In a letter to public school officials, President of the American College of Pediatricians had this say about same-sex attraction and gender confusion:
Adolescence is a time of upheaval and impermanence. Adolescents experience confusion about many things, including sexual orientation and gender identity, and they are particularly vulnerable to environmental influences.
Rigorous studies demonstrate that most adolescents who initially experience same-sex attraction, or are sexually confused, no longer experience such attractions by age 25. In one study, as many as 26% of 12-year-olds reported being uncertain of their sexual orientation, yet only 2-3% of adults actually identify themselves as homosexual. Therefore, the majority of sexually questioning youth ultimately adopt a heterosexual identity.
Even children with Gender Identity Disorder (when a child desires to be the opposite sex) will typically lose this desire by puberty, if the behavior is not reinforced. Researchers, Zucker and Bradley, also maintain that when parents or others allow or encourage a child to behave and be treated as the opposite sex, the confusion is reinforced and the child is conditioned for a life of unnecessary pain and suffering. Even when motivated by noble intentions, schools can ironically play a detrimental role if they reinforce this disorder.
In dealing with adolescents experiencing same-sex attraction, it is essential to understand there is no scientific evidence that an individual is born “gay” or “transgender.” Instead, the best available research points to multiple factors – primarily social and familial – that predispose children and adolescents to homosexual attraction and/or gender confusion. It is also critical to understand that these conditions can respond well to therapy.
Dr. Francis Collins, former Director of the Genome Project, has stated that while homosexuality may be genetically
influenced, it is “… not hardwired by DNA, and that whatever genes are involved represent predispositions, not
predeterminations.” He also states [that] “…the prominent role[s] of individual free will choices [has] a profound effect on us.”
The National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) recently released a landmark survey and analysis of 125 years of scientific studies and clinical experience dealing with homosexuality. This report, What Research Shows, draws three major conclusions: (1) individuals with unwanted same sex attraction often can be successfully treated; (2) there is no undue risk to patients from embarking on such therapy and (3), as a group, homosexuals experience significantly higher levels of mental and physical health problems compared to heterosexuals. Among adolescents who claim a “gay” identity, the health risks include higher rates of sexually transmitted infections, alcoholism, substance abuse, anxiety, depression and suicide. Encouragingly, the longer students delay self-labeling as “gay,” the less likely they are to experience these health risks. In fact, for each year an adolescent delays, the risk of suicide alone decreases by 20%.
In light of these facts, it is clear that when well-intentioned but misinformed school personnel encourage students to “come out as gay” and be “affirmed,” there is a serious risk of erroneously labeling students (who may merely be experiencing transient sexual confusion and/or engaging in sexual experimentation). Premature labeling may then lead some adolescents into harmful homosexual behaviors that they otherwise would not pursue.
Optimal health and respect for all students will only be achieved by first respecting the rights of students and parents to accurate information and to self-determination. It is the school’s legitimate role to provide a safe environment for respectful self-expression for all students. It is not the school’s role to diagnose and attempt to treat any student’s medical condition, and certainly not a school’s role to “affirm” a student’s perceived personal sexual orientation.
But, why is letter being published here? Gay organizations and their politicians have created a school-based event called “Day of Silence.” While it is billed an an effort to promote tolerance to gay youth with the goal of preventing bullying, this event also has been used as a backboard to launch education and social policies in other states like Massachussetts. Those policies in effect engender hostility toward families who are morally or religiously opposed to gay behavior and legalizing efforts to indoctirnate children into accepting gay behavior as normative. Therefore, parents, grandparents, and others should be aware of such events and what medicial professionals other than APA have to say about the related issues of same-sex attraction and gender confusion.
To read the entire letter or for more information, please visit www.FactsAboutYouth.com