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Question and Answer

Question
What are the benefits of marriage versus living together?

Answer
One of the most certain ways to improve the health and well-being of the world’s population is to encourage and support the idea of marriage. … Research continually reveals that married people are generally physically healthier, happier, live longer, enjoy better mental health, are more fulfilled and less likely to suffer physical abuse. Premarital cohabitation (living together as a family outside of legal marriage) does not bring the same benefits marriage does. Instead, it brings increased conflict and aggression as well as increased chance of divorce in later marriages.

Dr. Robert H. Coombs, professor of Biobehavioral Sciences at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), conducted a review of more than 130 published empirical studies measuring how marital status affects personal well-being. He concluded that scientific investigations, conducted from the 1930s to the present, “attest that married people live longer and generally are more emotionally and physically healthy than the unmarried.” Coombs specifically looked at the areas of alcoholism, suicide, morbidity and mortality, mental illness and self-reports of happiness.

  • Alcoholism. According to Coombs, “studies consistently found more alcoholism and problem drinking among the unmarried than the married.” Specifically, the separated and divorced account for 70 percent of all chronic problem drinkers, while married people account for only 15 percent. Single men are over three times more likely to die of cirrhosis of the liver than married men. This is because the married “are more satisfied than the unmarrieds” Coombs explains.
  • Suicide. Coombs’ literature review revealed, “empirical support extending back to the 19th century shows that the highest suicide rates occur among the divorced, the widowed, and the never married and lowest among the married.” The intact family creates a cohesive, integrating effect on its members, which serves as a strong deterrent to suicidal tendencies.
  • Morbidity and mortality. It was also consistently found that “married people enjoy greater longevity than the unmarried and generally make less use of health care services.” Coombs found that cures from cancer were 8-17 percent more likely for the married, and they also spend fewer days in bed due to acute illness. Surprisingly, it is not just companionship that makes the difference; it’s the presence of a marriage license. Research done at the University of California at San Francisco found that those “who lived alone or with someone other than a spouse had significantly shorter survival times compared with those living with a spouse … the critical factor for survival was the presence of a spouse.”
  • Psychiatric problems. Coombs found that the married suffered from schizophrenia less often than the unmarried and when they did, their recovery was more successful. The lowest rates for mental hospital admissions were consistently found among the married and the “separated and the divorced of both sexes experience particularly high mental health risks.” Additional studies done jointly at Yale University and UCLA found the “association between marital status and mental illness is robust and generalizable” among both African-American and white populations.
  • Self-reported happiness. Looking at self-reported happiness is an important indicator. It allows the scientist to evaluate the individual’s measure of their own situation, regardless of how others may measure it. Coombs found that “no part of the unmarried population — separated, divorced, widowed, or never married — describes itself as being so happy and contented with life as the married.”

Loneliness

Research published in Psychological Reports reveals that marrieds are less likely to report feeling lonely than those of other marital statuses. This is meaningful given loneliness was defined as “the absence or perceived absence of satisfying social relationships” which the authors explain is “not synonymous with aloneness, solitude, or isolation.” In a random sample of over 8,500 adults, the percentages of those feeling lonely were as follows:

  • Marital status and loneliness. Of the marrieds, 4.6 percent said they were lonely; of the Never Married, 14.5 percent were lonely; 20.4 percent of the Divorced were lonely; 20.6 percent of the Widowed and 29.6 of the Separated. The finding that married people are less lonely is “consistent with other population-based studies of loneliness.” This data contradicts the popular notion that when people marry, they are removing themselves from the satisfying social circle of the larger world to a life of drudgery, boredom and isolation. Just the opposite is true.
  • Who benefits most: men or women? Another analysis of 93 separate studies, by Dr. Wendy Wood of Texas A & M University, found the benefits of marriage “proved stronger for women than men.” Dr. Wood and her colleagues explain this contradicts the “picture of the ‘grim mental health’ of wives popularized by [feminists].”
  • Cohabitation. Dr. Jan Stets, a leading scholar on cohabiting relationships found in general, “Cohabiting couples compared to married couples have less healthy relationships. They have lower relationship quality, lower stability, and a higher level of disagreements.” Work done at the Family Violence Research Program at the University of New Hampshire in the U.S. found that “cohabiters are much more violent than marrieds…” It was also found that the overall rates of violence among cohabiters were double that of marrieds and “severe” violence was five times as high for cohabiters.

