Sexual Orientation Curricula: Implications for Educators

Chris Kempling M.Ed., M.A., Registered Clinical Counsellor

We first met Chris Kempling at the annual convention of NARTH (National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality) in Salt Lake City, USA, in November 2003. Having studied the question “What is homosexuality?” from his viewpoint as an educationalist and psychologist, he compiled his thoroughly researched facts in the form of this fundamental study.

Abstract

Programs to eliminate heterosexism in the British Columbia (B.C., Canada) school system would require educators to teach children that homosexuality and bisexuality are normal, safe and acceptable forms of sexual expression in human relationships equivalent to heterosexuality. This paper will demonstrate that the data supporting homosexuality as an inherent condition are inconclusive, and that data support the concept that homosexuality results from abnormal psychosocial development. Treatment success for those wishing to change their orientation is high with a variety of techniques.

Introduction

On March 16, 1998, delegates to the B.C. Teachers’ Federation Annual General Meeting affirmed a comprehensive set of guidelines designed to implement programs to reduce homophobia and heterosexism. The initiative was endorsed in principle at the March 1997 Annual General Meeting after lobbying from the Gay and Lesbian Educators of British Columbia (GALE BC). The measures include having gays or lesbians instruct teachers and students in the area of homosexuality, asking universities and the B.C. College of Teachers to have anti-homophobia/heterosexism instruction as a requirement in all teacher education programs, lobbying government to enact legislation to prevent school boards from vetoing curriculum materials related to alternate forms of sexuality, and lobbying to have sexual orientation as a curriculum item in all subjects from kindergarten to Grade 12. (BCTF, February 1998)

While most people would agree that reducing harassment or hatred of any minority group is a good goal, presuming that society is ready to agree that homosexuality and bisexuality are healthy, normal, acceptable, and morally equivalent to heterosexuality is controversial to say the least. If they are, then perhaps this could be taught to children. If they are not, then the teaching profession would be guilty of teaching falsehood to children in the name of political correctness. This paper will demonstrate that the improved social image of these forms of sexuality are due more to effective lobbying and misuse of questionable research, than to conclusive evidence on the etiology of homosexuality.

HIV/AIDS and STD Infection Risks

Teaching children that the homosexual lifestyle is normal and healthy would be highly irresponsible. The tremendous health risks associated with the homosexual lifestyle are well documented. For example, in the U.S. only 9% of AIDS cases are due to heterosexual contact or blood transfusions (2%) while the balance of infections are from homosexual activity and intravenous drug abuse. (Centers for Disease Control, 1994) In Canada, over 90% of male AIDS cases are due to homosexual or bisexual activity. (Health Canada, December, 1996)

A 1999 health survey of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth in British Columbia found that LGBT Youth were more than three times as likely to have ever had an STD. (McCreary Centre Society, 1999)

Promiscuity and High Risk Behaviours

A recently released Health Canada study on HIV infection reported that 40% of young gay men in Vancouver had had unprotected receptive anal intercourse in the past year. This is alarming given the evidence of a recent study from Florida by Dr. Bill Darrow of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, which indicated that 75% of HIV positive men who knew they were infected, engaged in unsafe sex anyway. (in: Jonas, August 22, 1997) Another study reported in the January 9, 1992 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, showed that only 7% of HIV positive men were voluntarily notified of their infection by a sex partner. (in: Gairdner, 1992) These statistics make it clear that homosexual men are not acting responsibly in their sexual behaviour, despite millions of dollars of public education in the past 15 years promoting safe sex.

