A Review on Emotional Intelligence among Homosexual of LGBT Community

Phycilicia Arsyane Mediana & Siti Aishah Hassan. Asian Journal of Scientific Research. Volume 8, Issue 1. 2015.


Nowadays, people always live with many problems surrounding them. The more we develop our technology, education and the way people live in society is just simply make them feel stress and uncomfortable. Changes also happen in our society, including in our thought, believes, religion and even in perception related to sexual orientation. These days, too many people live independently and forget about the natural rules of law, rules about what exactly people are and the fact that every single thing in our environment comes from God. Thus, every single action and determination has to be in coherence with God. The creatures have to be submitted to the rules and law of the Creator.

According to Bhugra and Wright (2004), homosexuality is a phenomenon that crosses ethnic boundaries, class, socio-economic, employment and religion. Homosexuals are a minority group, in which its presence caused controversy and debate in the community. There are pros and cons group on homosexuals. Those who espoused homosexuality think that homosexual people should not be shunned, despised and hated. They approve and agree to homosexuals. Meanwhile, those who opposed looked at homosexual as something odd and deviate from existing norms. This group is considered conservative by LGBT community. They are trying to maintain and preserve the values that exist in the community. These circumstances certainly affect the emotional intelligence of homosexuals or LGBT community.

On the other hand, these days emotional intelligence are gaining much more industrial emphasis through various empirical evidences accumulated by scholars from years to years after being introduced by scientists. For instance, there are increasing scholars who show a tendency to assume emotional intelligence as a determinant which has a potential to contribute more positive behaviours, attitudes and outcomes among LGBT (Kalat, 2001).

General Definition of Emotional Intelligence

Salovey and Mayer (1990) stated that emotional intelligence is the ability to understand our emotions and how to use and get benefit from our emotion to assist our thoughts, to know what kind is our emotion included the meaning, to direct the emotion in reflective way to get developmental and intellectual emotions (Sternberg, 2000; Shabani et al., 2011). Cooper and Sawaf (1998), define emotional intelligence as an ability to sensing, understand and effectively apply the power and acumen emotions as a source of energy, information, connection and human influence (Palmer et al., 2001). Emotional intelligence is a set of personal social and emotional skills that affects a person’s personality to be success in addressing the demands and environmental pressure. Emotional intelligence is self-control, zeal and persistence and be able to motivate yourself and survive from the ability to control impulses and emotions, not to exaggerate pleasure, set the mood and keep the stress load so cannot make our mind blur and still know how to think in the right way, to read the inner feelings of others (empathy) and pray, to maintain a good relationship with others and the ability to resolve conflicts and to lead (Goleman, 2000).

Components of Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence have five basic capabilities (Goleman, 2000), such as intrapersonal skills, interpersonal skills, self-adjustment, coping stress and mood. All will be discussed one by one and start from intrapersonal skills. Intrapersonal skills include emotional self awareness, assertiveness, self esteem, self actualization and autonomy. Emotional self awareness is the ability to recognize or to know the feeling of ourselves, understand what is being felt and determine the cause. Assertiveness has three basic components, such as the ability to express the feeling, ability to express our beliefs and idea and ability to defend the truth or reality without destructive action. Self esteem is the ability to appreciate and accept ourselves as something good, or the ability to appreciate the positive aspects and existing capabilities and also received negative aspects and limitations but still can accept and like ourselves as they are. Self actualization is the ability to realize about the potential and capacity that we have. Self-actualization is a dynamic process with the aim of developing our skills and talents to the fullest. Autonomy is the ability to control ourselves in thinking and acting and make sure that we can stand by our own not depends on others emotionally.

Interpersonal skills include empathy, interpersonal relationship and social responsibility. Empathy is ability to realize, understand and respect others and also the ability to notice about what others feel and think. Interpersonal relation is the ability to please and maintain relationship and identify with intimacy also there is taking and give love affection. Social responsibility is ability to show you selves into work, as well as participate in social groups. The components of emotional intelligence involve acting responsibly, although, it did not gain any advantage for us (Shabani et al., 2011).

