Yes, I stole the title of this piece from a paraphrased quote in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, but no other title fit more profoundly. A recent study shows that self-described straight men who, by their answers to certain questions, can be identified as homophobic, respond to gay male pornography by growing increasingly tumescent. In other words, when they look at nekkid men, their willies grow as hard as the rocks they throw at gay people.
Specifically, the abstract from the study by the University of Georgia, and published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, states,
“The authors investigated the role of homosexual arousal in exclusively heterosexual men who admitted negative affect toward homosexual individuals. Participants consisted of a group of homophobic men (n = 35) and a group of nonhomophobic men (n = 29); they were assigned to groups on the basis of their scores on the Index of Homophobia (W. W. Hudson & W. A. Ricketts, 1980). The men were exposed to sexually explicit erotic stimuli consisting of heterosexual, male homosexual, and lesbian videotapes, and changes in penile circumference were monitored. They also completed an Aggression Questionnaire (A. H. Buss & M. Perry, 1992). Both groups exhibited increases in penile circumference to the heterosexual and female homosexual videos. Only the homophobic men showed an increase in penile erection to male homosexual stimuli. The groups did not differ in aggression. Homophobia is apparently associated with homosexual arousal that the homophobic individual is either unaware of or denies.”
If their results are correct, what can we assume by these new data? Should we estimate the number of gays in the country by adding the number of homophobes to the count? If so, that would make the percentage of gay folk in the United States enormous.
Of course, the last line of the study is an important one. Those men identified as homophobic are clearly in denial of their sexuality or experience a complete lack of awareness that they are subconsciously attracted to other men. Whether in denial or unaware, these men require our compassion because they are either deluding themselves or completely self-unaware. Either way, it’s a challenging way to live.
So, to those men who shout at the top of their lungs epithets and derision toward gay folk, carry placards decrying the end of American culture because gay people can be seen in public, or excoriate homosexuals from the pulpit or political platform, just know that we hear you. And, after this study, we hear you even more clearly now. In a way, every time you exhibit your homophobic rants and rages, you’re coming out just a little bit more to the rest of us, aren’t you? Welcome to our world… grrrrrl!