Understanding Homophobia

Its causes and possible cures

Studies of mental functions, behaviors and the nervous system.

Moderators: Calilasseia, ADParker

Re: Understanding Homophobia

#61  Postby Matthew Shute » Jun 20, 2015 5:02 pm

As a kid at school I was keenly aware that, if anyone was identified as being gay, that was like that kid walking around with a target floating above his head, for the purposes of name-calling and other bullying. There was something fearful about the label, at least in those terms, of potentially being singled out and targeted. I must've internalised that quite a lot because, when I first encountered homoerotic scenes in movies and so on, my immediate reaction was neither repulsion nor attraction - it was me worrying about how I was going to respond to it. "Shit, what if this brings on homosexual feelings? What if I find I'm really into this?" That was honestly the kind of stupid stuff going through my head. I wouldn't want to look at the screen in case I found I liked it. And if I did... oh noes! Game over.

But, you know, 1 Corinthians 13:11.

Sure, for all I know some people have an innate, visceral sense of repulsion to seeing two men kissing or whatever. I've never had that reaction, but it doesn't mean that others do not. Perhaps the same could be said for some arachnophobia, too. I had a bad case of arachnophobia, still have some remnants of it, but I mostly overcame it. Supposing you were an arachnophobe, why wouldn't you want to overcome that phobia, irrespective of the cause(s) or origin? You could go through life feeling irrational panic and discomfort, brought on by harmless arachnids, or you could work at it, and get to the stage where you can see a huge darting spider on TV, or even have one run across your arm, without freaking out about it. I can't understand why anyone would want to put up with the former.

Nobody has a gun to anyone's head, saying, change the way you feel about homosexuality on some deep visceral level... or else. But IF someone's homophobia is causing that person a lot of discomfort, and especially IF it's making life unnecessarily difficult for others around him/her, that person has to realise that he/she is the one with the problem. No one else is obliged to structure society around the neuroses or other aversions of someone who reacts badly to what others take in their stride. Just as my arachnophobic former self couldn't expect reality to conform to my dislike of spiders, by having all spiders disappear, a homophobe can hardly expect not to occasionally encounter a gay couple holding hands and kissing. If that possibility is simply too much to bear, like someone with claustrophobia having to lie in a coffin, well, you could lock yourself in a room and never turn on the TV... or you could try to gradually overcome the aversion.

:dunno:

If it's not that bad, no sense of panic, just a case of preferring not to see gay sex if given the choice.. well, that's pretty easy to avoid, I would think. If we're talking about stuff on TV, there's an off button. If we're talking about gay porn on the internet, just don't search for gay porn on the internet.

:dunno:
"Change will preserve us. It is the lifeblood of the Isles. It will move mountains! It will mount movements!" - Sheogorath
User avatar
Matthew Shute
 
Name: Matthew Shute
Posts: 3676
Age: 42

Antarctica (aq)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Understanding Homophobia

#62  Postby SpeedOfSound » Jun 20, 2015 5:40 pm

tolman wrote:
SpeedOfSound wrote:Agreed. But you see the subtlety here don't you? We have taken 'homophobic' and made it about bigoted attitudes and beliefs. What word do we use for just having the feeling of not wanting to see sex that does not attract us?

'Selective attraction to images of sex'.

It does seem that with regard to images of sex, for many people there may not be much of a middle ground between attraction and repulsion, but it's not clear that repulsion needs to come in particular strengths if its purpose is not to judge others but simply to define or reflect one's own preferences.
I really wouldn't want to visualise a morbidly obese straight couple having sex, a couple of 90-year-olds having sex, my parents having sex, or any of my gay friends having sex, so I refrain from such visualisations.

SpeedOfSound wrote:But it seems to me that if we understand our biology we can do something about behavior when our biology rears it's often ugly head. If we pretend we don't have feelings of repulsion ever then we are more likely to find them coloring our beliefs.

I do have feelings of repulsion, but I understand that they don't necessarily do any more than reflect my own orientation at this present time. Just as when I was 18 I wouldn't have found the idea of people of my current age having sex attractive, presumably if I live to 90 I'd feel differently about thinking of 90-year-old naked women.

