August 8th, 2013 by Ron Pisaturo
This is Part 6, the final part of my essay. References can be found at the end of Part 1.
On Saturday morning, I will publish a post inviting thoughtful, civil comments from individuals who have read the entire essay.
For the reader’s convenience, here are the links to each of the six parts. (On August 20, 2013, I have inserted the main headings that appear in each part.)
- Heterosexuality in Romantic Love and Sex
- The Role of Volition in Sexual Orientation
- Judging Homosexuality—If the Law Will Allow It
- Etiology of Sexual Orientation: The Mainstream Theories
- LGBT Ideology: Evasion Propped Up by New-Left Subjectivism
- Marriage as Heterosexual
Marriage as Heterosexual
(This section is a revised version of a blog post, along with follow-up comments, by me: Pisaturo 2013.)
Marriage is a legally sanctioned, publicly declared, exclusive and—by intention—permanent romantic relationship between a man and a woman, such relationship establishing each of the individuals as the other’s next of kin, establishing rights and mutual responsibilities regarding joint property, and establishing rights and responsibilities regarding custody and care of the couple’s children.
I do not think that procreation is the fundamental purpose of a romantic relationship or of marriage. Nevertheless, having and raising children is a worthy and noble derivative purpose for a romantic, married couple under appropriate circumstances. It is one more example of the integration of the human organism that procreation follows from the intimate bonding of coitus, which in turn is the deepest physical expression of romantic love.
Marriage recognizes that an exclusive and permanent romantic relationship is objective evidence for a constellation of effects including these:
- that the relationship is worthy of taking legal precedence over each individual’s original family bonds;
- that a child born to the mother is reasonably presumed to have been fathered by her husband, and that the couple is reasonably presumed committed to raising such a child.
These effects are important aspects of the concept of marriage even if a particular married couple does not take advantage of one or another of these effects; similarly, the right to vote is an important aspect of citizenship even if particular citizens do not avail themselves of this right.
Many kinds of sexual relationship other than marriage are possible. It should go without saying that consenting adults have the right to perform any sex act or engage with each other in any way possible to them. Why, then, is government involved in marriage more than other kinds of sexual relationships?
Some advocates of limited government think that government should get out of the marriage business, that marriage is a matter for private contract. But government is implicitly involved in all contracts. Implicit in any contract is that the government will enforce the contract if called on to do so. A marriage ceremony enables the government officially to validate the documents of the marriage contract, which are accompanied by public oaths by the contracting parties, thereby diminishing the possibility that meddlers might challenge the documents in the future.
As Mazlish (2013) explains,
Mere contractual documents … can later be challenged. Because they are simply private pieces of paper that can be forged, by their nature they cannot have the same legal presumptions as those that attach to a government officiated marriage.
Without the conclusive presumptions that attach upon a marriage ceremony, persons who rely on mere written contract documents such as powers of attorney, health care directives and wills have not extinguished or cut off the rights of disgruntled family members to challenge the authenticity of those documents.
In many states, homosexuals do not currently have such a means, currently afforded by marriage, to initiate a legal proceeding for designating next of kin. Every citizen, regardless of his sexual orientation, should have such a means available to him. Such a proceeding is a legitimate service that government should provide. But homosexuals are not the only ones who currently do not have such a legal means available. As a heterosexual bachelor, I too should have the right to a legal ceremony whereby I can select my best friend, a married heterosexual man, as my next of kin, without my having to have sex with him. Furthermore, my selecting my best friend as my next of kin should not mean that I have ‘married’ him.
The Basic Question is Epistemological
The basic question regarding the concept of marriage, therefore, is not political but epistemological: Should the concept ‘marriage’ subsume all legally sanctioned relationships entailing the sharing of property and assigning of next of kin? For instance, if two men mutually pledge to be each other’s life partner, should that relationship be called a marriage, or a civil union, or some other word?
In my judgment, such a civil union absolutely should not be called a marriage.
Ayn Rand ( 1990, 36) writes,
[T]he concept “marriage” denotes a certain moral-legal relationship between a man and a woman, which entails a certain pattern of behavior, based on a mutual agreement and sanctioned by law.
I support this traditional concept of marriage, not because it is traditional, but because the concept serves an essential cognitive need.
According to the theory of heterosexual romantic love that I have presented—see especially Part 2 of this essay—the roles of the man and the woman in a heterosexual romantic relationship differ profoundly; these differences of course carry through to the relationship of marriage. Let me recapitulate just some of these differences. Apart from the differences in organs and physical appearance, the man knows that he is the physically stronger partner, that it is his particular responsibility—and joy—to provide physical safety for his wife, to take the lead in actions dealing with survival, to take the lead romantically, and to be in charge sexually—just to name a few characteristics.
These characteristics imply that—because of the natural differences between men and women—the role of the man in a marriage must differ significantly from the role of the woman. A married man, or a man who desires marriage, needs to know that being married means being a man to a woman, not merely being a partner to a partner. The concept of ‘marriage’ helps him to hold that knowledge in condensed form. That is why gender cannot be an omitted measurement in a heterosexual’s concept of marriage. (This last sentence refers to the key idea of ‘measurement omission’ in Ayn Rand’s theory of concepts. See Rand ([1966–1967] 1990, 11–18.)
The fundamental purpose of incorporating the concepts of ‘man’ and ‘woman’ in the concept of ‘marriage’ is not to distinguish heterosexual relationships from homosexual ones; the fundamental purpose is to enable heterosexuals—and anyone who wants to understand them—to retain, in condensed form, the fact that there are essential differences between heterosexual men and heterosexual women. That is why the concept of marriage refers to man and woman without any consideration of homosexuals. If there were no homosexuals, heterosexuals would still need the concept of marriage as identifying a man and a woman as the two parties involved.
If homosexual unions were to be called ‘marriage’, then there would no longer be a word for the current concept of ‘marriage’; that is, the current concept of marriage would cease to exist. But marriage is too exalted an idea not to be a concept. A married man should not have to think or say, “I am married … to a woman.” It should be enough for him to think, “I am married” to summon his understanding of a man’s relation to the woman he shares his life with. Similarly, a single heterosexual man should not have to think, “I desire to be married … to a woman.”
Calling homosexual unions ‘marriage’ is as absurd as calling all spouses ‘wives’.
The concepts ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ provide a good analogy to the need for the gender-specific concept of marriage. These concepts are even more abstract than ‘marriage’, as they are derived from ‘marriage’. Yet these concepts still reference gender. Why do we need these concepts when we have the concept ‘spouse’? Doesn’t ‘female spouse’ convey the meaning of ‘wife’?
Well, who wants to say, “I love my female spouse” instead of “I love my wife”? The former statement is not condensed enough to be held it in our mind in the way we need. Yes, ‘female spouse’ contains all the characteristics that are contained by ‘wife’. But ‘female spouse’ is a phrase, not a concept; the phrase is not condensed enough to serve the cognitive need that a concept fills. Similarly, the phrase ‘heterosexual marriage’, with marriage referring to any kind of civil union, would not be condensed enough for holding the current meaning of ‘marriage’.
The very existence of the concepts ‘husband’ and ‘wife’, let alone the prevalence in usage of these concepts over the concept ‘spouse’, is strong evidence for my conclusion that we need to retain the concept ‘marriage’ as it is. Similarly, we use the concepts ‘mother’ and ‘father’ even more than ‘parent’, and the concepts ‘brother’ and ‘sister’ even more than ‘sibling’. In certain important concepts, gender matters.
Even among advocates for homosexuality, the overwhelmingly predominant view is to insist on separate words for male homosexual (‘gay’) and female homosexual (‘lesbian’); hence the ‘L’ and ‘G’ in ‘LGBT’. Moreover, leading pro-homosexual researchers often insist that statistical data on one homosexual gender (such as high percentages of promiscuous male homosexuals) differ from data on the other gender. (See, for example, Peplau 2003.) Even to advocates for homosexuality, gender matters in concepts.
