In 1973, Dr. Robert L. Spitzer led a movement within the American Psychiatric Association (APA) which successfully removed homosexuality from the psychiatric manual of mental disorders (DSM). This was a key step in the efforts of gay and lesbian activist groups in promoting a society-wide impression that homosexuality was normal and not a disease. This decision, however was not made due to new clinical evidence, but because of the growing popularity of the homosexual lifestyle, and consequent pressure applied by gay and lesbian associations. The APA is not a scientific organization but a political one. It consequently makes its decisions based on outside pressures such as financial needs, public outcry and political pressuring. For the entirety of the DSM’s pre-1973 existence, homosexuality was deemed to be a reversible behavioral disorder. A view based on extensive clinical data, not political correctness. Some would argue, however, that the DSM is not the place for listing homosexuality, as it does not technically qualify as a mental illness. The working definition for mental illness amongst mental health professionals is something which impairs one’s ability to function normally at work, home or at play. Homosexuality alone does not produce this phenomenon.
For the large part of the 20th century, homosexuality was consistently linked to several non-biological factors. Firstly, many homosexual men have a background of abuse. Often, it is in the form of sexual abuse from a male aggressor. This statistically predisposes them to developing a homosexual identity in adulthood . Sexual abuse is an especially potent form of psychological and physical abuse. When thrust upon a child who has yet to develop sexual cognizance, identity confusion sets its roots quite deep. Normal, non-victimized children often experiment with sexual identity roles. Dressing in women’s clothes, playing the wife role in a game of “playing house” and other scenarios are a common and normal part of achieving sexual maturity that do not in and of themselves develop into a strictly homosexual lifestyle. When accompanied by sex abuse, however, same sex fantasy and actual practice become more permanent, rigid fixtures, replacing the naïve role playing14. Considering that up to 30% of male sex abuse victims remain silent throughout their life due to profound humiliation, it is no wonder that this statistic is underreported even within the gay community. Also, the family dynamics of gay men are likely to include a physically or emotionally absent father figure. This creates an unnatural desire to gain acceptance from other male role models. It is highly unlikely for a male child to find a successful father figure outside the family nucleus. Over time, as puberty introduces sexual urges, physical intimacy is mistaken as a normal continuation of the youth’s desire for male peers.
The following excerpt is from “The Complex Interaction of Genes and Environment: A Model for Homosexuality” by Jeffrey Satinover, M.D. It describes the common evolution of many homosexuals’ sexual identity. It provides a broad overview of the proper perspective of gay men and women which will allow us to sympathize with their condition and be more effective in communicating with them.
It may be difficult to grasp how genes, environment, and other influences interrelate to one another, how a certain factor may “influence” an outcome but not cause it, and how faith enters in. The scenario below is condensed and hypothetical, but is drawn from the lives of actual people, illustrating how many different factors influence behavior.
Note that the following is just one of the many developmental pathways that can lead to homosexuality, but a common one. In reality, every person’s “road” to sexual expression is individual, however many common lengths it may share with those of others.
(1) Our scenario starts with birth. The boy (for example) who one day may go on to struggle with homosexuality is born with certain features that are somewhat more common among homosexuals than in the population at large. Some of these traits might be inherited (genetic), while others might have been caused by the “intrauterine environment” (hormones). What this means is that a youngster without these traits will be somewhat less likely to become homosexual later than someone with them.
What are these traits? If we could identify them precisely, many of them would turn out to be gifts rather than “problems,” for example a “sensitive” disposition, a strong creative drive, a keen aesthetic sense. Some of these, such as greater sensitivity, could be related to – or even the same as – physiological traits that also cause trouble, such as a greater-than-average anxiety response to any given stimulus.
No one knows with certainty just what these heritable characteristics are; at present we only have hints. Were we free to study homosexuality properly (uninfluenced by political agendas) we would certainly soon clarify these factors – just as we are doing in less contentious areas. In any case, there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that the behavior “homosexuality” is itself directly inherited.
