Homophobia is more pronounced in individuals with an unacknowledged attraction to the same sex and who grew up with authoritarian parents who forbade such desires, a series of psychology studies demonstrates. (article here)
To me, this study isn’t exactly groundbreaking, but, then, when it comes to Social Psychology, there is the tendency to have the ‘I knew it all along’ syndrome. It makes sense that having parents that don’t encourage autonomy would then lead to dependence on the parents for values, guidance, and cues for how to act and think.
The studies are interesting in that they don’t depend on the participants’ report of their level of homophobia, on their stated sexual orientation. Someone who is homophobic but really gay isn’t going to admit that, or even, perhaps, be aware of it. The techniques used in the studies seem a bit less than compelling to me, but I also know that I haven’t been studying the research, so they may be quite valid. For example, they showed the participants either the word ‘me’ or ‘others’ in a subliminal way before having them rate words on the computer screen as either gay or straight. They measured reaction time between the words ‘me’ and ‘straight’ and ‘me’ and ‘gay’, and having a slower reaction time to associate ‘me’ and ‘straight’ and a faster reaction time to ‘me’ and ‘gay’ was indicative of someone who is gay but suppressing it.