Pin It
gay couple
Andrea via Flickr

Are homophobic people actually just mentally ill?

A new study has found a ‘remarkable’ link between homophobia and psychoticism

A new study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine has found a tangible link between psychoticism and homophobia.

The research, conducted by professors at Italy's University of L'Aquila, looked at the homophobia levels, defence mechanisms and psychopathological symptoms of over 500 students. And, in news that probably won't shock a lot of people, they found a surprisingly clear correlation between the participants with high levels of homophobia and those with psychotic tendancies.

 “Homophobia is a significant social problem that involves specific personality features in the subjects, with an intrinsic aversion toward homosexuals,” the lead authors claim. “Psychoticism and immature defense mechanisms specify people with higher levels of homophobia, highlighting a remarkable association between dysfunctional aspects of personality and homophobic attitudes.”

“We demonstrated the involvement of psychoticism and immature defense mechanisms in homophobic attitudes, while a contrasting role is played by neurotic defense mechanisms and depressive symptoms”

To those whose aren't clear on this – psychoticism is a personality pattern typified by “aggressiveness and interpersonal hostility.” It basically means that you're a real nasty piece of work.

“Secure attachment is an indicator of low levels of homophobia compared with the subjects demonstrating a fearful style of attachment,” they added. “To know and to assess the relationship between psychopathology and homophobia is a fundamental challenge in preventing the stigma toward homosexuality.”