Stets also found that nearly three times as many cohabiters admitted “hitting, shoving and throwing things at their partners in the past year” compared to marrieds. She also found that cohabiters are more likely to “exhibit depression and drunkenness than married couples.” Additional research conducted at UCLA found that marriages preceded by cohabitation were more prone to problems like “use of drugs and alcohol, more permissive sexual relationships, and an abhorrence of dependence” than relationships not preceded by cohabitation.

All of this contributes to the fact that cohabiting relationships and marriages preceded by cohabitation break up at increased rates. It explains why “those who cohabit before marriage have substantially higher divorce rates than those who do not; the recorded differentials range from 50 percent to 100 percent.” In addition, research done jointly at Yale and Columbia Universities in the United States found that “the dissolution rate for women who cohabit premaritally with their future spouse are, on average, nearly 80 percent higher than the rates of those who do not.” The authors explain this finding is internationally consistent.

These facts have led scholars to conclude the, “expectation of a positive relationship between cohabitation and marital stability … has been shattered in recent years by studies conducted in several Western countries including Canada, Sweden, New Zealand, and the United States.” The idea that cohabitation serves as an effective testing ground for marriage has no basis in fact.

Conclusion

While marriage offers important benefits that no other relational status can match, it is cohabitation which has increased 533 percent since 1970, and the number of married adults has decreased 10 percent over the same period in the United States. It is troubling that the most beneficial form of family life is decreasing in frequency while one of the most harmful forms is rapidly increasing.

Answered by Glenn T. Stanton

Copyright © 1997 Focus on the Family. All rights reserved.


Background Information

The Problem With Living Together
Far from a trial marriage, living together is more like a test drive.

Living Together: Not Such a Good Idea After All
The evidence is in: living together without the benefit of a marriage license can be hazardous to your health.


Questions and Answers

Is living together before marriage a good test of future compatibility?
Answer

My boyfriend and I are both from broken homes and want to divorce-proof our future marriage. Is living together a good test of future compatibility?
Answer

Review Frequently Asked Questions


Stories

Six-Month Security: Living Together Before Marriage
Find out why the “try before you buy” mentality doesn’t work when it comes to committed relationships.

Love Lessons
We long for intimacy but too often settle for physical or emotional promiscuity.

If you’ve been through a experience related to this topic, we invite you to share your story with others.

Share Your Story

Other Things to Consider

Never Surrender
A committed marriage can weather the storms of life.


Related Topics

Abuse & Addiction: Pornography and Cybersex, Sexual Abuse

Parenting Children: Talking About Sex

Parenting Teens: Sexual Activity, Crisis Pregnancy, Homosexuality

Transitions: Getting Married, Adoption, Having a Baby

Sexual Abuse

sexabuseimgSex was designed to be an expression of love between a man and wife. Victims of sexual abuse know that love is the furthest thing from the mind of the abuser. The height of perversion, sexual abuse causes extreme damage. The anger, emotional injury, physical scars and haunting memories can last a lifetime. It is possible, however, to heal from the pain of sexual abuse. A new life, free from the trauma that imprisons, awaits those who long for restoration from a horrific sexual experience.

Alcoholism

alcoholism

Drinking is considered by many to be a harmless social activity. For some, however, it’s an entrapping addiction. Life’s day-to-day activities lose their appeal as the alcoholic opts for the numbing or euphoric effects of drink. Alcoholics — and their loved ones — suffer mentally, relationally and physically. This chain-reaction dependency disintegrates relationships, promotes violence and sends the alcoholic and his family into a seemingly endless cycle of drunkenness, anger and despair. Many addicts minimize the impact of their drinking and insist that their life — and their habit — is under control. Though the disease may appear insurmountable, change is possible with support from loved ones and God.

