I.D.I.S. - Istituto per la Dottrina e l'Informazione Sociale
Voci per un Dizionario del Pensiero Forte
by Bruto Maria Bruti
Homosexuality means sexual attraction by individuals of the same gender. It is twice more frequent among males than among females and it is not to be confused with hermaphroditism or transsexualism, since neither malformations nor hatred for his own body are found in the homosexual.
1. Hypothesis of biological causes
In 1991, the homosexual American biologist Simon LeVay founder of the Institute of Gay and Lesbian Education elaborated a theory according to which the homosexual behavior is not caused by contracted, undergone or freely chosen habits, but an inborn biological condition. More precisely, it would be the consequence of a cerebral "programming". LeVays hypotesis is that the third interstitial nucleus of the anterior hypothalamus INAH3 would be bigger in males than in women and homosexuals, and could be the determining factor in the genesis of sexual behavior.
William Byne is a psychiatrist of New York State Psychiatric Institute and researcher at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University of New York, where he does researches on the cerebral structure of human beings and other primates and on the way the various biological and social factors interact in influencing behavior; in 1994, Byne pointed out that LeVays work is unreliable, because all the brains of male homosexuals came from patients affected by AIDS, and at the time of decease all the subjects showed a low testosterone level as a consequence of the disease: researches demonstrate how the volume of some hypotalamic nuclei changes along with the quantity of testosterone present in blood. However, a research on sexual behavior of monozygotic twins that is having all the same genes and the same biological structure and, moreover, brought up in close contact, in the same family and social background is crucial against the hypothesis of homosexuality as a biological condition. The research was made by J. Michael Bailey of North-Western University and Richard C. Pillard of Boston University; they demonstrated that if one of the twins had chosen an homosexual behavior, in about half of the cases the other chose a normal sexual behavior: 48% of monozygotic twins brought up together show opposite sexual orientation when one of the twins has chosen an homosexual behavior.
All this demonstrates the importance of free will and habits in the genesis of sexual behavior unequivocally.
2. Hypothesis of psychological causes
The Dutch psychiatrist Gerard J. M. van den Aardweg underlines how in the last decades especially the ideas of Austrian psychoanalyst Alfred Adler (1870-1937), proved to be founded. Adler was the first, in 1917, to estabilish a connection between homosexuality and an inferiority complex towards ones own gender. The empirical researches by Irving and by Toby B. Bieber and others in 1962 highlighted how a subject needs to hold the parent of the same sex in esteem and feel he is loved and esteemed in turn, to positively identify himself with his gender; moreover, the homosexual adult is often someone who didnt live the years of his youth well fit in the life of the group of young people of his gender. Such experiences lead the subject to dramatize his situation and to desire the affection of people of the same sex, towards whom he developed an inferiority complex as he feels hes not accepted by them or excluded from their company. Van den Aardweg explains that homosexuals complexes can be treated, but most of all they must be prevented during infancy through a correct upbringing. He states that upbringing young people trying to cancel the specificities of their gender as typical of socialist ideologies and revolutionary feminism and the lack of fathers and mothers role at home generates devastating results on childrens psyche, inducing the onset of homosexual neurotic complexes. Giuseppe Cesari teacher of clinical psychology at the University of San Diego, California comes to similar conclusions from a Freudian theoretical background: young boys or girls may not manage to identify themselves with the parent of the same sex during the so-called Oepidal phase; in this case the subject regresses to pre-Oedipal primary narcissism originating the basis of an homophilic affective orientation. If the so "predisposed" subject meets homophilic individuals, he may start up a late identification process that will lead to an homosexual orientation. Cesari explains how the identification with the parents of the same sex doesnt take place as they are "unfit", or because the subjects boys or girls dont find in them what they are by instinct looking for, either as a consequence of their character, or because of their own interpretations unrelated to the parents behavior. These subjects states Cesari will show an infantile attachment to the complementary parent also in the adult age, though almost always smartly and unconsciously hidden.
Many psychologists consider homosexuality as a disorder only when it is not wanted by the subject, namely when it is "ego-dystonic". Fr. Batholomew Kiely S.J. professor at Gregorian Pontifical University underlines that this a relativistic attitude in the field of psichology, rather than a true scientific position. According to such a relativistic approach, any consideration about homosexuality should be subjective instead of objective. If the subject feels gratified by homosexual acts, he should be considered normal: it is like saying that if a drug addict or an alcoholic feel gratified by drugs or alcohol, they must be considered normal and encouraged to go on. It was Herbert Marcuse (1898-1979) German philosopher and leading figure of the Frankfurt school who pointed out how a slave insofar that hes been conditioned to be a slave wants to remain in his situation, but this is only an alienation and he must be helped to regain freedom.
3. The natural order
The alcoholics, the drug addicts, the paedophiles, the zoophiles, the rapists, the voyeurs, the masochists, the sadists and so on are subjectively gratified by their disordered actions, but these are objectively all situations of deviation and alienation. Several deviations originate from the conflict between mind and reality; human beings need to be helped to have a correct relationship between mind and reality. Rescue from any mind disorder takes place insofar one doesnt put himself in contrast to the fundamental order of things and is able to accept the real world and its natural law, becoming capable of satisfying his needs within the same reality. Although it is true that man has to dominate nature, it is true as well that nature lets itself be dominated only through the knowledge of its laws and their observance. Thus , mans rule over nature is not absolute but relative, that is to say man cannot exceed the limits constituted by the very purposes of natural order, that were set by their Creator. Homosexual orientation is a tendency to act disorderly as regards the meaning of body: it is clearly a conflict between mind and reality. To put such a tendency into practice means to worsen the conflict. One can feel an inclination to dishonesty or even homicide, still hes neither forced nor allowed to steal or kill.
4. Human freedom and morality
A person having an homosexual tendency is still a person, therefore having in himself the free will to resist the disordered inclination and to be responsible for his actions, though conditioned on the emotional level. An homosexual act is against nature, originated from an unconscious infantile attachment to the complementary parent. It is the result of a neurotic and therefore wrong defensive strategy, in the attempt to find a remedy to ones own psychological incompleteness. Such an act will not resolve the deeper problems of the person, preventing him from finding his true fulfilment. Homosexual acts may be an opportunity of momentary and disordered pleasure, but they make the persons happiness impossible.
Professor Cesari points out that the specific aspect of human nature is the need of meaning. He introduced in psychology the concept of "fecundity", a word having the same root of "felicity" in Latin. The immediate and exclusive fruition of mere pleasure doesnt give man "felicity". For instance, in the sexual field, genitality is fully satisfying only when it is lived within an authentic love relationship, otherwise the sexual act may be "fertile" but not humanly "fecund". The reason is that a real "basic need" remains unsatisfied: being in true relationship with the other person.
Felicity-fecundity arises from a process that leads the person to be at unity with himself passions, will and reason and with the fundamental order of reality. A pleasure is good only when ordered to such a process. A disordered pleasure is only the pleasure of a faculty coming into conflict with all other components of human personality and with truth.
Psycho-biological research on homosexuality leads to the conclusion that it is a vice, namely a disordered behavior, fruit of undergone or freely chosen disordered habits. From a sociopolitical point of view, the attitude towards homosexual persons must be full of respect, compassion and thoughtfulness, while on the contrary the homosexual vice cant be and must not be protected or promoted as a value. It cant be and must not be equalized with the normal and ordered sexual behavior, originating family and the possibility of adopting children. Society must provide every support to people with homosexual tendencies, but still willing to free themselves from the vice. A progressive itinerary of liberation from vice is the only realistic and true way to preserve the freedom and the dignity of persons with homosexual tendencies. In corroboration of the truth of this statement, there are social phenomena such as the growth of the "ex-gay" international movement, made of homosexuals and ex-homosexuals who refuse to resign to their disordered tendencies. In the U.S.A., the movement originated associations like Exodus International and Courage: members help one another to promote an improvement and a change in life to free themselves from the vice of homosexuality.