The Fallout: After the Boy Distances Himself from the Father
Effeminate boys, even more than gender-normal boys, need from their dads what we call reparative therapists call “the three A’s”: affection, attention, and approval. When they fail to get what they need, they interpret their father’s behavior as personal disinterest in and rejection of them. They feel a deep and powerfully hurtful affront to their sense of self. In defense against further hurt, they diminish Dad in their minds, rendering him unimportant or even nonexistent. Their actions say, “If he doesn’t want me, then I don’t want him either.”
From that point on, they want little or nothing to do with their father. Most of all, they do not want to be like him. In effect, they are surrendering their natural masculine strivings. Then, when other boys shun the gender-confused boy (as indeed they will), they become more deeply mired in loneliness, and this loneliness and rejection only confirms their belief in their not being “good enough.” This leads to the problem of idolizing other boys’ maleness. As Richard Wyler explains:
Feeling deficient as males, we pined to be accepted and affirmed by others, especially those whose masculinity we admired most. We began to idolize the qualities in other males we judged to be lacking in ourselves. Idolizing them widened the gulf we imagined between ourselves and so-called “real men,” the Adonis-gods of our fantasies.
In idolizing them, we increased our sense of our own masculine deficiency. It also de-humanized the men we idolized, putting them on a pedestal that deified them and made them unapproachable. www.peoplecanchange.com
Normal boys actively and aggressively played with one another, while prehomosexual boys feel intimidated, so they sit on the curb and watch them. They wish they could join in, but they are held back by the sense that they are different and even “less than” other boys. They feel inadequate and ill equipped to join in.
All too often, the next step is a depressive reaction. Consequently, they often become loners and dreamers and withdraw into a world of fantasy. Quite a few become enthralled with theater and acting and the chance to play a role as someone else. Some overcompensate by pushing themselves to excel in academics; others find it hard to pay attention in class and do poorly despite their above-average aptitude.
Understandably, parents of such children are concerned when they see these signs. Simply using their own common sense, they know something is wrong. As I have said before, for parents these days, if they are unlucky enough to fall into the hands of psychologists who have accepted the premises of gay activism, they may find the experts telling them that what these boys are experiencing is inevitable and derives strictly from their “gay genes” or “gay brains.”
The bad news is that so many well-educated people in positions of influence do not understand the facts about gender-identity confusion in children. The good news is that you, as the parent of a boy or girl, can have an influence on your child’s future sexual orientation.
Don’t care if your child is straight or gay? There are no doubt thousands of other mental health practitioners who will support you in affirming your child’s prehomosexuality if you choose this path.
One such practitioner is psychiatrist Justin Richardson. There is nothing wrong or problematic as such with a boy’s effeminacy, Richardson says, and it is only society’s disapproval that causes the boy’s problems.
Dr. Richardson is an openly gay man. He believes a sensitive and artistic temperament is pivotal in laying the foundation for male homosexuality, but he also acknowledges (as does the American Psychological Association) that there are psychological and social influences that ultimately will solidify such a boy’s gender identity and future sexual orientation. How this boy becomes a “sissy” and a homosexual, Richardson acknowledges, also goes back to the personalities of the boy’s parents and how these personalities mesh or contrast with the boy’s own, thus influencing the depth and quality (or lack thereof) of the parent-child emotional bond. Another factor Richardson identifies is how the boy and his parents react to his developing male body. Still another factor is the ongoing influence of the boy’s playmates. All these are factors that Dr. Richardson identifies — just as we do — as influential in confirming or weakening the boy’s developing sense of masculine gender identification. But significantly, Richardson does not consider any of these influences pathological, because he does not view a homosexual outcome as pathological, In essence, he believes homosexuality “just is.”
Is feeling masculine and being detached from one’s same-sex parent and boyhood peers problematic? Not so to Richardson, because gender itself, he believes, is a matter of indifference. He suggests that parents should consider not only discouraging their son’s effeminacy as a mark of healthy nonconformity. In fact, Richardson goes as far as to say that an indifference to gender distinctions is a mark of intellectual superiority!
We, on the other hand, are rather backward. We are stuck in “concrete” notions of gender — we believe that a boy who likes to wear dresses does indeed have a problem.
There are other therapists, in contrast to Dr. Richardson, who believe that healthy development requires that a person’s interior sense of gender identity and his biology must correspond. Mind, body, and spirit must work together in harmony. The gender-nonconforming boy might be artistic, creative, and relational, but in order to grow into this potential, he must also be confident that he belongs to the world of men.
Once mothers and fathers recognize the real problems their gender-confused children face, agreee to work together to help resolve them, and seek the guidance and expertise of a psychotherapist who believes that change is possible, there is hope. Growth into a heterosexual identity is indeed possible.
Nicolosi, J., Nicolosi, L. (2002). A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press