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joolykim August 12th, 2005 06:27 AM

According to cognitive perspective what are the causes of homosexuality???

JustBen August 12th, 2005 09:51 AM

Re: homosexuality
Interesting question. I'm not sure if cognitive therapy has an "official" stance on this, but I think you'll find that most therapists - regardless of their orientation - believe that homosexuality is a biological orientation. In fact, they can be surprisingly dogmatic on this point, even though the evidence is insufficient to support any of the current hypotheses. (Then again, this isn't the first instance of therapists going "beyond the evidence" because it supports their personal viewpoint.)

James Pretzer August 22nd, 2005 07:59 PM

Re: homosexuality
I agree with JustBen's statement that CT hasn't taken a stance on this issue and that many of the assertions that are made in discussions of this topic go beyond the data. The last time I looked at the research on this topic (which has been a while), it did not appear that a homosexual arousal pattern was learned or that it was due to identifiable traumas, stressors, etc. This led many to assume that sexual orientation was biologically determined. However, research had not yet demonstrated that it was biologically determined either.

Many CBT therapists operate on the assumption that one's Some people are primarily or exclusively heterosexual, some are primarily or exclusively homosexual, and some are bisexual.

It is useful to distinguish between sexual orientation (what turns you on), sexual behavior (what you actually do), and gender identity (whether you see yourself as a boy or a girl). Sexual orientation and gender identity appear to be established early in life and not to be very changeable. Sexual behavior is shaped by automatic thoughts, beliefs and values, reinforcement contingencies, social and cultural context, etc. and is much more changeable.

While not specific to CBT, the American Psychological Association's Guidelines for Psychotherapy with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Clients can be found at These guidelines may be quite useful if you do not work with LGB clients on a regular basis and do not know many LGB individuals well. The guidelines both present the APA's view of how therapists should approach LGB clients and provide basic information for those who aren't familiar with LGB culture and issues.

David Martin has an article in the April 2003 edition of "Advances in Cognitive Therapy," which calls for more empirical and clinical work to apply CBT to the problems encountered by LGB clients. The Academy's newsletters can be found online at

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