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ABNORMALITIES IN THE EXTERNAL STIMULUS: HOMOSEXUALITY

Homosexuality, used in the most general sense of the word to include any intense emotional relationship between members of the same sex experienced at any age, is so common as almost to be regarded as normal. It is strictly abnormal only when a boy or girl acquires such an intense homosexual fixation that heterosexual interests are never developed. The danger lies in believing that homosexuality is incurable. There are, to be sure, a small percentage of persons who may have been born with a genuine inversion or confusion of sexual characteristics and capacities, and in these homosexuality is possibly incurable. It is best for the ordinary person who finds himself unable to be attracted to the opposite sex to assume that he has simply been the victim of social circumstances, not that his abnormality is inborn, and to set out to modify his sexual taste accordingly.

Sometimes one might be inclined to think that society is organized to produce abnormalities rather than prevent them. In the first place, very little specific sex instruction is given, but young people are allowed to grope their way blindly along the various stages of sexual development, so that it is easy for them to form fixations without any knowledge of what these will mean for their future happiness. Secondly, the moral instruction of the past so impressed upon children the sinfulness of sex relations between the sexes that it is not surprising that some of the most moral of them have drifted into homosexuality, for, with normal channels of expression shut off, the sex instinct sought realization wherever it might, whether in purely spiritual or in bodily relations. Since there was nothing in the moral code for adolescents which referred to homosexuality, it was quite possible for a girl or boy to feel that a state of sexual purity had been achieved, whereas it was perhaps the beginning of sexual abnormality.

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