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Independent expert answers
on psychiatry and psychology

Homosexuality is not a Psychiatric Disturbance

Abstract: Homosexuality is not a disorder, and is thus not something you normally want treatment for.

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Homosexuality is not a Psychiatric Disturbance

Intelligent natural language question-answering in the area of psychology and psychiatry. Ask a simple question  Local help Info


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Question(s): 
Written by:

Fabio Piccini, doctor and Jungian psychotherapist, in charge of the "Centre for Eating Disorders Therapy" at "Malatesta Novello" nursing home in Cesena. Works privately in Rimini and Chiavari. E-mail:

Wendy Moelker, psychologist in charge of Emergis, Goes, the Netherlands.

First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 24 Aug 2008.

I'm homosexual. Do I need therapy?

Answer:

Homo is a Greek word for equal. Homosexuality is thus to have preference for sexual relations with and to feel attracted to persons of the same sex. So men with a preference for sexual relations with men and women with a preference for sexual relations with women. Women who are homosexual are called lesbian.

First of all, it is important to correct the common misunderstanding that a person is either homosexual or heterosexual. Kinsey and his colleagues developed a scale to measure the extent of heterosexuality and homosexuality in individuals. It was thus claimed by Kinsey that some individuals are entirely homosexual in their orientation, others are bisexual, and others (the majority of people actually) are entirely heterosexual.

Bisexual people don't have a preference for a sexual relationship with a certain sex, but feel attracted to both men and women.

Distinction should be made between homosexual orientation and homosexual behaviour. Homosexual behaviour is fairly common in adolescence and some heterosexual individuals will engage in homosexual behaviour under certain circumstances when access to the opposite sex is prevented (schools, military service, prisons, etc.). The prevalence of homosexuality in adulthood is uncertain and is estimated between 7 % of men and 4 % of women.

No forms of homosexuality are illegal in Europe.

There is no need for a homosexual to seek psychiatric or psychological help unless there are other emotional symptoms associated with it (for instance, anxiety or depression, etc.), since homosexuality is not considered as a psychiatric disturbance.

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