Psychology: Freud has a lot to answer for

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  Last updated November 13, 2017 at 10:54 am


Historically, many people believed (and some still do) that homosexuality was a state of mind. Some argued that it was a lifestyle choice, or even a psychological disorder.

Psychological studies in sexuality often relate to sexual behaviour and sexual preference. More evident is the psychological effects and the mental wellbeing of those in LGBTQI+ communities due to stigma and discrimination.

There are worrying statistics that show the state of mental health of LGBQTI+ people from the National LGBTI Health Alliance, such as being twice as likely to suffer from mental health disorders than the general population.

There are fears around the same-sex families and their children as an excuse for hate towards these communities. However, the myths of poorer health and wellbeing of children in same-sex families is just that, a myth, as research published last month by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in the Medical Journal of Australia once again demonstrates.

The psychology of sexuality also includes gender identity, gender dysphoria and being comfortable (or not) with a birth-assigned gender.

“What matters is that we do our best to minimise the impact our previously held values have on the science that is being done, and to ensure that that research is not only being done for good reasons, but reflects or at the very least acknowledges the community that currently exists,” says Sophia Frentz.

At the end of the day, it isn’t just about the science of sexuality. It isn’t even science against bigotry, discrimination, prejudice and hate. It shouldn’t be political. Equality and equity for all is the end game.

It’s about what best can we do to support and foster the differences of individuals for a more diverse and inclusive society. As while science is about understanding the world around us, it’s also about accepting the world around us.

If you or someone you know needs support, you can contact:

Science of Sexuality series:

What biology and genetics say about same sex attraction

How neuroscience interprets sexual orientation

What role do hormones play in determining sexual attraction?

An evolutionary view of the ‘gay gene

About the Author

Kelly Wong
Online producer at Australia's Science Channel. I have a background in immunology, food blogging, volunteering, and social media. I'm passionate about creating communities on social media and getting them excited about science. I enjoy good food and I am on an eternal mission to find the best ice cream. Find me on Twitter @kellyyyllek