'All homophobes are closeted homosexuals' is a controversial claim. In fact, it’s an exaggeration. A US study set out to investigate and discovered not all homophobes are turned on by men – only 80 percent of them.
The guys had to answer questions like 'I would feel comfortable working closely with a gay man,' or 'If I saw two men holding hands in public, I would feel disgusted.” Based on the test, 35 turned out to be homophobic – a little over half the group.
The guys were then asked to settle down in a quiet room on their own to watch three short porn movies. But before the fun started, they had to fit an electronic gauge around their penis to check exactly how it responded.
The researchers showed the guys some straight, gay and lesbian porn. All three short movies included explicit action, ranging from kissing and undressing to oral and anal sex.
The lesbian movie was included because the researchers reckoned it’s a genre that most straight men find particularly sexy. The all-girl sex would be better for sorting the straights from the gays, they figured.
As the gay porn flick rolled, the penises remained limp in the pants of 66 percent of the non-homophobic guys. Yet among the homophobes, only 20 percent showed no signs of being turned on.
What’s more, well over half the homophobes clearly started to get erections when they watched the gay sex, compared to less than a quarter of the non-homophobes.
So does that mean homophobes are closeted homosexuals?
Well, there might just be another possible explanation, the researchers say. Anxiety can actually increase guys’ arousal and make their penises stiffen more strongly. So the turn-on could have been that “fear of the unknown”. It could be that the homophobes found the gay pornography so edgy it was enough to make their penises twitch.
Nevertheless, as far as the Georgia psychologists were concerned, the results of the study were clear.
It does seem that anti-gay feelings are often something to do with getting turned on by men. Even though the homophobe may deny his feelings or not even be aware of them.
What do you think? Are some homophobes secretly gay or just scared? Leave a comment below or join the discussion on Facebook.