You know how it’s fun to joke around that homophobes hate LGBT people not because they are very selective Bible literalists, but because they, themselves, experience same-sex attraction and it scares them? According to a new study conducted by universities in New York, California, and Essex, England, there might actually be some truth to that idea.

Carried out in the US and Germany, the study asked students to fill out questionnaires about their upbringing before doing timed tasks that somehow revealed how secretly gay they were.

Via The Daily Mail:

They measured differences between what people said about their sexuality compared to how they reacted during a timed task where they had to look at words and pictures associated with being gay or straight.
Then they were quizzed on their upbringing and were invited to look at pictures of homosexual or heterosexual couples. Conscious and subconscious levels of homophobia were measured using words and images.

Researchers found that those with more restrictive, “autonomy-thwarting” parents were more likely to identify as straight but experience some same sex attraction, while those raised in more supportive and accepting homes had an easier time accepting their own sexuality. (Duh.) And those with a bigger gap between their conscious identity and subconscious desires were more likely to hold homophobic attitudes.  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,” said researcher Netta Weintstein.

This all makes logical sense, and would explain why anti-gay politicians keep getting caught trying to cruise on the DL, although I suspect a lot more research is needed in order for it to be in any way conclusive. But since it makes me feel better, I’m going to go ahead and assume that the girl who called me a “lezzie” in high school just couldn’t handle her intense feelings of love and attraction for me and my perceived gaiety, which was due in part, no doubt, to my incessant wearing of Doc Martens.

And yes, that up there is a picture of Rick Santorum made entirely out of teeny-tiny, shrunken down gay porn. Thanks for noticing.

(Via Gothamist)