Anal sex and multiple sex partners, which are common features of male homosexual behaviour, are very high risk activities and have led to high rates of HIV infection among the gay community. Indeed, gay people with AIDS averaged more than 1,100 lifetime partners according to a 1982 study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. A comprehensive study done prior to the AIDS epidemic found that the average gay man had 500 different “lifetime” partners, while 28% reported more than 1,000 partners. Moreover, 79% of gay men in this same study said more than half their partners were total strangers. (Bell and Weinberg, 1978)

One study of gays who kept sexual diaries, published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that these men averaged almost 100 sex partners annually. (Corey and Holmes, 1980) They are four times more likely than heterosexuals to have had more than 100 sex partners. (Patterson and Kim, 1991) Similarly, gay youth in British Columbia were four times as likely than heterosexual youth to have had three or more sexual partners in the past three months. (McCreary Centre Society, 1999)

While studies have confirmed that a majority of asymptomatic gays are changing their behaviours in response to the risk of AIDS, 70% still admitted a continuation of sexual practices that would expose them to HIV infection. (Siegel et al., 1988) What is more disturbing is that Siegel found that for every two men changing to safer practices, one respondent shifted from safer to riskier sexual behaviour.

High risk behaviours are those which cause fissures or tears in an orifice, thus providing the HIV virus access to the bloodstream. Thus, HIV is most prevalent in people who engage in unprotected receptive fisting (insertion of the fist into the rectum), receptive anal coitus, receptive fellatio, and analingus, and who do so with multiple partners. (Allgeier and Allgeier, 1995)

Even gay men who choose safe sex in their voluntary relationships cannot always count on being safe. Date rape, a serious problem in the heterosexual community appears to be even more prevalent among gays. In a nationwide (U.S.) anonymous survey, 20% of women reported a date rape, but over 37% of gay or bisexual men revealed that they were raped by men they knew. (Patterson and Kim, 1992)

A high number of multiple, anonymous partners are evidence that the individual may have a sexual addiction. Sexual addictions have been successfully treated with 12-step programs similar to those used by Alcoholics Anonymous. (Carnes, 1984) A variant of this program, 32 weeks in duration, is used by Exodus International, an organization operated by former homosexuals to assist gays who wish to return to heterosexuality. (Hopper, May 2, 1997)

Relationship Instability and Attitudes towards Monogamy

How common is monogamy or even “faithfulness” among homosexuals who live together? Gay researchers David McWhirter M.D. and Andrew Mattison M.S.W., Ph.D. (1984) found that less than 5% of gay men could be classified as monogamous and not one of the relationships in their study group had maintained fidelity for more than 60 months. (Marcus, 1988) Bell and Weinberg (1981, in: Marco, 1996) found that only 3% of gay men had had fewer than 10 “lifetime” sexual partners and could class only 2% as monogamous or partially monogamous.

The majority of heterosexuals in permanent relationships are rarely promiscuous. Approximately 60% of married men are exclusively monogamous, while an additional 25% are primarily monogamous. 15% report regular extramarital liaisons. (Carter, 1990) A University of Chicago study (Laumann, Gagnon and Michael, 1989) determined that the estimated number of lifetime sexual partners since age 18 for the U.S. population as a whole is 7.15 and only 8.67 for those who never marry.

Indeed, the monogamy held as an ideal in heterosexual relationships appears to be “culturally unacceptable” to gays. When researchers in San Francisco recommended to their study group participants that restricting themselves to one partner would reduce their health risks, they demurred saying monogamy “lacked creativity and showed a lack of understanding of an outsider to the gay lifestyle”. (McCusick et al., December 1985)

Suicide Risk

The high suicide rate among gay youth is a prime rationale for implementing homosexual-friendly programs in schools. This conclusion is based on questionable data reported by gay San Francisco social worker and activist Paul Gibson as part of a 1989 report of a special federal task force on suicide prevention. Gibson claimed that over 30% of youth suicides are by gay youth, that it was their leading cause of death, and that their suicides were caused in part by “internalization of homophobia”. (Gibson, 1989)

Gibson collected data from gay-run drop-in centres for homeless youth in large U.S. cities, then used dated and discredited data on the number of gays in the population to extrapolate his figures to the whole population. (LaBarbera, 1996) He did not submit his data to rigorous peer review and his “essay” contained more “hocus pocus” than new research data, according to David Shaffer, a Columbia University psychiatrist and specialist on adolescent suicide. (Shaffer, May 3, 1993) Bell and Weinberg (1978) found that the most common reported cause for a suicide attempt (47%) was a dispute with a lover.

