Same-Sex Attractions in Youth and their Right to Informed Consent

Youth have the right to be provided about the medical and psychological risks associated with the homosexual lifestyle by parents, pediatricians, mental health professionals, school counselors, educators and clergy.  Presently, well-organized attempts are under way to attempt to block youth from being given both the appropriate scientific knowledge and informed consent about same-sex attractions, gender identity disorder, transsexual issues and the psychological needs of a child for father and mother and marriage.

Today, youth who begin experimenting with sexuality and same-sex attraction (SSA) are not being given sufficient information about the SSA lifestyle. The deliberate withholding of such information by medical and psychological professionals goes against the professional requirement to present medical and psychological risks of associated with certain behaviors.  The intent of this article is to show, through research, that youth who engage in the SSA lifestyle are at-risk for a host of medical complications necessitating informed consent by professionals responsible for a given youth’s well-being.  The failure to provide the information is a breach of ethics. 


Research 2016 on SSA

This report presents a careful summary and an up-to-date explanation of research  from the biological, psychological, and social sciences � related to sexual orientation and gender identity. It was offered in the hope that such an exposition can contribute to our capacity as physicians, scientists, and citizens to address health issues faced by LGBT populations within the society.

The results include:

  • The understanding of sexual orientation as an innate, biologically fixed property of human beings  the idea that people are �born that way� � is not supported by scientific evidence.

  • While there is evidence that biological factors such as genes and hormones are associated with sexual behaviors and attractions, there are no compelling causal biological explanations for human sexual orientation.

  • Longitudinal studies of adolescents suggest that sexual orientation may be quite fluid over the life course for some people, with one study estimating that as many as 80% of male adolescents who report same-sex attractions no longer do so as adults.

  • Compared to heterosexuals, non-heterosexuals are about two to three times as likely to have experienced childhood sexual abuse.


The Right to Informed Consent in Youth about Scientific Research and Health Risks

In the case of youth who exhibit or admit to SSA attraction, the health care professional needs to clearly spell out the risks and benefits of not receiving treatment and the health risks associated with the homosexual lifestyle. We will discuss these risks in the subsequent sections here.  Information, again based on research (discussed below), needs to include: a) the diagnosis of gender identity disorder, b) the fluidity of sexual attractions in youth, c) the absence of a biological basis for SSA and d) the serious emotional conflicts in youth with same-sex inclinations, such as a lack of secure attachment relationships with a parent or same-sex peers. Also, such information needs to identify: e) serious high-risk behaviors such as substance abuse and suicidal ideation, f) compulsive masturbatory and sexual behaviors, g) depression, and h) excessive anger in those with homosexual inclinations. These numerous conflicts should not be ignored, are not caused by the culture, and should be addressed rather than denied.

The next area in which the criteria for informed consent are violated is the nature and purpose of proposed treatment and youth. There is a failure to recommend treatment in spite of serious emotional, behavioral and sexual problems. Even worse, strong advice is given against treatment except that which affirms a homosexual identity. Also, the risks of not receiving treatment are not identified.

Medical and Psychiatric Health Risks Associated with SSA

Youth and their parents have the right to be informed about the research that demonstrates serious risks to medical and psychological health.

Risk of Cancer

A 2017 research study presented the epidemic of HPV head and neck cancers worldwide mainly in men with SSA who engage in oral sex often with numerous partners. It found that human papillomaviruses (HPV) are detected in 70-80% of oropharyngeal cancers in the developed world, the incidence of which has reached epidemic proportions.  (Morgan, IM, et al. 2017 Integration of Human Papillomavirus Genomes in Head and Neck Cancer: Is It Time to Consider a Paradigm Shift?  Viruses. 2017 Aug 3;9(8). pii: E208. doi: 10.3390/v9080208). 

Head and neck cancers in the past were most often seen in men in their 60s with predisposing factors being tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption.

In addition, in a November 12, 2014 Wall St. Journal article, Dr. Gillison stated, “The problem with HPV-positive oral cancer is that premalignant lesions are not clinically detectable. They’re deep within the tonsils that are in the base of the tongue. By the time HPV-infection is detected, they usually already have Stage 3 or 4 cancer.”

Researchers estimate that around 2020, HPV-related oral cancers in men will eclipse cervical cancer, which afflicts some 12,000 new women each year, according to 2014 data from the American Cancer Society.

Also, in the past 3 decades, anal cancer incidence has increased 39% in women and 96% in men in the United States. In the general US population, anal cancer incidence remains higher among women than men (1.8 vs 1.4 cases per100 000 annually), but the incidence is especially high among men who have sex with men (MSM; 35 per 100 000).

A major study published in the journal Cancer in May 2011 revealed that men with SSA in California are twice as likely to report a cancer as heterosexual men.   Most troubling was the mean age of onset of cancer in the men with  SSA - 41 years old compared to age 51 in heterosexual males. [34]   

Psychological Risks

Well-designed research studies published in leading peer-reviewed journals[20] have shown a number of psychiatric disorders to be far more prevalent in teenagers and adults with SSA. These include major depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, suicidal ideation, suicide attempts and sexual abuse victimization. Many of these studies were done in countries where homosexuality is widely accepted, such as in New Zealand and the Netherlands.

Youth have the right to know the recent research that demonstrates the serious health risk of acquiring cancer in the homosexual life style.  A major study published in the journal Cancer in May 2011 revealed that men with SSA in California are twice as likely to report a cancer as heterosexual men.   Most troubling was the median age of onset of cancer in the men with  SSA - 41 years old.[21]

A 2012 study of young adults from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent, Wave 3,  of youths aged 18-27, revealed that Gay/lesbian and bisexual respondents had higher levels of psychopathology than heterosexuals across all outcomes. Gay/lesbian respondents had higher odds of exposure to child abuse and housing adversity, and bisexual respondents had higher odds of exposure to child abuse, housing adversity, and intimate partner violence, than heterosexuals.[22]  This was a nationally representative survey of adolescents included gay/lesbian (n=227), bisexual (n=245), and heterosexual (n=13,490) youths, ages 18-27.

