Monday, March 31, 2008

Homophobes Aroused by Homoeroticism

From the Department of Unsurprising Findings.

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.

Shocking. Next thing you know, they'll be telling us that people who think homosexuality is a choice are more likely to have homosexual feelings.

(Disclaimers: small sample size. Also, the set of people willing to submit to an experiment that measures change in penile circumference can not be a representative sample! Although if you are skeptical, go replay that clip of Haggard preaching before he got outed. Or go listen to two minutes of Michael Savage, who has not been outed, ranting about gays.)

Via Ed Brayton.

Update: I was curious, so I googled the "Index of Homophobia:"

This questionnaire is designed to measure the way you feel about working or association with homosexuals. This is not a test, so there are no wrong answers. Answer each item as carefully and accurately as you can by placing a number beside each one as follows:

1 (Strongly Agree)
2 (Agree)
3 (Neutral)
4 (Disagree)
5 (Strongly Disagree)

____ 1.) I would feel comfortable working closely with a gay man.
____ 2.) I would enjoy attending social functions at which queer people were present.
____ 3.) I would feel uncomfortable if I learned that my neighbor was queer.
____ 4.) If a member of my sex made a sexual advance towards me, I would
feel angry.
____ 5.) I would feel comfortable knowing I was attractive to members of my gender.
____ 6.) I would feel uncomfortable being seen in a gay bar.
____ 7.) I would feel uncomfortable if a member of my sex made an advance
towards me.
____ 8.) I would be comfortable if I found myself attracted to a member of my sex.
____ 9.) I would feel disappointed if I learned that my child was queer.
____ 10.) I would feel nervous being in a group of queers.
____ 11.) I would feel comfortable knowing that my clergy person was queer.
____ 12.) I would be upset if I learned that my sibling was queer.
____ 13.) I would feel that I had failed as a parent if I learned that my child was gay.
____ 14.) If I saw two men holding hands in public, I would feel disgusted.
____ 15.) If a member of my gender made an advance towards me, I would be
____ 16.) I would feel comfortable if I learned that my daughter’s teacher was a
____ 17.) I would feel uncomfortable if I learned that my spouse or partner was
attracted to a member of his/her gender.
____ 18.) I would feel at ease talking with a queer at a party.
____ 19.) I would feel uncomfortable if I learned that my boss was queer.
____ 20.) It would not bother me to walk through a predominantly gay section of town
____ 21.) It would disturb me to find out that my doctor was queer.
____ 22.) I would feel comfortable if I learned that my best friend of my gender was
____ 23.) If a member of my gender made an advance towards me, I would feel
____ 24.) I would feel uncomfortable knowing that my son’s teacher was queer.
____ 25.) I would feel comfortable working closely with a lesbian.


abandoning eden said...


Lawyer-Wearing-Yarmulka said...

Not exactly surprising, though I must register my disapproval of the term "homophobia", which makes as much sense as the term Jewphobia or blackphobia.

Your average "homophobe" dislikes gays, but is probably not afraid of them.

Anonymous said...

So what? Let's say, for the sake of argument, that homophobe = repressed homosexual, Ex vi termini.

Maybe they are homosexual men who reject the "gay" lifestyle and who think that same-sex relations are morally deficient. Given the realities of "gay" life, this strikes me as being a rational choice. Yes, they have a hard row to hoe, but their choice is, IMO, an honorable one.

Tigerboy said...

Will his " hard row to hoe" still be the honorable choice when he marries a woman?

How about after five years of a sex life that is nonexistent, or wholly unsatisfying, for both?

How about ten years down the "row" when he starts cheating with men? How about when he starts bringing home sexually-transmitted diseases because he is seeking sexual gratification outside a committed relationship?

How about fifteen years down the "row" when their child must endure her parents bitter divorce?

Maybe all this might be avoided if society would support his right to marry the person of his choice in the first place.

Theresa said...

tigerboy's post doesn't work because they also found the homophobes to be aroused by women. They aren't being fakey by being married. Is he saying that slightly bisexual men are unable to be faithful to the partner they choose?

Tigerboy said...

