April 19, 2008

Homosexuality 101

Spent like the last hour watching a video link that was given by http://www.mommylife.net/ on what causes homosexuality in human development.

I must say that it has been extremely informative and it does answer some of the questions that I have had in regards to the root cause for homosexuality. According to the speaker, Dr Julie Harren Hamilton, homosexuality is not a choice. The two schools of thought which are both inaccurate, the first one that believes that it is biological, i.e, people are born gay and the other one that assumes that homosexuality is a choice. Contrary to belief, people do not choose to be gay as 'we do not choose our behaviour but do not choose our attractions and desires'. It is driven by feelings and thus is not a conscious choice.

So where does it come from then? Dr Hamilton believes that it stems from a development issue from childhood, and there are numerous factors that drive this development.

1. Gender identity - the way that a person sees himself according to his own gender. How masculine/feminine he sees himself

2. Perceptions of the child - what the child believes

3. Temperament of the child

Enviroment + Temperament = Homosexuality

The relationship that the child has with his mother and father, as well as alternate caregiver has an influence over his gender identity. Also as he goes to school, the relationship with his peers of the same gender is crucial as well.
All these factors then come together with the influences of the child's temperament and his various experiences will determine his orientation.

One very key person that will direct this path for a boy especially will be his father.

From the age of 2 and a half. A child faces a challenge of begin separating his attachment from his mom and attaching himself with his father. Through this relationship with his father, he develops a sense of identity. He looks up to his father to answer this questions for him, 'What are boys are about? What should boys do?' All these questions are happening at an unconscious level.

From 2 1/2 to 4, he starts to break away from his mother and attaches himself to his father. And his father will need to answer those questions by
- spending time with his son
- showing and interest in his son, particularly showing interest in what his son is interested in
- verbally affirming his son, 'I am so proud of you,' 'You are so strong' etc
- conveys by physical touch like hugging and holding, it is through physical touch that the boy develops a sense of his masculine body

Now I understand why societies in asia have an influx of homosexuality. Traditionally, the men has always left the care and subsequently development of the child to the mother. Fathers have generally neglected the importance of bonding with his son, either that because of the stress that men faced in their jobs. They often became very short tempered, and become loud and explosive in when they become angry. As a result, the child does not feel safe to leave his attachment from his mother to someone he perceives is like a monster.

As male chauvinisim continues to rear its ugly head in asian societies, it is common for fathers who think that they can help their son when they do not measure up by saying things like, 'Quit acting like a sissy,' 'You are acting like a girl,' 'You are mama's boy' etc. Although well intended, it can be extremely damaging when the sense identity of gender is forming for the child.

For a more complete run down of this video, you can click on http://parachutetime.blogspot.com/ to read a verbatim version of the talk by Dr Hamilton or go to this website for the video http://www.homosexuality101.com/ The video covers a small section on Lesbanism, which I will add it in my paraphrase verbatim version as well.

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