A meta-analysis examining the rates of mental disorders, substance misuse, suicide, suicide ideation, and deliberate self-harm in lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals compared data from 214,344 heterosexual and 11,971 non-heterosexual individuals, from articles published from January 1966 through April 2005.  This meta-analysis found that lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals were at a 2.5 times increased lifetime risk for suicide (95% confidence interval 1.87-3.28), 2 times higher risk for depression and anxiety disorders over a twelve-month interval and over a lifetime interval, and at least 1.5 times higher risk for alcohol and other substance dependence over a 12-month interval (RR range 1.51-4.00).  This study also found that lesbian and bisexual women were at higher risk for substance dependence as compared to heterosexual women: they were nearly six times as likely to have problems with overall substance use four times as likely to have problems with alcohol, and three-and-a-half times as likely to have problems with drugs.  Also according to this study, gay and bisexual men were at more than fourfold higher lifetime risk for suicide attempts. (King, M., Semlyen, J., Tai, S., Killaspy, H., Osborn, D., Popelyuk, D., & Nazareth, I. 2008. A systematic review of mental disorder, suicide, and deliberate self harm in lesbian, gay and bisexual people.  BMC Psychiatry, 8, 70.)

Whitehead (2010) conducted an extensive literature review of “homosexuality and co-morbidities” to assess the social stress hypothesis as an explanatory theory.  This review of 84 studies indicated that same-sex attracted (SSA) individuals present to therapists with mental health conditions from nearly every DSM category at a rate of more than three times opposite-sex attracted population, including mood disorders, depression, substance abuse and suicidality.  Although it has become common to attribute increased suicidality to minority stress, the author reports that recent evidence indicates that perceived discrimination (cf. Pasco & Richman 2009), rather than actual discrimination is to blame for suicidality, and that this perceived discrimination is due almost entirely to the emotional or avoidant-based coping mechanisms employed by SSA individuals.  After summarizing the increased risks for several psychiatric and behavioral disorders,[2] the author makes the rather bold claim that, with exception of prisoners, “it is difficult to find a group of comparable size in society with such intense and widespread pathology, despite the claims of some that SSAs are no more pathological than normal” (p.148). 

GLB youth who self-identified during high school report disproportionate risk for a variety of health risks and problem behaviors[23], including suicide sexual risk behaviors, multiple substance abuse use, victimization. In addition these youth are more likely to report engaging in multiple risk behaviors and initiating risk behaviors at an earlier age than their peers.

Young men who have sex with men (MSM) are at extremely high risk for contracting a sexually transmitted infection. According to the CDC[25], the number of MSMs ages 13 to 24 with newly diagnosed HIV is increasing each year and almost doubled since 2000. The number infected increased by 11% in 2001 and by 18% in 2006.

A 2008 study[26] found the HIV new-infection rate in the US 40% higher than estimated. Boys who begin to engage in sexual activity with males at an early age are more likely to become HIV positive or contract an STD. Intensive condom education has failed to prevent infections. According to Dr. Philip Alcabes, an epidemiologist at Hunter College, “It looks like prevention campaigns make even less difference than anyone thought.”

In a study[28]of 137 young males with SSA aged 17 to 21, 30% admitted to at least one suicide attempt. Forty-four percent attributed this attempt to family problems including marital discord, divorce and alcoholism. Other factors included a history of sexual abuse in 61%, substance abuse in 85%, illegal activities in 51%, effeminacy in 36%, and prostitution in 29%.

The data[29]on the 10,587 youths from the national longitudinal study of adolescent health revealed that 1% reported same-sex attraction only, whereas 5% reported attraction to both sexes. Those with SSA were twice as likely to perpetrate violence and also at greater risk for experiencing and witnessing violence.

Research has shown that in youth suicide risk decreases by delaying self-identifying as a homosexual.  One study demonstrated that suicide risk among youth with same-sex attractions decreases 20 percent each year they delay labeling themselves as gay.[30]

In a study of 137 SSA or BI males aged 14 to 21, 30% had made at least one suicide attempt and 44% attributed suicide attempt to family problems including marital discord, divorce and alcoholism.[32]

Fifty-eight percent of adolescent males in another study who reported being sexually abused by an adult male prior to puberty revealed SSA or bisexuality.[33]


The Origins of Same-Sex Attractions

Today, there is a consensus that there is not a genetic or hormonal origin of homosexuality. A 2008 American Psychological Association publication[10] stated, “although much research has examined the possible genetic, or model, and develop developmental, social and cultural influences on sexual orientation no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles. . . .”

Also, if homosexuality were genetically determined, identical male twins would be 100% concordant for this condition. A study[11]  from the Australian twin registry found that only 11% of identical twins with SSA had a twin brother who also experienced SSA.

Dr.  Francis S. Collins, M.D, Ph.D., former director of The Human Genome Project, has written, “There is an inescapable component of heritability to many human behavioral traits. For virtually none of them is heredity ever close to predictive. An area of particularly strong public interest is the genetic basis of homosexuality. Evidence [indicates] that sexual orientation is genetically influenced but not hard wired by DNA, and that whatever genes are involved represent predispositions, not predeterminations.[12]

Emotional Conflicts in Males with SSA

In our clinical work over the past 34 years, we have found that the most common cause of same-sex attractions in males is an intense weakness in masculine confidence that is associated with strong feelings of loneliness and sadness. This insecurity arises from a number of factors, including same-sex peer rejection in early childhood as a result of a lack of eye–hand coordination. This challenge in boys interferes with male bonding in sports and with secure same-sex attachments. Other origins of male insecurity and sadness are an emotionally distant father relationship, a poor body image and, finally, sexual abuse victimization.

