Same-sex attraction in adolescents
Encouraging adolescents with same-sex attractions to identify as gay has no scientific or ethical justification.
Encouraging adolescents with same-sex attractions to identify as gay has no scientific or ethical justification. On the contrary, it exposes them unnecessarily to a lifestyle with high and unacceptable health risks and a history they may regret as they mature and realise that their youthful attraction to the same sex was a passing phase.
Dale O’Leary is a US writer with a special interest in psycho-sexual issues and is the author of two books: One Man, One Woman, and The Gender Agenda. She collaborated on this article with Richard P. Fitzgibbons, MD, a psychiatrist and Director of Comprehensive Counselling Services in W. Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, and Peter Kleponis, MS, a psychotherapist also based in Philadelphia.
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How should schools treat students who self-identify as homosexual? Today entire school systems in a number of states and counties promote “acceptance.” The demand for ldquo;acceptance” is based on the premise that patterns of sexual attraction – to the other sex or to same sex are determined at birth and unchangeable; therefore, everyone – the affected students themselves, their parents, teachers, and classmates – should be educated and when necessary pressured into accepting same-sex attraction (SSA) as normal and as healthy as the love between a man and a woman in marriage.
There is, however, no evidence to support the claim that SSA is genetically determined and unchangeable. If it were, one would expect that identical twins would always have the same pattern of sexual attraction. A study based on the twins registry in Australia found that among male identical twins, when one twin had SSA in only 11 per cent of the cases so did the other. This research virtually precludes genetic determination.
There is also no evidence to support the claim that SSA is unchangeable. There are numerous reports of people understanding their emotional conflicts that lead to SSA, successfully addressing these weaknesses and then experiencing a new pattern of sexual attraction. A large study of sexuality found that the percentage of people self-identifying as homosexual declining over time. Patterns of sexual attraction are particularly unstable among women.
Those who support “acceptance” might argue that even if SSA is not genetically determined and changeable it would still be better for those experiencing these feelings to “come out” and be accepted as homosexual by the school community. This view ignores the very real risks that accompany “coming out,” particularly for males.