(717)737-9068 Free Consultation * 24 Hour Services Available 

"For appointments in Pennsylvania please click here"
 Table of Contents
 Emotional Problems
  Lack of Confidence
 Eating Disorders
  Binge Eating
  Eating and Weight
  Emotional Eating

  Excess Weight

  Weight Control

  Loved Ones
  Separation / Divorce
  Drug and Alcohol
  Sex / Pornography
  Spending / Shopping
Behavioral Problems
  Adjustment Disorder
  Conduct Disorders
  Explosive Disorder
  Multiple Personality
  Sleep Disorders
 Phobias and Fears
  Fears and Phobias
  Panic Attacks
  Social Phobia
  Performance Anxiety
  List Of Phobias
 Sexual Concerns
  Sexual Concerns (M)
  Sexual Concerns (F)
  Gay and Lesbian
  Gender Identity Issues
  Sexual Orientation
  List of Paraphilias
Helpful Information
  Communication Skills
  Non-Verbal Comm...
  Personal Growth
  Skill Enhancement
Adoption / Infertility
  For Adoptees
  For Adopting Persons
  For Birth Parents
Psychologist Anywhere Anytime

Gay And Lesbian

Psychologist Anywhere Anytime

Many people reject the term "homosexual" as too clinical and dehumanizing as the word only refers to one's sexual behavior and does not refer to non-sexual romantic feelings. As a result, the terms gay and lesbian are usually preferred when discussing a person of this sexual orientation.

Understanding Gay and Lesbian Behavior

The terms Gay, Lesbian, and Homosexuality refer to sexual and romantic attraction between individuals of the same sex.  A homosexual may or may not identify themselves as gay or lesbian. Homosexuality, as an identifier, is usually contrasted with heterosexuality and bisexuality. The term gay is used predominantly to refer to self-identified homosexuals of either sex. Lesbian is a gender-specific term that is only used for self-identified homosexual females.

Some terminology: In dealing with sexual orientation and preferences, the acronym LGBT is sometimes used.  In the acronym LGBT (which is also written as GLBT), L is for lesbian, G for gay, B for bisexual, and T for transgender individuals).

"Gay" in modern usage usually refers to homosexual men or women. Gay sometimes also refers to the culture of homosexual men and women (as in "gay history"), to things perceived by others to be typical of gay people (as in "gay music"), or to same-sex more generally (as in "gay marriage"). Most people consider gay and homosexual to be synonyms.  Note that while Gay applies to men and women equally, the term lesbian is gender-specific and is used exclusively to describe homosexual women. There is no corresponding word for gay men.

Sexual orientation, behavior, and self-identification are not necessarily aligned in a clear-cut fashion for a given individual and the manifestation of sexual orientation is subject to a considerable variability. Thus it is common for homosexual individuals in heteronormative societies to love, marry, and have children with individuals of the opposite sex, a practice that may be done primarily for social reasons in societies which reject same-sex relations, as a cover for one's orientation. These adaptations are forms of situational sexual behavior. Also some people of either sex want to pass their genes on and have children. Homosexual men or women may marry for that reason. Lesbian women may want a child through artificial insemination.  Irrespective of ones lifestyle, the consensus of psychologists is that sexual orientation, in most individuals, is shaped at an early age and is not voluntarily changeable.

Sexual behaviors: The sexual practices of gays and lesbians is as varied as that of heterosexuals.  Traditionally, typical behaviors for gay males include mutual masturbation, full body contact (including intercrural sex in which one partner places his penis between the other partner's thighs and thrusts to create friction.), oral genital sex and anal sex, in descending order of popularity. Gay women typically use clitoral stimulation, oral genital sex, and anal and vaginal penetration.

Demographics of Sexual Orientation

Estimates of the modern prevalence of homosexuality vary considerably. They are complicated by differing or even ambiguous definitions of homosexuality, and by fluctuations over time and variations according to location.

The controversial Kinsey Reports of 1948 found that 37% of males had had some sexual experience with other men, and that 4% had always been exclusively homosexual. Among women, Kinsey found between 2% and 6% had "more or less exclusively" homosexual experience.  In the United States during the 2004 elections, exit polls indicated 4% of all voters self-identified as gay or lesbian. However, due to societal pressures, many who are homosexual may not be willing to identify as such.

