1. Does Having Homosexual Fantasies Mean You Are Homosexual?
A homosexual is a person who has ONGOING erotic and romantic desire for, and sexual involvement with the same sex. To be ‘gay’ is more of a social (and political) statement, in which a homosexual person embraces a lifestyle and identity that is supportive of homosexuality. There are many people who do have homosexual feelings, but would not describe themselves as `gay’. There are people who have brief, experimental homosexual involvements, but that would not make them ‘homosexuals’.
The presence of routine homosexual fantasies would probably indicate some degree of homosexual orientation, stronger for some, less so for others. Such fantasies need not automatically result in life-long homosexual involvement. There are many people who have never acted on their homosexual attractions. However, like any appetite, the more one ‘feeds’ the urge (through pornography, fantasy and masturbation), the stronger the urge becomes. This will increase the chances for homosexual involvement. Should this occur, many male homosexuals particularly demonstrate an ever-increasing pattern of sexual encounters? It’s a matter of cultivation and conditioning. As sexual involvement becomes routine to frequent, a pattern similar to an addiction emerges: A life centered around sex, and a loss of control resulting in the person taking big risks to reputation and health – yet never really finding the long term love and intimacy so deeply craved. It is a frustrating and typical cycle that can, however, be broken with courage, determination and support.
2. Are Homosexuals "Born" or "Made"?
Some homosexuals comfort themselves with the thought that their feelings could be biologically programmed within, beyond choice or any personal responsibility. Gay activists claim that homosexuals are born gay, and that homosexuality should therefore be viewed as normal and natural. Yet, others with a homosexual orientation feel trapped by such logic, fearing they are hopeless victims of a genetic fate they want no part of.
Certainly, people don’t choose to develop homosexual feelings. But that does not mean one is born pre-programmed to be forever homosexual. We are not bio-robots. And we cannot ignore environmental influences and our reactions to such influences. Even if some types of homosexuality occur as a ‘product’ of nature, does that make it desirable or normal? Nature produces a host of biologically influenced conditions, such as depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, diabetes … but we don’t consider these `normal’ just because they occur ‘naturally’. So why is homosexuality given a different status? It is also worth noting that there are now some in the academic realm suggesting that adult sexual attraction to children could also be the product of an inherent biological influence. If proven true, would this mean we approve of sex between adults and children?
There are those who also believe that if homosexuality has a biological ‘origin’, then religious prohibitions against homosexual acts should be disregarded as irrelevant in the light of modern scientific discovery. Advocates of this thinking don’t understand however, that when a religion declares certain human behaviors to be wrong, such as homosexual acts, it doesn’t matter if there is a biological origin or not. In fact, such scientific discovery would only confirm what ancient religious writings already state: our present human condition is flawed, both biologically and psychologically. Religious writings make clear that humanity consequently struggles with many inherent and harmful weaknesses. Yet, it is also clear that we are intended to overcome and master our natural tendencies and weaknesses. Rather than justifying and indulging them habitually.
In spite of the many theories and even recent but in conclusive genetic and brain-related research, there is still no scientifically accepted evidence proving that homosexuals are "born gay". However, if science one day confirms a genetic or other hormonal bio-influence encouraging homosexual development, not all those involved in homosexuality would have this influence within them. And as has been clearly stated by genetic researchers, those with such a possible influence would not be obligated to be homosexual. For example, some scientists believe that there are people born with bio-influences toward alcoholism, drug addiction, criminal behavior and even divorce. But does that mean such persons are required to become, and therefore remain addicts and criminals? Biology may influence, but it doesn’t automatically justify every possible resulting behavior. Neither does it eliminate personal responsibility, will, conscience or our ability to choose whether we will control or be controlled by our weaknesses.
3. What Would Be Other Factors in Encouraging the Development of Homosexuality?
Science has yet to prove an absolute biological cause of all 10 types of homosexuality, however, there is data underscoring the view that some types of homosexuality are the result of problems in psychological development. Even though homosexuals may have differing backgrounds, many also have similar trends and patterns in their histories
83% of the men and almost 70% of the women reported being victims of sexual abuse or molest, before the age of 12. Additionally, well over 90% reported the sense of being neglected or unloved in childhood especially by the parent of the same sex. 40% reported physical abuse.
