When dealing with the topic of theories of homosexuality, it is important to examine the evolution of theories trying to explain this particular sexual orientation. Of all theories of homosexuality, most of them are psychological theories and personality theories, whereas some have been known as “ideological” as they try to portray this orientation via the means of a specific ideology or system of beliefs.
Psychological theories initially considered this sexual orientation as a particular psychological disorder. The most famous psychological theory on homosexuality is attributed to Freud. He believed there were various stages of homosexuality all arising from unresolved preoedipal conflicts. He distinguished between exclusive homosexuality and non-obligatory homosexuality, while also pointing out that the issues of homosexuality were quite complex as to determining direct causes and effects.
In 1973, the APA has officially removed ”homosexuality” from their diagnostics list, which marked the beginning of more openness to this sexual orientation. As a result, current psychology has developed theories to integrate sexual orientation theories more in line with explanations of identity and personality formation.
Throughout time there have been numerous theories trying to categorize homosexuality as a biological or personality disorder. Some have tried to correlate brain development to the probability of becoming gay, while others have underlined that homosexuality as sexual orientation is a choice. Some have even gone as far as claiming they can “re-convert” people of homosexual orientation to a heterosexual orientation. The epitomes of these ideological theories are the ones built on religious reasons that openly condemn people with a homosexual orientation as “sinners.”
Currently these theories and issues have become a field of study known as LGBT (lesbian gay bisexual transgender) studies. To learn more about this field, click on our “LGBT Studies“ page.