To what degree do nature and nurture contribute to homosexuality?
It is a politically sensitive debate, but in the light of solid scientific findings, it is necessary to have the courage to address such matters. Childhood trauma has been linked in several research studies with sexual addiction/compulsion (see my article on this by clicking here) due to the dissociative state it produces (see my article on dissociation by clicking here), sadomasochism, prostitution and homosexuality.
Many gay people resent this finding (understandably so) and fear it will encourage right-wing religious fundamentalists absurdly to declare homosexuality an ‘illness’ that needs to be ‘cured.’
However, assuming the scientific studies are valid, need we fall into a deep pit of despair, never to re-emerge? I think not.
Here’s an analogy which is meant to be neither flippant nor frivolous : suppose I am walking down the street and someone hits me, very hard, on the head with a hammer. I lapse into a coma and am taken to hospital. On coming out of my coma, I find I am fully recovered, and, although, prior to my accident, being unable competently to draw a stick man, now find I am an artistic genius, able to create paintings which sell for millions of pounds (similar things do and HAVE happened as the result of brain injury – extremely rarely). Should I be ashamed of my artistic talents?
Clearly not. Why? It was not my fault I suffered a head trauma. Nor is the result (my painting abilitiy) to my disliking. I would not regard it as a symptom of my trauma in need of curing. Quite the contrary, as it happens.
Similarly, if I suffer childhood trauma which contributes to me becoming gay, the same argument applies.
EXAMPLES OF STUDIES SHOWING THE LINK BETWEEN CHILDHOOD TRAUMA :
A study at Otago University in New Zealand with 13,000 participants (98.3% heterosexual. 0.8% homosexual, 0.6% bisexual, 0.3% ‘other’) conducted in 1992 found that those who had suffered severe childhood trauma such as violence and sexual assault were statistically very significantly more likely to be in the non-heterosexual group.
It is also detailed in an academic paper by Schwartz entitled ‘Hypersexuality Secondary to Childhood Trauma and Dissociation’ and another by Colin Ross entitled, ‘Sexual Orientation Conflict and Dissociative Disorders’, that childhood trauma is far more common in gay people than their straight peers.
NOTE OF CAUTION : PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT TO HIT YOURSELF OVER THE HEAD WITH A HAMMER IN THE HOPE OF BECOMING A GREAT ARTIST.
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David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).