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Are people born homophobic?

CriticalThought

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Hicup made a insinuation in another thread that homophobia is innate and immutable. He didn't really provide any evidence to support this assertion, but I felt it was a point worth exploring.

Personally, I have seen a lot of people change their homophobic attitudes once they have spent time around gay people and realized they are not the devils they are painted out to be. I've also seen people develop homophobic attitudes when they have had to associated with some of the less cultivated members of the gay community. So it would appear that homophobic people can learn and unlearn homophobic behavior.

Some of the research has been interesting...

 

Hoplite

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I dont think being homophobic is inborn. I think it has more to do with being raised in a hyper-masculine environment where ANY sort of non-masculine behavior exhibited by men is immediately met with severe consequences and where the male gender role is reinforced constantly.

I think people become homophobic when they're raised with an ultra-distilled version of the male gender role and they arent exposed to gay people at all or very little.
 

MKULTRABOY

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eminds me of a beavis and butthead episode i saw..

"Doioioioiiiing!"
ZAP!
"Duhuhuhuhh"


But seriously who knows why this is?
 

Hicup

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Well, one has to frame it correctly. Homophobia is considered two-fold. One being that of self loathing within the homosexual themselves, or those exploring their homoerotic thoughts and feelings, and the other being what we commonly associate with the term. In certain circles, as CT mentions, it is true that people that met otherwise normally functioning homosexuals in casual meetings tend to lose their contempt of homosexuality, however, contempt is only one part of the equation. The first understanding of homophobia is a fairly easy case to make for the innate, built-in mechanism for an aversion to homosexual behavior, and it seems logical from many standpoints. The second however, isn't as easy to explain away. I think, even in these circles, the homophobic person, losing their homophobia after meeting with, and relating to the homosexual, is only ever ceasing their fear, or contempt. Their disgust, or ancillary reaction to homosexual sex is still very present, and it is this aspect, that closely relates to the inborn mechanism to veer from homosexuality in general.

The question often raised is, would there ever be homosexuals, if there were no frame of reference? Conversely, would there ever be homophobia? If one accepts that homoeroticism is manifestly a human expression, much the same way one touches themselves for the first time, and homosexuality is an off-shoot (For lack of a better term) of self exploration, then it bolds well, at least logically that, homophobia is the mechanism that determines our sexual identity as we mature. For those that express homophobia strongly, the mature outcome of the individual is probably heterosexual, for those that do not, the outcome is likely homosexual. Or, even if we possess a strong homophobic trait, we can still be homosexual, but confined to it. This is the self loathing homosexual, or closet variety perhaps?

Touching ourselves is a natural explorative process in human sexuality, and we do it very early. It, along with the whole concept of innate homosexuality, is difficult to nail down because of the environmental influences. Chicken or the egg comes to mind. Would, homosexuality ever manifest without any knowledge of homosexuality? Would homophobia likewise, ever manifest if there were never any reason to find disgust, or contempt for it in society? Either way, they are closely bound together in every meaningful way that I can see, and if not environmentally expressed, then they (Homosexuality/homophobia) both are innate, and if not innate, then they are both environmentally conditioned.

I will say though that it is my opinion that homophobia appears more environmentally staged, but that could simply be a manifestation of the predominance of those that would naturally express the trait in society. As a result, the prevalence of homophobic individuals expressing the trait past (and to some the extreme) that of a natural aversion to one's own self identified homoerotic inclination, is amplified by those in society that are outspoken, and setting the terms and conditions by which people feel they should themselves feel about homosexuality. Band wagon perhaps? However, the fundamental understanding of the close relationship between homosexuality, and homophobia should not be diminished by the tendency for society to collectively misinterpret a natural expression, and the purpose of that natural expression to homophobia.


Tim-
 

CriticalThought

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Would, homosexuality ever manifest without any knowledge of homosexuality?
Yes. I had a predominate sexual attraction to other boys long before I ever masturbated or knew there was such a thing as homosexuality.

Would homophobia likewise, ever manifest if there were never any reason to find disgust, or contempt for it in society?
Given the fact that there are cultures where homosexual behavior is widely endorsed (and in some cases mandatory) and homophobia is virtually absent, I would say it would not.
 
