Are homophobes secretly gay?
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Are homophobes secretly gay?

By Sarah Sunday, May 17, 2015 - 12:44
Why do some straight men get so angry about gay sex? Is it because deep down, they're really homosexual themselves? Marking the International Day Against Homophobia, Love Matters revisits research on this controversial claim.

Why hate gays? Why do some straight guys get so cross about the idea of two men making love? “Gay sex is just wrong,” they say. “It’s not natural. Ugh, it’s disgusting!”

Perhaps there’s really a hidden reason why these men are so freaked out by homosexual love-making. They’re scared by their own feelings. Because guys who hate gays… actually fancy men themselves.


It’s a common claim: homophobes are secretly gay. But is there any truth in it? A US study set out to investigate.

In a study at the University of Georgia, a test group of 64 guys first filled in a questionnaire to find out if they were homophobic. They had to rate statements 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 at all 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, 80 percent of homophobes are turned on by men. Homophobes are closeted homosexuals. Case closed?

Well, there might just be another possible explanation, the researchers say. Anxiety can actually increase guys’ arousal and make their penises stiffen more strongly. 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. Even though the homophobe may deny his feelings or not even be aware of them, it does seem that anti-gay feelings are often something to do with getting turned on by men.


Source: Is Homophobia Associated With Homosexual Arousal? Henry E. Adams, Lester W. Wright, Jr., and Bethany A. Lohr, University of Georgia

The International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia takes place every year on 17 May.

Do you think that if people are are hostile to gays, it's probably because they have homosexual feelings themselves? Leave a comment below or on Facebook.

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