Evolution of a phenomenon over time Some authors believe that homosexuality is not a kind of conduct, as commonly supposed, but a psychological condition (Woggon, 1981). Thus, it is important to understand that the genuine homosexual condition or inversion, as it is often termed. This condition is something for which the subject is in no way responsible. Some literature suggests that homosexuality in itself it is morally neutral. Like the condition of heterosexuality, however, it tends to find expression in specific sexual acts; and such acts are subject to moral judgment (McNeill, 1966).
A major premise established in contemporary literature is the concept that sexual orientation ranges along a continuum, as opposed to simply being heterosexual or homosexual. It is possible that this is mainly because increased attention has been paid to the attraction and not merely the action. Braverman (1973) has examined a scale developed by Kinsey, who thought that homosexuality is a normal manifestation of human sexuality. This scale operationalizes the continuum. People are rated on a scale of zero to six.
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Zero representing exclusive heterosexual inclinations and six exclusive homosexual inclinations. Those who don’t fall into either extreme feel a mixture of both to varying degrees. This middle group is theoretically bisexual. However, people who are close to either extreme tend to be absorbed into that respective category. This absorption leaves only those closer to the centre in the bisexual group. Most research conducted has grouped people into these three categories. The Causes of Homosexuality Fathers, on the other hand, were thought to prefer the other children.
In doing so, fathers failed to protect the child from the destructive influence of the mother. The researchers espousing biological and genetic causes of homosexuality were considered to be fringe in those times. Even so, there were studies corroborating such causes. Kallman (1952) conducted a study in which male homosexual monozygotic twins were found to be significantly more similar (in terms of homosexual tendencies) than dizygotic twins. These results were not taken to mean that genetic composition was a necessary condition for the development of homosexuality. Rather, it was generally hought by proponents, that a hereditary physical trait played a role in the cultural shaping of a homosexual. In other words, if a young male or female exhibited physical characteristics associated with the opposite gender that individual would have been treated as if they were homosexual. This would in turn influence their development (a self-fulfilling prophecy). Silberner (1984) referred to a study conducted by the State University of New York, in which researchers found a physical correlate to homosexual behavior. They went further to conclude that biological markers for sexual orientation may exist.
Even so, researchers made it clear that findings did not focus on definite causes of homosexuality. However, it was admitted that there was a real possibility that there is a biological element of the phenomenon. Even into the 1990’s this vein of research has continued. For example, Bower (1993) identified that significant progress had been made in the pursuit of identifying a gene that may influence some instances of male homosexuality. It was suggested that a gene within a small segment of the X chromosome (passed from mother to son), contributes to the sexual orientation of a subset of homosexual men.
Interestingly, a tendency to focus on male homosexuals in scientific research can be seen at this stage. Although an exhaustive list of studies on homosexuality cannot be provided in this forum (nor would it be practical), from a review of the available literature, this is confirmed. The APA removed homosexuality from its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychological Disorders in 1973. In 1975 it then released a public statement that homosexuality was not a mental disorder. In 1994, two decades later, the APA finally stated, "... omosexuality is neither a mental illness nor a moral depravity. It is the way a portion of the population expresses human love and sexuality" From the premises established in this section, a holistic illustration of world-views regarding homosexuality, can be detailed. World Views of Homosexuality Secular As discussed previously, the first half (and a little beyond) of the 20th century spawned varying views of homosexuality (constitutional, developmental and genetic were the main ones). However, the worldviews resulting from such were congruent in the main.
This is primarily because of the fact that these theories were aiming to explain the occurrence of a class of aberration/disorder. Consequently, claims, such as homosexuality being classified as a serious psychiatric and social problem (Bieber, 1969), were commonplace in academic literature and reverberated in the wider society. The passage of time into the final quarter of the last century, realized a progressively softer position regarding homosexuality, by both from the academic and wider community. This softening can be observed as being simultaneous with stances adopted by the APA.
After the organization’s actions in 1973 and 1975 concerning acceptance of homosexuality, the literature had been littered with expressions of the wide variability in the social acceptance of homosexual activity (Greenberg & Bystryn, 1982). Christian The ELCA encourages its congregations to welcome gay and lesbian persons as church members, but it does not allow for the approval or affirmation of gay or lesbian relationships. Specifically, the ordained, commissioned, and consecrated ministries…are open to homosexuals only it they remain celibate and no provisions exist for the blessing of same-gender unions (Childs, 2003, p. 32). From these official points of view, a sense of where Christianity stands with regard to homosexuality is only halfway complete (at best). Individual members of the Church, including clergymen, sometimes have conflicting views. As demonstrated, a plethora of worldviews exist, with regards to homosexuality. It is as a result of these, that there are various views of the role that psychology and counseling should play in the life of a homosexual and the phenomenon (homosexuality), as a whole.
Throughout the literature reviewed for this paper, the themes of variability and non-consensus are recurrent. There has been no conclusive study which has unearthed potential causes of homosexuality. Resultant worldviews are varied across and even within secular and religious sources, allowing for no clear-cut path for psychologists/counselors to take in dealing with the phenomenon. By looking at past and current events in the field, it appears as though distinct lines will be drawn, but in non-traditional ways, namely, within as opposed to without. This is with reference to the dichotomy within
Christian and secular views of homosexuality. It appears as though the only area of near-consensus is the view that homosexuals (distinct from homosexuality) are not to be condemned, or view as inherently pathological. Holding firm to this premise, further research and interest from the various interest groups may be beneficial to all.
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