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Is This Normal? Homosexuality

Homosexuality is making local and national headlines again. Here's a mental health professional's perspective.

Yes, homosexuality is normal. 

Homosexuality was declassified in 1973 by The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the definitive reference book used by the American Psychological Association.  Prior to 1973, mental health professionals were actively working to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder. Freud, who had previously attributed homosexuality to castration anxiety, maternal over-attachment, and jealousy of brothers and fathers realized at the end of his career that “homosexuality is assuredly no advantage, but it is nothing to be ashamed of, no vice, no degradation; it cannot be classified as an illness…” in a 1935 letter to a mother who wanted him to treat her homosexual son.

Homosexuality has been a documented part of human sexuality since ancient times.  Research has consistently shown that homosexuals are as highly functioning as heterosexuals.  There’s no scientific evidence that positively correlates homosexuality with pedophilia or psychopathology, or states that it’s a result of mental illness or a dysfunctional childhood.     

Homosexuality isn’t a choice or a lifestyle.  Newer research confirms genetic and environmental factors determine both heterosexual and homosexual orientations.  Gays and lesbians, like heterosexuals, know their sexual identities from a very young age. But because of the extreme prejudice, some gays and lesbians resist embracing their identities, or some choose not to disclose their sexual identities. 

Indeed, the decision to “come out” is daunting and on many levels, dangerous.  Gays and lesbians who disclose their sexual identities will likely lose their religions and some family members.  They will face workplace discrimination, and if they decide to have children, their children will almost certainly be bullied for having gay parents. It’s an oppressive price to pay for being honest. 

In my experience, there’s more in common between homosexual couples and heterosexual couples than most think. There’s a perception that homosexual couples are at home or in nightclubs swinging from chandeliers.  This isn’t the case. Sex, in any relationship, is a small but an important part. There’s much more to relationships than sex.  Homosexual couples struggle with the same issues that heterosexual couples struggle with – money, children, and keeping their relationships strong.  The similarities between heterosexuals and homosexuals far outweigh the differences.

Homosexuality is normal.  Coming to terms and embracing your identity whether homosexual or heterosexual is good health.

Please see these sources for additional information on homosexuality:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18561014

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/113259.php

http://www.cs.cmu.edu/afs/cs/user/scotts/bulgarians/nih-upi.html

http://www.aglp.org/gap/1_history/#declassification

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Pippalotta February 06, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Well said, Bob. Ann, thanks for writing this thoughtful piece. It's good to step back and look at what the research says. I also wanted to add that there seems to be a perception in some corners that acceptance of homosexuality is the same thing as encouraging our kids to go out and have gay sex. It's good to talk about sex in terms of a relationship, not just the act.
Scot Beaton February 07, 2012 at 09:12 PM
Ann O'Neill, Thanks for your thoughtful post. I was raised a Christian and taught "thou shall not judge" But I'm saddened by those who choose to rewrite the teachings of God/Jesus Christ or the good intentions of our Founding Fathers. Also thanks to my upbringing I was also taught "debate" is good too. My opinion : God/Jesus Christ and Homosexuality. Old Testament: Genesis the story of "Lot's House" has been misinterpreted into teachings that God denounces homosexual behavior. Not true the story refers to homosexual rape. It clearly doesn't have the remotest connection to same-gender love or relationships. Or Leviticus 18:22 & 20:13 "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. If man lies with a male as with woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death." Again this is not God's denouncing homosexual behavior...but related to the worship of Ishtar the pagan goddess of love and fertility. It was a condemnation of such practices...pagan rituals such as mandated sex between males or temple prostitution...that this Levitical law was written. It certinaly does not make any reference to same-gender sex within the context of a committed and loving relationship. New Testament: Jesus Christ did not denounce or promote homosexual behavior. The only place Jesus really addressed or even hinted at sexuality is found in Mathew chapter 19:11-12 Jesus replied...to be continued out of characters.
Scot Beaton February 07, 2012 at 09:55 PM
Ann O'Neill, "Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it." A eunuch is a man who has no desire or ability to have sexual relations with a woman. Jesus addressed three types of eunuchs.1) Those born that way. (That's people who are born homosexual.) 2) Those made that way by men. (Those castrated or those sexually abused people who choose to be homosexual as a result of this abuse rather than because it is their natural sexual affinity.) 3) Those who elect not to have a sexual relationship for the sake of the kingdom. ( For example a priest or nun. This group makes the decision on their own.) So here, Jesus states that not everyone will marry according to the custom as male and female. He also said that not everyone can accept this. He says that those that can accept it should accept it. Can we accept what Jesus said? I can. Ann O'Neill, thanks again for your uplifting post in the Rochester Patch so many of us sincerely feel the way you do and let us be the ones who continually forgive prejudice in our great country. Note: God and Govrment next...
Scot Beaton February 07, 2012 at 09:58 PM
Note: God and Government next... I hate my typos sorry
Ann O'Neill, LLPC February 08, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Impressive, Scot! Thank you for your comments! Ann

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