Homophobic

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    May 19, 2012 1:14 PM GMT
    Hello men, I did a quick search with no results so please forgive me if this has already been covered (I'm betting it has).

    But, I'd like to read some thoughts on why people are homophobic. I've wondered time after time but, can't come to any reason. I don't believe there is a rational reason but, am intetested in the thoughts of others on why it starts and started.

    Thanks!
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    May 19, 2012 6:03 PM GMT
    While I am not fully aware of the actual history behind homophobia and its origin, I think I can shed some light on it. It's probably not necessary to know how it came from, because, chances are, people back then probably were not much different from the people of today in their way of perceiving and reacting to things. One does not have to look far beyond human nature to discover how certain adversities established between humans themselves came to be.

    Just as how animals tend to behave hostile and wary of creatures that go beyond their familiar knowledge, our reaction to something we are not used to is not much different. Back in the days, sex for pleasure was considered wildly inappropriate due to the acts of adultery and what not resulting from it; sex was only deemed acceptable between a wedded couple to conceive their children. "Mating for kids" was certainly a form of behaviour that could be commonly seen in animals apart from human beings as well. Imagine how people of that period back them must have reacted when they were exposed to homosexuality. Two men having sex without a purpose, when even back then it was an obvious fact that a child can only be born between a man and a woman. Sounds pretty kinky, doesn't it? It also makes it sound like a choice; these two men are doing something that goes against their "survival instinct". It is a choice that deviates from the common belief, and so it has to be treated with some hostility and wariness.

    It is, in a way, true, when an almost contradicting, unfamiliar subject is introduced to an already matured culture. Reflect back on the difficulty scientists faced during the period heavily driven by religious beliefs. Or when the aboriginal tribes were introduced to that of a Western culture during colonization period. The integrity of a community can be threatened when there seems to be a gaping hole in their cultural beliefs. For people to live together without constantly breaking out into fist fights and murderous acts, there must be rules and beliefs that people in the same community can see eye to eye about. So it is only natural that they would behave not exactly friendly to those that threaten the very beliefs that they have established together.

    Nowadays, homosexuality is more or less a familiar subject in both physiology and psychology. Any legitimate scientists and psychologists would suggest that homosexuality is a perfectly natural phenomenon that can even be observed among other species as well. A specific cause for it is yet unknown, but more people know that being a homosexual is not a choice anymore.

    In first world countries where freedom of speech and expression is respected, homosexuals were, albeit with much difficulty and prejudices, able to stand together and let others know of their existence. As the concept of homosexuality and its "culture" became better known, people felt less threatened by it. This is obviously a harder concept for more religious people to accept, because, while they are bound by their societal laws and regulations, they are also bound by their VERY traditional laws from their religion. It is also harder for people of older generation to accept this fact; I mean, have you seen a sixty year old trying to familiarize him/herself with the world of Internet? They grew up not really knowing much about homosexuality except for the prejudices made towards it, and radical things can be more difficult to accept for more mature group of people.

    Recently, there have been many studies that homophobia is a widely popular concept among those that are insecure of their own sexuality. I mean, imagine an ex-alcoholic hanging out among a group of alcoholics getting themselves drunk and silly. As a person who is not very familiar or willing to accept his or her real sexuality, wouldn't he/she feel almost pressured among those who could easy bring out his/her not-so-proud side?

    Well, I hope this has answered your question. Sorry for the long answer - I tried to cover as much as possible without being too vague. If you have any questions though, feel free to ask! icon_smile.gif

    Steven
  • starboard5

    Posts: 969

    May 19, 2012 6:11 PM GMT
    There probably are more reasons than one, but I'll offer this. I've posted the idea before.

    The root of homophobia is gynephobia, the hatred of women. I don't know why, but in male dominated cultures (which seem to account for most of them) women are traditionally disrespected outside a very narrow, male scripted gender role. Women were seen as weak (because they bleed monthly?) and men had to be strong and aggressive. These things become codified as social norms.

    Fast forward a few milenia. Straight men associate homosexuality with femininity (if you've ever talked to a clueless straight guy, the second the conversation turns to homosexuality they seem to immediately think of receptive anal sex. Bingo! Like that's what it's all about.) If they subliminally don't like women, they aren't going to like us.

    So many straight men don't really like or understand women. This is an exaggeration but many if not most see a woman as something to fuck and something to bring them a sandwich.

    I've found an interesting correlation: the straight men I've met who seem to genuinely love and appreciate women, are more likely to be the ones who don't have a problem with homosexuality. They may not endorse it, but they're more likely to have a live and let live attitude.

