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  #1  
Old Apr 21, '17, 7:38 am
victrolatim victrolatim is offline
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Default Homosexuality as a psychological abnormality?

My brain never stops thinking. Sometimes it is good, sometimes it is bad. I had this thought the other day and was wondering if there were any legitimate studies approaching the issue of homosexuality from the angle of a psychological abnormality or mental chemical/hormone imbalance. Most of the time I can find little on the subject because society has taken the stance of anything looking into a cause or any type of therapy is evil and bigoted and that these people are just "born that way" and we should just accept it and let them do whatever they please. My ideas are based purely from a biological standpoint. I hope this can stem an intelligent discussion as I see a lot of the LGBT related topics descend into the toilet.

The "It's a Choice" argument - This has never made sense to me. While I agree that one can choose to follow a certain lifestyle. I disagree that one can choose to be attracted to the same gender. I can't just wake up tomorrow morning and decide I'm attracted to another man. In the same vein, why would anybody in their right mind consciously choose something that lends itself to shame, persecution, mental illness, susceptibility to sexual diseases, inability to have children etc.?

Genetics/Family - This too has its issues. I know a few people with SSA in my circles and none of them have any other people with SSA in their families. They were both brought up in loving families, there was no absent parent or uneven influence to femininity or anything like that.

"Born this way" - Here's the problems I have with this argument. If biologically we were intended to have homosexual relationships, then some or all men and women would be born with both sets of reproductive organs facilitating the bearing of children. This is not so. We also cannot change the function of an organ. I cannot take my liver and use it in place of my lung, just as we cannot take a part of the gastrointestinal system and substitute it for a part of the female reproductive system.

This is why, to my logical mind, the issue has to be a psychological one. We still don't understand what a large portion of the brain does. The biological design of our bodies does not facilitate such a lifestyle as a viable option for our species to procreate. I can sympathize with some of the pain people go through. I know that if I found myself attracted to the same gender, I would want to get some type of therapy and I honestly would be suicidal. Unfortunately, the only therapy that is offered is designed for one to embrace their desires for the same sex and not to try and rectify them. Thank God for things like the Courage apostolate. I personally do not like how society has gone to defining people publicly by their sexual desires. There is much more to a human being than what their mind desires. I hate the fact that everything has to be paraded in public and publicly "accepted" then people (gasp) keeping their private lives private. Of course, I decided to vent my ideas here and see if there was any actual science backing it up because, as a 20-some year old man in today's society, to say I disagree with homosexual lifestyles and that I don't applaud two men fornicating is basically socially blacklisting myself if not in the right company.

Society has gotten to a point where it's harder to "come out" religious or conservative than homosexual.
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  #2  
Old Apr 21, '17, 8:56 am
at9009 at9009 is offline
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Default Re: Homosexuality as a psychological abnormality?

**Warning Long ramble that I had to cut down to fit under the character length**

Ok so this is my view not sure if it correlates perfectly to the current belief or understanding. Genetics is a very complicated field and it's interplay in how disease manifests (using this as an analogy and then will address your topic) is quite complicated.

Take for example, atherosclerosis (i.e. clogging of blood vessels that can lead to heart disease or other-related diseases).

We know that there are genetic factors that play a role in this but the genes are not 100% and we don't know how the genes interact: there are main genes that are important factors, genes that regulate other genes, genes that regulate those genes etc. (so it very easily gets very complicated).

We also have a new field of epigenetics where factors outside (yet to be determined what factors exactly) have the ability to influence genetic expression and turn certain genes on/off (it's unclear how reversible this process is or the full understanding, it's a rather new field in genetics).

We know that lifestyle choices like a sedentary lifestyle, high fat diet, obesity, and smoking all increase the risk for atherosclerosis though again, these factors are not 100%. You can have an obese smoker who never develops the disease and yet a triathlon nutritionist does.

