Friday, August 6, 2010

Are Homophobic Men Just Repressed Gays?

Yes, more often than not.

But I get ahead of myself.

I was reading Politics Daily where I found this nifty little piece called Pastor Who Hates Homosexuality but Is Attracted to Men Returns to Pulpit and I thanked my fictitious divine being for such an easy topic to write about. It seems that the homophobe/minister/repressed gay man (WHO would've thought that those three characteristics go together?) named Rev. Tom Brock has recently had some ups and downs.
A Lutheran pastor known for his opposition to homosexuals serving as clergy is outed as a homosexual himself and takes a leave of absence -- but then returns to the pulpit the same week his denomination welcomes other gay pastors under a new policy that the anti-gay cleric himself opposes.
That's not the crazy part.
The Rev. Tom Brock, senior pastor at Hope Lutheran Church in North Minneapolis, explained it to the Associated Press on Monday by noting that he has known for many years that he is attracted to men -- but he doesn't consider himself gay because he hasn't acted on his attraction.

How much mental agility do you need for THAT? Let's see the thought process, "I think about penis a lot and not in that clinical penis surgeon kind off way - oh no. I think of penis in a - what's the word? A gay kind of way. I have no desire for women. I am a 57 year old virgin (his words from the article) so that means I'm not gay, right? Gay people are defined by the actual sex that they do so I am NOT gay."

He's a deep thinker that Brock. He has more ideas.
Brock, who believes active homosexuals are going to hell, said he had a distant relationship with his late father, and his older brother was more athletic and more popular, which contributed to his homosexual inclinations. He added that even if scientists were to establish definitive proof that homosexuality is genetic, he wouldn't change his views.

Brock's definition of truth is not limited by stupid stuff like facts or evidence. Nope. It's all about faith - and dick (of course).

You know, even if people wake up tomorrow to the fact that there is no god we are still going to have bigoted idiots. The difference between that world and this one? The bigoted idiots won't have an authoritarian God-said-it-so-I-believe-it, damn the facts forum known as church. The bigoted idiots will obviously be mentally ill as against to "holy". The bigoted idiots may actually talk to a mental health professional and at least become a non-bigoted semi-idiot.

I'd be happier in that world. Imperfect? Sure, but better nonetheless.

In my recent post Jew Envy (have you read it? It doesn't suck) I talked about a psychological mechanism called reaction formation. This is where a person represses a thought/urge and they act in a way counter to that original urge. Just as an example (chosen at random) say I'm a guy named Brock and I really like gay sex. This same guy has been traumatized by the local brand of Sky Fairyism (Obey or burn forever!) so that he really tries to deny his gayness. That denial turns him into a raging homophobe.

Oh, you skeptics out there are saying, "Andy this is only anecdotal evidence. Where's the sciencey stuff?"

HA! I am prepared for that question.

An experiment was conducted just to see if homophobes react physiologically (in that sex reaction kinda way) to homosexual stimuli (checkout the Wikipedia article here).  So, 64 men were divided into two groups, homophobic (35 guys) and non-homophobic (29 men). These groups were shown three kinds of pornography: straight, lesbian, and gay. The mens' sexual response was measured via how much blood flowed to their penis: more blood = more excitement.

What were the results? Here is the summation I found from a Frontline article (click here for the full piece).
The results of this study indicate that individuals who score in the homophobic range and admit negative affect toward homosexuality demonstrate significant sexual arousal to male homosexual erotic stimuli. These individuals were selected on the basis of their report of having only heterosexual arousal and experiences. Furthermore, their ratings of erection and arousal to homosexual stimuli were low and not significantly different from non homophobic men who demonstrated no significant increase in penile response to homosexual stimuli.                       
-Henrey E. Adams, Lester W. Wright Jr., and Bethany A Lohr, Is Homophobia Associated With Homosexual Arousal? in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Vol. 105., No. 3 (1996), pp. 440-445
Not surprisingly the homophobes showed more excitement to the gay porn and either didn't admit to it or totally repressed it.

But what would you expect...

in Purgatory.


  1. Of course, the biggest travesty of human nature is being a 57-year-old virgin in the name of the Tooth Fairy. Yikes.

  2. I have a hypothesis for why so many anti-gay crusaders are closet cases:

    The gay-to-straight ratio of a given community is more or less the same, no matter how intolerant they are. But the intolerant communities tend to spread lies and propaganda to encourage their intolerance. One such lie is that homosexuality is an infectious disease. People who grow up in these communities are taught this as fact, but again, despite this, some of them turn out gay anyways. When they start feeling attractions to people of the same sex, they assume that homosexuality really is infectious, and feel the need to warn others. And that's why the most vocal homophobes are closet cases.

  3. Asking if homophobic men are just repressed gays presumes a gay/straight binary.
    While some people might be totally straight or gay there is a spectrum of desire.
    It would be more nuanced to ponder whether homophobia is the result of the repression of same-sex desire. Perhaps the desire is transformed so it is only consciously experienced as homophobia.
    As a predominantly gay man I am occasionally sexually attracted to the opposite sex. It's just that for me there is nothing threatening about that fact.

  4. I find what David says interesting. Also, I would distinguish between gay and homosexual: the words have quite different connotations and, on that basis, I am willing to concede that this pastor is, in fact, not gay.

    He's not straight either, mind you, but then again, he never claimed he was.



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