The most common reason listed among British Columbia gay youth was “feeling lonely and isolated”, followed by “problems with parents” (unrelated to orientation issues). Rejection by school friends due to orientation tied for last place in a list of ten reasons for a suicide attempt. (McCreary Centre Society, 1999)

It is not surprising that some distressed and homeless youth would be feeling suicidal, but Gibson’s statistics alleging a causal correlation between sexual orientation and suicide have not stood up to any scientific scrutiny by experts in suicide research. Assertions by gay lobby groups that “internalized homophobia” is the likely cause of the high suicide rate among gay youth is likewise unsubstantiated. Naturally, researchers cannot determine the actual cause of those who take their own lives, but the impact of chronic health problems due to HIV or hepatitis infection, repeated failure to establish a long term emotionally nurturing relationship, and clinical depression exacerbated by these two factors are certainly worthy of further research.

A 1991 survey by Gallup of 1,152 teenagers showed 15% had attempted suicide, but in an open ended question, not one stated it was due to issues related to sexual orientation. (Gallup, January 1991) An unpublished study of 64 high risk youth at the University of Washington in Seattle by Leona L. Eggert found only one respondent who gave his sexual orientation as the prime motivator of his suicide attempt. (in: LaBarbera, 1996) Patterson and Kim’s survey of 2,000 anonymous respondents (1991) revealed that 32% of heterosexuals vs. 37% of homosexuals had contemplated suicide. Given their 3.1% margin of error, there was statistically no difference in suicide ideation between orientations.

Overall Incidence of Homosexuality in the Population

The homosexual movement’s assertion that 10% of the population is gay is simply false. This figure is based on the dated (1948) Kinsey study, although the Family Life videos approved for use in British Columbia schools have been using this statistic as a fact. Kinsey asked his subjects if they had participated in any homosexual activity in the past three years (1945-1947). Incredibly, 26% of Kinsey’s 5,300 subjects were male prison inmates including sex offenders. (Pomeroy, 1972) Other subjects were recruited from less than neutral locations, such as gay bars in Chicago. Kinsey simply did not use a representative sample. His statistics were not valid in 1948, and are certainly not so 50 years later.

A 1994 nationwide sexuality survey by Laumann et al. of the University of Chicago, found that the incidence of recent homosexual activity among men was 2.8% and 1.4% for women. (Laumann, 1994) Full time practitioners of homosexuality formed between 1 and 1.3%. In adolescents, rates for homosexuality are even lower (0.7% for boys, 0.2% for girls) according to a recent study in Minnesota public schools with a huge sample size of 36,741. (Remafedi et al., April, 1992)

Findings with almost identical percentages have been found in other countries such as Britain (Johnson et al., December 3, 1992) and France (Spira et al., November 22, 1990) as well. A recent study of over 5,000 Canadian college students reported homosexuality rates of 1.7%. (McCormick, in: Social Action Commission, 1993) A survey of over 15,000 British Columbia adolescents found that less than 1% identified themselves as homosexual. (McCreary Centre Society, 1993)

Homosexuality: Nature or Nurture

The belief that homosexuality is an inherited behavioural trait has not been convincingly demonstrated. The recent study cited most often was one where neurologist Simon LeVay (1991) found that the hypothalamus of 19 men who died of AIDS were measurably different than 16 “assumed heterosexual” brains. A gay newspaper reporter discovered LeVay’s sloppy research, however, when LeVay had to admit that he did not know for certain the sexual orientation of any of his control group subjects - he simply presumed that their orientation was heterosexual. (Botkin, September 5, 1991)

While this should have invalidated the study, the popular press (Newsweek, February 24, 1992) announced the discovery of “homosexual brains”. (in: Marco, 1996) Moreover, since approximately 25% of those who die from AIDS suffer neurological dementia, hypothalamus anomalies could be attributable to the disease itself. (Marco, 1996)

The identical twin studies which purport to show a correlation between homosexuality and X-chromosome markers (Hamer et al., 1993) have been criticized for the lack of a control group of identical twins reared apart, and an inadequate number of subjects to extrapolate the conclusions to the general population.