(2) From a very early age potentially heritable characteristics mark the boy as “different.” He finds himself somewhat shy and uncomfortable with the typical “rough and tumble” of his peers. Perhaps he is more interested in art or in reading – simply because he’s smart. But when he later thinks about his early life, he will find it difficult to separate out what in these early behavioral differences came from an inherited temperament and what from the next factor, namely:
(3) That for whatever reason, he recalls a painful “mismatch” between what he needed and longed for and what his father offered him. Perhaps most people would agree that his father was distinctly distant and ineffective; maybe it was just that his own needs were unique enough that his father, a decent man, could never quite find the right way to relate to him. Or perhaps his father really disliked and rejected his son’s sensitivity. In any event, the absence of a happy, warm, and intimate closeness with his father led to the boy’s pulling away in disappointment, “defensively detaching” in order to protect himself.
But sadly, this pulling away from his father, and from the “masculine” role model he needed, also left him even less able to relate to his male peers. We may contrast this to the boy whose loving father dies, for instance, but who is less vulnerable to later homosexuality. This is because the commonplace dynamic in the pre-homosexual boy is not merely the absence of a father – literally or psychologically – but the psychological defense of the boy against his repeatedly disappointing father. In fact, a youngster who does not form this defense (perhaps because of early-enough therapy, or because there is another important male figure in his life, or due to temperament) is much less likely to become homosexual.
Complementary dynamics involving the boy’s mother are also likely to have played an important role. Because people tend to marry partners with “interlocking neuroses,” the boy probably found himself in a problematic relationship with both parents.
For all these reasons, when as an adult he looked back on his childhood, the now-homosexual man recalls, “From the beginning I was always different. I never got along well with the boys my age and felt more comfortable around girls.” This accurate memory makes his later homosexuality feel convincingly to him as though it was “preprogrammed” from the start.
(4) Although he has “defensively detached” from his father, the young boy still carries silently within him a terrible longing for the warmth, love, and encircling arms of the father he never did nor could have. Early on, he develops intense, nonsexual attachments to older boys he admires – but at a distance, repeating with them the same experience of longing and unavailability. When puberty sets in, sexual urges – which can attach themselves to any object, especially in males – rise to the surface and combine with his already intense need for masculine intimacy and warmth. He begins to develop homosexual crushes. Later he recalls, “My first sexual longings were directed not at girls but at boys. I was never interested in girls.”
Psychotherapeutic intervention at this point and earlier can be successful in preventing the development of later homosexuality. Such intervention is aimed in part at helping the boy change his developing effeminate patterns (which derive from a “refusal” to identify with the rejected father), but more critically, it is aimed at teaching his father – if only he will learn – how to become appropriately involved with and related to his son.
(5) As he matures (especially in our culture where early, extramarital sexual experiences are sanctioned and even encouraged), the youngster, now a teen, begins to experiment with homosexual activity. Or alternatively his needs for same-sex closeness may already have been taken advantage of by an older boy or man, who preyed upon him sexually when he was still a child. (Recall the studies that demonstrate the high incidence of sexual abuse in the childhood histories of homosexual men.) Or oppositely, he may avoid such activities out of fear and shame in spite of his attraction to them. In any event, his now-sexualized longings cannot merely be denied, however much he may struggle against them. It would be cruel for us at this point to imply that these longings are a simple matter of “choice.”
Indeed, he remembers having spent agonizing months and years trying to deny their existence altogether or pushing them away, to no avail. One can easily imagine how justifiably angry he will later be when someone casually and thoughtlessly accuses him of “choosing” to be homosexual. When he seeks help, he hears one of two messages, and both terrify him; either, “Homosexuals are bad people and you are a bad person for choosing to be homosexual. There is no place for you here and God is going to see to it that you suffer for being so bad;” or “Homosexuality is inborn and unchangeable. You were born that way. Forget about your fairytale picture of getting married and having children and living in a little house with a white picket fence. God made you who you are and he/she destined you for the gay life. Learn to enjoy it.”
(6) At some point, he gives in to his deep longings for love and begins to have voluntary homosexual experiences. He finds – possibly to his horror – that these old, deep, painful longings are at least temporarily, and for the first time ever, assuaged.
Although he may also therefore feel intense conflict, he cannot help admit that the relief is immense. This temporary feeling of comfort is so profound – going well beyond the simple sexual pleasure that anyone feels in a less fraught situation – that the experience is powerfully reinforced. However much he may struggle, he finds himself powerfully driven to repeat the experience. And the more he does, the more it is reinforced and the more likely it is he will repeat it yet again, though often with a sense of diminishing returns.
(7) He also discovers that, as for anyone, sexual orgasm is a powerful reliever of distress of all sorts. By engaging in homosexual activities he has already crossed one of the most critical and strongly enforced boundaries of sexual taboo. It is now easy for him to cross other taboo boundaries as well, especially the significantly less severe taboo pertaining to promiscuity. Soon homosexual activity becomes the central organizing factor in his life as he slowly acquires the habit of turning to it regularly – not just because of his original need for fatherly warmth of love, but to relieve anxiety of any sort.
(8) In time, his life becomes even more distressing than for most. Some of this is in fact, as activists claim, because all-too-often he experiences from others a cold lack of sympathy or even open hostility. The only people who seem really to accept him are other gays, and so he forms an even stronger bond with them as a “community.” But it is not true, as activists claim, that these are the only or even the major stresses. Much distress is caused simply by his way of life – for example, the medical consequences, AIDS being just one of many (if also the worst). He also lives with the guilt and shame that he inevitably feels over his compulsive, promiscuous behavior; and too over the knowledge that he cannot relate effectively to the opposite sex and is less likely to have a family (a psychological loss for which political campaigns for homosexual marriage, adoption, and inheritance rights can never adequately compensate).
However much activists try to normalize for him these patterns of behavior and the losses they cause, and however expedient it may be for political purposes to hide them from the public-at-large, unless he shuts situation and feel content.
And no one – not even a genuine, dyed-in-the-wool, sexually insecure “homophobe” – is nearly so hard on him as he is on himself. Furthermore, the self-condemning messages that he struggles with on a daily basis are in fact only reinforced by the bitter self-derogating wit of the very gay culture he has embraced. The activists around him keep saying that it is all caused by the “internalized homophobia” of the surrounding culture, but he knows that it is not.
The stresses of “being gay” lead to more, not less, homosexual behavior. This principle, perhaps surprising to the layman (at least to the layman who has not himself gotten caught up in some pattern, of whatever type) is typical of the compulsive or addictive cycle of self-destructive behavior; wracking guilt, shame, and self-condemnation only causes it to increase. It is not surprising that people therefore turn to denial to rid themselves of these feelings, and he does too. He tells himself, “It is not a problem, therefore there is no reason for me to feel so bad about it.”
(9) After wrestling with such guilt and shame for so many years, the boy, now an adult, comes to believe, quite understandably – and because of his denial, needs to believe – “I can’t change anyway because the condition is unchangeable.” If even for a moment he considers otherwise, immediately arises the painful query, “Then why haven’t I…?” and with it returns all the shame and guilt.
Thus, by the time the boy becomes a man, he has pieced together this point of view: “I was always different, always an outsider. I developed crushes on boys from as long as I can remember and the first time I fell in love it was with a boy, not a girl. I had no real interest in members of the opposite sex. Oh, I tried all right – desperately. But my sexual experiences with girls were nothing special. But the first time I had homosexual sex it just ‘felt right.’ So it makes perfect sense to me that homosexuality is genetic. I’ve tried to change – God knows how long I struggled – and I just can’t. That’s because it’s not changeable. Finally, I stopped struggling and just accepted myself the way I am.”
(10) Social attitudes toward homosexuality will play a role in making it more or less likely that the man will adopt an “inborn and unchangeable” perspective, and at what point in his development. It is obvious that a widely shared and propagated worldview that normalizes homosexuality will increase the likelihood of his adopting such beliefs, and at an earlier age. But it is perhaps less obvious – it follows from what we have discussed above – that ridicule, rejection, and harshly punitive condemnation of him as a person will be just as likely (if not more likely) to drive him into the same position.
(11) If he maintains his desire for a traditional family life, the man may continue to struggle against his “second nature.” Depending on whom he meets, he may remain trapped between straight condemnation and gay activism, both in secular institutions and in religious ones. The most important message he needs to hear is that “healing is possible.”
(12) If he enters the path to healing, he will find that the road is long and difficult – but extraordinarily fulfilling. The course to full restoration of heterosexuality typically lasts longer than the average American marriage – which should be understood as an index of how broken all relationships are today.
From the secular therapies he will come to understand what the true nature of his longings are, that they are not really about sex, and that he is not defined by his sexual appetites. In such a setting, he will very possibly learn how to turn aright to other men to gain from them a genuine, non-sexualized masculine comradeship and intimacy; and how to relate aright to woman, as friend, lover, life’s companion, and, God willing, mother of his children.
