The Counseling Center supports the position
established by the American Psychological Association:
"Lesbian, gay, and bisexual orientations are
not disorders. Research has found no inherent association between any
of these sexual orientations and psychopathology. Both heterosexual
behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality.
Both have been documented in many different cultures and historical
eras. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay,
and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and
clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health
organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations
represent normal forms of human experience. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual
relationships are normal forms of human bonding. Therefore, these
mainstream organizations long ago abandoned classifications of
homosexuality as a mental disorder."
This section is not just intended for those
who have questions about their sexual orientation, although that is a
primary purpose. Another goal is to provide accurate information about
homosexuality to the Brockport community since attraction to a same
sex person can create anxiety and even hostility at times.
What is sexual orientation?
According to the American Psychological
Association, sexual orientation can be defined in the following way:
"Sexual orientation refers to an enduring
pattern of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions to men,
women, or both sexes. Sexual orientation also refers to a person’s
sense of identity based on those attractions, related behaviors, and
membership in a community of others who share those attractions.
Research over several decades has demonstrated that sexual orientation
ranges along a continuum, from exclusive attraction to the other sex to
exclusive attraction to the same sex."
The same web site from
which the above definition was obtained gives a comprehensive overview
of sexual orientation the includes:
What does sexual orientation mean? What is
heterosexuality? Homosexuality? Lesbian/gay/bisexuality?
Sexual orientation means if someone is
heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual. A heterosexual person, or
someone who is "straight," is attracted to people of the opposite sex. A
homosexual person, or someone who is "gay or lesbian," is attracted to
people of the same sex. A bisexual person is attracted to both men and
What makes someone gay?
Some people believe gay people are born gay,
while others believe they choose to be gay. Most researchers believe
sexual orientation is complex, and that biology plays an important
role. This means that many people are born with their sexual
orientation, or that it’s established at an early age.
Can parents make a child gay?
You can’t raise a child to be gay. Nor can
parents or therapists change a young person’s sexual orientation, just
as they can’t change their eye color, race, or height.
What about the "cures" for homosexuality I’ve
No research has shown that "reparative
therapy" (psychotherapy to eliminate individuals’ sexual desires for
their own sex) or "transformational ministry" (the use of religion to
eliminate those desires) is successful. In fact, every mainstream
mental health and medical organization says these methods may be
harmful. They warn that attempts to "cure" lesbians and gay men may
help change sexual behavior temporarily but will also create emotional
What is the difference between homosexual people
and transgender people?
Homosexuality (and heterosexuality) refers to
a person’s sexual orientation, or to whom a person feels attracted.
Transgender refers to a person’s gender identity, or how a person
expresses their femininity or masculinity. For people who are
transgender, their gender identity is different from the sex they were
born. This means that someone may be born a male but feel emotionally
like a female or vice versa. Some transgender people use clothes,
hormones, and/or surgery to fully express their gender in the world.
Is homosexuality unhealthy?
All sexual behaviors have health risks, and
it’s important for teens to know this. But being gay does not make
someone unhealthy or unhappy. What is unhealthy is prejudice against
gays and lesbians. This prejudice can be especially damaging for young
gay people who are often harassed and made to feel ashamed of who they
are. In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association recognized
homosexuality as a normal human behavior, and since then all other
major health professional organizations have supported this fact.
Is homosexuality immoral?
Some religions continue to teach that
homosexuality is immoral, and other spiritual communities and faiths
accept people of all ages who are gay, lesbian, and bisexual. No matter
what your religious beliefs, a key value to share with your child is
to treat all people with respect.
If I think my child is gay, what should I do?
Parents are likely to have a range of
reactions. Some may hope their child is simply going through a phase,
while others may wonder if they did something wrong. And some worry
that their children will have harder lives because they are gay. Other
parents are supportive and loving of their child’s sexuality. Whatever
your reaction, try to provide a supportive, non-judgmental ear. Consider
helping your child get more information by talking with other gay
teens and contacting your local PFLAG, GLSEN, or gay youth center.
Above all else, your child needs to feel that you will always love him
or her no matter what.
- The Gay, Lesbian and Straight
Education Network strives to assure that each member of every
school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual
orientation or gender identity/expression.
- The GLBT National Help Center
is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization that is dedicated to meeting
the needs of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community and
those questioning their sexual orientation and gender identity.
PFLAG promotes the
health and well-being of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender
persons, their families, and friends.
- The nation’s largest
collection of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender [GLBT]
resources [including search capacity for resources in communities
- Provides links to GLBT
friendly churches across the country and gives accurate information
about religious teachings regarding homosexuality.
- For the politically minded, the mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
is to build the grassroots power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender (LGBT) community [also a source for internships and
Last Updated 10/26/10