Homosexuality, same-sex attraction: "Journal of Human Sexuality, Vol. III"

 

Journal of Human Sexuality, Vol. III

Now available through the NARTH - Pilgriamge Bookstore 

Overview of Volume 3 of the Journal of Human Sexuality

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The National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH)

 

In addition to peer-reviewed papers and book reviews, volume 3 of the Journal of Human Sexuality contains a new section, "Official Statements of NARTH." This section documents attempts by NARTH to respond to initiatives regarding the right to receive and to offer professional care for unwanted same-sex attractions. These initiatives include those from state (California Association for Marriage and Family Therapists) and national (American Psychological Association) mental healthcare professional associations and from the British Medical Association. Abstracts of the papers and the titles of the book reviews and Official Statements are included below.

 

PAPERS

 

A. Dean Byrd, Homosexual Couples and Parenting: What Science Can and Cannot Say

 

Abstract

 

Relatively little empirical research has been done on homosexual parenting. Although there is a dearth of methodologically sound studies, the literature provides evidence of significant differences between heterosexual and homosexual parenting. While more research is needed in this area, current literature identifies differences in child-rearing, relationship dynamics, mental health, relationship stability, and physical health between heterosexual and homosexual parents, differences that support the position that living in a homosexual family structure may not be in the best interest of a child.

 

Walter R. Schumm, Child Outcomes Associated with Lesbian Parenting: Comments on Biblarz and Stacey's 2010 Report

 

Abstract

 

Biblarz and Stacey (2010a), as well as Biblarz and Savci (2010), recently reviewed the literature on lesbian parenting and concluded that lesbian parents were probably more effective parents than heterosexual parents. They went so far as to question the need for fathers as parents. That literature has been reexamined in this paper. It appears that parental role modeling is important for children of lesbian as well as heterosexual parents. It appears that lesbian parents do tend to divide household labor more equally than do heterosexual parents, which appears to carry over to encouraging their children to adopt less traditional gender roles compared to heterosexual parents. Furthermore, it appears that sons of lesbians tend to be more feminine than sons of heterosexual parents, while daughters of lesbian mothers tend to be more masculine than daughters of heterosexual parents. Thus, parental influence seems important for gender modeling, though complete role reversal is rare.

 

Likewise, lesbian parents appear to be more open to their children at the very least expressing a nontraditional sexual orientation when compared to heterosexual parents. Again, parental influence seems to be an influence, since increasing evidence suggests that children of lesbian mothers, perhaps especially their daughters, are more likely to adopt a nonheterosexual sexual orientation. Some research also suggests that children of lesbian parents are more likely to adopt sexually permissive attitudes, even if they have a heterosexual orientation. Since the children of lesbian parents appear to have much higher exposure to nonheterosexual role models in terms of adult contacts other than their parents, there may be additional modeling from those other adults with respect to nontraditional gender roles and nontraditional sexual orientations, if not sexual

permissiveness.

 

It remains challenging to sort out the effects of sexual orientation on a child's psychological adjustment. First, virtually all studies and outcomes that have yielded adverse results for lesbians' children have been marginalized in the literature; published research has shown that outcomes favorable toward gay or lesbian parenting are more likely to be cited academically than those that are unfavorable, in spite of greater methodological limitations. Second, any significant effects of gay or lesbian parenting most likely operate over long periods of time through intervening variables such as parental goals for their children. In addition, such effects would most likely be tied to gender role or sexual orientation/sexual permissiveness outcomes rather than other variables. The extent to which parents model and encourage delayed gratification

choices-especially those involving sex-may be important intervening variables for

understanding children's psychological outcomes as a function of parental gender and

sexual orientation.

 

Consequently, it appears that recent conclusions about the consequences of lesbian parenting (Biblarz & Savci, 2010; Biblarz & Stacey, 2010a, 2010b) are far from scientifically correct. Parental modeling does appear to play an important role in child socialization for both lesbian and heterosexual parents. However, what is modeled does appear to differ substantially between lesbian and heterosexual parents, with significant consequences for children in terms of a variety of outcomes, most often keyed to gender role orientations or expressions of sexuality. Recent claims that lesbians make better parents than heterosexuals are not warranted scientifically.

 

 

Neil E. Whitehead, Neither Genes nor Choice: Same-Sex Attraction Is Mostly a Unique Reaction to Environmental Factors

 

Abstract

 

This paper uses the seven largest twin registry studies to emphasize that same-sex attraction (SSA) is mostly caused neither by genetics (weak to modest influence) nor direct shared environment (very weak), but by many nonshared individualistic events and reactions, none of which is more than a small minority of total influences, and may well be differing reactions to shared environment. Twin studies sum up all influences (known and yet to be found) and their interactions, so this conclusion about the importance of nonshared factors is unlikely to change with future research into biological or social causes. The mean genetic percentages of shared genetic and environmental factors combined for men and women are 22 and 33% respectively and are not significantly different statistically. They are almost certainly maxima, likely to halve with further research. Recent findings of nonshared environmental epigenetic causes (genetic

expression influenced by the environment) lead again to a conclusion that the genetic influence has possibly been overstated. Nor is deliberate choice of orientation significant; even for adult sexual choice (e.g., heterosexual mate selection), chance predominates. For the development of sexual orientation (ten being the mean age of first attraction), deliberate choice must be a very unusual event.

 

Neil E. Whitehead, Sociological Studies Show Social Factors Produce Adult SSA

 

Abstract

 

An important path analysis study by Bell, Weinberg, and Hammersmith (1981a) is usually interpreted in the literature as proving there are no social/upbringing effects on development of adult SSA (same-sex attraction). Instead, the study said that varying social factors leading to SSA occur in different ways in various classes, such as bisexuals, blacks, and effeminate homosexuals. It correctly points out that individual factors contribute to SSA for the whole population in small and diverse ways and that any single cause will result in SSA only in small percentages of a population. The present paper shows that these social factors are collectively significant. An important follow-up study (Van Wyk & Geist, 1984) showed sexual experience factors were very important. Bell, Weinberg, and Hammersmith (1981a) believe that adolescent SSA development is biologically preprogrammed-in other words, it is fixed in childhood and shows no further change. This is shown to be quite erroneous on several counts. For example, recent work on teenage twins with SSA (Bearman & Brueckner, 2002) shows no genetic influence and a predominant nonshared environmental component. The conclusion regarding factors contributing to SSA is that social factors are significant, confirming the observations of clinicians, but the influence of the factors is heavily dependent on personal idiosyncrasy.

 

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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