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The American College of Pediatricians has cautioned “educators about the management of students experiencing same-sex attraction or exhibiting symptoms of gender confusion.” An April 5 press release explains.

The College reminds school superintendents that it is not uncommon for adolescents to experience transient confusion about their sexual orientation and that most students will ultimately adopt a heterosexual orientation if not otherwise encouraged. For this reason, schools should not seek to develop policy which "affirms" or encourages these non-heterosexual attractions among students who may merely be experimenting or experiencing temporary sexual confusion. Such premature labeling can lead some adolescents to engage in homosexual behaviors that carry serious physical and mental health risks.

There is no scientific evidence that anyone is born gay or transgendered. Therefore, the College further advises that schools should not teach or imply to students that homosexual attraction is innate, always life-long and unchangeable.  Research has shown that therapy to restore heterosexual attraction can be effective for many people.

In their letter to school superindents, the College provides more rationale for their advice.

Dr. Francis Collins, former Director of the Genome Project, has stated that while homosexuality may be genetically influenced, it is "... not hardwired by DNA, and that whatever genes are involved represent predispositions, not predeterminations." He also states [that] "...the prominent role[s] of individual free will choices [has] a profound effect on us." 6

The National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) recently released a landmark survey and analysis of 125 years of scientific studies and clinical experience dealing with homosexuality. This report, What Research Shows, draws three major conclusions: (1) individuals with unwanted same sex attraction often can be successfully treated; (2) there is no undue risk to patients from embarking on such therapy and (3), as a group, homosexuals experience significantly higher levels of mental and physical health problems compared to heterosexuals. Among adolescents who claim a "gay" identity, the health risks include higher rates of sexually transmitted infections, alcoholism, substance abuse, anxiety, depression and suicide. Encouragingly, the longer students delay self-labeling as "gay," the less likely they are to experience these health risks. In fact, for each year an adolescent delays, the risk of suicide alone decreases by 20%.7

In light of these facts, it is clear that when well-intentioned but misinformed school personnel encourage students to "come out as gay" and be "affirmed," 8 there is a serious risk of erroneously labeling students (who may merely be experiencing transient sexual confusion and/or engaging in sexual experimentation). Premature labeling may then lead some adolescents into harmful homosexual behaviors that they otherwise would not pursue.

You can read the press release here.

For the letter to school superindents go here.

There’s also a fact sheet on what we should know about “Sexual Orientation of Youth.”

HT: Thabiti


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26 thoughts on “American College of Pediatricians: Homosexual Attraction is Neither Innate Nor Unchangeable”

  1. Phil Brown says:

    I agree. Feelings and thoughts do change. Behaviors whether sexual or not in nature are usually a combination of thought processes and emotions.

  2. Ted says:

    This is going to go over like a fart in an elevator with the mainstream media and secluar culture.

  3. Mark says:

    1) The “American College of Pediatricians” is NOT a mainstream medical organization. The real organization is the AAP. This is a small right wing splinter group with an religious and political agenda to push. See their perspectives on their web site for more details. This is the medical equivalent of creation-scientists, and you might as well have posted something off of Focus on the Family.

    2) Kevin, do you really believe that homosexuality is a choice? Was your heterosexuality a choice? Did you ever struggle with lust toward men?

  4. CT says:

    “…homosexual behaviors that carry serious physical and mental health risks”

    Then again, the mental risks may derive from the social stigmata attached to homosexual behavior, and the “premature labeling” of most children as heterosexual.

  5. Hedwidge says:

    I guess if there is overwhelming cultural pressure to be heterosexual, then kids who are not confident in themselves will doom themselves to a life of pretending to like being heterosexual. How many times have I read about a kid who can’t take a same sex partner to the prom, who hears disparaging remarks about “homos” and “lezzies” and “fags”, and who has as models for good relationships ONLY heterosexual couples. That is an amazing amount of pressure.

    As for myself, a 40 year old lesbian, I am always asked by strangers about my husband (don’t have one), by nurse assistants about my birth control choices (uh. . .), and by my students if I am married (can’t legally be).

    Heterosexism is rampant. No wonder kids have a hard time coming out.

  6. Skeeter says:

    I am troubled by the above comments. We are in the situations, relationships and shape we find ourselves in because of the choices we have made, isn’t that true? God’s word can set us free, if we would read it. But we are in bondage, trapped under dirt, filth and enslaved to our own lust and passions because we have not listened to the word of God. God has away for us to live and He cannot bless us when we are living life on our terms. The reason we are living in bondage and defeat is because we really don’t want to hear what God says, and live life God’s way. Right?

    “For thus says the Lord God, the holy one of Israel: In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength. But you would not, and you said NO, for we will flee on horses–Therefore you shall flee! And, we will ride on swift horses–Therefore those who pursue you shall be swift.” Isaiah 30:15

  7. rick says:

    for what it’s worth, great post and thanks for the healthy reminder …

  8. Lynn says:

    As a mother of two autistic boys, I wasn’t surprised when their psychologist told me that the incidence of homosexual orientation among autistic children is higher than the norm. The inability to form normal bonds eventually impacts their sexual identity. Of course this undercuts the whole “it’s genetic” idea.