Of course the old wounds will not simply disappear, and later in times of great distress the old paths of escape will beckon. But the claim that this means he is therefore “really” a homosexual and unchanged is a lie. For as he lives a new life of ever-growing honesty, and cultivates genuine intimacy with the woman of his heart, the new patterns will grow ever stronger and the old ones engraved in the synapses of his brain ever weaker.
In time, knowing that they really have little to do with sex, he will even come to respect and put to good use what faint stirrings remain of the old urges. They will be for him a kind of storm-warning, a signal that something is out of order in his house, that some old pattern of longing and rejection and defense is being activated. And he will find that no sooner does he set his house in order that indeed the old urges once again abate. In his relations to others – as friend, husband, professional – he will now have a special gift. What was once a curse will have become a blessing, to himself and to others.
Now that we better understand the genesis and dynamics of gay sex identity, we come to our final consideration. It is note worthy to look at statistics surrounding the homosexual community. Movies, music videos and television comedies have painted a clear picture of the gay man and woman: happy, intelligent, cheerful, commonplace and generally satisfied with his or her life choices. Yet, a sober, un-manufactured portrait of this same community also exists, and this text will list them in point form:
- Young homosexual men and women have a pronounced tendency to contemplate suicide.
- Homosexual men are 3 times as likely to commit suicide.
- Alcoholism is a fatal chronic illness affecting the lives of 20 to 30% of the homosexual population.
- Studies have found that 35% of lesbians had a history of excessive drinking, compared to only 5% of the heterosexual women in the sample.
- Approximately 30% of lesbians and gay men are addicted to drugs. The facts show that the homosexual community constitutes a high-risk population with regard to alcoholism and drug abuse.
- Homosexuality is marginal lifestyle that is practiced by an extremely minor segment of the population. Relying upon three large data sets: the General Social Survey, the National Health and Social Life Survey, and the U.S. census, a recent study in Demography estimates the number of exclusive male homosexuals in the general population at 2.5 percent, and the number of exclusive lesbians at 1.4 percent. Alfred Kinsey is responsible for his 1948 study which created the 10% myth when he polled a mainly prison-population and sex offender sample group.
- Gay families (via adoption or artificial insemination) would create purposely fatherless/motherless families and ensure a dysfunctional environment.
- Until the AIDS epidemic forced a more monogamous tendency in the gay community, it was not atypical for gay men to have several hundreds of partners in their lifetime.
- Another large survey found that only 7% of male homosexuals had been in a relationship that had lasted more than ten years.
- In a 6-month long daily sexual diary, gay men were averaging somewhere around 110 different sex partners per year.
- Between 17% to 54% of “gay” men continue to practice high-risk sex post-AIDS, suggesting an addictive, abnormal drive.
- A 1948 sex survey revealed that 28% of homosexual men and 1% of lesbians admitted to sexual relations with children under 16 while they themselves were adults.
- The Los Angeles Times surveyed 2,628 adults across the U.S. in 1985. 27% of the women and 16% of the men claimed to have been sexually molested. Since 7% of the molestations of girls and 93% of the molestations of boys were by adults of the same sex, about 4 in 10 molestations in this survey were homosexual. Considering the fact that gay men make up approximately 2-3% of the population, they are incredibly overrepresented in the child molestation circle (3% performs 40% of the sexual abuse!).
- In 1990, The Journal of Homosexuality produced a special double issue devoted to adult-child sex, which was entitled “Male Intergenerational Intimacy.” On page 133, one article said many pedophiles believe they are “born that way and cannot change.” Another writer said a man who counseled troubled teenage boys could achieve “miracles…not by preaching to them, but by sleeping with them.” On page 162, the loving pedophile can offer a “companionship, security, and protection” which neither peers nor parents can provide. On page 164, parents should look upon the pedophile who loves their son “not as a rival or competitor, not as a thief of their property, but as a partner in the boy’s upbringing, someone to be welcomed into their home…” On page 323, a British university professor writes: “Boys want sex with men, boys seduce adult men, the experience is very common and much enjoyed.” And finally on page 325, a professor of social science at the State University of New York said he looks forward to the day when Americans will “get over their hysteria about child abuse” and child pornography.