In fact, other genetics research experts, at Columbia (King and McDonald, 1992) and Harvard Universities (Billings and Beckwith, July, 1993), who found evidence similar to Hamer, concluded that identical twin studies actually provide strong evidence of the influence of the environment rather than genetics in homosexual development. Billings and Beckwith rather caustically call Hamer’s research “molecular phrenology”. (in: Satinover, 1996a) And a recent attempt to replicate Hamer’s results by his colleague, Dr. Alan Sanders, failed. Stated Sanders, “Although the original study found evidence for genetic linkage, ours does not”. (Byfield and Byfield, June 15 1998)

Ironically, even the Journal of Homosexuality now does not support “gay-gene” theory or “gay-brain” theory. (Socarides, 1996) Gay activists are now moving to have homosexuality viewed as a celebration of personal empowerment and freedom. Sociologist Ira Reiss advocates for a sexual pluralism to “root out” the narrowness of heterosexism in all society’s institutions, including schools, families, and churches. (Reiss, 1990, in: Marco, 1996) Lesbian activist Donna Minkowitz writes, “Homophobes... are right when they say that we threaten the family, male domination, and the Calvinist ethic of work... that has paralyzed most Americans’ search for pleasure”. (April 1, 1996) Clearly, this is a hedonistic philosophy whose goals run contrary to what many heterosexual families value.

Psychosocial Influences

Sexual identity has been shown to be highly influenced by cultural learning. “That we are sexual is determined by a biological imperative toward reproduction, but how we are sexual - where, when, how often, with whom, and why - has to do with cultural learning, with meanings transmitted in a cultural setting. (Fracher and Kimmel, 1992)

The dynamics of human psychosexual development appropriate to gender have been studied in considerable depth with much emphasis placed on positive self esteem and the development of the capacity for intimacy and ego strength in childhood. (Freud, 1953/1981; Miller and Simon, 1980) How sexual feelings and interests are expressed is a result of the child’s inherited temperament, gender, the impact of family members, including extended family, the feelings, attitudes, experiences and behaviours of family members toward “significant others” outside the family, the nature of the family system, and the interaction of all family members with the larger environment. (Chillman, April 1990)

Gender role nonconformity in childhood has been indicated to have a strong correlation with adult homosexual behaviour in at least five studies. (Bailey, Miller and Willerman, 1993; Bell, Weinberg and Hammersmith, 1981; Green, 1987; Phillips and Over, 1992; Whitam, 1977) As children, homosexual men were much more likely to have been involved in behaviours stereotypically female such as cross-dressing, preference for the company of female friends, adoption of female roles in sex play, and preference for girls’ games and activities. (Whitam, 1977) Indeed, Whitam found 97% of homosexuals in his study reported one or more of these experiences, while most heterosexuals (79%) did not.

The role of early sexual experiences has also been demonstrated to influence orientation. A detailed analysis of Kinsey’s 11,000 subjects (1938-1963) showed that intense sexual experiences, feelings of arousal, pleasure or discomfort associated with early experiences were the strongest correlates of adult sexual orientation. (Van Wyk and Geist, 1984) Van Wyk also found that those boys who learned to masturbate by being masturbated by another male were much more likely to be attracted to men in adulthood. A similar correlation was also found for those whose first orgasm occurred through a homosexual contact.

