In the classical census of human male sexual behavior by Kinsey, Pomeroy and Martin, the concept that homosexual activity, by itself, provides evidence of a psychopathic personality is materially challenged. This is rightly so since those scientists present evidence that from 40% to 50% of the male population have had homosexual experiences and over 15% prefer this general type of sexual expression to heterosexuality. These same individuals reported upon, however, could not be considered psychopathic on the basis of anything else in their histories and it would seem absurd to consider such a large portion of the population psychopathic due to this one trait.
In seeking a definition of sexual psychopathology, or any psychopathology for that matter, it must be admitted that we cannot depend only on a criteria of frequency of occurrence; individuals who parachute for a hobby may be rare in our society yet wouldn’t necessarily he considered psychopathic. Similarly, males with a preponderance of homosexual experiences should not be considered psychopathic just because they don’t constitute the majority of males. The crux of a definition might hinge on establishing the existence of a “mental disorder” which invariably is present. Here, too, no evidence exists which supports the notion that a disorder exists unless the fact that homosexuals, having certain sexual preferences, are prima facie considered emotionally and behaviorally disturbed. In truth the evidence may be otherwise since many individuals are disturbed more by society’s antagonism to their practices rather than by their own behavior. The majority of homosexuals go unrecognized as such by society since they create no disturbance or manifest other symptoms of “disorder.”
In discussing sexuality we have many behavioral characteristics to describe. The category choice of “homosexual” versus “heterosexual” is arbitrary and only one of many used for descriptive convenience. While in some ways the terms still serve a purpose, it is now recognized that sexual behavior is not stereotyped that easily and that, for example, fourteen categories are employed by Kinsey and others to discuss the relative proportion of completed same-sex and opposite-sex contacts. Those individuals, male or females, who prefer to have all their sexual contacts with an individual of the same sex, would fall into one of these fourteen categories (which actually represent about 4% of the male and 2% of the female population).
If we choose to discuss .the actual sexual practice utilized or preferred i.e. fellatio or anal penetration, or any other category, regardless of sex or partner, these same individuals may assort into completely different groups; even well within the general population. Thus with our arbitrary way of categorizing sex we would be hard put to say that the choice of sex partner is, by itself, indicative of anything psychopathic.
A comment may be appropriate as to the origins of sexual preferences and practices. Kallman (1952) and others have shown that homosexuality must indeed have a genetic component. I (1965, 1967 in press) have shown that an endocrine balance during development might be crucial for adult sexual orientation. Others have shown that ontogenetic experiences may contribute. In none of these studies is there any indication that these influences carry with them socially disturbing concomitant personality or mental disorders. When and if such occurs it must be considered an individual case and treated as such.
Lastly it may be said that societies exist in which almost any sexual practice between consenting adults is condoned and even sanctioned (Ford and Beach, 1951; Mead, 1961). Although these do not necessarily conform to Judeo-Christian morals, in our non-theocratic state, this should he immaterial. It may be further argued that it is when an individual of any behavioral description is thwarted from pursuing his private and strictly personal interests, he may be suspect as a potential danger to society. An overly aggressive heterosexual individual may indeed be more detrimental to society than any homosexual would be.