In general, most research agrees that the number of people who have had multiple same-gender sexual experiences is fewer than the number of people who have had a single such experience, and that the number of people who identify themselves as exclusively homosexual is fewer than the number of people who have had multiple homosexual experiences.

Recent cultural changes in western and a few other societies have enabled gays and especially lesbians to express their sexuality more freely, which has resulted in many new studies on the nature of female sexuality. One study, undertaken by the U.S. Government's National Center for Health Research, released a 2005 report called 'Sexual Behavior and Selected Health Measures: Men and Women 15-44 Years of Age, United States, 2002'.  The report indicated that among women aged 15-44, 4.4% reported having had a sexual experience with another woman during the previous 12 months. When women aged 15–44 years of age were asked, "Have you ever had any sexual experience of any kind with another female?" 11% answered "yes".

Sexual Orientation: Additional Issues


There continues to be debate over whether predominantly biological or psychological factors produce sexual orientation in humans. Although there is currently no general medical consensus, one theory is that biological factors, whether genetic or acquired in utero, produce homosexual childhood experiences (such as atypical gender behavior experiences), or at the least significantly contribute to them.

Marriage and Civil Unions

Legislation designed to create provisions for gay marriage in a number of countries has polarized international opinion and led to many well-publicized political debates and court battles.  In 2006 the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada and South Africa had legalized same-sex marriage. Regarding same-sex marriage in the United States, only the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has legalized gay marriage while the States of Vermont and Connecticut allow civil unions  Other countries, including the majority of European nations, have enacted laws allowing civil unions, designed to give gay couples similar rights as married couples concerning legal issues such as inheritance and immigration. Numerous Scandinavian countries have had domestic partnership laws on the books since the late 1980s.

For many traditionalists, and in the light of unfavorable views by certain religions, objections have been raised, e.g. arguing that marriage is a specific institution designed as a foundation for parenthood, which an infertile union cannot qualify for. The American Psychological Association has largely discredited such arguments and found that the majority of unbiased academic studies of gay and lesbian parents contradict these beliefs.

Coming out

Many people who feel attracted to members of their own sex have a so-called "coming out" at some point in their lives. Generally, coming out is described in two phases. The first phase is the phase of "knowing oneself," and the realization or decision emerges that one is open to same-sex love. This is often described as an internal coming out. The second phase involves one's decision to come out to others, e.g. family, friends, and/or colleagues. This occurs with many people as early as age 11, but others do not clarify their sexual orientation until age 40 or older. Most have their coming out during school age.  Coming out can sometimes lead to a life crisis, which can elevate to suicidal thoughts or even committing suicide.

Treatment Considerations

Some homosexual or bisexual people may seek to change their sexual orientation through therapy, or may be coerced by family members or religious groups to try and do so.  But  psychologists, psychiatrists, and other mental health professionals agree that homosexuality is not an illness, a mental disorder, or an emotional problem.

More than 35 years of objective, well-designed scientific research has shown that homosexuality, in and itself, is not associated with mental disorders or emotional or social problems. However, many gay, lesbian, and bisexual people seek assistance from a mental health professional to help with adjustment issue and to help with the coming out process or for strategies to deal with prejudice.

Some therapists who undertake so-called conversion therapy report that they have been able to change their clients' sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual. Close scrutiny of these reports, however. show several factors that cast doubt on their claims. The American Psychological Association is concerned about such therapies and their potential harm to patients. In 1997, the Association passed a resolution reaffirming psychology's opposition to homophobia in treatment and spelling out a client's right to unbiased treatment and self-determination.

The consensus of psychologists is that sexual orientation in most individuals is shaped at an early age, and is not voluntarily changeable.  Homosexuality was removed from the DSM in 1987 by the American Psychiatric Association, and is thereafter has no longer been regarded as a mental illness or as needing "treatment".  However, given the personal, interpersonal, and social problems that a gay or lesbian individuals or couples face, many gays and lesbians find that a psychologist or other mental health professional can help them with adjustment issues.

Additional Information

For more information about bisexual, heterosexual, gay or lesbian issues, please click on the linked websites listed below.

