What makes a man “gay”?

Often, a boy who is unable to form a meaningful connection and bond with his father (or older, trusted male equivalent) may be left confused and conflicted about his own gender identity. He may view his father as cold and distant, and detach himself from males because of the hurt or rejection experienced in his search for a masculine role model. When the boy reaches the next stage of his identity development, he may sub-consciously seek to establish that connection and bond with another man.

Other factors that make up each homosexual man’s unique struggle may include:

  • Sexual violation, such as incest, molestation or rape
  • Sexual experimentation with men/boys
  • Exposure to pornography
  • Media influences
  • Personality and temperament
  • Negative body image
  • Teasing, peer labelling, harassment/bullying or alienation
  • Fear of or inability to relate to the opposite sex
  • Dysfunctional family relationships
  • Negative spiritual influences

Homosexuality is complex and a combination of factors is at work; it is too simplistic to attribute undue significance to any single aspect as the cause.1

“Gay” as a term has been used both derisively and in a celebratory manner. In comparison with the more clinical-sounding word “homosexual”, it is emotionally as well as politically-charged and may thus not be useful in aiding our understanding of the issue.

1. Mike Haley, 101 Frequently Asked Questions About Homosexuality(Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 2004)

Is being homosexual a choice?

Many homosexuals attribute their first realization or hint that they have same-sex sexual attractions to their adolescent or pre-adolescent years. Unremembered early experiences – some as early as before a child is old enough to walk and talk – may contribute to this perception.1 Understandably, for the person grappling with homosexual attraction, it can feel as if homosexuals are “born that way”.

It doesn’t mean a person wakes up one morning and decides at that moment to make himself or herself attracted to someone of the same sex. While sexual attractions may not be voluntary, many homosexuals do make voluntary, conscious choices about expressing their sexual attractions in sexual behaviour. This is akin to how a married person can choose to indulge affections for a third party by pursuing an extra-marital affair. Homosexuality is traditionally understood to be preceded by:

  • Sin: acting out sexually in deviant ways and against natural law due to mankind’s fallen nature which has departed from its created order and purpose.
  • Seduction and Grooming: older homosexuals “recruiting” more into their fold by preying on, grooming and sexualizing young heterosexuals who later turn homosexual.
  • Psychiatric/Mental conditions: confusion over one’s gender identity, rejection by and fear of the opposite sex, sexual addictions or dysfunctional family of origin.

Even if there were some innate disposition or (unfortunate) extenuating circumstances that led a person toward homosexual inclinations, no human being is compelled to yield to every sexual impulse he/she experiences.

1. Kerby Anderson, A Biblical Point of View on Homosexuality (Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 2008)

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)

Is homosexuality an illness/disorder?

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 

Benjamin Kaufman, 

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.


1. Benjamin Kaufman, Why Narth? The American Psychiatric Association’s Destructive and Blind Pursuit of Political Correctness (Regent University Law Review Vol.14(423), 2001-2002)
3. Benedict Carey, Psychiatry Giant Sorry for Backing Gay “Cure” (The New York Times, 28 May 2012)
4. Kenneth J. Zucker & Robert L. Spitzer, Was the Gender Identity Disorder of Childhood Diagnosis Introduced into DSM-III as a Backdoor Maneuver to Replace Homosexuality? A historical note (Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 2005, Vol 31, pp 31-42)