Homophobic attitudes linked to psychological problems

Tom the Dancing Bug

A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine (great name for a soul album) finds that gay haters are more likely to be angry, physically hostile and otherwise unpleasant to others.

Emmanuele Jannini, an endocrinologist and medical sexologist at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, reports that "those who harbour homophobic attitudes are often encumbered with deficient coping mechanisms, and that their averse reaction to same-sex couplings may be a direct result of their own gender confusion," shocking few.

Overall, Jannini and his team of researchers discovered a strong link between "fearful-avoidant" attachment styles – where individuals are uncomfortable with close relationships – and homophobia. It was also found that those with immature defence mechanisms were more homophobic than their emotionally-developed counterparts.

High levels of hostility and anger, measured as psychoticism, were also linked to homophobia, with anti-gay beliefs believed to stem primarily from a limited capacity to empathise or 'open up'.

Among the 551 young Italians surveyed, other contributing factors include "religiosity, sensitivity to disgust, hypermasculinity and misogyny."