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Homophobic Attitudes
Likely To Be Stronger Among Those
Who Have Repressed Same-Sex Attraction

A new study has confirmed what many in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community have suspected for some time: that homophobic attitudes are likely to be more pronounced among those who've experienced unacknowledged attraction towards members of the same sex.

Set to be published this month in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the study reportedly comprised four separate experiments, each involving an average of 160 college students, conducted in the U.S. and Germany. The findings provide new evidence to support the psychoanalytic theory that fear, anxiety, and aversion that toward gays and lesbians can grow out of a seemingly heterosexual individual's own repressed same-sex desires, co-author Richard Ryan, professor of psychology at the University of Rochester who helped direct the research, told Science Daily.

"In many cases these are people who are at war with themselves and they are turning this internal conflict outward," Ryan is quoted as saying. "We laugh at or make fun of such blatant hypocrisy, but in a real way, these people may often themselves be victims of repression and experience exaggerated feelings of threat. Homophobia is not a laughing matter."

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