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Hoplite

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Yes. I had a predominate sexual attraction to other boys long before I ever masturbated or knew there was such a thing as homosexuality.
This can be demonstrated even further by looking at the animal kingdom where gay behavior has been seen in hundreds of individual species that have NO understanding of such artificial ideas as human sexuality.
 

Catz Part Deux

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I grew up on a farm, and our cows humped each other all the damn time. This was way before I knew that there was such a thing as gayness.
 

Paschendale

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How would any opinion be innate? Suppose you really liked strawberry ice cream. You certainly didn't like it until tasting it. Are a person's musical tastes innate? How about the type of clothes they like to wear? Prejudice is exactly this same kind of opinion, and unless one is innate, why would the other be? Homophobia, racism, sexism, or any other kind of behavior is learned from one's environment.
 

Hicup

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How would any opinion be innate? Suppose you really liked strawberry ice cream. You certainly didn't like it until tasting it. Are a person's musical tastes innate? How about the type of clothes they like to wear? Prejudice is exactly this same kind of opinion, and unless one is innate, why would the other be? Homophobia, racism, sexism, or any other kind of behavior is learned from one's environment.
Well if starwberry ice cream looked and taste like ****, or your music, clothes wasn't appealing to you, then yeah, our tastes in fact could be innate. I'm not arguing either way, really playing devils advocate here becasue I don't know the answer, but you bring up some interesting ideas about racism, sexism as well. Sexism is probably innate, and it is society, and culture that swell/deflate it, frankly. Racism, could also be innate, and resembles many characteristics of innate behavior. You seem to have it backwards. It appears as though society is what changes our viewpoints on things like race, homosexuality, and sex.


Tim-
 

getagrip

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Who can establish "homophobic" or all the related phobia slants as being a legitimate term in the first place? Unless I've been asleep all my life, a phobia is an unjustifiable fear, and I know/have known of no one who fears sodomites.

Phobia: 1. A persistent, abnormal, and irrational fear of a specific thing or situation that compels one to avoid it, despite the awareness and reassurance that it is not dangerous.
Detest, avoid, condemn, yes, but to have an abnormal and irrational fear noting deviant sexual behavior is some sort of phobia? Absolutely not! It's a term invented by the "gay-rights" [sic] movement, an oxymoron in itself. In my state, just 10 years ago (before the black robed tyrants un-Constitutionally intervened upon Texas law), sodomy was a criminal offense.

If you detest, avoid, condemn drug addicts and make it a point to disassociate yourself from that type of environment, does that make one an hallucinaphobe?
 

CriticalThought

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It's a term invented by the "gay-rights" [sic] movement, an oxymoron in itself.
Incredibly uninformed. The term was initially used by psychologists to describe a fear heterosexuals had that other people thought they were homosexual. Hence the "phobia". Another psychologist, Kenneth T. Smith used the term in 1971 to argue a general fear of homosexuals as characterized by irrational animosity. It has nothing to do with the gay rights movement, but don't let the facts get in the way of your ranting.
 

getagrip

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Incredibly uninformed. The term was initially used by psychologists to describe a fear heterosexuals had that other people thought they were homosexual. Hence the "phobia". Another psychologist, Kenneth T. Smith used the term in 1971 to argue a general fear of homosexuals as characterized by irrational animosity. It has nothing to do with the gay rights movement, but don't let the facts get in the way of your ranting.
You're obviously a Kinsey proponent, where traditional psychiatry had always diagnosed homosexuality as a mental disorder, never mind the Bible calling it an abomination. Of course Kinsey has now been exposed as a pedophile (among other deviancy) by examination of his own research. Is this something you espouse as well?
 
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Catz Part Deux

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Detest, avoid, condemn, yes, but to have an abnormal and irrational fear noting deviant sexual behavior is some sort of phobia? Absolutely not! It's a term invented by the "gay-rights" [sic] movement, an oxymoron in itself. In my state, just 10 years ago (before the black robed tyrants un-Constitutionally intervened upon Texas law), sodomy was a criminal offense.
Is deviant sexual behavior everything outside of hetero missionary-style sexual intercourse within the bounds of white, anglo-saxon protestant marriage?

