Homophobia may be a mental illness more than we know
By now, everybody knows that the motive behind the Orlando shooting was more about homophobia rather than religious extremism.
After all, with the victims all being gays and the incident happening inside a gay bar, it’s kind of hard to imagine it as anything else.
This led us to think that the Orlando shooter was definitely mad as a March hare given both his closeted gay tendencies and homophobia.
Homophobia versus homosexuality
Homophobia is defined as “contempt, prejudice, aversion, hatred or antipathy, may be based on irrational fear, and is often related to religious beliefs.”
Given today’s more open perspective towards same-sex relationships, we figure this definition should fit as a mental illness.
If you think it strange that definitions of mental illnesses can change, consider the fact that our LGBT brothers and sisters decades past suffered inhumane psychiatric treatments and were thrown in asylums for having same-sex feelings.
It was only in 1974 that homosexuality was stripped off the label as a mental illness.
However, until now, members of the LGBT community are still being forced to seek treatment, like conversion therapy.
Meanwhile, others who have same-sex feelings have to deal with their fear of homosexuals.
This is because they’ve internalized the idea that homosexuality is considered abnormal.
Homophobia as a maladaptive defense mechanism
We need to remember that phobias, or irrational fears, are a maladaptive defense mechanism.
Scientifically, humans tend to weigh emotions about relationships as being positive or negative.
When it sways more towards the negative, people tend to fear this relationship.
In the case of homophobia, the defense mechanism against this fear is hostility.
Homophobia and psychoticism
What’s more interesting is that a study done by the University of L’Aquila and was published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, found traces of psychotic behavior in homophobia.
To be precise, the researches observed, “Psychoticsm and immature defense mechanism specify people with higher levels of homophobia, highlighting a remarkable association between dysfunctional aspects of personality and homophobic attitudes.”
The researchers further stated that “our study follows a controversial issue regarding homophobia as a mental disorder , and it also discusses the possible clinical implications that cross inevitably into the area of psychiatric epistemology.”
Taken in a larger context, it wouldn’t seem a reach that someone psychotic would consider killing 50 gay people and wounding 53 others– and all because of a phobia.
You be the judge: do you think homophobia is a mental illness?