Monday, January 13, 2014

Homophobic Uganda Leads Google Search For Gay Porn


The anti-homosexuality bill in Uganda is more than simply a bill about homosexuality, and it is more than a pernicious piece of local legislation that affects Uganda alone.
HYPOCRISY: Why Violently Homophobic Uganda Leads In Googling Gay Porn?
Originally conceived back in 2009, it was introduced with the aim of ridding Uganda of homosexuality and, to begin with, contained the death penalty.
An international outcry forced the Ugandans to drop that section of the bill, but the form in which it passed through the legislature just before Christmas is dreadful enough, with homosexuality now leading to life imprisonment and a prison sentence for those who do not report gay people to the authorities within 24 hours.
Homosexuality is here understood as not just anal sex between men (yes, it's worth pointing out to some people that straight couples can just as easily do that sort of thing too), but also as same-sex snogging and heavy petting.
On Wednesday, a gathering of 50 or so people outside the Ugandan embassy in London called on the president not to sign the bill, but there is little sign that he will listen.
Described by its supporters as a "Christmas present", Peter Tatchell has it rather differently: "The bill is in some respects even more draconian than the extreme homophobic laws of countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran."
Uganda is set to become the anti-gay capital of the world.
Google Statistics
Last year, Google published statistics about the places in the world where their search engine was most used to find gay porn sites. The results were extraordinary.
According to its figures, Uganda is the third on the list of countries where "man fucking man" is most searched for, behind Kenya and Pakistan, both of which are countries where homosexuality is illegal.
These figures also demonstrate a high degree of correlation between places of conservative religious practice and internet searches for gay porn.
Is there a connection, then, between homophobia and suppressed homosexuality?
Is it that homosexual desires, when shut out because of some sense of shame, can easily express themselves as a form of homophobia?
When the US conservative evangelical pastor Ted Haggard, well known for his anti-gay preaching, was discovered to have been paying a masseuse for gay sex, he explained that "I think I was partially so vehement because of my own war".
Freud coined the description "reaction-formation", in which anxiety-generating feelings are masked by an exaggerated reaction in the opposite direction.
There is some experimental evidence to back this up, with one study showing that 20% of those who self-described as "highly straight" indicated some level of same-sex attraction.

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