from About NARTH
The Three Myths
Homosexuality is normal and biologically determined.
There is no scientific research indicating a biological or genetic cause for
homosexuality. Biological factors may play a role in the predisposition to
homosexuality. However, this is true of many other psychological conditions.
Research suggests that social and psychological factors are strongly influential.
Examples include problems in early family relationships, sexual seduction, and
sense of inadequacy with same-sex peers, with resulting disturbance in gender
identity. Society can also influence a sexually questioning youth when it
encourages gay self-labeling.
Homosexuals cannot change, and if they try, they will suffer great emotional
distress and become suicidal. Therefore, treatment to change homosexuality must
Psychotherapists around the world who treat homosexuals report that significant
numbers of their clients have experienced substantial healing. Change has come
through psychological therapy, spirituality, and ex-gay support groups. Whether
leading married or committed celibate lives, many report that their homosexual
feelings have diminished greatly, and do not trouble them as much as they had in
The keys to change are desire, persistence, and a willingness to investigate the
conscious and unconscious conflicts from which the condition originated. Change
comes slowly, usually over several years. Clients learn how to meet their needs
for same-sex nurturance and affirmation without eroticizing the relationship. As
they grow into their heterosexual potential, men and women typically experience a
deeper and fuller sense of themselves as male or female.
If some homosexuals do not wish to change, that is their choice, yet it is
profoundly sad that gay-rights activists struggle against the right-to-treatment
for other homosexuals who yearn for freedom from their attractions.
We must teach our children that homosexuality is as normal and healthy as
heterosexuality. Teenagers should be encouraged to celebrate their same-sex
Scientific research supports age-old cultural norms that homosexuality is not a
healthy, natural alternative to heterosexuality. Research shows that gay teens
are especially vulnerable to substance abuse and early, high-risk sexual
behavior. It does far more harm than good to tell a teenager that his or her
attractions toward members of the same sex are normal and desirable. Teens in
this position need understanding and counseling, not a push in the direction of a
potentially deadly lifestyle.
A 1992 study in Pediatrics found that 25.9% of 12-year-olds are uncertain if they
are gay or straight. The teen years are critical to the question of
self-labeling, so the facts must be presented in our schools in a fair and