Saturday, December 31, 2005

Homosexuality a disease? Fellow blogger poses the question

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I read an interesting post on An Army of 1 in 10 today. Anonymous Soldier has posed the question: "What if homosexuality is a disease — would that really be so horrible?" Before actually posing that question he states:
Why are we (”we” as in homosexuals) are so opposed to the idea that maybe the APA was wrong to delist homosexuality as a mental illness? What if it is a mental illness? There’s certainly no solid proof of a biological origin for it, and it serves no evolutionary purpose. So why should homosexuality exist as a biological divergence in human sexuality? Do I personally believe it to be a mental disorder? Of course not. But that’s grounded in nothing more than faith. Faith that I am not suffering from a potentially treatable disorder. It’s certainly not based on a solid scientific foundation. Sure, there’s evidence that homosexuality is in part, genetically determined; but there’s no proof for this. Deviations in brain structure do not constitute proof of a biological origin for homosexuality. My personal belief is that homosexuality is partly genetic and partly due to environmental factors within the womb. And even then, there exists only the potential for homosexual preference until puberty hits and the hormones begin to change the structure of the brain. Yes, I believe that it’s innate and immutable; but again, that’s only a belief. No different from the belief that it’s a conscious choice, or that it’s a mental disorder originating from something lacking in one’s childhood. So why do we rail against that belief when we have no proof against it? I’d have to say it’s the fact that people don’t like being labelled as suffering from a mental disorder. Perhaps the idea that homosexuality might one day be treatable like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder scares us. We want to be thought of as normal, and having the possibility loom over us that we’re not causes us to lash out.
Personally, I have to say that I'm disgusted that a gay person, epsecially one with the potential of reaching thousands of people with his words, would even dare to say something such as this. No, homosexuality is not a mental disease. If it were, there would have been enough evidence to keep it classified as one and the APA would have never taken it out of the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). Anonymous soldier claims that homosexuality "serves no evolutionary purpose" and then asks "So why should homosexuality exist as a biological divergence in human sexuality?" My friend, a student studying history who is also interested in anthropology and the study of people, once told me to consider the fact that homosexuals could be nature's way of controlling the human population. It is a fact that homosexuals do not reproduce as much as heterosexuals, mainly because the homosexual sex act does not carry with it the possibility of reproduction. A heterosexual couple can have many children, who in turn, have the possibility of having many children, and so on and so on. Homosexual couples do not carry that possibility. The only way homosexual couples can have children is to adopt or through surrogacy or through artificial insemination, all of which never lead to the "accidental" births we so often see in the heterosexual population. The flip side of this arguement would be that gays came about through intelligent design:
If it's not evolution... I have to agree with Dennis Rogers about homosexuality ("Old truth in young gays," Oct. 15). Homosexuality is very complex behavior; it appears in every generation, in every culture and in many species besides our own. It can't be a product of evolution because homosexuals don't reproduce. Homosexuality must be a product of Intelligent Design. Steve Klein Raleigh October 21, 2005
Another thing to consider is that anti-gays use the premise that homosexuality is a disease by using "evidence" of all the negative side effects of living a "homosexual lifestyle". What about all of the negative side effects of the "heterosexual lifestyle"? In fact, I even posted about a letter to the editor on heterosexuality's negative side effects:
Re the letter, "Facts to add about homosexuals" (Nov. 28): If we're going to generalize that folks who live a "homosexual lifestyle" face many ills, we'll need to discuss the ills of the "heterosexual lifestyle." For example, the U.S. birth rate for teenagers in 1997 was 52.3 live births per 1,000 women age 15 to 19. Teen pregnancy is a heterosexual problem. Also, in America, 54 percent of new HIV/AIDS infections are among heterosexuals. This isn't even addressing that the incidence rates for sexually transmitted diseases chlamydia, herpes, gonorrhea and human papilloma virus -- within the entire adolescent population in the United States have increased dramatically in the past decade. For example, 40 percent to 50 percent of all sexually active females have had a previous HPV infection, now known to account for most cases of cervical cancer. Lastly, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the 2003 marriage rate in the United States was 7.5 per 1,000 total population, and the divorce rate 3.8 per 1,000 population. This apparent 50.7 percent divorce rate is a heterosexual problem. So to follow logic similar to the letter, students should be educated that heterosexuals aren't necessarily "bad" people, but that the "heterosexual lifestyle" is bad for people.
My point is this... people are people and love is love. To be able to love is the greatest gift of all. To me, it does not matter how or who you love... Woman to Woman, Woman to Man or Man to Man. All that matters to be is that love be true and right; love must be something between two people, where both are respected and none are hurt. To say that our love is a "mental disease" is diseased in and of itself. I'm sorry Anonymous Soldier, but no matter how good your intentions, posing such a question was, at least in my opinion, wrong and disrespectful to all people who love, everywhere. Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

7 Comments:

I maintain that homosexuality serves no evolutionary purpose. The idea that it's nature's way of controlling human population is nothing more than a hypothesis. There's no real evidence whatsoever to support this idea.

