Is Homosexuality A Mental Illness?

The shadow of two homosexual men holding hands

Preference For The Same Sex

The American Psychiatric Association’s first edition of the DSM classified homosexuality as a mental illness in 1952. It was regarded as “sociopathic personality disturbance.” Due to cultural changes and protests, homosexuality was removed from the DSM.

It was believed that by considering homosexuality to be a mental illness, society was dividing humans into sheep and goats, rather than one nation under god. As of present day, homosexuality is not listed in the DSM-V and is no longer considered a mental illness.

Besides some structural differences in the brains of homosexuals as compared to heterosexuals, there has been no evidence or collective agreement to consider homosexuality as a mental illness. Rather, it is viewed as a sexual orientation or preference.

But the stigma towards homosexuality lives on in the underground and in mainstream society. Many people still view the act of homosexuality as unnatural and a “crime against nature.” No matter how prevalent and open it has become, many people are still not accepting of it.

Many religious groups view homosexuality as distasteful. In the bible, for instance, it states that a man sleeping with another man shall both be put to death. Many religions still consider homosexuality a sin; an act against god. Many religious groups believe that homosexuality goes against the pureness of nature and what god had planned from the beginning: woman made out of man’s rib to bring thy two together for procreation.

Regardless of differing opinions, the medical community has not been able to conclude that homosexuality is a mental illness. But what exactly constitutes a mental illness? Besides changes in emotions, behavior or thinking, a mental illness is usually associated with distress or problems with functioning in social, family or work activities.

Many homosexuals live their life as indistinguishable from heterosexuals: they go to work, have friends and even start a family. And many heterosexuals also have problems with functioning in social, family or work activities; therefore, it cannot be concluded that homosexuality is a mental illness based on functionality.

Many argue that since most homosexuals knew from a young age of their sexual preference, they must have been born with “a disease.” But just because a very large segment of the population is born as homosexual, does not mean that homosexuality has ground to be considered a mental illness.

On the contrary, because so many people are born as homosexual, it is likely not a mental illness, but an evolutionary trait passed down from many generations ago. Some are begging to ask, “what in the world is the significance of this trait in regards to procreation and the survival of our species?”

There is no clear answer to that question. Perhaps not every human has been intended to further the human race and there should be nothing wrong with that. Many heterosexuals choose not to have children, so do they not fall in the same boat as homosexuals?

Whatever your beliefs may be, the medical community does not presently view homosexuality as a mental illness.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

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