The Dog Owners: A Parable

Inspired by the recent downfall of Ted Haggard:

Once upon a time there were two men, each of whom owned a dog. The first man was glad to own and care for his dog, knowing that pets, if properly cared for, can bring much joy into one’s life. He took his dog on walks every day and played catch with it in the park, and at night they slept snuggled together. Because the man was a gentle and kindly master, the dog came to love him and respect him, and it followed his good example and became a gentle and peaceful creature as well.

The other man believed that it was morally wrong to own dogs, and considered the fact that he owned a dog to be a shameful secret that had to be hidden from the world. As a result, he kept his dog inside all day, in a cage, and never took the dog on walks or let it run and play outside in the yard, lest his neighbors discover the truth. On the rare occasions that he did let his dog out of the cage, he was usually angry at the poor animal, because he resented having to go to such effort to keep its existence a secret – so he often yelled at the dog, and hit it with a stick, and treated it with cruelty.

One day, that man’s dog got out of its cage while he was at work. All its rage at its master, its pain and resentment of him, had come boiling over as a result of the years of abuse. When the man came home, the dog was waiting for him, and it knocked him down and attacked him, wounding him severely.

“See!” the second man said, as he was taken away to the hospital. “This proves that I was right all along! Dogs aren’t good companions, they’re evil, uncontrollable monsters. They ruin people and destroy their lives. This just goes to show why we have to be stern with them and treat them harshly. Giving them any freedom can only lead to disaster!”

As the paramedics took him away, the first man watched from over the fence, shaking his head sadly. He knew what the other man did not – that dogs, like any other creature, are neither inherently good nor inherently bad, and that their behavior depends on their master’s view of them. If you treat them harshly, if you push them away or try to keep them imprisoned, in the process you will turn them into the very monster you fear. If, on the other hand, you treat them rationally and not with fear or hatred, they will respond accordingly, and they will become good and gentle companions that can be easily brought to heel.

About Adam Lee

Adam Lee is an atheist writer and speaker living in New York City. His new novel, Broken Ring, is available in paperback and e-book. Read his full bio, or follow him on Twitter.

  • http://stupac2.blogspot.com Stuart Coleman

    I really hope you’re not comparing being gay to owning a dog.

  • uncle

    And thus why parables are not always an effective method for getting an idea across. They are easy to misunderstand.

  • Montu

    He’s advocating beastality!!! Atheists really are in league with the Debil!! I spite thee sinner!!
    .
    .
    . where’s the meth?

  • http://dominicself.co.uk Dominic Self

    No no, he’s saying that it doesn’t really matter how you treat the dog as long as a man is in charge… :P

  • CalUWxBill

    Well, parables do work well in present confusion off the bat. But, either way. If this is related to the Haggard dude which I thought it might be. Then, I would say religion, or a system of beliefs based on God’s authority is the master, and Ted Haggard is the shameful secret dog. It’s not a perfectly analogous parable though in relation to Ted’s keeping his lifestyle a secret. I would rather say it is more analogous to a large portion of society (religiously based) keeping homosexuals behind closed doors rather than bringing them up with respect for who they are. By denigrating them, we never open them up to society. And, living secretive lifestyles, especially hypocritically, can put others at harm. Adam’s post also goes along with how for instance in the Foley scandal and now this recent scandal with Pastor Haggard, that the problems are blamed on homosexuality, rather than a failure to accept it. I think Adam’s parable could be extend well beyond the specifics of these recent events, and into all aspects of life. Raising children, good workers, etc…

  • http://www.dougpaulsen.com Doug

    Parables are tough to pull off. There has to be a certain sublety, yet they must accurately portray both the literal and implied meanings of the story. One of the best is ‘Animal Farm,’ but there are many bad parables simply because everyone thinks they can write one.

    My first thought upon reading this one was similar to the thought that Stuart had: So if we abuse gay people and try to pretend they don’t exist, gay people will attack us, but if we love them, they will be good gentile companions and they can easily be brought to heel…i.e., you aren’t suggesting that gay people ARE and/or behave LIKE dogs, are you? Obviously we know thats not your meaning, but that’s the trouble with parables. Just like analogies they tend to break down, and when they do they lead to some funny inferences, like ‘so you’re saying gay people are dogs?’

    You’re parable holds in the literal meaning, but it breaks down in it’s implied meaning. Unless you seriously want to compare gay people with dogs, it doesn’t work.

  • Will E.