Spiritual Struggles And Belief In A Higher Power

The Modern Man and His Interpretation Of God

When we look at our world today, we see a lot of people who are searching for something that could give them peace in their lives. They want to know if there is really a God, or at least to advance in things about the spiritual realm. However, becoming a believer is not that easy, especially when it’s your first time to study the facts written in the Bible.

The topic of religion is mostly old literature and debatable for a modern man, but if you want to understand God, then you need to have faith and learn more about the Bible. The basic knowledge that you need to learn is the early beginnings and how the heaven and earth was created.

We all know God created the heavens and the earth, but heaven is the biblical name for the spiritual world. It exists in another dimension which is parallel to the world we have now. As human beings, we can only see the physical space and the three dimensions that are visible to us. This is the reason why we only believe in the things we see, and the things that we thought exists. In short, we are bounded by the notion of seeing is believing.

My beautiful picture

What Is The Spiritual Dimension?

The spiritual dimension consists of various elements and it’s a far beyond what we normally see. In fact, we cannot see into the spiritual dimension because it was hidden from us due to the original sins of man. So, we think that the physical world makes up the reality of our universe. We assume that life and reality are what we see on earth, but we miss the parallel plane that exists in the spiritual realm.

To fully understand God, we must understand the way the authority works in the spiritual realms, and how it can affect our lives on earth. When we were young, we were taught that the world around us is important, because it’s a vessel that holds all living things in our realm. We understand and believe in the material world that we live in, it’s been taught to us during our education and most of the time it’s what we see in various media sources (TV, Internet, radio).

And so we thought that the physical world is all that exists, where earth, sea and sky reside. For starters, our realm can be partitioned into two parts. One who believes in God and follows the principles written in the Bible. The other group are those who reject God’s will and are known to be atheists. However, we should understand that these two groups are mixed up in this physical plane, and they interact with other without knowing that God has separated the believers and non-believers.

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Our Spiritual Struggles

For many of us who believe in the concept of God, we often pursue Him when we feel desperate, alone, or when we are searching for something more that is beyond what we already have in our lives. We always seek his blessings and guidance, because we feel safer when we know there is a “Higher Power” who is watching over us.

But for many people who had experienced the realities of life, which is full of hurts – they often fail in their attempt to know God. They ignore the existence of a higher power because they already created an interpretation of what life really is in this world. They didn’t know or understand the true purpose of their struggles. God has gone to all extremes to love us; that’s why He sent His only Son to die for us.

If we really want to achieve success, happiness and live a peaceful life – we must accept His gift. We need to consider the claims of Christ and discover the true meaning of life and we can overcome our spiritual struggles.

 

Moving In Together – Is It A Wise Decision?

When you are in a long-term relationship with someone, the most common thought that will cross your mind is to live together before marriage. Living together will test out your relationship, if you are truly compatible with each other.

However, is living together the best option available for young couples?

According to a research done in the U.S., it was discovered 40% of couples who lived together before marriage end up divorcing when they tied the knot. In addition, only 46% of women today are convinced that moving in with their mate is the best option for them.

So, if you plan to get the keys before the ring, you should ask yourself these questions to avoid any doubts and heartaches when you finally decide to move in with your mate:

  • Are We Ready To Move In Together?

You need to be sure that this is the step you want to take before you make the final decision. A lot of couples think that moving in will bring them closer together. It’s not always the case. In fact, many couples end up disappointed when they see the negative side of their partners. Moving in is NOT all about convenience, there are several factors you need to consider like the habits of your partner, income capacity, beliefs, principles, and future goals.

 

Before you move in, it’s wise to talk it over, and know if you’re willing to share everything with your partner. Keep in mind that you’re not yet married and separation can happen at any time.

 

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  • How Do We Handle Our Financial Obligation?

Financial issues are common among couples, and it’s something that should be worked out before they move in together. When you’re sharing an apartment or a house together, there are expenses that you need to pay for. It’s relatively important to know who’s paying the bills and managing the income; all expenses should be divided between the two.

