A new app for Android smartphones claims to answer the question “Is my son gay?” in 20 questions or less, and some people aren’t happy about it.
The app page on the Android Market reads, “After this test you’ll have the proven answer to a question you might have since maybe a long time.”
Melody Brooke, a Texas-based licensed therapist, calls the app foolish and dangerous, saying “It’s not by any means any kind of standardized test that’s going to give you any real results. It’s not based on any scientific data. It’s just somebody’s stereotypical view of what it means to be gay.”
The app uses 20 questions like “Does he like to dress well: is he very careful when choosing his outfits and selecting brands?” and “Does he like football?” to determine whether or not it can give the message “Your son is a normal young man.”
Brooke says, “Were someone to take that information and actually act on it as though it were real, it could actually cause some pretty major rifts in families that could last a lifetime.”
The app was produced by developer “emmene-moi” (which means “take me”) who did not grant an interview, but instead forwarded the following statement from “the person who ordered the application”:
“Is my son gay?” was made with a fun approach. It does not rely on any scientific element. It relies on the fact that some behaviours, some family and social environments are often met among gay people. No more. No less.
I would like to ask two questions. – To what extent would it be a problem for a mother to know if her son is gay ? – Would it be a problem if he was ? If the answer is no, then this application should not upset anyone. We can see it is not the case…”
Brooke says the major problem with the app is that it is based on stereotypes. She adds, “There are plenty of people that would take that test and undoubtedly score as if they were gay and they’re certainly not…How many people do you know that like musicals and Madonna?” She further states that if parents are worried about the sexual orientation of their son, they would be better off educating themselves and spending time with their child than spending the $2.70 on the app.
“As parents the best thing we can do is support them in being who they are and give them an opportunity to be who they are,” Brooke said.