Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
Home | About us | Current Issue | Archives | Ahead of Print | Submission | Instructions | Subscribe | Advertise | Contact | Login 
    Users online: 877 Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size Print this article Email this article Bookmark this page


    Advanced search

    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  


 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded319    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal


 Table of Contents    
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 56  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 209-210
A fresh look at homosexuality

Department of Psychiatry, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Click here for correspondence address and email

Date of Web Publication11-Apr-2014

How to cite this article:
Verghese A. A fresh look at homosexuality. Indian J Psychiatry 2014;56:209-10

How to cite this URL:
Verghese A. A fresh look at homosexuality. Indian J Psychiatry [serial online] 2014 [cited 2019 Dec 10];56:209-10. Available from:


The recent Supreme Court Judgment criminalizing homosexuality, overruling the 2009 Judgment of the High Court, has been a shock to everyone. It has emotionally disturbed those with homosexual orientation and their families. Recently, two articles were published in IJP on homosexuality. [1],[2] I am writing in response to the above, to have a fresh look on homosexuality.

The official position of the medical and psychiatric classificatory systems on homosexuality is that it is a normal variant in the psychosexual development. This is a positive approach in the understanding of homosexuality. In the past, it was associated with sin and crime and hence those people with homosexual orientation were ostracized in society. With this new approach, they will have a healthy space in society.

While welcoming and agreeing with a positive perception of homosexuality, it is difficult to accept the position that homosexuality is a normal psychosexual development. A normal variant cannot be considered completely normal. It is, in fact, an aberration in the psychosexual development, caused by genetic and psychosocial factors for which the person is not responsible. There are research findings, which suggest that there are structural differences in the brains of people with homosexual orientation.

Homosexuality is not normal statistically and biologically. Statistically, it is not normal since it forms a minority and skewed in the normal distribution. Every biological function has a physiological goal and purpose. Sexual activity has two goals. One is procreation to safeguard the continuation of the species. The second one is the experience of pleasure, which in fact, is to facilitate the sexual activity and to strengthen the bond between husband and wife. Homosexuality negates one of the goals of sexual activity procreation.

Homosexuality has therefore, to be considered as an aberration in the psychosexual development caused by genetic and psychosocial factors. Those with homosexual orientation are not responsible for this aberration. It is not a sin to be discriminated against. It is not a crime to be punished. It is not a psychiatric disorder needing treatment although those with homosexual orientation can often develop anxiety and depression needing treatment, if they are ostracized in society. Since homosexuality is neither a sin nor a crime, the freedom of those with a homosexual orientation to live a happy life should not be interfered with.

While society accepts homosexuality positively, those with homosexual orientation must also accept their psychosexual status gracefully and get on with life. As a probable reaction to society's prejudice and discrimination, there seems to be a tendency for them to aggressively claim normality of their sexual orientation. They also seem to claim too much on personal freedom and rights. Personal freedom and rights are always limited to some extent, as long as we live in a social group. There are different aspects of homosexual behavior which can come into conflict with social expectations, religious beliefs and ideas of morality. People with homosexual orientation must consider all these and should be prepared for compromises. The Alcohol Anonymous prayer should be of help: "God, give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference."

As citizens of India, we should organize public opinion and take all legal steps to see that this criminalization of homosexuality is done away with.

   References Top

1.Rao TS, Jacob KS. Homosexuality and India. Indian J Psychiatry 2012;54:1-3.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Sathyanarayana Rao TS, Jacob KS. The reversal on gay rights in India. Indian J Psychiatry 2014;56:1-2.  Back to cited text no. 2

Correspondence Address:
Abraham Verghese
Department of Psychiatry, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.130519

Rights and Permissions