APA Releases New Homosexuality Brochure
Special Report - March 24, 2008
The American Psychological Association (APA) released a new brochure that indicates changes in the way homosexuality is perceived among the scientific community. While the brochure, titled “Answers to Your Questions: For a Better Understanding of Sexual Orientation & Homosexuality,” notes that “[s]ince 1975, the American Psychological Association has called on psychologists to take the lead in removing the stigma of mental illness that has long been associated with lesbian, gay, and bisexual orientations,” this publication goes beyond merely removing the mental illness stigma, and instead calls for widespread acceptability of homosexuality as a valid and appropriate lifestyle.
A more detailed review of the brochure, however, reveals a change from previous APA publications on homosexuality. Instead of arguing that homosexuality can be biologically determined, the new brochure states,
There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors.
The APA instead argues that “self-determination” is an important factor in choosing one’s lifestyle. A. Dean Byrd of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) writes, “Although there is no mention of the research that influenced this new position statement, it is clear that efforts to ‘prove’ that homosexuality is simply a biological fait accompli have failed.”
Matthew Lytle, Director of Research for the North Carolina Family Policy Council, commented, “The lack of any conclusive scientific research showing that biological factors determine one’s sexual identity appears to have caused homosexual activists to move on from that line of argumentation. This, of course, has not led to a reconsideration of the acceptability of homosexuality as an acceptable and ‘natural’ lifestyle, but has in its place led to different and more sophisticated arguments for homosexuality.”
Copyright © 2008. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.