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Cause of Homosexuality:
Poor Parent-Child Relationships

by: By Roy Masters 

Excerpt from the college textbook series "Opposing Viewpoints"

Cause of child homosexuality explained Many theories of homosexual causation focus on childhood experiences, especially those within the family. In the following viewpoint.
Roy Masters states that male homosexuality is an emotional/mental disorder caused by poor father-son relationships.  

Masters is a stress management expert who hosts a syndicated radio show and has written several books, including How to Control Your Negative Emotions.

As you read, consider the following questions:

1. How does Masters distinguish between racism and criticism of homosexuality?

2. What basic family pattern leads to homosexuality, according to Masters?

3. Why is the father so important to the family, according to the author?

Masters on homosexuality:

The question of whether homosexuality is caused by life's experience or is an inborn quality is, indeed, an extremely sensitive subject. The topic invokes strong emotion and prejudice, no matter which side one takes. Like abortion, it seems to be one of America's almost unsolvable problems. To understand the causes of homosexuality, a great deal of objectivity and compassion are required.

As is the case with so many other forms of aberrant behavior, we are dealing with victims who are in denial that they are victims. The very concept of gay pride was, of course, in imitation of racial minorities' call for ethnic pride in the '60's. However, the difference between the two is obvious to most Americans. One is simply a racial matter, but the other is behavioral. Of course, homosexual organizations deny that being gay is a behavioral problem because their claim to political power is based on convincing the country that being critical of homosexuality is equivalent to being racist. In order to make that stick, they must first convince the public that gays were born that way and that their inclinations have nothing to do with upbringing or moral choice.

Sickness and Denial

Thus homosexuals have been drawn into their sickness, siding with their torment rather than face the painful truth about their troubled childhood. Denial is a powerful thing for any individual to overcome. But added to this problem is the fact that the whole gay movement is there to be supportive of a deviant lifestyle. Such unhealthy support groups are common in our society and are, sadly, very effective in keeping people from finding themselves. Of course, these organizations believe that they are helping and being compassionate. But in reality, they provide the troubled individual with all the excuses and rationalizations he could ever need to justify his aberrant lifestyle. Often, these organizations are simply after power....

The average person is unaware of the depth and breadth of the childhood traumas that have formed his adult modus operandi. It is very important not to underestimate the effect parents can have on their children. If we take a moment to think about it, all of us can remember how vulnerable we were when we were children surrounded by the giant adult world. In a way, our parents were our gods; they represented our only real protection against a confusing and dangerous world. It is damaging enough when a child is traumatized by any adult, but when a child is betrayed by his own father or mother, that betrayal has a tragic and lasting effect.

So, what does all this have to do with homosexuality? Everything. When talking about a child's reaction to trauma, it is important to understand that we are dealing with a scientific, repeatable phenomenon called conditioned response, discovered and made famous by the Russian psychologist Ivan Pavlov. In Pavlov's ground-breaking experiment, a dog learns to associate the ringing of the bell with food; soon he salivates at the sound of the bell even when there is no food. This associative technique can apply to anything; it is employed in just about any family situation. For this reason, almost any problem of compulsive behavior that a person might have can be clarified by understanding what went on in the homosexual's family. Once we realize that we have all gone through something very similar, we just manifest it differently, then we can have the compassion necessary to understand homosexuality.


In many years of counseling, I have dealt with countless family situations conforming to the following pattern. Two boys are born into a dysfunctional family, composed of a cruel, confusing mother, and a brutal father (perhaps an alcoholic) who is rarely at home. Now, the anger and resentment which the (victim) mother feels for the father is unloaded on these boys. She unconsciously hates men, beginning with her own alcoholic father, but extending now to her husband - and becoming a cumulative traumatic experience for her sons. Because of the different dispositions and status of the two boys, one rebels from her control and one conforms. One way or the other, the boys have been traumatized away from their natural center, their true personhood.

There are many types of dysfunctional family disorders. One of them, of course, is overt homosexuality. The other is connected to the same pressures that cause homosexuality, but manifests in an entirely different way: "macho" behavior, a false masculinity that is a compensating overreaction to feelings of vulnerability and latent femininity. This compensation could well include any other traits of the child's father by association. So, for example, the boy could take on a veneer of religious values, picked up from his father by association, rather than by any true insight. This is the basic process by which one brother becomes homosexual while the other enjoys an apparently normal life.

Both boys carry a great deal of anger just beneath the surface - unconscious feelings of resentment toward the parents who failed them. As it is passed from generation to generation, this continuous flaw in the nature of the family structure itself can be cured only by overcoming denial barriers and facing hidden anger. Ironically, great political power can be derived by simply exploiting the existing rage that millions of people feel about their family experience. Radical Berkeley, California, is full of leftist posters that call for overthrowing "the patriarch." It is not hard to guess who is the intended target of that kind of message.

Abnormal Choices

In the case of the two boys, the mother's daily pressure on her rebellious son traumatizes him to side with his errant father. In such an emotional state, where common sense goes out of the window and there's more heat than light, there are only two lifestyle options available: rebel against your father and join you mother - or rebel against your mother and side with your father. Both are obviously abnormal choices, since the child wants and needs the balance of both parents.

