From Line in the Sand
Over the next few posts I want to look at the evidence for and against homosexuality being normal or a disease. But before that I want to try and answer a question – by offering therapy to overcome unwanted homosexual feelings are therapists calling homosexuality a disease? Or does something we see as unhealthy behaviour have to be a disease or psychological condition?
If you are a gay rights activist, a member of such “professional” bodies as the American Psychological Association, the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy, the British Psychological Society and even the UK’s Association of Christian Counselling, or a Member of Parliament who wants to discredit those who offers therapy to overcome unwanted homosexual feelings the answer – where homosexuality is concerned at least – is yes. But let’s look at another issue, that of gang membership.
Over the last couple of decades we have seen an increase, particularly in inner cities. Sociologists and social psychologists see the roots of this behaviour as need for masculine companionship and sense of belonging, fatherlessness, and a need for masculine affirmation amongst other issues for male gangs with similar issues for so-called “girl gangs”. Many gangs have lifestyles that involve gun and/or knife violence, the use of heavy drugs. Would we call this behaviour healthy? Would we tell those who work to help gang members leave the lifestyle and deal with the issues that have led to them making that lifestyle choice not to because gang membership is not a disease? Yet this is exactly how we treat those who offer to help those who reject the gay identity and want to leave.