What makes a woman “lesbian”?

A woman who experiences emotional dependency on another woman may develop same-sex sexual attractions to that other woman. Emotional dependency takes the form of a consuming, unhealthy attachment to another person of the same-sex, from whom a person derives identity, validation and well-being. The relationship, if founded on emotional dependence, may then take on a sexual nature and develop into a lesbian relationship.

Emotional and relational attachment seems to be as important as erotic attraction in lesbian relationships.1 However, a lesbian’s primary yearning to find self-completion or a sense of wholeness can take place within real or imagined relationships with other women.2

Mike Haley explains some contributing factors to lesbianism3:

Childhood trauma. In one study, an astounding 90% of the lesbians surveyed experienced some form of abuse, including witnessing abuse against a family member. The three most common forms of abuse experienced before the age of 18 were emotional (almost 70%), sexual (more than 60%), and verbal (more than 50%).

Damaged mother-daughter relationship. When a girl is neglected by her mother in her earliest phase of life (birth to 2.5 years) and does not receive the maternal affection she needs, she may grow up believing that her mother is unreliable and decide not to identify with or trust her. In the process, she may reject and suppress her own femininity.

Unhealthy father-daughter relationship.If a father is abusive to his wife or daughter, his daughter is less likely to enjoy her femaleness and may even reject her femininity. If the father is hostile or emotionally unavailable to his daughter, he communicates a bad feeling about being a woman to her.

Atypical childhood play patterns. Avoidance or rejection of typical female games and activities, preference of male over female playmates, and unwillingness to participate in typical female interests may reveal how a girl sees and accepts herself as a female in childhood. This gender identity alone does not necessarily predispose a female to same-sex attraction later in life.

Personality or temperament. Little girls are often expected to be soft, sweet and compliant. Some parents don’t hide their disappointment or disapproval when they aren’t and may inadvertently leave their daughters feeling rejected. If her sense of self and female identity is wounded, it makes a girl more vulnerable to lesbianism at a later stage of life.

Media propaganda. Today, the mainstream media has glamourized homosexuality as fashionable and progressive through depictions of attractive persons in same-sex intimate relationships, and through celebrities who have “come out” to declare themselves homosexual. As such, one may today observe more young ladies displaying intimate affection towards each other in public and more readily identifying themselves as lesbian.

1. Janelle Hallman, The Heart of Female Same-Sex Attraction: A Comprehensive Counselling Resource (IVP Books, 2008)
2. Love Won Out series: The Heart of the Matter: The Roots and Causes of Female Homosexuality (Focus on the Family, 2005)
3. Mike Haley, 101 Frequently Asked Questions About Homosexuality(Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 2004)

What are the risks of the homosexual lifestyle?

Unfortunately, research has shown that emotional and health problems of the homosexual lifestyle include:

Shorter lifespan. HIV/ AIDS is much more common among practicing homosexuals and has a dramatic impact on life expectancy.1 In countries with a long history of same-sex marriage, e.g., Denmark and Norway, married gays and lesbians have a shorter lifespan than their conventionally married counterparts – by 24 years. 2

More Sexually Transmitted Infections. Over 15 severe injuries and diseases are associated with oral and anal sex, which are frequent practises of homosexual males, including rectal tearing and Hepatitis A and B.Homosexual men contract syphilis at 3-4 times the rate of heterosexuals. Bacterial vaginosis occurs in 33% of lesbians but only 13% of heterosexual women. Compared with heterosexual women, sexually-active lesbians have a relatively high prevalence of the viral Herpes Simplex and of Human Papilloma Virus which is linked to virtually all cervical cancer cases.4

General health problems. Homosexuals are more prone to psychiatric disorders and mental illnesses, including depression, and mood and anxiety disorders5. The pro-homosexual Gay and Lesbian Medical Association records that homosexuals are more likely than the general population to abuse substance, suffer from alcoholism, indulge in binge drinking, smoking, obesity, asthma, heart disease, chronic illnesses and infectious diseases.6, 7, 8

Abusive relationships. In contrast to heterosexuals, homosexuals register a higher incidence of sexual assault, victimization and violence from intimate partners9, challenging the claim that they can form relationships which are as stable or committed as heterosexuals. The average homosexual union lasts 1.5 years and men in homosexual relationships have on average eight partners a year outside of these relationships. The same study also found that only 34% of homosexual men in “committed relationships” felt that it was wrong to cheat on their partner.10 The incidence of domestic violence among homosexual men is “substantially higher than among heterosexual men.”11 In a survey of 1,099 lesbians, the majority reported abuse by their female partner.12

Some blame homophobia for these problems. However, as the research has shown, such trends are evident even in Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands where homosexuality has received virtually unanimous societal approval for decades.

In fact, the effects of homosexual practice extend beyond the individual homosexual, and affect the larger society.

In Singapore

  • The Ministry of Health reported that for 2012, homosexual transmission and bisexual transmission accounted for 51% of newly reported HIV cases through sexual activity.13
  • A 2009 survey of nearly 8,000 gay men (25% from Singapore) found that 58% had a regular partner and 13% had more than 10 partners in the previous year.14
  • A 2010 Asian MSM Internet Sex Survey of 10,861 participants (15% from Singapore) found that being gay and having more gay friends are significantly associated with stimulant drug use, with relatively high levels of club drug use (8.1% for ecstasy and 5.3% for Ketamine).15
  • According to a survey conducted on a local gay website in 2009, more than 1 in 10 claimed they combine sex with adulterated illegal sex drugs,16 an act which damages the brain.17


1. R.S. Hogg, S.A. Strathdee, K.J. Craib, M.V. O’Shaughnessy, J.S. Montaner & M.T. Schechter, Modelling the Impact of HIV Disease on Mortality in Gay and Bisexual Men (International Journal of Epidemiology, 1997, Vol 26(3), pp 657-661)
3. Kerby Anderson, A Biblical Point of View on Homosexuality (Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 2008)
4. HPV and Cancer (National Cancer Institute)
5. Theo G.M. Sandfort (PhD), Ron de Graaf (PhD), Rob V. Bijl (PhD) & Paul Schnabel (PhD), Same-Sex Sexual Behavior and Psychiatric Disorders: : Findings from the Netherlands Mental Health Survey and Incidence Study (Archives of General Psychiatry, 2001, Vol 58(1), pp 85-91)
6. Dicing with Death (The New Paper, 10 November 2009)
8. Coverage for Gender Reassignment Surgery is a Necessity (Between the Lines News, Issue 1714, 2 April 2009)
10. Study Finds Gay Unions Brief  (The Washington Times, 11 July 2003)
11. Roy Waller, Major Scientific Study Examines Domestic Violence Among Gay Men (National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, 2 September 2008)
12. Gwat Yong Lie and Sabrina Gentlewarrier, Intimate Violence in Lesbian Relationships: Discussion of Survey Findings and Practice Implications (Journal of Social Service Research, 1991, Vol 15,pp 41-59)
15. Wei Chongyi, Thomas E. Guadamuz, Lim Sin How, Huang Yongxu and Stuart Koe, Patterns and levels of Illicit Drug Use among Men who have Sex with Men in Asia (Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 2011, Vol 120, pp 246-9)
16. Dicing with Death (The New Paper, 10 Nov 2009)
17. Zaihan Mohamed Yusof, Dangers of Drug Overdose (The New Paper, 27 Jun 2010)