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Quick Facts About Homosexuality

by C. Ann Shepherd

Sexual orientation can not be caught or taught.

    "Family fears of catching homosexuality, or of being recruited at school
    or elsewhere are utterly without scientific foundation."
    ~ Dr. Jack Weinberg, President American Psychiatric Association,
    October 6, 1977.

Sexual orientation is not a choice.

    Sexual orientation is deep-seated and not something one chooses to be
    or not to be.
    ~ Dr. Alan P. Bell, senior author of "Sexual Preference", Bell, Weinberg
    & Hammersmith, Indiana University Press, 1981.

    Research suggests that the homosexual orientation is in place very early
    in the life cycle, possibly even before birth.
    ~ Taken from the American Psychological Association Statement on
    Sexual Orientation, July, 1994.

It is believed that there are several factors which determine sexual orientation.

    Sexual orientation is likely to be the result of several different factors,
    including genetic, hormonal, and environmental. None of these factors
    alone are responsible for determining sexual orientation. Psychological
    and social influences alone cannot cause homosexuality.
    ~Tineke Bodde', "Why is My Child Gay? " Federation of Parents and Friends
    of Lesbians and Gays, Inc., 1988.

    "There is evidence that parents have very little influence on the outcome
    of their children's sexual orientation under normal upbringing conditions."
    ~June Machover Reinisch, Ph.D. (Response from brochure) "Why is My
    Child Gay?" Federation of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays,
    Inc., 1988.

Gays & lesbians discover their sexual orientation. They are not recruited or brainwashed into the "gay lifestyle".

    Gay and lesbian children are often aware of being different at a very early
    age. They generally become aware of their sexual orientation during
    adolescence or early adulthood.
    ~ R.R. Troiden, "The Formation of Homosexual Identities", The Journal
    of Homosexuality, 17, 43-73.

Homosexuality is not a mental or emotional disorder.

    The research on homosexuality is very clear. Homosexuality is neither
    mental illness nor moral depravity. It is simply the way a minority of
    our population expresses human love and sexuality. Study after study
    documents the mental health of gay men and lesbians. Studies of
    judgment, stability, reliability, and social and vocational adaptiveness
    all show that gay men and lesbians function every bit as well as
    ~ The American Psychiatric Association and The American Psychological
    Association, July 1994

Efforts to change sexual orientation are ineffective and can be harmful.

    Research findings suggest that efforts to repair homosexuals are
    nothing more than social prejudice garbed in psychological accouterments.
    ~ Taken from the American Psychological Association Statement on
    Sexual Orientation, July, 1994.

    No scientific evidence exists to support the effectiveness of any therapies
    that attempt to convert homosexuals to heterosexuals.
    ~ John C. Gonsiorek and James D. Weinrich, eds., Homosexuality:
    Research Implications for Public Policy, Newbury Park, Calf.: Sage, 1991.

    All attempts fail when gay people try to become heterosexual.
    ~D. C. Haldeman, "The Practice and Ethics of Sexual Orientation Conversion
    Therapy", Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 62, p.221-227, 1994.

    "Groups who try to change the sexual orientation of people through so-called
    conversion therapy are misguided and run the risk of causing a great
    deal of psychological harm to those they say they are trying to help."
    ~Dr. Raymond Fowler, American Psychological Association Executive Director

    Clinical experience suggests that any person who seeks conversion therapy
    may be doing so because of social bias that has resulted in internalized
    homophobia, and that gay men and lesbians who have accepted their sexual
    orientation positively are better adjusted than those who have not done so.
    ~American Psychiatric Association

The incidence of homosexuality is constant regardless of new laws or social attitudes.

    It [homosexuality] is found in about ten percent of the population, a figure
    which is surprisingly constant across cultures, irrespective of the different
    moral values and standards of a particular culture.

    Contrary to what some imply, the incidence of homosexuality in a population
    does not appear to change with new moral codes or social mores.
    ~ Taken from the American Psychological Association Statement on
    Sexual Orientation, July, 1994.

Gay and lesbian youth are at greater risk of committing suicide.

    Gay and lesbian youth are two to three times more likely to attempt suicide
    than their heterosexual peers.

    Gay and lesbian teens account for thirty percent of all completed suicides
    among adolescents.
    ~U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "Report of the Secretary's
    Task Force on Youth Suicide", Washington D.C., 1989.

Gay and lesbian people are just as capable of being good parents as are heterosexual parents.

    Children who are raised in gay or lesbian homes are no different in any
    aspects of psychological, social, or sexual development from children in
    heterosexual families.
    ~C.J. Patterson, "Children of Lesbian and Gay Parents", Child Development,
    63, 1025-1042.

    Thirty-five different studies have shown that children of gay and lesbian
    parents are no more likely to become homosexuals than children of
    heterosexuals, and are just as well adjusted.
    ~Jane Gross, "New Challenge of Youth: Growing up in Gay Homes",
    New York Times, February 11, 1991.

Gay men and lesbian women are rarely involved in child sexual abuse.

    In the U.S. ninety percent of all sexual child abuse is committed by
    heterosexual men. The molesters are almost always family members,
    close family friends or the mother's boyfriend.
    ~P.J. Falk "Lesbian Mothers: Psychological Assumptions in Family Law",
    American Psychologist, 44, 941-949, 1989.
    ~Mary Koss, et al. "No Safe Haven: Male Violence Against Women At Home,
    At Work, And in the Community",
    American Psychological Association, 1994.

Gay people are not obsessed with sex.

    Gay men and lesbian women share the same amount of interest in sexual
    activity as heterosexual persons, neither more nor less.
    ~Alan P. Bell and Martin S. Weinberg, for the Institute for Sexual Research,
    "Homosexuality: A Study in Human Diversity", Simon and Schuster, 1978.

There is no single Gay Lifestyle.

    The lives of gay men and lesbian women are just as varied as the lives of
    ~Linda D. Garnets and Douglas C. Kimmel, "Psychological Perspectives on
    Lesbian and Gay Male Experiences", Columbia University Press, 1995.

©1996-1998 C. Ann Shepherd

Note from Mary: I have tried unsuccessfully to contact C. Ann Shepherd to ask permission to use her articles on this website, but her website is no longer functional and I have been unable to find her after an exhaustive search. I therefore am posting her articles without permission in the hope that she will be notified and will contact me to advise me if I may print them or not. If not, of course they will be removed immediately.

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