Thursday, December 21, 2006
Troubled Childhood Increases Risk of Homosexuality
Out of Denmark comes a study that will be sure to put a crimp in the we-are-born-that-way theory of the origins of homosexuality. The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, provides interesting and tantalizing evidence that the less stable or traditional a child's home is, the more likely that the child will turn to homosexuality as an adult.
The study used 2,000,355 native-born Danes between the ages of 18 and 49, virtually "the entire Danish population". With such a large base it can hardly be claimed that the sampling was problematic. Many studies in the past have been discounted because of their sampling sizes -- generally being claimed too small.
Denmark was the first country to legalize gay marriage and has a large variety of recognized modes of cohabitation and lifestyles, so this study is of particular interest in that the stats cover the longest range of time available from which to establish the most reliable statistics.
Effects of Upbringing on Sexual Orientation
As quoted on the NARTH website, the study's authors conclude: "Our study provides population-based, prospective evidence that childhood family experiences are important determinants of heterosexual and homosexual marriage decisions in adulthood."
The authors go on to say, "Whatever ingredients determine a person's sexual preferences and marital choices, our population-based study shows that parental interactions are important."
A further observation is made by Linda Ames Nicolosi of NARTH.
Assuming that people who marry heterosexually are almost always heterosexual -- especially in a country where homosexuality carries little stigma, and gay marriage is legal -- and people who marry homosexually can be presumed to be homosexual, the study's findings offer intriguing evidence about family factors separating homosexual from heterosexual persons.
The findings show that children who have unstable or abusive homes are more likely to have homosexual relationships later on. This rings true to many studies that show homosexual males were often sexually abused as children.
This would also tend to prove that homosexuality is more a pathology, than a mere "natural" predilection. It would make the claims of being born gay problematic and, rather, a result of the mind's reaction to a troubled childhood. It would also tend to make the removal of homosexuality from the rolls of mental health problems a mistake.
Here are some of the findings from the Danish report:
1. Men who marry homosexually are more likely to have been raised in a family with unstable parental relationships -- particularly, absent or unknown fathers and divorced parents.
2. Findings on women who marry homosexually were less pronounced, but were still associated with a childhood marked by a broken family. The rates of same-sex marriage "were elevated among women who experienced maternal death during adolescence, women with short duration of parental marriage, and women with long duration of mother-absent cohabitation with father."
3. Men and women with "unknown fathers" were significantly less likely to marry a person of the opposite sex than were their peers with known fathers.
4. Men who experienced parental death during childhood or adolescence "had significantly lower heterosexual marriage rates than peers whose parents were both alive on their 18th birthday. The younger the age of the father's death, the lower was the likelihood of heterosexual marriage."
5. "The shorter the duration of parental marriage, the higher was the likelihood of homosexual marriage...homosexual marriage rates were 36% and 26% higher among men and women, respectively, who experienced parental divorce after less than six years of marriage, than among peers whose parents remained married for all 18 years of childhood and adolescence."
6. "Men whose parents divorced before their 6th birthday were 39% more likely to marry homosexually than peers from intact parental marriages."
7. "Men whose cohabitation with both parents ended before age 18 years had significantly (55% -76%) higher rates of homosexual marriage than men who cohabited with both parents until 18 years."
8. The mother's age was directly linked to the likelihood of homosexual marriage among men -- the older the mother, the more likely her son was to marry another man. Also, "only children" were more likely to be homosexual.
9. Persons born in large cities were significantly more likely to marry a same-sex partner -- suggesting that cultural factors might also affect the development of sexual orientation.
In any case, this is a large sampling culled from among what is purportedly the most "tolerant" nation toward homosexuality and alternate lifestyles and it shows that, far from being benign, homosexuality is a result of abuse and instability in the home, as opposed to being some natural proclivity, for a large percentage of the population.