For those who want to change the meaning of a concept in the free marketplace of ideas, they are free to try to change one mind at a time through persuasion; and the burden of proof is on them. In my judgment as explained above, this burden regarding ‘marriage’ cannot be met. Instead, advocates of same-sex unions should coin a word or phrase distinct from ‘marriage’. (Or they should coin one word for male couples and another word for female couples, as they always insist on distinguishing between ‘gays’ and ‘lesbians’.) A word might also be coined to subsume both ‘marriage’ and ‘same-sex union’ (or some single word for ‘same-sex union’), as ‘spouse’ subsumes ‘husband’ and ’wife’, and as ‘parent’ subsumes ‘mother’ and ‘father’. But we must not lose the current concept ‘marriage’, as we must not lose the concepts ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ or ‘mother’ and ‘father’.
What is doubly wrong is for government—the agency of force—to change the meaning of a fundamental, rational concept by legal decree.
The notion of ‘homosexual marriage’, or ‘same-sex marriage’, is at best an offensive metaphor corrupting the exalted gender-specific aspects of an exalted concept. More often, however, this notion is also an attempt to seek the unearned.
Marriage is, in principle and despite all the awful marriages that we all know exist, a profoundly good relationship: for the husband and wife, and for children that the husband and wife raise or otherwise interact with. The notion of ‘same-sex marriage’ implies the premise that a homosexual union is as good as marriage for all involved. To say the least, the present essay challenges this premise; but more politically significant than my challenge is this point: It is not the business of government to end the debate over this premise by fiat, by declaring new meanings for a fundamental, rational concept in a free society.
The attempt by LGBT activists to end this debate, by changing the meaning of an essential concept, is another attempt to prevent individuals from judging them. The LGBT activists are seeking an unearned legitimacy by riding on the established reputation of marriage. Though LGBT activists deride their opponents for being constrained by tradition, it is the LGBT activists who want to cash in on the tradition of others. If the LGBT activists get their way, one thing they will surely push for is further legislation to forbid private adoption agencies from discriminating between heterosexual and same-sex couples. (After all, they are all ‘married’.) They will also push for more indoctrination in government schools, claiming that all ‘marriages’ are equal. Ultimately, they will push for the eradication of all gender-specific words, including ‘mother’, ‘father’, ‘husband’, ‘wife’, ‘masculine’, and ‘feminine’. By eradicating crucial, gender-specific words, the LGBT activists seek to eradicate the ability of individuals to hold gender-specific concepts and have gender-specific thoughts.
In summary, words represent concepts. Some words are worth fighting for. ‘Marriage’, denoting a crucial kind of relationship between a man and a woman, is such a word.
In this conclusion, I re-emphasize important points from the essay, and I expand on thematic points from my introduction.
The False Alternative Between Illness and Affirmation
In Part 3, I identified the false alternative between illness and affirmation.
Defenders of homosexuality often argue that they need identify only one ‘healthy’ homosexual to win their argument that homosexuality is just as good as heterosexuality. This argument fails on two counts.
First, in my study of the literature, researchers have not reasonably established the health of even one individual homosexual regarding his sexual orientation. In the widely-cited, supposedly definitive article—Gonsiorek 1991—allegedly proving that homosexuality is not an illness, there is not one reported instance of an actual professional actually examining the thinking of a person being ‘tested’. There is not one instance of a human subject communicating his thinking or line of reasoning in his own words. There are only check marks on multiple-choice questionnaires and forms, and a few interpretations of ink blots.
But the second count of failure of this argument is far more important. The fundamental issue is not whether homosexuality is an illness. A far more fundamental issue is whether all sexual orientations are equally beneficial to human life. Recall the statement by the American Psychiatric Association (1973, 2–3) pursuant to its decision to remove homosexuality from its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM):
If homosexuality per se does not meet the criteria for a psychiatric disorder, what is it? Descriptively, it is one form of sexual behavior. Our profession need not now agree on its origin, significance, and value for human happiness when we acknowledge that by itself it does not meet the requirements for a psychiatric disorder. Similarly, by no longer listing it as a psychiatric disorder we are not saying that it is “normal” or as valuable as heterosexuality.
No doubt, homosexual activist groups will claim that psychiatry has at last recognized that homosexuality is as “normal” as heterosexuality. They will be wrong.
The LGBT activists are not merely wrong. They are evading, and they have been evading since before this decision forty years ago. It is an evasion to ‘affirm’ one’s sexual behavior merely on the grounds that one is not sick, as if to say, “I am not sick; therefore, anything I do is okay.” ‘Sick’ vs. ‘not sick’ is not the right axis of measurement.
The Role of Volition
In my judgment after considering the mainstream theories of etiology, and as I argued in Parts 3 and 4, a person’s sexual orientation is caused ultimately by his ideas. Ideas are not assessed appropriately by terms such as ‘illness’. Ideas are true or false, right or wrong. The value of a particular individual’s sexual orientation depends on the truth or falsehood of the ideas that underlie it. In particular, the value of my sexual orientation—heterosexuality, as I understand heterosexuality—depends on the truth or falsehood of the ideas I presented for it in Part 2.
All ideas are formed through a volitional process. However, as I explained in Part 3,
the choices that set an individual’s sexual orientation can be made when the individual is very young. Tragically, a child may have little way of knowing that seemingly small choices—for instance, to avoid a particular female or a particular conflict with a male—can be important, that such choices when added together can shape his entire view of the world and his place in it. An individual should not be condemned, and perhaps not even criticized, for such early choices.
Generally, an individual does not directly choose his sexual orientation, but—as with other aspects of his sense of life—he makes other choices that ultimately lead to his sexual orientation. It is often inappropriate to characterize such early choices as moral or immoral, but such early choices either are right or wrong, correct or mistaken, beneficial to life or harmful to it.
Sexual Nihilism of the LGBT Movement
In Part 4, I examined the mainstream theories of the etiology of sexual orientation and found only theories of determinism and subjectivism masquerading as science. This masquerade consists of studying and measuring all kinds of things except what needs to be studied: the reasoning mind of man. The shared premise of all these theories is the notion that sexual orientation is mindless because sex is mindless. The result of all these theories is a foul wasteland of sexual nihilism.
In Part 5, I showed that the nihilism of the LGBT movement extends beyond the subject of sex and encompasses all Western values, including reason, productiveness, independence, and capitalism.
But not all non-heterosexuals are part of the LGBT movement. Many non-heterosexuals are far better than the LGBT activists. Many non-heterosexuals are ethical, share basic values with their partner, are loving and monogamous, and are not out to destroy Western civilization. But many good non-heterosexuals, as well as good heterosexuals, have been hoodwinked by the LGBT activists who claim that facts and science are on the side of the LGBT activists regarding the subject of sexual orientation. Parts 4 and 5, along with some of Part 3, debunk that claim.
Good, decent non-heterosexuals—more than anyone—need to distance themselves from and disavow the nihilist ideas of the LGBT movement.
The Need for Theory
Some civilized and reasonable defenders of non-heterosexuality argue that they have homosexual friends who are exemplars of reason, morality, and love that is based on rational values. But friends—even closest friends—are rarely if ever in a position to attest to the quality of one another’s sex life.
If a couple is ethical, shares basic values, and is loving and monogamous, these factors will be all to the good and will yield great benefits. But these factors do not imply that the couple’s sexual orientation is to the good as well. Good people who are right about many things, even fundamental things, can yet be mistaken about other important things. Being right in some respects does not imply being right in all respects. To argue that a couple’s sexual orientation is good based on the premise that the individuals are good people is to make an appeal to authority.
Sexual orientation is not an immaterial issue such as race. Race is a passive attribute. An individual’s race, in comparison to other races, does not imply any meaningfully different actions by that individual. However, an individual’s sexual orientation implies highly different actions from those based on other sexual orientations. Unless an individual is bisexual, his sexual orientation implies that he acts to discriminate and exclude an entire gender in favor of the other gender in regard to a crucial matter, the matter of sexual relations. Such crucial actions call for rational explanation. What is needed is not a claim that good people are of a certain sexual orientation. What is needed is a theory of sexual orientation.
