By: Brittney Moxley
Homosexuality has been around since biblical times. Just recently, within the past 15 to 20 years, homosexuality has become more accepted by the rest of our country's population due to the Gay Rights Movement. However, there are still a vast amount of citizens who are opposed to homosexuality and even a large amount of people who are homophobic (a negative affect toward homosexuals). In an overall stereotype, men are more known to be homophobic than woman. A research study was conducted to help understand why some heterosexual men are more opposed to homosexual men than other heterosexual men and why.
A group of Caucasian men ranging from 18 to 31 years of age were recruited from the Psychology Department Research Subject Pool at the University of Georgia participated in the study. They were divided into two groups which consisted of a group of homophobic men and a group of non-homophobic men; they were screened during large group testing that consisted of three areas including a homosexual rating scale, homophobic index and an aggression questionnaire. They were contacted by telephone at a later date to schedule the laboratory portion of the study. The men were exposed to sexually explicit erotic stimuli consisting of heterosexual, male homosexual, and lesbian videotapes. While this was happening, a device which monitored only sexual arousal was attached to each participant's penis to monitor their penile circumference. A rating scale was used to assess sexual desire and previous experiences from exclusively homosexual to exclusively heterosexual. Only participants who reported exclusive heterosexual experiences were selected.
The measure of homophobia called IHP was used to divide the men into four groups from 0-25 being high-grade non-homophobic men; 26–50, low-grade non-homophobic men; 51–75, low-grade homophobic men; and 76–100, high-grade homophobic men. The men were then divided into two groups by how comfortable or uncomfortable they were in a group of homosexual men. This last division made it necessary to find an adequate number of exclusively heterosexual men who scored in the high-grade non-homophobic range. A MIR (mercury-in-rubber) was used to measure erectile responses to the sexual stimuli. When attached to the penis, changes in the penile circumference would trigger the electrical resistance of the mercury.
After the study, researchers discovered that only the homophobic men showed an increase in penile erection to male homosexual stimuli. Both groups showed the same amount of aggression toward the male homosexual stimuli.
Based of the result of the study, only the individuals who scored within the homophobic range, reported having exclusively heterosexual arousal and experiences and admit negative affect toward homosexuality demonstrate sexual arousal to male homosexual erotic stimuli. However, the ratings of the erection and arousal were low and not significantly different from the non-homophobic participants who did not show any increase in penile response when