While homosexual contact for boys appears to influence adult homosexuality the reverse appears to be true for adult lesbians. Bell and Weinberg (1978) found that while only 20% of gay men engaged in heterosexual intercourse prior to adopting homosexuality, 85% of lesbians had prior heterosexual experience. Van Wyk and Geist’s data (1984) offers support for the concept that adult lesbians were much more likely than heterosexual women to have had pre-pubertal sexual contact with adult men.

One significant item for counsellor educators from Van Wyk’s research was the correlation between the age of learning about homosexuality and adult orientation. The mean age of learning about homosexuality for females predominantly homosexual as adults was 13.9 years, while those who were primarily heterosexual was 19.4 years (remember this data is from Kinsey’s 1938-1963 subject base). For boys, adult homosexuals mean age of learning about homosexuality was 12.0 years, while the mean age for adult heterosexuals was 16.4. Basically, the data indicates that the earlier a child learns about homosexuality, particularly through experiential learning, the greater the likelihood of adopting homosexuality as an adult orientation. (Van Wyk and Geist, 1984)

Impact of Pedophilia

Childhood sexual experiences that are abusive also appear to be correlated with orientation. Finkelhor et al. (1990), in a national phone sample of 1,145 men, reported that 9.5% confirmed being the target of unwanted completed or attempted sexual intercourse prior to age 19 (80% were same sex). However, Doll et al (1992) found that 37% of 1,001 homosexual and bisexual men reported being abused as children, 94% of them by older males. Their median age of abuse was age 10, while their abusers averaged 11 years older. Doll’s results appear to support the findings of Van Wyk and Geist (1984), i.e. that same sex experiences in childhood are correlated with adult orientation. A recent British Columbia study supports this contention. 40% of gay youth surveyed reported that they had been sexually abused, versus 12% for heterosexual youth. (McCreary Centre Society, 1999) While further research is clearly warranted, these statistics appear to implicate pedophilia as a factor in the psychosocial development of youth and adult homosexuality.

The incidence of adult homosexuals who were childhood victims of pedophiles is strongly supported by data showing that those of homosexual or bisexual orientation are much more likely to commit child molestation. A review of 19 separate studies exploring the ratio of heterosexual-to-homosexual molestation of children found that those who practice homosexuality are 12 times more likely than heterosexuals to sexually assault a child, and bisexuals were 16 times as likely to do the same. (Cameron, 1985)

This statistic is also supported by data in the Report to Members of the British Columbia College of Teachers. The issues from 1990-1996 were examined by the author with permission in October 1997. In this period, 54 teachers were disciplined for sexual misconduct with children. For female teachers, four were disciplined: three were same sex incidents, and for one the gender of the victim was not identified. For male teachers: 33 were heterosexual offenses, 13 were homosexual, and four were not identified. Thus out of a total 49 cases where the gender of the victim was identified, 16 were homosexual (33%), which is approximately 15 times their incidence in the population, using incidence data from Laumann et al. (1994).

This data is further supported by two studies of adult sex offenders conducted by Kurt Freund, a psychiatrist at the Department of Behavioral Sexology at the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry in Toronto. (Freund et al., 1984; Freund and Watson, Spring 1992) In the 1984 study (which examined only males), Freund found that the pedophilic predilection is more likely to be found in those of homosexual orientation and that they had the highest rate of recidivism.

A related study (Abel et al., 1987) determined that the self reported number of male victims of male pedophiles averaged an astonishing 150.2 (the corresponding rate for heterosexual pedophiles was 19.8).

In his second study, Freund examined the offense records of 457 sex offenders and found that the proportional prevalence of homosexual offenders was 36%. (Freund and Watson, Spring 1992) Other researchers have noted that 23% of gay men and 6% of lesbians admitted to sexual interaction with youth under the age of 16 (when the respondent was aged 20 or older). (Jay and Young, 1979) The evidence clearly indicates that persons of homosexual orientation are much more susceptible to pedophilic tendencies.