  • Are We ready To Have Children?

Cohabiting couples should know the obligations and responsibilities of parents. Raising a child is not an easy task, so it’s wise to talk about it before someone gets pregnant. Usually, women get pregnant in the first year they move in with their partners. Without proper planning and preparation, you can expect that this can lead to disaster. Keep in mind that having a baby before marriage can sometimes lead to break-up.

  • My Place Or Your Place?

Another important thing to consider when moving in the place where you and your partner will stay. It’s advisable to start off in a new house or an apartment that the two of you bought together. It’s hard to move into a place that you inhabited when you were still single – since some areas like walk-in closet, garage, and bathroom are designed based on your needs and wants. When your partner moves into your place, there’s a strong possibility that you will become territorial, and this becomes a big issue.

Young couple lying on the floor and smiling

  • What Will Happen If We Break Up?

You need to have a clear understanding, ideally in writing, on which assets will go to you or your partner, if you break up. This will make it easy for both parties to split amicably their properties. Keep in mind that you’re still not married – you’re just living together. Most civil laws are created for married couples, and courts will just label you as just roommates. Cohabiting couples must protect their assets, in case they do break up in the end.

Moving in together is a big issue for most couples, it’s not something that you should take lightly. Living together out of convenience should NOT be the main reason for your decision. Make sure you take this major step mindfully!

 

 

How To Effectively Control Your Anger

When you’ve encountered something truly annoying in your life, your most common response is to get angry. We know what it is, and we’ve felt it all throughout our lives. It can be triggered by various factors, but it’s completely normal.

Usually, anger is a healthy human emotion, but when it gets out of control – it becomes destructive, and it can lead to problems. Sometimes it can destroy relationships, or put you in a precarious situation at work. It can even affect the overall quality of your life. Oftentimes, it makes you feel like you’re at the mercy of a powerful and unpredictable emotion.

In this article, I’m going to show you some proven methods used by anger management coaches and psychologists, so you can effectively cope with your emotions and give you a chance to control your anger – not the other way around.

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Expressing Anger

The normal way to express anger is to show your aggressive nature. Although anger is a natural response to threats, it can also inspire aggressive behavior and feelings, which often can lead us to defend ourselves when we are attacked. Therefore, a certain amount of anger is necessary for our very own survival.

However, it would be unnatural to fight every person or destroy any object that annoys us. There are social norms, laws, principles that limit us on how far we can express our anger. For this purpose, we need to use a variety of methods, both unconscious and conscious to deal with our emotions.

The three main approaches are as follows:

 – Suppressing

 – Expressing

 – Calming

The most effective method so far is to express your feelings in an assertive, but not aggressive manner – it’s also the healthiest way to control anger. You can do this by determining your needs, and how you can acquire them without hurting others. You don’t need to be demanding or pushy; it only means you’re being respectful of others.

Redirecting Your Anger

Anger can be converted, redirected and suppressed. When you suppressed your anger, you put your mind on something else, and concentrate your efforts on something positive. Your main aim is to inhibit that strong feeling, and transform it into a constructive behavior. However, this method can backfire sometimes, since the response could turn your anger inward – and you become depressed.

Inhibiting your anger can cause high blood pressure, hypertension and it can even lead to deep depression. You need to understand that unexpressed anger can create some problems in the long run. Some people can suppress their anger, but only to find out that they have developed a passive-aggressive behavior. They often get back at people indirectly and they become hostile and cynical.

These are people who are constantly putting others down, making cynical comments, and criticizing everything. These things happen because they don’t know how to constructively express their anger. This can be corrected by controlling both your outward and inward behavior. When you can control your internal responses, you can lower your heart rate, calm yourself, and most importantly – it will subside your anger.

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Changing Your Mindset

If you really want to control your anger, you should change the way you think. Most angry people tend to swear or speak in a very careless way, because it reflects their inner thoughts. Keep in mind that when you are angry, you become exaggerated and overly dramatic – making things more complicated.