The easiest way to explain how the disease manifests is there is a certain threshold of events that have to occur for the disease to manifest. In some cases, these events are time sensitive and require particular events to happen in a precise order in certain critical periods.

Getting back to homosexuality. Research has shown there is some genetic factors (although not 100% as twin concordance studies do not show that though even those are imperfect). We do not know if there are any factors that can occur within embroyolgic development which could be a factor (failure for something to occur, DNA mutational error, improper concentration gradient, missed synchronous of events, environmental exposure to mom, etc.). There is also some evidence of possible life experience events occuring at higher frequency in people who are same sex attracted. However again this is not universal as some who experienced those events do not have SSA and some who do have SSA didn't have those events. Research is also mixed on the fluidity of sexuality as for some people it does seem more dynamic and others very static. There is no current explanation for why. We don't even know or understand how attraction, intelligence, personality, and a host of all other kinds of mental factors develop.

So, in all likelihood it is most likely a complex mix of genetics, embryological development, social experiences, environmental factors, epigenetics, and other factors all playing a role in some critical order and critical period which probably differs in different individuals. It's not something that can be simply reduced to purely genetic causes or purely environmental causes.

You could call it a psychological abnormality meaning it involves the brain and cognition but that doesn't say anything really about its etiology. Depression, bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia are all psychological illnesses but research show physical anatomic-related areas, social events increasing likelihood (childhood abuse, substance abuse, etc.), family history predominance (indicating possible genetics), and exposures (for example schizophrenia occurs at a much higher frequency in people who use marijuana). So these are a combination of factors (which still are not better understood). So their approach can be very similar also in understanding to homosexuality.

One final point though, regardless of the etiology of the attraction, Catholic teaching holds true that the same sex sexual actions (lust or physical) are in contradiction with God's will. It represents a temptation for that person which may be just for a season in life or endure the person's entire life representing part of the cross they carry in following Christ.

**Not that this note matters, but I'm a gay/ssa celibate Catholic so this issue is a little more personal for me than just some intellectual discussion. Not to say though that my thoughts on this subject are universal or anything for all in my position.
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  #3  
Old Apr 21, '17, 8:58 am
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kozlosap kozlosap is offline
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Default Re: Homosexuality as a psychological abnormality?

A really great way to try and end the intolerance and bigotry towards any group is to imagine how you would feel if the person being mocked or just thought of as inferior, is your 15 year old son or daughter. It should put some things into perspective for you.
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  #4  
Old Apr 21, '17, 9:19 am
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SMOM SMOM is online now
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Default Re: Homosexuality as a psychological abnormality?

Until the 1950s, homosexuality was considered a "psychological disorder". The reasons for removing it from that list are somewhat disputed but this link may be instructive.

http://www.aglp.org/gap/1_history/
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  #5  
Old Apr 21, '17, 9:34 am
Lea101 Lea101 is offline
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Default Re: Homosexuality as a psychological abnormality?

I'm half asleep now so apologies for any possible vague answers.

In my neuroscience class, I remember reading about how there is a link between increased androgen and SSA in women, and men with less and SSA. They made it very clear that not all gay people are gay because of this, but it was an interesting link. There were also other studies about brains scans, otoacoustic emissions that did show at least a little difference, but that is still being debated upon by other psychologists. But worth mentioning.

You are correct that it's definitely a mix of many factors and it's too complex for anyone to fully understand attraction. Most respectable psychologists tend to agree on this, unless their own biases affect their judgement.
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  #6  
Old Apr 21, '17, 9:51 am
PJH_74 PJH_74 is offline
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Default Re: Homosexuality as a psychological abnormality?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lea101 View Post
I'm half asleep now so apologies for any possible vague answers.

In my neuroscience class, I remember reading about how there is a link between increased androgen and SSA in women, and men with less and SSA. They made it very clear that not all gay people are gay because of this, but it was an interesting link. There were also other studies about brains scans, otoacoustic emissions that did show at least a little difference, but that is still being debated upon by other psychologists. But worth mentioning.