Paternal Deprivation and Parental Mental Health in Transgenderism

Other researchers have zeroed in on the role parental deprivation plays in the sex role learning process. George Rekers, a recognized expert in gender identity disorder who has authored or co-authored over 60 studies on the question, writes, “The impact of paternal deprivation on psychosexual development is most conspicuous in the retrospective clinical studies of homosexual and transsexual men.” (Rekers, 1996) The most seriously gender disordered boys had 100% paternal deprivation, while he also noted that 80% of the mothers and 45% of the fathers of his study group had a history of mental health problems or psychiatric treatment. (Bentler, Rekers and Rosen, 1979) In other words, sexual identity is a tremendously complex interaction of psychosocial forces, and particularly influenced by the absence of a paternal figure, the mental health of the parents, childhood sexual experiences and nonconforming gender behaviour.

Sexual Preference Reversal Therapy

Can someone who thinks they are homosexual return to heterosexuality? The short answer is yes, but many gays think it is an outrageous affront to their dignity to suggest it. In fact, various gay support groups lobbied hard to have the American Psychological Association (APA) make it unethical for psychologists to assist gays with conversion therapy, even if they asked for it. (Satinover, 1996b) This was vigorously opposed by NARTH, the National Association of Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, headed by clinical psychologist Joseph Nicolosi. The situation came to a head at the APA’s Annual Convention in 1995 in Chicago.

The APA’s Council of Representatives, after carefully weighing all the evidence presented by both sides of the issue, determined that there was no evidence that conversion therapy was harmful, and that making such a change in the ethical guidelines constituted an unwarranted intrusion into the client-therapist relationship and could be construed as “restraint of trade”. (Sleek, October, 1997) The Council reaffirmed, however, the American Psychological Association’s position that homosexual or bisexual orientation alone did not constitute a mental illness or a requirement for treatment.

But those who wish to change their orientation have had considerable success with existing therapeutic methods. Behavioral therapy has been found to have permanent sex identity reversal success rates of between 65% after a five year follow-up (Schwartz and Masters, 1984), and 71% after a six year follow-up, as reported by Masters and Johnson, the renowned American sexology researchers (1979). Even Kinsey reported more than 80 cases of successful “revision therapy”. (Pomeroy, 1972)

Dr. Jeffrey Satinover notes that in an eight year period (1966-1974) over 1,000 articles on the treatment of homosexuality were listed in the Medline database. Moreover, a representative cross-section of these treatment modalities record an average success rate of 52%, well over the 30% success rate psychotherapists consider noteworthy for treatment of any psychiatric condition. (Satinover, 1996b) Actually, these success rates offer validation to the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder or an immutable characteristic, and that therapy for orientation change for those who wish it is likely to be successful and relatively resistant to “backsliding”.

Dr. Judd Marmor, past president of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Psychoanalysis, reports that “between 20 and 50% of patients with homosexual behaviour seek psychotherapy in order to change their orientation... and they deserve the help of psychiatry to achieve it”. (Marmor, 1975)

There is considerable evidence that people experience orientation change even without treatment. Kinsey Institute researchers Bell and Weinberg found that 84% of homosexuals and 29% of heterosexuals shifted their “sexual orientation” at least once in their life and 32% of homosexuals and 4% of heterosexuals reported a second shift in orientation. A significant 13% of homosexuals and 1% of straights claimed at least five orientation changes in their lifetimes. (Bell and Weinberg, 1978) Thus, the claims of immutability of orientation do not seem to have much evidence to support them.