Just curious. For instance, would you similarly condemn a straight couple that engaged in cunnilingus? How about straight anal sex?

Every time you post, I am reminded of how grateful I am not to be part of an abusive, repressive groupthink philosophy that is intent on micromanaging even the most intimate sexual details of its adherents' lives.

And, I'm reminded how loving, sweet, open, and caring my gay friends are in comparison to people like you.

And, I think about how deeply I enjoy the non-repressed, intimate, joyous, dirty, beautiful, passionate sex I have with my boyfriend (to whom I am not married).

You can call me a sinner all you want. But, I'm the girl who's going to have two hot, throbbing, screaming orgasms tonight before bed.

I'm pretty sure you won't.

;)
 
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Catz Part Deux

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And no, people are not born homophobic. I'm a mom with two kids. Kids are not born racists, sexists, or anti-gay. Children love EVERYONE, almost indiscriminately. They don't notice skin color as anything significant for a long time. They don't notice fat, not for a long time. They don't think in terms of ugly or pretty. They just love.

It's the adults, by and large, who screw them up.
 

CriticalThought

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You're obviously a Kinsey proponent...
No, Kinsey's methodology was terrible, over represented white Protestants, and was virtually useless.

...where traditional psychiatry had always diagnosed homosexuality as a mental disorder,
Actually psychoanalysts like Freud felt it was fine.

Freud on homosexuality: Letter to a mother — Warren Throckmorton

Homosexuality is assuredly no advantage, but it is nothing to be ashamed of, no vice, no degradation, it cannot be classified as an illness; we consider it to be a variation of the sexual function produced by certain arrest of sexual development. Many highly respectable individuals of ancient and modern times have been homosexuals, several of the greatest among them (Plato, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, etc.). It is a great injustice to persecute homosexuality as a crime, and cruelty too. If you do not believe me, read the books of Havelock Ellis.
The term "homosexual" was first termed by psychologists to describe a "sexual perversion" not a disorder. It was included in early versions of the DSM but struck from the DSM in 1973 after the Hooker study indicated that there was no psychometric instrument which could tell the difference between the mental health of heterosexuals and homosexuals. That has remained true to this day.

What you term "traditional psychiatry" is psychiatry that is not based on science or evidence and has little credibility.

never mind the Bible calling it an abomination.
You are referring to Leviticus which also says that children who curse at their parents should be put to death and if a man cheats on his wife, then both of them are to be put to death. If you wish to judge others by standards such as those, then feel free.

Of course Kinsey has now been exposed as a pedophile (among other deviancy) by examination of his own research. Is this something you espouse as well?
Kinsey has sex with everyone and their dog. That his how he chose to live his life. He was very dedicated to challenging sexual conventions. I don't particularly respect his research nor do I care what he did with his free time.
 
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getagrip

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The term "homosexual" was first termed by psychologists to describe a "sexual perversion" not a disorder.
Sorry, "homosexual" is the sugar coated term originated from the Genesis 10:19 account of Sodom.

Isn't it amazing that renowned archeological scientists world wide consider the Bible the most accurate historic book known to man, yet proscribes it's doctrine in the same breath?
 
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CriticalThought

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Sorry, "homosexual" is the sugar coated term originated from the Genesis 10:19 account of Sodom.
Once again you are terribly uniformed. The word "homosexual" has only existed since the 1890s. The Biblical word is "sodomite" and technically it did not refer to homosexuality but any act deemed sexually perverse including oral sex. The word "homosexual" has only been introduced into the Bible over the last hundred years or so through new translations. Before that it was 'sodomite" and before that it was "abusers of themselves with mankind".

For example...compare this older translation...

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (King James Version)

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind
To this newer translation...

