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American Psychiatric Association Warns Therapists Not to Treat Homosexuals

Updated on July 5, 2017
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Politicizing a Mental Disorder

In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the primary diagnostic tool used by psychiatrists and psychologists to identify mental disorders. With a stroke of the eraser, the mental health establishment made it okay to be gay. There was dancing in the streets of San Francisco.

There was strong opposition to this measure from some in the psychological community, but these scientists were shouted down. With that action APA instantly "healed" millions of troubled individuals by simply saying "Never mind, go ahead with what you're doing, just learn to live with it."

The APA tried to reach a compromise with objectors in 1980 by including a new diagnosis - ego-dystonic homosexuality which simply stated was a persistent lack of normal arousal, that interferes with heterosexual relationships the person wants and emotional distress caused by unwanted homosexual arousal. Apparently, even this recognition that some people didn't want to be gay was too much for the activists. There were riots by gay activists at scientific conventions.

In response to the ensuing uproar, the APA, always a tower of Jello, in 1986, removed the diagnosis entirely from the DSM, leaving only a faint vestige of it under "Sexual Disorders Not Otherwise Specified". At the time, psychologists working on homosexual treatment programs wondered if preventive therapy for homosexuality would be prohibited. They were reading the future correctly.

The campaign to legitimize homosexuality continued with a recent two year APA task force that examined the issue. They released their report this year with a stern warning to therapists not to suggest that homosexuality was a mental disorder or to recommend "reparative" therapies aimed at changing sexual orientation. APA further states that in dealing with gay clients from conservative faiths, therapists should be "very cautious" about suggesting treatments aimed at altering their same-sex attractions." The report goes on to say, "Practitioners can assist clients through therapies that do not attempt to change sexual orientation, but rather involve acceptance, support and identity exploration and development without imposing a specific identity outcome."

The task force that issued this report included not one psychiatrist that believed homosexuality is not a normal adaptation. Further, the APA task force took as STARTING POINT, the belief that homosexuality is a normal variant of human sexuality, not a disorder, and that it nonetheless remains stigmatized in ways that can have negative consequences. Big surprise the outcome of that "scientific" study. This issue makes less and less sense the longer it is debated.

The Rolling Stones once sang, "Satan, Satan is my name. Confusion is my game." So it seems to be with this issue. Both sides grow increasingly muddled in their thinking. The gay community wants you to believe that homosexuality is not a choice. They also get mad every time someone tries to find out whether there is a genetic or physical problem with the brains of gay men and women. A study that indicated a shrinkage of the pineal gland in homosexual men was hooted down by the gay community. If it's not a choice, then there ought to be a physical basis for it not being a choice. For a long time the gay community has maintained that being gay is not a choice, but also has no physical basis. This confuses me. Heterosexuality has a definite physical basis. I am aroused because physical things happen in my body. How is that not so with homosexual arousal? Recently the gay community has embraced the muddled idea that there is a so-called normal "gay gene" and claims that proves that gayness is 'normal'.

Unfortunately, the APA says there is no gay gene and with this recent ruling, the APA's version of 'don't ask, don't tell' for scientific research, the APA has effectively shut down any legitimate research into what does cause homosexuality and whether it can be treated. They have, in effect, told gay people who don't want to be gay to "Get used to it!" They've opened the doors of derision on such researchers in the same fashion that the global warming people have done with scientists who are skeptical about global warming in the Al Gore era.

The Christian community's resistance to such research hasn't helped. The mystical nonsense about the human brain that many Christians accept as gospel, does not allow either mental illness or genetic factors to be causative for homosexuality. Homosexuals some vocal leaders argue, are just bad people who want to be bad and therefore must go to hell. This too is obvious balderdash. God places us in a physical body that, in a sinful world, is not always perfect. If you can get cancer, lung disease or have birth defects that cause asthma, digestive problems or a physical disability, is it any less likely that the delicate mechanism of the human brain might also, on occasion, have something wrong with it?