You should try to replace your negative thoughts with rational ones. Try telling yourself that things aren’t always what you want them to be. You may be upset, but everything will turn out just fine in the end. Getting angry will not fix your problems; it will only make it worse. Remind yourself that the best strategy is to remain calm and compose yourself. Always resort to a more diplomatic solution to your shortcomings.

The Many Faces Of Depression

If you think that depression is the same for all people, then you are wrong. Studies show that depression is often different in women and man, and in adults and young people. Psychologists have established an awareness that could effectively differentiate the type of depression a person is suffering. Once a depression is recognized, it can easily be treated.

Depression In Women

Experts revealed that depression in women is twice as high as that of men. It is because of the hormonal factors they experience, especially during their premenstrual period or commonly known as PMS. Different disorders like dysphoric, perimenopausal, and postpartum depression are caused by hormonal factors. These conditions are generally known as seasonal affective disorder.

Usually, the symptoms can easily be distinguished as a profound feeling of guilt, excessive sleep, and overeating. Women who suffer from this condition are often seen agitated and could easily be angered by external factors.

Depression In Men

Depression in men is quite unique in nature due to the fact that it’s commonly associated with signs of weakness and excessive emotion. This is relatively true with most men when they are depressed, they will most likely acknowledge their feelings of hopelessness and self-loathing. They tend to complain and become irritable of various outside factors and inconveniences in life.

When depression sets in, most men will lose their interest in their work and hobbies. They become aggressive, violent, and some may even resort to reckless behavior. Substance abuse is also a common thing in men with depression. Even though depression in women is twice as high, it’s proven that men have a higher tendency to commit suicide.

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Depression In Teens

Most depressed teens will appear sad and irritable, while others will show predominant symptoms like being grumpy, ill-tempered, and hostile to the people around them. They will also feel unexplained pains and aches in their body.

If this is left untreated, most teen depression can lead to self-loathing, drug abuse, school and home problems, and it can even lead to tragedies like homicidal suicide or violence. Teen depression is highly treatable when detected during its early stages.

Depression In Older Adults

Older adults especially those who are in their senior years face different dilemmas – such as loss of independence, bereavement, health problems and lack of income. These factors can lead to depression, and most of the time it’s prevalent in older people without a strong support system. Although we need to understand that this type of depression is not part of aging.

Older individuals will often complain about their physical condition rather than their emotional condition. That is why, it’s relatively harder to determine the symptoms in older people, because it’s commonly associated with poor health. However, when it’s left untreated – it could lead to suicidal tendencies, so diagnosis and treatment should be applied as soon as possible.

Major depression

When someone can no longer enjoy life, and sometimes, they get fed up with their usual routines; it’s possible that these are symptoms of depression. It could range from moderate to severe when left untreated. Generally, major depression last for 6 months, but some people experience depression as a recurring event in their lives.

There are many things we can do to support people with depression. You can talk to them about their feelings and past experiences to lessen their burden, or you can bring them to a medical professional for help.

Conversation With A Therapist

Dealing With Dysthymia

Dysthymia is commonly referred to as chronic low-grade depression. People who are suffering from this condition is moderately or mildly depressed. It can last for a long time, sometimes it can even reach for years without being detected. The symptoms can make it difficult for a person with Dysthymia to live a full life, because it’s a recurring event and it may impede them to reach their full potential.

There are many ways to support people with depression, but it’s a condition that should be treated as soon as possible. Depression can be a big burden for anyone, especially those who want to live a peaceful life. It’s imperative to seek out the help of a psychologist when you feel depressed for a long period of time.

Dealing With Your Parent’s Alcoholism

Alcoholism is a significant issue in our society today, it’s one of the main reasons why families break up. Unsolved psychological and physiological problems can lead to alcoholism. Anyone can be obsessed with alcohol and they may not be able to control their consumption, even when their drinking has led them to serious relationship, health and financial problems.

This problem has spread to various parts of the world, and many families are affected by alcohol abuse. Alcoholism goes beyond just getting drunk – it can lead to other problems like domestic abuse, emotional abuse, and financial woes. One of the most challenging problems in a family is dealing with an alcoholic parent. It’s never easy, but there are several ways to cope up with this dilemma.