- A 1985 study of 1109 lesbians reported that slightly more than half of the respondents indicated that they had been abused by a female partner.
- Homosexual males are at least 30 times more likely to contract HIV. Anal intercourse, receptive and insertive, second only to oral copulation as the most practiced homosexual behavior, has been identified as especially conducive to HIV infection. The reason is due to the delicate and highly vascularized tissue in the anus. Transmission of body fluids therefore is extremely facilitated.
- Homosexuals have been the principal recipients and transmitters of the AIDS virus – 70% of all AIDS cases have occurred in homosexual men; in some states and in Europe, the percentages are even higher.
- According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), homosexual men are a thousand times more likely to contract AIDS than the general heterosexual population.
- Researchers estimate that nearly half of the 20 year old men currently engaging in sodomy will not reach their 65th birthday.
- The risk of anal cancer increases by nearly 4,000% for men who have sex with men. The rate doubles again for those who are HIV positive. A Michigan homosexual newspaper admits there is no such thing as “safe sex” to prevent this soaring cancer risk. Condoms offer only limited protection.
- Homosexual men face a significantly higher risk of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, anal cancer, gonorrhea and gastrointestinal infections as a result of their sexual practices. It is not difficult to understand why fecal-oral route disease would be spread significantly when two men engage in intimate contact which includes anal penetration.
- Women who commit sex acts with other women face a significantly higher risk of bacterial vaginosis, breast cancer and ovarian cancer than heterosexual women34. The predilection for breast and ovarian cancer is most likely due to null parity (no pregnancy throughout their lifetime), a known genesis of cancer in women.
A thoughtful discussion on the rehabilitation of a homosexual person is beyond the scope of this text. Remember, although the views presented here place a very negative light on the homosexual lifestyle, they are not meant to bring intolerance or negativity to the homosexual person. Gay brothers and sisters are caught in a storm of circumstances, ranging from possible biological tendencies all the way to extremely turbulent personal lives. They are not simply “choosing” one lifestyle over another. It is true that they can choose to be rehabilitated, but as Christians, we must be sensitive to the difficulties inherent in this process. Homosexuals genuinely experience urges that heterosexuals do not. They suffer from a specific sin and must be treated, in part, as victims — although never at the price of forgetting to remind them that a choice to exit the lifestyle exists… and is theirs to make.
The information presented in the preceding pages are for the sole purpose of educating the Christian man and woman to articulate their biblical beliefs in a loving and open minded manner. Nothing is more exciting than to see the truth of our Scriptures in light of extensive research and discussion. God’s Word holds the Wisdom by which we should guide our lives. If one doubts this, the solution is simple. Difficult but simple. Take a long, careful observation of your world (such as we have in this paper) and the evidence itself will compel you to lend unprecedented credibility to the Written Word.
Mental knowledge is by itself useless. 1 Corinthians chapter 13 reminds us that without love our voices are “clanging bells”. No one needs a lecture on how terrible their sin is unless they have first been shown the total love of Christ. Regardless of our sexual orientation, we all stand shoulder to shoulder in God’s eyes. Sin is sin, and we are ALL equally sinners. This is hard to believe at times. But nonetheless, it’s true.
Hopefully the information you now possess will allow you to understand your Christian stance on homosexuality without feeling bigoted or like a victim of “blind faith”. God Bless you.
 On Monday, May 19th, 2003 in San Francisco, at a symposium hosted by the American Psychiatric Association, several long-recognized categories of mental illness were discussed for possible removal from the upcoming edition of the psychiatric manual of mental disorders. Among the mental illnesses being debated in the symposium at the APA’s annual convention were all the paraphilias–which include pedophilia, exhibitionism, fetishism, transvestism, voyeurism, and sadomasochism.
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 Coates, Randall A., et al., ” Risk Factors for HIV Infection in Males Sexual Contacts of Men with AIDS or an AIDS-related Condition,” The American Journal of Epidemiology, 1988, Vol. 5, no. 4.
 W. Heyward and J. Curran, ” The Epidemiology of AIDS in the U.S.,” Scientific American, October 1988, p. 78
 “The HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Division of HIV/AIDS, January, 1992, p. 9. .
 Medical Institute of Sexual Health, “Health Implications Associated with Homosexuality,” 1999.