In Part 2, I presented my theory of heterosexuality. I argued that heterosexuality in particular enables romantic love in a way that integrates with all aspects of a man and woman. I argued that in a heterosexual romantic relationship, the man and the woman each leverage their biological advantages—the man’s physical power and the woman’s physical beauty—in such a way as to celebrate their efficacy in a benevolent universe. My theory is based on my introspection, personal observations of myself and others, and contemplation of heroes and heroines in Romantic fiction. I deliberately omitted any advanced science to support my theory. The evidence for my theory should be available to anyone—even a child—who has lived in Western civilization and had an opportunity to observe adult men and women.
If any LGBT activists read my theory, they will probably attack it—and offer no objective theory in response. The LGBT movement thrives on sophistry, attacking all theories and defending only skepticism and abject subjectivism; the LGBT activists conclude that anything goes because, after all, they are not sick. The movement thrives in particular on the erection and destruction of intrinsicist straw-man arguments such as arguments based on religion and tradition.
Attacking the sexual orientation of religious zealots, or attacking my sexual orientation, does not bring anyone closer to understanding his own.
Understand Your Sexual Orientation
Now we arrive again at the main theme of this essay. Whatever one thinks about the relative merits of various sexual orientations, it is better to understand the ideas underlying one’s sexual orientation than not to understand them.
As a heterosexual, I am most interested in understanding more about heterosexuality.
Of all the hoodwinking perpetrated by the LGBT movement, the worst has been to hoodwink decent people into believing that there are no important ideas underlying their sexual orientation. But there are.
I return to the good-will challenge—to those of any sexual orientation—that I offered in Part 1: I can explain my sexual orientation; can you explain yours?
I am not suggesting that anyone perform psychoanalysis on himself. Even if you do not think that you can uncover the ideas that initially led you to your sexual orientation, and even if you think that your sexual orientation will not change, then I ask, “What conscious ideas do you now hold that are consistent with the fact that you are sexually attracted to this one gender and not the other (or, if you are bisexual, to both genders)?” If you truly believe that your current sexual orientation is good for you, then you should believe that knowing the answer to this question will do you great further good.
I close with a repetition of this quotation of Ayn Rand ( 1975, 33):
Love is the expression of philosophy—of a subconscious philosophical sum—and, perhaps, no other aspect of human existence needs the conscious power of philosophy quite so desperately. When that power is called upon to verify and support an emotional appraisal, when love is a conscious integration of reason and emotion, of mind and values, then—and only then—it is the greatest reward of man’s life.
July 21st, 2013 by Ron Pisaturo
This is Part 5 in a series of six parts. I apologize for the delay in posting this part. References can be found at the end of Part 1.
As I mentioned last time, due to constraints on my time, Part 5 is not as complete as the previous parts; it consists of selective notes. A fuller treatment will have to wait until the book version.
Nevertheless, the contents of the first five parts are, in my judgment, far more than enough to defend all the statements I made in the Introduction (Part 1). In Part 6, I will address the concept of marriage. There will also be a section of conclusions for the whole series.
I plan to post Part 6 in a week or two.
LGBT Ideology: Evasion Propped Up by New-Left Subjectivism
In the previous part of this series, I identified that, within the psychological professions, the mainstream defense of sexual orientations other than heterosexuality reduces to sexual nihilism.
In the first half of this part, I identify several ‘elephants in the room’: basic issues—including glaring hypocrisies—that the psychological professions and LGBT activists systematically evade. In the second half, I identify the ideology that encourages such evasions and hypocrisies. This ideology, as we shall see, reduces to nihilism toward all Western values.
Consider this passage:
There is good reason to believe that for many women, feelings of sexual attraction are less fixed and more flexible than originally thought. … Some women could be having relationships with members of both sexes at the same time. In fact, only one third of the women who initially identified as lesbians at the start of the research project reported exclusive sexual attractions and behavior toward women over the course of the study.
There is evidence that male sexual attractions and behaviors can also be fluid.
This passage is from a recent article—by professor, psychotherapist, and homosexual Michael C. LaSala—in Psychology Today entitled “Sexual Orientation: Is It Unchangeable?” (LaSala 2011). (I will leave aside, until later, the implicit tolerance of promiscuity in this passage.) The article expresses the now-prevalent view, among professionals in psychology, that sexual orientation is not fixed at birth or at a young age, but rather can change back and forth even in adulthood.
Nevertheless, many psychological professionals are against the idea of patients questioning their current sexual orientation. In other words, it is acceptable for sexual orientation to change on its own, as if by magic, but it is not acceptable for an individual to try to understand why his current sexual orientation might change or perhaps should change. Davison (1991, 139) offers a popular defense of this apparent hypocrisy:
The very naturalness of what therapists agree to do with particular kinds of cases tends to blind them to their prejudices and biases. … [B]iases play a controlling role in what is done [by the therapist]. This seems to be particularly the case in the approach to those people who have homosexual behavior or feelings.
In other words, according to Davison, a therapist should not help patients question their homosexuality—even though sexual orientation is highly changeable—because the therapist cannot trust his own biases against homosexuality. Davison (1991, 148) concludes,
I have argued that change-of-orientation therapy programs are ethically improper and should be eliminated. Their availability only confirms professional and societal biases against homosexuality, despite seemingly progressive rhetoric about its normality.
This argument closes the door on the possibility of a therapist questioning the homosexuality of any particular patient, regardless of the reason that the particular patient is homosexual. If a therapist does question a particular patient’s homosexuality, the therapist’s professional peers accuse him of being unethical, on the grounds that any therapist is incapable of objectivity. But on such a premise, every therapist is unethical simply by practicing therapy.
Hypocritically, though many psychological professionals who ‘affirm’ homosexuality are themselves homosexual, no one in the profession questions their objectivity.
Now consider these passages from a mainstream scholarly work:
Briefly summarized, the homosexual is definitely emotionally disturbed, suffering from fear of the other sex, puritanical distortions about sexuality, self-abnegation, feelings of inadequacy, self-destructive drives, and compulsive desires.
It is quite natural that homosexuals, searching for an alleviation of the great stigma that attaches to their lives, would wish to convince themselves and the public that therapy is impossible, or almost so.
The aim of therapy is to relieve the hostility toward and fear of relationships, sexual and other, with the other sex, rather than to seek to suppress the homosexual interests. The reasons for this are twofold: (1) to aid the homosexual to get at the root of the problem, and not to attack what is merely a symptom—his problem is not so much that he is attracted to males, but that he is in flight from females; and (2) to assure the homosexual that whatever pleasures and gratifications he is deriving from his present mode of life will not be removed, but if anything will be increased …
To anyone who has studied the subject of sexual orientation, it should be obvious that this passage is from an old work, because the ideas expressed are now professionally taboo. The passages are by Donald Webster Cory (1961, 491–492) in the entry entitled “Homosexuality” in The Encyclopedia of Sexual Behavior. Cory wrote extensively on his observations of homosexuals, and numerous psychological professionals made similar generalization based on their own in-person, in-depth psychoanalyses and similar studies of hundreds or even thousands of homosexuals. (See, for example, Bieber 1987.) The main objections to these studies have always been that they were on unrepresentative samples of the general population. (Recall my references to Gonsiorek 1991 in Part 3 of the present essay.) Such objections have also been accompanied by citations of mere multiple-choice questionnaires and Rorschach tests, without actual in-person psychological analyses. (Again recall my references to Gonsiorek 1991.) Another objection has been that psychoanalysts were biased against homosexuality. But even granting the objection of unrepresentative samples, and granting the (unsubstantiated) objection that not all homosexuals can be accurately described by the passages by Cory above, and granting that some therapists were biased, it is implausible that no homosexuals or even that only a few homosexuals fit Cory’s description.
Any reasonable assessment of the testimony of numerous psychiatrists having had clinical experience with numerous homosexuals leads to the incontestable conclusion that many, many homosexuals fit Cory’s description above. Yet, in all the mainstream academic literature from the past four decades, I did not find one article or book that discussed a problem of homosexuals that was not allegedly caused by society. In particular, I did not find one mention of any homosexual having a fear of women or men. (If anyone knows of such references, please let me know.) The only explanation for such an omission is evasion on a grand scale encompassing entire professions.
