Homosexuality is not a Mental Illness
Homosexuality has been in existence in the world since time in memorial. Homosexuality means interests in contacts or sexual relationship, marriage, between the people of the same sex.
Some experts believe that homosexuality is a psychological disorder or a mental disorder while others believe it is not. There has been a lot of activism on homosexual rights to be granted while other activists lobby for its ban as they say is a disorder.Most of the vocal anti gay activists are conservative church members. They say that according to the bible, God created a man and a woman and joined them together in marriage. They therefore say that homosexuality is a sin and should never let happen. Other group of people that say homosexuality is a disorder is social scientists that are yet to prove it scientifically.
In 1983 homosexuality was discussed from other perspectives other than pathology (Rodriguez, E M 2010).As time rolls on, the world is gradually bowing to pressure from these activists and their rights and recognition are gradually taking shape. In early 1973, after a lot of pressure, the American Psychiatric Association committee on nomenclature met with gay activists from New York. For the political reasons at the time, the activists denied to represent any gay organization.Later the same year, the APA board of directors finally removed homosexuality from the classification of mental disorder from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM II).
They gave some reasons for their decision. One was that only some gays were suffering from sexual orientation disorder and were in need of treatment while most of them were not. In DSM III of 1980 gays were grouped as either ego syntonic on their sexual orientation and they were not in need of any treatment. Others were ego alien who were suffering from a psychological disorder. However they did not state whether the treatment should be given to develop the ego syntomic homosexuality or treat the sexual orientation. This decision was left to the patient and his physician.
However in the APA’s DSM III R of 1987, diagnosis of ego dynastic homosexuality was done away with (Roughton, R E 2002).Some scientists argued that an individual’s sexual orientation says nothing about his capacity for sexual relationships, his mental health, integrity and honesty, his ability to analyze and whether his habits and interests fits feminine or masculine stereotypes. Some religious groups today send both Christian and homosexual positive messages. This is made easy by the presence of homosexual theory that specifically encourages lesbians and gays who believe in Christianity, and identify their spiritual needs. These groups have managed to interpret the Bible in a way that gays and lesbians are not viewed as negative but positive way.
As a result of this, most homosexuals of Christian faith have embraced the message that God loves all his people including gays and lesbians. Some homosexual and religious positive groups for example Dignity, Good news, Lutheran’s concerned and Integrity are associated with churches that are against gays and lesbians (Rodriguez, E M 2010)..There has been an argument whether homosexuality should be considered as mental disorder or pathological diversion of usual sexual growth or as a normal sexual development towards sexual response. The people who argue that homosexuality is normal argue that any reference to homosexuality in the in a list of mental disorder. They continue to say that this is scientifically wrong, promotes adverse relationship between homosexual people and psychiatry and is normally misused by activists whoa re not professionals who lobby for the denial of gay and lesbian’s rights.
Those who say that homosexuality is a disorder in sexual development argue that removing homosexuality from the nomenclature gives official authority to this kind of abnormal sexual development, would be succumbing to pressure from activists who lobby for homosexual rights. These activists maintain that they are not sick and would kind of discourage gays and lesbians from accessing treatment (Roughton, R E 2002).Apparently, a great number of gays and lesbians are quite comfortable with their sexual orientation. They show no visible signs of psychopathology apart from homosexuality if it is perceived as a psychopathology and are able to function normally just like heterosexuals. These group of people might never go for treatment or may be checked by a psychiatrist are a result of a court order, family insistence or any other pressure or any other problem that might require help of a psychiatrist for example alcoholism and depression (Roughton, R E 2002).Some psychiatrists who support homosexuality argue that for a psychiatric or mental condition to be classified as a mental disorder, it must either frequently cause subjective distress or often be related to some generalized mutilation in social functioning or impairment.
All other psychiatric disorders in DSM II meet either of the two criteria except for homosexuality and may some other sexual deviations. While people may say that personality disorder are not included, while reflecting it is clear that is not right to make an analysis of personality disorder just because certain usual personality traits that cause no distress or harm in social functioning are present. Homosexuality does not meet any of these criteria for a mental disorder because as seen above, most homosexuals are quite comfortable with their sexual orientation and show no impairment in social functioning or effectiveness (Roughton, R E 2002).If homosexuality does not fit in the class of mental disorder, where does it fit? To start with it is one of the sexual behaviors. By saying it is not a mental disorder does not mean it is normal or is same as heterosexuality. Having said that homosexual is not a disorder, what bout those gays and lesbians that who are not comfortable or are trouble with their sexual feelings and behavior? These people suffer from a condition which can be classified as subjective distress, whether they look for help or not.
It is now proposed that this condition be put under a new category known as sexual orientation disturbance. This is for those people who sexual interests are for their same sex counterparts and who is either in disagreement with, are bothered by, or are looking forward to change their sexual orientation. This category is different from homosexuality which primarily does not constitute a mental disorder. Homosexuality is precisely a kind of sexual behavior and with other forms of sexual behaviors which are not a mental disorder and are not listed (Roughton, R E 2002).This revision in the listing poses a possibility of getting a gay or a lesbian to be free of mental disorder and provides ways to detect a psychiatric disorder whose main characteristic is disagreement about homosexual behavior.
This change should never interfere with the hardworking psychoanalysts and psychiatrists who have committed their time and themselves to treating the gays who are not happy. They continue to assist gays and lesbians who suffer from sexual orientation disturbance, helping people to accept and stick to their current sexual orientation or they are willing, help them change their sexual orientation. The results of accepting the proposal of change will mean that gay lobby groups will think that homosexuality has bee accepted and it is normal as the other form of sexual orientation, heterosexuality. This is quite wrong because removing homosexuality from the nomenclature means that it does not fit the criteria of mental disorder (Roughton, R E 2002).The results of this lobbying have realized quite significant results. For example, for a long time, homosexuals have been considered immoral as they distinguish to other religious groups or individuals and to other religious principles.
Recently, psychologists begun to realize that most homosexuals do have lead a religious life as others. Social scientists have also begun to treat gays and lesbians as religious or spiritual beings rather than just sexual objects who cannot be compared to others who are religious. This have began to reflect in the scientist’s work who conducts their research on homosexuality (Rodriguez, E M 2010).Christian doctrines says that homosexuals are perverse an unnatural and yet they also state that go loves all people unconditionally and homosexuals too are included. They continue to state that all Gods children will be allocated a place in heaven. Such messages continue to cause self loathing, confusion and despair in a homosexual individual.
Despite messages of Christianity condemning homosexuality as a sin and Gods love for all his people, most homosexuals still hold firm beliefs on their religion. This maintenance of a firm religious belief and the sense of being out regarding one homosexuality have enabled creation of feelings of nervousness in the homosexual individuals (Rodriguez, E M 2010).These trends that have come a long way have seen the numbers of gays and lesbians increasing over time. This is because they have been given the freedom of association, relationship and marriage. This has also led to splitting of churches with the conservative view of homosexuality. New churches are still coming up that offer comfortable accommodation to gays and lesbians.
There are also gays clubs only which have risen as a result of need to have them. Some dating sites are for homosexuals only and they can network all over the world through the use of the internet.There are however unending conflicts between the opponents and proponents of homosexuality. There have been experienced physical conflicts between the two distinct groups as it has been evident during the demonstrations. Family breakages have also been rampant as a result of homosexuality. Some parents who are anti gays are offended by their homosexual children and some end up denouncing them or sending them away from home.
The activism does not seem to end soon since now more people have joined homosexuality including powerful and influential people in the world all over. It can be predicted that in some years to come, the number of homo is going to soar especially in the countries where the laws has been liberalized.