So one errant son sides with his angry father rather than take the identity of his mother as his effeminate brother did. But again, just as his brother found a false femininity, he finds a false masculinity, laid on like a coat of paint rather than drawn naturally from within. This "macho" brother bonds falsely with various traits of his father's association - like Pavlov's dog - perhaps his father lifts weights and talks tough. This bogus identity becomes the son's chief form of denial, and if that isn't enough of an escape from the thing he unconsciously fears the most - his latent femininity - he turns to other forms of addition for comfort.

The question is, why is he in denial? Again, remember that the normal process is to have a loving mother/father unit, but when you are traumatized by anger at parental failure, a strange thing happens that affects you deep in your psyche. You don't actually "succeed" in your rebellion, but become slowly transformed into the likeness of what you hate. The reason for this is simple; you cannot hate without feeling guilt, hate being a destructive emotion - and you especially cannot hate your parents without guilt. You unconsciously relieve the guilt by bonding to the very thing you hated, by way of compensation.

But the main motivation compelling the macho son to escape is to avoid seeing what he has secretly become at the hands of his dominating mother. He is much more affected by his childhood bonding to her than he can ever admit to himself. Clinical, the rule of thumb is simply this: Reject your father and, no matter what, you will become overly influenced by your mother.

Sadly, there are many young men in America who are losing their grip on their true masculinity in this way. Simply put, it is the mother's instinctive responsibility to nurture the children, to protect them from the harsh realities of the world that they are too young to face. On the other hand, the father's instinctive responsibility is to bring the children into the reality of the world, to see to it that they are strong enough and independent enough to start another nuclear group - another family.

So therefore, there must be a healthy balance of these two types of love, one earthy and compassionate, the other a kindly but no-nonsense type - a tougher, masculine love without which the child is in danger of becoming spoiled and immorally wild, unable to make his way in the world. If the child becomes more interested in comfort than in challenge, more interested in "rights" than in responsibility, he will soon need a dictator in one form or another to govern him, his capacity for self-governance having been ruined. This is how nations fall.

Lack of Balance

Without this balance in the family, without a strong center, the macho, hard-drinking son is actually running away through drink and machismo activities from the fact that he has been and is evolving from a feminine, nurturing core. In this case, if he has enough women to mother him and make him warm and secure, that feminine "seed" tends to emerge, only to be further denied as the macho son immerses himself into more machismo behavior, hard drinking, and the like. This is an immutable law.

On the other hand, the weaker, conformist, effeminate son, is more directly mothered and loved for succumbing to his mother's will. As a result, he becomes the extension of her personality and thus comes under a compulsion to validate his mother identity by re-immersing himself in her approval. This is the classic denial process: We tend to reaffirm the wrong in us by identifying with the very people who corrupted us. Here, mother and son are "very close." This son is one of two types: If he retains his male behavior, he will be a weak and ineffective father, a womanizer, etc. - or else he will become an outright homosexual. The mother shows a kinder face to her approval-hungry, conformist son. She is very supportive of her identity in him. It must be clearly understood that the reason both parents treat their offspring so shamefully is that they too were victims of trauma in their own lives. They were hurt in much the same way as they are now doing the hurting - but they are not aware of it because of the denial of their own pain. By living in denial of what has gone wrong with them, they are, without realizing it, becoming the vehicle of destruction of innocence as a defense against realizing the truth.

Now, to the homosexual connection in all this! Here we have the rebel and the conformist, one who is homosexual or basically effeminate - the other who is rebelling against that same identity within him through machismo behavior and drink. One truth that the homosexual groups have always claimed is that there are two distinct types of homosexuals, one actual and one latent. As I said before, some men are transformed more directly into the female, early, directly from mother, while the rebel can also become a homosexual through a longer, more opposite course, in his struggle to deny his implanted feminine nature. The completely conformed homosexual simply takes on and accepts female characteristics and seeks acceptance for them, which is part and parcel of the denial process. He thinks and feels like a woman, looks at men through women's eyes.

The rebel goes on to lose himself in machismo behavior, boxing, body building, and the like, in an attempt to deny the implanted feminine identity which is gestating within him. He too, by virtue of his trauma, is very woman-fixated, often fearful of women, possibly even compensating for this fear through violence. (It is no coincidence that the incidence of rape has risen staggeringly in the last few decades, and that high school boys polled readily admit that they would rape if they knew they wouldn't get caught.)

Understand that in the normal growing-up process, the good parent weans the child away from needing excessive parental approval, but in this case, since the boy had a stunted relationship, he sadly goes through life looking for the motherly love he never really had. Logically, the macho male will suffer from this irresistible need and try to overcome it with further false manhood, when all along, real manhood, which has more to do with not needing outside reinforcement, escapes him. The trouble is that he doesn't come back to a woman as a man should in marriage - independent and ready to lead his own family. Rather, he comes back to the woman as a little boy needing his mom. And while he has the illusion, through the nurturing love he receives, that he is becoming more of a man (more powerful and in control), he is actually becoming emasculated like his brother. Sensing the loss of masculinity outrages him and throws him into fits of violence , verbal or physical, or he runs and hides in drinking and hanging out with "the boys."