LGBT advocates often claim—see for example, Davison 1991, 137—that there is a double standard against homosexuals: that homosexuals are always doubted and scrutinized, though heterosexuals are always accepted as normal. In the academic literature, the precise opposite double standard exists. Though it is taboo to write about the possibility of a homosexual man being afraid of women (or of men who would fight them over women, as was theorized by Bieber 1987), there is article after article, book after book, career after career of ‘psychologizing’—on the basis of speculation without actual, in-depth examination of individuals—about heterosexual men having a neurotic fear of other men, especially homosexual men. (See Ayn Rand’s essay, ‘The “Psychology of Psychologizing,” for an explanation of the term ‘psychologizing’.) We all know the word for this alleged fear of homosexuals: ‘homophobia’.
A Google search of the words ‘gynophophia’ and gynephobia’, denoting an irrational fear of women, returned about 84,000 and 31,000 results, respectively. In contrast, ‘homophobia’ returned more than 9,500,000 results.
The term ‘homophobia’ was coined by George Weinberg, a psychotherapist, in his book Society and the Homosexual (1972). Weinberg describes “homophobia” as a “disease” (1972, unnumbered third page of preface) and “the dread of being in close quarters with homosexuals” (1972, 4); Weinberg (2012) also describes homophobia as “the irrational fear of gay people.”
Weinberg (1972, 1) also writes,
The person who belittles homosexuals with evident enjoyment is at the very least telling me that he wants to establish his own sense of importance through contrast with other people—a tenuous business.
Weinberg then tells a sordid tale of heterosexual men deliberately taking their wives or girlfriends to see homosexual stage shows in order to show off their own heterosexuality in contrast. Weinberg (1972, 2) then continues,
This is the identity that the patient who slurs homosexuality assumes in my mind while he is talking. He is bracing himself and trying to bolster his relationship by presenting it against a contrast.
Yet hypocritically, Weinberg (2012) wrote this in a recent article in the Huffington Post:
For gay people everywhere, the term “homophobia” became a reminder of their personal worth. Understanding that homophobia is at work in their tormentors gave gay people a new sense of dignity and humanity.
Not surprisingly, Weinberg (2012) continues to oppose alleged injustice by advocating injustice:
[T]he Associated Press, in the latest update of its stylebook for reporters, banned the use of the word “homophobia” on the grounds that it suggests emotional disturbance in people when we allegedly have no proof of such disturbance.
By the AP’s logic — that we cannot attribute motive where we haven’t proved it — we would have to get rid of terms like “hate crime,” but no one suggests that. [I do more than “suggest” that. “Hate crimes” are Orwellian ‘crimes’ of thoughts and feelings.]
It is a curious decision to shun the word “homophobia” when there is no other word that does the same job. No other word suggests that the problem is in those who persecute gay people. As long as homophobia exists, as long as gay people suffer from homophobic acts, the word will remain crucial to our humanity. Indeed, the next big step should be to add “homophobia” to the official list of mental disorders — not to cleanse the language of it.
Here is an example of what Weinberg (1972, unnumbered first page of preface) evidently considers persecution of homosexuals:
At present, it is not unconstitutional to deny housing to a person who is a known homosexual, or to refuse a job to such a person for this reason. …
Such discriminatory practices against homosexuals have deep psychological motives …
Thus, for my ideas—the idea of individual rights along with my ideas regarding romantic love—Weinberg would psychologize about me and call me mentally diseased.
The LGBT movement’s use of the term ‘homophobia’ is a smoking gun revealing that the movement is not only irrational; it is dishonest. LGBT activists take their own (sexual) feelings as irreducible primaries that must be ‘affirmed’ by everyone. Yet, hypocritically, they condemn heterosexuals for the heterosexuals’ feelings. Calling people ‘homophobic’ is psychologizing that they are neurotic, while complaining that these people call others neurotic.
On the last page of his book, Weinberg (1972, 143) “warns” homosexuals against attempting to convert from homosexuality, concluding as follows:
Your attempt to convert is an assault on your right to give and receive love, or sensual pleasure without love, in the manner you wish to. [Underlined emphasis added.]
The second underlined phrase reveals that Weinberg is a sexual subjectivist who endorses promiscuity. (Keep in mind that Weinberg was a long-time practicing psychotherapist.) But consider the first underlined phrase. Imagine the reaction by LGBT activists if a heterosexual man warned a second heterosexual man that the second man would be assaulting his own rights by exploring the possibility of being homosexual. Yet Weinberg issues the ominous threat above against any homosexual who would consider the possibility of being heterosexual.
Weinberg (1972, 41–68) and others argue that past methods to convert sexual orientation—methods based on absurd, Freudian assumptions—have a bad track record of success. Some also argue that it is no use trying to understand the cause of one’s sexual orientation if the orientation cannot change anyway. Leaving aside the fact that many LGBT advocates also claim—hypocritically—that sexual orientation is fluid, there is great value in understanding one’s sexual orientation even if it could not change, especially if one’s orientation is healthy. As I wrote in Part 1 (and explained in Part 2), “By understanding his orientation and what that orientation implies for his relationship with his romantic partner, it is possible for a man (or woman) to express his identity more consistently, more thoroughly, and more joyfully.” Identifying the premises underlying one’s sexual orientation enables one to integrate mind and body with respect to one’s sexual responses.
An individual who does not want to understand the cause of his sexual orientation is assuming that there is nothing good to be discovered about it.
In short, here is the situation we have in the academic world and in the psychological professions regarding the issue of sexual orientation. Any professional who questions the healthfulness of homosexuality is condemned as unethical, in accordance with the argument by Davison. And any individual who questions his own homosexuality is threatened as someone who is assaulting his own rights, in accordance with the argument by Weinberg. Despite their cries of victimhood, the LGBT movement is a large-scale gang of intellectual bullies—devoid of any actual evidence or logical arguments for their conclusions—who have driven, through intimidation and threats, most non-believers into the closet. Moreover, as I described in Part 3, the LGBT movement agitates government to force individuals to have economic and social intercourse with non-heterosexuals.
Then there are some writers (such as Herek 1993) who use the word ‘heterosexism’ along with ‘homophobia’. These writers define ‘heterosexism’ as a prejudice in favor of heterosexuality over other sexual orientations, and they liken heterosexism to racism. But let us examine this analogy to racism. As a heterosexual man excludes men from his pool of possible romantic partners, so a homosexual man excludes women. On what basis does a homosexual man exclude half the world’s population from consideration as a sexual partner? On what basis does he claim that such an exclusion—such a discrimination—should go unexamined? If gender is an important criterion, should he not try to understand it? And if gender is an unimportant criterion, like race, then isn’t he being irrational for applying it? After all, what would we think of a man who said, “This woman would be perfect for me if only she did not have blue eyes or fair skin”?
If LGBT activists want to use the ‘racist’ analogy, then they have to claim that homosexuals are like black racists, that heterosexuals are like white racists, and that black racism is just as good as white racism.
Now consider this popular ‘ice cream’ analogy, used here by LaSala (2011):
[W]e should be as accepting of a person who has a relationship with a man and then a woman as we would of someone who usually eats vanilla ice cream and then decides to start eating pistachio. So what?
From the context of a heterosexual, a more apt analogy would be to compare eating ice cream to having someone shove ice cream up your bottom. If anyone objects to my apt modification of the usual analogy, consider what such an objection confesses about the objector’s own assessment of homosexuality.
The aptness of my modification reveals that those who psychologize about and otherwise criticize heterosexuals who find homosexuality disgusting are—at best—callously dropping the rational context of those they criticize. More often, they are trying to evade rational scrutiny of homosexuality by verbally attacking heterosexuals.
LaSala (2011) continues,
Sex between two consenting adults, like eating ice cream, should be about pleasure, personal preferences, or expressions of love and affection, not about social rules and definitions. [Underlined emphasis added.]
