The APA on Sexual Orientation
Here are excerpts from the APA Answers to Your Questions About Sexual Orientation and Homosexuality web page. I hope you will read the whole page.
Sexual Orientation is an enduring emotional, romantic, sexual or affectional attraction to another person.
Homosexuals can form bonds of love and affection with persons of the same sex just as heterosexuals do with someone of the opposite sex. Gays’ love for each other is the same in magnitude and affect as a heterosexual woman’s love for a man, since these derive from the same gene set on the X chromosome in both cases. THere is no “tragedy of monumental proportions” here. It’s who one can love, not who one can’t love that matters.
There is also considerable recent evidence to suggest that biology, including genetic or inborn hormonal factors, play a significant role in a person’s sexual [orientation].
There’s nothing “so 1950’s” about the genetic evidence.
[H]uman beings can not choose to be either gay or straight… Although we can choose whether to act on our feelings, psychologists do not consider sexual orientation to be a conscious choice that can be voluntarily changed.
The American Psychological Association is concerned about such [reparative] therapies and their potential harm to patients.
No, I haven’t seen anyone change. The one person I saw interviewed finally admitted he still felt attracted to men, but through the love and support of his dear wife, a “former” lesbian, he was able to resist these urges. Don’t you see this poor tortured man’s problem? If he’s still attracted to men, then he’s still gay, isn’t he? One cannot change the autonomic nervous system reactions of the limbic system.
Neither I nor the APA is responsible for this man’s plight. It is they who told him he could change when he couldn’t that are responsible for his distress. A “marriage” where neither person has love and affection for the other is where the true tragedy lies.
Psychologists, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals agree that homosexuality is not an illness, mental disorder or an emotional problem.
Only persons who are taught to be prejudice towards guys would suggest otherwise. Weren’t many once taught that blacks are inferior?
For this reason, psychologists believe negative attitudes toward gay people as a group are prejudices that are not grounded in actual experiences but are based on stereotypes and prejudice.
Politicians and preachers who shamelessly promote these prejudices to gain votes or add to the church coffers are to be condemned for their actions just as those who exploit racism for the same reasons.
Educating all people about sexual orientation and homosexuality is likely to diminish anti-gay prejudice.
I participate in community outreach for this purpose. (From: Family Scholar's blog Comment #71)