Study: Homophobia Rooted In Unwanted Sexual Advances
A new study published in the Social Psychology & Personality Science journal has the LGBT community talking. According to researchers, homophobia is rooted in perceived unwanted sexual advances. Homophobic straight men, for example, are anti-gay because they don't like gay men hitting on them; anti-gay straight women are homophobic because they don't like lesbians hitting on them.
Angela G. Pirlott, lead researcher from the University of Wisconsin Eua Claire, explained the study:
"We began exploring the idea of a 'sexual interest mismatch' -- that the sexual interests of the perceivers and their perceptions of the sexual interests of the different sexual orientation groups differed...In particular, that some sexual orientation groups might be perceived as directing unwanted sexual interest toward them."
“We then assessed their perceptions of the extent to which each of the those six target groups were interested in heterosexual men and women. Using a difference score in which we subtracted perceptions of target sexual interest from perceived sexual interest, we determined which groups were perceived to direct unwanted sexual interest. The patterns of prejudices map on nearly perfectly with perceptions of unwanted sexual interest."
Pirlott claims that while this might not provide causality, it shows that there is a relationship between anti-gay prejudice and sexual intimidation. Many critics have pointed out glaring flaws in the study, however, starting with researchers simply taking respondents word as truth when asked about their sexual orientation.
What do you think about the study?