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (New King James Version)

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.
Or this older translation...
1 Timothy 1:9-10 (King James Version)

Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;
To this newer translation...
1 Timothy 1:9-10 (New King James Version)

knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine,
Furthermore, the sin of Sodom was not sexual perversion but inhospitably. At least that is the Jewish interpretation and the Old Testament is their book. Ironically, social conservative Christians use the Islamic interpretation of the story of Sodom to argue that the city was punished for homosexuality.
 
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Catz Part Deux

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Furthermore, the sin of Sodom was not sexual perversion but inhospitably. At least that is the Jewish interpretation and the Old Testament is their book. Ironically, social conservative Christians use the Islamic interpretation of the story of Sodom to argue that the city was punished for homosexuality.
It's funny how there appears to be no apparent condemnation, by GetaGrip, of Lot offering his virgin daughters to be sexually violated by an angry mob. I suppose that's because they would have been HETEROSEXUALLY violated.
 

getagrip

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Once again you are terribly uniformed. The word "homosexual" has only existed since the 1890s.
Sorry, you missed my point. I did not intend to relate specific word origins directly from the Hebrew text. It was merely an historical parallel for sodomy, which is why I inserted the scriptural reference. You're bent on superfluous details trying to justify deviant behavior. That doesn't fly with common sense, nor the laws of nature where your quest is motivated in the attempt to overturn 5000 years of history.
 

Paschendale

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Sorry, "homosexual" is the sugar coated term originated from the Genesis 10:19 account of Sodom.

Isn't it amazing that renowned archeological scientists world wide consider the Bible the most accurate historic book known to man, yet proscribes it's doctrine in the same breath?
No renowned archeologists consider the bible to be even slightly historically accurate. You may note that is lacks anything describing the passage of time. The 6000 year old Earth notion is based on guesses of how long specific people lived, according genealogies. There is no outside proof of these people even existing, nor how long they lived, at what age they produced the next generation, nor if there were any intervening people. Not a single event in the old testament can be accurately verified to have occurred at a specific time in history.

However, to return to the original discussion of homophobia, the main point is that a phobia is irrational. The thing you are afraid of is not actually dangerous. This is the key component that homophobes fail to understand. There is no morality which dictates the sexual conduct of consenting adults. There is no danger in homosexuality. There is nothing to be afraid of. The fear is irrational.
 

CriticalThought

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Sorry, you missed my point. I did not intend to relate specific word origins directly from the Hebrew text. It was merely an historical parallel for sodomy, which is why I inserted the scriptural reference. You're bent on superfluous details trying to justify deviant behavior. That doesn't fly with common sense, nor the laws of nature where your quest is motivated in the attempt to overturn 5000 years of history.
Actually, homosexuality has been prevalant throughout most of human history and through different cultures. It wasn't until the adoption of Christianity by the Romans that laws restricting the practice came into existance. In fact, same sex marriage had existed in Rome prior to the adoptoin of Christianity and specific laws had to be created to ban it. Most of the laws across the world against homosexuality were largely a result of Western influence through colonialism. As far as the "laws of nature" homoexuality is observable in hundreds of species of animals, but I'm not one to get my morals based on what is natural.
 

Catz Part Deux

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Actually, homosexuality has been prevalant throughout most of human history and through different cultures. It wasn't until the adoption of Christianity by the Romans that laws restricting the practice came into existance. In fact, same sex marriage had existed in Rome prior to the adoptoin of Christianity and specific laws had to be created to ban it. Most of the laws across the world against homosexuality were largely a result of Western influence through colonialism. As far as the "laws of nature" homoexuality is observable in hundreds of species of animals, but I'm not one to get my morals based on what is natural.
This is not completely accurate. Homosexuality was publicly frowned upon by ancient Romans, though so-called "Greek Love" was quite popular and normal...in GREECE. Paul himself was a Roman citizen, and I actually think he may have been affected by the prevailing viewpoint in Roman society.

Being labeled as gay would end a man's role in society and/or politics. Most Roman insults have to do with homosexual sex acts...calling someone a fellator (**********) was an unforgivable slur. Any man who was tainted by association with homosexuality, particularly in Gaius Julius Caesar's era, or before, would have been irreparably tarnished and would have difficulties in society.

So...did Romans practice homosexuality? Yes. But, it was practiced covertly and there were many prejudices against gays in ancient Rome.

