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Study Finds Link Between Mental Illness And Homophobia

Will there be a pill you can take for homophobia?

There’s a strong connection between psychosis and homophobia, according to a new study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Researchers at Italy’s University of Rome Tor Vergata in Italy explored homophobia as a possible mental illness, and found interesting correlations to psychological dysfunctions—including depression, neurosis and immature defense mechanisms.

“After discussing for centuries if homosexuality is to be considered a disease, for the first time we demonstrated that the real disease to be cured is homophobia, associated with potentially severe psychopathologies,” said researchers.

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More than 520 college students, ages 18 to 30, were given a series of evaluations, and those who scored high for psychoticism (defined as a pattern of aggressiveness and hostility) also tended to be more homophobic, “demonstrating that pathologic personality traits are involved in homophobic attitudes.”

Could that mean one day there will be a pill for homophobia?

Interestingly, interviewees who showed signs of depression were less likely to be homophobic.

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“If we suppose that subjects with a high level of psychoticism perceive external reality as a threat and project their anger—for example, against homosexual people—people with depressive traits could direct the anger mainly against themselves,” they stated.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.
@ItsDanAvery