SpeedOfSound wrote:In a sense in the California kind of world it is still a sin to have certain feelings. Only in Hollywood that set of sinful feelings changes around about every twenty years.

There's a difference between having personal feelings and thinking that everyone else should share one's own feelings.
There's also a huge difference between finding thoughts of some kinds of sex personally unattractive and therefore not thinking about them and finding them unattractive but feeling compelled to think and judge and talk about them to the detriment of others and the seeming advantage of no-one.

The odd thing about the classic homophobe is that presumably many of them would find the thought of elderly people having sex unattractive yet they would be entirely capable of talking to an elderly couple who were holding hands without having to continually imagine hem having sex.

But possibly that's a self-sustaining thing?
The more that some people feel compelled to talk about gay sex as if it was all that gay men ever did, the harder it may be for other people to simply not think about it?

And all that is pretty much what I was trying to say. I was just not sure if classic homophobe meant have feelings about what is attractive or having bogoted opinions about what others should be like.
User avatar
SpeedOfSound
RS Donator
 
Posts: 32084
Age: 69
Male

Kyrgyzstan (kg)
Print view this post

Re: Understanding Homophobia

#63  Postby tolman » Jun 20, 2015 6:19 pm

Matthew Shute wrote:Sure, for all I know some people have an innate, visceral sense of repulsion to seeing two men kissing or whatever. I've never had that reaction, but it doesn't mean that others do not. Perhaps the same could be said for some arachnophobia, too. I had a bad case of arachnophobia, still have some remnants of it, but I mostly overcame it. Supposing you were an arachnophobe, why wouldn't you want to overcome that phobia, irrespective of the cause(s) or origin?
[...]
But IF someone's homophobia is causing that person a lot of discomfort, and especially IF it's making life unnecessarily difficult for others around him/her, that person has to realise that he/she is the one with the problem. No one else is obliged to structure society around the neuroses or other aversions of someone who reacts badly to what others take in their stride. Just as my arachnophobic former self couldn't expect reality to conform to my dislike of spiders, by having all spiders disappear, a homophobe can hardly expect not to occasionally encounter a gay couple holding hands and kissing. If that possibility is simply too much to bear, like someone with claustrophobia having to lie in a coffin, well, you could lock yourself in a room and never turn on the TV... or you could try to gradually overcome the aversion.

And when it comes to arachnophobia, presumably if someone with a deep-seated aversion to spiders kept going out of their way to talk about how horrible they were, and to keep imagining them doing their nasty spidery things at the slightest provocation, we'd not only think they were suffering from a phobia but an unhealthy obsession, and hope that they'd see some kind of specialist to deal with both issues.
I don't do sarcasm smileys, but someone as bright as you has probably figured that out already.
tolman
 
Posts: 7106

Country: UK
Print view this post

Re: Understanding Homophobia

#64  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Jun 21, 2015 6:23 am

SpeedOfSound wrote:
Keep It Real wrote:
LoneWolfEburg wrote:
I don't know why I'm not homophobic. It seems understandable to me.

So, you yourself are a counter-example to your reasoning on how Darwinian organisms should feel. Furthermore, since a lot of people are not homophobic, you can't be said to represent an extremely unique anomaly in this regard. Consequently, it appears that your initial premises are flawed, and Darwinian organisms, for good or for ill, do not operate the way you assume them to - not always, at least.

That's the mystery in my mind - why everybody isn't homophobic. Maybe some people are so sure of their sexual orientation they refuse to believe they could catch teh gay. Perhaps we're right; perhaps not.

Got's research? Take a thousand heterosexual males and place them in a booth with intimate sex scenes between males and do some measuring. Then do the same with heterosex-scenes. Are you saying that the majority will react the same way to hetero scenes as they will homosex scenes?

Or are you saying that the only thing that has a reaction in the male body to a sex scene is his dick?

