Homophobia: Description, Development, and Dynamics of Gay Bashing

By Martin Kantor | Go to book overview

6
Is It Ever Rational to Be Homophobic?

Homophobes who do not deny they are homophobic usually claim their homophobia is natural and normal, citing several factors:

1. Culture: Some homophobes say in effect that they are good citizens in their hometowns. They say they function in a socially responsible way, or if they are religious, according to the dictates of their ministers, or of the Bible. In citing society they deny that theirs is a sick society or that they are buying into the intolerant faction of a society divided -- picking those aspects of society that fit their own morbid needs. In citing the Bible, they claim that following its homophobic dictates is right, justified, and appropriate, and even say the equivalent of, "don't blame me, I didn't write it."

2. Human nature: Some homophobes say it is only human nature for straights to dislike gays and lesbians, for several reasons. They say it is normal to be suspicious of others who are different, and cite the following paradigms in self-justification: children play only with other children of the same age while excluding all others; scientists embrace only their own school of thought, while savaging all others; birds of a feather flock together while avoiding all others; ducks think baby swans are ugly; and gardeners call some flowers weeds just because they are in an unwelcoming garden.

The more scientifically inclined suggest that there is a primary taboo against homosexuality. In particular they postulate the presence of a taboo against anal penetration, and claim it is just as powerful and basic as the incest taboo and for some of the same reasons -- that is, it is there to encourage reproduction of the species while preventing disease -- genetic and psychological disease in the case of incest, venereal disease and physical trauma in the case of anal penetration.

-63-

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