When Christ healed people with mental illness, did he not also repair the shattered brains of those people as well? When he drove out the "demons" did he not also repair the damage that allowed those demons to lodge there in the first place. It is God's purpose to bring us in this life to healing and health so that we are free to choose whether to follow Him or not. The Psalms say, "He knows that we are dust." That is a comfort to me because I have worked for years with people whose minds, through no fault of their own, have been damaged to the point that they could not make good decisions. Does God abandon them because they were born with fetal alcohol syndrome and cannot reason cause to effect properly? God, whose eye is on the sparrow, surely sees these folks and finds a way to save them. The Apostle Paul says that some of us will be saved as a "man escaping through the flames". I have to wonder whether he was talking about some of the truly damaged among us, the aborted babies, the severely mentally ill or those who die under tremendous abuse. I believe God can bring each and every one of us to a point of decision. Who will you serve? He knows what is truly in our heart. The evidence of the thief on the cross shows that salvation isn't about what we do, but about simply embracing the salvation that is offered to us. To those who die not fully formed as humans, I believe God is powerful to save. In heaven, God could place in my arms any child that never had a chance at life and I will with unspeakable joy, raise that child as my own. I will befriend any soul that had Downs Syndrome in this life and comes to heaven as a childlike soul and I will gladly mentor him or her to adulthood. The APA has said we must not offer healing to those who suffer with unnatural desires of homosexuality and wish that they did not.

Well, civil disobedience works for Christians too and I believe that every Christian therapist, psychologist, counselor and psychiatrist should fearlessly disobey the APA. We should continue research into the physical causes of this disorder and work tirelessly on treatments. We should treat our brothers and sisters who choose to remain gay with the same love and tenderness we would treat anyone. We must love our enemies as well as our friends and that duty extends to the lesbian couple next door, the gay men down the street and even to the misguided protestors at the APA conventions.

They are our fellow travelers and we are commanded to love them as we love ourselves. It's that simple.

Just one man's opinion.

Tom King


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    • twayneking profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Puyallup, WA

      I agree. It seems the folk who violently defend sexual choice only defend deviant sexual choice. If a gay male wants to choose to become a heterosexual male, then he should have that choice. A transgender man can choose to "become" a woman. Then why not a gay man being allowed to choose to become a heterosexual man. Why doesn't he get that option. Why should he have to "get used to it". Choice I'm all for, but not choice that is only free for some.

      The treatment of homosexuality as a disorder is as much about the right to sexual free choice as gender reassignment or any other sex related therapy, treatment, surgery or lifestyle choice.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Go, Tom!

      I am a student taking abnormal psychology, and I have to write up a case study for someone suffering from "Sexual Identity Disorder." I wanted to find treatment for someone who does not wish to be homosexual. I found nothing. Only treatment to come to terms with homosexuality was available. And there are some studies that show that hormonal conditions especially during prenatal development can cause problems with sexual orientation. For example, too much testosterone in a mother while carrying a female fetus can produce a woman with masculine tendencies not enough while carrying a male child less masculine tendencies. With this finding why isn't someone exploring if hormonal therapy along with cognitive therapy as an option for someone who doesn't want to pursue a homosexual lifestyle for whatever reason? I agree, if the homosexual lifestyle is simply a choice, let the person have every fair option to choose their course in life. If it is not and there are indeed biological conditions that makes someone homosexual then let’s explore treatments that will give someone the opportunity to say treat my biological predisposition or to forego any treatment at all. They should have that option. Freedom to choose is not a freedom at all if only one option is presented!

    • twayneking profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Puyallup, WA

      Once again, I never recommended abuse, torture or even ridicule. What I'm saying is that there IS evidence that there is a real physical cause behind some homosexuality. It can't be a choice and not a choice anymore than heterosexuality. I am a heterosexual. I did not choose to be. It came with the physical equipment I was born with. It makes sense in the bast scheme of things. I'm not even suggesting judging folk because they are homosexuals.

      All I said is that to stifle research into the causes of homosexuality and to search for a cure is not immoral. The strategy of the political wing of the gay community seems to be to brute force acceptance of homosexuality as a normal condition by the culture at large - despite the fact that many who are homosexual would like to NOT be.

      I agree that you should be free to choose. But choice implies, well, a choice! The Gay and Lesbian Alliances it seems, would offer homosexuals only one choice - get used to being gay and find someone to be gay with.

      In 30 years working in the mental health and social services field, I have seen plenty of predatory behavior on the part of so-called "gay activists", whose idea of helping someone come to terms with his or her homosexuality is to take them to a gay bar and get them laid. That's one way to deal with it, but if that's the only way, then the gay political wing is only offering one choice - out way or the highway.

      I do not want to judge - as you say it's God's job. What I should be able to do is work to help those searching for a cure for what is a condition that is demonstrably a disorder. If you believe in evolution, being gay makes no sense. It does not propagate the species. If you're into the whole Gaea thing then it's nature's cruel way of reducing the population when things get crowded (apparently wars just aren't bloody enough anymore to accomplish the same thing).

      If you're a Christian, it's a sin and if help is available for folk to do not want to feel these urges anymore, why not allow the research to continue.

