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Is homosexuality a mental illness?

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    A story that caught my attention this week was that of a journalist who went undercover to expose a professional psychotherapist over claims she could 'cure' homosexuality.

    Personally I don't have a problem with homosexuality (one of my favourite TSR posters is gay, I also believe in the maxim 'live and let live') and anyone who claims they can cure it is probably either deluded or a charlatan. But I have some sympathy with the view that it's a mental illness. Why? Because homosexuality presents a barrier to procreation and the continuation of life.

    To put it another way, if a tiny % of the population were born with a fatal disorder that meant they lacked the hunger mechanism we'd have no problem saying there's something medically wrong with them. Well why can't we say something similar about homosexuality? Homosexuality (on one level) is intrinsically anti-life, and as life naturally wants to preserve itself and reproduce it represents something of an aberration.

    http://www.channel4.com/news/gay-cur...nst-suspension
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    It was until 1973 when it was removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. In my opinion, nothing wrong with it.
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    Depends what we mean by mental illness, if we mean something differering significantly from the norm, then yes it is. If we mean something that has an adverse affect on the person/society then no.
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    The argument that homosexuality is against procreation has been refuted too many times :sigh:

    You contradict yourself there, if only a tiny% of the population is gay, then the negative effects it has on procreation is negligible.
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    i dont know. i know of a guy, who enjoys anal play, so calls himself gay because he says guys can do it better. thats his choice. on the other hand there are obviously very feminine guys who are gay.
    but like u said, live and let live, long as people are good human beings to each other, only God has the right to judge them, makes no difference to me,
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    There's a tonne of human acts which stand in the way of procreation, would you class the wish to use condoms, to remain abstinent until marriage (without the guarantee that you'll actually ever GET married) or the decision to get a vasectomy as symptoms of mental illness? If not, then argument: refuted.

    EDIT: Anyone who feels the need to neg this clearly logical post: come at me bros. Or do you not feel like quoting me to try to justify why you think I'm wrong?
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    No.

    I hardly think you're mentally ill for engaging in activity that precludes having children. What about those of us that just can't bloody stand them? Are we mentally ill also?

    There is a difference between self-preservation (ie eating) and wanting to preserve your species. Frankly, it doesn't make a jot of difference if I have children or not because so many people have several children, and the world is overpopulated enough as it is.

    If anything, it's crazier to have children.
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    No, I do not think it is a metal "illness". But, like you said, a minority do identify as homosexual, and I believe that there is a biological difference somewhere; however slightly, their brains are wired differently.

    And I say that as someone who is sexually attracted to both men and women; I do not (at this point in my life) identify myself as gay, but I'm certainly not 100% straight either. Emotionally, though, I usually only connect with females, and see myself being with one in the long-term.

    As for the nature/nurture debate, I can look back at things in my life which I think have definitely affected my sexuality, but I wasn't ever 'turned' into something other then how I was born. You can bring things to the surface, but you can't dive in Leo DiCaprio style and plant it in there

    Calling it an illness is not acceptable though, in my opinion. Luckily I don't get too wound up over these things and take life as it comes, but for younger and impressionable teens going through what I can assure are very difficult times, labeling them as deficient and substandard mentally is the worst thing you could do. (I'm not addressing that to you OP, glad to hear you have no problem with it )
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    The definition of a psychopathology requires it to be detrimental to normal day-to-day functioning. So no, homosexuality is not a mental illness.

    The "anti-life" argument is so deeply flawed it's silly.

    Also, attempts to turn people straight through "psychotherapy" (all reputable psych bodies do not consider such things to be legitimate) are demonstrably harmful in the majority of cases, and effective in only a very small proportion.
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    Arguably it helps prevent overpopulation, and the fact that it occurs in so many other species suggests it is not in fact a defect but perhaps another part of evolution. It is not a mental illness because it does not handicap its "sufferers".
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    mental illness is not easily defined. would you call shyness a mental illness as it can cause a barrier socially? or maybe introvertedness because this could also cause a social barrier. i suppose one would say it depends on the extremity.

    personally, no i would not see homosexuality as a mental illness as i do not think it causes any problems for the homosexual person. imo it does not set them back in any way (apart from other people beng violent etc.)... as for procreation... i really do not think that is a good reason to classify it as a mental illness.

    i think considering it a mental illness is very dangerous.
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    If you believe that humans have any value and function that exceeds their biological programming, then it becomes irrelevant.

    I am gay, and I like being gay. I have been with a woman before, and I have friendships with woman, but I fundamentally prefer the romantic and social company of other men. It might even be seen as an entirely rational choice (men are the pre-eminent sex in terms of social and financial power, they tend to get paid and rise further, they're funny and they don't menstruate and they're almost always up for sex... and most men these days are not domestically challenged so I don't "need a woman" for such coarse reasons).