Several major research studies of adult and adolescent males with SSA have also demonstrated low self-esteem as being a major conflict in their lives.  The first study from the Netherlands of 7,076 adults demonstrated that lesser quality of life in men was predominantly explained by low self-esteem.[13]  The authors recommended the importance of finding out how lower sense of self-esteem comes about in homosexual men.

In a 2010 Israeli study of ninety homosexual and 109 heterosexual men with mean age of 26 and with no significant differences with respect to country of birth, ethnic origin, education level, military service, or participation in psychotherapy, homosexual young adults scored lower on the self-esteem measure and higher on narcissism compared to their heterosexual counterparts.[14]

A 2011 UK study of 10,000 adolescents was notable for boys with some same-sex experience reporting less self-esteem and more experiences of forced sex.[15]

Other causes of male same sex attractions are a mistrust of women arising from conflicts with a controlling, angry, and overly dependent mother or from significant rejection by females. Finally, selfishness and sexual narcissism are factors in some males.

Research studies have also shown that males with SSA reported greater homosexual molestation prior to age 16 than heterosexual males.  In one study 56% of males with SSA reported such abuse in contrast to 7 percent of heterosexual males.  Also, twenty-two percent of the women with SSA reported homosexual molestation as a minor compared to seven percent of heterosexual women.  In addition, thirty-two percent of the males and thirty-eight percent of the females reported that they were not homosexual before the homosexual molestation.[16]

In another study of homosexual adults thirty percent of 137 males and forty percent of 143 females reported homosexual molestation as minors. Sixty-eight percent of the males and sixty-six percent of the women who had been homosexually abused as minors maintained it had an impact on their sexual orientation.[17]

Friedman and colleagues (2011) conducted a meta-analysis of 37 studies from the United States and Canada examining sexual abuse, physical abuse, and peer victimization in heterosexuals vs. non-heterosexuals.  Their results showed that non-heterosexual adolescents were 3.9 times more likely to report childhood sexual abuse (OR=3.9, CI 3.45-4.57).[1]

Rothman and colleagues (2011) conducted a systematic review of the research examining the prevalence of sexual assault against people who identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual in the United States.  They examined 75 studies (25 of which used probability sampling) of 139,635 U.S. GB men or LB women, which measured the prevalence of lifetime sexual assault (LSA), childhood sexual assault (CSA), adult sexual assault (ASA), intimate partner sexual assault (IPSA), and hate crime-related assault (HC).  While this study is limited by not having a heterosexual control group, the rates of sexual assault, including childhood sexual assault are alarmingly high.

Emotional Conflicts in Females with SSA

In our clinical experience the most common origin of SSA in females is a mistrust of males originating primarily from conflicts with fathers who are excessively angry, alcoholic, abusive, or highly narcissistic. The next conflict present in women is a weak feminine identity that can arise from a lack of secure attachment in the mother relationship, peer rejection and loneliness or from a poor body image. Also, struggles with loneliness and inability to establish a loving relationship with a man can lead to intense loneliness and an attempt to escape this sadness through a homosexual relationship.

A 2010 study of 7,643 women between the ages of 14 and 44, drawn from the National Survey of Family Growth conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), found that women who grew up in households where their biological fathers were absent were three times more likely to have had homosexual partners in the year prior to the survey than were women who grew up with their biological fathers.

Fluidity of Sexual Attraction

Dr. Laumann’s research at the University of Chicago has shown that “sexual orientation has found to be unstable over time in both males and females.” [18] Lisa Diamond reported in her book, Sexual Fluidity, that “more than two-thirds of the women in my sample had changed their identity labels at least once after the first interview. The women who kept the same identity for the whole ten years proved to be the smallest and most atypical group.”



In March 2010 the CDC reported that the rate of new HIV diagnoses among men who have sex with men (MSM) is more than 44 times that among other men and more than 40 times that among women.[35] The rate of primary and secondary syphilis among MSM is more than 46 times that of other men and more than 71 times that of women. The factors that were listed as causing higher HIV prevalence included greater risk of HIV transmission to receptive anal sex and other sexual activities, complacency about HIV risk particularly among young MSM, difficulty consistently maintaining safe sexual behaviors over the course of a lifetime, and homophobia.

Partner Abuse and SSA

A 2014 study from Australia revealed that It was significantly more likely that depression was mentioned in the cases of LGBT suicides than in non-LGBT cases. LGBT individuals also experienced relationship problems more often, with relationship conflict also being more frequent than in non-LGBT cases.[36]

A 2007 study published in the edition of the Journal of Urban Health, which is published by the New York Academy of Medicine, has found that over 32% of active homosexuals report that they have suffered "abuse" by one or more "partners" during the course of their lives. Fifty-four percent (n = 144) of men reporting any history of abuse reported more than one form.  Depression and substance abuse were among the strongest correlates of intimate partner abuse.[37]

A 2002 study a lifetime abuse victimization revealed that 7% of heterosexual males reported being abused whereas 39% of males with SSA reported being abused by other males with SSA.[38] Other research on homosexual relationships demonstrates  similar findings. [39]

Buller et al did a recent (2014) systematic review of 19 studies (with a meta-analysis conducted on 17 of these studies) examining associations between intimate partner violence and health among MSM.  The pooled lifetime prevalence rate of any form of IPV was 48% (estimates ranged from 32%-82%).  For IPV within past five years, pooled prevalence was 32% (estimates ranged from 16%-51%).  IPV victimization was associated with increased rates of substance use (pooled odds ratio of 1.9), positive HIV status (pooled OR - 1.5), increased rates of depressive symptoms (pooled OR - 1.5), and increased odds of having unprotected anal sex (pooled OR - 1.5).

