University study of homophobia:
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study that appears to reveal a major cause of homophobia was completed at
the University of Georgia in 1996. 3 It involved 64
white men, none of whom had engaged in homosexual acts during their
lifetime. Their sexual fantasies involved only women. 35 of them were
rated homophobic; 29 non-homophobic. For the purpose of this study, "homophobia"
was defined as a negative emotional reaction (e.g., fear, anxiety, anger,
discomfort) to homosexuality. It was measured by a questionnaire called
the Index of Homophobia. Each was shown three types of X rated
videotapes: heterosexual, lesbian and gay. A plethysmograph measuring
device (affectionately called a "peter meter") measured
the circumference of their penis as a gauge of sexual arousal.
two groups exhibited similar arousal when they viewed 4 minute samples
taken from one heterosexual and one lesbian movie. But they responded
differently to the male homosexual clip:
researchers concluded that these data are consistent with the belief that
most homophobic men have repressed homosexual desires. An alternative, but
much less likely, explanation is that the homophobic men's erections were
caused by anxiety during the experiment.
research is needed to clarify the results and to answer questions such as
whether these results would generalize to homophobic women.
Cox News Service, 1996-JUL-31 reviewing an article by Drs. Henry Adams, Lester Wright Jr. & Bethany Lohr "Is homophobia associated with homosexual arousal?", Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 105 (1996), P. 440-445