This article has been getting a lot of attention around the internets, and it's obvious why. For a very long time there has been an assumption in the LGBT community and its allies that anti-gay men more than likely harbor latent (unconscious) homosexual desires. The sheer number of anti-gay politicians and preachers caught having gay sex would seem to confirm that assumption.
Now there is proof - and the penile plethysmograph doesn't lie (well, it's not perfect, either, but that's a whole other discussion). What the article did not say is that this proof has been around since 1996, when the article was originally published. Here is the abstract:
Is homophobia associated with homosexual arousal?
Department of Psychology, University of Georgia, Athens 30602-3013, USA.
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.
Adams, HE, Wright Jr, LW & Lohr, BA. (1996). Is homophobia associated with homosexual arousal? Journal of Abnormal Psychology;105(3):440-5.
There will always be people who hold ignorant beliefs, but those beliefs should not be codified in our laws.
And yes, it's sad that these men deny their sexual attractions to other men, if that is indeed what is going in this study. We all should be free to love whomever we choose, as long as it is not a child and is not harmful to others.
Homophobia Associated with Penis Arousal to Male on Male Sex
Even a man who thought that women want to have sex with their fathers and that women spend much of their lives distraught because they lack a penis is right sometimes. This person, the legend that is Sigmund Freud, theorized that people often have the most hateful and negative attitudes towards things they secretly crave, but feel that they shouldn't have.
If Freud is right, then perhaps men who are the most opposed to male homosexuality have particularly strong homosexual urges for other men.
One study asked heterosexal men how comfortable and anxious they are around gay men. Based on these scores, they then divided these men into two groups: men that are homophobic, and men who are not. These men were then shown three, four minute videos. One video depicted straight sex, one depicted lesbian sex and one depicted gay male sex. While this was happening, a device was attached to the male participant's penises. This device has been found to be triggered by sexual arousal, but not other types of arousal (such as nervousness, or fear - arousal often has a very different meaning in psychology than in popular usage).
When viewing lesbian sex and straight sex, both the homophobic and the non-homophobic men showed increased penis circumference. For gay male sex, however, only the homophobic men showed heightened penis arousal.
Heterosexual men with the most anti-gay attitudes, when asked, reported not being sexually aroused by gay male sex videos. But, their penises reported otherwise.
Homophobic men were the most sexually aroused by gay male sex acts.