J made a claim regarding homophobic men. He wrote:

"Maybe they are homosexual men who reject the "gay" lifestyle and who think that same-sex relations are morally deficient."

He went on to suggest it an "honorable" choice.

Do we, as a society, think it honorable to encourage gay men to "try out" heterosexual marriage? What about the wife and possible children? Does their happiness count for anything?

Isn't it better that ALL people be allowed to choose their life-partners without fear of being labeled "morally deficient"?

Maybe the labeling of gay men as "morally deficient" is one of the main reasons some gay men DO choose to hide within a heterosexual marriage.

How sad for all concerned.

Random said...

Tigerboy, you may have a point if you can show where in J's article he talks about such men getting married and lying to their wives. I didn't see any such thing - presumably you have better eyesight?

The celibate lifestyle is of course an option for men who feel that their desires are morally deficient, and yes I would say that this choice is an honourable one. We are not required to believe that everything that gives us pleasure is ipso facto virtuous after all.

Jay said...

When I was a teenager, my mother told me "Only people who are insecure about their own sexuality are homophobes." This is the wisest thing she has ever said and it still rings true today.

Anonymous said...

Theresa, anticipated my statement. I don't think it's a great idea for a gay man to get married to a woman, whether he is lying about it, or telling the truth. Some women marry open homosexuals, like the rich nutcase Lincoln Kirstein did. (Google him, If you don’t know the story.) His wife spent much of her life in mental institutions, while he screwed her brother, the artist Paul Cadmus.

But I was positing the extreme position to make a point. I said (go read it), let’s assume, by definition, FOR THE SAKE OF ARGUMENT. It wasn't even my main point.

In fact, I think there are a lot of problems with studies like these. For example: What they are measuring as arousal, could be anxiety. And hooking up some doodad to someone’s gonads isn’t, IMO, a very good measure of sexual arousal, which is a complicated, mysterious thing in humans - even men. But that’s just me.

Tigerboy: you gave a florid fullscale example of the horrors of the closet: men forced to marry women. Problem is, it's bullshit. No one is forced to marry anyone nowadays. Marriage participation rates are the lowest in recorded American history. (Google it.) Women are now independent agents and they should develop gaydar.

Be careful what you wish for: a world where homosexuality is as normal as heterosexuality. You think that that will make everything wonderful, people will respect one another equally, etc. Dream on: where open homosexuality flourishes, as in Tokugawa Japan, classical Greece, 15th century Florence, among assorted other places, have one thing in common: women are despised. I’d tell you to think about it, but I doubt you are capable.

Gay culture really loathes women. I revere women, and I think they bring something special into the world. I want my culture to prize heterosexuality. If the price of that is a bit of "homophobia," so be it. Not everyone who thinks that way is a born-again Christian, or a fundamentalist Jew or Muslim. Some atheists think that way.

Tigerboy said...


I do not claim better eyesight. Perhaps just a greater awareness of where this denial of one's normal sexual nature is likely to lead.

Am I alone in believing that, whilst denying themselves the sexual relationships for which they yearn, whilst searching for a way to hide their sexual inclinations from the world, perhaps large numbers of these gay men might decide to marry? Have children? Trust me, it is a fairly common scenario. As is the rest of the story . . . cheating, sad-frustrated-wife, divorce, etc.

Apparently you feel the best thing for these men is to live lives of quiet desperation. That is such a hostile position to take, considering you don't have to live it. Even if they do not involve another person by marrying, the path that j finds "honorable" sounds, to me, to be a very sad, lonely life. What, exactly, is the reasoning behind this?

If you choose to be celibate, go for it. I believe that denying one's normal sexual desires leads to problems. Occasionally, huge problems. One need look no further than the Catholic church to see a large case study of how horribly wrong things can work out when large numbers of men, in the height of their sexual years, are forced to deny themselves normal sexual activity. Sexual frustration finds a way to relieve itself, sometimes with people who are easily intimidated. People who can be coerced not to tell. Small, defenseless people.

I can quite easily understand what is morally problematic with lying to your wife, or yourself, about where your true interests lie. However, please explain to me what is morally bankrupt about two men forming a pair bond. What is so dangerous about two men expressing love for each other? Whom does it threaten?