    This is just one train of thought. And things are changing as more and more of us come out and prove the fallacy of many social norms.
  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    May 19, 2012 7:11 PM GMT
    Do you suppose that straight men have a phobia about the penetration of their anus which makes them defensive?
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    May 19, 2012 9:54 PM GMT
    Thanks, great responses guys!

    I've often wondered if the roots of homophobia were based on the bible (and still do to a degree) but, you guys were able to introduce reasons I otherwise would not have considered.

    Again thanks for the great responses.
  • araphael

    Posts: 1148

    May 20, 2012 5:06 AM GMT
    joe_diesel1 saidHello men, I did a quick search with no results so please forgive me if this has already been covered (I'm betting it has).

    But, I'd like to read some thoughts on why people are homophobic. I've wondered time after time but, can't come to any reason. I don't believe there is a rational reason but, am intetested in the thoughts of others on why it starts and started.

    Thanks!


    Sigmund Freud probably gave one of the best explanations: humans project hatred on to those things (or people) who show them openly the things which they despise deep inside themselves that they really like, desire, or admire. We hate it so no one else will see it in us, we usually hope (but usually in vain because others usually do take notice of it because they are asking themselves why do you hate this thing or this person so much?) according to Freud that is.
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    May 20, 2012 5:44 AM GMT
    None of this really explains WHY the phenomenon of homophobia has existed in so many places, both remote and interconnected. It also doesn't explain why many patriarchies lauded same-sex attraction (but not necessarily same-sex copulation) while many have reviled it altogether. A significant number of the current types of homophobia grow out of Abrahamic traditions, so any place/culture that has been influenced by the major monotheisms could be included under that umbrella explanation. Before the spread of the Yahweh religions, however, this explanation no longer functions. So, in places/times that are not culturally shaped by Jewish/Christian/Muslim ideology, how do you account for other instances/types of homophobia?

    I would posit that nearly all forms of homophobia are a result of religious beliefs (even Stalin's homophobic Communism was an expression of worshiping the State), whether Abrahamic or not, because of a nearly universal conflation between anal sex, filth, and physical corruption/illness as a symptom of spiritual disease/dysfunction. In other words: Men who do it in the butt must also like shit; shit is dirty and gross; a dirty body is the sign of a dirty mind/heart/soul; ergo butt fuckers/butt sex = evil.

    For this chain of logic to work, you have to believe that the physical world is corrupt, that the spiritual world is divine, and therefore the physical body is less valuable than the soul. In this way it is then possible to presume that since the body is "bad," its various functions must be a sign of weakness/fault/sin and therefore shame. Sex would be (and is) included in the offensive bodily functions, whether vaginal (blood) or anal (feces); however, vaginal sex is a necessary evil for society to endure, whereas anal sex is not only sexual (which is already bad/sinful enough outside the blessed confines of heterosexual, monogamous marriage), it's also futile (because babies cannot result from it). Butt sex = pointless sex = wallowing in sin/pleasure for the sheer enjoyment of it = doubly evil.

    (see: Mercaptins. These are the molecules that make decaying biological matter stink, and they are present in feces. Mercaptins trigger the nociceptors, the pain receptors, in your nose, so as to warn you against consuming/touching rotten food and being poisoned by it. Note: During bouts of plague in Medieval Europe people, even doctors, would breathe through handkerchiefs filled with flowers and/or herbs, believing the good plant smells would protect them from the bad animal smells and thus cure/protect them from contracting disease.)

    In a nutshell, I propose that people around the world and throughout time have been homophobic because of a useful tradition of fearing/avoiding that which stinks and turning that instinct into a religious practice that transforms that which is rotten physically into that which is rotten spiritually.

    Plausible?
  • araphael

    Posts: 1148

    May 21, 2012 5:03 AM GMT
    dancerjack saidNone of this really explains WHY the phenomenon of homophobia has existed in so many places, both remote and interconnected. It also doesn't explain why many patriarchies lauded same-sex attraction (but not necessarily same-sex copulation) while many have reviled it altogether. A significant number of the current types of homophobia grow out of Abrahamic traditions, so any place/culture that has been influenced by the major monotheisms could be included under that umbrella explanation. Before the spread of the Yahweh religions, however, this explanation no longer functions. So, in places/times that are not culturally shaped by Jewish/Christian/Muslim ideology, how do you account for other instances/types of homophobia?

