Facts of Homosexuality

Himel Shagor

Published on February 13, 2007

[This is a  rebuttal to Myounus sheikh's controversial posting titled Homosexuality: A Mental Disorder!  posted in MM forum. Another rebuttal from Mauno can be found here]  


We all know that policy makers and members of the public are routinely confronted with questions about lesbians and gay men. Are they mentally ill? Do so-called conversion therapies change sexual orientation? Are homosexuals more likely than heterosexuals to molest children? Such questions arise from long-standing cultural stereotypes that depict lesbians and gay men as immoral, criminal, sick, and drastically different from what society considers "normal."

A considerable body of social science's data are now available to answer such questions and to separate falsehood from facts concerning sexual orientation. Here are some examples:

1. Ellis' Theory
Early in the twentieth century, Ellis (1901) argued that homosexuality was inborn and therefore not immoral, that it was not a disease, and that many homosexuals made outstanding contributions to society (Robinson, 1976).

2. Sigmund Freud's Theory
Sigmund Freud agreed with Ellis that a homosexual orientation should not be viewed as a form of pathology. In 1935, Freud wrote: "Homosexuality is assuredly no advantage, but it is nothing to be ashamed of, no vice, no degradation, it cannot be classified as an illness; we consider it to be a variation of the sexual function produced by a certain arrest of sexual development. Many highly respectable individuals of ancient and modern times have been homosexuals, several of the greatest men among them (Plato, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, etc.). It is a great injustice to persecute homosexuality as a crime, and cruelty too...."

3. Military research [Berube (1990)]
A common conclusion in their wartime studies was that, in the words of Maj. Carl H. Jonas, who studied fifty-three white and seven black men at Camp Haan, California, "overt homosexuality occurs in a heterogeneous group of individuals." Dr. Clements Fry, director of the Yale University student clinic, and Edna Rostow, a social worker, who together studied the service records of 183 servicemen, discovered that there was no evidence to support the common belief that "homosexuality is uniformly correlated with specific personality traits" and concluded that generalizations about the homosexual personality "are not yet reliable."

.... Sometimes to their amazement, [researchers] described what they called the "well-adjusted homosexuals" who, in [William] Menninger's words, "concealed their homosexuality effectively and, at the same time, made creditable records for themselves in the service." Some researchers spoke in glowing terms of these men. "The homosexuals observed in the service," noted Navy doctors Greenspan and Campbell, "have been key men in responsible positions whose loss [by discharge] was acutely felt in their respective departments." They were "conscientious, reliable, well-integrated and abounding in emotional feeling and sincerity." In general, "the homosexual leads a useful productive life, conforming with all dictates of the community, except its sexual requirements" and was "neither a burden nor a detriment to society." Fry and Rostow reported that, based on evidence in service records, homosexuals were no better or worse than other soldiers and that many "performed well in various military jobs" including combat (Berube, 1990, pp. 170-171, footnotes omitted).

4. Hooker's study
Hooker's (1957) study was innovative in several important respects. First, rather than simply accepting the predominant view of homosexuality as pathology, she posed the question of whether homosexuals and heterosexuals differed in their psychological adjustment. Second, rather than studying psychiatric patients, she recruited a sample of homosexual men who were functioning normally in society. Third, she employed a procedure that asked experts to rate the adjustment of men without prior knowledge of their sexual orientation. This method addressed an important source of bias that had vitiated so many previous studies of homosexuality.

Hooker concluded from her study that homosexuality as a clinical entity does not exist and that homosexuality is not inherently associated with psychopathology.

The weight of evidence
In a review of published studies comparing homosexual and heterosexual samples on psychological tests, Gonsiorek (1982) found that, although some differences have been observed in test results between homosexuals and heterosexuals, both groups consistently score within the normal range. Gonsiorek concluded, "Homosexuality in and of itself is unrelated to psychological disturbance or maladjustment. Homosexuals as a group are not more psychologically disturbed on account of their homosexuality" (Gonsiorek, 1982, p. 74; see also reviews by Gonsiorek, 1991; Hart, Roback, Tittler, Weitz, Walston & McKee, 1978; Reiss, 1980).

Confronted with overwhelming empirical evidence and changing cultural views of homosexuality, psychiatrists and psychologists radically altered their views, beginning in the 1970s.

My conclusion:
Please stop spreading falsehood theory to confuse people. If anyone is not satisfied with my statement then I suggest please read following documents to understand the subject before spreading falsehood theory.

For further reading:
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