When stumbling across the question: Is homosexuality a mental disorder? I realized that it is very close to a personal question that My wife and I (mostly me to be fair) about the source of homosexuality in sexually abused children and young adults.

First, as I know this is a sensitive subject please understand that my goal is understanding and not offence. I am simply trying to understand a situation that may or may not arise, in our lives.

Let me explain, and hope that this will make this question clearer. My wife and I are currently in the process of becoming Foster parents. One of the things we need to do, is to be honest about where our "personal lines" are. For an extreme example you don't want the leader of the KKK to be tasked with raising African American children. However a lot of our interactions are focused on finding much more mild cases of "Oh I didn't realize that would be a problem for us, I never thought about it that way."

In recent classes the topics of homosexuality and sexual identity have come up. And while I have no problem with homosexuality as a choice or a pre-disposition. I wonder about homosexuality as a result of trauma.

For example, A teen that decides that he is homosexual, under normal circumstances is fine by me. If it is an active decision and preference then it doesn't matter, it's his choice. If it's a passive trait (for example genetic) then again it doesn't matter. It's like being left handed. It just is, move along. This is summarized for brevity, obviously. But that is a good summary of how we (both my wife and I) feel.

But one of our responsibilities as a Foster parent could include caring for sexually abused children and teens. The question is how can we, or should we try to differentiate between homosexuality as a response to trauma or naturally occurring homosexuality?


There is no evidence that trauma influences sexual orientation. I hope that you would not try to decide for your foster children whether their "gayness" was real or not and "cure" them of it if you felt it was other than innate. Love your child for who they are and you'll be fine.

Side note: I don't know where you are located, but in the U.S., the term "homosexual" has a slightly pejorative connotation (yes, I know it was once the correct term, but so were "colored" and "retarded". Times change). "Gay" or "LGBTQ" are preferred.

  • $\begingroup$ I am going to leave the question open for a while, it's hard to prove a lack of evidence of a thing, but "I hope that you would not try to decide for your foster children whether their "gayness" was real or not..." is really the core of the question. I would not want to, but if there was evidence that the cause was not natural, should you? And if the answer it that is yes, then how in the world do you go about making that distinction. I like that there is no evidence that trauma influences sexual orientation. Means it's a non-issue. $\endgroup$ – coteyr Jun 19 '17 at 21:02
  • $\begingroup$ If your child underwent some sort of trauma, I'd assume you'd get them professional help. Their orientation is irrelevant. If even half of the children that were sexually or physically abused turned out gay, there would sadly be a LOT more of us. $\endgroup$ – thumbtackthief Jun 19 '17 at 21:12
  • $\begingroup$ And just for the record, there's a LOT of not-natural "straight" people who are forced by society to live as if they were attracted to the opposite gender when deep down they are gay. I'd be much more concerned with the damage that can do than with a possibly-confused teenager experimenting. $\endgroup$ – thumbtackthief Jun 19 '17 at 21:14
  • $\begingroup$ I think that's essentially what I mean. See parenting.stackexchange.com/questions/30319/… if that child comes into foster care you could have a child that needs help with sexual identity and orientation. But you, as a foster parent may not know that. You only get a file that says why the child is in foster care. Maybe that child is in foster care because of neglect (I know I am making this up). Mom refused to feed the child. So what kind of therapy do you advocate for? Obviously there is the neglect issue to take care of. $\endgroup$ – coteyr Jun 19 '17 at 21:22
  • $\begingroup$ However, again, if "There is no evidence that trauma influences sexual orientation" then it's easy. It's a non-issue. This child is the same as any other kid, with the exception of the neglect. They will be and are what they are. It's just difficult to separate pro or anti documents and articles from evidence. That's why I ask here. Some times the "popular answer" isn't the right one. $\endgroup$ – coteyr Jun 19 '17 at 21:25

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