    Okay, in fairness, some women are funny. But from my perspective, it seems entirely logical and rational that men are more attractive partners, more ambitious, more virile, more easy going... there is no significant social censure associated with homosexuality, but being with another man you can get into a kinds of cool power couple territory. Anyways, I know my views are entirely informed by my genetic programming and my romanticisation of a kind of warrior-couple Greek myth (a kind of Achilles and Patroclus slightly bromancey, slightly homo kind of thing)

    From a very pragmatic perspective, in the past the legal and social implications of taking a same-sex partner were profound; it would be understandable for someone to try to supppress this. But in 2012? It's about as "disordered" as left-handedness or green eyes.
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    (Original post by willbee)
    Arguably it helps prevent overpopulation, and the fact that it occurs in so many other species suggests it is not in fact a defect but perhaps another part of evolution. It is not a mental illness because it does not handicap its "sufferers".
    It may actually be an evolutionary advantageous trait; where a tribal group carries a gene that turns every, say, 5th male offspring into a "gay uncle" (obviously gay guys were, axiomatically, uncles until the recent developments in terms of reproduction for gay peoples) who would actually increase the overall likelihood of the genes reproduction by acting as an additional caregiver, an extra hunter who doesn't need correspondingly more resources for his own kids, a male to guard the camp perhaps during hunting trips by the other males.

    The biological and evolutionary possibilities are so speculative, and our knowledge of cave-man families so limited, that we cannot speculate.

    What we do know is that gay people exist, that it is scientific fact that they are in control of their mental faculties as it is defined, and they are not harming society or doing anything inherently immoral. This should be a no-brainer for anyone who is not brainwashed by superstitious fairytales and unverifiable claims about the purported wishes of a Bronze age semitic God.

    Think people.
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    (Original post by ninth2)
    Calling it an illness is not acceptable though, in my opinion. Luckily I don't get too wound up over these things and take life as it comes, but for younger and impressionable teens going through what I can assure are very difficult times, labeling them as deficient and substandard mentally is the worst thing you could do. (I'm not addressing that to you OP, glad to hear you have no problem with it )
    Good point. I can't imagine what it must feel like to realise you're gay with the prospect of letting your parents know looming ahead of you, terrifying probably. So I certainly wouldn't want to add anymore pressure by labelling teens mentally deficient, that would be unfair. But homosexuality goes against the grain of the 'circle of life' (for want of a better term) so I understand why some people may think of it as an illness, even if it is a slightly clumsy way of putting it.
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    (Original post by chefdave)
    Personally I don't have a problem with homosexuality (one of my favourite TSR posters is gay, I also believe in the maxim 'live and let live') and anyone who claims they can cure it is probably either deluded or a charlatan. But I have some sympathy with the view that it's a mental illness. Why? Because homosexuality presents a barrier to procreation and the continuation of life.
    Yeh. I like the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, so I am not a racist.

    Anyway, using your logic then not wanting to have children would be a mental illness...


    (Original post by chefdave)
    To put it another way, if a tiny % of the population were born with a fatal disorder that meant they lacked hunger mechanism we'd have no problem saying there's something medically wrong with them. Well why can't we say something similar about homosexuality? Homosexuality (on one level) is intrinsically anti-life, and as life naturally wants to preserve itself and reproduce it represents something of an aberration.
    Because.....Homosexuals do not have a fatal disorder...

    Life does not want to do anything. It is not a person.
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    (Original post by DorianGrayism)

    Because.....Homosexuals do not have a fatal disorder...

    Life does not want to do anything. It is not a person.
    I think that is the salient issue. You can't put side the considerations of basic decency and reason; we're people, as in human people, and we simply find other members of our own gender more pleasing and attractive.

    Barring any supernatural argument, I don't see how it can get any more complicated than it being a harmless act (in fact, it's a behaviour or orientation that is the cause for a lot of pleasure, satisfaction, love etc). If Jeremy Bentham could see that centuries ago, people now have no excuse to try to complicate and psychopathologise it.
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    Well, there are certain things we can ponder over...


    The United States currently prohibits men who have sex with men from donating blood "because they are, as a group, at increased risk for HIV, hepatitis B and certain other infections that can be transmitted by transfusion."[152] The UK[153] and many European countries have the same prohibition.[152]

    That's a lot of people missing out on receiving a potential lifeline

    But, I don't think you can necessarily call homosexuality a mental illness, that's going a bit far. I don't agree that the person should be suspended for attempting to help Homosexuals to psychologically get over their problems.
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    (Original post by Bobo1234)
    There's a tonne of human acts which stand in the way of procreation, would you class the wish to use condoms, to remain abstinent until marriage (without the guarantee that you'll actually ever GET married) or the decision to get a vasectomy as symptoms of mental illness? If not, then argument: refuted.
    Most epic reply ever. :hat2:
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    (Original post by DorianGrayism)
    Yeh. I like the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, so I am not a racist.

    Anyway, using your logic then not wanting to have children would be a mental illness...




    Because.....Homosexuals do not have a fatal disorder...

    Life does not want to do anything. It is not a person.
    Good point.
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    (Original post by DorianGrayism)
    Anyway, using your logic then not wanting to have children would be a mental illness...
    I'm open to the possibility that not wanting to have sex with the opposite sex is a type of disorder. If someone had no sexual urges whatsoever (i.e not necessarily gay) I'd say they're suffering from a genuine biological problem that may require treatment.
Updated: May 28, 2012
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