Wednesday, March 02, 2011

A gay doctor who treats gay men confides

A must read.

As I've read and blogged the abstracts that I see on Pubmed, this doctor's experience is no surprise.

The normal reward system in the brain serves a vital evolutionary purpose. As this center matures it helps us deal with the terrifying realities that face us in the modern world. This world also includes access to illegal drugs and risky sex. If these signals continue to trigger the reward system, they may lead to anxiety, depression and addiction. On the other hand, the cognitive control network is the part of the brain that acts like our moral conscience. In teenagers, the reward-system network matures rapidly due to the rush of hormones. These hormones do not speed up the cognitive control network. In fact, cognitive control matures slowly. So then why doesn’t an adult gay man have the cognitive control to chaperon their risk-taking behavior? One explanation is that most gay men do not feel the same pressures of responsibility as most heterosexual men. Gay men who enjoy circuit events are more likely to be single. If they are in a relationship, the couple often negotiates rules that include three-ways or sexual encounters outside their relationship. More often these men do not have children. This freedom supports exploratory behavior to indulge in sex and drugs. For most teenagers, gaining control of the reward-system center comes with maturity, especially as their cognitive center develops. Unfortunately for some gay men, the strong impulses of the reward-system center often outweigh the associated risks that face the average partygoing male.
Although the doctor was honest enough to come up with one realistic explanation for the gay party boy phenomenon, I'd like to suggest another explanation.

The immaturity that leads to this phenomenon is one factor that contributes to the development of homosexuality.

Of course no one will go there. No one will suggest that perhaps a lot of these men had distant fathers and overweaning mothers, and this risk-taking sexual behaviour is their psychological reaction to the emotional imbalances in their lives.
That would be too obvious.

No one would suggest that when you have men driven by testerone seeking partners who are also driven by testerone, you will have a lot of thrill-seeking and, by definition, a lot of risk-seeking behaviour with the predictable results. That would like...undermine the belief that there's nothing wrong with homosexuality.

And no, I don't wish to suggest that this is how all gay men are party boys. But promiscuity and drug consumption is a very important part of the gay community.

I would also like to suggest that probably a large number of these party boys know that on some level what they're doing is wrong. I'm sorry, but if you see your friends OD, you and half the people you know have STD's, you can't tell me that people are that blind to the consequences. I suspect that some of them want to change, but the world tells them they can't.

And I don't mean to say we can make them all straight. That kind of process is very challenging. However, a number of them would succeed. And a number of them would find greater emotional comfort in trying to live a more moral lifestyle. But they don't know that. There are a lot of people with a vested interest in keeping them from believing that.

H/T: Citizenlink, No Apologies