This study is very interesting. Researchers manipulated nude images to make them invisible, and subjects often paid more attention to areas of the screen where the images were, depending on sexual orientation.
Another thing the study found is that, for heterosexual males, the invisible image of a nude man actually repelled attention. The media apparently doesn’t want to grapple with this fact (I confirmed it with the study’s author to be sure; all the analysis from here on is mine, not his).
“The heterosexual men, however, had a more difficult time detecting the same orientation when it was located where an invisible picture of a nude man had been; this was not the case for heterosexual women when viewing their own sex naked [emphasis added],” according to Scientific American. “More difficult” compared to no image, or to the female image? You can deduce logically from the rest of the article, but it doesn’t come out and say it.
The ABC News story doesn’t even contain the words “heterosexual men” or talk about their results. Even the Fox News/LiveScience story linked above is coy about it, noting that the images “attracted or repelled” attention and that “Heterosexual females performed better after exposure to invisible male nudes, but their performance didn’t necessarily worsen when exposed to female nudes.” Of course this tells readers the men were different, but why not just say, “men actually did worse from seeing a naked guy”?
People often treat homophobia as something completely unnatural; this study doesn’t necessarily prove otherwise, but it does suggest that this bias occurs subconsciously, not always as an effort to appear “macho” in front of others. It’s still arguably a cultural construct, of course, but an ingrained one.
This study could also explain why women are more accepting of homosexuality: They find it less repulsive on a gut level. Again, women focused attention on male nudes but did not avert their eyes from female ones.
The gay rights movement really needs to come to grips with these facts. People can be convinced to accept homosexuals, but this will have to be done without the in-your-face, gay-pride-parade tactics far-left activists often use. The fact of the matter is that male heterosexuals find homosexuality gross, and it’s not just an act. They will be more likely to support gay causes when not reminded of it.
Robert VerBruggen blogs at http://robertsrationale.blogspot.com.