Some Questions Answered
There is a freakish manifestation of human friendship regarding which I should take this occasion to warn you. I refer to those relationships between members of the same sex that are included in the term homosexuality.
Yup. I’m going to hate this chapter.
This term is often surrounded with a bit of mystery. And properly so, for normal people with wholesome personalities find it difficult to understand how a bond of sentimental affection can develop between two men or two women.
I don’t think it’s really all that complicated; some are sexually attracted to the same sex, some are attracted to the opposite sex, some are attracted to both sexes and some, like me, are attracted to nothing at all.
My reason for discussing the topic here is to enable you to take reasonable precautions in avoiding even the beginnings of such a relationship with another individual.
You do realize that it’s not really about the individual relationships, right? If a homosexual man has sex with a female, he’s still a homosexual.
Shyrock tells us about a young man at a boarding school, and I note that all his examples so far have been of children in boarding schools. Coincidence? I THINK NOT! It is very clear from these books that boarding schools cause homosexuality.
The young man comes to his counselor in tears, even though he is a “he man” who does a lot of games and sports.
He had just received a letter from a man about ten years older than he with whom he had become intimately acquainted about 3 years before. The older man was not married. From all outward evidences he was judged to be a very proper type of person.
At first the friendship with the older man seemed innocent. The man began to get closer to him, and the teenager thought nothing of it. He thought the older man was just, you know, becoming a father figure to him. Which makes sense, I mean, that sort of thing happens all the time with no ill intent.
But soon after their friendship had been formed the older man became peculiarly interested in the teenager’s person, and found occasion, whenever they were alone together, to manifest an interest in the responses of his reproductive organs.
Translation: the older man began sexually abusing the teenager.
The teenager “realized the relationship wasn’t wholesome” and tried to break it off, but the older man threatened to blame the teenager if the teenager told anyone.
Because a teenager is totally to blame for an older man taking advantage of him.
The teenager soon learns, however, that there are 2 other boys being abused by this man. In fact, that’s why the teenager has come to boarding school in the first place, to get away from his abuser.
This is the most realistic part of the story, perhaps even the only realistic thing in chapter 6. I went to Academy for 4 years, and I know of at least 2 people who were there because they wanted to get away from their abuser. These teenagers weren’t even Adventist, they just wanted to get away from their rapist fathers/uncles/step dads. One teenager even had to leave the school because said rapist got her pregnant.*
Back to our story, the older man threatens the teenager, telling him he’d better make time for their, uh, activities or else.
The teenager was desperate, so he went to the school counselor. Fortunately this story has a happy ending; the man was arrested and thrown in jail.
This story has been recorded, very nearly as it was told to me, simply as a means of showing you that homosexuality is a real thing, and that there is an ever present possibility that an unguarded teenager may become an innocent victim.
But…this story wasn’t about homosexuality. This story was about a child abusing predator. It’s well known that child predators don’t always care about what gender their victims are. This man wasn’t married, but he could have been a practicing heterosexual for all Shryock knows. Predators choose their victims based on availability and personality type.
By juxtaposing homosexuality with sexual predators, Shryock is saying the two are one and the same. They aren’t. This is why there is much misinformation. This is why there is much fear. Shryock is not helping, he’s part of the problem.
What if a young teenager who was gay read this book? How would said teenager see himself? Would he be afraid that he, too, would become a predator?
We’re now going to look at the background and scientific reasons why some people become homosexual. Keep a barf bag handy, you’ll need it.
As mentioned previously, there is a period in the very early teens when a young person virtually limits his associations to those of his own sex. This is the period when boys are “off the girls” and when girls have no use for boys.
I…. don’t recall going through a period of life like this… I made friends with both boys and girls.
In the normal course of personality development these attitudes of repulsion for members of the opposite sex do not extend very far into the teenage period.
The only repulsion I ever had for boys as a tween was the first 2 days of my period. Because I was extremely jealous and in pain and wanted to beat the shit out of anyone who didn’t understand.
Boys eventually and properly become interested in girls, and girls in boys. Thus, during the middle and later teens young people find their greatest pleasures in social occasions in which both boys and girls participate.
If you say so.
In a small percentage of young people this transition in attitudes does not occur, and the attraction for members of the same sex persists. But even in such a person the glands and reproductive organs reach their full development, so that the individual craves a social outlet. Under this combination of circumstances he tries the unfortunate substitute of forming sentimental attachments for members of his own sex. If this tendency continues on into adult life, his warped attitudes may lead him even to perversions as substitutes for the proper and normal satisfactions he would otherwise find in a happy marriage.
Shryock clearly doesn’t believe that people are born homosexual. I’m not sure what the science was back in the 1960s, but I’m pretty sure this wasn’t it. Even if this was the way they thought back in the day, we know better now. This is another reason someone should have updated this book before republishing it. Our understanding of science has changed. We now know that homosexuals aren’t necessarily predators and we know now that they’re born that way.