If Mr. and Mrs. Jones' marriage is threatened by their next door neighbors Bob and Steve, I would suggest that Mr. and Mrs. Jones' marriage has problems. And their problems have nothing to do with the neighbors.

I believe that I would rather live in a world that does not call people "evil" based upon whom they love. I believe that love is a good thing.

Don't you?

Tigerboy said...

That's rich. I haven't heard the "homosexuals hate women" theory for years! It is richly entertaining, because it is so obviously ridiculous!

Straight women frequently fall for gay men, because gay men treat them so much better than do straight men. Obviously, this is a huge generalization.

My job is performed (over 85%) by women. I have worked with large numbers of women for going on three decades. Women, generally, have little to no problem with gay men. The hostility comes from straight men.

Anywhere there are large numbers of gay men, the "Straight Woman-Gay Man" friendship is commonplace. Why? Because both straight women and gay men know what it's like to be treated badly by the male-dominated world.

Instant friendship!

Your claim that gay culture hates women is absurd.

asher said...

The plain truth is that no one would want to be gay since they get the short end of most predjudice. They grow up in a society in which everything is hetero sexual and tells them that their feeling are wrong.

On the other hand, most adult gay men admit that they have had sex with a number of women, but wind up with a male partner or partners.
That would lead you to believe that it is a choice.

Arousal is not just penile blood flow. There are countless men (who shall be nameless) who look at pictured of the most mundane things and get aroused....i.e. boots, lingerie, certain shoes,
women's hair, feet, toes. Since men have more testosterone than l women their arousal level is much more universal.

Which leads me to the inevitable question ...if gay men enjoy a variety of partners or fantasies why aren't there many many websites with gay male photos as compared with heterosexual websites? Is it because 97% or so of all men are hetero and the business is better when going after the larger audience?

tommy said...

I'm more concerned about the conduct of the gay community as a whole: the rampant promiscuity, the spreading of serious diseases, and the general disrespectfulness of many gays toward society at large (like parading naked on public streets during gay rallies and engaging in open sexual behavior that would be inappropriate for anyone, homosexual or otherwise, at "Gay Day" events at children's theme parks).

I have nothing against the average gay person, per se, and obviously homosexuality (at least, most homosexuality) is biologically determined. That should be obvious to anyone who has correctly guessed that certain effeminate men they've encountered are gay.

As far as this study goes, I will withhold judgment. It wouldn't surprise me if, as a general rule, people who have strong feelings of revulsion to certain sexual materials elicit some of the same, if less dramatic, responses as people attracted to those materials. It would be interesting to put a bunch of staunch feminists in a room and see if you couldn't get the same sort of reaction from pornographic depictions of rape. If you could, I suppose we conclude that most feminists secretly desire rape -- at least by JA's logic.

Tigerboy said...

The gay community "as a whole" is not "rampantly promiscuous." Among my large circle of middle-aged gay friends, there is just as little pursuit of sexual activity as you might find in a similar-aged straight group. Your impressions of "rampant promiscuity" within the gay community come from the young, most visible sector.

Let's compare them to the young, most visible sector of straights. Do you think that Britney and Paris and their friends might have had a fair number of sex partners? I think so.

By only coming up with female examples, I really don't mean to be sexist. I tried to think of some equally well-known, straight male equivalents, but, as we all know, straight men are not criticized for sleeping around. Straight men are slapped on the back and congratulated! Boys will be boys! (I guess it's only threatening if they're gay.)

Your impressions of naked people at gay rallies are, again, influenced by the most visible, featured-on-the-news examples. The third-largest gay pride parade in the United States goes right past my living room window. I have watched every year for decades. I have certainly seen some provocative, creative costumes, a lot of people with their shirts off, even the occasional exposed rump, but almost zero outright nudity.

And again, it would not be hard to find similarly provocative attire among the straight people in a Mardi Gras parade, or walking up and down the Sunset Strip, or on Collins Ave in Miami on any Saturday evening.

I have attended a number of "Gay Day" events at amusement parks.(Oh, God! Not the children!) They don't look any different than the straight days. Mostly overweight couples with their kids, walking around in tacky t-shirts, eating overpriced, greasy hamburgers.

