is an erotic
inclination toward members of the same sex that is not consciously
experienced or expressed in overt action. This may mean a hidden inclination or potential for interest in homosexual relationships, which is either suppressed or not recognised, and which has not yet been explored "for real" or may never be explored in fact.
The term was originally proposed by Sigmund Freud. Some argue that the latent homosexuality is a potentially iatrogenic effect (that is, it is not present until suggested by a therapist). Others argue that the term "latent" is not truly applicable in the case of homosexual urges, since they are often not in the unconscious or unexpressed category, but rather exist in the conscious mind and are (often violently) repressed on a conscious level.
Links to Homophobia
is a result of latent homosexuality was put forth in the late 20th century. A 1996 study conducted at the University of Georgia
by Henry Adams, Lester Wright Jr., and Bethany Lohr indicates that a number of "homophobic" males exhibit latent homosexuality. The research was done on 64 heterosexual men, 35 of whom exhibited "homophobic" traits and 29 who did not. Three tests were conducted using penile plethysmography
. While there was no difference in response when the men were exposed to heterosexual
and lesbian pornography
, there was a major difference in response when the men were exposed to male homosexual pornography.
The researchers reported that 24% of the non-"homophobic" men showed some degree of tumescence in response to the male homosexual video, compared to 54% of the subjects who scored high on the "homophobia scale". In addition, 66% of the nonhomophobic group showed no significant increases in tumescence after this video, but only 20% of the "homophobic" men failed to display any arousal. Additionally, when the participants rated their degree of sexual arousal later, the "homophobic" men significantly underestimated their degree of arousal by the male homosexual video.
Still, researchers disagree about whether the "homophobic" males were stimulated by genuine latent homosexuality or negative emotions such as anxiety.
Links to Environment
Others have suggested that latent homosexuality is a result of one's environment. Living in a homophobic culture
, not being exposed to homosexuality, and being surrounded by members of both genders may encourage latent homosexuality. Conversely, exposure to a single-gender environment, such as a single-sex school
, prison, or military service, could bring one's latent homosexuality to the surface.