The aversion that normal people feel toward homosexuality may actually stem from their own repressed same-sex feelings, argues a group of U.S. and British researchers. UPI News is reporting that the researchers from the University of Rochester (New York), the University of California-Santa Barbara, and the University of Essex in England conducted four separate experiments in the United States and Germany, each with an average of 160 college students, to come up with their controversial “findings.”
“Individuals who identify as straight but in psychological tests show a strong attraction to the same sex may be threatened by gays and lesbians because homosexuals remind them of similar tendencies within themselves,” explained the study’s lead author, Netta Weinstein, of the University of Essex.
Subjects in the study were shown words and pictures on a computer screen and asked to place them in “gay” or “straight” categories. However, beforehand each participant was subliminally primed by having either the word “me” or “others” flashed on the computer screen for 35 milliseconds. “They were then shown the words ‘gay,’ ‘straight,’ ‘homosexual,’ and ‘heterosexual’ as well as pictures of straight and gay couples, and the computer tracked precisely their response times,” reported UPI. “A second experiment — in which subjects were free to browse same-sex or opposite-sex photos — provided an additional measure of implicit sexual attraction.”
Later participants were queried about the type of parenting they experienced while growing up, ranging from authoritarian to democratic. The researchers then measured the level of “homophobia” exhibited by the subjects, both overt as revealed from their answers to questions on social policy and their beliefs, as well as implicit as revealed through word-completion tasks.
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