Social Question

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Is Same Sex Attraction Disorder [SSAD] real or just something for people to explain away their homosexuality?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26798points) September 6th, 2010

Is Same Sex Attraction Disorder a real condition or just a belief of people who do not want to admit they are Gay? It is it a real and treatable condition what does that say of those who are Gay? If genes are not the cause of Same Sex Attraction Disorder in some people, what is? Was Richard A. Cohen the 1st to come up with it? If he did was it to try to explain away his homosexuality or deny he was Gay?

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30 Answers

Ben_Dover's avatar

It is most certainly real, and undoubtedly not a disorder. The world needs more love. If people find themselves in love with others of the same sex, how can that be a disorder. Love is blind.

I have already stated that I don’t understand how a person can desire to change sexes, but I do understand that people do in fact desire to do so, and they most certainly don’t feel as if they have a disorder.

Similarly, I don’t understand how people are sexually attracted to the same sex, but I most certainly don’t see this as a disorder. Although once upon a time I did.

And, if you take this a step further and factor in the out of control population explosion which is probably the world’s biggest problem, don’t you think people finding sexual release with same sex partners is an incredibly sane thing to be doing?

Deja_vu's avatar

Disorder? That’s so stupid.

augustlan's avatar

In 2002 Cohen was permanently expelled from the American Counseling Association, after it accused him of six violations of its ethics code, which bars members from actions which “seek to meet their personal needs at the expense of clients, those that exploit the trust and dependency of clients, and for soliciting testimonials or promoting products in a deceptive manner.”

Cohen said he believes the expulsion was for his efforts in the ex-gay movement, specifically for the book Coming Out Straight, and for one complaint. He did not appeal, calling the ACA “a biased organization”[12] and “gay-affirming club”.


I call bullshit.

the100thmonkey's avatar

It’s amazing what cognitive dissonance can accomplish if given enough time and education to work with…

nebule's avatar

Can I claim that the redness of my hair is a disorder too? I imagine some people would level this against me… in my world they’re called bullies.

janbb's avatar

The concept that homosexuality is a mental disorder of any kind was dismissed from the DSM by the psychiatric profession years ago. Only a wingnut would espouse such a postion today.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Well, the last time we discussed it on fluther, there were some people who were pretty adamant about saying it’s real and it’s not homosexuality so I guess I have to give it the benefit of the doubt – after all, if in one’s worldview, they understand and have no problem with homosexuality but for them, it’s a disorder since they deem themselves straight – it’s a disorder to them.

marinelife's avatar

It is another term for denial.

gailcalled's avatar

So can I attribute my heterosexuality to Opposite Sex Attraction Disorder?

(You shouldn’t capitalize “gay,” because it is not a proper noun.)

Nullo's avatar

I’ve long held that homosexuality is a disorder. This only helps.

Trillian's avatar

If animals, innocent animals have same sex paiings in nature how is this a disorder? Admittedly not conducive to perpetuation of the species, but not uncommon either, how then is it a disorder?
When we are at a buffet, isn’t it a good thing that we all don’t want the macaroni? Some would rather have potatoes. Doesn’t this ensure that we all get the variety that we desire and walk away sated and pleased?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Nullo And I’ve long held that you’re a homophobe – this only helps.

Dewey420's avatar

Crap, I think I got the ssads :(

Haleth's avatar

The American Psychiatric Association stated that homosexuality was not a disorder in 1973. SSAD is not real. More info

Also, I’ve never heard of a gay person trying to “explain away” homosexuality with this so-called disorder. It sounds like something that homophobes invented to explain it away.

Flavio's avatar

I am sure there are quacks who say otherwise, but same sex attraction is most certainly not a disorder. It is true that because of homophobia and heterosexism, LGBTQ folk face psychological pressures that straight people don’t. This leads to higher rates of depression, drug use, etc.

Flavio's avatar

From where do you get this long held belief? Is this something with an empirical or rational basis, or is it more an emotional gut reaction?

Nullo's avatar

Rational basis, in fact.
Sex is first and foremost about reproduction, and anatomical differences between males and females reflect this. There are certainly issues with sterility, but a given male/female couple is almost literally infinitely more likely to reproduce – or be able to reproduce – than a same-sex pair.
One behavior fulfills the function: things are working as they should, that’s normal. The other behavior doesn’t fulfill the function: things are not working as they should, that’s abnormal.

