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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Is Homosexuality Determined Purely by Genetics?

Fresh on the heels of the news that the judge who overturned California's ban on gay marraige is himself gay, we find in an article titled The Christian Gene, by Mike Adams which brings us up to speed about the plight of a young graduate student named Jennifer Keeton. Ms. Keeton you may recall, is seeking her graduate degree in counseling at Augusta State University and was required by the department to modify her beliefs concerning homosexuality being a "behavioral choice" which is a viewpoint that didn't set well with the powers that be at her school. Ms Keeton was required to undergo re-education camp style tactics remediation which was to include ""sensitivity training" on homosexual issues, additional outside study on literature promoting homosexuality and the plan that she attend a "gay pride parade" and report on it." And as WND reports...

"University "faculty have promised to expel Miss Keeton from the graduate Counselor Education program, not because of poor academic showing or demonstrated deficiencies in clinical performance, but simply because she has communicated both inside and outside the classroom that she holds to Christian ethical convictions on matters of human sexuality and gender identity,....."

Ms. Keeton is not the only graduate student experiencing such hostility over their beliefs and one can read the latest about the ongoing, less publicized maltreatment of Julea Ward (pictured above) by clicking here.

I find a couple of things to be a bit disturbing here to say the least. First, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) only removed homosexuality from it's list of mental, sexual and emotional disorders out of fear and intimidation by groups promoting an agenda fueled by radical gay activism. Quote...

"By 1968, the gay community had a few organizations in place and one of their first targets was the APA. Over the next few years, protestors interrupted APA conferences, shouting at the speakers and taking control of meetings. After three years of disrupted conventions, the APA agreed to let gay activists be involved in the decision-making process, even though the activists were not professionals in psychiatry or psychology. Finally in 1973, the board of trustees agreed to redefine mental illness in a way that accommodated homosexuality. Previously, disorders had been determined by deviations from an objective norm, but this redefinition said that the norm should be more subjective, that people should not be considered disordered if they do not experience distress over their condition and if they show no major impairment in social functioning...The decision by the APA board was not based on data and clinical reasoning nor did it represent the professional opinions of the practitioners the APA represents. Surveys show that a majority of mental health professionals believes that homosexuality is not normal." Link

Secondly, practically every single study done to show that homosexuality is in some way genetic was deeply flawed at worst or incomplete at best. (JQP, if you're reading this, I believe this link includes info concerning subject matter that you and I have discussed recently through this forum). Just click on the link provided and check it out for yourself. It is extensively footnoted and you could spend an hour on it and at the very least. It gives one pause to re-consider the theory that sexual orientation is pre-determined exclusively by genetics. Questioning as much should not be a reason to deny someone their graduate degree IMHO and causation should be vigorously debated at the university level with both sides of the issue presenting ther evidence. That way, the better arguments can win out and there isn't such a dogmatic approach to a theory that as of yet is FAR from being confirmed and that may eventually prove to be false altogether.

Mr. Adams succinctly raises an interesting point in the above cited article and I'll give him the final word in this entry.

"They fear that one who holds such a view must also believe that heterosexuality is a choice. But they fail to grasp the implications of subscribing to the radical view that there is no choice involved in human sexual behavior.
What if we turn the argument around? What if the homosexual is allowed to argue, without opposition, that he has no choice with regard to his sexual behavior? Must we also allow the heterosexual to argue, without opposition, that he has no choice with regard to his sexual behavior? Does anyone have a choice? Would there remain any moral basis for outlawing any form of sexual behavior? Are all expressions, once fully explained, also fully excused?.. In the end, reasonable people will have to decide for themselves which factors exert the greatest influence on human sexual behavior. The debate must be won by the party with the strongest argument. It cannot be “won” by the party that controls the government.

The State of Georgia seeks [to] avoid the suggestion that gays can become ex-gays by demanding that Christians become ex-Christians. Oddly, by suggesting that Christians have free will and gays do not, they deprive only the latter of their humanity."


Gregg said...

JD, I am not sure what you are looking for here, but my initial thoughts are that homosexuality is governed by emotional disord and a behavioral choice. I have never put stock in the opinion that it may be genetic thereby relieving a person of personal responsibility.

I think that certain parental issues, "values", experiences, fears, choices, mental processes, environment may lend themselves more often than not to those who choose the behavior than merely choosing to engage in homosexuality.

Froggie said...

There is no smoking gun that gay is genetic. There are yet many lines of evidence to follow.
There are opinions that gay is partly genetic but no conclusive science showing it.
However, since sexual orientation is common in all mammals, it is likely that a genetic connection will be found.
There is also new research being done as I write this that shows that single genes are resonsible for many traits but many formerly non-genetic traits can be the result of "overlapping" genes.
More on that later.

Most importantly though is the bilogical factor. Hormones generated in the womb determine the sex and sexual orientation of the person. People are born every day with both sets of sex organs which shows that brain chemistry/ formation plays a part in sexual orientation.

More simply, a fetus can develop with the same sex attraction but with the wrong set of sex organs or both sets present- no genetics required.

In years past, when kids were born with both sets of organs present, doctors recommended eliminating one or the other shortly after birth, but nowdays it is strongly recommended that the parents wait until the child matures to the point where their sexual identity is apparent. The chances of removing the wrong set of organs at birth is 50-50. This shows that sexual orientation is separate from which sexual organs you were born with.

Sexual orientation is not about what is between your legs, it's about the bilogy and chemistry by which the brain develops.