  9. David says:

    What a great article. I wish every teacher, school administrator and parent could read it. The “born that way and can’t change” being pushed on our culture is a lie. I know men and women who thought they were homosexual, were not happy in that lifestyle and through proper counseling and therapy, were able to change. They are much happier now. Pushing or affirming a gay identity on an adolescent can pigeon hole them for life before they even know what sexuality really is. I’ve witnessed the result of that, also. The gay rights activists have infiltrated the schools and minds of our kids. It’s sick and scary. Let’s push back.

  10. Phil says:

    Well, I’ll just go on record as being 100% in agreement with the statement in the article that there are serious risks when well-intentioned but misinformed school personnel encourage students to “come out as gay” when they may not be. In today’s pro-gay culture, these risks are far greater than any risks that used to exist by “staying in the closet” until one is an adult. The campaigns that promote safe sex are a farce. There are only 2 kinds of safe sex: Abstinence and Monogamy. IMHO, these are the only sexual values that should be taught or encouraged in schools.

  11. Phil says:

    Here are more thoughts. Ignoring obvious environmental, psychological and social causes seems more naive to me than a religious belief that a gene can significantly control how a person feels and thinks and acts in this regard. Besides, Tony Robbins and countless others have taught people how they can completely change their thinking and achieve success through numerous techniques. I’m not saying that it’s easy to undo the causes, but it should be up to the guardians of a child (until the child is an adult) how to address any gender, medical or psychological confusion, not up to government or school personnel.

  12. Phil says:

    Correction to previous post: Here are more thoughts. Ignoring obvious environmental, psychological and social causes is naive. Many have an almost religious belief that a gene can significantly control how a person feels and thinks and acts in this regard. Tony Robbins and countless others have taught people how they can completely change their thinking and achieve success through conditioning techniques. Obviously, conditioning and hypnosis can occur through environment, media and society the other way around! So why does it have to be a gene? The answer is it has to be a gene in order to invalidate and overcome our society’s traditional moral values so that society can be changed. It’s an agenda, plain and simple. Now, I’m not saying that it’s easy to overcome the causes, but it should be up to the guardians of a child (until the child is of sufficient age to decide on their own) how to address any gender, medical or psychological confusion, not up to “well intentioned” school personnel.

  13. Phil says:

    Note: I have not said that there is never a genetic basis for gender identity conditions or for homosexuality, which in some cases is directly related to a gender identity condition that could have a genetic basis. However, there is no gene that makes someone bisexual. Therefore, it’s both probable and obvious that a significant portion of the homosexual population is not solely the result of a genetic disorder, but more likely as a result of something else that is not innate, or in a few cases, a combination of both gender-genetic and other factors.

  14. Oren says:

    in response to Mark; left-wingers like you and the AAP are pushing a political and social agenda – you equate the choice of a deviant lifestyle with racism, and unfortunately our govt. and school officials have been worshiping at the alter of political correctness and caving in to this agenda!

  15. Randolph Matthews MD says:

    In response to Mark – I am actually not just a member of the American College of Pediatricians, I am on their executive board.
    I am ALSO a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics. These groups are not mutually exclusive. The American College of Pediatricians was formed when it was proven that the AAP often rejects science on the altar of political correctness (the AAP made a statement supporting homosexuals adopting children DESPITE the fact that the studies indicate that this environment was NOT the best for children). As a board member, I would be aware of any affiliations with religious or political groups. We are a group of medical professionals intent on presenting the scientific evidence on what is best for children. If you want religious or political oppinion, you will have to go elsewhere
    Dr. Randy

  16. sancmom says:

    The question is: Is George Rekers (board member of this so-called association of doctors) able to shake his behavior? Is his predisposition innate? Not only is he clearly gay (well, at least bisexual), but nearly a pedophile as well. If he had committed his “pay for nude massages and travel” with this rentboy 5 years earlier, he would have been a 55 year old molesting and leading astray a 15 year old. The hypocrisy of the far-right Christian conservative overwhelms me. Not only has Rekers taken in hundreds of thousands of dollars for his work in courtrooms to prevent gay adoption, he has spent money–YOUR money–on keeping a boy toy.

  17. sancmom says:

    Oh, and Dr. Randy, your organization is ALL about religious and political opinion. Why would you want to deny children their natural path to happiness? You are dangerous, cruel people.

  18. Lea Gregson says:

    This article is full of shit that has been completely disproved by the American Psychological Association. Look it up. For those of you who think you can ‘fix’ or ‘cure’ us of our homosexuality, go stick your head in a toilet and flush. We don’t need your brain-stealing therapy sessions because we’re happy just the way we are, and damn proud of it, too. And by the way, if god created all of us in his image, then shouldn’t YOU be accepting of us as god intended?

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Kevin DeYoung


Kevin DeYoung is the senior pastor at Christ Covenant Church in Matthews, North Carolina. He is chairman of the board of The Gospel Coalition, assistant professor of systematic theology at Reformed Theological Seminary (Charlotte), and a PhD candidate at the University of Leicester. Kevin and his wife, Trisha, have seven children. You can follow him on Twitter.

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