Homophobic attitudes may say a lot about the person who holds them, new research suggests.
A new study of university students in Italy revealed that people who have strongly negative views of gay people also have higher levels of psychoticism and inappropriate coping mechanisms than those who are accepting of homosexuality.
This doesn’t mean that homophobic people are psychotic; rather, psychoticism is a personality trait marked by hostility, anger and aggression toward others. But the study does suggest that people who cling to homophobic views have some psychological issues, said lead researcher Emmanuele Jannini, an endocrinologist and medical sexologist at the University of Rome Tor Vergata.
“The study is opening a new research avenue, where the real disease to study is homophobia,” Jannini told Live Science.