Now move into self-adjustment. Self adjustment includes problem solving, reality test and flexibility. Problem solving is the ability to identify problems, generate and implement potentially effective solutions. This ability is also related to the desire to do your best and to not avoid problems but to face the problem well until it is clear and finish. Reality test is the ability to assess the correspondence between what is experienced or felt and the fact in the reality and is not as desired or expected. Flexibility is the ability to regulate emotions, thoughts and behavior to changing situations and conditions of flexibility attitude also includes all the capabilities to adapt the unpredictable dynamic environments (Goleman, 2000; Hassan and Shabani, 2013).

Coping stress includes how to bear stress and impulse control (Hassan and Baba, 2008). How to bear stress is the ability to withstand adverse events and stressful situations and actively and energetically overcome the stress. Resilience to bear the stress is related to the ability to remain calm and patient. On the other hand, impulse control is the ability to resist and delay impulse and temptation to act. Last but not least, the last component of emotional intelligence is mood. Happiness and optimism are included in mood component. Happiness is the feeling of satisfaction with our lives and also enjoying our lives because we live together with others. Optimism is the ability to see the bright side of life and build a positive attitude even when we faced many adversities. Optimism assumes the existence of hope in the face of adversity.

Factors Affecting Emotional Intelligence

According to Goleman (2000) there are two factors that influence emotional intelligence, such as:

  • Internal factor that are arising from within the individual who is influenced by the emotional state of a person’s brain. Emotional brain influenced by the amygdala, the neo-cortex, the limbic system and the lobes prefrontal the things that are on the emotional brain
  • External factor that comes from outside the individual and it influences or changes the attitudes of external influences individual can be individually, in groups, between individuals affected group or vice versa, it can also be indirect, namely through intermediaries such as the mass media, both print and electronic and information advanced through satellite services

Definition of Homosexual

Word homosexual consists of two words, the first is the word “Homo” which means same, the second “Sexual” and it refers to sexual intercourse. So, homosexual is sexual activity performed by couples of similar or the same (sex). Friendly also means an interest in emotions (compassion, emotional connection) and or the erotic, both prominent (predominant) or solely (exclusively), to people of the same sex, with or without physical contact .We can categorize that homosexuality has several kind or type, such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, tr ans gender or transsexual or in simpler form, they are called LGBT. According to Holmes (2003) LGBT is defined as the following.

  • Lesbian: Lesbian refers to female, woman or a girl who is physically, emotionally and sexually attracted to the members from the same sex.
  • Gay: Gay refers to male, man or a boy that is physically, emotionally and sexually attracted to the members from the same sex.
  • Bisexual: Bisexual is an individual who maybe attracted physically, emotionally and sexually to emotional intelligence the member sex (man and women) or can be both.
  • Trans gen der or transsexual: Trans gen der or transsexual is individuals who rejects or desires to live permanently as the opposite sex from his or her birth or original sex.

Factor Causes of Homosexual

According to Feldman et al. (1990), there are several factors than can cause homosexual. Some biological approach states that genetic or hormonal factors could influence the development of homosexuality. Another psychoanalyst says that conditions or influences domineering mother to be over protective and father tend while passive (Feldman et al., 1990). Another cause of homosexuality is the individual’s learning (Feldman et al., 1990). Studied sexual orientation as a result of reward and punishment received. On the other hand, according to Kalat (2001), there are several factors that can cause homosexual, such as:

Biological theories:

  • Genetic factor: Discovered there is a fact that genetic factors cause people to practice homosexuality, particularly in identical twins and dizygotic twins. There is also research which states that gay attributes are likely passed down through the maternal lineage because it is associated with the X chromosome inherited from the mother. Another fact found that a person can be a gay or homosexual, caused by the genetic factors to see abnormalities in the X chromosome inherited from the mother and the birth of identical twins
  • Hormonal factor: Hormone imbalance may be one reason why people become homosexual. Sexual orientation depends on the level of testosterone level during a sensitive period in the development of the human brain

Psychoanalysis theories: Freud (1971) believes that homosexuality is the result of a bisexual tendency inherent in all people. Under normal circumstances, the development of the child psychosexual will go smoothly between heterosexual. Under normal circumstances, such a resolution is not exactly on Odiepus Complex, normal development may be stuck at an immature stage, thereby causing homosexuality in adults. Moreover, since Freud thinks that everyone has hidden homosexual tendencies, he believes that under certain conditions, such as castration anxiety continues to male homosexual behavior may be open for the first time in adulthood.