Even if this were the case, then it's not very successful: 6,000,000,000+ and growing. Further, in the past, homosexuals were pressured into marriage and reproducing. There was a greater incidence of gay men and women producing children in the past than there is today. They also ran the risk of execution in the past (still do, in the Middle East). As an evolutionary adaptation to inhibit population growth, it doesn't work.

Your response, Matt, simply demonstrates the hostile rejection of the idea that homosexuality is a mental illness that gays display. Of course I don't believe that it's an illness. I believe that the APA was 100% correct in delisting it as such, and that those who insist that it is and try treating gays as if we're suffering from an illness are doing more psychological harm than good.

I posed a question to get people to think on the other side of the coin. Questions do NOT harm people, despite your claim that this one was wrong and disrespectful. Seriously. What if we're the ones who are wrong, and fifty years down the road it turns out that it can be treated? Would it really be that horrible?

Hiding from these questions and lashing out at those who pose them doesn't strengthen our position at all. Only confronting them head-on and looking at them from the perspective of those who seriously believe them will do so.

Ultimately, it's going to be proven one way or the other. I, like you and most other homosexuals, am confident that the conclusion reached will support the idea that homosexuality is a natural divergence of human sexuality.

Asking these questions is not wrong nor disrespectful. It's being intellectually honest.
I agree... the sharing of thoughts and opinions is a good thing and asking questions are also good.

I simply asked questions, proposed possibilities and shared thoughts and opinions different from the ones who proposed.

Disagreement is healthy and always will be, for it serves to strengthen people.
Also, Anonymous Soldier, let me add that I hope you didn't take my blog response or comment as an attack on your person... My intentions were solely to add to the discussion :)

Peace.
Matt,

I didn't take it that way at all. I found your response to be insightful and very interesting to read. I was just concerned that I may have been misunderstood.

Your blog is one of the ones I read on a regular basis :-p
Ditto... I read yours pretty regularly too :)
"...heterosexuals aren't necessarily "bad" people, but that the "heterosexual lifestyle" is bad for people."

Matt, you are certainly correct that STDs and unplanned pregnancies can be part of the "heterosexual lifestyle," as you put it. ;) But you left out a word and it's an important one. The word is "immoral." As in, STDs and unplanned pregnancies can result from an immoral heterosexual lifestyle. (No, I'm not preaching. Just speaking truth.)

The Bible is clear about sex outside of marriage. It's wrong. (See Acts 15:20; Romans 1:29; 1 Corinthians 5:1; 6:13,18; 7:2; 10:8; 2 Corinthians 12:21; Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; Jude 7). When sexual intimacy occurs only within marriage (as was intended by the Creator of sex and marriage), then there's no risk of STDs and an "unplanned" baby is an unexpected blessing.

As for the high divorce rate, the best marriages that I have seen -- those that stay together through good and bad, those that are both endured and enjoyed -- are held together by the LORD Himself as the "third partner" in the marriage.

Twenty-five years ago, I would have rolled my eyes at someone saying this to me. But I've lived and learned. :)

(As to the question posed in the title of your post, I've no idea why some folks are straight and some folks are gay, so I won't presume to try and answer that one.)

I wish you peace and blessings in the New Year.

Cara Michele
Hi Cara... thanks for reading.

Now, let's get to the good part: discussion and dialogue.

But you left out a word and it's an important one. The word is "immoral." As in, STDs and unplanned pregnancies can result from an immoral heterosexual lifestyle.

So... it is not the homosexual lifestyle that is bad, it is an immoral "homosexual lifestyle" (which by the way, I hate the word lifestyle when used any time).

As to your comment about the "third partner" in a marriage... I thought polygamy was something the radical, anti-gay right was afraid would happen if gays could marry? Seems as though it is already happening.