Richard Ryan

That explains a lot

ᔥ NZ Herald

Every time I post on marriage equality the bigots come out of the woodwork and hurl all sorts of abuse. I think I may have found the answer:

Homophobia is more common in people who have an attraction to the same sex but have been forced to suppress their desires, according to a new study.

The paper, due to be published this month in the Journal of Personality and Psychology is the first to look at the role parenting and sexuality play in the formation of the fear of homosexual people – including things like self-reported anti-gay attitudes, backing of anti-gay policies and implicit hostility towards gay people.

“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,” the study’s lead author, Netta Weinstein, told ScienceDaily.

“In many cases these are people who are at war with themselves and they are turning this internal conflict outward,” said co-author Prof Richard Ryan, from the University of Rochester.

Researchers conducted four different experiments around the US and Germany, each involving about 160 university students.

Evidence suggested for the first time that fear, anxiety and aversion that some people have towards gay people could grow out of their same suppressed desires.