Ok. I’ve somewhat collected my thoughts on the transcript below. What I find upsetting is that that James Dobson pigeonholes homosexuals and he encourages mothers to initiate emotional detachment with their young sons.
He leaves no other explaination for homosexuality open whatsoever. (And for those who chose to try to break out of the lifestyle, the prospects look bleak according to his theory.) Nevermind that each person has a lifetime of factors that influence his/her choices, including free will. Instead of taking it on a case by case basis, he throws out a blanket reverse-Oedipus statement that encourages mothers to begin withdrawing their affection from their toddlers. (Because that’s gonna fix everything…)
My heart hurts especially for homosexuals who experienced sexual/social abuse as children…
Many studies have shown that one of the large contributing factors to a tenancy towards male homosexuality is sexual molestation by a male at a young age. A very large percentage of homosexual men admit to being molested as a child, with the average age difference between the same sex victim and molester being 11 years. The earliest sexual memories a person has can leave a big imprint on how they psychologically and emotionally process their sexuality! (Take, for instance, p*rn and m*sturbation. Part of the reason these behaviors are addictive is that brain strongly associates the specific behavior with the body’s sexual arousal. The body learns to associate being aroused with a paper picture of a woman, rather than a real woman. Which is why some men are unable to be intimate with their spouses without p*rn present. The same is true for fetishes.) Autopsies of homosexual men have shown that there is an actual difference between the hypothalamus of a homosexual man and heterosexual man. This could be explained by the fact that repeated experience can actually restructure the brain and the way it processes events and attractions.
(Besides this, homosexuality does not necessarily equal gender confusion, nor or all gay men effeminate. Same sex attraction doesn’t equal a man thinking he *is* a woman. Not at all. That whole idea is flawed. )
Another thing that disturbs me about this whole “early detachment from mother” premise, is the fact that it seems to assume that children are only attached to one parent or another at a time. You’re either a “momma’s boy” or “daddy’s little man”. I’d hate to be in a family like that, personally. While children definitely gravitate off and on between both parents according to need, it’s not an exclusive relationship. It’s not about ushering your young son into a “man’s world”. It’s developing the whole child in a male and female world. A child can receive nurturing from mom and dad at the same time, for crying out loud. A child can develop a healthy sexuality without detaching from the parent of the opposite sex.
My husband is nearly as gentle nurturing as me. I’m pretty darn adventurous and tomboyish by Dobson’s book. You have to swallow his idea of gender roles before you can accept his homosexuality theory. And it isn’t as black and white as he paints it. I believe that certain qualities that God would have in all of us have been “genderized”, sadly.
If I grow up with only a father, I might learn to relate better to males, and might even identify more closely with male characteristics, but it’s a long leap from that to actually being attracted to females.
I believe males and females naturally posses unique characteristics. I believe these reflect different aspects of God’s image. I totally agree that the father plays a huge role in a boys life, and the mother plays a huge role in the girl’s. But the reverse is also true. I find his theory unfortunate, damaging, and overly simplistic.
Besides being incomplete, exaggerated, and wrong…
How does his exclusive theory help homosexuals? It doesn’t. (Especially not lesbians, who aren’t even figured into the equation.) It scares the heck out of single moms, and causes married mothers to withdraw from their little guys who really need them.
What really saddens me is some mamas will now go to lengths to detach themselves from their little boys are working to destroy what God intended for parents and their small children to have: the intuitive connection that flashes red when some thing’s just isn’t right with their little guy. (Or girl, for heaven’s sake!) This is the connection that picks up on things like sexual abuse. When you purposefully detach yourself emotionally at all from a child that young, you’re opening them up wide for that kind of abuse…because they aren’t close enough to talk openly with you about it, and you aren’t connected enough to pick up on the little warning signals.
Besides the fact that a child benefits socially and emotionally period from a close relationship with both their father and their mother.
KING: We discussed this before in the past, but not recently: Do you still believe that being gay is a choice rather than a given?
DOBSON: I never did believe that.
KING: Oh, you don’t believe it.
DOBSON: I don’t believe that. Neither do I believe it’s genetic. I said that…
KING: Then what is it?
DOBSON: I said that on your program one time and both of us got a lot of mail for it. I don’t blame homosexuals for being angry when people say they’ve made a choice to be gay because they don’t.
It usually comes out of very, very early childhood, and this is very controversial, but this is what I believe and many other people believe, that is has to do with an identity crisis that occurs to early to remember it, where a boy is born with an attachment to his mother and she is everything to him for about 18 months, and between 18 months and five years, he needs to detach from her and to reattach to his father.
It’s a very important developmental task and if his dad is gone or abusive or disinterested or maybe there’s just not a good fit there. What’s he going to do? He remains bonded to his mother and…
KING: Is that clinically true or is that theory?
DOBSON: No, it’s clinically true, but it’s controversial. What homosexual activists, especially, would like everybody to believe is that it is genetic, that they don’t have any choice. If it were genetic, Larry — and before we went on this show, you and I were talking about twin studies — if it were genetic, identical twins would all have it. Identical twins, if you have a homosexuality in one twin, it would be there in the other.
DOBSON: So, it can’t be simply genetic. I do believe that there are temperaments that individuals are born with that make them more vulnerable and maybe more likely to move in that direction, but it usually is related to a sexual identity crisis.