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J Abnorm Psychol. 2001 Feb;110(1):179-87.

Homophobia and physical aggression toward homosexual and heterosexual individuals.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602-3013, USA.


This study examined the relationship between homophobia (defined as self-reported negative affect, avoidance, and aggression toward homosexuals) and homosexual aggression. Self-identified heterosexual college men were assigned to homophobic (n = 26) and nonhomophobic (n = 26) groups on the basis of their scores on the Homophobia Scale (HS; L. W. Wright, H. E. Adams, & J. A. Bernat, 1999). Physical aggression was examined by having participants administer shocks to a fictitious opponent during a competitive reaction time (RT) task under the impression that the study was examining the relationship between sexually explicit material and RT. Participants were exposed to a male homosexual erotic videotape, their affective reactions were assessed, and they then competed in the RT task against either a heterosexual or a homosexual opponent. The homophobic group reported significantly more negative affect, anxiety, and anger-hostility after watching the homosexual erotic videotape than did the nonhomophobic group. Additionally, the homophobic group was significantly more aggressive toward the homosexual opponent, but the groups did not differ in aggression toward the heterosexual opponent.

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