Even a man who thought that women want to have sex with their fathers, and that women spend much of their lives distraught over their lack of a penis is right sometimes. This person, the legend that is Sigmund Freud, theorized that people often have the most hateful and negative attitudes towards things they secretly crave, but feel that they shouldn't have.
One study asked heterosexal men how comfortable and anxious they are around gay men. Based on these scores, they then divided these men into two groups:
- men that are homophobic
- and men who are not homophobic
These men were then shown three different video's (all were 4-minute in duration).
- one video depicted "straight" sex
- one video depicted "lesbian" sex
- one video depicted "gay male" sex
|A Penile Plethysmography Device|
While this was happening, a device (see diagram to the left) was attached to each participant's penis. This device has been found to be triggered by sexual arousal, but not other types of arousal (such as nervousness, or fear - arousal often has a very different meaning in psychology than in popular usage).
When viewing lesbian sex and straight sex, both the homophobic and the non-homophobic men showed increased penis circumference.
For gay male sex, however, only the homophobic men showed heightened penis arousal.
Heterosexual men with the most anti-gay attitudes, when asked, reported not being sexually aroused by gay male sex videos. But, their penises reported otherwise.
Homophobic men were the most sexually aroused by gay male sex acts.
About the sample study...
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 non-homophobic 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.