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Homosexuality
The Origins
Homosexuality

The Origins of Sexual Orientation

What causes homosexuality? Is it a choice?
Sexual orientation, whether it be heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual does not appear to be something that one chooses. Recent studies suggest that sexual orientation has a genetic or biological component, and is probably determined before or shortly after birth. (The Ethics of Genetic Research on Sexual Orientation) Like heterosexuals, gays and lesbians discover their sexuality as a process of maturing, they are not recruited, seduced or taught to be homosexual
(Bell, Weinberg, M.S., & Hammersmith, 1981), (Troiden, 1989). The only choice gay or lesbian people have is whether or not to live their lives honestly, or according to societies unrealistic expectations.
See also: Summary of Studies on the Origins of Sexual Orientation

Is homosexuality a psychological problem or mental illness?
The American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association and all major mental health associations do not consider homosexuality to be an emotional or mental disorder. Published research is overwhelming - there is no significant difference between the mental health of heterosexuals and the mental health of homosexuals. However, the social stigma associated with being gay can be emotionally trying.

See also: The APA's and the AMA's Positions on Homosexuality

Is homosexuality brought about by poor parenting, or lack of religious beliefs?
Gay people grow up in all types of homes, with all types of families. They are raised in rural areas, large cities and everywhere in between. Gay men and lesbians represent every socioeconomic, ethnic, and religious background possible.

"There is evidence, that parents have very little influence on the outcome of their children's sexual orientation under normal upbringing conditions." (Reinisch, 1988). However, a parents' attitude can influence the way a child chooses to relate to his or her sexuality, whether it be heterosexual or homosexual.

Is homosexuality caused by abuse, or a bad experience with someone of the opposite sex?
Many people suffer from all types of abuse and neglect as children, yet grow up to be heterosexual. Many people, both heterosexual and homosexual, have had bad experiences with a person of the opposite sex. There is no correlation between any of these occurrences and homosexuality.

Can homosexuality be cured?
Since homosexuality is not a disease or disorder, there is nothing to cure. A few therapists claim that they can rid gay people of their homosexual desires, but their methods remain extremely questionable and rarely, if ever, have resulted in permanently changing anybody's sexual orientation
(Haldeman, 1994). Most mental health professionals also believe that efforts to change sexual orientation are not only ineffective, but can be damaging to a persons' emotional health.

According to the American Psychological Association, no scientific evidence exists to support the effectiveness of any therapies that attempt to convert homosexuals to heterosexuals.
See also: The APA's and the AMA's Positions on Homosexuality

Related Links
QRD The Queer Resources Directory go!
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