what is it about homosexuality specifically that incites violence?

I was watching the show **Gaycation **on the new Vice network. It’s a fairly interesting show where the hosts travel to different parts of the world to check out gay culture. A couple weeks ago they were in Brazil, where they met up with a guy who made it his job to beat up and/or murder gays. This past week they were in Jamaica, where apparently it’s ok to throw rocks, beat up or otherwise terrorize gays. When asked why, the usual response is “It’s just not right” or “The Bible says homosexuality is a sin.”

That’s all fine and good, but for most things that are condemned by The Bible, it ends with a fiery sermon-- tell your flock that these things are wrong and maybe try to convert people to your cause, etc. But they don’t usually incite violence. I think it’s been quite a few years since, for example, an adulterer was stoned in the public square.

Is there something about homosexuality specifically that incites violent outbursts?

It’s not the homosexuality triggering the violence, it’s the fanned flames of religious fervour that has so often lead to violence I think.

I have always thought of lot it is that straight men are terrified gay men will treat them they way they treat women (or secretly wish they could treat women).

I don’t think that’s accurate. Seems to me plenty of people who don’t have religious faith have a strong revulsion to homosexuality. Even if they refer to the Bible for a rationalization on that subject, they ignore the rest of it.

Don’t think so. I think that to most heterosexuals there is a natural biological aversion to homosexuality. After all, by definition, if one were attracted to both genders, one would be bisexual, not heterosexual.

Do you have any evidence for this? It sounds like you’re conflating a natural biological aversion to one’s own personal intimate involvement with the same sex (for heterosexuals) with an eversion to homosexuality in general. I am repulsed by the idea of my own self being intimate with another man, but I have no aversion or revulsion to homosexuals or homosexuality in general. Why would I believe that any revulsion or aversion others feel is innate/natural/inborn?


Since all straight men want to rape women straight men are afraid the gays want to rape them and turn them gay.

Why is any person with an atypical personality picked on? Why is it that the disabled/nerds/fatties/gays are the ones being bullied in grade school? I don’t know, but I assume it relates back to our tribalism instincts to weed out the “weak” in our in-group and being gay is definitely seen as being weak. Unlike most outcast behaviors, it is probably near impossible for a straight man to understand how a gay mind works and therefore it probably draws a lot of disgust manifesting itself into violence. This would be my theory.

A good way to get a guy to recognize the creep-factor in some behavior is to have them imagine that a much larger, muscular gay man is doing the same behavior to him.

I agree.

I also think there’s an element of truth to the cliche that many violent homophobes are repressed homosexuals. They feel a physical attraction to other men but deny the feeling is part of their character. Instead, they externalize it and blame the men they feel attracted to for somehow creating the feeling. Their vehement attacks against homosexuality are an attempt to prove to themselves that they aren’t homosexual.

Obviously, we’re not talking universal behavior here. Most straight men aren’t raping women or beating up homosexuals.

I’ll go with this more than the religious angle. Religion is the excuse but the violence and disdain seems more deep-rooted. Few of the practitioners are religious zealots; some are of course but from the news reports world-wide they seem a minority within the practice of physically assaulting gays.

Of course, going back to the show the OP mentions — this doesn’t explain the hatred and sometimes physical violence committed by heterosexual women against lesbians.

Sure, but… there are lots of things that disgust me, and it doesn’t make me want to beat someone up? I get where you’re going with this but most of those atypical personalities are not specifically targeted with violent behavior-- and if they are, it is ‘officially’ discouraged. But where homosexuality is concerned, it is tacitly (or expressly!) condoned by a surprising number of people, including many religious and political leaders.

Also keep in mind I’m talking globally, not necessarily specific to NA (even if it is still a problem in NA as well…)

Homophobic men I have known are absolutely certain that gay men not only want to have sex with them, but that they are rapists and will find some way to rape them if they let their guard down for even a second or two.

You’d think this was a foolish thing that nobody could seriously believe, but the violence you speak of shows us otherwise. I suspect if I sincerely thought gay men were not only rapists but that they specifically wanted to rape me, I’d probably consider violence towards them, too. :frowning:

Didn’t atheist regimes like North Korea, 1960s Communist China and the USSR severely punish homosexuality too?

This is my view on the subject. There are certain unwritten rules about masculinity. Be stoic, control your emotions, be dominant, be invulnerable, etc. Gay men, stereotypically are seen as the opposite of all these things. Weak, emotional, feminine, submissive, etc.

Why does this matter? A few reasons. For one, humans are social animals. If you see something you deem inappropriate and you say nothing, you are creating a society where it can flourish. One person standing up for something unpopular can motivate others on the fence to do the same, and it can cause a slippery slope where eventually something that was once unthinkable Is now common and accepted if people do not speak out against it. This has happened with gay rights in the West, more and more gays came out and society changed to accept it. That is one fear, if they don’t resist then society will allow that kind of culture to become acceptable.

Why does that matter? A few reasons. Due to the ego defense of reaction formation, the people who oppose gay rights the hardest may be secretly gay and hate themselves. On some level I think they are afraid that gayness being acceptable will cause their suppressed personalities to come to the surface. They hate gays because they do not want to create a culture where then part of themselves that they hate is considered socially acceptable.

Another is that I think some people feel that a society that tolerates gays becomes weak. They may feel that a society that is too liberal or feminine invites military incursions, terrorism, parasitic immigrants, etc.

But I’m not sure. Why do whites in the south oppose blacks having civil rights? No idea. Fear of contamination? Fear of society failing because those they deem inept will be give too. Much power? I’m not sure.

I hear the “People who oppose gays are closeted gays themselves” argument time and time again and I don’t buy it.
It is perfectly possible to oppose something without being a secret supporter of it.
Democrats aren’t closeted Republicans. Hamas terrorists aren’t closeted Israelis. Pacifists aren’t closeted military hawks. Feminists aren’t closeted MRAs. Liberals aren’t closeted conservatives. Gun-control advocates aren’t closeted gun supporters. Trump supporters aren’t closeted illegal-immigrant-amnesty advocates. Environmentalists aren’t closeted AGW skeptics.

Good points. I can’t seem to ever recall hearing of a case where someone tried to incite violence against people who take the Lord’s name in vain, people who obstinately refuse to forgive the faults of others, or people who get drunk, despite all of those things being sins too.

Your thinking is very black and white. It is totally possible for someone to be attracted to a certain gender whille feeling completely neutral towards the other. “Attraction to” doesn’t require a “aversion of”.

And how do you know that most people aren’t bisexual? Sexuality has been conceptualized as a spectrum, with homosexual and heterosexual at the extremes. It is possible that most people are somewhere in the middle–having a solid preference while still being “open”.

Not “weak” per se, but different. Being different marks you as a member of [not your] tribe. See outgroup derogation, AKA outgroup hostility.

Some cultures are less hostile to outgroup members than others. Example, Sissy Goodwin has led a tough life in Wyoming; he might have enjoyed (slightly) more acceptance in a place like San Francisco:

Since Goodwin isn’t gay, violence toward him seems unlikely to stem from a fear of sexual assault by him. I think people who have an automatic, strict adherence to rigid gender norms (whether sexual or sartorial) just can’t make sense of people who violate those norms, either in behavior or dress, and the lack of understanding leads to mistrust or disgust. Maybe there are parallels with the uncanny valley concept in the field of robotics, where the norm-violator doesn’t fit cleanly into one of the phobic’s pre-established mental bins, and it ends up inspiring revulsion.