This paper presents some data on the natural course of homosexuality (or the group of homosexualities), and suggests means to gather more information of the type necessary for a firm decision on the question of illness. Issues are sketched in areas where our theoretical knowledge is weak, including questions of how and when permanent object choice is made, its relation to other aspects of subsequent adaptation, and the influence of social changes that are currently underway on child rearing patterns and results. To affirm that homosexuality must be or is not a disorder, these areas must be filled by a consistent line of reasoning which faces all the issues, rather than by convictions that rest on precarious theoretical fragments. The paper is designed to be provocative. By a series of logically interlaced arguments, it extends our position to a point where many of us who hold with current psychodynamic or biological explanations begin to become uncomfortable. It then raises the question of whether this discomfort has the merit of verifiable conviction or is itself a defense against conflictful self exploration. The possibility exists that our own gut convictions are more representative of a harmony between intrapsychic structure and the mores of our youth, than of any genuine and enduring verities.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health