Another common trend in is an unfortunate history of being ridiculed and labeled ‘homosexual" during their pre-teen and teen years. Labeling has tremendous power to damage and alter self image. Abuse and neglect don’t necessarily result in homosexuality — but such experiences are universally typical of many who have sexual identity and orientation problems. I agree with many professionals who view stereotypical homosexuality as a symptom of arrested emotional and gender identity development. Why? It is clear from experts in developmental psychology, before children grow into healthy, heterosexual maturity; they pass through necessary "pre-heterosexual" phases or stages. After babyhood, but before adolescence, we must satisfactorily navigate through same-sex identification and bonding stage, (approximately between ages of 4-14 years). Accomplishing this security/identity building phase enables progress toward opposite sex relating.
sex phase is very observable, especially in boys, who, at the time, are not particularly romantically or sexually inclined toward girls, but are very concerned with and involved in same-sex relationships. Before boys grow up into men who "risk" their egos in pursuit of the opposite sex, they must first be identified with, accepted and affirmed as "one of the guys", by the rest of the guys.
Modern psychoanalytical research has well documented that when healthy parent-child bonding does not occur in early childhood, a deficit or "hunger" for love and security is created. It is especially damaging when the child and parent of the same sex do not effectively bond (for whatever reasons). The child’s identity and security in sender role will not properly develop. This in turn will affect — perhaps even sabotage — future relating with peers of both the same and opposite sex. In such cases, the child is often unable to conform to, or be comfortable with expected gender-role performance. This sense of ‘difference’ further alienates the child from engaging in satisfying relationships which should serve to solidify security and identity.
The resulting hunger for love and security is painful and the need for identity completion makes the child very vulnerable. A child in this situation is driven or compelled to compensate in some way for what is `missing’. Typically, the child emotionally detaches from the same-sex parent (abandons hope) and focuses onto the next perceived source of emotional and identity-securing nourishment: same sex peers. This pre-homosexual condition emerges as exaggerated yearnings toward the same sex: a desire to be wanted, cherished and protected (legitimate needs that the parental bond should have satisfied). Yet due to insecurity and a sense of inadequacy, here to, effective same sex bonding does not occur. The child is attracted to and admires, yet is fearful and envious of the same sex. Consequently, a same-sex fixation develops, resulting in arrested development toward heterosexuality, eventually the exaggerated and symptomatic emotional dependence on the same sex becomes "sexualized" with the onset of puberty, or earlier if the child has been prematurely sexualized due to molest or imprinted exposure to pornography. (This dependence or fixation is not to be confused with typical and temporary teen infatuation.) In this example, this type of psychologically driven homosexuality is a faulty attempt to satisfy legitimate, non-sexual security and identity needs. While this simplified and general view does not represent every homosexual, it is true (based on client histories) for a majority of ‘stereotypical’ homosexuals. Ultimately, homosexuality is not so much about "love" or "sex". It’s about need.
Understanding this, it is obvious then, that rejecting homosexual persons is a tragic mistake. Indeed, love, understanding and affirmation is what they need. Yet accepting and loving the homosexual person does not mean that we, in mistaken compassion, declare homosexuality to be "normal".
4. There Are Those Who Would Argue That Homosexuality Cannot Be Changed. Nor Should It Need To Be. What Do You Say?
After two decades of pro-gay influence in the American Psychoanalytic Association, the concept of offering treatment for those unhappy with their homosexual orientation has practically been abandoned. Until recently, therapists of the last 25 years were given little training beyond encouraging their homosexually-oriented clients to embrace that orientation as the only realistic route to mental health and happier living. The assumption is that homosexual orientation cannot be modified to any degree. And in the age of western political correctness, gay activists would add that such orientation should not need to be changed. Regardless of one’s life philosophy, the fact remains: not all who are homosexually-oriented want to be. They do not wish to be identified by, nor be driven by homosexual desires which distress them. Relinquishing themselves to such impulses will never be tolerable, due to moral convictions or quite simply an unwillingness to be homosexual for other reasons. Pro-homosexual activists and therapists do not speak for all who have a homosexual orientation.