Finneran and Stephenson (2012) conducted another systematic review of 28 studies examining interpersonal violence among men who have sex with men. Noting that every study in the review indicated that the rates of IPV for gays was equivalent to or higher than those for women, the authors conclude that, “The emergent evidence reviewed here demonstrates that IPV – psychological, physical, and sexual – occurs in male-male partnerships at alarming rates” (p. 180). 

Risks in Same-Sex Unions

One of the largest studies of same-sex couple revealed that only seven of the 156 couples had a totally exclusive sexual relationship. The majority of relationships lasted less than five years. Couples with a relationship lasting more than five years incorporated some provision for outside sexual activity in their relationship.  The psychologists wrote,  “The single most important factor that keeps couples together past the 10-year mark is the lack of possessiveness. . . . Many couples learn very early in their relationship that ownership of each other sexually can be the greatest internal threat to their staying together.”[40]

Partner instability is also present in lesbian relationships. In a 2010, in a peer-reviewed journal, that shows lesbian relationships to be statistically less stable than heterosexual relationships.[41]

Mathay et al (2011) analyzed the impact of sexual orientation on suicide mortality in Denmark during the first 12 years after legalization of same-sex registered domestic partnerships (RDPs), using data from death certificates issued between 1990-2001 and Danish census population estimates.  This study found that the age-adjusted suicide risk for same-sex RDP men was nearly eight times greater than the suicide risk for men in heterosexual marriage.

In a 2010 report, the US National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study, 40 percent of the couples who had conceived a child by artificial insemination had broken up.[42]  Lisa Diamond reported in her book, Sexual Fluidity, that “more than two-thirds of the women in my sample had changed their identity labels at least once after the first interview. The women who kept the same identity for the whole ten years proved to be the smallest and most atypical group.”

Amsterdam research found that most new HIV infections there occurred among men with SSA who were in steady relationships. The researcher concluded, “Prevention measures should address risky behavior, especially with steady partners, and the promotion of HIV testing.”[43]

The Needs of Children for a Mother and a Father

Social science research has repeatedly demonstrated the vital importance of the role of the father and the mother to the healthy development of children.   Numerous research studies have demonstrated the serious risks to children raised without a mother or a father.  Mothers and fathers bring unique gifts that are essential to the health of a child.

Mothers’ Unique Talents

Among the many distinctive talents that mothers bring to the parenting enterprise, three stand out: their capacity to breastfeed, their ability to understand infants and children, and their ability to offer nurture or comfort to their children.

Social science studies have documented the vital role of the mother in child development.  Numerous studies indicate that infants and toddlers prefer their mothers to their fathers when they seek solace or relief from hunger, fear, sickness, or some other distress. Mothers tend to be more soothing.  Mothers are more responsive to the distinctive cries of infants; they are better able than fathers, for instance, to distinguish between a cry of hunger and a cry of pain from their baby.  They are also better than fathers at detecting the emotions of their children by looking at their faces, postures, and gestures.

Children who were deprived of maternal care during extended periods in their early lives “lacked feeling, had superficial relationships, and exhibited hostile or antisocial tendencies” as they developed into adulthood.[44]  Clinical experience would indicate that the deliberate deprivation of a mother to a child, motherlessness, while not studied as extensively fatherlessness, causes even more severe damage to a child because the role of the mother is so crucial in establishing the child’s ability to trust and to feel safe in relationships.  All cultures of the world recognize the essential role of the mother in child development.

Fathers’ Unique Talents

Although the distinctive talents that mothers bring to the child rearing enterprise are invaluable, especially for infants and toddlers, fathers also bring an array of distinctive talents to the parenting enterprise.   Fathers excel when it comes to providing discipline, play, and challenging their children to embrace life’s challenges.  They also provide essential role models for boys.  In addition, their presence in the home protects a child from fear and strengthens a child’s ability to feel safe. Their children are more likely to be emotionally secure, be confident and, as they grow older, have better social connections with peers.

(Rosenberg, J. & Wilcox, W.B. (2006).  The importance of fathers in the healthy development of children. U.S. Dept. of Heath and Human Services.  Office of Child Abuse and Neglect. )


The extensive research on the serious psychological, academic and social problems in youth raised in fatherless families demonstrates the importance of the presence of the father in the home for healthy childhood development.

The extensive research on the serious psychological, academic and social problems in youth raised in fatherless families demonstrates the importance of the presence of the father in the home for healthy child development.

The rights and needs of children to a mother and a father, so well documented by social science research and by every culture in the world, should be protected by the state. The needs of children take precedence over the entitled thinking of adults who believe they have the right to deprive a child of a father or a mother.

The overwhelming body of well-designed research demonstrates that the healthiest environment for child development is a home with a mother and father who are married.”[47]


Research on Children Raised in Same Sex Unions

Extensive research exists that demonstrates the importance of gender complementarity to the healthy development of children.  This literature cites the importance of both mothering and fathering for the healthy development of a child.

In a 2016 study, at age 28, the adults raised by same-sex parents were at over twice the risk of depression as persons raised by man-woman parents. These findings should be interpreted with caution. Elevated risk was associated with imbalanced parental closeness and parental child abuse in family of origin; depression, suicidality, and anxiety at age 15; and stigma and obesity.

By 28, the children from the study raised by same-sex parents were 2.25 times more likely to experience depression than is the general population. The difference was similar when it came to obesity, with 37 percent of adults raised in opposite-sex homes reporting being obese, compared to 71.9 percent from same-sex homes. The difference between traditional and same-sex homes was even more marked when it came to suicide: 7 percent from homes with male and female couples reported having suicidal thoughts, compared to a stunning 37 percent from same-sex homes.  Sullins, D.P. (2016) Invisible Victims: Delayed Onset Depression among Adults with Same-Sex Parents.  Depress Res Treat. 2016;2016:2410392. doi: 10.1155/2016/2410392. Epub 2016 May 29.