First, you should understand the causes of alcoholism. Many people who become alcoholics are experiencing depression. When someone is depressed, he or she is more likely to drink alcoholic beverages. We need to understand that depression can elevate their drinking habit into addiction – that’s why we see a lot of people losing control and become intoxicated by alcohol.

The overall responsibility of the family is to help the alcoholic control his or her drinking habits. Sometimes alcoholics choose to drink not because they have a problem, but it’s the addiction that pushes them to get drunk. Usually, people who drinks eases their burden by pushing their responsibility to the family to someone else. They become a liability and they lose all sense of modesty, and sometimes they even leave their homes only to become homeless.

Talk To Your Parent When They Are Sober

If you really want to solve the problem, you need to find some time to talk to your parent, especially when he or she is calm and sober. Express your feelings to your parent and discuss how their alcoholism is affecting your family. Explain to them the problems and how they can help you solve it. You may not be able to convince them to stop drinking completely, but you can encourage them to more responsible and lessen the amount of intoxicating drinks they take each day. Make them understand the realities of alcoholism and its impact on your family.

You should be clear on the things that you want to happen in your home. Most importantly, you won’t tolerate their negative behavior when they are drunk. It’s not telling a parent what to do, but you are just ensuring your own safety and the well-being of the other family members. Also, make it clear that if they keep getting drunk, you will be forced to take action like leaving your home to stay with someone else or get help from government agencies.

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Knowing The Root Cause Of Your Parent’s Depression

Encourage your parent to divulge the reasons for their depression, and why they resort to alcoholism. Although you should show compassion when asking them to share their bad experiences. You can also make a suggestion that they seek out the help of a psychologist or therapist who can help them cope with their depression. When your parent refuses your suggestions and ideas, you can let it go for the time being but you need to remind them that it’s a necessary step that they need to take.

Tell them that they must take a gradual approach to reduce their reliance on alcohol. It doesn’t mean that they stop drinking right away, but you can tell them to decrease the amount they take each day. In these types of encounters, the most common response an alcoholic will show is the lack of enthusiasm and they may even ignore you entirely. You should be patient and considerate, especially when the alcoholic is your own parent.

Never Argue With A Drunk Parent

Always remember that a heated argument with a drunk parent is something you should never do, because it’s a situation that you will rarely win. It can even aggravate their addiction, and there is a risk of you getting physically hurt. Also, your parent may not even remember your argument because they are heavily intoxicated at the time of your argument.

No matter how mad you are with your parent, never sound accusing or nagging. It’s your parent after all, you should always respect them, no matter what the situation is. Instead of nagging them, you can make it sound like it’s a request from their concerned and loving child.

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Stay Consistent

When you tell your alcoholic parent that you will do certain things if they cannot change their drinking habits, stick to it. You need them to understand that you are serious and there are consequences for their actions. This will make them think twice before they drink another alcoholic beverage.

You should also show that you are adamant with your request that they should change their ways. If they’ve already gotten into the pattern of drinking, they will realize that it’s time to put their past behind and find the strength to be sober again.

 

Eating Disorders

The mirror screams, “You’re fat, you’re ugly, you can’t change.” Fixing your problem seemed easy at first — if you binged, you purged; if your body repulsed you, you exercised. But those “solutions” drove you deeper into despair, self-loathing and addiction. Culture and its airbrushed perfection sets an unattainable standard for most, whispering, “If you’re unhappy, do something about it.” And though the desire for change isn’t inherently wrong, focusing entirely on body image can lead to obsession. Eating disorders offer a false sense of control, propelling you into a cycle of disease that robs your self-esteem, disrupts your daily life and affects your health, sometimes to the point of death. Only by escaping the trap and discovering the beauty inside can you find true contentment.

