A little boy I’ll call “Stevie” was a beautiful, healthy child. But by age five, his parents suspected something was wrong. Stevie loved Barbie dolls, the color pink, and dancing around like a ballerina.
His parents took Stevie to see Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, a psychologist who specializes in gender disorders. Nicolosi listened as they described their son’s fascination with feminine activities, which had begun when he was three. Nicolosi confirmed that Stevie was a “prehomosexual male.” Without intervention, Nicolosi said, Stevie had a 75-percent chance of growing up homosexual, bisexual, or transgender.
In his book, A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality, Nicolosi describes what had likely led to Stevie’s preoccupation with feminine things. Nicolosi explains that as infants, boys and girls alike are emotionally attached to their mothers. It’s normal for girls to continue developing their feminine identity through their relationship with their mothers. But boys must dis-identify from their mothers and begin to identify with their fathers. Clearly, Stevie had not begun to do this; he continued to identify with his mother.
Dr. Nicolosi writes that at the heart of the homosexual condition is a distortion of the fundamental concept of gender. In boys, there can be a “gender wound” -- a kind of emotional injury -- in early childhood that leads the boy to see himself as “different.” Nicolosi writes that this differentness “creates a feeling of inferiority and isolates him from other males.”
For example, many homosexual men who come to Nicolosi for treatment remember childhoods in which they were unathletic, lonely, and fearful of boisterous games. They also feared “other boys, whom they found both intimidating and attractive.” Many prehomosexual boys are bright and artistically gifted. But they feel a sense of “gender emptiness” -- which can arise from a toxic blend of a sensitive temperament and an environment in which the boy does not receive affirmation from parents and peers to develop a masculine identity.
Nicolosi explains “Such a boy will...retreat from the challenge of identifying with his dad and the masculinity he represents...Instead of incorporating a masculine sense of self, the prehomosexual boy is doing just the opposite -- rejecting his emerging maleness and thus developing a defensive position against it.”
Nicolosi says that as a young adult, the boy “will fall in love with what he has lost by seeking out someone who seems to possess what is missing within himself.”
Early intervention, in which the boy’s father learns how to be both strong and caring, will interrupt an unhealthy mother-son bond.
“The most important message we can offer,” Nicolosi says, “is that there is no such thing as a ‘gay child’ or a ‘gay teen.’ We are all designed to be heterosexual. Confusion about gender is primarily a psychological condition, and to some extent, it can be modified.”
That is exactly the opposite message we hear from gay activists who claim that people are “born gay” and that confused teens ought to be encouraged to embrace homosexuality. And heaven help anyone who would suggest otherwise.
I hope you will stay tuned for the rest of this series based on Dr. Nicolosi’s book, A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality. You will learn more about what parents can do to lessen the chances their children will grow up homosexual.
This article published on June 1, 2011. Chuck Colson's daily BreakPoint commentary airs each weekday on more than one thousand outlets with an estimated listening audience of one million people. BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today's news and trends via radio, interactive media, and print.