As far as Paul's writings on sexual immorality...Christianity had many Jewish sensibilities, and the Jewish Christians expected non-Jewish converts to honor them. For many years, until the destruction of Jerusalem 30+ years after the death of Christ, Jerusalem was the seat of Christianity, and Christianity was a Jewish sect. At the same time, Paul was eagerly seeding Christian churches in areas that were heavily Greek, and in these communities, there was open male/female prostitution, both in the community and in the pagan temples.

You can see the extreme tension between the Jewish and the Gentile converts to the faith in much of the new testament, particularly Acts and Romans.

That's part of the reason for Paul's proscriptions on sexual immorality, because those sexual practices were normal in the cities of Ephesus, Thessalonica, etc., and the Jewish converts to Christianity found these practices appalling in the extreme. Paul was trying to bring together a single entity from wildly disparate cultures...

The other part was the Christianity was perceived, in Rome, to be just another one of the far eastern mystical religions, and those faiths had all kinds of bizarre practices. Within the cult of Isis, for instance, males would frequently, and publicly, genitally mutilate themselves as a form of worship. Paul was not only trying to set a pattern for Christian behavior, but he was also trying to distinguish Christianity from other, competing forms of mystical faith.

And the Romans already believed weird things about the Christians...accusing them of odd sexual practices and cannibalism.

Once the seat of power in the Christian church shifted to Rome, after the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple (which scattered the Christians throughout the Mediterranean), cleaning up these misperceptions was a major concern.
 
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getagrip

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There is no morality which dictates the sexual conduct of consenting adults.
Wow! The 7th Commandment is most assuredly oblivious to you!

2 Thessalonians 2:11: And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

Clarke's Commentary for this verse :

God shall send them strong delusion - For this very cause, that they would not receive the love of the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness, therefore God permits strong delusion to occupy their minds; so that they believe a lie rather than the truth, prefer false apostles and their erroneous doctrines to the pure truths of the Gospel, brought to them by the well-accredited messengers of God; being ever ready to receive any false Messiah, while they systematically and virulently reject the true one.
There is no danger in homosexuality. There is nothing to be afraid of. The fear is irrational.
You also haven't done your studies:

Homosexuality More Dangerous than Terrorism:

Webster’s dictionary defines danger as “exposure or liability to injury, pain, or loss,” a synonym of dangerous is “risky.” While terrorism in America has killed a little over 3,000 people in the continental 48 states in the last 15 years, homosexual behavior has killed over 100,000.

While Demography magazine has a high-side estimate that the percentage of Americans who are homosexual is only 4 percent, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates that 60 percent of HIV cases are caused by homosexual behavior. This means that of the 16,000 AIDS deaths per year in America (per The Sunday Times), at least 144,000 people were killed because of homosexual relations in the same 15 year period.

Forty-three percent of white male homosexuals have had sex with 500 or more partners and 28 percent have had one thousand or more sex partners (Bell and Weinberg). Because of this, the rate of infection from various sexually transmitted diseases is huge, such as gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, herpes, and HPV.

For example, Dr. Andrew Grulich reported HPV infects over 90 percent of HIV-positive homosexual men and 65 percent of HIV-negative homosexual men.
 

Catz Part Deux

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Wow! The 7th Commandment is most assuredly oblivious to you!
Actually, that commandment prohibits ADULTERY, which is infidelity between two married spouses. That's not the same as sexual immorality. Adultery and fornication are different acts which are treated differently in the Bible. They are not one and the same.

Adultery was threatening to society for reasons OTHER THAN sex. Adultery screwed up the lineage and inheritance of property, for one thing, and disrupted families. Adultery is extremely disruptive to an orderly society. Hence, it's inclusion in the 10 commandments.

I do find it interesting to note that God addresses coveting someone's ass, servant or wife, but never addresses fornication in the 10 commandments. Interesting set of priorities.

An important part of one's studies would include learning to identify and use proper, objective, unbiased, and scientifically accurate sources. I have to give you an F on this. Perhaps if you'd attended a good secular university...
 
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