The Root Cause of Homophobia

I would like to begin by stating that my remarks on this subject are a comment on the the sociological and psychological factors at work in homophobia. None of this is to be construed as a judgment against homosexuality itself as I do not regard it as a sin, a crime, or any other type of wrong. The following are my remarks on the subject of the root causes of the fear and revulsion of homosexuality:

I think there is an innate human revulsion against what is seen as girlish weakness in men. Many people will say the cause of this anti-gayness is socially learned but I hold that it isn’t. This is not to be say that people don’t learn anti-gay attitudes, but my point is that at the core these feelings are innate. The so-called homophobia is too universal (existing in all cultures in one form or another) to be simply the result of socialization.

This is similar to the fact that studies have been done showing that there is an innate human revulsion against rodents and snakes, even when they are presented to babies who have never seen these things before. The human brain at birth is indeed not blank but already hard wired with certain archetypes and predispositions (we are drawn toward warm milky breasts and repelled by scary spiders). People can, over time, learn to “get over” their innate fear of rodents and snakes, but that does not mean that the innate fear didn’t exist to begin with.

Further to the point I will also note that most men (and many women) are in fact turned on by beautiful lesbians. My argument is that it’s not the homosexuality per se that grosses people out (many people are indeed grossed out by gays who are in fact fully clothed and not presently involved in “the act”) but that the revulsion is in fact rooted in the male herd instinct to eliminate weakness in the group. A man’s girliness would be seen as just that sort of weakness and would therefore be the antecedent of just such a response.

To a smaller extent people are a little put off by the square chins and manly stockiness of bull-dykes who presumably don’t have the female hormones and child bearing hips to make them optimal child-raisers. The presence of hot lesbians would not be seen as a threat to primitive society so the innate revulsion didn’t develop over time. Rather they are encouraged and have found their niche in beer commercials, which is exactly what Darwin would have predicted whereas the gay males have routinely ended up as the comic foils in the kung-fu movies.

I venture to say that even people who champion the rights of homosexuals would acknowledge that, while male girlishness indeed icks them out (so to speak), they have learned to tolerate it. A gay former colleague of mine commented once (on leafing through the personal section) “What’s with gay men advertising for ‘straight acting’ men? What is that, someone who’ll make love to you and then beat the shit out of you afterwards?” While his comment was witty and appropriate, it can be seen as evidence that, to some extent, even many gay males are put off by the girly-men. The only remaining question is whether this phenomenon is more innate or socially learned.

7 Responses to “The Root Cause of Homophobia”

  1. Phelps says:

    Did Mexi just endorse teh ghay butt-sex?

  2. mexi says:

    Ha! I said it’s not a sin but I didn’t say it was a virtue either!

  3. mexi says:

    You don’t get credit for it. Morally it’s on the same plane as stamp collecting.

  4. Phelps says:

    Great, now I have to quit stamp collecting too?

  5. Phelps says:

    Also, I believe that the root cause of homophobia is in fact peanut butter.

  6. Smerdyak0v says:

    I saw ‘rodents’ and ‘gays’ and thought you were heading somewhere else with this post…

  7. mexi says:

    That, my friend, was what we in ‘the business’ refer to as the hook!

Leave a Response