Is it technically fair to treat homosexuality as a sexuality disorder?

I have quite a heated debate about homosexuality. The guy I’m debating with technically is not a homophobe. He accepts homosexuality is not a psychiatric disorder, he supports equal rights for gays but he still insists homosexuality is a sexuality disorder because gays can not naturally procreate (so procreation function is kinda broken). The same way colour-blind people are totally okay socially-wise but their eyesight is pathological.

But this is not an old boring “they can not procreate so it’s wrong” argument. He doesn’t think bisexuality is a sexuality disorder as they can procreate (so he’s pretty consistent in this regards). You can not argue that with a typical answer about child-free people as he is talking about a biological disorder, not social choice. Old people (biology again) and infertile people (disease) also kinda support his point.

The best response I came to is that procreation is not a mandatory biological function for a human being. There’re many beings in nature that are born not to procreate but to help for procreation (gay uncle hypothesis and increased amount of babies among gay person relatives fullfill this analogy).

Are there any better strategies? Or is it fair to say strict homosexuality is a sexuality disorder? Have there been any scientists (psychiatrists?) who treated bisexuality as something normal and homosexuality as something sexually pathological?

They can procreate. Especially today with IVF, but it was always possible before modern technology via manual transmission, or more frequently through being forced to or overcoming squeamishness through a desire or social pressure for children.

I was unaware that homosexual people were infertile.

My bad, I was not clear enough. He is talking about biology, so about being able to naturally procreate. And when we are talking about strict homosexuals (#6 in Kinsey scale) he is technically right - they can not procreate.

What is a “sexuality disorder”?? Is there a medical/scientific definition for it somewhere?

Did you read my post after “with IVF”? Just in case I wasn’t clear, during many locations and periods, women, including homosexuals, are pressured to marry and then they cannot avoid heterosexual sex.

I don’t think so. I’ve never met it anywhere that’s why I was curious about this unusual reasoning. So basically he’s saying procreation is a necessary part of human sexuality (at a biological level), so no possibility for procreation is a “disorder”

You’re right. But “under pressure” is not quite natural. It’s more about sexual behaviour that about sexual orientation. A similar “under pressure” reasoning is applied by homophobes who compare in-prison situational homosexual behaviour with homosexual sexual orientation.

I think scr4 is on the right track. “Disorder” is not a rigorously defined term. Suppose for a moment that homosexuality was generally viewed as a disorder/disease/syndrome/something. Well, so what? We don’t have a law forbidding diabetics from marrying, and there still shouldn’t be a law forbidding homosexuals from marrying, being teachers, serving in the military, etc.

So there’s no rigorous answer. The two main reasons that I think it is best not to refer to it as a “disorder” are:
(1) To keep people from trying to come up with “cures”
(2) To reduce stigma

If there’s some slam dunk "this absolutely positively proves that it is not a ‘disorder’ " argument, I’d be curious to hear it. But without a rigorous and precise and agreed-upon definition of “disorder”, I’m skeptical such a thing could exist.
(Here’s an interesting thought experiment… suppose that the number of homosexuals in the US was in the hundreds or thousands, rather than millions. How would attitudes be different?)

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Let’s give GD a shot with this one.

Moving thread from General Questions to Great Debates.

It’s my understanding they can naturally procreate, but don’t want to.

By that standard, many childless people are disordered, apparently including myself.

It’s entirely natural. Plenty of straight men have sex with women they’re not attracted to – is that unnatural? Is procreative sex only “natural” if both people are sexually attracted to each other?

If you use contraception, is that a sexual disorder?

“Disorder” would be the wrong word to describe them. Your friend sounds like he’s into evolutionary psychology, attributing a lifeform’s worth to how it helps to prolong the species. That’s not a bad view, but it is limiting now because humans have been able to break out of a purely instinctual survival-of-the-fittest mode and do what we want with no regard to how it’ll help us survive.

Not being able to procreate does not mean that person is of no value to the evolutionary success of the species. There are many species who have social structure where only a few are allowed to mate (to procreate) the others do serve a function in the society and are a net benefit to the survival of the species.

Also in humans, living beyond childbearing/raising years has a similar evolutionary benefit.

So the argument that is it a sexual disorder is not valid as it is with the scope of the normal evolution patterns to have those who are barred from reproduction which homosexuality does pretty well.

Er… since when?

Plenty of homosexual people have procreated naturally, with heterosexual intercourse, from kings who are required to leave an heir to poor folks seeking to hide from wider society that condemns homosexuality to victims of “corrective rape”.

They prefer not to have sex with the opposite gender, but it is physically possible.

Speaking as someone with anomalous color vision, I’d say the attitude of other people and the rules instituted by misunderstanding of the “problem” (in other words, the social aspects) are far, far more of a problem than the actual difference in perceptions.

Homosexuality, like being left-handed or, yes, colorblind is statistically unusual and in that sense abnormal but as far as day-to-day or over-a-lifetime functioning in most cases (outside of society imposed problems, like death penalties for homosexuality) it’s not pathological.

Non-debatable fact: Marriage, in modern Western society, has very little to do with procreation; it’s very arguable whether procreation has ever been a primary factor in marriage in the Western world, or any other.

I say that’s non-debatable because everyone who isn’t in the “Gay Marriage Is Destroying Our World” camp already knows and understands it, and everyone who is and continues to use it will never be convinced it’s factually correct. It isn’t debatable, because the “debate” never moves on from the “ya huh”/“nuh uh” school of argumentation, possibly couched in more flowery (if not florid) language.

Deeper fact: Humans in a state of nature decide what their own purpose is. Saying that humans who go against what you consider to be a fundamental drive are “damaged” or “pathological” or whatever term you prefer is denying humans humanity.

Humans are linguistic, cultural, and cognitive animals the same way gazelles are fast animals. What’s natural for us is to form complex societies with intricate social roles and rules. Having as many kids as possible is just, empirically, not always at the top of the list for humans. Argue that it should be all you want, history and the present day disagree with you, and making demands of reality is rarely productive.

In short: People who claim that not wanting to reproduce is unnatural apparently believe that human intelligence is unnatural.

Yes he is. If he believes, for any reason, that homosexuality is a disorder, then he is homophobic. His beliefs are based on the outmoded idea that procreation is the purpose of sex, and non-procreative sex is a “disorder.” Hell, even asexuality isn’t necessarily a disorder.

I’m not quite sure about that. I can imagine someone arguing about it purely for semantic reasons. Certainly I can imagine a definition of “disorder” that for the most part corresponds with common usage, but which includes homosexuality. I think such a definition would be offensive and confusing, but some people just like to argue about things…

I really like this idea that they can procreate naturally but don’t want to. It makes the distinction between child-free and strict homosexuals very subtle. On the other hand I’m pretty sure my opponent will say it’s not their conscious choice, they “don’t want to” cause something is broken in their brain.