      What I'm objecting to is the hypocrisy of the gay political wing that says it's not a choice, but it's not a mental disorder and then turns around and says it is a choice but it cannot be a sin since it's not a choice and is perfectly natural. Huh?

      1. If it is a choice, then it can absolutely be a sin, just as beating up a gay person is a choice and very much a sin as any self-respecting Christian will tell you.

      2. If it is not a choice, then there is something in the biological or genetic makeup that makes one gay and therefore it may be fixable and research should be allowed into the subject without the researcher having to fear being drummed out of your field of study.

      3. If it is perfectly natural then it is not a choice. The problem with that theory is that it only admits of one philosophical or religious point of view and rejects all others and by the way condemns all gay people to be that way whether they choose to be or not.

      That's all well and good if you want to make sure you have plenty of gay folk to go around, but it sucks if you as a person with homosexual tendencies wants a way out. It condemns you to the not-so-tender mercies of quacks, kooks and religious fanatics, since anyone with any compassion, intelligence or scientific training gets treated as badly by the gay community and its allies as gay people do by the ignorant rednecks.

      You talk about stereo-typing gay people, how about stereo-typing people like me. I know about treating people like I want to be treated. I do that. I'm asking for a little quid pro quo from the gay community.

      The APA website claims much research has been done, but very little has been done since the DSM dropped homosexuality as a mental illness under pressure from Gay and Lesbian political forces. As much of what we know about the human brain has been learned over the past 30 to 40 years, it seems significant that relatively no serious research on the brain/body connection with homosexuality in that time. The one piece of research that suggested a relationship between the size of the male pineal gland in gay men was shouted down by the gay community and activists in the APA.

      The entire APA website is basically a rehash of the Gay and Lesbian political wing's strategy for making the culture accept homosexuality as normal and okay.

      I've never mistreated a gay person in my life. I've never mistreated an adulterer, a practicing witch, a Buddhist, a Hindu, a neo-Pagan, a redneck or a Yankee. Your belief is your own. I do believe, however, that a psychologist should be allowed to help a person who does not wish to be gay to become not gay if it is possible to do so. To do that there should be research allowed to discover, if possible, the physical cause of this condition. The APA site talks as if all the research has been done that needs to be done and that we need to all quit thinking it's a problem and shut up about it.

      That's just preposterous. Research has NOT been by any means comprehensive on the subject, nor has modern technology of the past 30 years had a real shot at it, since at present, even to do such a research study would amount to heresy according to the APA.

      No one's talking about concentration camps. We're talking about letting science determine if gay people really do get a choice or not. The gay community fears if there is a "cure", that we'll go back to treating it like a disease. I would hope we're smarter than that.

      The point of living in a free country is that you get to be Catholic, or Mormon or Jehovah's Witness, Atheist, Hindu or Baptist whether I like it or not. I get to have whatever philosophy I have whether you like it or not. My point in this blog is that I believe it is wrong for the Grand Dragons of the Gay movement to tell all gay people they are stuck with it and to just come on out and get used to it.

      And don't tell me about persecution. I went to a school where half the guys in my class wound up in prison and I was a smart, skinny. nerdy kid with horn-rimmed glasses (with tape across the bridge). I wore a target in school and went home with bruises regularly. I got lucky and found a wife who helped me change my image so I could still be me, but without overt the nerdiness. I chose to make the change and became a teacher and protected kids that were being picked on (including the gay ones). The point was, I got to have a choice in the matter. I can't say I know how gay kids feel. I'm sure it's awful to deal with. But I suspect, if someone had discovered a treatment for it, I'd have taken it gladly. I wouldn't blame someone who didn't. As you say, it's their choice.

      I spent a couple of years in grad schools studying human psychology and another 30 working with people with every sort of physical, mental and behavioral problem you could imagine. Many were gay. Many are still friends. I go to church with folk who struggle with urges they find morally unacceptable.

      All you offer them is to give up the community and belief system they hold dear and command them to embrace a lifestyle they may find repugnant. And your community shouts down every attempt by science to offer them an escape from it.

      We live in a society that says if you lose your heterosexual desires you can take a pill to get it back if you want.

      So what's wrong with looking for a pill or a surgery to change your sexual orientation.

      It looks to me as if this is more about cultural engineering to make gayness normal by law and not compassion for those who struggle with it and don't want to. That's all I'm saying.

      And the stuff you just said about me - without knowing me at all, is every bit as bad as some of the anti-gay stuff I've seen out there.

      Golden rule works both ways, okay. Let's keep to issues and leave off the name-calling.