@Simone_De_Beauvoir “Homophobia,” in addition to being an affront to scientific nomenclature (per convention, the term ought to say something other than “fear of sameness”), suggests that I am afraid of homosexuals, when in fact my only fear is failure.
I’ve even tested it; over the years I’ve found myself collaborating with them for work and for school, and even online; @DominicX and I have been on fairly good terms since around 2006.
The results? I have not discomfited in the least.

Coloma's avatar

What about human-goose attraction? HGA…I don’t think they have that one in the archives of disorders. lol

Yep, my gander wants to make eggs with me in a bad way.

fundevogel's avatar

@Nullo, Well shit. I’ve got a uterus so I guess I have to make babies. Sucks that my physiology supersedes any personal desire or inclination for me to live my life in a way that doesn’t fully utilize my baby-making capacity.

Nullo's avatar

@fundevogel And where in my post do you see me saying that if you can reproduce that you must?

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

If Richard A. Cohen did not create SSAD who did?

@Haleth It sounds like something that homophobes invented to explain it away. Which homophobes? Cohen was Gay and tried to play it straight but couldn’t do it becase he wasn’t. He tried to say he really wasn’t Gay just had SSAD that made him act Gay and act on those Gay urges he had because SSAD gave it to him.

From my skant look about the search including SSAD there seem to still be clinics, AA type organizations, etc that claim to treat SSAD. If it is “junk science” who is getting treated at those facilities?

augustlan's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central People who desperately don’t want to be gay. Likely because they’ve been taught all of their lives that being gay is a sin.

Nullo's avatar

@augustlan What business is it of yours if a person doesn’t want to be gay?

Thammuz's avatar

@Nullo One behavior fulfills the function: things are working as they should, that’s normal.
Nevermind the countless cases of animals passing their time fucking eachother every which way and more when appliable regardless of sex. Like lion packs made entirely of males that have sex for reprodution with external females and recreative with the other members of the pack, or kangaroos who fellate themselves (lucky bastards) and monkeys who even use rudimentary sex toys.

Yes, sex in nature is all about reproduction. I really missed your peculiar idea that ignoring all evidence makes you right, Nullo.

where in my post do you see me saying that if you can reproduce that you must?

Well you said that preferring a sexual partner that by definition can’t reproduce with you is a disorder, which kind of implies that you should pick one that can, in order to reproduce.

If it is “junk science” who is getting treated at those facilities?

People who want to, and sons and daughters of funda-mental-ist christian/islamic/etc families who’d rather die than accept their children for what they are.

What business is it of yours if a person doesn’t want to be gay?

Absolutely none, what’s your point?

fundevogel's avatar

@Nullo “And where in my post do you see me saying that if you can reproduce that you must?”

I extrapolated. If homosexuality is wrong because men are made to have sex with women and vice versa than it must also be wrong for me to avoid pregnancy because my body was made to make babies. The point is that arguing that the composition of our bodies has authoritative moral bearing over what we ought to do is absurd.

augustlan's avatar

@Nullo I don’t recall saying it was any of my business at all.

Deja_vu's avatar

Homosexuality is wrong to some people, why? They say it goes against nature and reproducing? I know when I have sex I don’t want to make a baby, I just want to get off. Is that a disorder? It just doesn’t make sense to me. Saying being gay is a disorder is bigotry.

the100thmonkey's avatar

@nullo: can you explain why your post is not simply a variant of the appeal to nature fallacy?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Nullo Aww, you’re so sweet to have come in contact with the likes of them and still keep your heart and loins pure – I’m impressed! I don’t care what you want to call it but I call a homophobe (however rational you want to make yourself seem) as I see him. At the end of the day, it is irrelevant how you name your feelings towards queer people because your words and thoughts are, by their nature, hurtful and wrong.

iamthemob's avatar

What’s ironic about this is that SSAD actually does seem to describe a shared cluster of psychological symptoms – but it only describes a portion of the group it seems intended to cover. SSAD seems to describe those who cannot accept homosexual desires due to internalized pressures from external sources.

It seems that he’s just taken his psychoanalytic understanding of homosexuality as resulting from crisis in the oedipal or pre-oedipal turning point and renamed it (so…no…he didn’t discover this – it seems like psychoanalysis repackaged and stuffed together with evangelical elements).

The further irony is, of course, that original Freudian psychoanylitical understandings of psychosexual development assumed a starting point of omnisexuality – inherent hedonism which, throughout development, settled on focused targets of desire. So his theory is an outgrowth of another which assumes the opposite of what his theory does.

@Nullo – really?

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