Where does SSA come from?

In his book “Gay Children, Straight Parents: A Plan for Family Healing,” author Richard Cohen lays out his suggestion that there are 10 factors we can look at which may contribute to children developing same sex attraction.  Looking at these factors myself, I can also see how some of them may also be factors that are at play when previously heterosexual adults find themselves attracted to the same sex despite their history with an opposite sex partner.

The ten factors as laid out by Richard are:

  • Heredity, also called inheritance or biological inheritance, is the passing on of traits from parents to their offspring.  Richard suggests that this may include inherited wounds and unresolved family issues such as showing preference to one child over another.  This is likely to cause rejection within a child which can contribute to their search for acceptance.
  • Temperament.  If a child is creative, hyper sensitive, high maintenance or displays gender non-conforming behaviours, or even if they are empathetic or show co-dependent traits, this can be a factor.
  • Hetero-emotional wounds.  This describes a child who is enmeshed or emotionally entangled with the parent of the opposite sex.  This might result in their imitating the parent, a sensing that the parent wanted them to have been born the opposite sex so therefore modelling that behaviour to please them.
  • Homo-emotional wounds.  This is where there has been a lack of emotional attachment between the child and the same sex parent.  This may include abusive treatment and/or a perceived emotional unavailability.
  • Sibling wounds/family dynamics.  If the child has grown up in an environment of put-downs, abuse (whether emotional, physical, sexual or verbal) or name calling, or an environment where they are made to feel inferior to their other siblings.
  • Body image wounds.  This could be as simply as being a late developer or having a physical impairment.  For girls it could be because they are particularly athletic or gifted and for boys because they are not athletic and not into sports.  This can also include anything that makes them feel inadequate; too small, too tall, too at, too thin.  Anything that makes them feel inadequate about their physical person and gender.
  • Sexual abuse.  This is a huge challenge for anyone but particularly when coupled with a lack of warmth from the same sex parent and from same sex friends.  When this happens it can result in sex becoming their replacement for the emotional intimacy that they desire.
  • Homo-social wounds.  The world can be a cruel place and wounds can come in through name-calling and bullying (particularly from same sex friends) and mocking about looks or behaviours that make the child stand out from the crowd.
  • Cultural wounds. Becoming more prevalent as the internet has such a vast reach, cultural wounds stem from social indoctrination found in social media, media, education, government, entertainment etc.  The dominant message of the day (indoctrination) that they are born gay and that cannot change, coupled with the message that being gay is trendy and to be embraced.  Alongside this there are also cultural wounds from kids growing up in single parent families and some kids growing up without a same sex parent.
  • Other factors.  This kind of mops up all the other odds and ends that may contribute to someone developing SSA and include: divorce, death of a parent and adoption.  It also speaks into some of the factors of our upbringing such as race and religion.  Richard suggests that those children who are more sensitive in nature may be affected by these major life factors.

As you read through the list you are bound to find some factors that contributed to your, or your loved one’s SSA.  Having this knowledge may be helpful in how you talk to others and pray for others.

It may be useful for you to purchase the book yourself – available from Amazon





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