by D. O’Leary

Homosexual attractions are symptoms of a preventable developmental disorder. Once the symptoms are observed prompt intervention and treatment can prevent a homosexuality outcome, but it is preferable to prevent the conditions which cause the disorder in the first place.

1) The best prevention of homosexuality in boys is a strong father/son relationship in which the father affirms the masculine identity of the son. Irving Bieber who conducted a comprehensive study of homosexual men found that a positive supportive relationship between father and son prevented homosexuality. This relationship should include rough and tumble play between father and son. For example, when a father tossing his young son up in the air, the boy is at first frightened but then recognizes that he can trust his father, that his father loves him, that the activity is exciting. The boy wants to do it over and over. The mother may try to intervene, but in a healthy situation the father ignores her protestations and the son learns independence from the mother. If the mother prevails and the activity ceases or never begins, the father/son bond is not firmly established. There is evidence that being tossed in the air and rough-and-tumble play in the first 3 years of life builds brain connections which lead to confidence in physical activity and may effect later coordination.

2) Second, it is absolutely essential that all adults and older children unequivocally affirm the boy’s masculine identity, and show disapproval toward stereotypically girly activities and cross dressing. A simple “Boys don’t do that” on the first occasion is sufficient.

3) The mother must encourage her son’s competence and mastery and teach him how to overcome his fears and anxieties.

4) The mother must affirm her respect for manhood and men, particularly if the father is clearly deficient or absent.

5) The boy must have a chance to observe happy marriages close up and understand that love between husband and wife is a beautiful thing.

6) The boy needs boy playmates who share his interests.

7) The mother should be modest in front of her children and respect their modesty. Children should not observe sexual acts.

8) Children should be protected from sexual molestation by adults or other children, with a yearly admonition from their parents that if anyone tries to touch their private parts or asks them to touch his parts they are to tell immediately and that people who do such things are usually liars.

9) Parents need to teach children to forgive those who injure them, to reject envy and self-pity, and to practice virtue. The difference between boys who become homosexual and those who do not is not simply that the former were traumatized and the latter not. Almost all children experience traumas of one sort or another. The difference may be that for the homosexually attracted the trauma remained unhealed. In many cases bitterness, envy, unforgiveness, and self-pity were either allowed to fester or subtly encouraged.

All this should begin immediately after birth. The critical period for gender identity development is 8 months to 4 years of age

Boys who are excessively “pretty”, sickly, sensitive, non-athletic, youngest brothers, fatherless, or whose mothers are psychologically troubled are at greater risk. There is some evidence that adopted sons may be at-risk, perhaps because of separation anxiety or because the father may find it more difficult to bond with a non-biological child than the mother. “At-risk” does not mean that a homosexual outcome is inevitable, only that it is more likely than in a boy who shows none of these symptoms. The symptoms of an at-risk boy are:

1) Fear of rough and tumble play

2) Lack of same-sex playmates

3) Dislike of team sports

4) Doll play

5) Cross dressing or interest in women’s clothes or shoes

6) Effeminate speech or mannerism

7) Playacting in which the boy takes a feminine part.

8) Frequent statements that he wants to be a girl or is a girl.

These symptoms usually appear between 2 and 8 and then in some cases fade away as the boy is pressured by peers. The fading away of the more external manifestations should not however be taken as a sign that the problem has resolved itself. Often it merely goes underground and emerges in adolescence as same-sex attraction.

When symptoms are observed, early intervention — basically more father/male influence and less mother/female influence — is usually effective, particularly if accompanied by counseling of child and parents. However, since these boys need male closeness, they are easily targeted by pedophiles and therefore need positive male relationships and extra support throughout childhood and adolescence.

A comprehensive review of the literature on how homosexuality develops in males leads to the conclusion that it is a cumulative process in which one trauma leads to another, Each trauma increases the chance that the boy will be retraumatized and each trauma intensifies the effect of the subsequent trauma. A boy who doesn’t have a good relationship with his father, turns to his mother. This makes the relationship with his father worse. A boy who is over-identified with his mother and feels unloved by his father will find it difficult to relate to male peers. Teasing by peers intensifies feelings of alienation from his father and drives him to seek comfort from his mother. This child is particularly vulnerable to child molesters and likely to interpret the molestation as evidence that he is homosexual. And so on.


The following are a few quotes from research on the development of homosexual attraction. _____________________________________________________


Contrary to some critics, the comprehensive study by Bieber et al. of homosexual men in psychotherapy has not been contradicted by research on non-patient samples. The conclusions on the importance of the father/son relationship have been validated by numerous subsequent studies.

Bieber, I. et al. (1962) Homosexuality: A Psychoanalytic Study of Male Homosexuals. NY: Basic Books.

The following are direct quotations:

…We have come to the conclusion that a constructive, supportive, warmly related father precludes the possibility of a homosexual son; he acts as a neutralizing protective agent should the mother make seductive or close-binding attempts.


Dr. Hadden, a pioneer in the treatment of homosexuality, points out that the symptoms of future problems were recognized before the men started school and treatment could have prevented a homosexual outcome.

Hadden, S. (1967) Male homosexuality. Pennsylvania Medicine. Feb.: 78 -80

The following are direct quotations:

In my experience with male homosexuals, they almost universally recognize that they were maladjusted at the time they started school. Many were recognized by their parents as needing psychiatric assistance much earlier. In analystical examination of the pre-school period of life it is usually revealed that the boy who became homosexual never felt accepted by and never felt comfortable in relationships with his age peers. Quite often because of parental interference he was prevented from participation in the play activities with other children and had little opportunity of running, romping, rolling around, tugging, wrestling, and scrambling with his peers from the toddling stage to the kindergarten or school age… A defective image of self is established and its persistence is an important factor in the homosexual.

Combinations of experiences, however, may cause one to feel so inadequate and inferior to masculine peers that the desire for acceptance is strong enough to make one willing to be utilized as a sexual object by a male considered more masculine than himself.