Homosexuality was considered a psychiatric disorder before Dr Robert L. Spitzer spearheaded its removal from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in 1973, on the grounds that if homosexuals are “comfortable as they are”, we should not insist they have a disorder.
“In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association in response to nasty disruptions at its 1970 and 1971 conferences and intense behind-the-scenes manoeuvring by gay activists, decided to eliminate the classification of homosexuality as a disorder in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. The hope was expressed that such a change would lessen the discrimination experienced by gay and lesbian individuals. As the years passed, it became clear that this was the first step in undermining the scientific integrity of the mental health profession.”1
Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, The University of California School of Medicine
Almost 20 years later, Spitzer found that many homosexuals reported substantial changes in sexual behaviour as well as orientation, hinting that not only could they change, they might wish to.2 However, the same political pressure that made him remove homosexuality as an “illness” eventually led him to apologize to the homosexual community for his findings.3
At the root of homosexuality is the issue of gender identity. A healthy gender identity successfully develops when there is proper attachment, and thereafter separation and individuation, of a child with Mother and Father. This is absent for many who struggle with same-sex sexual attractions. Since homosexuality is no longer pathological, Gender Identity Disorder (GID) is used to diagnose and Insight-Oriented Therapy to treat those with unwanted homosexual tendencies.4
Sexual issues are typically symptoms of a root problem with one’s masculine/feminine identity. Homosexual males usually need help to address sexual addiction issues (including pornography and frequent masturbation) whereas homosexual females need help with emotional co-dependency issues. The earlier the intervention, the easier and more effective the treatment.