Some pro-gay therapists insist it is unethical to offer treatment of homosexuality, declaring the condition to be uncorrectable. Suggesting recovery as an option is not only a false hope, claim gay advocates, but is also offensive for daring to imply that homosexuality could somehow be less desirable than heterosexuality. Perhaps with good intentions, and to appear "progressive", many western therapists have unfortunately bought into this one-sided logic at the expense of those desiring and deserving professional treatment toward the goal of overcoming homosexuality.
Regardless of how defensive some are of the "goodness" and normalcy of homosexuality, there are many who have recovered — or who are in recovery — from this condition. This is no different than for other life-controlling problems, such as alcoholism: some degree of relapse risk remains, but behavior and impulses do change, and life is improved — though not perfected. The fact is, many therapists, particularly in America and Western Europe have grown weary with both pro-gay lobbying and one-sided ‘give up and be gay" counsel offered to those with a homosexual orientation.
There are well respected therapists and experts, in this field with recent and long-standing published works underscoring the truth that homosexually-oriented people can:
Change behavior — that is, withstood homosexual involvement,
Modify, reduce, manage and in some cases, practically eliminate homosexual impulses and attraction —
And in many cases (though not all), experience satisfying heterosexual adjustment.
Even if for most, there could not be a complete elimination of possible homosexual attraction, the reduction and management of such feelings could be very desirable and attainable as a vast improvement over a life formerly driven and limited by such impulses. Obviously, the only people who truly feel threatened and offended by the concept of recovery are western gay activists who are pushing for civil rights based on the racial premise of an inherent, unchangeable condition. Such activism has done much to prevent fairer presentation of the facts regarding recovery.
Because some degree of recovery from homosexuality is attainable for those with motivation and support, I and those professionals with whom I work believe it is unethical to fail to offer the option of treatment toward the goal of recovery, when desired. A therapist who may feel skeptical or ideologically opposed to the recovery option should at least be professional enough to provide an appropriate referra
l, rather than attempt to convince the client to embrace homosexuality as the only option.
*To address the concerns of those desiring recovery, to ensure their right to obtain professional treatment, and to counter one-sided pro- homosexual propaganda in the professional community, scores of doctors and therapists have joined a new, rapidly growing Organization: National Association For Research and Therapy Of Homosexuality (NARTH). For more information contact NARTH, 16542 Ventura Blvd, #416, Encino, CA 91436, USA.
5. There Are Critics of Your Efforts Who Say that People Who Attempt To Overcome Homosexuality Are Just "Martyrs", Repressing Their True Sexuality … Or That People Who Did Change Were Never True Homosexuals To Begin With. And What About Those Who Tried To Change but Went Back to Homosexuality?
I’ll answer the last point first. Regrettably, every recovery program has its "failure rate". There are those who begin the recovery journey and then decide it’s not what they want … or frankly, they decide it’s too hard … and it IS difficult in the beginning. Unfortunately, not only do clients sometimes fall back or give up — but counselors, pastors, therapists and psychiatrists are also not immune to sexual desire. Many professionals have been victims of their own misunderstandings, passions and wrong choices. Tragically, when leaders and counselors have moral failures, especially in my specific field, this not only results in personal consequences, but also discredits recovery.
Though sexual feelings are powerful, cultivated to the level of addiction, I find that the real problem isn’t hormones or even desire for intimacy that unravels recovery. It’s usually immaturity. These patterns show up in many ways: as in a lack of self control. Or in unrealistic expectations, where they thinks that he should one day start lusting after the opposite sex to the degree that he did for the same sex. Or that he should have amnesia, as if his homosexual history never happened…
As for the argument that ‘those who changed were never really true gays", many would find this rationale laughable, and could ask, "What would one need to do to qualify as a true homosexual?" I’ve heard the argument before, and it goes on to imply that those who changed were really meant to be straight, and they were just confused and eventually the true preference emerged. Well, if this is so, then the gay underworld must be filled with many confused pseudo gays … who should be straight and they just don’t know it. Therefore, rather than criticize our efforts, gay advocates should encourage us to weed out the pseudo gays from the “real ones ".
