Monday, December 26, 2011

Homosexuality is not a psychological disorder

Senior lecturer, Department of Psychology at the Landmark University, Dr. Gboyega Abikoye, has dismissed claims that homosexuality is a psychological disorder, saying there is no consensus among scientists and psychologists on the reasons why individuals develop homosexual orientation.

Citing results of various studies, Abikoye said homosexuality was removed from the list of psychology disorders since 1992 for lack of empirical evidence.

“From a scientific point of view, homosexuality is not a psychological disorder as it is not included in the list of psychological disorders contained in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders  and the International Classification of Diseases. These two instruments are the classification instruments used by psychologists, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals in the world.

“The debates regarding the status of homosexuality have received ample empirical attention and no study has found conclusive evidence that homosexuality is a psychological disorder. It was this lack of empirical evidence that prompted the American Psychiatric Association to remove homosexuality from the list of psychological disorders as far back as 1973.

“It appeared that the rest of the world was initially sceptical about the American decision to de-list homosexuality from psychological disorders, so homosexuality remained in the ICD (which is published by World Health Organisation) until 1992 when it was removed from ICD’s list of psychological disorders for want of empirical evidence,” he said.

Abikoye added that the possible factors causing homosexuality in some individuals included genetic, hormonal, developmental, social and cultural influences.

However, the psychologist noted that from all evidence available, homosexuality was a deviation and should be seen more as a social problem than a spiritual or cultural problem.

He said, “The claims that homosexuality is at variance with our culture is inconsistent with facts on ground. The fact is that homosexuality is not a new phenomenon and what we are doing now is merely popularising it. My position on this issue is a social-scientific one.

“As an individual, I am totally against homosexuality. However, as a psychologist I know that there is a huge difference between the ideal and the real, and the ideal of one man is an aberration to another man.”

Abikoye however noted that some studies have found considerably higher incidences of psychological disorders among homosexuals than heterosexuals.

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