NARTH has a nice reprint of an original article from The Catholic Standard & Times which discusses the roots of homosexuality. The author, Dr. Richard Fiztgibbons, contributed to the Catholic booklet on this issue called Homosexuality and Hope.
The main section titles are:
- Weak Masculine/Feminine Identity
- Distrust of Men/Women
- Gender Identity Disorder
- Narcissism and Profound Selfishness
- Dysfunctional Family Life
What is interesting to me is that, even though studies prove that gays have a much higher background of dysfunctional family life, and esp. sexual molestation, when you mention these causative factors, there are always a few people who will say “I am gay, and I didn’t have any of those. I had a great upbringing, no molestation, and I have a good relationship with my father.”
Regarding such claims, I would like to suggest:
- studies show that such people are the EXCEPTION to the rule, and so their existence does NOT prove that the assertions made regarding the roots of homsexuality are not true, only that they need more study – there may be other factors
- there are other less frequent, but equally important proposed causative factors, such as problems with peer interaction (e.g. skipping a grade and so being physically and socially behind one’s peers) that can lead to same sex attraction
- some of the people that claim that they had no such causative factors are often unconsciously or consciously ignoring the (often negative) factors in their lives that they KNOW affected or injured them emotionally, and led to their gender preferences.
One of the things I appreciate about Catholics, despite their sometimes awful history of theological error and abuse, is their deep intellectual tradition (in certain pockets of theologically ‘purer’ Catholic Christianity), coupled with their desire to serve humanity. Hence, the title of their booklet, Homosexuality and HOPE.
And this is the crux of the Christian approach to homosexuality – not just that it is a big SIN, but that it is a malady for which there is reason to hope – for those who recognize it as a deep emotional dysfunction, there is hope for change, and those who deny such are really denying hope to millions of gays who want to change. Science has not proven that homosexuality is irreversible, nor that it is purely genetic – quite the opposite, as the recent Spitzer review of the literature confirms.
Until we have more definite science, we need to allow people the freedom to explore ‘recovery’ from homosexuality, even if some think it not possible. And for those concerned with abuse in ex-gay therapy, physicians who practice ex-gay therapy have proposed the following ethical guidelines: