Sexual Confusion

Sexuality and sexual identity are probably two of the most misunderstood aspects of our psychosocial development due to the limited amount of research that has been done on the subject of sex. In the past ten years however, scientists have tried to make an effort to lift the veil of secrecy and taboo that has kept sexuality in the dark, and sexual identity in the closet.

But according to a recent article in ScienceDaily it seems as if the last decade of research still hasn't provided enough evidence to change the archaic and medieval views that people have about sex. And if it isn't bad enough that people still cannot freely enjoy one of the most primitive and pleasurable activities known to man, it is absolutely horrific to discover that some psychologists still believe that same-sex relationships are somehow wrong.

According to the article a staggering 4% of mental health professionals in the UK will still try and "cure" people who are attracted to same-sex partners, and an alarming 17% admit that they have "assisted" at least one individual to reduce their gay or lesbian feelings. According to Professor Michael King from the University College London, "There is very little evidence to show that attempting to treat a person's homosexual feelings is effective and in fact it can actually be harmful,".

Just how much harm these "treatments" could cause is not quite clear, but if we consider that a possible 10% of the human race could potentially qualify for "assistance" to suppress a basic natural instinct, the impact can be huge.

With arguments like, "Although homosexual feelings are usual in people, their physical expression, and being a person's only way of having sexual relations is problematic.", it seems as if these professionals are even more confused than the clients they proclaim to be helping. And when such a professional adds that "The physical act for male homosexuals is physically damaging and is the main reason in this country for AIDS/HIV. It is also perverse.", the argument becomes decidedly homophobic.

While it is true that "Children and young adults are more likely to be confused about their sexuality and to jump to conclusions (correct or otherwise) if unable to talk through their concerns.", it is also true that the sexual identity of a child is determined prior to them developing the capability of logical thought.

With our sexual identity fixed before we are able to make a choice about it, or any choice for that matter, the view that people who are " ...very unhappy about their sexuality" should be "assisted" to reduce their sexual desire sounds similar in nature to suggesting a frontal lobotomy for depression. Fortunately the argument that people that are feeling depressed should be "treated" by totally removing their ability was abandoned 5 score or more years ago. We can only hope that by exposing the archaic and harmful practices of some mental health professionals it will bring about the necessary impetus for change.

According to Professor King the best approach is to help people adjust to their situation, to value them as people and show them that there is nothing whatever pathological about their sexual orientation. With scientists like himself, that are not afraid of confronting members in his own profession we may just maintain the sanity we hold. And maybe, just maybe we could convince some more people that sex should be pleasurable and fun.


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