Ed Brayton at Dispatches from the Culture Wars is touting a study recently published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology that finds "homophobic" men (whatever "homophobic" means) are more aroused by homoerotic imagery than "non-homophobic" men (whatever "non-homophobic" means). And by "touting" I mean that Brayton indicates that these findings are "interesting"--by which I think he means "I would really like them to be true because they comport with my scientistic assumptions about the world and so I am willing to grant them immediate provisional credibility by using the term 'interesting' rather than, say, 'patently absurd'."
That Brayton would report on a the study the way he has is particularly interesting given his constant criticism of Intelligent Design as not being science. Funny, isn't it, how those who are the most vocally skeptical about anything that purports to be science that might favor a religious view of the world are the most credulous when it comes to a purportedly scientific "study" that backs up their own presuppositions?
It is particularly ironic that instant credibility should be granted to a claim coming out of the world of psychology, the scientific status of which has been repeatedly debated over the course of its existence. Not only that, but we are talking about a profession that has a history of responding more readily to political agendas than it does to science. The professional psychological associations didn't change their view that homosexuality was a psychological problem because of any new evidence--they changed it because they were responding to political pressure. In fact, the "research" done on issues related to homosexuality is constantly being compromised by ideological conflict of interest.
"Interesting"? You can say that again.
In case you hadn't noticed, activist homosexuals take it as a personal affront that you disagree with them. Why? Heterosexuals do not take it as a personal affront if homosexuals disagree with them. So what gives? Why do homosexuals have this deep-seated need to be agreed with? And why the violent reaction when you disagree with them? It has nothing to do with anything you might want to do to them. You may very well want to mind your own business and prefer them to mind theirs (and, possibly, not want their homosexuality waved in your face every five minutes). It's not what you might do that bothers them: it's what you believe. They simply can't stand the fact that you won't accept what they do.
I come back once again to Joseph Sobran's great observation that what homosexuals want more than anything is to force everyone else to say that what they are doing is okay.
The preferred way of assuaging this anxiety is the cherished shibboleth of homosexual rights groups: that the people who don't approve of their homosexuality are really homosexuals themselves. This is a great example of what C. S. Lewis called "Bulverism": it is like saying, "You're just saying that because you're a woman." It has absolutely no bearing on the objective validity of arguments against homosexuality, but it has the psychological effect of making homosexuals feel better about themselves to think that those who disagree with them are really in-the-closet homosexuals.
Of course, it would be rather strange if the claims of this study were true, since what we would then have would be a group of people, one faction the members of which are so insecure about their sexuality that they have a deep-seated need to believe their detractors are really just like them but don't want to admit it, and another faction the members of which are so insecure about their sexuality that that they they have a deep-seated need to hide their homosexuality from the homosexuals who have a need to believe that the latter group really are homosexuals.
Now there's great topic for the Journal of Abnormal Psychology to explore!
Oh, and has anyone noticed that the very people who scream bloody murder when anyone implies that their sexual habits constitute a psychological malady are the very people who are trying to claim that their opponents are psychologically disturbed merely because they happen to disagree with the practitioners of these particular sexual habits? Isn't that, after all, the primary purpose of the term "homophobic"--an ideological bully word?
The positions of gay rights groups are nothing if not rich in irony.