A 2013 Canadian study that analyzed data from a very large population-based sample revealed that the children of gay and lesbian couples are only about 65 percent as likely to have graduated from high school as the children of married, opposite-sex couples. And gender matters, too: girls are more apt to struggle than boys, with daughters of gay parents displaying dramatically low graduation rates.  Three key findings stood out in this study:  children of married opposite-sex families have a high graduation rate compared to the others; children of lesbian families have a very low graduation rate compared to the others; and the other four types [common law, gay, single mother, single father] are similar to each other and lie in between the married/lesbian extremes.[48]

In 2005, the American Psychological Association (APA) issued an official brief on lesbian and gay parenting.  This brief included the assertion: “Not a single study has found children of lesbian and gay parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents” (p.15).[49]  A 2012 research study of the APA Brief and its bibliography stated that the strong assertion made by the APA was not empirically warranted.  Twenty-six of 59 APA studies on same-sex parenting had no heterosexual comparison groups.  In comparison studies, single mothers were often used as the hetero comparison group.  Definitive claims were not substantiated by the 59 published studies. Recommendations for further research were offered.[50]

Research published in 2010 by Marquardt, Glenn and Clark [51] demonstrated the following troubling negative factors in donor conceived individuals:  on average, young adults conceived through artificial insemination were more confused, felt more isolated from their families, were experiencing more psychic pain, and fared worse in areas such as depression, delinquency and substance abuse than a matched group of children who were conceived naturally.

In a well designed study of 174 primary school children in Australia with 58 children in married families, 58 in heterosexual cohabitating and 58 in homosexual unions, married couples offer the best environment for a child’s social and education environment, followed by cohabiting couples and finally by homosexual couples.[52]

In a study published in 2007 of 36 adults raised by LGB parents 15 of them (42%) described challenges relating to their ability to trust other people.[53]

In a study of 68 women with gay or bisexual fathers and 68 women with heterosexual fathers, there was a statistically significant difference between the two groups.  


The women (average age of 29 in both groups) with gay or bisexual fathers had difficulty with adult attachment issues in three areas:

  1. They were less comfortable with closeness and intimacy

  2. less able to trust and depend on others

  3. experienced more anxiety in relationships compared to the women raised by heterosexual fathers (and mothers).[54]

In a study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family[55] found that “children in same-sex parent families scored lower than their peers in married, 2-biological parent households” on two academic outcomes, and that these differences can be attributed to higher levels of family instability in same-sex families, compared to intact, biological married families. This study was also based on a large, nationally representative, and random survey of school-age children; moreover, the same-sex parents in this study lived together.

In a 2012 re-examination of Rosenfeld’s (2010) study on the association between child outcomes and same-sex family structure, the researchers found that compared with traditional married households, children being raised by same-sex couples are 35 % less likely to make normal progress through school; this difference is statistically significant at the 1 % level.[56]

The conclusion of this important research that, "with respect to normal school progress, children residing in same-sex households can be distinguished statistically from those in traditional married homes and in heterosexual cohabiting households” , is consistent with Sarantakos' well designed study of 174 primary school children in Australia.

A 2012 study from the University of Texas found that young-adult children of parents who have had same-sex relationships were more likely to suffer from a range of emotional and social problems. [57]

A method of obtaining children by homosexual males is through the use of surrogate mothers.  A 2013 study of children conceived through surrogate mothers, compared with children born with egg donation, donor insemination and natural conception, demonstrated that these children had higher adjustment difficulties at age 7 than the other children.  The children were evaluated at ages 3, 7 and ten. The authors concluded that the absence of a gestational connection to the mother may be problematic for children.[58]  The lead researcher stated, “signs of adjustment problems could be behavior problems, such as aggressive or antisocial behavior, or emotional problems, such as anxiety or depression.” 

There have been limitations with prior research on this subject that claimed no differences between children raised by a married couple and those raised in same sex unions.  The vast majority of studies published before 2012 on this subject have relied upon small, nonrepresentative samples that do not represent children in typical homosexual families in the United States.[59]

Two major studies cited by homosexual activists and extensively in the media claim no psychological damage to children who were deliberately deprived of the benefits of gender complementarity in a home with a father and a mother were published in 2010 by Garters and Bos [60]  and Biblar and Stacey.[61]

In the Gartell and Bos article all data are self-reports by mother and child.  Lesbian mothers were aware of the political agenda of the research.  These issues of scientific methodology severely weaken the authors’ ability to draw firm conclusions.

Again, in the Biblar and Stacey  research,  in 31 of the 33 studies of two parent families, it was the parents who provided the data, which consisted of subjective judgments.  As in Gartell and Boss study, this created a social desirability bias in that the homosexual parents knew full well why the study was being done.  They knew the political agenda.  Also, of the 33 studies in two-person families, only 2 studies included men.  This was an examination of published studies of women, not men, and the title implies both.

An objective examination of social science research into how families function reveals that it is clear that a child does best when raised by both a mother and a father.   Much of the research on same-sex couples tends to have serious methodological flaws, making firm conclusions difficult.  It is often argued that there is no evidence that children are harmed if they are raised by homosexual men. This is true, but the absence of evidence does not prove the case. It means that there is no evidence.  Studies of  children raised by homosexual men are rare.  No studies have yet to examine the long-term effects on children, once they are adult males, after having been raised by homosexual men.

2015 Studies

1. The largest yet study on the matter of same-sex households and children’s emotional outcomes analyzed 512 children of same-sex parents, drawn from a pool of over 207,000 respondents who participated in the (US) National Health Interview Survey(NHIS) at some point between 1997 and 2013.

