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Does junk food turn you gay? 12 of the craziest studies about LGBT people

Bea Mitchell August 11, 2017
Belfast Pride

Belfast Pride

Fatty food, paracetamol during pregnancy, tobacco shops and rotting flesh are just a few of the bizarre studies carried out on LGBT people.

It’s necessary to study LGBT people because we aren’t heteronormative, so there must be something up. Or something to explain us. Or something. What ON EARTH causes us to be LGBT+? And what, WHAT about the rest of it?

Here are some of our favourite, most bizarre, and pointless studies…

1. Eating too much fatty food can turn you gay

Yep, a self-published “study” genuinely does claim that eating too many fatty foods can cause homosexualityor make you transgender.

Author Rita Strakosha, who says she has “an M.P.S. degree in Clinical Psychology from Albanian University”, sent the 56-page document to PinkNews after self-publishing it as an e-book on Amazon.

In the document, Strakosha claims: “Homosexuals… [often eat] large amounts of high glycemic index foods and fat, or eating an imbalanced diet, leaning toward carbohydrates. Some studies show an increased rate of obesity among homosexuals.

“Gay men, lesbian and bisexual women report a higher odds of sugar-sweetened beverage consumption than straight men and women.”

The paper ties homosexuality to fats, sugars and alcohol, proceeding to claim that cutting them out of your diet can “prevent the return of homosexual attractions”.

Well, we put it to the test, and after several months of healthy eating, we’re still gay AF.

2. Do gay people live near tobacco shops?

Another bizarre study from 2014 attempted to find whether same-sex couples live closer to tobacco shops than straight people.

The study, entitled ‘Relationship Between Tobacco Retailer Density and Sexual Minority Couples’, states: “Tobacco use is substantially higher among sexual minorities than among heterosexuals.

“Same-sex couples’ movement within the US results in same-sex couples concentrating in more urban neighborhoods where there may be more tobacco retailers. Living near a tobacco retailer has been associated with decreased success in quitting tobacco.

“The presence or absence of overlapping patterns of same-sex couples and tobacco retailers have not been explored.”

3. Bad smells make people more opposed to gay marriage

Also in 2014, this study claimed that the presence of disgusting smells causes people to hold more conservative views, including being more likely to oppose same-sex marriage.

Titled ‘Disgust and the Politics of Sex’, the study says that smells such as vomit cause people to hold stronger views, specifically against homosexuality.

It asked two groups of randomly selected participants to fill out questionnaires around a range of political issues, ranging their options from “not at all disgusting” to “extremely disgusting”.

One of the rooms contained butyric acid, a main component of severe body odour and vomit, and the other room had no smell.

The people in the room with the acid expressed stronger views against same-sex marriage, researchers claimed, stating that 25.9 per cent of respondents said they were strongly against same-sex marriage.

70 per cent of respondents in the room without the smell said they supported the right of gay couples to get married.

So, basically people who oppose gay marriage live in stinky houses? Gross. We oppose that.

4. Homosexual behaviour in women only developed because of men

This one must’ve been written by Mr Patriarchy…

Because the controversial scientific study claims that same-sex attraction in women developed because men get turned on by it.

The paper tried to determine the evolutionary origins of lesbianism, arguing that it may have developed because of men’s excitement at the thought of women being attracted to one another.

The Cypriot researchers, from the University of Nicosia, surveyed a total of 1,509 heterosexual participants for their study.

The paper states: “About half of the men in the sample reported that they would become sexually excited if their opposite-sex partners revealed to them that they experienced same-sex attraction.”

Findings showed that 34.3 per cent of male respondents would prefer a partner who is attracted “predominantly to members of the opposite-sex but occasionally of the same-sex”.

5. Avoiding ejaculation will help ‘reverse’ homosexuality

A homosexual couple in the bed room

Here’s another one from scientist Rita Strakosha, who claimed that unhealthy diet and stress can cause homosexuality.

In her next theory, she proposed a “therapy” to “cure” homosexuality which includes avoiding ejaculation to induce “hibernation” in a person’s sexuality.

Once the so-called hibernation period finishes, Strakosha claims that heterosexual attraction will magically appear, because that’s how science works.

As proof, she presented an ancient Chinese theory which claimed that if your desire is to live a long and healthy life, you should not ejaculate more than 24 times a year.

“A man may attain health and longevity if he practices an ejaculation frequency of twice monthly, or 24 times in a year,” seventh-century doctor Sun Ssu-mo said.

6. Heterosexual men find gay men as repulsive as rotting flesh

According to another scientific study, heterosexual men find gay men as repulsive as rotting flesh and maggots.

The study, which was carried out by the American Institute of Bisexuality, found that even those who say they are accepting of the LGBT community have a physical reaction upon seeing two men showing affection for each other.

Dr Karen L Blair, who conducted the study at psychologist at St. Francis Xavier University, explained that participants were shown a series of slideshows of “male couples kissing, male couples holding hands, mixed-sex couples kissing, mixed-sex couples holding hands, boring images e.g., paper clips and disgusting images e.g. maggots”.

“We also collected saliva samples in order to assess salivary alpha-amylase in response to each slide show,” she added.

Dr Blair and the team found that when they were presented pictures of gay men kissing, the participants produced the same salivary alpha-amylase levels as when they were confronted with images of rotting flesh and maggots.

