Who could have predicted, right?
Well, now it seems like all of everyone’s suspicions are more or less confirmed and researches have finally reached a consensus. Homophobes are actually hidden gay people. However, it seems like not all of them but those who are the most hostile and violent towards gay people. They have found that there is a strong correlation between the radicalism of the homophobic ideas in an individual and his actual homosexual inclinations. The more radical and determined they are, the gayer.
Richard Ryan, a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester said that: “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. Sometimes people are threatened by gays and lesbians because they are fearing their own impulses in a sense they ‘doth protest too much’”.
There were four studies that took place and they included students from both the US and Germany and they ended up revealing pretty compelling results. One of the studies involved flashing certain words on a screen and the subjects had to distribute them between two groups: gay or straight. On the same time they had to categorize those same word in another two distinct groups containing the “me” and “others” denominations and they had to do it as fast as possible.
Another study involved a questionnaire trying to lighten up the relationship between the subjects and their parents and optional responses such as : “I felt controlled and pressured in certain ways” and “I felt free to be who I am” again showed compelling results. This study, related to the others, showed that those who were born and raised in extremely homophobic families would feel ashamed and reticent in revealing themselves and that the more radical their family environment was, the more radical they would become and the stronger the connection between their convictions and their sexual orientation. The researchers have determined that those who were supposedly straight and had the most violent views towards homosexuals, endorsing anti-gay policies and harsher punishments were also the ones who manifested the most compelling gay behaviors.
“We laugh at or make fun of such blatant hypocrisy, but in a real way, these people may often themselves be victims of repression and experience exaggerated feelings of threat. Homophobia is not a laughing matter. It can sometimes have tragic consequences.” professor Richard Ryan suggested.
So, next time you meet a homophobe, give him a hug.