Health and Natural Variations of Human Sexuality

Healthcare professionals encounter many aspects of human diversity when providing care, including different variations of human sexuality.

A large body of scientific research indicates that homosexuality is a natural variation of human sexuality without any intrinsically harmful health effects. Direct and indirect discrimination, stigmatisation, peer rejection and bullying continue to have a serious impact on the psychological and physical health of people with a homosexual or bisexual orientation. These negative experiences lead to higher prevalence rates of depression, anxiety disorders, substance misuse and suicidal thoughts and attempts. The suicide rate among adolescents and young adults with a homosexual or bisexual orientation is consequently three times higher than that of their peers.

The World Medical Association condemns all forms of stigmatisation, criminalisation and discrimination of people based on their sexual orientation, and asserts that psychiatric or psychotherapeutic approaches to treatment must not focus upon homosexuality itself, but rather upon the conflicts which arise between homosexuality and religious, social and internalised norms and prejudices.