Footnote 3 Non-Scientific Interpretations for Homosexuality (p.97)


After having classified the various theories on the physical origins of homosexuality into three groups, and having refuted them one by one, the above-mentioned English researcher D. J. West, in his work Homosexuality, suggests that the most popular non-scientific interpretations for the causes of homosexuality are also three in number. Before he goes on to list them, West again stresses the absence of perspective on the part of those theoreticians who would consider homosexual tendencies as unnatural, alleging - without proof of the fact - glandular or hereditary causes. Oddly enough, West considers to be somewhat more advanced in comparison to the attitudes of those theoreticians -- the view espoused by the Church with respect to the problem. The Church has catalogued the homosexual impulse as simply one among several "wicked" although natural urges which happen to scourge mankind. On the other hand modern psychiatry concurs in reducing the causes of homosexuality to the realm of the psychological. In spite of this, however, as West points out, a number of theories still persist which, although devoid of scientific support, lend themselves to the popular imagination. The first of them might be called the theory of perversion, according to which the individual would tend to adopt homosexuality just as he would any one of a number of vices. But its fundamental error lies in the fact that such a miscreant deliberately adopts the form of deviant behavior which most appeals to him, whereas the homosexual cannot develop a normal sexual pattern of conduct even if he sets out to do so, since whenever he might actually perform heterosexual acts he will find himself hard put to eliminate his more profound homosexual drives.


The second popularization is the theory of seduction. In his study, "The Sexual Behavior of Young Criminals," T.C.N. Gibbons investigates this matter, and he agrees with West and other researchers that while an individual might well have - consciously, for the first time - come to feel homoerotic impulses when stimulated by someone of the same sex who has ,set out to seduce him, the said seduction - which almost always occurs in adolescence - can simply explain the initiation into homosexual behavior; it cannot, on the other hand, justify the arrest in the individual's flow of heterosexual urges. Thus, an isolated incident of that order cannot explain persistent homosexuality, which in the majority of cases is found to be exclusive, which is to say, incompatible with heterosexual acts.


The third theory alluded to is the one called segregation theory, according to which adolescents raised among males alone, without contact with women, or vice versa, women raised without contact with men, would tend to initiate sexual practices among themselves that might actually mark them forever. C. S. Lewis, in his study "Surprised by Joy," asserts that some boarding school pupils, for example, probably have their first sexual experiences among other males, but the frequency of homosexual practices in boarding schools has more to do with the imperative demands for sexual discharge than with any willful choice of sexual partner. West adds that simply the lack of psychological contact with the feminine sex, caused by the total segregation which boarding-school life occasions or by the mere spiritual segregation within certain family structures, can in fact become a much more serious determinant of homosexuality than any incidence of sexual play among boarding-school pupils.


Psychoanalysis, whose principal characteristic is a probing of the mind in order to awaken infantile recollection, precisely maintains that sexual peculiarities have their origin in infancy. In The Interpretation of Dreams, Freud postulates that sexual and amorous conflicts are at the center of all personal neuroses: once nourishment and bodily protection-food and shelter-have been accounted for, man has to deal with the urgency of his sexual and emotional needs. This combined urge has been termed libido, and its presence would be felt from infancy. Freud and his followers maintain that manifestations of the libido are quite varied, but that the rules established by society impose a constant vigilance on such manifestations, above all in order to preserve the basic unit of social conglomeration: the family.


Therefore, the two most inappropriate manifestations of the libido would have to be the incestuous and the homosexual drive.