tests used to assess attitudes like subconscious racial bias, reliably distinguishes between self-identified straight individuals and those who self-identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual.

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From the group that identified themselves as "highly straight" a subsection emerged—about 20 percent of them indicated a high level of same-sex attraction. Further, those that self-identified as highly straight but exhibited homosexual impulses were "significantly more likely than other participants to favor anti-gay policies; to be willing to assign significantly harsher punishments to perpetrators of petty crimes if they were presumed to be homosexual; and to express greater implicit hostility toward gay subjects (also measured with the help of subliminal priming)."

Dr. Ryan notes that the test doesn't indicate that all those who are anti-gay are secretly in the closet, but if we extract the numbers from the study (20 percent of self-identified "highly-straight" people), one could theorize that one out of five might be. That not an insignificant number. It's enough that it could shake the anti-gay movement to its core if, y'know, they believed it at all. You can purchase the full paper for $12, and it's a very interesting read.

What do you think, dear reader? These are pretty bold claims from a test the uses subliminal messaging as its ace in the hole. Does this seem like a reasonable study to you, or is it just quack-science? And am I the only one that kinda wants to take this test and see if I'm gayer than I think I am? [NY Times]

Image credit: Shutterstock/Antony McAulay

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DISCUSSION

kryptonite166
Kryptonite166

Let's set the record STRAIGHT. The word homophobia (Phobia: Fear of) is used in an attempt to make people, who disagree with the gay life style feel small minded. The truth of the matter is I do not know one person that is scared of gay people. However, the majority of people I know, do not support or agree with the gay life style. I guess the correct term is HOMOISM ( Ism: Excess of something).

No matter what the reason be it religion, personal beliefs or just being disgusted by the idea, I have the personal right not to support the gay life style. Studies like the aforementioned have no bases in truth. It just another attempt to quiet the majority of voices against the gay life style, In their attempt to achieve legitimacy. No matter how many like-minded people you surround yourself with wrong is wrong.

If you have noticed I have not singled out anyone one person; just the life style of acting on the urge to comment homosexual acts. Those person (gay) are non different from anyone else with a chemical in balance in the brain. Unfortunately, there is no pill to suppress the unnatural physical attraction to the same sex.

Before anyone gets on here talking about it's a violation of their civil rights not to be liked because they are gay, and trying to equate their plight with blacks and other minorities. When a black person walks into a room he is black, and there is nothing he can do about that. When a gay person walks into a room he/she is just a person until they announce they are gay. It's their choice to put themselves out their by their announcement or the way they carry themselves. If you want respect try being a descent person first and keep your sexual habits private.