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Bronze-level articleHaggard's Law

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Haggard's Law is an Internet adage or epigram named after Pastor Ted Haggard (despite him not being gay in any way, shape or form) that is typically stated as:
The louder and more frequent one's objections to homosexuality are, the more likely one is to be a homosexual.

It is used as either a purely sarcastic musing that people who strongly object to homosexuality have been scientifically demonstrated to be more likely to engage in homosexual activities,[1] or in a reflection of the probability based on the numerous public scandals[2][3][4][5] of famous figures in the opposition of homosexuality and homosexual behavior.


[edit] History

Racists never imagine what it's like to be like the person they hate,[7] homophobes imagine it in graphic detail for hour upon hour.
—Bob Schooley[6]

Haggard's Law made its first published appearance in an article[8] written by Dennis DiClaudio of Comedy Central fame and is named after American evangelical preacher Ted Haggard. It was created after and is reference to a scandal[3] involving prostitute and masseur Mike Jones who alleged that Haggard had paid Jones to engage in sex with him for three years and had also purchased and used crystal methamphetamine.[9] Although Haggard denied using methamphetamine or having sex with Mr. Jones, the scandal has caused many to view Haggard as extremely hypocritical about his spoken views, as he was known to publicly preach against homosexuality.[10]

Original quote by author Dennis DiClaudio:

Haggard's Law – The likelihood of a person harboring secret desires to engage in sexual and/or romantic activities with members of the same sex is directly proportional to the frequency and volume of said person's vocalized objections to homosexuality.[8]

The "law" is more generally used to reference hypocrisy in public figures who lead the moral opposition of homosexuality, and then are discovered to have partaken in homosexuality or homosexual behavior.

[edit] A skeptical look

A study from the University of Georgia indicated that the effect may actually be real. In the study, 64 men were assessed by the "homophobia index" and their arousal by homosexual and heterosexual images were measured and they were split into a two groups, "homophobic" and "non-homophobic." In the "non-homophobic" group, 66% showed no arousal yet in the "homophobic" group only 20% managed to restrain themselves from getting aroused - and significantly underestimated their own arousal.[11] However, it should be noted that what was measured as arousal may have been the result of the uncomfortable feelings the homophobic group were feeling on seeing homosexual imagery. The authors of the study did note that "anxiety has been shown to enhance arousal and erection" so this confounding factor may explain the results more consistently.

Additional studies seem to confirm previous suspicions, reflecting that outspoken homophobia is more likely to be present among homosexuals whose parents were authoritarian about the subject.[12]

[edit] Ethical Calculus

It's entirely possible to be raised to believe that homosexuality is evil yet still turn out to be homosexual. There are many ways for the human mind to rationalize this away, where everyone else is a "sinner" but you are unique, or some other cognitive dissonance. But one way to justify "sinning" is to remove more "sin" than you cause, sort of like how every third house fire fighters save they get to light one up for funzies. So if a politician or preacher manages to convince other people to avoid or give up homosexuality, then surely they have made the world "less sinful" and are thus still "good", right?

[edit] Bisexuality?

Haggard's Law could sometimes be a bit of a misnomer as the newly-outed may not only be attracted to their own sex, but "swing both ways." Haggard himself insists that he can still "exclusively have sex with my wife and be permanently satisfied."[13]

[edit] Some instances of Haggard's Law

[edit] In fiction

  • The 1999 film American Beauty[wp].

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

[edit] Footnotes

  1. Adams, H., Wright, L. and Lohr, B. 1996. Is Homophobia Associated With Homosexual Arousal? Journal of Abnormal Psychology. Vol. 105 No. 3: pp.440-445.
  2. Florida State Representative Accused of Offering to Perform Oral Sex Claims Innocence, Fox News, July 27, 2007
  3. 3.0 3.1 Haggard admits 'sexual immorality', apologizes, MSNBC, November 5, 2006
  4. US anti-gay rights senator Roy Ashburn comes out, BBC News, March 8, 2010
  5. Former GOP Chief Pleads Guilty To Deviant Conduct, WLKY, June 12, 2008
  6. [1]
  7. Results may very depending on context.
  8. 8.0 8.1 ""Haggard's Law," Please Add It to Your Lexicon", Indecision Forever
  9. Haggard Admits Buying Meth, ABC News, November 3, 2006
  10. Pastor will shut down controversial kids camp, Seattle Times
  11. New Study Links Homophobia with Homosexual Arousal, American Psychological Association
  12. Is Some Homophobia Self-Phobia?, Science Daily
  13. Ted Haggard Says He's Bisexual, CBS
  14. US anti-gay rights senator Roy Ashburn comes out, BBC News
  15. Florida state Rep. Bob Allen guilty in bathroom-sex case, Orlando Sentinel
  16. Prominent Antigay Evangelical Blogger Outed as Gay, The Advocate
  17. Jonathan Merritt: Come Out
  18. Matt Moore, 'Ex-Gay' Christian Advocate, Exposed On Grindr, Huffington Post
  20. Westboro Baptist Church Founder Fred Phelps May Be Gay, Suggests Former Member Lauren Drain, HuffPo
  21. One Dildo, Two Wetsuits, One Dead Fundie
  22. Camilla Domonoske, Reports: Gunman Had Visited Nightclub Before, Used Gay Dating Apps. 14 June 2016. Retrieved on 14 June 2016.
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