For a lot of college guys, one of their biggest fantasies revolves around dragging their straight buddies over to the other side. In fact, one of the biggest tropes in gay porn involves baiting “straight” frat guys. Quite often, these desires never see the light of day because of rampant homophobia across college campuses. But it turns out, those fantasies might not be far off from reality.
According to a new study published by The Journal of Sexual Medicine, homophobic men who openly express negative attitudes toward gay men are actually more interested in gay imagery than guys who aren’t homophobic.
At the University of Geneva, 38 heterosexual men took a survey about their views on gay men. After the survey, they took part in a manikin task. A manikin task is a computerized test used to determine unconscious, impulsive tendencies. In this case, the task was used to measure these tendencies in regard to homosexual imagery.
During the study, participants moved a small image of a human figure on the computer screen either towards or away from specific stimuli planted in the center. This practice allows researchers to measure approach and avoidance behavior.
The men with firm antigay views actually spent more time fixated on gay couples than straight ones.
The study concluded that some men high in homophobic attitudes and beliefs had sexual interest in gay individuals. From the results, the researchers ruled that they had a better understanding of how homophobic men processed erotic gay material. The study also helped them predict the men’s sexual behaviors.
However, it’s important to note that this study had a small sample size. Based on the number of men tested, it’s still hard to see just how big a role latent homosexuality plays in homophobia.
Back in 1996, a similar Canadian study was conducted where 64 homophobic and non-homophobic men were shown male homosexual erotic images. All of the men involved became aroused after viewing images of lesbians and heterosexual couples. But only the homophobic men had erections after viewing the gay imagery.
Like the current study from the University of Geneva, that 1996 study had a similarly small sample size.
The topic isn’t just of interest to the gay community or college researchers. Back in 2012, the New York Times explored the link between homosexuality and homophobia. In that article, Richard M. Ryan and William S. Ryan recalled several very public instances were noted homophobic men were involved in homosexual behavior.
Evangelical leader Ted Haggard famously preached that homosexuality was a sin, but he later resigned after being involved in a sex scandal with a former male prostitute. U.S. Senator Larry Craig was arrested for lewd conduct in a men’s bathroom shortly after proposing anti-gay legislation in Congress. And Young Republican National Convention leader Glenn Murphy, Jr. plead guilty to sexually assaulting another man.
While the two studies only focus on small sample groups, it seems they’re indicative of a much bigger trend.