Researchers at the University of Rome Tor Vergata in Italy claim to have found a “remarkable association between dysfunctional aspects of personality and homophobic attitudes.” They asked over 500 college students ages 18 to 30 to complete a series of psychometric evaluations in an effort to assess their levels of homophobia, psychopathologic symptoms, defense mechanisms and attachment styles.
What they discovered was that students who scored highly on the psychoticism tests also tended to be more homophobic, “demonstrating that pathologic personality traits are involved in homophobic attitudes.”
Psychoticism is a psychological trait often found in severe mental conditions that can contribute to heightened states of anger and hostility.
“Our study follows a controversial issue regarding homophobia as a possible mental disorder,” researchers concluded. “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.”