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.

If Freud is right, then perhaps men who are the most opposed to male homosexuality have particularly strong  homosexual urges for other men.

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. These men were then shown three, four-minute videos. One video depicted straight sex, one depicted lesbian sex and one depicted gay male sex. While this was happening, a device 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.

Heterosexual men who reported having the most anti-gay male attitudes were more aroused by gay male pornography than heterosexual men who had pro-gay male attitudes.

What this means is that some hostility towards gay men from other men could be down to some men who have homosexual attraction forming particularly negative views in reaction to not accepting their own sexuality.

What this doesn't mean - as I have seen others write-  is that homosexuality is caused by anti-gay attitudes, or even increased by it (the study cannot even test this, as homophobia was not manipulated across conditions. It was not a study design that can test causality). The point is that these men already have this arousal naturally, but that they block it because they do not see it as socially acceptable. So they form extra strong anti-gay attitudes as a means of appearing heterosexual to others, and perhaps trying to convince themselves they are entirely heterosexual. There are, of course, loads of gay men who are secure in their sexuality, so it clearly can exist without anti-gay attitudes.

It also doesn't mean that heterosexual men who are homophobic are the most aroused by gay male pornography across all groups of people of all sexual orientations and all levels of homophobia. That is not a valid conclusion to reach based on this study; there were not even any homosexual people in the study so we have no way of comparing their arousal with the homophobic heterosexual men in the study who were aroused by the gay male pornography.

(in an earlier draft when I said homophobic heterosexual men were the most aroused, that was in comparison to the men who were not homophobic going into the study. They were the most out of the group tested - heterosexual men)

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