Homosexual orientation: does it really exist?

By Jerry Bergman, Ph. D.

August 1999 – In my decade of working at various psychology clinics, I have queried all of my “homosexual” clients as to if they were erotically attracted to the opposite sex. All of them said that they were. I have always found it intriguing that virtually all of those “gays” that I have known did not fit the common definition of homosexual – a person sexually attracted only to his own sex – but all were to some degree bisexual. Many were once married and most had sexual encounters with the opposite sex.

Furthermore, Masters and Johnson’s scientific studies of both persons labeled homosexual and lesbian have found that both groups consistently listed heterosexual encounters as highly erotic, actually at the top of a list of their erotic fantasies. In one study, both male and female homosexuals listed a “heterosexual encounter” as their third most common sexual fantasy! *(McCutcheon, 1989). This finding also supports the conclusion that most persons labeled gay are, at best, in varying degrees bisexual – especially in view of the fact that many also have heterosexual relations, and many were once married and had families.

The generalization that exclusively homosexual persons who have no attraction for, and are sexually repulsed by the opposite sex is thus erroneous. Only homosexual behavior exists. Studies of adolescents find that many young persons – 22% according to one study – involve themselves in homosexual behavior, especially in early adolescence (Chilman, 1983). Further, a large number of prison inmates and married males become involved in the so-called tea room trade which involves homosexual behavior (Humphreys, 1975). And none of these persons would define themselves as gay (Lockwood, 1980).

Freud concluded that homosexuality was a stage that most boys grow out of, and that adults who involved themselves in homosexual behavior simply have never matured beyond this developmental stage. This position once was the dominant view in the West. Greenberg (1988) concluded from his historical study that the “homosexual” category is a late-nineteenth-century invention. Prior to that time, people did not refer to “homosexuals” as a class of persons. 

The percent of the population that is exclusively homosexual has traditionally been placed at 10%, partly as a result of the now rejected Kinsey 1940s studies. Numerous new empirical studies reveal the number varies from .9% in Norway to 2.8% in the USA, indicating that cultural factors are likely very influential. Furthermore, according to a Minnesota adolescent health survey, only .6% of the boys and .2% of the girls surveyed identified themselves as “most of 100% homosexual,” .7% males and .8% females as bisexual, and 10.1% of the males and 11.3% of the females were “unsure.” This indicates that many individuals do not have a firm sexual orientation even as an adolescent, and reveals the importance of social and sexual experiences in development (Muir, 1993).

Although many factors are involved, it is my experience that a person is not a prisoner of his or her sexuality and to some degree chooses a homosexual lifestyle (Bergman, 1981). A clear need exists to understand why people adopt this lifestyle in spite of the difficulties of doing so in most societies. The unfortunate factor in this debate is that it is very difficult to reason about this topic with those who advocate the idea that a “sexual orientation” called homosexual exists. They simply reject, ignore or distort the enormous amount of empirical evidence against their position.

Further, from a Biblical standpoint, it is not only homosexual behavior that is objectionable, but also much of the sexual behavior common among homosexuals. From a medical standpoint, male homosexual behavior is fraught with health dangers including infections, bleeding and disease transmission problems. Bell et al. found that 43% of white male homosexuals reported having sex with more than 500 partners, and a whopping 28% with over 1,000 partners.

Consequently, studies reveal that homosexual behaviors produce a venereal disease rate as much as 22 times higher than the national average. The major anatomical problems with sodomy are generally not a problem in heterosexual relationships. Thus, the evidence from medical research supports the creationists’ design interpretation.

The Biological Influences
The claim is often made that those who involve themselves in homosexual behavior cannot help the way that they are, and are biologically attracted to the same sex, not the opposite sex. No gene causing homosexuality has yet ever been found, nor has any clear evidence of a biological basis been located (Satinover, 1997; Birke, 1981).

LeVay concluded that the cytogenetic, endocrinological, or neuroanatomical research has “largely failed to establish any consistent differences between homosexual and heterosexual individuals” (1991, p. 1034).

Of the multi scores of studies that have searched for biological factors, the only ones done so far that indicate a biological cause have implicated abnormal hypothalamus development and hormonal imbalance (Bailey and Pillard, 1991).

Unfortunately, the mass media often reports tentative studies as if they have proved beyond a doubt that homosexuality is biologically determined (Maddox, 1993). And all of these studies suffer from major methodological problems (Horgan, 1995). If LeVay’s research is valid, it indicates that homosexuality is caused by a biological pathology. LeVay found that the INAH 2 and 3 was much smaller in homosexuals compared to normal heterosexual males, indicating homosexually is caused by disease, hormone imbalance, or another abnormality.

Disease and Homosexuality
Many venereal and other diseases are far more a problem with homosexual than heterosexual behavior. For non-promiscuous couples who take proper cleanliness measures, the transmission of disease 
among heterosexuals is extremely rare, and then usually almost always due to poor hygiene.

As a group homosexuals are far more apt to have many diseases such as rare bowel diseases which are lumped together under the designation “gay bowel syndrome.” Estimates of their total infectious disease rate are about 10 times higher than that of the general population – not only venereal diseases, but also hepatitis B and others. Other common diseases include urethritis, viral herpes, pediculosis infestation and others (Rueda, 1982:52-53). One study indicated that one-half of homosexuals eventually contract the colon disease parasitic amebiasis; and rectal gonorrhea, infectious hepatitis A, and amoebic colon infections are far higher among this population.

In a summary of the biological research, Byne concluded “what evidence exists thus far of innate biological traits underlying homosexuality is flawed” (1994, p. 50). Even if a biological factor exists, it is a secondary question as to whether homosexual behavior is desirable or even acceptable

Change is admittedly difficult, but the level of success in treating other sexual disorders such as pedophilia is also extremely low. The latter individuals also claim that they have strong attractions for young children, and have minimal or no attraction to adults of the opposite sex.

In the cases where homosexual behavior is precipitated by developmental abnormalities, the focus should be on understanding the abnormality and developing ways of treating or preventing it.

The homosexual movement vigorously opposes this response, producing the almost unparalleled situation in which, assuming the biological factors are confirmed, a clear pathology or abnormality is defended as desirable, and efforts to correct this resisted or even condemned.

The extant empirical research supports the hypothesis that homosexuality is due either to social or physiological pathology. This supports the conclusion that the creator designed a sexual response which fulfills the goal to reproduce, multiply and bond, and that other sexual responses are not designed, but are the result of pathological factors. In order to respond appropriately to homosexual behavior, the causes must
be understood.  undefined

*Reference notes to this article are available. Call 662-844-5036, X215.