ROME (Web Desk) – According to a research, homophobic attitudes have been linked with psychoticism, a psychological trait present in several severe conditions that can also contribute to heightened states of hostility and anger, reported International Business Times.
Led by researchers at the University of L’Aquila in Italy, the team asked 551 university students, aged between 15 and 30, to complete several psychometric tests to examine the psychological factors that could correlate with homophobia.
Using questionnaires, they assessed homophobia levels, psychopathological symptoms, defence mechanisms and attachment styles.
“Homophobic behaviour and a negative attitude toward homosexuals are prevalent among the population,” researchers wrote in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.
Researchers found that people who scored high on the psychoticism tests were more likely to have homophobic attitudes. This was also true of those who have immature defence mechanisms – which are the coping techniques helping people reduce anxiety produced by threatening people or uncomfortable situations.