Social learning theories: According to behaviorism, reward and punishment can shape individual behavior to the tendency of their sexual orientation. If the first experience was homosexual relationships and its fun that person might be a homosexual. Bandura (1991), emphasized that when the behavior is punished or disapproved socially, the behavior may not persists. Whereas, observation of deviant behavior without being punish may encourage the deviant behavior such as violent.

Kinds of Homosexual

In terms of psychiatry, there are two kinds of homosexuals (Waldner-Haugrud, 1999) such as:

Ego-dystonic homosexuality (sync with their ego): An ego dystonie is the one who does not interfere with sexual orientation, nor unconscious conflict affected and there is no urgency, urge or desire to change their sexual orientation. The results show, some experts declare that the homosexual ego syntonic are able to achieve the status of education, jobs and the economy as high as a man who is not gay and even higher. Homosexual women are more independent, flexible, dominant, self-sufficient and quiet. This homosexual group also experienced anxiety and psychological distress more than the heterosexual. They are not psychologically disturbed by their sexual orientation, so as to carry out social and sexual functioning effectively.

Ego-dystonic homosexuality (cannot sync with their ego): The homosexual in this category are individuals who complain and are troubled by the mind conflict. They always, rarely or never felt aroused by the opposite sex and it block to initiate and retain what the heterosexual actually wanted. They declare their homosexual impulse openly, they feel unwelcome, anxious and sad, psychic conflict causes guilty, feelings of loneliness, shame, anxiety and depression. Therefore, homosexuality is considered a nuisance like psycho sexual.

Stages of Identity Formation Being Homosexual

Purcell et al. (1996) proposed a model of six stages in the formation of homosexual especially gay and lesbian identity. Not all of them will reach each phase of the sixth stage. It depends on how comfortable a person with their sexual orientation. The six stages are such as:

Identity confusion: Individuals begin to believe that his behavior could be defined as gay or lesbian. Perhaps, the desire to redefine the concept of person is against gay and lesbian behavior, with all the bias and misinformation held by most people. The person may accept that role and find information, suppress and deter all gay and lesbian behavior, or deny the similarity with all credentials.

Identity comparison: Individuals receive a potential gay identity; reject heterosexual models but did not find a replacement. People may feel different and even lost. People who are in this stage still deny his homosexuality. He pretends to be a heterosexual.

Identity tolerance: At this stage, individuals begin to move in the belief that he might be gay or lesbian and started looking for the gay community as the social, sexual and emotional. Confusion decreased but is still at the stage of self-identity tolerance, not fully accepted. Typically, the individual still does not reveal his new identity to the world and still run a heterosexual (double lifestyle).

Identity acceptance: Positive view of self-identity begins to be formed and the relationships of gay and lesbian networks begin to flourish. Selective opening of identity to friends and family start to be made and individuals often immerse themselves in the culture of homosexuality.

Identity pride: Homosexual pride begins to be developed and anger can lead to treatment for rejection towards heterosexual and is regarded as something bad. Individuals are quite valuable and match with the lifestyle.

Identity synthesis: When individuals really feel comfortable with his lifestyle and when contact with the hetreosexual increases, one realizes untruth in dividing the world-boxing world in the “Good gay and lesbian” and “Bad heterosexual.” Individuals undergoing an open gay lifestyle so that the disclosure of identity is no longer an issue and realize that there are many facets and aspects of personality in which sexual orientation is only one aspect. The process of identity formation has been completed.