    I would posit that nearly all forms of homophobia are a result of religious beliefs (even Stalin's homophobic Communism was an expression of worshiping the State), whether Abrahamic or not, because of a nearly universal conflation between anal sex, filth, and physical corruption/illness as a symptom of spiritual disease/dysfunction. In other words: Men who do it in the butt must also like shit; shit is dirty and gross; a dirty body is the sign of a dirty mind/heart/soul; ergo butt fuckers/butt sex = evil.

    For this chain of logic to work, you have to believe that the physical world is corrupt, that the spiritual world is divine, and therefore the physical body is less valuable than the soul. In this way it is then possible to presume that since the body is "bad," its various functions must be a sign of weakness/fault/sin and therefore shame. Sex would be (and is) included in the offensive bodily functions, whether vaginal (blood) or anal (feces); however, vaginal sex is a necessary evil for society to endure, whereas anal sex is not only sexual (which is already bad/sinful enough outside the blessed confines of heterosexual, monogamous marriage), it's also futile (because babies cannot result from it). Butt sex = pointless sex = wallowing in sin/pleasure for the sheer enjoyment of it = doubly evil.

    (see: Mercaptins. These are the molecules that make decaying biological matter stink, and they are present in feces. Mercaptins trigger the nociceptors, the pain receptors, in your nose, so as to warn you against consuming/touching rotten food and being poisoned by it. Note: During bouts of plague in Medieval Europe people, even doctors, would breathe through handkerchiefs filled with flowers and/or herbs, believing the good plant smells would protect them from the bad animal smells and thus cure/protect them from contracting disease.)

    In a nutshell, I propose that people around the world and throughout time have been homophobic because of a useful tradition of fearing/avoiding that which stinks and turning that instinct into a religious practice that transforms that which is rotten physically into that which is rotten spiritually.

    Plausible?


    Since this seems like an actual realjock conversation based on intelligent thought and logic, and not based predominantly on emotion and people working out their own personal conflicts and issues; allow me to respond to you. I disagree with your assessment and your theory's focus on the fecal and anal aspects of homosexuality. Engagement in anal copulation is a regular occurrence in all societies within heterosexual paradigms as well. So I don't think that's the root. I think, as a scientist by nature that I am, that there is some natural perrogative (although I do not claim to understand it in any way) that "may" account for the resistance to homosexual activity among human societies. However, it is equally ironic that (from an anthropological point of view) in almost every culture in the history of the world, homosexual behavior has been tolerated and sometimes even encouraged before marriage (e.g. Roman and Greek society). So I'm not sure that we can just simply narrow it down to the influence of Abrahamic religions; especially considering the fact that Abrahamic religions are relatively new and "young" on the scene (anthropologically that is) when it comes to the religions of human beings since they have been on earth. No, there is something else, something deeper I think, which can only be accounted for by nature, by the process of logical rational elimination, that provides some explanation. But then, again, in every species of animal in nature you will find homosexual behavior occurring in one way or another. It is a fascinating question to ponder.
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    May 21, 2012 5:33 AM GMT
    Thanks again men, love the brilliant responses. Really enjoy reading and pondering the theories!
  • Vit_and_Alex

    Posts: 7

    May 21, 2012 2:39 PM GMT
    I think, that homophobia is reaction of those persons, who are latent homosexuals, or who had bad sexual experience with samesex partner (e.g. violence or other reasons).
    But in our country (I mean Ukraine) homophobia is device in ruling of some radical groups.
    In fact, yesterday (20 June 2012) our all-ukrainian gay organization planned to held first in Ukrainian pride-parade, but appeared many of radical groups and beat many of participants of meeting.
    And it's so tragically, that homosexuals must hide, only for the reason that someone decided to manipulate the concepts of homosexuality and the homophobic.
    And so sad to heard organized by someone crouds, thats scanned: "Ukraine without gays", "Love against gays", "Gays are killing families" etc...
    I think, that society and a state must teach every homophobic person to be tolerant and to be flexible not to understand gays, but at least to try to understand...
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    May 21, 2012 2:48 PM GMT
    So, araphael, are you saying then that homophobia is genetic? How ironic...
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    May 21, 2012 3:08 PM GMT
    I think the latest research established that homophobia is strongly linked both to homosexual attraction (whether conscious or not) and strict upbringing.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/04/study-of-the-day-strict-parenting-and-same-sex-urges-lead-to-homophobia/256019/p

    Note that strict upbringing here is not defined as homophobic upbringing, but simply as parents that tended to be strict. Homophobia, in other words, would be a "natural" reaction to an environment in which homosexuality is felt as a defect, a strict parenting style, and your own homosexual desires (conscious or not).