You are aware of the flawed nature of phallometric testing?
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
User avatar
Thomas Eshuis
 
Name: Thomas Eshuis
Posts: 31037
Age: 31
Male

Country: Netherlands
European Union (eur)
Print view this post

Re: Understanding Homophobia

#65  Postby Keep It Real » Jul 21, 2017 8:26 pm

My current theory is that homophobia is caused by people fearing that thinking homosexuality is ok means there's a risk they will lose their current, straight, sexual pleasure. The error is that they fail to realise that if they did become gay, they would lust after the same sex and get sexual pleasure from same sex relations/fantasies. Asexualphobia isn't a recognised phenomenon, as far as I am aware, perhaps because it is so rare, but I think perhaps that would be rational; and not a phobia at all.
You're only conscious when you're thinking about consciousness.
User avatar
Keep It Real
Suspended User
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 9171
Age: 39

Print view this post

Re: Understanding Homophobia

#66  Postby Keep It Real » Jul 21, 2017 8:38 pm

Keep It Real wrote: Would not a Darwinian organism wish to avoid exposure to possibly transmissible homosexuality memes?


fuck. Homophobia was a feature of my psychosis in the past; but I can't fault the reasoning of the above statement. HELP!
You're only conscious when you're thinking about consciousness.
User avatar
Keep It Real
Suspended User
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 9171
Age: 39

Print view this post

Re: Understanding Homophobia

#67  Postby VazScep » Jul 21, 2017 8:42 pm

I'd like to think that the popularity of the word "meme" is something of an embarrassment among evolutionary biologists. It was a cute thought experiment to make a point that you might see evolutionary processes outside of genetic machinery (and Dawkins has shown that he's played around with GA). But I can't see any reason to take it seriously.
Here we go again. First, we discover recursion.
VazScep
 
Posts: 4590

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Understanding Homophobia

#68  Postby Keep It Real » Jul 21, 2017 8:46 pm

Let me rephrase then. Would not a Darwinian organism wish to avoid catching teh gay through respecting, empathising with, validating and accepting homosexuality?
You're only conscious when you're thinking about consciousness.
User avatar
Keep It Real
Suspended User
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 9171
Age: 39

Print view this post

Re: Understanding Homophobia

#69  Postby VazScep » Jul 21, 2017 8:51 pm

Keep It Real wrote:Let me rephrase then. Would not a Darwinian organism wish to avoid catching teh gay through respecting, empathising with, validating and accepting homosexuality?
Admittedly, I've only read popular science on evolutionary theory, but what I've read hasn't remotely equipped me to evaluate that question.

I take a pretty dim view of evolutionary psychology.
Here we go again. First, we discover recursion.
VazScep
 
Posts: 4590

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: Understanding Homophobia

#70  Postby scott1328 » Jul 21, 2017 8:51 pm

You seem fixated on catching teh gay, which can certainly be construed as homophobia.

You can't catch homosexuality. You either desire to have sex with people of the same sex, or you don't. It is nothing to be afraid of.

I don't know what you mean by "darwinian organism." All organisms have evolved, you might as well say "organism" and drop the redundancy.
User avatar
scott1328
 
Name: Some call me... Tim
Posts: 8686
Male

United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Understanding Homophobia

#71  Postby Keep It Real » Jul 21, 2017 9:00 pm

scott1328 wrote:You seem fixated on catching teh gay, which can certainly be construed as homophobia.

You can't catch homosexuality. You either desire to have sex with people of the same sex, or you don't. It is nothing to be afraid of.

Studies show that sexual orientation is largely environmentally determined - so becoming gay through environmental influences seems real world. I'm not homophobic, I got drunk with a gay guy and went back to his house just the other month but...but evolutionary logic dictates that homophobia is understandable as I see things at the minute. I'm not fixated; it's just an interesting phenomenon.

I don't know what you mean by "darwinian organism." All organisms have evolved, you might as well say "organism" and drop the redundancy.

