Essay, Research Paper: Psychology Of Sexuality


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This article relates to chapter one because the Science of Psychology is
definitely prevalent in understanding one's sexual orientation. The purpose of
the author is to inform the public about the lifestyle of gay men and lesbians.
Sexual orientation is the attraction one feels to a particular gender. Sexuality
is made up of three components: biological sex, gender identity and social sex
role. Three sexual orientations are commonly known as heterosexual, bisexual and
homosexual. Heterosexuality, attraction to individuals of the other gender, is
the cultural normality for the behavior of males and females. Bisexuality,
attraction to members of either gender, as well and homosexuality, attraction to
members of the same gender, are not completely understood by scientists.
Scientists have pondered the theory for many years that sexual preference is a
learned behavior that is developed during early childhood. There are many
theories regarding how a particular sexual orientation develops. Some scientists
share the view that sexual orientation is shaped at an early age through
interactions of biological, psychological and social factors. Other
psychologists, psychiatrists and mental health professionals agree that
homosexuality may be genetically predetermined. Research over the past
thirty-five years has determined that homosexuality is not an illesss, mental
disorder or emotional problem. Other objective research shows that homosexual
orientation is not associated with emotional or social problems. Because sexual
orientation develops in early adolescence, without any prior sexual experience,
it is believed that it is not chosen. It has been reported that some people try
diligently to change their sexual preference from homosexual to heterosexual
with no success. For this reason, psychologists do not consider sexual
orientation to be a conscious choice that can be voluntarily changed. An untrue
stereotype about homosexuals is the belief that gay men have more of a tendency
than heterosexual men to sexually molest children. There is no evidence of this.
Instead, recent studies have shown that homosexual parents are quite capable of
rearing developmentally secure children who are intelligent, as well as being
psychologically well adjusted. There is no evidence that homosexual parents are
less capable of parenting than heterosexual parents. Because therapy cannot
change sexual orientation, it is important for society to become better educated
about homosexuality, thus diminishing anti-gay prejudice. Accurate information
for young people struggling with their own sexual identity is especially
important. The belief that such information--when given to young people--will
affect one's sexual orientation is not valid. The people who have the most
positive attitudes toward gay men and lesbians are those who say they know one
or more gay persons well. For this reason, psychiatrists believe that
discrimination against homosexuality is based on his or her lack of knowledge
concerning gay people. Therefore, educating all people about sexual orientation
and homosexuality is likely to diminish anti-gay prejudice. CRITIQUE
Homosexuality was once believed to be a mental illness, due to the unfortunate
fact that mental health professionals furnished society with incorrect
information. Most studies about homosexuals only involved gay men and lesbians
who were in therapy. They were seeking help for their problems, just as straight
men and women do. These studies, and the misunderstanding of homosexuality,
seriously damaged the acceptance of gay men and lesbians. The theories of
homosexuals by psychologists, psychiatrists and other mental health
professionals, painted an untrue portrait of gay men and lesbians. This unfair
portrayal directly attributed to the unacceptance of homosexuals. In 1973, the
American Psychiatric Association confirmed that homosexuals were not mentally
ill, and it was not until two years later in 1975, that the American
Psychological Association passed a resolution supporting this confirmation. Both
associations urged all mental health professionals to help dispel the stigma of
mental illness that had been associated with homosexual orientation. Since this
original declassification of homosexuality as a mental disorder, this decision
has been reaffirmed by additional research findings and by both associations.
However, when one is reared to believe a certain way, it is not easy to change
his or her opinion. Psychiatrists, psychologists and the Lord above could urge
one to rethink a learned fact; however, to dispute a theory learned early in
life is sometimes impossible. This unfair discrimination against homosexuals is
an obstacle to their leading a normal, happy and productive life, which is the
desire of gay men and lesbians, just as it is the desire of straight men and
women. Research has shown a high rate of violence, as well as discrimination,
against homosexuals. Just as it is with straight men, the more positive the gay
male identity, the better one's mental health will become and the higher one's
self-esteem will be. To accomplish this, the acceptance of gay men and lesbians
as productive citizens, without prejudice, is necessary. Protection against
violence and discrimination would not be necessary if one understood that gay
men and lesbians are just like you and me; the only difference is their sexual

BibliographyThe American Psychological Association. Answers to Your Questions About
Sexual Otientation and Homosexuality. No date:18 pars. Online. Internet. 28
January 2000. Available
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