Homosexuality: Disorder or Innate
Is homosexuality an innate, normal sexual orientation or something one becomes through life’s trials? Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Francis Bacon, Herman Melville and Fredrick the Great all had one thing common, other than their famous personas. Every one of these men were homosexuals. In today’s society, homosexuality has grown to be labeled as a “sin” and/or something that one chooses to be rather born with.
From religious leaders to medical doctors, homosexuality is thought to be a “disease” in society. Many even believe that homosexuality is a sexual orientation caused by how one was raised. I, on the other hand, believe otherwise. I believe that sexual orientation, or more specifically homosexuality, is something one is born with and not a disorder or choice. Charles Socarides, M. D. founder of NARTH (National Association for Research & Therapy of homosexuality wrote: By declaring a condition [homosexuality] a ‘non-condition,’ a group of practitioners had removed it from our list of serious psychosexual disorders. The action was all the more remarkable when one considers that it involved the out-of-hand and peremptory disregard and dismissal not only of hundreds of psychiatric and psychoanalytic research papers and reports, but also of a number of other serious studies by groups of psychiatrists, psychologists, and educators over the past seventy years…
In essence, this movement within the American Psychiatric Association has accomplished what every other society, with rare exceptions, would have trembled to tamper with–a revision of a basic code and concept of life and biology; that men and women normally mate with the opposite sex and not with each other. (Socradies) More generally, Dr. Socarides believes that for the medical world to remove homosexuality from the list of mental disorders is astounding. He believes that there is something mentally wrong with humans that prefer same sex partners.
I, on the other hand, believe sexual orientation is something one is born with, or is innate. The APA, American Psychological Association, agrees that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and has made revisions in their way of thought and practices. The APA states on its website “Psychologists, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals agree that homosexuality is not an illness, mental disorder or an emotional problem. Over 35 years of objective, well-designed scientific research has shown that homosexuality, in and [of] itself, is not associated with mental disorders or emotional or social problems.
When researchers examined data about these people who were not in therapy, the idea that homosexuality was a mental illness was quickly found to be untrue” (American Psychiatric Association). Ruling out the belief, that homosexuality is not a disorder can help by not having to seek “treatment” because it is curable. However, this leads some to think that if it homosexuality isn’t due to a disorder it must be the parents who raise them that way. The opposing viewpoint generally believes that children raised by lesbian co-parents should and do seem to grow up more open to homoerotic relationships.
This may be partly due to genetic and family socialization processes. Judith Stacey, Ph. D. agrees with this notion. In a 2001 article Stacey stated, “The sexual orientation of parents appears to have a unique (although not large) effect on children in the politically sensitive domain of sexuality. The evidence, while scanty and under analyzed, hints that parental sexual orientation is positively associated with the possibility that children will be more likely to attain a similar orientation-and theory and common sense also support such a view” (Stacey PhD). I disagree with Ms. Stacey.
The gender identity of preadolescent children raised by lesbian mothers has been found consistently to be in line with their biological gender. None of more than 500 children studied have shown evidence of gender-identity confusion, wished to be the other gender, or consistently engaged in cross-gender behavior. No differences have been found in the toy, game, activity, dress, or friendship preferences of boys or girls who had lesbian mothers, compared with those who had heterosexual mothers. James G. Pawelski, M. D. supports my viewpoint. Using data from a national sample of adolescents, Dr.
Pawelski finds “no difference on the basis of whether the parents were the same or different genders in the proportion of adolescents who reported having had sexual intercourse, nor was a difference found in the number who reported having a ‘romantic relationship’ within the past 18 months” [ (Pawelski MD) ]. Agreeing with this view and observation may bring less scrutiny about same-sex couples adopting and/or raising a child. Unfortunately, it doesn’t help with the people who believe homosexuality is a result of same-sex sexual abuse. There is no universal definition of child sexual abuse. However, a central haracteristic of any abuse is the dominant position of an adult that allows him or her to force or coerce a child into sexual activity. Child sexual abuse is not solely restricted to physical contact; such abuse could include non-contact abuse, such as exposure, voyeurism, and child pornography. Timothy J. Dailey, Ph. D. , wrote that “[M]en who sexually molest boys all too often lead their victims into homosexuality and pedophilia. The evidence indicates that a high percentage of homosexuals and pedophiles were themselves sexually abused as children” [ (Dailey PhD) ]. This situation has been occurring in the Catholic Church lately.