Fair enough.
You're only conscious when you're thinking about consciousness.
User avatar
Keep It Real
Suspended User
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 9171
Age: 39

Print view this post

Re: Understanding Homophobia

#72  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Jul 21, 2017 9:06 pm

Keep It Real wrote:My current theory is that homophobia is caused by people fearing that thinking homosexuality is ok means there's a risk they will lose their current, straight, sexual pleasure.

Why not leave the theorising to the actual scientists?

Keep It Real wrote:
The error is that they fail to realise that if they did become gay, they would lust after the same sex and get sexual pleasure from same sex relations/fantasies.

Do you know how religiously based homophobia works?
Getting pleasure from same-sex intercourse is just the devil tempting you.

Keep It Real wrote:
Asexualphobia isn't a recognised phenomenon, as far as I am aware, perhaps because it is so rare, but I think perhaps that would be rational; and not a phobia at all.

Why are we suddenly switching topics to asexuality?
And yes there are people who have irrational objections to it, mostly based on appeals to personal ignorance, incredulity and emotion.
I've yet to see someone present a rational case for asexualphobia. You seem to think there is: go ahead, present it.
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
User avatar
Thomas Eshuis
 
Name: Thomas Eshuis
Posts: 31037
Age: 31
Male

Country: Netherlands
European Union (eur)
Print view this post

Re: Understanding Homophobia

#73  Postby scott1328 » Jul 21, 2017 9:07 pm

Keep It Real wrote:
scott1328 wrote:You seem fixated on catching teh gay, which can certainly be construed as homophobia.

You can't catch homosexuality. You either desire to have sex with people of the same sex, or you don't. It is nothing to be afraid of.

Studies show that sexual orientation is largely environmentally determined - so becoming gay through environmental influences seems real world. I'm not homophobic, I got drunk with a gay guy and went back to his house just the other month but...but evolutionary logic dictates that homophobia is understandable as I see things at the minute. I'm not fixated; it's just an interesting phenomenon.

I don't know what you mean by "darwinian organism." All organisms have evolved, you might as well say "organism" and drop the redundancy.

Fair enough.

Studies show that homosexuality has both a genetic and environmental component. But, let's be clear here: "environmental component" means those components that are not deterimined by one's own genetics. That's a very broad category, and includes factors that are as far out of a person's control as one's own genes: Pre-natal environment, living conditions, nutrition, hygiene, medical care, siblings, sunlight, weather, insects, parasites, pets and uncountably many other factors. To say that the cause of homosexuality has an environmental component is tantamount to saying the causes are unknown and possibly unknowable.

What it doesn't say is that it is "learned". In fact we know that it is almost certainly not learned.

ETA: we also know that homophobia is a learned behavior
User avatar
scott1328
 
Name: Some call me... Tim
Posts: 8686
Male

United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Understanding Homophobia

#74  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Jul 21, 2017 9:13 pm

Keep It Real wrote:
scott1328 wrote:You seem fixated on catching teh gay, which can certainly be construed as homophobia.

You can't catch homosexuality. You either desire to have sex with people of the same sex, or you don't. It is nothing to be afraid of.

Studies show that sexual orientation is largely environmentally determined - so becoming gay through environmental influences seems real world.

They don't.The jury is still out on that.

Keep It Real wrote:
I'm not homophobic, I got drunk with a gay guy and went back to his house just the other month

Genuine, nonad-hom question: are you drunk right now?
Because I can't see how someone could fail to see how the bolded bit makes you argument rather weak.
Not to mention that it sounds a lot like: "I'm not homophobic, I have a gay friend!"

Keep It Real wrote:
but...but evolutionary logic

There's no such thing.

Keep It Real wrote:
dictates that homophobia is understandable as I see things at the minute.

:picard:
This is an appeal to flawed understanding of what evolution is and how it works.
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
User avatar
Thomas Eshuis
 
Name: Thomas Eshuis
Posts: 31037
Age: 31
Male

Country: Netherlands
European Union (eur)
Print view this post

Re: Understanding Homophobia

#75  Postby Keep It Real » Jul 21, 2017 9:24 pm

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
I've yet to see someone present a rational case for asexualphobia. You seem to think there is: go ahead, present it.

