Saturday, December 17, 2011

How to Shut Up Homophobes

We all know the awkward situation of having to share a room with someone going off on a rant about those damn homosexuals, about how disgusting they are, how they're always parading their sexuality, always shove it in your face, why can't they keep it in the privacy of their bedrooms, why can't they just stay in the closet and let everybody be happy, it's just not natural, it's just wrong somehow, you know?

Whenever that happens, a reasonable person is usually left with only few options:

a) Leave the room
b) Stay silent and sit through it
c) Start a long-winded and probably pointless discussion about equality, values, and gay rights.

None of these are particularly pleasing. But luckily, the list is not complete. There is one more option, another way of ending the derailed-anti-gay-rant-situation. It's been my personal favorite for years. Today, I'll share it with you.
One can end this tired old discussion in a short and easy (and fun) way, simply by pointing to one of the dusty little forgotten gems of scientific research, published in 1996:

There is a strong positive correlation between homophobia and homosexual arousal.
Yup, that's right: Homophobes are closeted homosexuals in denial. I quote here from the abstract of the paper:
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. [Emphasis added]
(Doubters may follow this link to view the publication on PubMed.)

That translates to "We showed a group of guys a lot of porn, and the self-professed homophobes were the only ones getting turned on by the gay porn."
Gotta love the phrasing, too: "exhibiting an increase in penile circumference" must be the nerdiest possible term for "getting a hard-on". The findings also explain why almost every evangelical anti-gay preacher gets caught with male prostitutes sooner or later.
The story of pretty much every homophobe is basically the same: As children these people have learned that homosexuality is evil, and then experienced a mental conflict at some point in their lives, as they felt a tingling between their legs upon seeing a gay couple making out. They then solved the ensuing cognitive dissonance by telling themselves that that feeling was actually disgust, not sexual arousal. Naturally that's not a very convincing lie, and hence the need to keep reassuring themselves by voicing their disgust so loudly and publicly.

So that's it: Now you know every homophobes dark little secret. And perhaps the next time you're subjected to one of their rants, you may consider using that knowledge to pull a little psychic on them.