Results reveal that, on eight out of twelve psychometric measures, the risk of clinical emotional problems, developmental problems, or use of mental health treatment services is nearly double among those with same-sex parents when contrasted with children of opposite-sex parents. The estimate of serious child emotional problems in children with same-sex parents is 17 percent, compared with 7 percent among opposite-sex parents, after adjusting for age, race, gender, and parent’s education and income. Rates of ADHD were higher as well—15.5 compared to 7.1 percent. The same is true for learning disabilities: 14.1 vs. 8 percent.

The study’s author, sociologist Paul Sullins, assessed a variety of different hypotheses about the differences, including comparative residential stability, experience of stigma or bullying, parental emotional problems (6.1 percent among same-sex parents vs. 3.4 percent among opposite-sex ones), and biological attachment. Each of these factors predictably aggravated children’s emotional health, but only the last of these—biological parentage—accounted for nearly all of the variation in emotional problems. While adopted children are at higher risk of emotional problems overall, being adopted did not account for the differences between children in same-sex and opposite-sex households. It’s also worth noting that while being bullied clearly aggravates emotional health, there was no difference in self-reported experience of having been bullied between the children of same-sex and opposite-sex parents.. British J. of Education, Society and Behavioural Science 7:99-120.)

2. Sullins’ second 2015 study from this sample found that ADHD was twice as prevalent among children with same-sex parents than in the general population, after controlling for age, sex, ethnicity and parent SES. In same-sex families, children with ADHD were over seven times more likely to suffer stigmatization due to impaired interpersonal coping skills.
(Sullins, D., 2015. Child Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Same-Sex Parent Families in the United States: Prevalence and Comorbidities. British J. of Medicine & Medical Research 6: 987-998.)

3. In the recruited samples of children in same sex unions showed 79.3 % (range: 75-83) of comparisons were favorable to children with same-sex parents, compared with no favorable comparisons (0%, range 0-0) in the random samples. Two additional random samples with related measures were also adduced, also with no favorable comparisons (0%, range 0-0).

Conclusion: Evidence suggests strong bias resulting in false positive outcomes for parent-reported SDQ in recruited samples of same-sex parents.

Sample bias in studies of same-sex parenting is large and pervasive.  No results based on random population samples--but four-fifths of results from studies using non-random recruited samples--have been favorable to children with same-sex parents.

Sullins, P.D. (2015). “Bias in Recruited Sample Research on Children with Same-sex Parents Using the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ).” Journal of Scientific Research and Reports 5(5): 375-387, January 2015.

Pope  Benedict has written, “…the absence of complementarity in these unions (same sex) creates obstacles in the normal development of children who would be placed in the care of such persons.  They would be deprived of the experience of either fatherhood or motherhood.  Allowing children to be adopted by persons living in such unions would actually mean doing violence to these children, in the sense that the condition of dependency would be used to place them in an environment that is not conducive to their full human development.[62]

Treatment of Unwanted SSA

The goals of therapy for the person who seeks treatment of unwanted SSA to attempt to uncover his/her psychological conflicts or trauma. As in the treatment of majority of patients, difficulties often are identified in regard to low self-esteem, sadness, loneliness, anger and anxiety/mistrust.   Mental health professionals who treat males with unwanted same sex attractions often find that treating conflicts in male confidence to be an essential aspect of successful therapy.  Therapy is initiated to treat emotional conflicts that are associated often with promiscuous sexual behaviors regularly includes a spiritual component, as in the treatment of addictive disorders.

There have been numerous reports of successful therapy of SSA. Success depends on many factors, including the professional expertise of the mental health professional, the relationship between therapist and client, length of treatment, presence of significant support for treatment, and the presence of other psychological problems, particularly addictions.

Few well designed research studies have been undertaken to evaluate the treatment of unwanted SSA. In a multi-year study of adults who sought help for their same sex attractions through religiously mediated change, 23% experienced successful conversion and 30% experienced successful chastity; 16% are experiencing changes and continuing treatment; 7% were considered not responsive but were still continuing treatment, 5% were considered failure and were confused, and 20% were considered failure and embraced the gay identity. The study did not identify psychological harm to those who participated in it.

(Jones, S. & Yarhouse, M. 2007, Ex-gays? A Longitudinal Study of Religiously Mediated Change in Sexual Orientation.� InterVarsity Press.)

In an earlier research study that has been criticized, Spitzer found [63] of 200 men and women who had sought professional help to deal with SSA and who were out of the lifestyle for five years found that 64% of the men and 43% of the women subsequently identified themselves as being heterosexual. Contrary to the claims made by the opponents of therapy, they did not experience an increase in psychological conflicts as a result of therapy.

Dr. Spitzer commented on his study, “Depression has been reported to be a common side effect of unsuccessful attempts to change orientation. This was not the case for our participants, who often reported that they were ‘markedly’ or ‘extremely’ depressed [prior to treatment] (males 43%, females 47%), but rarely that depressed [after treatment] (males 1%, females 4%.). To the contrary, [after treatment] the vast majority reported that they were ‘not at all’ or ‘only slightly’ depressed (males 91%, females 88%).”[64]

In addition participants in Spitzer’s study were presented with a list of several ways that therapy might have been “very helpful” (apart from change in sexual orientation).  Notable were feeling more masculine (males) or more feminine (females) (87%) and developing more intimate nonsexual relations with the same sex (93%).[65]

Dr. Jay Wade at Fordham University published a 2010 research study that showed that men with unwanted SSA can experience healing by developing healthy non-sexual relationships, i.e., friendships, with other men.  They also reported a decrease in homosexual feelings and behavior, an increase in heterosexual feelings and behavior, and a positive change in psychological functioning.[66]

Research on the Benefits of Courage

A 2009 doctoral dissertation on Courage[67] demonstrated that an increased rate of chastity is negatively correlated with psychopathology: an increased rate of chastity is positively correlated with happiness; the time in Courage is positively correlated with a history of increased religious participation, and extended participation in Courage is positively correlated with chastity.

