Homosexuality: myths busted
With the tons of misconceptions about homosexuality out there, it can be hard to know what’s true. So let’s lean on science to bust some myths.
Myth: Homosexuality can be ‘cured’
Homosexuality isn’t a disease, so it can’t be cured. Although there isn’t conclusive research about the driving factors behind sexual orientation, scientific research points to several reasons – genetics, biology, and the environment. So being gay isn’t someone’s choice, it’s just who they are.
There’s no evidence to suggest that people who claim they can help gay people ‘turn straight’ have ever really succeeded. People can choose to stop having sex with people of the same gender, but their feelings won’t change. Professional organisations like the American Psychological Association stress that gay people aren’t mentally ill and don’t need treatment.
Myth: Gay and lesbian couples aren’t fit to be parents
Those who don’t support same-sex marriages or gay and lesbian adoption rights claim that homosexual parents just aren’t as good as heterosexual parents for children’s upbringing. But a study conducted a couple of years ago suggests that gay and lesbian couples are as good at parenting as heterosexual couples.
Myth: Pedophiles are most likely to be gay
There is no correlation between sexual orientation and sexual attraction to children. Research has shown that 90 per cent of children are sexually abused by family members or someone close to the child. Sexual orientation does not play a role at all here.
Myth: Gay people are more promiscuous than straight people
There’s no real evidence to prove that gay men and lesbian women are more promiscuous than straight people. You will find monogamous homosexual couples in committed relationships as well as those with multiple partners. But if you look around, you’ll find enough heterosexuals with multiple partners, too.
Myth: AIDS is a homosexual disease
AIDS is caused by HIV, a virus which can be transmitted from one infected person to another irrespective of their sexual orientation. So an infected straight person is as likely to spread the disease as an infected gay person. In fact, there are more heterosexual than homosexual people living with HIV/AIDS.
Myth: Homosexuality is ‘unnatural’ because all animals are straight
Oh, no animals have gay sex too! Recent research has shown that animals like penguins, giraffes, and some lizards show homosexual behaviour. What’s more, gay or lesbian behaviour has been tracked in about 450 species in the animal kingdom. In both humans and animals, it’s natural that sex isn’t only about making babies.
Myth: Gay people recruit straight people
We often get asked if gay people are out to recruit straight people, to bring them over ‘to their side’. That’s not really possible.
Because sexual orientation is not a choice.
If you are straight, could you pretend to like someone of the same gender? Sure. But would you really be able to change all your feelings and emotions? That’s very unlikely. So it’s very, very unlikely someone can change your sexual orientation. Just like gay men and lesbian women can’t be made straight.
Have you heard a rumour about homosexuality and wonder if it’s true? Let us know and we’ll nail the facts or bust the myths! Leave your comment below or contact us on Facebook.