After coming out of my creative writing class with a motivation to write my assigned short story, I found myself thinking, researching and writing — not about my assignment, but rather about the study my teacher had mentioned to end a debate in our class between a gay black man and a straight Hispanic man. The two were discussing society’s perils and expectations of the separate roles of a man and a woman.
The debate had started from how hard it is to be a woman (shockingly coming from the gay student’s platform) to how two gay men aren’t accepted as easily as lesbian women are in the eyes and opinions of many of the heterosexual individuals around them.
He rings true that lesbian women do have it seemingly easier. In an FBI statistics chart, 55.1 percent of the 1,482 sexual orientation hate crimes in 2009 were victims because of an offender’s anti-male homosexual bias while 15.3 percent were victims because of an anti-female homosexual bias (and those are just the ones that are even reported at all). But why is that?
Other than the obvious answer that it is a sexual fantasy for many males in the world, it seems to stick out (more than just from their pants) that men find it an offense to their gender, as a complete entity, when a man “lowers himself down a notch on the testosterone pole” and when a woman does the very opposite, opening up the door to the “He-man Woman Haters Club” and sitting down on the couch — making herself at home. The idea of the switch of power roles makes any heterosexual man with an ego cringe. And it’s not in disgust; it seems to be most in fear.
A study performed at the University of Georgia shed some light on homophobic men and the tested individuals’ true psychological fear. It is not that they are afraid of homosexual men around themselves; it is that they are afraid of themselves around homosexual men.
In the study, they asked a group of men a series of questions on how they felt about homosexual men. Based upon those results, they divided the men up into a group of their definition of homophobic men and non-homophobic men. Each group was shown three, short pornographic scenes: one with two heterosexuals engaging in sexual intercourse, one with two gay men engaging in sexual intercourse and one with two lesbian women engaging in sexual intercourse. During the viewing of these scenes, the experimenters attached a device to each individual’s penis to record any detections of sexual arousal. As easily predicted, every man was sexually aroused by the heterosexual video and the sexual video involving two women. However, it was the sexual video involving two men that had gotten one group’s hard (he he) attention. The homophobic men had sent their devices off in detection of arousal.
Wait, what? Whoa.
How is it that these very men considered as “homophobic” were aroused by the very thing they proclaimed to be uncomfortable around and even scared of? Was this some sort of ridiculous hypocrisy that we finally uncovered? And as for all of the homophobic men that may be gay, the ones who lashed out in violence against their own sexual orientation… were they were beating the gay out of themselves onto someone who actually had the courage to be true to themselves?
When you point your finger at someone, three fingers are pointing back at you. Many times, the very thing you are pointing out resides deep down in you.
The very idea that many of these homophobic men — who may be homosexual — contributed to hate crimes seems to contradict the lifestyle they are entitled to live; as are heterosexuals, transsexuals and bisexuals.
Of course, not all science experiments are sufficient enough to become a blanket statement and therefore, not all homophobic men are homosexuals themselves, but it does provoke threads of thoughts about the man behind the fear.
If we always press to ask why and pursue the answers, we can come to imperative and even alarming discoveries.