Importance of Emotional Intelligence

All in all, we know how important emotional intelligence is in someone’s life. Each individual has his or her own emotional intelligence, means that every single person has different perspective in his or lives about the way he or she thinks and understands, sensing, control his/her own self and others (Goleman, 2000). There are several hypothesized factors that are assumed to cause homosexual, based on biological theories (genetic and hormonal factors), psychoanalysis theories and learning theories. Yet none of this theory is confirmed with empirical evidence (APA, 2014). In psychoanalysis theory, Freud (1971) believes that homosexuality is the result of a bisexual tendency inherent in all people. Freud thinks that everyone has a hidden homosexual tendencies, he believes that under certain conditions, such as castration anxiety continues to individual homosexual behavior may be open for the first time in adulthood. This process is known as coming out (Holmes, 2003). In homosexual case, we know that there are two various kinds of homosexual, one is homosexual that can sync with their ego and the other one is cannot sync with their ego (Waldner-Haugrud, 1999).

Therefore, it can be concluded that, it is supposed to be easy for homosexuals who can sync with their ego to understand, because they do not have any anxiety or conflict with their sexual disorientation. They know how to control themselves, in daily life and also they can set their mood when they socialize with other people. They can live happily, even can reach and get what they want in this life. For instance, they can study better and can get life opportunity as much as heterosexual people. They do not have any shame or feel inferior to show that “yes, I am having different sexual orientation and will not interfere other people or community with my existence.” This kind of homosexual have personal skills to face problem from environmental pressure, because they already know how to use their emotions and try to get benefit from their emotion so they can assist their thought to get meaning of life (develop and intellectual of emotions). Hence, it was suggested that homosexual who can sync with their ego has better emotional intelligence.

On the other hand, for homosexual who cannot sync their ego, maybe they will be a little bit different when they want to manage their emotional intelligence. Different from homosexual who can sync with their ego, these individuals really hard to control themselves, because there are a lot of anxiety and conflict in them. They try to be positive but everything just turns out to be negatives. It is hard for them to understand, sense and control their mood in their lives. Hence, it can be concluded that this group of homosexual may have lower emotional intelligence.

Unfortunately, discrimination on them is a common issue that they have to face all the time; hence; they cannot cope up or solve their environmental pressure (Meyer, 2003). They need support more from other people but to accept and admit to their friends or family members will be big obstacle for them. So, sometimes, people who live in this condition, will be really hard to control and manage their own emotional intelligence, even though emotional intelligence is one important factor for every individual to understand their own emotions and reach their goals in live.


It is suggested that homosexuals are expected to address issues in a wiser use of natural positive emotions and they should actualize themselves more in the community. They need to develop their potential broader and be more creative in order to have a constructive environment for the creation of life and mental health. They need to understand what is socially acceptable and not acceptable in the community that they live in.

For parents who have children with a signs of sexual disorientation, it is important to give attention and support to them, because it is so necessary. Children with different sexual orientations can understand themselves, still be able to socialize and develop their potential in emotional intelligence when attention and support are given when they are growing up. As suggested by APA (2014), parents themselves may be scared to the process of “Coming out” due to the discrimination against their children.

Since, there are at least 6 stages for homosexual to fully exhibit, early detection and intervention is so necessary by parents. It is recommended for people who have a family member or friend with sign of homosexual shows their concern from the early age of the children. They should not be judgmental and isolate them, for not a few of them are under pressure in the association. Rather, the environment should help them to share their stories and experiences, so that they do not feel alone in the face identity confusion and comparison. As Freud (1971) suggested that each one of us has the latent tendency of being homosexual, the environment that determined whether one would like to pursue or not (Feldman et al., 1990). In other words, they are not alone who has the internal conflict and how others overcome the tendency to follow the socially acceptable and God rules and law is to be exemplified. Most likely, by increasing spiritual intelligence that is mediated through emotional intelligence (Hassan and Shabani, 2013) may help homosexual to overcome their internal conflict.

Further or future research are expected to use measuring devices to dig deeper and uncover what is desired for maximum results, so, it can represent every aspect that made reference to the measuring instruments used and as a means to obtain more accurate results. Interventional study that help the homosexuals who are in Stage 1 confusion and 2 comparisons most probably effective as compare to those who already in stage 5 pride and 6 synthesis. Researchers who are interested in researching the same topic are also recommended to consider the variables related to emotional intelligence on homosexuals so it can be determined that other factors also play a role.