Dr. Drescher gives a historical stretch of the psychoanalytic perspective of homosexuality beginning with Freud. He clarifies how Freud never pathologized homosexuality as an illness, a result from a conflict, “…at least not in the psychoanalytic sense of the word.” Instead he explains that Freud presumed that homosexuality was biologically intrinsic, a part of human nature and therefore could not be changed to heterosexuality by any psychoanalytic interpretation. Dr. Drescher quotes Freud’s statement:
Homosexuality is assuredly no advantage, but it is nothing to be ashamed of, no vice, no degradation; it cannot be classified as an illness; we consider it to be a variation of the sexual function, produced by a certain arrest of sexual development. Many highly respectable individuals of ancient and modern times have been homosexuals, several of the greatest men among them (Plato, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, etc.)...[Can I] abolish homosexuality and make normal heterosexuality take its place [?] The answer is, in a general way, we cannot promise to achieve it. In a certain number of cases we succeed in developing the blighted germs of heterosexual tendencies which are present in every homosexual, in the majority of cases it is no more possible (Freud, 1935, pp. 423-424).
Dr. Drescher’s clarification of the psychoanalytic perspective regarding homosexuality is significant because it opens the way to better understand how and why harsh antigay social and religious norms are so harmful to very young children as young as 4 and 5 years of age who grow up to be gay.
Jack Drescher M.D. complete article can be found by accessing his website and clicking on ARTICLES ONLINE.