(Medical Xpress)—Academic staff in the Research School of Psychology at The Australian National University have strongly rejected the view reported in the media today that homosexuality carries with it psychological or biological harm.
School Director Professor Don Byrne said there is no scientific evidence at all to support this proposition.
"Modern psychology has moved well beyond the ideas of the past that homosexuality represents deviance, psychological abnormality or mental illness," he said.
"As a society we have accepted for some time now that homosexuality constitutes a completely legitimate, normal and accepted sexual preference.
"People with gay, lesbian or trans-gender orientations make the same important contributions to our society as those who are heterosexual, and they have done so throughout history.
"There is no evidence that sexual orientation confers any degree of psychological or biological abnormality whatsoever."
Professor Byrne said he and his highly qualified and internationally recognised colleagues at the University were not taking a religious or moral view on the question of homosexuality - rather they were seeking to correct the misrepresentation of current psychological science.
"There is now some evidence to suggest an elevated rate of psychological distress among people with a homosexual preference," he said
"But from a psychological perspective, isolated instances of distress are most likely explained by the alienation, vilification and rejection which have so unfortunately and wrongly attended homosexuality in the past."