One Woman’s Struggle: An Interview

Related Entries

A Research Review of Gartrell et al.’s Sex Attraction, Sexual Identity, and Same-Sex Experiences of Adult Offspring in U.S. National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study

As noted by Schumm (2018), “For decades some, if not most, scholars have denied any relationship between parental and child sexual orientation” (p. 113). He later goes on to observe,
One might well assume that with so many absolute denials in place for over forty years of scholarship (not to mention the imprimatur of the U.S. government, if not U.S. courts) that there would be absolutely no evidence of any association (much less a causal connection) between parental and children’s sexual orientation in the research literature, other than random chance results. (p. 116)

Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy with a Homosexual Woman

A thirty-year-old, married, Orthodox Jewish woman complaining of same-sex attraction was treated with psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapy after trying several other therapies, including sex therapy. Among the primary determinants of her presenting problem were alienation from her unpredictable, narcissistic mother, gender identity confusion, and impounded anger. After about two years of treatment, the patient achieved connection with feelings of affection and desire, improved and loving relationships with her children, regular orgasmic sex with her husband, and remission of pre-existing colitis.

Are Gay / Lesbian Relationships Really as Short as They Seem?

This review paper finds that the three best estimates (medians) of gay/lesbian (GL)(SSA) relationship lengths are 3.6y/4.95y (male/female) (Lau, 2012, UK); 4.7y/3.3y (m/f), (Carpenter & Gates, 2008, US); and 2.7y/3.9y (m/f) (Gebhard & Johnston, 1979, US). The two US studies have an overall median of 3.7y/3.6y (m/f), meaning male/female results are similar length. These are compatible with the UK study, and much less than the heterosexual (OSA) median length of 27y with a marriage in the 1970s, the period which had the highest subsequent divorce rate. OSA median relationships (UK) are 7.7 times/5.6 times (m/f) the length of SSA ones. US data give respectively and similarly, 7.4x/7.2x, and these are large ratios. Other supporting USA data, although consistent with the above medians, are potentially subject to more bias from “volunteer error,” hence may be maxima. Similar or lower results are found cross-culturally. There is no trend with time for combined data for GL since WWII in spite of increased societal acceptance. For bisexuals and overall relationships with either sex, the median lengths are indistinguishable from GL: i.e., 3.5y/3.2y (m/f). The lack of clear gender difference in medians confirms earlier suggestions that factors reducing relationship length may be inherent to same-sex attraction rather than dependent on gender or experiences of homophobia, since bisexuals experience much less homophobia but have similar median relationship lengths. The possibility of a 25y SSA relationship length is about 5% compared with about 50% for a 25y OSA one (i.e., Silver wedding) and should not be presented to clients as a likely outcome of seeking same-sex relationships. Another implication is that there is high probability children involved will suffer the equivalent of a divorce. The probability of some degree of orientation change under therapy is at least ten times as great as reaching the 25y mark in a GL relationship.