Last updated on: 5/15/2009 10:52:00 AM PST
Is Homosexuality a Developmental Disorder?
General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary defined developmental disorders on its website, Dorlands.com, as the following (accessed May 14, 2009):
"1. developmental disabilities
2. a former classification of chronic disorders of mental development with onset in childhood; such disorders are now classified as mental retardation, learning disorders, motor skills disorder, communication disorders, or pervasive developmental disorders."
May 14, 2009 - Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary
Richard P. Fitzgibbons, MD, Director of Comprehensive Counseling Services at a private psychiatric practice, wrote in a Jan. 24, 1997 letter to the Washington Times:
"There is substantial evidence based on years of clinical experience that homosexuality is a developmental disorder.
Every child has a healthy need to identify positively with the parent of the same sex, have same-sex friendships, a positive body image and a confident sexual identity. Homosexual feelings can occur when these needs are not met appropriately.
The adolescent's unmet needs become entangled with emerging sexual feelings and produce same-sex attraction.
Therapy consists in helping male clients to understand the emotional causes of their attraction and to strengthen their masculine identity. It has been our clinical experience that as these men become more conformable and confident with their manhood, same-sex attractions resolve or decrease significantly in many patients."
Jan. 24, 1997 - Richard P. Fitzgibbons, MD
David N. Glesne, DMin, Senior Pastor at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fridley, MN, wrote the following statements in his 2005 book Understanding Homosexuality: Perspectives for the Local Church:
"Homosexuality is neither innate and unchangeable nor a 'life-style choice' and changeable at will. The one with homosexual feelings, desires, and behavior is struggling as a result of a developmental problem. This developmental disorder is most often a deeply embedded condition which normally starts in early childhood long before the development of moral and self-awareness and is genuinely experienced by the individual as though it was never absent in one form or another."
2005 - David N. Glesne, DMin
The Traditional Values Coalition (TVC), a Christian lobbying organization, stated in a 2003 article titled "Born Gay," published on its website, that:
"In summary, the most credible research to date on homosexuality - and research conducted years ago - demonstrates that no one is 'born gay.' The homosexual is suffering from a developmental problem, which frequently starts out in childhood as gender confusion, family dysfunction, or molestation."
2003 - Traditional Values Coalition (TVC)
Neil E. Whitehead, PhD, scientific research consultant, wrote in his 1999 book My Genes Made Me Do It!:
"The stages of psycho-social development toward adult heterosexuality are clearly demarcated, known and understood by developmental psychologists, and are so obviously learned that heterosexuality is clearly not genetically mandated. Surveys of adult homosexuals show conspicuous deficits in several of these developmental stages - showing that homosexuality is cultural and environmental rather than genetic."
1999 - Neil E. Whitehead, PhD
The Catholic Medical Association stated in its 2005 publication "Homosexuality and Hope," posted to its website, CathMed.org, that:
"If the emotional and developmental needs of each child are properly met by both family and peers, the development of same-sex attraction is very unlikely...
Healthy psycho-sexual development leads naturally to attraction in persons of each sex for the other sex. Trauma, erroneous education, and sin can cause a deviation from this pattern."
2005 - Catholic Medical Association
The American Psychological Association wrote the following information in its website's sexuality FAQ page, titled "Answers to Your Questions for a Better Understanding of Sexual Orientation and Homosexuality" (accessed May 14, 2009):
"[L]esbian, gay, and bisexual orientations are not disorders. Research has found no inherent association between any of these sexual orientations and psychopathology. Both heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Both have been documented in many different cultures and historical eras. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience."
May 14, 2009 - American Psychological Association
Erik Holland, writer and creator of the Homo Sex Info website, wrote the following information in his 2004 book The Nature of Homosexuality: Vindication for Homosexual Activists:
"In an assessment of 206 psychotherapists practicing sexual conversion therapy, 187 therapists described homosexuality as a developmental disorder and said that the decision to declassify homosexuality as a mental illness was politically motivated and unscientific. As a first approximation, an association of homosexuality with developmental instability appears to vindicate such psychotherapists. However, such therapists invoke adverse childhood experiences/family dynamics in the genesis of homosexuality, a notion that is highly implausible. Besides, wheras the process leading to homosexuality can be loosely described as disordered, it is inappropriate to consider homosexuality itself as a disorder."
2004 - Erik Holland
Thomas A. Eccles, MD, Head of Adolescent Medicine Services at Maricopa Medical Center, et al., wrote in a Nov. 2004 study titled "More Normal Than Not: A Qualitative Assessment of the Developmental Experiences of Gay Male Youth," published in the Journal of Adolescent Health:
"Few (2 of 13) participants reported overall developmental experience markedly different from nongay peers... Family dynamics were not substantively altered by open gay self-identification... General developmental dysfunction is not inevitable for gay adolescents, nor is identifiable personal or family pathology directly related to sexual identity."
Nov. 2004 - Thomas A. Eccles, MD
The American Academy of Family Physicians wrote in a 1993 article titled "Adolescent Homosexuality: a Primary Care Perspective," published in the American Family Physician:
"Early psychoanalytic theory concluded that homosexuality developed from conflicts derived from early developmental disturbances. Investigators more recently have explored neuroendocrine explanations as a cause of homosexual development...
[M]any experts believe that sexual orientation, whether heterosexual or homosexual, is the result of a complex interaction between anatomic and hormonal influences during fetal development."
1993 - American Academy of Family Physicians
The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) stated in a 2003 article titled "Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Issues: Background to a Policy Statement," on its Social Workers website, that:
"The mental health professionals for more than a quarter of a century have viewed homosexuality as an alternative form of biopsychosocial development and not a mental disorder.
The declassification of homosexual orientation as a mental disease reflects the results of extensive research conducted over 30 years showing that homosexual orientation is not a psychological maladjustment."
2003 - National Association of Social Workers (NASW)