It also showed that the level of alpha-amylase was the same for those who were shown to be tolerant of gay relationships and those who were not.

7. Paracetamol during pregnancy makes kids ‘less masculine and less attracted to females’

Watch out, pregnant women – this study claims that taking paracetamol while pregnant can make children less attracted to women.

And it’s all thanks to rodents, as the international study found that mice given paracetamol in the womb would be “less masculine”, and discovered that the mice were less likely to mate with women and were less aggressive.

The research, published in Reproduction, found that the mice born from mothers taking paracetamol “had a less aggressive territorial display towards intruders of the same gender” and fewer sexual interactions and ejaculations during mating.

8. Magnets prove homosexuality is unnatural

Staff of the University of Lagos previously lauded the work of one of their postgraduate students, Chibuihem Amalaha, for an experiment in which he claimed observations of magnets provided proof that homosexuality is unnatural.

Mr Amalaha claimed that as the poles of magnets repel those of the same type, this “means that man cannot attract another man because they are the same, and a woman should not attract a woman because they are the same. That is how I used physics to prove gay marriage wrong”.

In an interview for This Day Live, Mr Amalaha explained the motivation for his experiments.

“In recent time I found that gay marriage, which is homosexuality and lesbianism, is eating deep into the fabric of our human nature all over the world and this was why nations of Sodom and Gomora were destroyed by God because they were into gay practice,” he said.

9. Most women are either gay or bisexual but ‘never straight’

Lesbian couple

In great news for lesbians the world over, research suggests that women who identify as heterosexual ‘very rarely are’.

The study – led by Dr Gerulf Rieger from the Department of Psychology at the University of Essex – showed subjects a series of videos and had their responses recorded – including whether their pupils dilated in response to sexual stimuli.

The results found that straight women were strongly sexually aroused by videos of both attractive men and attractive women – despite identifying as heterosexual.

By contrast, women who identified as lesbians exhibited a much stronger sexual response to women than to men.

Researchers found that lesbians were the most like heterosexual men in their responses because it is usually men who show distinct sexual responses to their favourite sex.

“Even though the majority of women identify as straight, our research clearly demonstrates that when it comes to what turns them on, they are either bisexual or gay, but never straight,” Dr Rieger said.

10. Homophobes are likely to be closet gays

Carrying rainbow flags at Berlin CSD
OK, this one isn’t actually that crazy – everyone already suspects that homophobes are the biggest homosexuals around…

And, sure enough, a series of studies have found that homophobic attitudes are more likely to be found in individuals who harbour unacknowledged attraction towards the same sex.

The study, which analysed four separate experiments conducted in the US and Germany, provides empirical evidence to suggest that homophobia is in fact the ‘external manifestation of repressed sexual desires they feel towards their own gender’, IBT reported.

“Individuals who identify as straight but in psychological tests show a strong attraction to the same sex may be threatened by gays and lesbians because homosexuals remind them of similar, unrealised desires they themselves harbour,” Netta Weinstein, a lecturer at the University of Essex and the study’s lead author, explained.

“In many cases these are people who are at war with themselves and they are turning this internal conflict outward,” added co-author Richard Ryan, professor of psychology at the University of Rochester who was involved in the study, in which about 650 university students participated.

11. Gay couples in open relationships likely to be closer

Two men kiss at Madrid Pride
Two men kiss at Madrid Pride (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo/Getty Images)

This study – which, admittedly isn’t as bizarre as some of the above – found that gay couples who are in open relationships can form closer bonds than those who are exclusive.

Conducted by Christopher Stults at the Center for Health, Identity, Behavior and Prevention Studies at New York University, this paper looked at 10 gay couples in open relationships.

“We wanted to see how these relationships form and evolve over time, and examine the perceived relationship quality, relationship satisfaction, and potential risk for HIV/STI infection,” said Stults.

After interviewing the men, aged 19 to 43, the initial results of the study suggested that gay couples in open relationships appeared “happier”, and that their relationships were “more fulfilling”.

12. More straight men than ever are giving ‘bro-jobs’

Some bros playing football
Some bros playing football

Back in 2015, Dr Jane Ward looked at the prevalence of sex acts between self-identifying straight white men (aka the “bro-job”) in her book, Not Gay: Sex Between Straight White Men.

“A straight white girl can kiss a girl, like it, and still call herself straight,” Ward wrote.

“Her boyfriend may even encourage her. But can straight white guys experience the same easy sexual fluidity, or would kissing a guy just mean that they are really gay?”

She discussed a host of common examples – from fraternity hazing, “where new recruits are made to grab each other’s penises and stick fingers up their fellow members’ anuses”, to online ads where straight guys search for buddies to masturbate with – in an attempt to define these relationships.

“These sex acts are not slippages into a queer way of being or expressions of a desired but unarticulated gay identity.

“They reveal the fluidity and complexity that characterises all human sexual desire,” the Professor of Women’s Studies stated.

Furthermore, she argued that these men see these acts as the opposite of homosexual – as a way of proving their “straight-ness”.

“By understanding their same-sex sexual practice as meaningless, accidental, or even necessary, straight white men can perform homosexual contact in heterosexual ways.”

Good for you, boys.

More: LGBT, studies, theories

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