There are good reasons that mainstream science does not accept the concept of reparitive therapy, or the ability to change sexual orientation:
1- The results of studies claiming that sexual orientation can be changed are practically never published in peer reviewed journals.

2- Random samples of subjects are not used in the studies.

3- Results of the studies depend on the subjects own self-reported outcomes.

4- Evidence for the studies is gathered over short periods of time and there is little to no follow-up data to determine whether the therapy was effective over the long-term.

5- The evidence does not demonstrate a change in sexual orientation but merely a reduction in same-sex behavior, and have simply been convinced to restrict their sexual activity to the opposite sex.

6- The studies do not use control groups.

Most if not all the groups that propose gays can change their sexual orientation do so based on biblical belief systems and not sound science.

That is all.

Froggie said...

I forgot my disclaimer, which is that I do not think that there is any positively conclusive evidence for the cause of gayness outside of the total lack of ability for the individual to change, along with the fact that many gays knew they were different from a very young age- sometimes even before puberty.

JD Curtis said...

I think that certain parental issues, "values", experiences, fears, choices, mental processes, environment may lend themselves more often than not to those who choose the behavior than merely choosing to engage in homosexuality

I notice the term "daddy issues" keeps coming up in forums that discuss this topic.

There is no smoking gun that gay is genetic

Basically Froggie, what I would like to do is take the off-hand remark "But they're (gays) just born that way" ofF the table for discussion in that it is an ill-informed remark that is not based in fact.

gays knew they were different from a very young age- sometimes even before puberty

The term "different" in this case seems a bit elusive unless you would like to flesh it out a little.

Marcus Wellington said...

It is alreaedy off the table. Not oone of them are not born that way.

God said:
'If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them'


It causes God to give up on them (Romans 1:26-27) There will be no fags in Heaven. (1 Corinthians 6:9).

God destroyed entire cities because of this behaviour and now He's destroying a entire country.

Don't be tricked into using the word 'gay' to mean homo. There is nothing gay (happy) about being a homo.
Keep the pressure up.
There will never be any evidence that genetics influence behaviour. A man is not just flesh.

Christ Follower (no longer) said...

Hey Markus, how many times in the Bible did Jesus speak about homosexuality? I just want to compare it to how many times He spoke about helping the poor.

Froggie said...


Jesus didn't make the rules, Paul did.
I find it curious though, that Paul, who was to carry the gospel to the gentiles never once mentions hell. He left out the most important part.

JD Curtis said...

Hey Markus, how many times in the Bible did Jesus speak about homosexuality?

Jesus didnt speak out against beastiality or pedophilia either. All of these things were considered verboten under Jewish law.

And then there's this...

"The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, 'Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?' And He answered and said to them, 'Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning "made them male and female," and said, "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh"? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate'" (Matthew 19:3-6)"

I see no ambiguity there.

Jesus didn't make the rules, Paul did

That which is contained in the Pauline Epistles is consistent with Old Testament teachings on the subject.

Froggie said...

I wonder why Paul never mentioned hell?

Jquip said...

JD: Correct, there is not smoking gun for a "gay gene." More to the point the search for which has been a repeated failure. To keep it short I'll bullet point the rest in homage of Froggie:

1- Footnote 25, Bailey and Pillard 1991, puts an upper limit on genetic and embryonic conditions vis a vis cultural and social issues at 52%. I have not yet found a full copy of the study and cannot state as to whether or not their monozygotics were adopted or not. However, this is normal and I presume this to be the case.

2- Following on from Froggie's love of hermaphrodites is a more crucial issue in that there are a number of "women" in society that are, in fact, men. They have a non-functioning uterus and gonads where the ovaries should be.

3- For genitalia disorders arising out of the embryonic cocktail I've no idea how much of that effect the nasal and neural structures involved with sex preference and I wouldn't hazard making a guess either. It is enough to state that it could explain a higher prevalence in lesbianism given point 2 and given that hermaphrodite surgeries preference snipping the boy bits for ease.

4- No I haven't found that study I told you I'd look for. Bad me, bad! I'll be in the Castle Anthrax.

All in all the Bailey and Pillard study is all that really needs be said about it. "Born that way" by any possible cause and social factors are nearly equal. For that allow it is sufficient to state that there is no dominating factor.

And just to spread the love and hear the screams: That means there's a minimum of 48% that can be cured of it. ::dives in the bunker::

zilch said...

What's the Christian position on the marriage of intersex people, for instance people with Klinefelter's or Turner syndrome? Just curious.

And Jquip: I disagree with you, but I like your style. Look me up if you're ever out this way, and lunch is on me.

cheers from cloudy Vienna, zilch

JD Curtis said...


Again, I would reiterate, check out the link to Robert Knight's article. Is the study you are referring to contained therein?

It's so heavily footnoted that Magic 8 Ball says "Maybe".

The Catholic Apologist said...


In my mind it is irrelavent whether homosexuality is genetic. It is irrelavent whether someone is born with it. We are not defined by our sexuality. Secondly- we unlike the animals can control overselves. We do not have to respond to our passions. We are not governed by our passions.

People may not be able to help who they are attracted to- but they can help what the DO with that attraction. They can choose not to act on it- by a simple act of the will. It is quite simple really. People do it all the time actually. One might be attracted to married man or married women- but one does not act on it- becasue it would not be appropriate. That is proof that people can control their passions, and choose not to be governed by them if they want to.