Is Homosexuality a Mental Disorder?


General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
Robert L. Spitzer, PhD, Chief of Psychiatric Research at New York State Psychiatric Institute, stated in his 1981 article, "The Diagnostic Status of Homosexuality in DSM-III: A Reformulation of the Issues," published in the American Journal of Psychiatry:

"In 1973 homosexuality per se was removed from the DSM-II classification of mental disorders and replaced by the category Sexual Orientation Disturbance. This represented a compromise between the view that preferential homosexuality is invariably a mental disorder and the view that it is merely a normal sexual variant."

1981 - Robert L. Spitzer, MD 



PRO (yes)

Kathleen Melonakos, MA, RN, Founder of the Delaware Family Foundation, wrote in a 2000 article, "Why Isn't Homosexuality Considered a Disorder on the Basis of Its Medical Consequences?" for the National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) website:

"My primary question is: why isn't homosexuality considered a disorder on the basis of its medical consequences alone?...

It appears even more obvious that the Task Force on Nomenclature cavalierly ignored (and the APA's continue to ignore!) the substantial and unambiguous evidence that homosexuality involves a life-threatening behavior with an addictive component which has serious health implications...

Very simply, it seems, an objective person just looking at homosexuality's lifestyle consequences would have to classify it as some kind of pathology."

2000 - Kathleen Melonakos, MA, RN 



Charles Socarides, MD, Founder of NARTH, wrote the 1992 article "Sexual Politics And Scientific Logic: The Issue Of Homosexuality," in the Journal Of Psychohistory:

"By declaring a condition [homosexuality] a 'non-condition,' a group of practitioners had removed it from our list of serious psychosexual disorders. The action was all the more remarkable when one considers that it involved the out-of-hand and peremptory disregard and dismissal not only of hundreds of psychiatric and psychoanalytic research papers and reports, but also of a number of other serious studies by groups of psychiatrists, psychologists, and educators over the past seventy years...

In essence, this movement within the American Psychiatric Association has accomplished what every other society, with rare exceptions, would have trembled to tamper with--a revision of a basic code and concept of life and biology; that men and women normally mate with the opposite sex and not with each other."

1992 - Charles Socarides, MD 



Stanton Jones, PhD, Professor of Psychology at Wheaton College, and Mark Yarhouse, PsyD, Associate Professor of Psychology at Regent University, stated in their 2000 book Homosexuality: The Use of Scientific Research in the Church's Moral Debate:

"A survey four years after the [American Psychiatric Association] vote found that 69% of psychiatrists regarded homosexuality as a 'pathological adaptation'...

Research supports a relationship between homosexuality and personal distress (e.g., rates of depression, substance abuse and suicidality)."

2000 - Stanton Jones, PhD 
Mark Yarhouse, PsyD 



CON (no)

The American Psychiatric Association issued a policy document in Dec. 1973 titled "Homosexuality and Sexual Orientation Disturbance: Proposed Change in DSM-II, 6th Printing, Page 44, Position Statement":

"Homosexuality per se is one form of sexual behavior and, like other forms of sexual behavior which are not by themselves psychiatric disorders, is not listed in this nomenclature of mental disorders."

Dec. 1973 - American Psychiatric Association 



The American Psychological Association (APA) stated on its website (accessed Dec. 7, 2004):

"Psychologists, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals agree that homosexuality is not an illness, mental disorder or an emotional problem.

Over 35 years of objective, well-designed scientific research has shown that homosexuality, in and [of] itself, is not associated with mental disorders or emotional or social problems.

When researchers examined data about these people who were not in therapy, the idea that homosexuality was a mental illness was quickly found to be untrue."

Dec. 7, 2004 - American Psychological Association 



Ray Blanchard, PhD, Head of Clinical Sexology Services at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, in his Oct. 2000 article "Fraternal Birth Order and Sexual Orientation in Pedophiles," in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, wrote:

"[T]he causes of homosexuality are irrelevant to whether it should be considered a psychopathology. That question has already been decided in the negative, on the grounds that homosexuality does not inherently cause distress to the individual or any disability in functioning as a productive member of society."

Oct. 2000 - Ray Blanchard, PhD 



John Bancroft, MD, Senior Research Fellow and former Director of the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction, as part of his contribution to the Oct. 2003 article "Peer Commentaries on Spitzer (2003)" in Archives of Sexual Behavior, wrote:

"If there were any grounds for regarding homosexual orientation as a pathology rather than a variant of human sexual expression, then treating the pathology might be justified. I would assert that there are no such grounds."

Oct. 2003 - John Bancroft, MD 



Gregory M. Herek, PhD, Professor of Psychology at the University of California at Davis, as part of his contribution to the Oct. 2003 article "Peer Commentaries on Spitzer(2003)" in Archives of Sexual Behavior, wrote:

"[T]rying to change left-handers into right-handers is misguided. Left-handedness is not an illness. Neither is homosexuality."

Oct. 2003 - Gregory M. Herek, PhD