I think the whole idea that many or most homophobes are actually gay comes from a certain study that found that men who expressed extremely homophobic views tended to become sexually aroused when exposed to gay stimuli as compared to less homophobic men. How good the study was, I can’t say. There is also plenty of anecdotal evidence of extreme public homophobes getting caught doing gay things, but scientifically that is worthless.
I guess some people find it emotionally satisfying to believe that homophobes are hypocrites, just as many low information thinkers continue to insist that Hitler was a Jew.
There is such a thing as reaction formation, and the extreme homophobes being caught doing gay stuff are an example of that.
However, I have some serious issues with this “homophobes are gay” theory.
We know that in Europe prior to 1800, the death penalty was enforced for male homosexuality. Men caught in the act were typically hung. This law was apparently very popular with most of the population who found such acts abhorrent. So in other words, prior to 1800 in Europe, the vast majority of European men were extreme, even homicidal homophobes. So according to this theory, during this time, the vast majority of European men were a bunch of faggots. Yeah right. I do not think so.
According to this theory, the most homophobic societies should have the highest rate of homosexuality and the least homophobic societies should have the lowest rate.
In Latin America, the males are extremely homophobic, and in a lot of countries, gay men are often beaten up, arrested or even murdered. I know Latin America pretty well, and one thing I know about Latin American men is there seems to be a low rate of opportunistic male homosexuality. There is just not a lot of male homosexuality in those countries. There is far more of it in the vastly less homophobic West.
There are plenty of other extremely homophobic countries out there, but one thing you notice about them is that they seem to have low rates of homosexuality in a lot of cases, though the Arab World is an odd case.
Also we would expect I suppose the least homophobic countries to have the lowest rates of homosexuality, but that’s not the case. The more accepting the society is of homosexuality, the more of it there is. This even works on a micro level all the way down to individual cities.
I lived, worked and played around Hollywood for years, and the rate of homosexuality there was very high. What I mean by that is that while there are many gay men, a lot of the purportedly straight men did not seem to be all that straight. I met quite a few men with wives and girlfriends seemed to have a suspiciously gay side, often closeted. The rates of what seemed to be opportunistic bisexuality in men were very high.
I finally concluded that this was because in LA, male homosexuality and bisexuality are “hip.” It is cool to be queer or bi. In other words, bisexuality is a fad in these places. I concluded based on that that when a society completely accepts homosexuality, a lot more people are going to not only accept it but also start doing it. So that is of the opposite of the “homophobes are fags” theory.
Think of all of the teenagers and young men who get thrown out of the house by their conservative parents after they find out the kid is gay. All of the fathers who throw out their son when they discover he’s gay are a bunch of secret queers? Give it up.
The “Homophobes Are Gay” Study
Yes, I have heard of the study the commenter is talking about. It appeared recently. They exposed two groups of self-described heterosexual men to probably hardcore gay porn. About 1/3 of the nonhomophobic men reacted to the stimuli, and about 2/3 of the homophobic men did. So more of the homophobic men reacted to the gay stuff. But a very high percentage of the nonhomophobic men did too.
I believe that all of men who reacted did so at a low level though.
100-0: Maximum heterosexual, minimum homosexual
90-10: Maximum heterosexual, incidental homosexual
80-20: Maximum heterosexual, significant homosexual
70-30: Maximum heterosexual, strong homosexual
60-40: Maximum heterosexual, very strong strong homosexual
50-50: Maximum heterosexual, maximal homosexual
40-60: Maximum homosexual, very strong heterosexual
30-70: Maximum homosexual, strong heterosexual
20-80: Maximum homosexual, significant heterosexual
10-90: Maximum homosexual, incidental heterosexual
0-100: Maximum homosexual, minimal heterosexual
Looking at that chart, all of the men were first tested on straight porn and all of them reacted maximally to it, and were then tested on gay porn.
I believe that all of the men in the study who reacted were reacting at a fairly low level, and most if not all were probably 90-10’s or 80-20’s, which would make sense, since most men who have bisexual interest are mostly heterosexual with a maximal attraction to females and a substantially lower attraction to males. It is also important to note that fully 50% of self-described straight men in the study were aroused, albeit at a low level, by gay porn. That’s a pretty shocking figure, but it goes along with other research showing a high percentage of albeit low level gay attraction in straight men.
The headlines said, Homophobes Are Really Gay, Study Finds. I didn’t get that at all from the study. Anyway, even if you are going to say that, keep in mind that according to this theory, the study found that 1/3 of non-homophobic men were “gay” too.
Are Homophobes Gay? My Experience
I have known a number of homophobes, including some violent ones. One of the most violent ones I have ever known was basically heterosexual. However, I knew the guy’s mother, and his Mom said she once found gay porn under his bed. But she said he also had a huge stash of straight porn too that he seemed to be a lot more interested in. I knew this idiot pretty well, and I honestly think that he was a 90-10, if that. I have no idea why he had that gay porn, but he may have had a small interest in gay stuff like so many guys. But the main thrust of his sexuality was obviously directed towards women.
I have known quite a few other guys who were strongly opposed to homosexuality. It seemed to be correlated with machismo or machoness. Most of the guys I knew who were really against homosexuality were hardcore extreme macho guys. It seemed that the more macho the guy was, the more homophobic he was.
It worked the other way too. I have known quite a few straight guys who said that homosexuality was quite all right, and they were 100% ok with it. This was correlated with being a lot less macho.
I also noticed something about a fair number of the guys who said, “Hey homosexuality is totally ok,” associated, worked with and even partied with gay men. After I had known these guys a while, they often made weird, suspicious statements like, “I do not think completely heterosexual men are normal.” Or they came onto me sexually. In the case of one guy who lived, associated and partied with gay men, he later got into bisexuality in a pretty heavy-duty way.
So I think that extreme acceptance of homosexuality in a straight man is a rather risky as a lot of them seem to go from, “Hey it’s 100% ok for other guys,” to “Why don’t I try it myself?” or “If it’s ok for other guys, then it’s ok for me too,” pretty easily.