6. The Homosexual Issue Has Also Created Controversy in the Religious Arena. Some Say God Condemns Homosexuals. Others Say Homosexuality Is a Gift from God. What Is Your Opinion?
Many with a homosexual orientation are quite interested in matters of faith, particularly the Christian faith. This is due to the longstanding and global influence of the Judeo-Christian ethic regarding homosexuality. Based on my research of the Scriptures, combined with my exposure to pro-gay theology, and my study of many works by theological experts on the subject of sexuality and homosexuality, here are my conclusions.
Homosexual orientation is one of many weaknesses affecting humanity. Those with this orientation are NOT excluded from God’s love, nor are they less of a person in His sight. Those wanting to enter religious service should be allowed to do so, provided they are not homosexually active, and they control, not cultivate their homosexual orientation. It is clear from Scripture that all who claim allegiance to Christ are required to obey God’s general sexual standard: No sex outside of the covenant of heterosexual marriage. Why? For protection of self and others, as sex has the power of life and death. Additionally, those who follow the way of Christ have been purchased by God, and are not free to live in any manner they wish. They are to honor God and the creative/ destructive power of sex by keeping themselves sexually pure. Certainly, nowhere in Scripture can one substantiate the recent claims that God makes people gay, or that God blesses homosexual unions. (see 1 Corinthians 6:18-20)
Homosexual acts however are defined as a violation of God’s design and intent for sexuality as is all sex outside the heterosexual marriage covenant. The original languages of Scripture (and use in context) are not vague concerning this point. The New Testament has more specific comments than the Old Testament, but both units are in agreement in regarding homosexual acts as "sin", meaning ‘to disobey", and ‘missing God’s intent". It is obvious from Scripture that sexual sin is pleasurable and can be emotionally satisfying. But ultimately, it is self defeating and can be self destructive.
It is also clear from Scripture that forgiveness and reconciliation with God, and opportunity for a different life are available to all who will return to God, submitting to His standards. This is true for homosexuals, as is evident in the New Testament example of the church in Corinth: ex-adulterers, ex-prostitutes and ex-homosexuals were included as members of the church family. (See 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11.)
Typical to the "opinionated" and individualistic West, there are two clashing religious views about homosexuality: the fundamentalist view (‘stone them’) versus the liberal view (‘no, ordain them"). The New Testament Scriptures address these extremes with balanced counsel: the harsh and judgmental are warned not to look upon homosexuals with contempt, unless they too wish to be judged as they judge. Yet, there is also a stern warning for those considering a more "accommodating" perspective: beware of those who would teach that God’s favor and ‘grace" allow for sex outside of the heterosexual marriage covenant. (See Romans 1 & 2: 1-4 & Jude vs.4.)
As for Jesus, he did not specifically mention homosexuality. But then, he never mentioned incest, rape or bestiality for that matter. He probably had no need to address these concerns as they were clearly regarded as moral sin in his day. However, Jesus did uphold the Old Testament moral law which addressed homosexuality as sin (Jesus only did away with the ceremonial and symbolic aspects of the Old Testament Law … but he made a clear point that the (moral) Law governing human relationships would remain). Jesus showed mercy to those guilty of violating moral law — such as the woman caught in adultery. Yet He also commanded her to obey God with this second chance, and leave her life of sexual sin.
The Old and New Testaments provide examples from Hebrew and Aramaic cultures of same-sex relationships that were intense (Jonathan and . David), loyal and s
upportive (Ruth and Naomi), and affectionate (Jesus and the Disciple John). But, as the original languages especially make clear, these loving, same-sex bonds were not homosexual. To interpret them as such is to misunderstand ancient Hebrew culture and the fact that heterosexual people universally enjoy intimate, emotionally satisfying same-sex relationships without a hint of homosexual interest.
