[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Psychodynamic conceptions of homophobia suggest that homophobics may have a latent attraction to gay sex. Although at least one study has partially supported this idea, the implicit cognitive reactivity to gay images has not been examined. We conducted the current study to investigate such cognitive forms of reactivity with the intent to better understand defensive homophobia. Participants completed two implicit sexual interest tasks in addition to questionnaires of self-deception and homophobia. We found that self-deception moderated the relationship between homophobia and performance within the implicit tasks. Contrary to the idea that defensive homophobics (i.e., homophobics high in self-deception) harbor an implicit attraction for gay sex, we found that such individuals displayed evidence of a phobic-like aversion. We also identified a non-defensive form of homophobia (i.e., homophobics low in self-deception) that was relatively inconsequential for performance within the implicit cognitive tasks related to gay sex. The results suggest that defensive homophobics have an implicit aversion rather than an implicit attraction to gay sexual stimuli.
Journal of Research in Personality 01/2006; 40(4):377-394. · 2.00 Impact Factor