Homophobes Could Be Gay

Filed in Science and Health by on April 29, 2012

Over the years as we’ve watched various homophobic leaders get caught in the closet, many of us have developed a theory that maybe these homophobes are in fact gay themselves. Well, now there’s a study that proves just that.

Richard M. Ryan and William S. Ryan completed a study which participants rated their sexual orientation and then in a computer-aided study they were asked sort photographs and words into gay and straight categories. The study then looked at the participants reaction times.

The twist was that before each word and image appeared, the word “me” or “other” was flashed on the screen for 35 milliseconds — long enough for participants to subliminally process the word but short enough that they could not consciously see it. The theory here, known as semantic association, is that when “me” precedes words or images that reflect your sexual orientation . . .

And what did they find?

Using this methodology we identified a subgroup of participants who, despite self-identifying as highly straight, indicated some level of same-sex attraction (that is, they associated “me” with gay-related words and pictures faster than they associated “me” with straight-related words and pictures). Over 20 percent of self-described highly straight individuals showed this discrepancy.

Notably, these “discrepant” individuals were also significantly more likely than other participants to favor anti-gay policies; to be willing to assign significantly harsher punishments to perpetrators of petty crimes if they were presumed to be homosexual; and to express greater implicit hostility toward gay subjects (also measured with the help of subliminal priming). Thus our research suggests that some who oppose homosexuality do tacitly harbor same-sex attraction.

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A Dad, a husband and a data guru

Comments (1)

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  1. Doug Beatty says:

    You needed a study for that? ahhhh…. Son if you can’t talk, click your handset twice….. :D Maybe it was growing up backstage brat style but that’s been apparent to many for decades and decades. Guess any data point is worth posting though. meh

    Now what jackrabbit paid for this study and how many hungry people could have been fed? Why not a study on how hungry people feel better when they have food? For Fergie’s Sake.

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