    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Are you people serious? You actually think people choose to be gay? And you still believe it's a mental disorder? People that are gay have to go through so much freaking scrutiny that many end up killing themselves because of people like you with your so called words of wisdom. So many kids, teenagers, and even adults that come out of the closet (the closets you put them in) are thrown to the wolves by their closest friends and loved ones. Why on earth would someone actually choose to be called horrible names and labeled as an outcast to society? You haven't the slightest idea what you are talking about, and I hope for your sake that you are able to see the truth sometime in your lives before your god kicks you downstairs for not being loving and caring souls to your fellow human beings. It's quite sad that you people can't see the error in your thinking processes. Do some real research. Don't get your scientific facts from a preacher or the bible. They didn't go through years of scientific training. You just remember how you felt during times in your lives when someone talked bad about you and made you feel like shit. Think of a time in your life when you were taunted by the children you went to school with just because someone didn't believe you were normal. Or how bout this? Have you ever been beaten half to death and hospitalized by a group of uneducated fools like you? How about your family? Did they kick you out, because you were just so much of an embarrassment to their name? Of course you didn't, because people like you are the reasons things like these happen! You guys really need to think through your words and actions a little more. There isn't one person in the world that would choose to go through all the things gays go through within their lives. Why are you guys trying to make their lives worse? It's bad enough they go through all the personal shit in their lives with hardly any support, but then they have to see and hear the filth that spews from your voices. Do unto others as you would have done to you, or did you forget that part in your daily bible readings? You wouldn't want to be treated like that, so why in hell do you people insist on acting that way towards them? I personally think ignorance such as yourselves should be considered a mental disorder. They even have treatment centers for such disorders: schools and libraries. There is no such thing as actual treatment to fix gayness. It's been around since human life has begun, and it's not curable. It's not a disease. The poor children that are forced through those concentration camps for gays don't actually get cured. They bottle up their emotions and feel like they're living a lie until they truly come out. Adults that claim they have been fixed- either they weren't gay in the first place, or they're just acting the part that society wants them to play. Let these people free! They have dealt with the abuse long enough. If you believe in God, why would you want to torture an entire community of people that just want to be themselves without judgement? You don't get to judge! It's not your job! If you believed in God, you would know that. I've said my piece, but I really hope you think a little harder about your actions. They affect others in a very negative way when you act like this. we're all human- leave it at that.

      check out the APA website:

    • twayneking profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Puyallup, WA

      Disagree, how? Are you saying that gay people should not be offered treatment if they do not wish to be gay?

      See that's the quandary with the gay community. I hear a lot of rhetoric about the freedom to be gay, which I agree with. If you want to practice the lifestyle, fine. That's your decision. If, however, your belief system is at odds with the gay lifestyle and if it's a genetic predisposition, I see no problem with the scientific community exploring ways to correct the condition. If homosexuality is a choice, then there are likely behavioral factors involved with making the choice (as I saw in my two decades experience working with troubled teens), then if you want to make the choice not to be gay, (same as if you want to quit, say drug addiction or alcoholism), there should be nothing wrong with someone helping you change your behavior.

      Gay activists can't logically demand that they be allowed to freely practice homosexuality and at the same time deny that those who freely choose not to practice homosexuality be denied treatment options or therapeutic help. It makes no sense. Freedom runs both ways or not at all.

      There are only two reasons I can see for opposing research into treatment of homosexuality. (1) An agenda to "normalize" being gay - in other words to force people to accept homosexuality as normal and good. (2) A belief that homosexuality can't be cured or treated and a desire to save gay people from exploitation (3) To keep the pool of potential gay sex partners as large as possible.

      The first two reasons would also serve the third reason nicely. I fail to see the logic in the gay activist community's opposition to research and treatment into the condition. I understand it, I just fail to see the logic. The activist community wants the gay lifestyle to be as acceptable to everyone as deciding to be a postman or a ballerina. This cannot happen if someone is researching treatment to "cure" the condition. Then it goes back to being a disease and if there is a cure, many would feel pressure from their families and communities to seek treatment for something they enjoy doing - as though the family of a NASCAR fan were to suggest he get treatment for his trips to the race track and the posters on his walls.

      It's difficult, especially as a large number of Americans see the practice of homosexuality to be a sin and that isn't going to change any more than all of a sudden gay people are going to become straight voluntarily.

      The only "equilibrium" I can see is a united decision from both communities to both accept gay people's right to choose their lifestyle AND the right for gay people NOT to choose the lifestyle and seek help.

      I doubt you'll willingly get gay "marriage" out of it, but you might get civil unions okayed.

      Just saying.

    • profile image


      9 years ago



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