Homosexuality – abnormal psyche or normal variation?
Homosexuality is a sexual preference for someone of the same gender. While males are referred to as gays, women are known as lesbians. In the past, homosexuality was considered to be abnormal and unacceptable, due to which a large number of homosexuals lived dual lives, pretending to be heterosexuals in society whist they remained closet homosexuals.
While many countries now consider it to be a matter of personal choice, homosexual behavior is still a punishable offence in quite a few nations. A person who is unhappy about his or her sexual preference and seeks medical help is treated as a psychiatric case.
The exact cause of homosexuality is unknown. There have been various theories propounded and a number of explanations given to rationalize the development of a homosexual mentality. In some cases, parental fixation was found to be the underlying factor. For example, a man who is dominated and ill-treated by his father, tends to cling to his mother, identify with her, and become more feminine; therefore seeking a male lover.
The contrary is also possible, where an over-dominating and short-tempered mother will cause her son to hate womankind and look for solace in the arms of a gentler male. The converse seems to hold true even in the case of lesbians.
Childhood experiences have also got a major role to play in homosexuality. Young boys who have been sexually abused frequently by their older brothers or friends develop a homosexual preference, and actually seem to enjoy their power struggle with an older and stronger male, before eventually surrendering to him. Oddly enough there are also cases, especially amongst females, where a young girl has been manhandled by older males of the family or neighborhood, leaving them with a sense of disgust towards all men. Such women trust their own clan and may give in to lesbian overtures.
A large number of homosexual men have been found to be having lower levels of androgens in their bloodstream. Similarly, women with higher androgen levels in their body seem to show a propensity to being lesbian. Research has shown that if one of a twin is homosexual, the possibility of the other twin being homosexual is higher if they are identical twins.
Homosexuals, who seek psychiatric help, may need behavioral therapy along with counseling and avoidance conditioning to try and change their sexual orientation. This can at least ensure that such a person can live a better life by overcoming negative feelings such as guilt, shame, frustration, depression, or poor self-esteem. Sexual preference is supposed to be something private and hence, every person should be allowed his or her right to choose his or her partner. What ultimately matters is safe sex and fidelity, to ward off sexually transmitted diseases!
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