New Study Shows Homophobes Do, Indeed, Repress Their Own Sexuality

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By Daniel Borgen, PQ Monthly
Well, chalk this up to things we already knew and have been saying all along. See also: we knew it, you're just jealous! In a new, international study co-authored by faculty from the University of Rochester and the University of Essex (in England), researchers found "intense hostility toward LGBT people may be due to a person's own repressed same-sex attractions and their parental upbringing." Go figure. More, from The Advocate, who reported on the study today: "Psychology professor Richard Ryan, who co-authored the study, said people who tend to have publicly expressed sexual desires that are disjointed from their unconscious sexual desires see gay people as threatening. Those conflicting feelings lead to expressions of homophobia and discrimination." Researchers admit the study had its limitations, though--for example, all the study's participants were college students. So it's not like scientists probed the brain of the likes of Larry Craig and Ted Haggard (who recently said he's "probably what the 'kids' call 'bisexual'.") Bisexuals, your team! Post-study analysis broached the subject of revisiting the study to see where these students are at down the road. The study also found those with more accepting parents were "more in tune with their own sexual orientation," but those who emerged from "controlling homes with homophobic parents" were far more likely to suppress their same-sex desires. You can read the summary on The Advocate's website here, and if you're into a far more detailed report, head on over to Science Daily--those kids carefully break it down for us, noting with care the study's limits and implications. Fair warning: that second is blog is a lot denser. While the study does provide some comfort in the form of explanation, it's unlikely to quell rampant homophobia anytime soon. And some homophobia is probably vastly more complicated than explained here--so attributing these results to every single homophobe on the planet probably isn't the most responsible (or helpful) thing in the world. But the study sure does explain a lot, doesn't it?