You are correct that it's definitely a mix of many factors and it's too complex for anyone to fully understand attraction. Most respectable psychologists tend to agree on this, unless their own biases affect their judgement.
To add....every one pretty much has their "type" of person they are attracted to. I doubt you could do any sort of brain scan to tell these differences, even in traditional relationships.
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  #7  
Old Apr 21, '17, 9:56 am
Lea101 Lea101 is offline
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Default Re: Homosexuality as a psychological abnormality?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PJH_74 View Post
To add....every one pretty much has their "type" of person they are attracted to. I doubt you could do any sort of brain scan to tell these differences, even in traditional relationships.
Yup.

Although the brain scan in particular showed a size difference of a region between a sample of straight vs gay, they just couldn't tell what is the purpose of that region and how it affects anything. Studies like this are quite controversial for obvious reasons
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  #8  
Old Apr 21, '17, 9:57 am
edwest2 edwest2 is offline
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Default Re: Homosexuality as a psychological abnormality?

It was listed as a disorder by the American Psychiatric Association who removed it by vote in 1973.


https://www.amazon.com/Homosexuality.../dp/0691028370




Ed
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  #9  
Old Apr 21, '17, 10:07 am
edwest2 edwest2 is offline
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Default Re: Homosexuality as a psychological abnormality?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lea101 View Post
Yup.

Although the brain scan in particular showed a size difference of a region between a sample of straight vs gay, they just couldn't tell what is the purpose of that region and how it affects anything. Studies like this are quite controversial for obvious reasons


Yes, other brain scans were done for athletes and even musicians. Things are still not clear in terms of differences between the average person and others.


http://www.axonpotential.com/neuropl...thletic-brain/



Ed
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  #10  
Old Apr 21, '17, 10:13 am
victrolatim victrolatim is offline
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Default Re: Homosexuality as a psychological abnormality?

"at9009"'s post was one of the most well thought out responses I have read. In regards to the next poster, the thread has nothing to do with "bigotry or intolerance". More to do with a conclusion I came to based on my own logic and knowledge of biology and natural law. Curious as to what the current scientific stance is, as it is more often than not trampled my emotion driven agendas.
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  #11  
Old Apr 21, '17, 10:38 am
CajunJoy65 CajunJoy65 is offline
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Default Re: Homosexuality as a psychological abnormality?

Honestly I think a lot of people were individually hurt by someone of the opposite gender and that put into their minds that if that person of that gender was like this then they all must be like that. So they try the same gender find sympathy and stay with what they feel is a secure environment. Honestly I think it has to be psychological. God made us male and female and the two were never meant to be attracted to the same gender for obvious reasons. I pray for them and I pray that all unmarried people whether heterosexual or homosexual live chaste lives. That's what God intends.
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  #12  
Old Apr 21, '17, 6:36 pm
Lea101 Lea101 is offline
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Default Re: Homosexuality as a psychological abnormality?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CajunJoy65 View Post
Honestly I think a lot of people were individually hurt by someone of the opposite gender and that put into their minds that if that person of that gender was like this then they all must be like that. So they try the same gender find sympathy and stay with what they feel is a secure environment. Honestly I think it has to be psychological. God made us male and female and the two were never meant to be attracted to the same gender for obvious reasons. I pray for them and I pray that all unmarried people whether heterosexual or homosexual live chaste lives. That's what God intends.
That's a rather over-simplistic view.
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Old Apr 22, '17, 5:41 am
Otar Mendes Otar Mendes is offline
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Default Re: Homosexuality as a psychological abnormality?

It's perfectly normal for homo sapiens species and other highly evolved species especially our closest relatives.

Quote:
then some or all men and women would be born with both sets of reproductive organs facilitating the bearing of children.
Say what?


