Many religious and social conservatives believe that homosexuality is a mental illness caused exclusively by psychological or spiritual factors and that all homosexual persons could change their orientation if they simply tried hard enough. This view is widely pilloried (and rightly so) as both wrong on the facts and harmful in effect. But few who attack it are willing to acknowledge that today a wholly different, far more influential, and no less harmful set of falsehoods—each attributed to the findings of “science”—dominates the research literature and political discourse.Jones goes on to discuss these popular misconceptions about homosexuality and homosexuals: Are homosexual persons as psychologically healthy as heterosexuals? Is homosexuality biologically determined at birth? Has science established that sexual orientation is immutable? Are homosexual relationships equivalent to heterosexual ones? Has empirical science established homosexual identity as positive and legitimate?
We are told that homosexual persons are just as psychologically healthy as heterosexuals, that sexual orientation is biologically determined at birth, that sexual orientation cannot be changed and that the attempt to change it is necessarily harmful, that homosexual relationships are equivalent to heterosexual ones in all important characteristics, and that personal identity is properly and legitimately constituted around sexual orientation. These claims are as misguided as the ridiculed beliefs of some social conservatives, as they spring from distorted or incomplete representations of the best findings from the science of same-sex attraction.
Jones delves into the science on these questions and concludes that much of what we think we know about them is simply not supported by the evidence. It's a very worthwhile article for anyone interested in the issues he discusses.