Emotionally Absent Fathers: Furthering the Understanding of Homosexuality

Volume 32
Spring 2004
Emotionally Absent Fathers: Furthering the Understanding of Homosexuality

Homosexuality is a complex and multi-factorial mosaic. The debate regarding the etiology of homosexuality ranges from the biological to psychological, from the essential / materialist to the constructionist. This study explored emotionally absent fathers as one variable in the understanding of homosexuality. The levels of father-son and mother-son emotional connectedness / distance, measured in terms of intimacy and intimidation, were studied among male Catholic seminarians in Canada. Results indicated that those seminarians who identified their sexual orientation as homosexual scored significantly lower on their level of intimacy with their fathers than did heterosexual seminarians. No such differences existed in the relationship of seminarians and their mothers. There were no significant differences on the intimidation scores. Results lend new credence to the "€œweak father"€ theory of homosexuality and to the importance of same-sex emotional connectedness in the psychosexual gender development of individuals. Implications for therapy are discussed with suggestions for further research.

Dr. R.A. Seutter and Dr. M. Rovers
43 - 49
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