Quote:
for our species to procreate.
Do you know that sexual relationships among highly evolved animals and human species play a much more complex role than just procreation? In fact, procreation is NOT at the top of the list considering how often and for what reasons highly evolved animals and human species have sex.Read something about it.It is not as simple as some Catholics try to paint it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by edwest2 View Post
It was listed as a disorder by the American Psychiatric Association who removed it by vote in 1973.


https://www.amazon.com/Homosexuality.../dp/0691028370




Ed
That's a very good book however what you've said is pretty close to an intentional lie.

\the process was much more complex than that.

There were studies. Proper studies unlike back then when they"studied" only inmates, psychos etc. I mean this way you could declare heterosexuals ill. And finally,

1) the opponents(mostly religious ones lol) of removing homosexuality from DSm failed several times scientific debates coz of lack of any evidence


2) the opponents of removing homosexuality from DSM found a loophole in the APA documents and initiated the political voting after they lost scientific debates.

Now this one is a fact.


Read the book you posted a link to.

So, no, dear sir, you attempts to discredit the removal of homosexuality from DSM and twist the history of APA won't be left unchallenged and unnoticed.

Last edited by Otar Mendes; Apr 22, '17 at 5:53 am.
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  #14  
Old Apr 23, '17, 3:17 pm
at9009 at9009 is offline
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Default Re: Homosexuality as a psychological abnormality?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CajunJoy65 View Post
Honestly I think a lot of people were individually hurt by someone of the opposite gender and that put into their minds that if that person of that gender was like this then they all must be like that. So they try the same gender find sympathy and stay with what they feel is a secure environment. Honestly I think it has to be psychological. God made us male and female and the two were never meant to be attracted to the same gender for obvious reasons. I pray for them and I pray that all unmarried people whether heterosexual or homosexual live chaste lives. That's what God intends.
I honestly find this a little insulting. It is far too generalizing and in all honestly from most people who deal with this cross like me that isn't the experience. Please see my post #2 in this thread. To be honest when people who don't deal with my particular cross try to play arm chair psychologist about the etiology all it does it devalue my personal experiences and dehumanize me into this academic discussion.

Yes God made man and female. However this thing called the fall happened and distorted everything from God's original intent hence we have death, illness, and inclinations to sin. We believe that the fall has affected so much in our world that people have disordered desires because of it (which they can feed into and strengthen at times). Yet, so many seem incapable of believing that with everything affected it's impossible for one's sexuality to be broken in this way because of the fall? I hate to break it to people but sexuality is broken in this world including straight people. Just look at all the amount of sin from pornography, divorce, contraception use, lust among straight people. So I don't see how hard it to is include the possibility for some being same sex attracted can be the cross they were given and not something due to a early childhood trauma.

Not to mention psychology is meaningless when we consider things like depression which are often psychological also have an underlying genetic link or other non-environmental social factors involved.
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  #15  
Old Apr 23, '17, 5:17 pm
CajunJoy65 CajunJoy65 is offline
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Default Re: Homosexuality as a psychological abnormality?

If you noticed in my reply "Honestly I think a lot of people....". I didn't say all. The majority of the people I know with SSA it was the way I mentioned. Not all but the majority. Never did I say anywhere that it wasn't the cross some were meant to carry. It absolutely can be the cross some were meant to carry. But I don't single out SSA as any greater a cross to carry than a heterosexual trying to live a chaste life in this world today, or even a married person trying to stay true to their marriage vows or any one of the MANY MANY other crosses/things in life. It's not a contest to see who has the greater cross or who is more miserable or whose life has more challenges. Yes when sin entered this world it changed everything and made it so every single person has to carry their cross and fight sin each and every step of the way. What matters is how we face sin and how when we do fall (because we ALL do fall) what we do about it/how we handle it. It's between each individual person (their soul) and God and that's all. In the end we will each have to face Him and answer for our life. No one will stand with us at that moment, no friend or family member will be able to speak up for us. It is between us and God. I pray for all who struggle every day with whatever cross they must bear and carry.
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