Note the word “or.” According to LaSala, sex might be about love and affection, but it does not have to be. Sex might just be about pleasure or personal preferences, and that is as it should be, according to LaSala. It is no wonder that a mind such as LaSala’s likens sex to a casual pleasure such as eating ice cream.
Recall Ayn Rand’s terms of ‘intrincism’ and ‘subjectivism’ as false alternatives, with the right course being objectivity. (See Peikoff 1991, 142 along with Part 4 of the present essay.) To LaSala, the only alternative to his subjectivism is the intrinsicist straw man of “social rules and definitions.” (LGBT activists make much use of this straw man, conveniently furnished to them by Christianity and the notion that the primary purpose of sex is prcreation.) That there could be objective principles regarding sexual orientation or anything else about sex does not occur to someone such as LaSala. Not surprisingly, LaSala in the same article favorably mentions studies (without citations) that purport to identify sexual orientation based on responses to erotic videos. Recall my discussion in Part 4 regarding such studies by Bailey, cited by LeVay, that assume that sexual responses are mindless.
Keep in mind that LaSala is a professor and psychotherapist who advises parents on how to deal with the issue of homosexuality with their children!
LaSala thus provides one more example of a defense of homosexuality devolving into a defense of subjectivity—indeed, subjectivity regarding sex itself—such defense mainly entailing an attack on straw men.
One more expression of callous subjectivism is the view, held by many LGBT advocates, that an individual should try various sexual orientations in order to discover which orientation he prefers. Thompson (2012, 13) presents this example:
At a government school in Wisconsin, students were required to take a “Heterosexual Questionnaire” that asked them questions such as: “If you have never slept with someone of your same gender, then how do you know you wouldn’t prefer it?”
Those with such a callous attitude toward sex seem to have no conception of the damage that can be done from a single mindless and/or demeaning sexual experience. Perhaps such individuals also think that rape is no worse than shoplifting.
Now consider this passage (Cory, 1961, 489):
Whatever form the physical expression may take, the sexual act is more likely to be frustrating for homosexuals, even for those who reach a climax, than a heterosexual act is for heterosexuals. This is because of physical obstacles to a satisfactory relationship (lack of biologically complementing fit), and because … [Underlined emphasis added.]
Again, it is not surprising that this passage is more than fifty years old. Few contemporary writers address the incontrovertible physical problem of “lack of biologically complementing fit.” The most candid acknowledgement of this problem I could find was this passage from Altman (1971, 78):
Anatomy has forced the homosexual to explore the realities of polymorphous eroticism beyond the experiences of most heterosexuals, for we are denied the apparently “natural” navel-to navel coupling of men/women. There is among most homosexuals, I suspect, an awareness of their body, a knowledge of human sensuality, that is one of their strengths ….
If a man born blind develops acute skills of listening, he is to be commended. But what of a man with healthy eyes who is told not to try to understand why they won’t open?
Now we come to an important philosophical evasion regarding the theory, now dominant in academic writing, that sexual orientation is ‘socially constructed’. I found only one (partial) acknowledgment by LGBT activists that the theory of ‘social constructionism’ is self-refuting. The acknowledgment occurs in an exchange between Richard Schneider, founder of The Harvard Gay & Lesbian Review, and David M. Halperin, a leading LGBT theorist and author of One Hundred Years of Homosexuality (1990). From that book (Halperin 1990, 53), here is a passage from a chapter entitled “’Homosexuality’: a Cultural Construct; An Exchange with Richard Schneider”:
Schneider. But isn’t there a contradiction here? If homosexuality is a cultural construct, and if such constructs operate at the level of individual subjectivities to determine personal identity, how can any of us—indeed, how can you—accept in any genuine sense the position that you are arguing for, a position that would seem to place whoever occupies it outside the cultural and sexual systems into which we were all born?
Halperin. That’s a very canny question, but I’m not ashamed of the awkward spot it puts me in. I would be very untrue to the position I’ve been arguing for if I didn’t acknowledge squarely and forthrightly the cognitive dissonance it involves. I don’t think there’s any way that I, or anyone else who grew up in bourgeois America when I did, could ever believe in what I’ve been saying with the same degree of conviction with which I believe, despite everything I’ve said, in the categories of heterosexuality and homosexuality. … So I freely admit that, in a sense, I don’t, and couldn’t possibly, believe in what I’ve been saying …
Nevertheless, awareness of his contradiction does not stop Halperin from writing more books on the subject. As we shall see, LGBT theorists explicitly embrace the philosophical tradition of Hegel, Marx, and the Frankfurt School, which includes Marcuse. This tradition, in turn, explicitly embraces contradictions through a Hegelian process of “synthesis” of contradictions.
In summary, the psychological professions and academia systematically evade basic questions, hypocrisies, and contradictions regarding sexual orientation:
- Why do homosexuals discriminate against members of the opposite sex in their sexual responses? Why are many homosexuals actually afraid of and/or antagonistic toward the opposite sex and/or heterosexuals of the same sex?
- If sexual orientation is fluid, why do psychological professions condemn professionals and homosexuals for exploring the possibility of change?
- If psychological professionals cannot escape their own biases (an absurd premise dominant in the profession), why should homosexual professionals ‘affirm’ homosexuality?
- If the sexual feelings of homosexuals must be ‘affirmed’ by everyone, why shouldn’t the feelings of heterosexuals—including their feelings of disgust for homosexuals—be ‘affirmed’ by everyone?
- What problems for homosexuals arise from the “lack of biologically complementing fit”?
- All the mainstream LGBT theories of etiology—biological determinism, social determinism, and social constructionism—are self-refuting.
Instead of addressing these questions, hypocrisies, and contradictions, the LGBT movement adopts these two policies:
- Counter-attacks against their alleged oppressors (male heterosexuals).
- Militant subjectivism regarding all aspects of sexuality—indeed, regarding all aspects of civilization.
These two policies are hallmarks of the New Left. Not surprisingly, key figures in the LGBT movement explicitly extol a particular philosopher who advocated both of these policies: Herbert Marcuse, a key figure of the Frankfurt School.
The first policy—counter-attack against heterosexual men—can be described more generally as follows: Be unethical to others while claiming that others are unethical to you. In his article, “Herbert Marcuse, Philosopher of the New Left,” Walsh (1970, 9: 10) writes that according to Marcuse,
Objectivity or neutrality is spurious because the game is rigged: “When a magazine prints side by side a negative and positive report on the FBI, it fulfills honestly the requirements of objectivity: however, the chances are that the positive wins because the image of the institution is deeply engraved in the minds of the people.” [Marcuse, 1969, 98.]
To reverse the trends, Marcuse declares, people should “get information slanted in the opposite direction.” [Marcuse 1969, 99.]
This policy to “get information slanted in the opposite direction” explains why LGBT activists whitewash homosexuals while smearing heterosexuals as ‘homophobic’.
Walsh (1970, 9: 10) also writes,
Marcuse demands that objectivity be forbidden to the communications media, that certain doctrines be prohibited and that certain groups be deprived of the rights of free speech and free assembly. The re-education of the majority, “may require apparently undemocratic means. This would include the withdrawal of toleration of speech and assembly from groups and movements which promote aggressive policies, armament, chauvinism, discrimination on the grounds of race and religion, or which oppose the extension of public services, social security, medical care, etc.” [Marcuse 1969, 100.]
According to dialectical logic, this intolerance would be a form of tolerance, liberating tolerance: “Liberating tolerance, then, would mean intolerance of movements from the Right, and toleration of movements from the Left. … it would extend to the stage of action as well as of discussion and propaganda, of deed as well as of word.” [Marcuse 1969, 109.] Such liberating tolerance must include censorship, which would counteract the “false consciousness” by “stopping the words and images which feed this consciousness.” [Marcuse, 169, 111.] “Moreover, the restoration of freedom of thought may necessitate new and rigid restrictions on teachings and practices in the educational institutions which, by their very methods and concepts, serve to enclose the mind within the established universe of discourse and behavior …” [Marcuse 1969, 100–101.]