Homosexuality and the Psychiatric Community

Indeed, until 1973, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) labelled homosexuality a bona fide psychological disorder. It was dropped from the diagnostic manual of psychological disorders, not because of new research and scholarly debate, but because of intense political lobbying from the homosexual community. (Bayer, 1981) Apparently, they threatened to continue demonstrating at every APA convention and block research until it was dropped from the manual. (Zustiak, February 14, 1993)

Joseph Berger, a Canadian psychiatrist who was at that convention reported that the APA was bombarded with letters petitioning this removal, a campaign later found to be orchestrated and financed by gay activist groups. (Berger, in: Social Action Commission, 1993)

Charles Socarides, M.D., former president of NARTH (National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality), wrote that psychiatrists who continued to believe that homosexuality was a disorder were “soon silenced at our own professional meetings, our lectures were cancelled inside academe and our research papers were turned down in the learned journals”. (Socarides, 1996) This says more about the effectiveness of the gay lobby than a change in professional thinking.

The effectiveness of the gay lobby may have been enhanced by high level influence from within the APA Board of Trustees. A former gay man told psychiatrist Jeffrey Satinover at a 1994 conference in England that he and his lover celebrated the 1973 victory in the apartment of an officer of the APA Board of Trustees. Satinover regards this as evidence that the leadership of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) could have been suborned in this decision. (Satinover, 1996b)

Significantly, four years after homosexuality was relabelled from a disorder to a “condition”, a National Institute of Mental Health survey of 2,500 psychiatrists found that 69% still believed that homosexuality “usually represents a pathological adaptation” while only 18% were sure it did not. (in: Bayer, 1981) Moreover, in 1980, the American Psychiatric Association identified a new form of psychopathology after considerable research, entitling it “Gender Identity Disorder of Children”. It is a treatable disorder of children who assume non-traditional gender behaviours. (Rekers, 1996) This would suggest that “transgendered” youth identified by school counsellors ought to be referred for assessment to mental health professionals with expertise in treating sexual dysfunction.

The latest edition of the DSM-IV contains a category called “sexual disorder not otherwise specified”, which includes “persistent and marked distress about one’s sexual orientation.” While most mental health professionals agree that homosexual orientation does not constitute a mental illness, clearly there are individuals for whom homosexuality is distressing enough to cause them dysfunction, and treatment options should be made available for them.

Conclusions and Recommendations

It is apparent that giving homosexuality equal billing with heterosexuality in school instruction is not warranted by empirical research. Parents and educators need to be aware that the “evidence” that homosexuality is common and the result of genetic imperatives is highly suspect and manipulative. All British Columbia school counsellors, however, should support any program that reduces harassment against children who are of alternate sexual orientations.

Psychotherapy for transgenderism and for gender preference reversals have a high success rate for those who seek treatment.
School counsellors who identify children with transgendered ideation are advised to refer them to community psychotherapy services (as long as parents are supportive of such treatment, of course). To accept that there is nothing which can be done to change orientation ideation, especially prior to self initiated sexual activity, in light of the considerable weight of empirical data and therapeutic case studies, would be professionally irresponsible. Parents ought to be aware that there are treatment options.

Moreover, given the much higher incidence of childhood abuse among homosexuals, and the astounding rate of victimization of boys at the hands of homosexual pedophiles, counsellors should be alert to undisclosed and untreated sexual abuse among students presenting issues related to sexual orientation.

The data cited in this paper has shown that the gay lifestyle is characterized by high levels of relationship instability, promiscuity, and risk of serious disease. As counsellors, we have an obligation to teach the truth and not participate in professional enabling in order to assist the agenda of a well organized and vocal lobby group.

It is clear that this issue requires much more serious debate before any anti-heterosexism programs are implemented. The clinical and empirical data alone, notwithstanding the substantial question of moral and religious beliefs, require that the teaching profession approach this issue with considerable caution.

Nevertheless, I believe programs to reduce harassment of students of alternate sexual orientations, if developed with sensitivity to the religious traditions present among students, teachers and parents in the public school system, will be beneficial and should be implemented as soon as possible.

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Textnachweis: Kempling, Chris, Sexual Orientation Curricula: Implications for Educators, Copyright: Chris Kempling 2003.