The spit test that we can’t quite swallow.

A group of 120 men were tested as part of research into physiological responses to the showing of homosexual affection.

The participating members were shown slideshows of straight and same-sex couples displaying affection, such as holding hands and kissing, and more basic images like paperclips, along with disgusting images such as buckets of maggots and rotting food.

The researchers then collected saliva-samples which were tested for signs of stress and disgust. The results were shocking.

It was found that the men (even those who had low levels of prejudice) presented more signs of stress and disgust at the gay kissing, than they did for maggots and rotting flesh.

A researcher who took part in the study, Karen L. Blair, explained that this could mean a range of different things. The results could reflect levels of either stress, fear and anger.


She told PsyPost that although the results are shocking, they don’t go as far as to explain any homophobic hate-crime.

“Clearly, the large majority of individuals who witness same-sex PDAs do not respond with violence, indicating that whatever small physiological response we are noticing here is not evidence for an uncontrollable or overwhelming fit of panic, as suggested by the ‘gay panic’ defense,” she said.

So, just to clarify:

Gay kissing – an expression of affection towards a loved one.

Maggots – the larva of flies, usually found feeding on rotting flesh.

C’mon straight men.

Related: Straight guys try kissing men for the first time

Words Ifan Llewelyn