Pope Benedict

Pope Benedict wrote in Light of the World: “Sexuality has an intrinsic meaning and direction which is not homosexual. The meaning and direction of sexuality is to bring about the union of man and woman and in this way give humanity posterity, children, future. This is the determination internal to the essence of sexuality. Everything else is against sexuality’s intrinsic meaning and direction. This is a point we need to hold firm, even if it is not pleasing to our age.”[72]


Besides the behavioral atrocities, necessitating the Nuremberg Code, another reprehensible ethical violation in that context was silence---silence in the face of atrocity, lack of information, and failure to obtain informed consent of people who thus became victims.

Youth today who show SSA are being met with silence.  Given all of the research from so many different angles showing the negative consequences for both physical and psychological health, this silence is now showing itself as an act that violates the rights of youth because it fails to respect the youth’s free will decisions with as much information as possible.

Health care providers who remain silent in light of this growing body of research are not allowing full knowledge in those under their care.  This is an ethical violation that must stop.

Youth have the right to be provided informed consent about the serious medical and psychiatric illnesses and risks of the homosexual lifestyle.  Pediatricians, mental health professionals, physicians, nurses and school counselors have a clear legal responsibility to do so and parents, family members, educators and clergy have a moral responsibility.

Foot Notes

[1] Just the facts about sexual orientation and youth: a primer for principals, educators and school personnel. (2008) American Psychological Association


[2] O’Leary, D., Byrd, D., Fitzgibbons, R. and Phelan, J. ( 2008) A Response to the APA Fact Sheet,


[3] American College of Pediatricians (2009). On the promotion of homosexuality in schools.


[4] Merikangas, K. R., et al. (2010) The Lifetime prevalence of mental disorders in US adolescents: results from the national comorbidity survey. J. Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry, 49:975-80.


[5] Abuse, Neglect,  Adoption and Foster Care Research, National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect (NIS-4), 2004-2009, March 2010, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation.


[6] Schnitzer, P.G. (2005). Child deaths resulting from inflicted injuries: household risk factors and perpetrator characteristics. Pediatrics 116:697-93.


[7] Brown, S. L. (2006) Family structure transitions and adolescent well-being. Demography 43:447–461.


[8] Spitzer, R.L. (2003) “Can some gay men and lesbians change their orientation? Archives of Sexual Behavior, 32:403–17.




[10] American Psychological Association ( 2008). “Answers to Your Questions for Better Understanding of Sexual Orientation and Homosexuality.”


[11] J. Michael Bailey, at al. (2000). Genetic and environmental influences on sexual orientation and its correlates in an Australian twin sample. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78:524–536.


[12]Collins, Francis S. (2006). The language of god, a scientist presents evidence for belief. New York: Free Press.


[13] Sandfort, T.G., et al. (2003) Same-sex sexuality and quality of life: findings from the Netherlands Mental Health Survey and Incidence Study. Arch Sex Behav. 32: 15-22.


[14] Rubinstein, G. (2010).  Narcissism and Self-Esteem Among Homosexual and Heterosexual Male Students. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 36:24–34.


[15] Parkes, A., et. al. (2011). Comparison of teenagers' early same-sex and heterosexual behavior: UK data from the SHARE and RIPPLE studies. Journal of Adolescent Health, 48, 27-35


[16] Tomeo,  M.E., Templer D., Anderson, S., Kotler D. (2001) Comparative date of childhood and adolescence molestation in heterosexual and homosexual persons.  Arch Sex Behav 30: 535-41.


[17] Steed, J.J. & Templer, D. (2010).  Gay Men and Lesbian Women with Molestation History: Impact on Sexual Orientation and Pleasure.  The Open Psychology Journal, 3, 36-41.


[18] Laumann, E. et al. (1994). The social organization of sexuality: sexual practices in the United States. University of Chicago Press.


[19] Savin-Williams, R.C. and Ream, G.L. (2007)  Prevalence and Stability of Sexual Orientation Components During Adolescence and Young Adulthood.  Archives of Sexual Behavior  36, 385-394.


[20] Catholic Medical Association (2008) Homosexuality and Hope,


[21] Boehmer, U., et al. (2011) “Cancer Survivorship and Sexual Orientation,” Cancer 117 (2011): 3796–3804.


[22] McLaughlin, KA, Hatzenbuehler, Xuan, Z., Conron, K.J. (2012). Disproportionate exposure to early-life adversity and sexual orientation disparities in psychiatric morbidity.  Child Abuse Negl.2012 Sep;36(9):645-55.


[23] Garofolo, R. et al. (1998). The association between health risk behaviors and sexual orientation among a school-based sample of adolescents. Pediatrics 101:895–889.


[24]Fergusson et al. (1999)  Is sexual orientation related to mental health problems and suicidality in young people?Arch Gen Psychiatry Oct;56(10):876-80.


[25] Centers for Disease Control (2008) Trends in HIV/AIDS Diagnoses among men who have sex with men. MMWR Weekly, June 27, 57: 681:686.


[26] Altman, L. ( 2008). HIV study finds rate 40% higher than estimated, New York Times, August 3.


[27] Lemp, G. et al. (1994). Sero-prevalence of HIV and risk behaviors among young homosexual and bisexual men. JAMA 272:449–45.


[28] Remafadi, G. et al. (1991). Risk factors for attempted suicide and gay and bisexual youth. Pediatrics 87:869, 875.


[29] Russell, S. T. et al. (2001). Same-sex romantic attraction and experiences of violence in adolescents. Am J Public Health, 91:903-6.


[30] Remafedi, G., Farrow, J., & Deisher, R. (1991). Risk factors for attempted suicide in gay and bisexual youth. Pediatrics, 87, 869–875.


[31] Fergusson DM, et al. (1999).  Is sexual orientation related to mental health problems and suicidality in young people?Arch Gen Psychiatry, 56, 876-80.


