A new study indicates that those who are homophobic may secretly harbor self-hatred over their own same-sex desires.
“Individuals who identify as straight but in psychological tests show a strong attraction to the same sex may be threatened by gays and lesbians because homosexuals remind them of similar tendencies within themselves,” explains Netta Weinstein, a lecturer at the University of Essex and the study’s lead author.
“In many cases these are people who are at war with themselves and they are turning this internal conflict outward,” adds co-author Richard Ryan, professor of psychology at the University of Rochester who helped direct the research.
The research report, issued by researchers from the University of Rochester, the University of Essex, England, and the University of California in Santa Barbara, suggests that repressed same-sex desires due to negative reinforcement through authoritarian parenting are prominent factors in developing intense feelings of loathing and even hatred of gay people which may in later life lead to hostility towards those who are gay or perceived to be gay.
The paper drew evidence from four separate experiments conducted in the United States and in Germany. Each study involved an average of 160 college students and provided empirical evidence that corroborates longstanding psychoanalytic theories that intense negative feelings toward gay and lesbian people can stem from repressed same-sex desires. … Read more: 
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