Monday, September 29, 2008

SSA in Children

George Rekers and Don Schmeierer have written well on ways of preventing homosexuality in children. Their books cover many insights into the factors leading to same-sex attraction. In addition, one can make a few suggestions based upon studies of the background of many people who deal with SSA. First, the growing male child needs to identify with either his father or some other significant male person in his life. Likewise the growing female child should identify with her mother. In single-parent homes, one notes an absence of any meaningful male with whom a growing son can identify. The child may, however, identify with some other significant male person outside the home, and in that case it is very likely that he will develop as a heterosexual.

Second, the mother in such a home must avoid overmothering, that is to say, attaching herself too closely to her son so that he is not able to have a life of his own. Naturally, either in divorce situations or in home where the father is not present to his children, and usually not to his wife as well, the mother tends to fill the vacuum. This may lead to the kind of relationship with her son which, in turn, is conducive to homosexual proclivities.

Third, parents should give attention to the very early preschool behavior of their children. A boy who does not take part in scrambling or physical games with his peers, who is constantly being protected by his mother from the neighborhood "roughnecks," who is buried in books whith high academic achievement, has some of the characteristics of the development toward SSA.

The point to be made is that all three kinds of conditions together constitute the possibility for the development of male homosexual tendency.

Several factors that contribute to the genesis of a homosexual condition in the female are an experience of the father as non-caring and even brutal toward the mother and perhaps even the child. The little girl may begin to lok at femininity as weak and not worth emulating. The girl may also experience being regarded as a boy by the parents. Sometimes - and this is true also in the genesis of male homosexuality - a spirit of coldness between the parents contributes to the child's inability to identify with and model self after persons of the same sex.

One may suggest that very few persons with SSA come from homes where the parents, by mutual love, have created an atmosphere of caring for each child. As Irving Bieber observed, after his associates and he had made an exhaustive study of 101 males with SSA, not one of them had come from a home where there was a happy relationship between the father and the mother (Homosexuality: A Psychoanalytic Study, New York, Basic Books, 1962). We would be wise to help young married couples to learn how to truly love each other and their children. Then both parents will be careful to treat each other with love, respect, and affection in the presence of the children, and they will know how to affirm their child as male or female.

(Source: Same Sex Attraction: Catholic Teaching and Pastoral Practice by Fr. John F. Harvey, OSFS)

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