In weaknesses, and honest, confessed struggles with sexuality, need not separate us from a loving, understanding God. In fact, scripture makes clear that such problems should instead, propel us to Him, for His comfort, assurance and help! The Scriptures inspire hope that our sexual problems are indeed understandable, forgivable and correctable with God’s help. Yet, scripture also warns that God will not exempt us from the often painful consequences of our disobedient choices. Neither will He settle for less than first place in our lives: Weakness may not offend Him. But to make one’s lifestyle, relationships, or sexuality of more importance is offensive to the One who desires us to seek Him even more than we seek to please ourselves.
7. Wouldn’t Promiscuity among Homosexuals Decrease If "Being Gay", and Gay Weddings Were Socially Accepted?
Perhaps for some, promiscuity would decrease. The research is clear that it is possible, but probably not for many, especially among gay males. According to research, gay males unlike lesbians are much less likely to sustain faithfulness to a partner. This fact is not the result of intolerant societies. Rather, it is a reflection of the dynamics in the male-male union, and the underlying unmet needs driving the homosexual. A smaller percentage of "lifestyle’ homosexual males do have lengthy and sometimes very stable, satisfying relationships. But many more unions are often admittedly "open" partnerships in which infidelity is considered an enhancement of the relationship. Some who argue for increasing acceptance claim that it will reduce the incidence of promiscuity common to the gay lifestyle. They say that an un-accepting society simply drives homosexuals into a shadowy, promiscuous "underground", but legitimizing and de-stigmatizing homosexuality would end this risky activity. Would it? In general, modern experience, sociological information, medical statistics and historical record reveal just the opposite: when society relaxes the sexual standards and becomes more permissive in attitude, then society becomes more promiscuous in behavior, not less so. As for social acceptance, "lifestyle" homosexuals are an influential subculture in many developed countries. Far from oppressed, they live openly in major urban areas around the world. In cities such as New York and San Francisco, they have "settled" entire city districts and have gay churches, gay clubs, gay businesses, gay dating services, gay theatres, gay parades, gay senior citizens groups, gay travel agencies and more. There are gay weddings. And homosexuals are acquiring the privilege of adopting children in some places. In spite of all this increased opportunity to live as outwardly as they wish, the pattern of promiscuity has not significantly changed. Even in the "progressive" and AIDS-conscious West, multiple anonymous sex encounters are still a way of life for thousands, with or without "protection". In spite of an accommodating culture, this behavior, so typical of many in the "lifestyle", is evidence of either extreme self indulgence, or destructive addiction. Will even greater social "approval" change it?
9. How Do You Help People with Homosexual Problems?
First, people will have to want our help. Obviously, not all homosexuals want to change. Some view their condition as unchangeable and seek to make it a positive part of their lives. However, those contacting us have pretty much made up their minds: They want to change and they want help. Many have attempted to live the "gay life" — sometimes, doing so for several years. Ultimately, they were not satisfied and also admitted to a deep moral conflict within that would not go away no matter how much they tried to embrace a liberal, pro-homosexual viewpoint. In today’s more permissive societies, people generally have the freedom to pursue their homosexuality if so desired. Yet those seeking to overcome a homosexual condition deserve our support in pursuing this option.
To sum it up, recovery from homosexuality is about "growth". Quite literally those in recovery "grow beyond" their same sex fixation and "grow out of" their homosexuality. This growth, however, is a lengthy process — lengthier for some than others. And for many, "recovery" will mean a lifetime commitment. Recovery programs like ours don’t solve every problem. We don’t claim to. We view the recovery process as a gradual progression to and through important goals.
Some of these goals include:
Unmasking the underlying beliefs and defense mechanisms that block growth and fuel impulses.
Learning to recognize, and satisfy needs for intimacy and security in healthy, non-sexual ways.
Resolving conflicts stemming from childhood trauma and rejection.
Developing beneficial self management skills.
Growing in relationship with God and others.
Volumes of books have been written detailing "how" all this is accomplished, from both clinical and theological perspectives.
Relearning ways of living, coping and relating are not easy. Understandably, overcoming homosexuality is a challenge many prefer not to face. Clinical studies conclude that those who do overcome the control of homosexuality need two ingredients for success: a tenacious and persevering motivation, and support of others who believe in their effort.