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J Homosex. 2001;42(2):45-62.

The role of personality and defense mechanisms in the adjustment to a homosexual identity.

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California Graduate Institute, Los Angeles 90024, USA.


This study was designed to investigate for the first time the relationship between internalized homophobia and different personality organizations in gay men. A hypothesis was made that different personality types would experience internalized homophobia to a greater or lesser degree. A sample of 101 gay men from a variety of sources responded to three questionnaires and a demographic survey. Findings included significant differences in 11 of 14 personality types. Nine of the 11 types were found to be significantly more prevalent for gay men high in internalized homophobia and two were significantly more prevalent for gay men low in internalized homophobia. Defense mechanisms were examined to see whether certain defensive styles could explain the affiliation of the personalities to the low or high homophobia group. It was found that five defense mechanisms could explain group affiliation.

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