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    Sexual Orientation

    Homosexuality is a psychological disorder?



    The legalization of same gender marriage in parts of world set off a contentious public debate. Although the public discussion over gay marriage is difficult, some believe that it has value. First, it has allowed the gay community to educate straight citizens about the realities and diversity of same gender couples and their family relationships. Second, it has helped to raise the nation’s awareness about the facets of discrimination against gays. Although many people across the world, opposed to gay marriage, they are much more accepting of other issues related to homosexuality.

    Greater acceptance is due to the increasing visibility of lesbians and gays in society, including likable gay or lesbian character through media or television.

    Homophobia is the intense fear and intolerance of homosexuals. Because few people with negative attitude towards homosexuals have the psychopathology that “phobia” implies, some pathologists believe that sexual prejudice is a more appropriate term. The lowest levels of sexual prejudice are associated with individuals who personally know someone who is gay. Higher levels of sexual prejudice are associated with being older, male, less educated, and living in the rural areas. Sexual prejudice is also correlated with such psychological factors as authoritarianism and conservative religious and political beliefs. Unfortunately, negative attitude sometimes translates into hate crimes. Discussing the process, we drew heavily on the work of psychologists Linda Garnets and Douglas Kimmel. For gays, lesbians, and bisexual, sexual identity development involves acknowledging, recognizing, and labeling. One’s sexual orientation; conceptualizing it in positive terms; and disclosing it to others.

    Gay people may need to create a dual identity that integrates their sexual orientation and their culture; gay women may need to create a triple identity. In deciding to disclose one’s sexual orientation to others, people must balance the psychological and social benefits against the cost of being fired, losing friends, losing custody of children, falling victim to hate crimes.

    A pragmatic solution to this conflict is rational outness being “as open as possible, because it feels healthy to be honest, and as closed as necessary to protect against discrimination”. People are more likely to disclose their sexual orientation to close heterosexual friends and siblings than to parents, co-workers or employers. Coming to terms with one’s homosexuality in a hostile environment is difficult. Some parents throw their gay children out of the house, and some teachers and peers harass and assault gay and lesbian youth.

    The study reported that, among parents who knew about their children’s homosexuality, mothers were perceived by their children to be rejecting and 8-10% to be intolerant but not rejecting. Comparable figures for father were 18-20% were perceived by their children to be rejecting and 10-12% to be intolerant but not rejecting.

    At least half of gay and lesbian teenagers reported that they had lost at least one friend because of their sexual orientation. High school and colleges increasingly support groups for gay, lesbian and bisexual students. These developments should relieve some of the stress that homosexuals experience.

    The mental health community initially classified homosexuality as a psychological disorder. The pioneering research of Evelyn Hooker (1957) and others, however, demonstrated that view to be a myth: Gays and straights do not differ on overall measures of psychological adjustment. As a result of research, changes in public attitudes, and political lobbying, homosexuality was deleted from the official list of psychological disorders in 1973. Since then, research continues to demonstrate comparable psychological adjustment in gay and straight individuals, couples, and parents. Similarly, there is no evidence of psychopathology in nonclinical samples of bisexual men and women.

    Exposure to sexual prejudice and discrimination can cause acute distress. Some recent studies suggest that gay males and lesbians are at greater risk than their straight peer for anxiety, depression, substance dependence and suicide attempts.

    According to the survey, same gender couples and children rearing are increasing day by day. The children of some couples are their own from previous heterosexual relationships or artificial insemination; other children have been adopted.

    Studies to date indicate that children of gay or lesbian parents are no different than children of heterosexual parents in term of self-esteem, gender role, sexual orientation, peer group relationships, or social adjustment.

    Hi, I’m Aarti, My Psychoanalytical approach towards my clients is to empower them to better their lives through improving their relationship with themselves. I believe shame and guilt is a common barrier to change. I aim to guide my clients through re authoring their narratives where shame, guilt, and other problems have less power and take up less space.

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