We all love our identities, whether that be professions, race, the clubs we belong to, or political affiliations. These identities seem to be a source of pride and belonging. However, they come with a price tag in terms of in-group and out-group distinctions that frequently lead to discrimination and persecution, as we have seen all too often with race. What if the identities are not real, and yet still favor such behavior? As genetic research has progressed scientists are calling into question the notion of race identities, given that we all share the same genes with minor changes for skin pigmentation and some other features. There is no clearly distinct “race.”
Sexual orientation is an identity that even has the “pride” label associated with homosexuality. You might say, “Yes, but sexual orientation involves real identities.” But are they? These identities fuel massive amounts of in-group and out-group based discrimination against “homosexuals.” In addition, inner confusion and turmoil is common, and certainly in younger people, when fantasies and actions do not align with sexual orientation identity. A person who engages in a “homosexual” act or has fantasies of doing so, but identifies with being “heterosexual” often experiences a great deal of distress, that at times can even lead to suicide.
It turns out that these sexual orientation identities are not real, only “existing” for about 200 years! In OUTING THE TRUTH ABOUT SEXUAL ORIENTATION, I as a highly experience psychiatrist, psychotherapist, researcher, and founder of the Centre For Theoretical Research In Psychiatry & Clinical Psychology (psychiatrytheory.com), reveal what it is all about. The answer eliminates any in-group and out-group motivation for discrimination and persecution, and replaces inner confusion and turmoil with understanding.
This model of sexual orientation aligns with scientific evidence and encompasses 4 components: homoerotic and heteroerotic behavioral capacities, activation of these capacities by circumstances, erotic fantasy, and social construction showing how we create various understandings of sexual orientation. Learn how countless animal species from insects to primates engage in homoerotic and heteroerotic behavior, setting up both behavioral capacities within us. Circumstances greatly influence which capacity is activated at a given time, and erotic fantasy amplifies the strength. The perspective presented makes sense of puzzling aspects of sexual orientation behavior, such as the impact of sexual abuse, and explains why some individuals favor a “homosexual” identity, while most identify with being “heterosexual.” For an enlightening and informative take on sexual orientation read OUTING THE TRUTH ABOUT SEXUAL ORIENTATION (bradbowinsbooks.com).