Walsh (1970 9 : 9–10) gives an example of the teachings of Marcuse put into practice:
An activist graduate student at the University of Buffalo, interviewed in The New York Times of May 5, 1968, stated: “Do you know why the demonstrations and protest movements succeeded? Because we didn’t play by the rules of the game. Our movement wasn’t organized democratically. We kicked the Dow people off the campus though they had every right to be there. It was our unrepressed intolerance and thorough anti-permissiveness that brought our actions success. But who gave us the intellectual courage to be intolerant and unpermissive? I think Herbert Marcuse more than anyone. He is the New Left’s professor.”
This policy of censorship explains why LGBT activists complain of a ‘stigma’ against homosexuality while intimidating, threatening, and even coercing heterosexuals to ‘affirm’ all sexual orientations.
Now let us revisit the second policy of the LGBT movement: militant subjectivism regarding all aspects of sexuality.
(My treatment below is just an overview. A fuller treatment will have to wait for a book.)
The idea of ‘social constructionism’, supported by the psychological leaders of the LGBT movement, explicitly starts with Kant’s notion that unconscious structures of individual minds subjectively construct reality (this ‘reality’ being Kant’s notion of a ‘phenomenal world’); but the social constructionists slightly alter this Kantian idea by claiming instead (like Hegel) that this process of ‘construction’ is performed not by individual minds but by society as a whole. (See Gergen 1985, 269–270.)
The psychological leaders (such as Herek and Peplau) rely heavily on writers in philosophy, sociology, and related fields (writers such as Foucault, Altman, Wolf, and Connell) who in turn rely on the Kantian tradition as it continued through Hegel, Marx, Freud, and Marcuse. The usual pattern is that writers in psychology favorably cite intermediate sources such as Foucault, Altman, and Wolf, and the intermediate sources favorably cite people such as Hegel, Marx, and Marcuse. Everyone favorably cites Freud (sometimes with modifications).
For example, Herek ( 1993, 320) favorably cites the leading ‘social constructionist’ (and sexual nihilist) philosopher Foucault (see Part 4 of the present essay for details); Foucault in turn (in another work:  2010, 21) writes,
It seems to me that the philosophical choice confronting us today is the following. We have to opt either for a critical philosophy which appears as an analytical philosophy of truth in general, or for a critical thought which takes the form of an ontology of ourselves, of present reality. It is this latter form of philosophy which from Hegel to the Frankfurt School, passing through Nietzsche, Max Weber and so on, which has founded a form of reflection to which, of course, I link myself insofar as I can.
For clarity and concision, I will state the general LGBT theory in my own words before turning to lengthier passages by some of the theory’s exponents.
The general LGBT theory is as follows. Infants are ‘polymorphously perverse’, to use Freud’s term. That is, an infant will be sexually excited by anyone and anything anywhere. Freud considered this infantile state an early stage of development. Marcuse and many LGBT activists, in contrast, consider this state the ideal end state for adults. People leave this state only because they become repressed, limiting the kinds of sexual responses available to them. The repressed energy of such people becomes channeled into economic production. (I’m not kidding; this is the theory, and the psychological professions buy into it.) That is, productive work is the repressed alternative to blissful sex. Capitalism, of course the system of greatest economic production, is hence also the system of greatest sexual repression. Heterosexual males, who dominate and oppress other groups under capitalism, are the most sexually repressed and therefore the most driven to production and the dominance over everyone else. The heterosexual males’ sexual repression and economic productiveness is codified in the socially constructed idea of masculinity. Their oppression of women, by these men, is codified in the socially constructed idea of femininity, which entails submissive weakness and the oppressive task of raising children. The feminist movement figured all this out. And now the LGBT movement has figured out that heterosexual males oppress homosexual men as well as heterosexual women, because homosexual men threaten the notion of masculinity. The solution to this whole problem is to eradicate capitalism, masculinity, femininity, and families, with everyone returning to the polymorphous perversity of an infant, and with the community of such adult infants collectively in charge of rearing actual infants.
Of course, this theory is absurd. An infant will put anything in its mouth, touch anything, and climb out any window. Through reason, a child learns to become selective in his actions. Anyone who thinks that selectivity in sex is a form of repression holds a premise that reason and emotion are in inevitable conflict.
Regarding the notion that productive work drains a man’s capacity for sexual fulfillment, the exact opposite is true. A child is born with the capacity, but not the ability, to achieve sexual fulfillment. The greater a rational man’s success at production, the greater is his self-esteem; and the greater becomes his desire and ability to achieve romantic and sexual fulfillment.
There is one more philosophical element that goes hand in hand with the LGBT theory that I summarized above. Modern researchers in psychology tend to eschew conceptual understanding and value judgments in favor of counting instances of various kinds of ‘behavior’. From such a methodology, it is easy to move from the premise that many people exhibit various kinds of sexual behavior to the conclusion that all such behavior is normal and healthful. Modern researchers claim that their method of counting instances of behaviors is mathematical and scientific, and that this method avoids researchers’ bias. In truth, this method is as scientific as using a ruler to measure weight. What needs to be studied by psychology is the mind, not mere physical behavior.
Now let us read all of these ideas, which I have summarized above, from academic writers who espouse them. Working backwards, let us start with an account of the method of counting instances of behavior. This method is described in the following passage from Chall (1961, 31–33):
To gain information on or about human sexual behavior, behavioral scientists use the same methods used to gain information about political, economic, esthetic, or other human behavior: indirect techniques. The major techniques used are interviews, questionnaires, content analyses, and scales. All of these techniques in the last analysis ask questions and receive answers. The answers a scientist receives are what he terms “observations.”
The empirical-quantitative method, in contrast to the grand theory of a Havelock Ellis, a Sigmund Freud, the Vaertings, or of William I Thomas, seems dull, plodding, and unimaginative. But this method has produced tremendous advances in studying sexual phenomena by two approaches: conceptual and methodological. Conceptually, it has created a language describing sexual behavior that is relatively free of “normative” encumbrances and connotations. It perceives sexual behavior as based less on human values traditionally defined and more on frequency and functionality. [Underlined emphasis added.]
The author, writing more than fifty years ago, later indicates that he is not fully satisfied with the method he describes; but contemporary LGBT researchers evidently—see Part 3 and later—embrace it fully.
Now let us read the LGBT ideas—‘polymorphous perversity’, the alleged repression inherent in production and capitalism, the alleged oppression by heterosexual males, etc.—from some of the LGBT theorists themselves.
Recall that Altman is one of the writers cited by the leading psychologist Herek. Altman, in his book Homosexual Oppression and Liberation (1971, 70), writes,
In this discussion I am particularly indebted to Marcuse for his explorations of the concepts of repression and liberation.
Altman (1971, 77) continues,
[I]t is undoubtedly true that sexual repression was highly functional for the rise of capitalism and later industrialization which, at least in the early stages, demanded considerable repression in the interests of economic development.
Altman (1971, 78–79) later writes as follows. (The brackets and bracketed text in the following quotation are in the original.)
Marcuse has observed in Eros and Civilization that: “Against a society which employs sexuality as a means for a useful end, the perversions uphold sexuality as an end in itself; they thus place themselves outside the domination of the performance principle [Marcuse’s term for the particular variety of repression necessary for the organization of capitalism] and challenges its very foundations.” … In the context of a society based on rigorous repression of polymorphous and bisexual urges, the homosexual thus comes to represent a challenge to conventional norms. …
Altman (1971, 79) then becomes more candid than many other LGBT activists, as he writes,
Still, even in Marcusian variation of Freudian thought, exclusive homosexuality represents a repression that is as great as exclusive heterosexuality … . Homosexuals who like to point out that “everyone is queer”—“either latent or blatant”—as one girl put it—rarely concede that “everyone” is equally “straight,” and that to repress the one is as damaging as to repress the other. …
The repression of polymorphous perversity in Western societies has two major components: the removal of the erotic from all areas of life other than the explicitly sexual, and the denial of our inherent bisexuality. The latter in particular is bound up with the development of very clear-cut concepts of “masculine” and “feminine” that dominate our consciousness—and help maintain male supremacy. It is awareness of the socially imposed masculine/feminine dichotomy that especially characterizes the analyses associated with women’s liberation.