The truth is, most gay people over a certain age are just as boring as their straight equivalents.

For every example of outrageous behavior among the youngsters, there are equally outrageous examples among their straight equivalents.

We're all just people.

tommy said...

The gay community "as a whole" is not "rampantly promiscuous." Among my large circle of middle-aged gay friends, there is just as little pursuit of sexual activity as you might find in a similar-aged straight group.

I don't believe it, not among gay men as a whole.

And again, it would not be hard to find similarly provocative attire among the straight people in a Mardi Gras parade

And I would never argue Mardi Gras should be anything but adult entertainment suitable for a town where seediness is the name of the game. I would prefer families be able to take their kids to Disneyland or Six Flags without having to witness the sort of behaviors one would expect from drunken adults in the Big Easy in February.

I have attended a number of "Gay Day" events at amusement parks.(Oh, God! Not the children!) They don't look any different than the straight days

Oh, sure.

Tigerboy said...

The video at the link you provided is highly misleading. It makes it look like there were tons of people walking around an amusement park in their underwear.

Typhoon Lagoon is a huge swimming pool. These people were wearing bathing suits. What do you think people usually wear to swimming pools, wool ski pants and turtle neck sweaters?

The video cuts back and forth between large crowds and a couple of guys behaving inappropriately. What percentage of that video focuses on about three people? It repeatedly shows the two guys with "beach ball" painted on their chests, and the one guy in a thong. The rest of the video shows thousands of guys dancing in swim trunks and swimming in a pool. Big deal. I've been to Typhoon Lagoon. Swim trunks is what you wear.

Is there any other bad behavior going on in that huge crowd? Probably. Would there be bad behavior in any similar-sized crowd of young straights? Of course:

I have never been to Gay Days at Disney. Orlando is an absolutely huge venue that attracts millions of visitors. I understand that there have been complaints. To be fair, I direct you to this article which agrees with your position:

I agree that Disney World is not an appropriate place for blatant sexuality, gay or straight. It's a public place. But don't tell me that gays are any different than straights of the same age. I'm sure there is inappropriate behavior from straights, at Walt Disney World, every single night of the week. The beaches of Cabo San Lucas, Cancun, and Fort Lauderdale are public places, too. You showed one nighttime dance, at a huge swimming pool, with SOME people behaving badly. The majority were just dancing. Or just swimming.

I have been to Gay Events at Six Flags, Cedar Point, and King's Island.

I stand by my original statement that sanctioned Gay Days at amusement parks look, for the most part, much the same as any other day.

Anonymous said...


Too much personal anecdote and too little historical perspective.

"Straight women frequently fall for gay men" is not empirically verifiable. I've read that there is a literary genre focused on this. Not surprisingly, it's written by gay men. Wish fulfillment, perhaps?

Gay men ARE promiscuous. They suffer from high rates of stomach parasites, and of course, AIDS. At the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, alarmists claimed that there would be an outbreak into the general population. It never happened, because straight men and women don't have frequent and promiscuous anal penetration.

Your group of middle-aged gay friends is likewise irrelevant to the big picture. I expect that by age 40, gay men have learned to be a bit more careful. Good for them, but it doesn't change the facts.

As for the gays hating women thing, you haven't heard it in years because of censorship, both in the corrupt MSM and self-censorship. Pointing this out is embarassing, so people keep their mouths shut. Here's something I read on a progressive Massachusetts blog:


First, the stuff about Wright is unspeakable. Then, scroll down into
the comments, and see this:

A heterosexual leftie female stated that in Provincetown she was called "breeder" by a gay man. She was stung, and never went back. A gay man, trying to excuse this hate-speech, contexualized thus:

"to us, there was nothing more in-your-face and down our throats than the grand public display of heterosexuality in the form of pregnant women wearing wedding rings".

Look bud. Even if I accepted the idea that gays are "oppressed" - abusing a pregnant woman on the street has nothing to do with that fact. The only kind of man who would abuse a pregnant woman on the street is a man who hates women. QED.

