Evolutionary Roots Of Homophobia?

Russia is in something of a homophobic fever. Four regions (including Saint-Petersburg) have banned the dissemination of “gay propaganda” to minors, it may yet go federal, and disassociated itself from a G8 statement on gay rights. It’s obviously not like in many Middle Eastern countries where homosexuality is illegal (as in the USSR) but attitudes do resemble those of the US or the UK in the 1980’s.

This got me thinking on another tangent, however. Why would a straight person be homophobic anyway?

From the POV of straight dudes, more gays means less competition for chicks.  (Lesbians are mostly bisexual so it doesn’t apply in reverse, and besides, homophobia tends to focus on gays anyway). That is one reason why I don’t mind gays apart from my general live-let live attitudes. The incentives for chicks aren’t as clear-cut as for dudes, as they’d have to try harder to find permanent partners, but upside is they are much less likely to wind up with a closet homosexual.

There are two possible evolutionary causes for homophobia that I see. First, the idea that one’s children will be propagandized into adopting the lifestyle. This may cut off the parents’ genetic tree. This would seem unlikely since most research indicates sexual preferences are set in childhood but the subconscious fear of some parents that this may not be the case is understandable.

Second, it is presumably in the interests of the group to have more males competing for females. The selection process for mating would then be harsher so the average quality of sexually successful dudes is higher. Particularly relevant because gays seem to be more educated and richer than average, and certainly more metrosexual, all of which attracts women. So even though the gays’ absence from the hetero-market would be a boon for all straight dudes, especially the lower-quality ones who are likelier to be displaced by them, the latter nonetheless tends to hate on gays, because at the subconscious level they know that less sexual competition is bad for the group.

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