‘Women’s liberation’ is today called ‘feminism’.
Later, Altman (1971, 89) writes,
Men in America are drawn together, yet the more they are drawn the more they need to repress their feelings, and thus the undercurrent of violence that exists between men and that is turned outwards in the assertion of masculine dominance, whether vis-à-vis foreigners (Vietnam?), women, or other inferiors. The argument that men fight each other because they are unable to love each other is a version of Marcuse’s formulation that aggression results from a failure to give sexuality free reign. I find this argument persuasive, in part because of my observation of homosexuals.
Altman (1971, 102) also writes,
There are great advantages for children in communal living, representing as it does a compromise between the tyranny of overpossessive parents and the repression of the typical educational system. It is also probably the really only effective way to break down the sex-role stereotypes into which the family structure tends to force us. The idea that a child “belongs’ to his parents is a logical extension of the cult of property, only exceeded in horror by the concept that a child “belongs” to the state. [Underlined emphasis added.]
Ultimately, as Marcuse insists, liberation implies a new biological person … “… who rejects the performance principles … ”
Recall that Altman is the same person who wrote this passage in the book (1982, 201) cited favorably by Herek ( 1993, 323):
If sexuality were free from the sorts of pressures that exist in our society—it would be utopian to argue for no social pressures that exist in our society—I suspect child/adult sex would be fairly common, though not perhaps as common as sex among children themselves.
I suppose that Altman would give “children in communal living” plenty of opportunity to have sex with their communal caretakers.
A page later, Altman (1971, 103) writes,
[A]s individuals come to a greater acceptance of their erotic/sexual being they tend to reject the “performance principle” that underlies the dominant ethos of property, competition and aggression. … Only a socialism highly flavored by anarchism would seem to me consistent with sexual liberation …
All of these ideas by Altman are mainstream in the academic psychological literature on sexual orientation. All of the writers I am quoting have been cited favorably, in mainstream articles and books on psychology, as authoritative sources without a hint of there being any controversy involved in any of these ideas. I could write an essay many times as long as the present one simply by including similar quotations from countless other mainstream articles I have read.
In the interest of brevity, I will take just one article, from the mainstream professional psychological literature, and show how this one article exemplifies, directly states, and/or cites all of the LGBT arguments I have identified in this section.
In 2012, Oxford University Press published its “authoritative” Handbook of Psychology and Sexual Orientation, intended for use by professionals. This passage is from the publisher’s description of the book:
The first authoritative summary of its kind in this area, Handbook of Psychology and Sexual Orientation is the primary resource for the many researchers, including a new generation of investigators, who are continuing to advance understanding in this field. Volume editors Charlotte J. Patterson and Anthony R. D’Augelli, along with other leading experts, contribute an extraordinary review of contemporary psychological research and theory on sexual orientation in their specific fields of work. The book is divided in four parts: Concepts, Theories, and Perspectives; Development over the Life Course; Domains of Experience; and Communities and Contextual Issues. [Underlined emphasis added.]
The first of the four parts seemed, by its description, the most “conceptual” and “theoretical,” so I read that part’s chapter (Parsons and Grov 2012) on male homosexuality. The chapter begins as follows:
In this chapter we review seminal research and theory regarding gay men’s identities, their desires, and their sexual behavior. First we discuss the emergence of the gay identity and describe how meanings of the “gay community” have changed in response to fluid social/political climates, HIV, and technology. Next we discuss the role of desire in gay men’s sexual partnerships and behaviors, focusing on masculinity, penis size, and semen/ejaculation. Third, we elaborate on the array of sexual behaviors in which gay men engage and describe the various types of relationships that are common within gay partnerships. [Underlined emphasis added.]
This passage illustrates the smallness of the thinking of researchers—in particular, their use of survey data in place of conceptualization—in this field. The first of the three sections is a socio-historical account of the development of a “gay community”; and the last two sections consist of survey data on issues such as how many homosexuals like large penises (very many), how many of them have sex outside of their committed relationships (very many), and how many of them “exchange semen.” I guess I had an old-fashioned idea about the meaning of the authors’ phrase, “seminal research.”
The only section of this purportedly theoretical article that suggests any theoretical significance is the part of the second section that discusses masculinity. Parsons and Grov (2012, 21) write,
For gay men, traditional masculinity (as opposed to femininity) is often a desired trait. In general, gay men not only prefer men who describe themselves as masculine, but not one participant in a study of gay male personal ads looking for sexual partners listed masculinity as an undesired trait in a partner … . In contrast, when undesired partner traits were listed, they were always feminine traits.
This data is merely unscientific survey data, but at least it is intriguing. Here is what Parsons and Grov (2012, 21) conclude from this data:
It has been suggested that such gay men want to achieve “hegemonic masculinity” or a culturally normative ideal of male behavior in order to overcome negative stereotypes about effeminate gay men … .
So, from where does such as strong desire and preference for masculinity and the perceived sexual roles of those who are more masculine/feminine come? “Gay men are not free to invent new objects of desire…choice of object is structured by gender order” (Connell, 1992, p. 747). … The ideals of hegemonic masculinity shape gay men as much as they shape heterosexual men. …
Social pressures compel gay men to value masculinity and devalue femininity. [Underlined emphasis added.]
Parsons and Grov are claiming that the notions of ‘masculinity’ and ‘femininity’, which they assume have been harmful to heterosexuals, have been harmful to homosexuals too. Evidently, the notion that masculinity can have any objective value, even to homosexuals, is taboo to psychological professionals.
Parsons and Grov (2012, 21) use the term “hegemonic masculinity” four times. The term is well known in psychology and sociology. According to Wikipedia, the most cited source for this term is R. W. Connell’s book, Gender and Power (1987), which Parsons and Grov also cite.
Here is the main thesis of Connell 1987. Women in society are oppressed not only by economic class as claimed by mainstream Marxism, but by ‘gender class’ too. The genders of masculinity and femininity are social constructions. One particular such construction, ‘hegemonic masculinity’, defines a compliant form of femininity, ‘emphasized femininity’. These constructions enable (heterosexual) men to dominate women (and homosexual men) on a global scale. However, the only true biological difference between men and women is the difference regarding the role in procreation. One solution to the oppression by hegemonic masculinity is to deconstruct and then politically abolish or reconstruct—on the principle of equality as opposed to freedom—all notions of masculinity and femininity in all aspects of human life, including work, social interactions, clothing, choice of sexual partners, and sexual behaviors. The other solution is for individuals to flit from masculinity to femininity as if at a series of costume balls. (That’s my metaphor.)
And here are some quotations from the book.
Connell, 1987, 183:
There is an ordering of versions of femininity and masculinity at the level of the whole society … Their interrelation is centered on a single structural fact, the global dominance of men over women.
Connell, 1987, 287:
If the abolition of gender is a worthwhile goal, then it must be the abolition of gender as a social structure that is at issue. As defined in chapter 6 gender is ultimately the linking of fields of social practice to the reproductive division, the creation of a relevance. Its abolition would be, logically, a matter of disconnecting those fields. This implies no denigration or denial of biological difference; equally, no celebration of it. Difference between sexes would be simply a complementarity of function in reproduction, not a cosmic division or a social fate. There would be no reason for this to structure emotional relationships, so the categories heterosexual and homosexual would become insignificant. There would be no reason for it to structure character, so femininity and masculinity would depart.
Such a future is implied in the deconstructionist wing of gay liberation theory, and as an ultimate goal is more convincing than as an immediate strategy. Its great virtue is that it eliminates the basis for gender inequalities. The way biological difference and similarity have got incorporated into structures of social inequality creates our dilemma about ‘nature’, not nature itself. Inequality is the basis of the social constitution of interests, which generate the practices that institutionalize injustices, the politics that defend them, the ideologies that justify them. The concept of liberation is not about freedom, in the sense of lack of constraint on personal behaviour, so much as about equality. [Underlined emphasis added.]
