CBS News: Homophobia May Reveal Denial of Own Same-Sex Attraction, Study Suggests
April 10th 2012.
(CBS News) Do homophobic people actually fear their own unconscious feelings? A new study suggests that people who repress their own sexual attraction to the same sex are more likely to express hostility towards gays.
“In many cases these are people who are at war with themselves and they are turning this internal conflict outward,” study co-author Dr. Richard Ryan, professor of psychology at the University of Rochester, said in a university written statement.
In four separate experiments conducted in the U.S. and in Germany, each involving an average of 160 college students, researchers attempted to measure any differences between what people say about their sexual orientation and how they actually react. Their findings are published in the April issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
For one experiment, researchers used word and picture tests to subliminally prime participants with either the word “me” or “others,” and then asking them to place the words and images into “gay” or “straight” categories. A second experiment had participants browse same-sex or opposite-sex photos to test implicit – or unconscious – same-sex attraction. Other experiments measured participants’ levels of homophobia through questionnaires or asked about participants’ upbringings and their parents’ perspectives.
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By Monica Dybuncio