Adventists still believe homosexuality is a sin, however, they’re at least willing to accept the “born this way” part of science. What they reject, however, is that a person who was born with homosexual tendencies has to stay that way. It’s like being an alcoholic, see. Yes, you were born with alcoholic genes, but that doesn’t mean you need to become an alcoholic. You can choose to abstain.
Being gay, to them, is just like being an alcoholic.
In any case, Shryock goes on to say that both men and women can be homosexuals. Props for that, I guess?
Now that you have read a summary of the basic principles underlying the development of homosexuality, it is only necessary that you be on guard against the early advances of some individual who, unbeknown to you, may have homosexual tendencies.
In the corresponding chapter in OBAW he said to avoid all homosexual friendships. In this chapter we are told to avoid advances of predators. Which does sound better… at least here we can get away with thinking that just being friends with a homosexual is no problem. The author does not see it this way. In his mind “predator” and “homosexual” are synonyms.
Shryock tells about a teenage friend of his in boarding school who had a friend that suggested sleeping in the same bed with him. Shryock’s friend was uncomfortable and terminated the friendship.
The first approach of a person with homosexual tendencies is usually in the nature of some manifestation of personal regard or even mild affection. He may write notes to his younger friend, and… the notes may take on a sentimental tone, as if he were in love with the other person.
Notice we’re talking about an older person writing notes to a young person. He is not, here, talking about a 16 year old writing love letters to another 16 year old. I have no problem with the latter scenario, I have a lot of problems with the former.
Other such manifestations include evidence of jealousy when anyone else seems to “rate” with the friend of his choice.
Thus there are indications enough that should serve to forewarn a young person of the possibility of a homosexual attachment.
Love letters and jealousy… ok, then. I will be on the lookout for those.
As a general principle it is wise for a teenager to be skeptical of any special friendship with an older person of his own sex.
The author has been using “special friendship” to refer to boyfriend/girlfriend, so, yeah, I would agree that you probably shouldn’t get into a relationship with a teenager if you are an adult. But the onus is on the adult to realize that, not the teenager.
He should be particularly cautious if and when such a friendship takes on a personal nature, so that the older person manifests interest in discussing sexual functions.
Well no shit. If anyone besides your doctor is asking about anything remotely sexual, that’s probably a red flag.
Otherwise, I don’t see why you shouldn’t develop friendships with older people, particularly as a teenager. Listening to my much older and wiser adult female friends was very helpful, and these women were never inappropriate with me.
It is very logical for you to desire answers to the questions: “what becomes of a homosexual person?” “Is it possible for such a person to overcome his distorted way of thinking and acting so that he can live a normal, wholesome life?”
Answer 1: They fall in love, get married, and live happily ever after.
Answer 2: homosexuals can live normal and wholesome lives without giving up their sexuality.
Homosexual tendencies usually date back to the teenage period. The homosexual individual does not follow the usual progression of personality development. his personality becomes “fixed” at that stage of development in which he has no interest in members of the opposite sex.
Homosexuals are mental teenagers! They’re just Peter-Pan people who never grew up. Where’s my barf bag?
The author tells us that we may be wondering why such an arrest in personality development would happen. What would cause such a thing?
There is no accurate answer to this question, but our best information indicates that the homosexual tendency is but one of several evidences that the personality has not developed symmetrically.
Your best information is coming from a cracker jack box.
Sometimes “very perplexing circumstances” that occur during the teen years will cause it. One example is of a boy who lost his mother. His grief was so overpowering that he reacted by never becoming interested in women.
There you go, my homosexual friends, you are the way you are because one or both of your parents are dead. You’re welcome.
This lack of wholesome interest in women eventually forced him to the opposite extreme, so that he developed homosexual interest in men and boys.
What about me you prick? I never developed an interest in boys or girls. What do you say to that?
I am also not following the logic here. Boy’s mom dies. Boy is sad. Boy becomes homosexual. Sorry, no, I don’t think that’s quite how it works.
This is where the chapter ends. The only good thing I can say about it is that it was at least shorter than the one in OBAW.
Notice that the author never does say whether or not homosexuals can “live a normal and wholesome life.” He does not say whether or not they can be “fixed.” The author brings the question up only to change the subject by talking about how homosexual tendencies develop.
Maybe I’m glad he didn’t answer it. Maybe I don’t want to know what he thinks the answer is.
*I have no idea if the school had any knowledge of the pregnancy at all, for the record. The girl left before she was showing, so it was possible she hid it from them as well as the rest of us. The deans still would not allow a pregnant teenager, after a certain point, to reside with us even if she was raped, however, because the nearest hospital is 45 minutes away. And you can’t keep a baby in a dormitory.
That said, it is very possible the school kicked her out the minute they became aware. It is something they would do.