People fear losing their sex life through validating and accepting asexuality - opening the door to adopting asexuality themselves. It's not rocket science Thomas.
You're only conscious when you're thinking about consciousness.
User avatar
Keep It Real
Suspended User
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 9171
Age: 39

Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Understanding Homophobia

#76  Postby Keep It Real » Jul 21, 2017 9:26 pm

scott1328 wrote:
What it doesn't say is that it is "learned". In fact we know that it is almost certainly not learned.

ETA: we also know that homophobia is a learned behavior


I'm yet to see any evidence to support either of the above statements. Post some please?
You're only conscious when you're thinking about consciousness.
User avatar
Keep It Real
Suspended User
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 9171
Age: 39

Print view this post

Re: Understanding Homophobia

#77  Postby Keep It Real » Jul 21, 2017 9:28 pm

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Keep It Real wrote:
Studies show that sexual orientation is largely environmentally determined - so becoming gay through environmental influences seems real world.

They don't.The jury is still out on that.

There's only something like a 20% concordance for monozygotic twins and homosexuality. The jury is not out.
You're only conscious when you're thinking about consciousness.
User avatar
Keep It Real
Suspended User
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 9171
Age: 39

Print view this post

Re: Understanding Homophobia

#78  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Jul 21, 2017 9:54 pm

Keep It Real wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Keep It Real wrote:
Studies show that sexual orientation is largely environmentally determined - so becoming gay through environmental influences seems real world.

They don't.The jury is still out on that.

There's only something like a 20% concordance for monozygotic twins and homosexuality. The jury is not out.

First, that's only one possible way how genetics can influence homosexuality.
Two, to quote your own words back at you.
I'm yet to see any evidence to support either of the above statements. Post some please?
Last edited by Thomas Eshuis on Jul 21, 2017 9:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
User avatar
Thomas Eshuis
 
Name: Thomas Eshuis
Posts: 31037
Age: 31
Male

Country: Netherlands
European Union (eur)
Print view this post

Re: Understanding Homophobia

#79  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Jul 21, 2017 9:58 pm

Keep It Real wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:
I've yet to see someone present a rational case for asexualphobia. You seem to think there is: go ahead, present it.

People fear losing their sex life through validating and accepting asexuality - opening the door to adopting asexuality themselves. It's not rocket science Thomas.

No, but it is absolute nonsense.
Asexuality =/= losing your sex life, nor is it something you conciously adopt.
More-over it's a spectrum, ranging from a lack of sexual attraction to other people, ot having a lessened or absent desire for sex.
That does not mean asexuals by definition/all don't derive pleasure from sexual acts, including those with other people.
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
User avatar
Thomas Eshuis
 
Name: Thomas Eshuis
Posts: 31037
Age: 31
Male

Country: Netherlands
European Union (eur)
Print view this post

Re: Understanding Homophobia

#80  Postby Keep It Real » Jul 21, 2017 10:01 pm

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Keep It Real wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Keep It Real wrote:
Studies show that sexual orientation is largely environmentally determined - so becoming gay through environmental influences seems real world.

They don't.The jury is still out on that.

There's only something like a 20% concordance for monozygotic twins and homosexuality. The jury is not out.

First, that's only one possible way how genetics can influence homosexuality.
Two, to quote your own words back at you.
I'm yet to see any evidence to support either of the above statements. Post some please?


Keep It Real wrote:
In 2000 Bailey, Dunne and Martin studied a larger sample of 4,901 Australian twins but reported less than half the level of concordance.[5] They found 20% concordance in the male identical or MZ twins and 24% concordance for the female identical or MZ twins. Self reported zygosity, sexual attraction, fantasy and behaviours were assessed by questionnaire and zygosity was serologically checked when in doubt.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biology_and_sexual_orientation

http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/psp/78/3/524/ - Abstract.
You're only conscious when you're thinking about consciousness.
User avatar
Keep It Real
Suspended User
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 9171
Age: 39

Print view this post

PreviousNext

Return to Psychology & Neuroscience

Who is online

Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 1 guest