The idiot who tried to contextualize this stuck his foot in the doo-doo even deeper. He didn't explain anything. He simply admitted his own insanity - and admitted that it was not particular to him.

You really have to be sick in the head to think that a pregnant woman is offensive. To equate a woman carrying life -- precious human life! -- with gay PDA is really sicker than anything I could come up with.

Anonymous said...

I have another observation, this time, about the questionnaire.

It strikes me that the questions themselves are very loaded, and designed to upset people who are prone to getting upset, or who are naive. I refer specifically to the loaded use of the word "queer." Queer is a very shocking word to some people, esp. those are not hip and cool and au courant. I also disapprove of use of the word "gay" in a medical context.

The word "homosexual" should have been used.

If the word "heterosexual" is commonly employed (and it is), then why not use its cognate "homosexual"? Because of queer/gay censorship.

Tigerboy said...

"Too much personal anecdote and too little historical perspective."

Well, I'm so sorry that you find my personal anecdotes and personal experiences irrelevant, it's just that I have lived my entire adult life (many decades) in the middle of one of the most densely gay-populated areas of the country, I have been friends with hundreds and hundreds of gay men and lesbians, and as an employee of a major airline, I have traveled extensively to every major city in the US, and I cannot, for the life of me, recall even one single conversation, with one single gay man who ever once expressed hostility toward collective heterosexual womankind. Not once. Gay men ADORE women. Straight men they are not so crazy about, but women they love.

But, apparently you DID hear about one single case of a gay man calling a straight women a "breeder", and you find incredible significance in that. Well, you must be right. Did you get his name, this Provincetown homosexual that speaks for all the rest?

Tigerboy said...

By the way, I also have personally known many cases of men who knew that they were gay, but were so desperately afraid of the societal hatred of gay men, so deathly afraid of being disowned by their own parents, (several being members of jewish orthodox and fundamentalist christian groups), so frightened of exactly the type of nastiness expressed in this thread, that they married women who were, either unaware of the situation, or were told by the church that his sexuality would change. ALL of these marriages ended bitterly. Several had children. I know of one who was disowned by both his parents and his adult children. Hated by everyone because he lied about his true nature.

I have also known a number of priests who frequently stayed up late Saturday night at the gay disco. They would be drinking, drugging, carrying on with other men . . . . . and then stumble home to say mass early Sunday morning.

Do we still think that pretending not to be gay is "honorable?

Tigerboy said...

The guilt trip that religion puts on the world is so unbelievably hostile and dangerous.

Foilwoman said...

Can someone explain to me, for once and for all, why anyone cares what anyone else does in bed if those activities involve consenting adults? The only adults whose sexual practices I care about (and then I care deeply) are the adults with whom I want to share those practices (a pretty small group, considering the world population). I hope other people's sex lives are satisfying for both (all?) parties, but really. Why do people need to worry about who's doing it missionary style heterosexually and who's branching out a bit?

Kylopod said...

"though I must register my disapproval of the term "homophobia", which makes as much sense as the term Jewphobia or blackphobia."

The term Judeophobia is about as old as anti-Semite, and I saw a quite recent book use it on the grounds that the commoner term leaves open whether Arabs are to be included.

Negrophobia or even Afrophobia are not unheard of, but have never caught on.

I agree that the phobia suffix isn't the best way to describe bigotry, which is not always rooted in fear. But once a term becomes established, it's pretty hard to dislodge, otherwise we'd have abandoned "anti-Semitic" a long time ago.

Ilona said...

I am a straight female. I live on a street with three gay men; one is my immediate neighbour, with whom I routinely go out for a long evening of gossip and laughter. The thought of having sex with a woman gives him the screaming heebie-jeebies, but he enjoys their company and is completely respectful at all times.

The other two are a long-term couple (9 years now), as stable, if not more so, than any hetero couple on the street.

My neighbour has a steady boyfriend, who often offers help and guidance to my inept attempts at gardening.

Through these men, I have met dozens of other gay men -- and never once have I been treated with anything other than cheerful friendliness. Gay male culture loathes women? Nonsense!

It is yet another threat to insecure straight men to know that women tend to actively enjoy the company of gay men?

"Gay men loathe women." Honest to pete, the things people believe...