 Gay and Lesbian Medical Association

Would You Like Personal Assistance?

If you really want help dealing with your feelings and emotions, changing your behavior, and improving your life and the approach and office hours of typical therapists and counselors do not fit your life style or personal needs, I may have a solution.

By using very flexible office appointments, telephone consultations, email, teleconferences, and the willingness to travel and meet with you personally in your home, office, or other location, I can be available to help you anytime and anywhere.

Feel free to contact me now for your free initial consultation. Once you become an existing client, you will be given a pager number where you can reach me whenever you need.

  Contact Dr. Berger
Help is Available
  Who I Can Help
  How I Can Help
  What You Can Do
  About Dr Berger
What Is a
  Clinical Psychologist
  Educational Psych...
  Forensic Psychologist
  School Psychologist
  Social Worker
  Life Coach
  Personal Coach
  Executive Coach
  Mental Health Prof...
  Pastoral Counselor
Types of Treatment
  Behavioral Therapy
  Cognitive Behavioral
  Gestalt Therapy
  Rational Emotive
  Reality Therapy
  Family Therapy
  Group Therapy
  Intelligence (IQ)
  Rorschach (inkblot)
 Famous Psychologists
  Allport, Gordon
  Beck, Aaron
  Binet, Alfred
  Chomsky, Noam
  Ellis, Albert
  Erikson, Erik
  Erickson, Milton
  Freud, Sigmund
  Fromm, Erich
  Glasser, William
  Harlow, Harry
  Jung, Carl
  Kinsey, Alfred
  Laing, R.D.
  Leary, Timothy
  Lewin, Kurt
  Perls, Fritz
  Maslow, Abraham
  May, Rollo
  Piaget, Jean
  Pavlov, Ivan
  Rogers, Carl
  Satir, Virginia
  Skinner, B. F.
  Wolpe, Joseph
  Psych Associations
Anywhere Anytime
                                    Copyright 2005 Dr Vincent Berger                                     


Psychologists and Psychologist
Psychologists Psychologist
 Psychologists Allentown Pennsylvania Psychologists Hermitage Pennsylvania Psychologists Penn Hills Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Altoona Pennsylvania Psychologists Highspire Pennsylvania Psychologists Philadelphia Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Baldwin Pennsylvania Psychologists Johnstown Pennsylvania Psychologists Phoenixville Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Bethel Park Pennsylvania Psychologists King of Prussia Pennsylvania Psychologists Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Bethlehem Pennsylvania Psychologists Lancaster Pennsylvania Psychologists Plum Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Black Mountain Pennsylvania Psychologists Lansdale Pennsylvania Psychologists Pottstown Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Camp Hill Pennsylvania Psychologists Lebanon Pennsylvania  Psychologists Progress Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Carlisle Pennsylvania Psychologists Lemoyne Pennsylvania Psychologists Radnor Township Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Chambersburg Pennsylvania Psychologists Levittown Pennsylvania Psychologists Reading Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Chester Pennsylvania Psychologists Marysville Pennsylvania Psychologists Ross Township Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Colonial Park Pennsylvania  Psychologists McCandless Pennsylvania Psychologists Rutherford Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Drexel Hill Pennsylvania Psychologists McKeesport Pennsylvania Psychologists Scott Township Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Easton Pennsylvania Psychologists Monroeville Pennsylvania Psychologists Scranton Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Enola Pennsylvania Psychologists Mount Lebanon Pennsylvania Psychologists Shaler Township Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Erie Pennsylvania Psychologists Mountain Top Pennsylvania Psychologists Sharon Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Greensburg Pennsylvania Psychologists Murrysville Pennsylvania Psychologists Springfield Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Hampton Pennsylvania Psychologists New Castle Pennsylvania Psychologists State College Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Hanover Pennsylvania Psychologists Norristown Pennsylvania Psychologists Steelton Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Hazleton Pennsylvania Psychologists Penbrook Pennsylvania Psychologists Upper St Clair Pennsylvania
 Psychologists West Chester Pennsylvania Psychologists Wilkinsburg Pennsylvania Psychologists Willow Grove Pennsylvania
 Psychologists West Mifflin Pennsylvania Psychologists Williamsport Pennsylvania Psychologists York Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania  
Psychologists PA
Psychologists Pennsylvania