Many male priests are molesting young children, most of them being male themselves. To hold Dr. Dailey’s theory/assumption to be truth may add more controversy to this already intense situation. It also may cause people to further assume that just being raised by a male can “turn” someone gay. However, I do not agree with Dr. Dailey’s assumption and neither does the American Psychiatric Association who stated in a May 2000 website fact sheet that “[N]o specific psychosocial or family dynamic cause for homosexuality has been identified, including histories of childhood sexual abuse.
Sexual abuse does not appear to be more prevalent in children who grow up to identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, than in children who identify as heterosexual” [ (American Psychiatric Association) ]. Just because some adults who were molested as children are gay, does not mean that the molestation was the cause of the sexual orientation. As, the American Psychiatric Association found, there are no more cases of children being gay after being molested by the same-sex then the cases of children who are heterosexual. It is incorrect to assume that homosexuality is something that life situations make occur.
This brings us to the last major “excuse” for being homosexual which arises from various religious beliefs. Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism are all religions that have negative views on homosexuality, but the one that speaks the loudest against it is Christianity, or more specifically the Catholic Church. Many Christians believe that homosexual activity is inherently sinful, irrespective of the relationship between the two persons. Many biblical passages condemn all forms of homosexual behaviors, using inclusive terms such as “sodomite” or “homosexual. “. Same-sex practices are uniquely offensive to God.
After all, God destroyed Sodom and its inhabitants because of their homosexual activity. All the men in the town wanted to have homosexual sex with the visiting angels. Homosexual behavior is one of a small group of behaviors that will prevent a person from attaining salvation and going to heaven. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 says that “… neither… effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind… shall inherit the kingdom of God. ” Other English translators substitute the term “homosexuals” here. Christians believe and were taught to believe that homosexuality is something that is chosen; an act against God and his law.
Where the Bible mentions homosexual behavior at all, it clearly condemns it. I freely grant that. The issue is precisely whether that Biblical judgment is correct. The Bible sanctioned slavery as well and nowhere attacked it as unjust. Are we prepared to argue today that slavery is biblically justified? If you are a heterosexual… can you explain why you are attracted to the opposite sex? Being a heterosexual, I can say that the first thing that comes to mind when asked that question is that it is just a feeling. It is hard to explain but I just have a drive towards males.
However, what if the social norm was different? What if the social norm was to be homosexual and people were scolding you for “choosing” to be heterosexual? Do you think being heterosexual is something you just “decided” to be one day? Most, if not all, heterosexuals would answer “No, I was born straight”. Well, then why is it so hard to grasp that homosexuals are born with the drive to be homosexual innately? If we can be heterosexual at birth, why can they not be homosexual at birth? Society and Religion has branded our minds to think that homosexuality is a chosen path… I disagree.
I did not “choose” to be “straight”; therefore, I do not and cannot believe that homosexuals “choose” to be gay. To join my belief means that one agrees that they themselves were born with their own drive for the opposite or same sex. Homosexuality is not a “disorder”. Homosexuality is not the affect of a prior incident in life. Homosexuality is not a preference that one day someone woke up and said, “Hey I feel like being different so I am going to be gay. ” As funny as that sounds, it is how many heterosexuals think about homosexuality; that it was something one just chose to be one day to “rebel”, like getting a tattoo or a piercing.
Society and Religion have made their own assumptions about homosexuality because it is not a norm. Today’s world is afraid of anything different. People hate change and fear it. Thus, many come up with wild stories and assumptions to explain things that are different and normally they are not good ones. Being “gay” or “lesbian” is different from what society tells us to be, but why does that mean that it is something we chose to be or just become? I was born with an attraction to the opposite-sex. Many, if not all, heterosexuals can and would claim the same thing.
So why is it so hard to believe that statement if the word “homosexual” replaced “heterosexual”? Does it not make sense? Do not be afraid of difference. Do not be ignorant. Be open and accepting that some people’s sexual orientation is homosexual just as you may be open to the belief that there are people that are heterosexual.