Otago University researcher associate professor Elisabeth Wells has looked at the connection between adverse childhood events and sexuality and found those who experienced trauma were significantly more likely to be non-heterosexual.
The study used results from the New Zealand Mental Health Survey, which surveyed almost 13,000 people aged over 16 between 2003 and 2004.
Participants were asked whether they thought of themselves as bisexual, heterosexual or homosexual and if they had same-sex sexual experiences or relationships.
Less than one per cent of people identified themselves as homosexual, but three per cent had a same-sex encounter.
Wells said the more “adverse events” experienced in childhood – including sexual assault, rape and domestic violence – the more likely the person identified with one of the non-exclusively heterosexual groups.
She said most people from disturbed backgrounds were heterosexual.
However, the study showed a clear relationship between negative events in childhood and homosexual or bisexual relationships later in life.
This Otagu University seems to be doing a lot of cutting edge research on social issues. Last year, I blogged about their study about the mental harm suffered by women after their abortions. I actually got hold of that paper (using my Wintery powers) in case I ever needed to use it while discussing abortion.
I actually studied the issue of what causes homosexuality and whether it can be repaired using therapy a while back using books by medical doctors like Jeffrey Satinover and Joseph Nicolosi. (Nicolosi’s new book is here) It turns out that there are some genetic factors that make homosexuality more likely, but the real causes are environmental, e.g. – sexual abuse during childhood or failure to bond emotionally with the same-sex parent.
I wonder how many people actually go after the research when forming their opinions on issues like abortion and same-sex marriage? I always head straight for the research and debates. I think that my opponents prefer personal attacks and speech codes!
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