August 21, 2010
There is not a lot of information out there written by psychologists on homosexuality. And the work that is out there is either for or against the acceptance of homosexuality, somehow negating the real issue of how to help young people who have found themselves in that minority group, understand themselves. Most of the work you will find is either by individuals financially backed by pro-equality groups or by individuals financially supported by groups that honestly believe being gay is either a chosen affliction or one given by the hand of God.
This writing will not be about politics or religion, this will be solely about the very core of what it means to be homosexual. I will talk about many of the current theories on the origins of homosexuality, but mostly about my own opinions on how it began and where it will lead both within an individual and our global society.
In my previous ventures into the psychology of homosexuality, particularly my 2008 essay “My Theory on the Origins of Homosexuality” I attempted to suggest that homosexuality is a mutation that occurs during prenatal development. If you look at it from a strictly scientific approach, it is nothing more than population control. When a species of animal overpopulates its environment, something always breaks out in the population and dramatically drops their numbers to more acceptable levels, a level that can be sustained by resources available. Usually this disruption is disease. Sometimes it’s a predatory animal that would normally not feed on this overpopulated species, but because it is so readily available it takes advantage of this food source.
Someone would have to be oblivious if they didn’t already know that the human race is at almost 7 billion humans worldwide. I’m not going to say that the Earth is overpopulated with people, but I think that there are certain areas on this planet that are heavily populated, dare I say too heavily populated. Now, overpopulation isn’t something that happens overnight and nor is nature’s response something that just all of a sudden happens. This type of thing takes time. The human race has overcome a lot of obstacles in our attempt at controlling our own destiny. What we’ve been able to do in the face of disease and the longevity of life is amazing. These accomplishments have rendered us the supreme complex organism on this planet.
Scientists like Charles Darwin knew that through evolution, species either adapt or they die out, they evolve or go extinct. When we piece together Earth’s past, we find that there have been other species that have dominated the landscape and at one point or another they either drastically evolved in the time since or they went extinct. The reasons for this change varies depending on which species we are talking about, for some it was a change in the physical environment and for others it was a change in the inter-species environment.
For the sake of my argument I’m going to focus on the inter-species environment. Spiritualists would call this the web of life, the connection between every living thing on this planet. When the web is thrown out of balance, either by overpopulation of one species or the extinction of that species, every other species that lives within that environment will also be affected.
It is here that my argument comes full circle. I think it entirely possible, that homosexuality is a genetically inherited mutation that occurs during prenatal development. A mutation that is happening because of the impact the human race has had on the planetary environment in which we live. Is it the only attempt at population control? No, there are other diseases that explode in social environments for the same purpose. But until we understand more about homosexuality, it may become one of the most prominent forces in controlling the human population. From a strictly scientific perspective, I will not argue whether population control is a good or bad thing for the human race.
In 2009 I wrote another essay about homosexuality, this time entitled “My Theory on the Social Evolution of Homosexuality.” This essay dug deeper into the psychological and sociological aspects of homosexuality. To date, it is probably my best writing attempt at understanding homosexuality.
In this writing I compared what homosexuality was in the mind of an individual to what it was in the collective mind of our social environments. I discussed how society may be dictating what it means to be gay more than what the individual’s understanding of what being gay might actually mean.
This varying degree of understanding is exactly where I want to lead into with the essay you are reading right now. When I first walked into the gay world, I was led to believe that either you were gay or you weren’t and this belief is still strongly pushed onto people who recently come out as being gay.
First and foremost, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that it is not this black and white. Being gay is all about the gray in the middle. Homosexuality cannot be simply measured by whether or not you are attracted to the same gender. That ideal is ancient and therefore outdated. Being gay is a complex psychological state.
I prefer to think of orientation as a sliding scale, more accurately homosexuality as a space on a sliding scale. One with varying levels of homosexuality. These varying levels consist of both physical and psychological aspects associated with being feminine and masculine. And because I don’t know what it’s like to be a woman, I’m going to continue on only discussing this from a man’s perspective.
On this theoretical sliding scale, there are points A and B. These two points are polar opposites. Point A is extreme non-homosexual. This is where the uber-heterosexual man exists. On the far end is Point B. This is where the uber-homosexual man exists. It is that gray area in the middle that defies the labels and understanding of the greater social populace that I’m most interested in.
Here in the middle between point A and point B are the answers to everything we could ever want to know about homosexuality because it breaks away from what we have convinced ourselves is orientation and radically blurs the line between gay and straight. So much so that gay and straight no longer exist, that they never existed as separate; that there isn’t gay men and straight men, there is only men.
Until more independent research is done on understanding when and how homosexuality occurs we cannot fully declare anything to be certain and nor can we say that everything is uncertain. We do know that geography plays no part. We know that it is not bound by race or gender, faith or culture. We know that for most it is first experienced in childhood, sometime right before or during puberty. We know that it is not physically contagious. At this point in time, it is not curable or preventable or reversible. In fact, being gay causes absolutely no physical harm to the person or anyone around them.
For these reasons it is not recognized by the CDC as a disease or disorder. It’s what you choose to do as a gay man that creates the possibility of harm and that’s true for any one of any gender or orientation.
So the main point of this entire essay is to solidify that homosexuality is complex. It is a varying psychological state of being that may or may not be caused by physical alterations in a person’s genetic code. That it may be a genetic mutation that is activated during prenatal development or during puberty and that this activation may or may not be connected to one’s social environment.
Aside from these things, it’s simply real. It’s real people who deal with something that is still considered to be outside of the spectrum of normal human thought and behaviour. And they only have to deal with it because others make it an issue. People make it an issue because it is not understood and it’s not understood because I personally don’t think anyone really wants to know. Why not? Imagine the ramifications if the origins of homosexuality was finally discovered and that discovery possibly led to its elimination.