To those of you on Facebook who posted a photo of an ‘equal’ sign, this is the ideology that you supported.
Connell 1987, 288:
The logical consequence of deconstruction is open-ended variety. Marcuse’s discussion of ‘polymorphous perversity’ in Eros and Civilization is not a bad summary of this conception, though with rules dismantled nothing can be defined as normative and hence nothing as ‘perverse’.
Connell 1987, 292:
As a matter of fact, the core institutions of the contemporary structure of gender power cannot be torn down without a class politics, because those institutions fuse gender and class domination. As a matter of practice, equality is difficult to contain; the origins of modern feminist radicalism in the New Left show that. The historic association between socialism and feminism, however tense and ragged it has been, expresses a basic truth about the global structure of inequality and what social forces might dismantle it.
In short, LGBT activists want to coerce the entire world into going along with their charade, their eradication of masculinity and femininity, their evasion of the Law of Identity.
At the time of the writing of this book, R. W. Connell was a man. Now Connell is a transsexual woman, Raewyn Connell.
Getting back to the article by Parsons and Grov (2012) in Oxford University Press’s “authoritative” Handbook of Psychology and Sexual Orientation, recall that the article began with a historical account of the emergence of a “gay community” (2012, 19):
Throughout history, homosexual behavior has been regarded in many ways, ranging from abhorrent to revered (Wolf 2004). The idea of a gay community and identifying oneself as “gay” is a concept that emerged, as D’Emilio (1983) proposed, as a result of the Industrial Revolution and the spread of capitalism throughout Europe and the United States. [Underlined emphasis in original.]
This passage may seem innocuous, but let us examine the sources that the authors cite: “Wolf 2004” and “D’Emilio 1983.”
The article referenced as “Wolf 2004” is “The Roots of Gay Oppression”, by Sherry Wolf, in the International Socialist Review. Here is how Wolf 2004 begins:
Gay oppression hasn’t always existed, and neither have gays as a distinct sector of the population. The oppression of gays and lesbians—and all sexual minorities—is one of modern capitalism’s infinite contradictions. Capitalism creates the material conditions for men and women to lead autonomous sexual lives, yet it simultaneously seeks to impose heterosexual norms on society to secure the maintenance of an economic, ideological, and sexual order.
In the quotation above, Wolf (a Marxist) sets up a Marxist ‘dialectic’—a conflict of alleged contradictions in reality—that she claims are inherent in capitalism. To a Marxist such as Wolf, some aspects of capitalism were ‘progressive’ over what preceded capitalism, but the contradictions of capitalism can be resolved—‘synthesized’—only by further progress: socialism.
The article referenced as “D’Emilio 1983” is “Capitalism and Gay Identity”, by Marxist, homosexual historian John D’Emilio. Like Wolf, D’Emilio holds that a contradictory ‘dialectic’ inherent in capitalism can be resolved only by socialism. This is from D’Emilio’s ( 1999, 48) preface to this article:
I wanted to be able to ground social construction theory, which posited that gay identity was historically specific rather than universal, in concrete social processes. Using Marxist analyses of capitalism, I argue that two aspects of capitalism – wage labor and commodity production – created the social conditions that made possible the emergence of a distinctive gay and lesbian identity.
And this is from the actual article by D’Emilio ( 1999, 54):
[C]apitalism … needs to push men and women into families, at least long enough to reproduce the next generation of workers. The elevation of the family to ideological preeminence guarantees that a capitalist society will produce not just children, but heterosexism and homophobia. In the most profound sense, capitalism is the problem.
In summary, all of the above works are cited as non-controversial sources in one leading chapter (Parsons and Grov 2012) of Oxford University Press’s “authoritative” Handbook of Psychology and Sexual Orientation. This one chapter includes all of the philosophical elements of LGBT theory that I identified at the beginning of this section.
Sherry Wolf, who was cited by Parsons and Grov (2012), also wrote a book entitled Sexuality and Socialism. Here is a passage from that book (2009, 75):
Contrary to the dominant myth of socialism prevalent in the academy, Marxists do not reduce the oppression of sexual minorities—or anyone else—to the issue of class. Rather, Marxists locate the source of racial, gender, sexual, and all other oppressions within the framework of capitalist class relations. As the earlier discussion of the nuclear family showed, women’s oppression derives from the structure of the family, in which reproduction and maintenance (child care, housework, cooking, etc.) of the current and future generations of workers are foisted upon individual families rather than being the responsibility of society. Capitalism depends on privatized reproduction to raise the next generation of workers at little expense to itself. Likewise, the oppression of LGBT people stems from the implicit challenge that sexual minorities pose to the nuclear family and its gender norms.
What kind of human being thinks that parents’ giving birth to and caring for their child is something “foisted upon” the parents?
To those of you on Facebook who posted a photo of an ‘equal’ sign, this is the ideology that you have allowed to be “foisted upon” you.
No discussion of the philosophy of the LGBT movement would be complete without mentioning the movement’s big (ugly) sister: feminism. Observe that favorable references to feminism appear often in the quotations above.
In the first edition of their highly regarded book, Psychological Perspectives on Lesbian & Gay Male Experiences, the editors Garnets and Kimmel (1983, 53) begin the second paragraph of their introduction to the topic, “The Meaning of Sexual Orientation” as follows:
One particularly important influence in the process of reconceptualizing sexual orientation from an individual pathology to membership in a supportive community has been the feminist movement.
Many, many other mainstream articles and books I have read on psychology in the past three months praise the feminist movement; none of these writings offers a single word of criticism of feminism.
In his article “Gender Tribalism,” Peter Schwartz (1998, 205–216) presents a thorough refutation and condemnation of feminism. To all the sources that Schwarz cites, let me add this one quotation of feminist philosopher Sally Haslanger (1993, 85), which captures the essence of the feminist movement:
One of the common themes in feminist research over the past decade has been the claim that reason is “gendered”: more specifically, that reason is “male” or “masculine.” Although feminists have differed in their interpretations of this claim and the grounds they offer for it, the general conclusion has been that feminist theory should steer clear of investments in reason and rationality, at least as traditionally conceived. For example, we should avoid an epistemology that privileges reason or the standpoint of reason; we should avoid theories of the self that take rationality to be a defining trait; and we should avoid endorsing moral and political ideals that glorify reason and the reasonable “person” (read: man).
At the end of this article, Haslanger concludes that women should reject reason, because accepting reason would be a form of collaborating with the enemy: man.
This essay by Haslanger has been reprinted in Haslanger’s new book, published by Oxford University Press, entitled Resisting Reality: Social Construction and Social Critique (2012).
The feminist movement is a caricature of a cartoon of an ideology. It is an evil cartoon. The essential evil of feminists is a refusal to judge individual men or to be judged individually by them. Feminists are willing to become subhuman, by rejecting reason, rather than acknowledge any value created by man.
The LGBT movement is essentially an unoriginal caricature of the feminist movement. Instead of depicting man as the oppressor of women, the LGBT movement depicts heterosexual man as the oppressor of everyone else.
In summary, the goal of LGBT activists is to eradicate gender from society, and thereby eradicate all possibility of being judged for their sexual identity. More broadly, the LGBT people are bent on destroying all Western values, including reason, productiveness, and capitalism.
As a final anecdote, I did find one ironical instance of a mainstream researcher in psychology attributing a certain sexual orientation to a set of ideas. Peplau (2001, 10) writes approvingly that
… active involvement in the 1970s feminist movement led some women to turn away from sexual relations with men and to establish relationships with women (e.g., Kitzinger, 1987). Pearlman (1987) explained that “many of the new, previously heterosexual, radical lesbians had based their choice as much on politics as on sexual interest in other women” (p. 318).
So here is an instance of a mainstream psychological researcher claiming that sexual orientation is not mindless. Well, perhaps not.
Now we are ready to address the relationship of sexual orientation to the concept of marriage.