[32] Remafedi, G., et al. (1991) “Risk factors for attempted suicide in gay and bisexual youth.” Pediatrics 87: 869-875.


[33] Shrier, D., & Johnson, R.L. 1988.  Sexual victimization of boys: an ongoing study of an adolescent medical clinic population. J. National Med. Assoc. 80: 1189-1193


[34] Boehmer, U., et al. (2011) “Cancer Survivorship and Sexual Orientation,” Cancer 117 (2011): 3796–3804.


[35] Retrieved from


[36] Skerrett, D.M., Kolves, K. & De Leo, D. (2014) Suicide among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender populations in Australia: An analysis of the Queensland Suicide Register.  Asia-Pacific Psychiatry, Article first published online: 2APR, online.   DOI: 10.1111/appy.12128


[37] Houston, E. & McKiman, D.J. (2007) Intimate Partner Abuse Among Gay and Bisexual Men: Risk Correlates and Health Outcomes.  J Urban Health 84: 681-690.


[38] Greenwood, G. et al. (2002) . Battering victimization among a probability-based sample of men who have sex with men. American Journal of Public Health, 92:1964–69.


®[39] Turrell, SA. 2000. "A Descriptive Analysis of Same-Sex Relationship Violence for a Diverse Sample. Journal of Family Violence, 13: 281-293;Walder-Haugrad, L, et al., (1997) Victimization and Perpetration Rates of Violence in Gay and Lesbian Relationships: Gender Issues Explored. Violence and Victim, 12: 173-184.


[40] McWhirter, D. and Mattison, A. 1985. The Male Couple: How Relationships Develop. Prentice Hall.


[41] Schumm, W. (2010)  Comparative Relationship Stability of

Lesbian Mother and Heterosexual Mother Families: A Review of Evidence.  Marriage and Family Review, 46: 499-509.


[42] Gartrell, N. & Bos, H. (2010) US national Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study: Psychological Adjustment of 17-year-old Adolescents, Pediatrics, Volume 126, Number 1, July 2010, 28-36.


[43] Xiridou, M. et al. (2003). The contribution of steady and casual partnerships to the incidence of HIV infection among homosexual men in Amsterdam. AIDS 17: 1029-38.


[44] Kobak, R. (1999). "The emotional dynamics of disruptions in attachment relationships: Implications for theory, research, and clinical intervention". In J. Cassidy & P. R. Shaver. (Eds.), Handbook of Attachment (pp. 21-43). New York: The Guilford Press.



[46] D. O’Leary, One Man, One Woman: A Catholic’s Guide to Defending Marriage (Manchester, NH: Sophia Institute Press, 2007): 149-68.


[47] Byrd, A.D. (2004).  Gender Complementarity and Child-rearing: Where Tradition and Science Agree.  Journal of Law and Family Studies 6.2: 213.


[48]  Allen, D. (2013). High school graduation rates among children of same sex-households.  Rev Econ Households, DOI 10.1001/s11150-013-9220-y.


[49] American Psychological Association (2005) Lesbian and Gay Parenting,


[50] Marks, L. (2012). Same-sex parenting and children’s outcomes: A closer examination of the American psychological association’s brief on lesbian and gay parenting.  Social Science Research, 41 (4): 735-751.


[51] Marquardt,T.,  Glenn, N.,  & Clark, K. (2010).My Daddy's Name is 'Donor':  A New Study of Young Adults Conceived Through Sperm Donation:  A study of young adults conceived through sperm donation. Institute for American Values. Retrieved from   


[52] Sarantakos, S. (1996) Children in three contexts. Children Australia, 21(3), 23-31.


[53] Goldberg, A.E. (2007) (How) Does it make a difference?: Perspectives of adults with lesbian, gay, and bisexual parents. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 77:  550-562.


[54] Sirota, T, (2009) Adult Attachment Style Dimensions in women with Gay or Bisexual Fathers. Arch. Psych Nursing, 23: 289-297.


[55] Potter, D. 2012. “Same-Sex Parent Families and Children’s Academic Achievement.” Journal of Marriage and Family 74:556-571


[56] Allen, D.W. Pakaluk, C & Price, J. . (2012) Nontraditional Families and Childhood Progress Through School: A Comment on Rosenfeld. Demography, November.


[57] Mark Regnerus. 2012.“How Different Are the Adult Children of Parents Who Have Same-Sex Relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study.” Social Science Research 41:4


[58] Golombok, S., et al. (2013) Children born through reproductive donation: a longitudinal study of psychological adjustment.Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry

Volume 54, Issue 6, pages 653–660,


[59] Marks, L. . 2012. “Same-sex Parenting and Children’s Outcomes: A Closer Examination of the American Psychological Association’s Brief on Lesbian and Gay Parenting.” Social Science Research 41:4 


[60]Gartrell, N. &  Bos, H. (2010) US national Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study: Psychological Adjustment of 17-year-old Adolescents,Pediatrics,  Volume 126, Number 1, July 2010 p. 28-36.


[61] Biblarz, T. J. & Stacey, J. (2010). How does the gender of parents matter? Journal of Marriage and Family. 72, 3-22.


[62] Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, (2003). Considerations Regarding Proposals To Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons, n.7. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.


[63] Spitzer, R.L. (2003) “Can some gay men and lesbians change their orientation? Archives of Sexual Behavior, 32:403–17.


[64] Ibid.  p. 412


[65]Ibid.  p. 412


[66] Karten, E. Y., & Wade, J. C. (2010). Sexual orientation change efforts in men: A client perspective. The Journal of Men's Studies, 18, 84-102.


[67] Harris, S. (2009). Mental health, chastity and religious participation in a population of same-sex attracted men. Doctoral dissertation.


[68] Retrieved  from bioethics_article/8167.


[72] Pope Benedict XVI and Peter Seewald (2010) Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 151–152.

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