So the macho son is drawn unwittingly to the kind of women his mother was - not to him (he was the rebellious one), but to his conformist, accommodating brother (now the homosexual). Since the macho rebel has the same secret nature that his brother does, the feminine nurturing he gets from his wife is actually evolving his feminine side to the surface. If the process is allowed to complete itself, he wakes up one morning and finds that his feminine identity is emerging from a chrysalis that can no longer contain him.

Emerging Homosexuality

This process breaks through all machismo compensations. That is why we so often see the muscle-bound, athletic man become a homosexual, after long and apparently normal relationships with women in which he tried to prove his manhood. The machismo compensator tries to deny the implanted femininity and may even succeed for many years, only to awaken one day because of some temptation as a full-fledged homosexual. He stops resisting the forces working within him. Now this newly emerged self, the "false self" discussed earlier, must be accepted as normal and the rebel who denied his feminine nature (rather than confronting and overcoming it) becomes a denier in a different way, in the same way as his homosexual brother. At first, the rebel denies his gay inclinations; in the end, he claims gay is normal. At that point, of course, the gay rights organizations rush in to "support" the poor fellow who deserved - but never got - his father's love.

There, in a nutshell, is the whole process. The violator (the abusive or weak parent implanting the original nature) and the compassionate supporter are one and the same in principle, and in spirit. Therein lies a terrible danger concerning the motives of all the "compassionate" nurturers of the liberal-left. The imbalance of too much mothering and not enough real fathering is what did both sons in. Even those abused and neglected sons who never become homosexuals live in deep conflict and torment their entire lives, having extremely difficult relationships with their wives - and sometimes even committing violence against women as a way of getting even with their mothers for the effect her false love had on them. However, the more typical reaction is that they use women sexually, often going from one relationship to another, never able to commit to a marital relationship based on respect and loyalty, because they fear the control that women have over them.

Problems with Masculinity

All in all, some American men have a problem with their own masculinity that often makes them more susceptible to "crossing the values line" and accepting homosexuality as a legitimate lifestyle. In a Time magazine cover article, "Onward Women" (December 4, 1989), the reporter made a startling admission: "Already, there are numerous signs that male attitudes and values are becoming 'feminized,' though most men might reject that description." She's right, of course, on two counts. Men are becoming feminized, especially the younger ones, and most men would object to the description. It comes too close to the truth. The chilling thing is that the Time reporter meant it positively.

With the well-balanced American family unit back together again, the feminization of America will come to an end. Families can become strong and loving again - and the country can avoid the inevitable destruction that results when its men and women hate each other - and its children grow up hating their parents.

Fathers and Sons

Homosexuality is a developmental problem that is almost always the result of problems in family relations, particularly between father and son. As a result of failure with father, the boy does not fully internalize male gender-identity, and develops homosexuality. This is the most commonly seen clinical model. - Joseph Nicolosi, Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality, 1991

Child Abuse and Lesbianism

There are special needs that little girls have that make them unique. When those needs are denied, ignored, or exploited, the future womanhood of that child is in jeopardy.

Just how are those needs denied, ignored, or exploited? Through abuse....Abuse can be overt, as in physical or sexual abuse, or it may be more subtle. Of course, its more subtle versions wouldn't legally qualify as child abuse, but they are forms of abuse nonetheless, and they have far-reaching consequences. One of those consequences is a distorted sexual identity. I have seen, time and again, clear connections between early abuse and confusion in sexuality. And I cannot ignore the histories of the many women I've known who have survived one form of abuse or another and are also attracted to other women. Although abuse by itself does not cause lesbianism, it can certainly be found in the background of may lesbian women and has in many cases been a contributing factor to their orientation. -
Carol Ahrens in Desires in Conflict, 1991

Related Audios

Understanding Sexuality 3 Audio Tapes $35

Parent - Child Relationships Package
Dealing with the Innocence of Children, Why Children Have Problems, Dealing Properly with Children
Audio Tapes

Childhood Molestation (The Victim and the Victimizer) Audio Tape

Overcoming Childhood Molestation Pack 3 Tapes

Homosexuality: The Cause Tape or CD   Download

Roy vs. Marsha Langford (Homosexuality) Audio Tape   Download

Roy Debates Connie Norman (Homosexuality) Tape or CD

Articles by Roy Masters


bulletGlorifying the Sensual Being

bulletAroused by Fire... Please Tell
   Me Why


bulletWhen A Bride's Love Turns

bulletThe Marriage Gamble

bulletPhony Love is Big Business

bulletMen: Always in the Dog House?


bulletMommy Good; Daddy Bad?

bulletWhy Corrupt Innocent

bulletA Nation in Crisis for the Good

bulletParental Injustice: The Cause
   of Violence

bulletProper Discipline

bulletFinding Grace




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