Is homophobia associated with homosexual arousal?

J Abnorm Psychol. 1996 Aug;105(3):440-5. doi: 10.1037//0021-843x.105.3.440.


The authors investigated the role of homosexual arousal in exclusively heterosexual men who admitted negative affect toward homosexual individuals. Participants consisted of a group of homophobic men (n = 35) and a group of nonhomophobic men (n = 29); they were assigned to groups on the basis of their scores on the Index of Homophobia (W. W. Hudson & W. A. Ricketts, 1980). The men were exposed to sexually explicit erotic stimuli consisting of heterosexual, male homosexual, and lesbian videotapes, and changes in penile circumference were monitored. They also completed an Aggression Questionnaire (A. H. Buss & M. Perry, 1992). Both groups exhibited increases in penile circumference to the heterosexual and female homosexual videos. Only the homophobic men showed an increase in penile erection to male homosexual stimuli. The groups did not differ in aggression. Homophobia is apparently associated with homosexual arousal that the homophobic individual is either unaware of or denies.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Awareness
  • Denial, Psychological
  • Female
  • Gender Identity*
  • Homosexuality, Female / psychology
  • Homosexuality, Male / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Libido*
  • Male
  • Penile Erection / psychology
  • Personality Inventory
  • Phobic Disorders / diagnosis
  • Phobic Disorders / psychology*