    In this constellation, any societal attitude for or against homosexuality becomes self-reinforcing. Since the only attribute of homosexuality that seems to be at play here is the fact that it can't be seen on the outside, I would suspect that any other trait with that characteristic would play out in the same way.
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    May 21, 2012 4:12 PM GMT
    I think people are homofobic due to two combined reasons: 1) afraid of something different 2) bound by religious stigma
    Both play a part although there are are aspects that it is our own fault sadly, you have to admit gay men tend to over-infacize on sex, and i myself am not a fan of gay pride parades where so many gays act and dress in certain ways that break social protocol, many gays act as if being gay is the right to act without restrictions and i believe that because people see that instead of trying to i guess fit in with normal society that they tend to exclude it, i have seen how a perfectly normal acting gay guy has been more easely accepted by his family then one who wore his sexuality on his sleeve, acceptance comes from mutual respect and if we maybe disrespect others in certain ways we cannot expect to be respect
    Although there are those who just hate to follow the crowd or its because they are told to but i believe the general public fits what i said above
    Being gay does not mean we are above or outside of society and we need to conform a bit so they can conform a bit for us as well, it's a give and take situation, we cannot just take without putting our part

    This is just my opinion from experience so please do not target me if it offended you
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    May 21, 2012 4:16 PM GMT

    I think there are homophobes and homobigots. The first motivated by fear and the second by dislike; the ick factor, religulous self-righteousness, etc.

    -Doug
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    May 21, 2012 4:18 PM GMT
    meninlove said
    I think there are homophobes and homobigots. The first motivated by fear and the second by dislike; the ick factor, religulous self-righteousness, etc.

    -Doug


    +1,my man just said it right! ^^This!
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    May 21, 2012 4:22 PM GMT
    *hugs har19* Thanks, eh?

    The first can be a lot easier to reason with than the second. icon_wink.gif
    Both have the hallmark of ignorance.
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    May 21, 2012 4:32 PM GMT
    “We were discussing homosexuality because of an allusion to it in the book we were reading, and several boys made comments such as, “That’s disgusting.” We got into the debate and eventually a boy admitted that he was terrified/disgusted when he was once sharing a taxi and the other male passenger made a pass at him.The lightbulb went off. “Oh,” I said. “I get it. See, you are afraid, because for the first time in your life you have found yourself a victim of unwanted sexual advances by someone who has the physical ability to use force against you.” The boy nodded and shuddered visibly.“But,” I continued. “As a woman, you learn to live with that from the time you are fourteen, and it never stops. We live with that fear every day of our lives. Every man walking through the parking garage the same time you are is either just a harmless stranger or a potential rapist. Every time.” The girls in the room nodded, agreeing. The boys seemed genuinely shocked. “So think about that the next time you hit on a girl. Maybe, like you in the taxi, she doesn’t actually want you to.”

    Homophobia: The fear that another man will treat you like you treat women.
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    May 21, 2012 8:54 PM GMT
    joe_diesel1 saidHello men, I did a quick search with no results so please forgive me if this has already been covered (I'm betting it has).

    But, I'd like to read some thoughts on why people are homophobic. I've wondered time after time but, can't come to any reason. I don't believe there is a rational reason but, am intetested in the thoughts of others on why it starts and started.

    Thanks!
    It started out as the feeling of superiority over women, mostly due to religious dogma. Then it migrated to the idea that men who have perceived feminine traits are less manly. Eventually the feminine men started admitting they were gay, and that created the original link being being gay and being feminine.

    Fast forward a few years. Now there are still many men who still feel superior to women, and the superiority complex has evolved into the idea that only feminine men can be gay. Because the vast majority of these men are closeted/gay, that fact eats away at their soul as they try to internally reconcile their attraction for other men while continuing to feel superior to anything with feminine traits. Their failed internal reconciliation causes them to distance themselves from anything that might make them feel less manly.

    This is why people are homophobic. They still hate women.
  • araphael

    Posts: 1148

    May 22, 2012 8:02 AM GMT
    dancerjack saidSo, araphael, are you saying then that homophobia is genetic? How ironic...


    No dancerjack I'm not saying genetic at all. The term I used dude is "nature" but after reading all of the comments here I find that Angelo's comments are the most intriguing because he uses the term "sociological." May be natural should be replaced with sociological but then I am back at the beginning because nature comes before society and shapes it as well. I mean, people in society create rules that they think are "natural." As I said, I am just rocked fascinated by this conversation and I wish I had a definitive answer.