Background Info
Contributing FactorsThe possible causes of an eating disorder.
Where Do Eating Disorders Come From?It’s not easy to pinpoint the cause, but therein lies the key to freedom.
An Impossible FitHas the media’s image of perfection driven women to eating disorders?
Dying to Be ThinThe physical consequences of eating disorders.
The Many Faces of an Eating DisorderIt’s comforting to know you’re not alone.
When Coping Becomes AddictionUnderstanding how addictions or poor coping skills meet needs can help break the cycle.
Addiction TriggersRecognizing what causes the cycle to start.
Questions & Answers
Why doesn’t someone with an eating disorder just stop?Answer
Review answers to frequently asked questions or ask your own.
Stories
Leaving Food BehindSometimes the best place to find hope is in the story of someone who’s been there.
If you’ve been through a difficult experience pertaining to this topic and found help and healing that might encourage others, we invite you to share your story.Share your story
Other Things to Consider
The Hungry HeartBy their design, our souls seek satisfaction like a starving man seeks food. Regardless of race, culture or creed, we have one commonality: hungry hearts. What is it our souls hunger for? Relationship.
The Eye of the BeholderThey say beauty is more than skin deep. In our culture, it’s easier said than done. But here’s one woman who lives it.
Where Is God in the Midst of All My Troubles?So many cry out to Him in times of need, but is God really listening? And, more important, does He care?

An Ounce of Prevention

Can homosexuality be prevented?

The simple answer is yes, it can be. And that is good news for millions of families. Genetic, psychological and social research confirms that a variety of causes set the stage for homosexual choices. But gender confusion can be reversed. Biological predisposition can be treated. Patterns of attraction and addiction can be understood and reformed. These things, in fact, should be addressed before homosexual behavior ever takes place.

Everyone asks, “So what is the cause of homosexuality?” Yet no one wants to point a finger at anyone or provide a simplistic reason for a condition that is incredibly complex. Like many other adult problems, homosexuality begins at home. Mom and Dad are key players. Research from the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality states, “One hundred percent of the research participants stated their father/father figure was distant, uninvolved in their upbringing, frightening and unapproachable. Eighty-seven percent spoke of a mother who was close, controlling and overbearing.”

As important as parent-child dynamics are, they aren’t the only concerns. The following factors can also contribute to the homosexual orientation.

  • the individual person’s self-will
  • pornography
  • media and culture
  • spousal abuse in the home
  • molestation and pedophilia
  • parental adultery
  • moral relativism
  • seduction by peers
  • chemical imbalances
  • failure of leadership

There are no perfect families, but hopefully parents will identify potential problems and deal with them before they begin.
Excerpted from An Ounce of Prevention: Preventing the Homosexual Condition in Today’s Youth by Don Schmierer, published by Word Publishing. Copyright © 1998 Don Schmierer. Used by permission.


Background Information

Born Gay?
How can you debunk the claim of biological determinism?

Struggling With Homosexuality
These questions and answers are designed to help men and women dealing with same-sex attraction work through the confusion.

The Causes of Homosexuality
Here are three possible reasons why your child is gay.

The Guilt of Homosexuality
Are parents to blame when their son or daughter comes out of the “closet”?

The Sexual Developmental Stages
How do males develop homosexual attractions?


Questions and Answers

My friend is a lesbian, and she thinks it is okay. How do I tell her this isn’t okay with God?
Answer

Review Frequently Asked Questions


Stories

Finding His Way Out
One man proves it is possible to escape the grip of homosexuality.

My Father’s Closet
When Dad leaves Mom for another woman, the wounds are deep. But what do you do when he leaves for another man?

Not What I’d Expected
Having a gay father-in-law was the beginning of lessons on love and compassion amidst different beliefs and values.

If you’ve been through a experience related to this topic, we invite you to share your story with others.

Share Your Story


Other Things to Consider

I Think I Might Be Gay!
This article, written for teen girls, points out that admiring the qualities, characteristics, or fashion sense of another female does not make you gay.

Where is God in the Midst of All My Troubles?
So many cry out to Him in times of need, but is God really listening? And, more important, does He care?


Related Topics

Relationships: Blended Families, Parents and Adult Children

Transitions: Preparing for Adolescence, Empty Nest