Monday, July 4, 2011

Homosexuality: Coming out of the confusion, by Sidney H. Phillips, M.D.

SIDNEY H. PHILLIPS, MD, is a training and supervising analyst of the Western New England Institute for Psychoanalysis; Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine.

Homosexuality: Coming out of the confusion, by Sidney H. Phillips, M.D.
Unrequited Love Affairs
Cause of Inability to Form A Close Relationship
Dissociative Efforts Buries Deep
Double Shame
An Illustration of the Relentless Cycles of Everyday Life
Attraction & Disappointment
Hope & Despair
Excitement, Arousal & Grief

In this paper, Dr. Phillips describes the complications of how the historical context of social norms can significantly influence the classification of the components of homosexuality by clinicians causing them to be blind to their own biases. Mindful of our susceptibility to this kind of phenomenon, Dr. Phillips calls to task these biases that pathologize homosexuality simply because it is not consistent with heterosexuality and therefore to be classified as a mental disorder. He offers an alternative description of homosexuality from his clinical research that is consistent with other researchers of early childhood psychological development of children who grow up to be gay. Copyright

When homosexuality is understood as a natural developmental process of human sexuality, what happens to the children who grow up to be gay? These children are often subjected to a kind of continuous harm that can be considered torturous being raised in a world where heterosexuality is considered the only accepted norm. A psychological harm is inflicted on these children throughout their early childhood developmental years that have lasting effects throughout their adult years having been raised in a social environment influenced by harsh antigay social and religious norms.

Dr. Phillips views homosexuality as a normal process of the variations of human sexuality. He has found as other researchers in this area have found that men in their twenties and early thirties who are openly gay report histories of remembering as early as 4 and 5 years of age and older being attracted to other boys and men, (Sidney H. Phillips, M.D., 2002, The Overstimulation of Everyday Life: II Male Homosexuality, Countertransference, and Psychoanalytic Treatment. Ann Psychoanal 30:131-45). These men report that in their midadolescence stories about their first loves, which they remember in “rich detail” and these stories obtained were “remarkably similar.”

They fell “head over heels” in love with a heterosexual boy. These sexually unconsummated love affairs went on for many months. The homosexual boy had to overcome some reluctance on the heterosexual boy’s part to permit greater and greater physical intimacy, especially sleeping in the same bed together. The heterosexual boy’s reservations were invariably overcome by the homosexual boy’s ingenious rationalizations and energetic persistence.
What was striking in all these stories was how both participants attended to and would not cross what seemed like a carefully constructed boundary against erotic behavior or dialogue. As long as all proceeded under the “innocent,” permissive guise of, mutual, close friendship, the relationships continued. These strange love affairs between homosexual and heterosexual adolescent boys predictably all ended the same way: the heterosexual boy eventually turned his attentions to a heterosexual girl. Stand by Me


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