    “…dogs, like any other creature, are neither inherently good nor inherently bad, and that their behavior depends on their master’s view of them.”

    The dogs in the parable are metaphors for sexuality itself–the first owner has a healthy (homo)sexuality, freely expressed and free from guilt. The second owner is Haggard–he tries to cage (i.e., repress) his homosexual nature, and it turns around and bites him in the ass. Then he hypocritically blames the dog, rather than himself. Haggard’s problem is not that he is a homosexual, but that he denied it in himself and railed against it in public.

  • Chris

    That’s how I finally read it, too, but it’s too easy to misconstrue the dog as representing only homosexuality and not sexuality in general (which everyone has, whether they deny and repress it or not).

    One problem with using implicit metaphors like that is that you can’t be sure that they will be interpreted the way you intended. Misconstruing a metaphor can lead to serious misunderstanding and in this case, to unintended insult.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blog/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    Hello all,

    It seems that the point of this post was not as clear to others as it was in my own head, so let me elaborate on what I meant to convey by it.

    Will E. and Chris saw it exactly as I intended: the dogs in the parable represent human sexuality. When you recognize that you have a sexual nature – regardless of orientation – and that it is a normal part of being human, and act on that knowledge in an appropriately rational way, you will come to a healthy accommodation with it and will not be compelled to act on it inappropriately. On the other hand, when a person thinks of their sexuality as a monstrous, evil thing and struggles to deny and repress it, it will only grow stronger and subsume their life and thoughts more completely – and because they have denied themselves healthy outlets, it will find unhealthy ones. Ted Haggard, and the evangelical worldview in general, considers human sexuality to be a terrifying, lurking depravity that is always ready to overwhelm the person who lets their guard down – and no surprise, for them that is exactly what it becomes.

    If it helps, I should stress that this parable is not solely applicable to homosexuals. It holds true for heterosexuals as well, and could be applied to, say, Jimmy Swaggart or Jim Bakker just as well as to Ted Haggard. (When I was writing it, I considered mentioning that, but chose not to; now I see that I probably should have.)

  • Joe Hardwick

    I didn’t make the assumption that you were talking about gays. People from the east have pointed out the perversion in western sexuality as being the consequence of guilt. You could apply it to most forms of perversion, I would think. And, if you ask their neighbors, the Ted Bundys of the world were always “such good christian boys.”

  • Alex Weaver

    Adam-

    One could think of it like this: owning a pet is analogous to sexuality, whereas owning a dog specifically is analogous to homosexuality. All pets will eventually attack (if they are able) if mistreated enough, but dogs can be especially dangerous (just like society is likely to respond more harshly to pathological expressions of suppressed homosexuality than heterosexuality, albeit for different reasons) if mistreated.

    Incidentally, I agree with your conclusion, but I’m mildly curious how you and others would apply this reasoning to sexual desires or fantasies more “deviant” than homosexuality. Where, if anywhere, should one draw the line? My personal inclination is that anything which is demonstrably and characteristically nonharmful should be provisionally accepted in private, but I’ve noticed that this is an issue where many people’s rationalism breaks down rapidly…

  • Joe Hardwick

    I thought I did, but maybe I was too lazy. Have you ever seen a porn film? If you have, I bet you haven’t seen one where degradation of the female wasn’t an apparently essential component. Why do they need a “money shot”? Sex drive is, of course, necessary to the species. But, since we need to cage it with guilt, it all too often turns into an agressive rot, if not an altogether rabit pit bull. Would bishops direct the drive at children, if they had a healthy outlet?
    Think about the typical rape case. The woman is held down and beaten, told she knows she wants it, and spend a great deal of her time afterwards taking scolding hot showers as if the sin in the outside (and absurd) chance that it could somehow be true were something that got on her and needs to be washed away.I think looking for instances where sexuality is a mad dog is unnecessary…they are culturally ubiquitous.

  • Alex Weaver

    Joe,

    I have seen porn, though I’ve never bothered with full-length films, but I’ve concluded that talking about porn “degrading” women is pointless without fairly extensive clarification. This is because a sizable fraction of the general population and of progressive-types in particular regards the existence of pornography as inherently and invariably degrading toward women, and most of these are unreceptive to rational persuasion. Based on the example you gave (facials, which could certainly be construed as degrading but which I have it on good authority that a fair number of women actually enjoy), I’m rather curious as to where you draw the line–what sort of porn would not, in your opinion, be “degrading”, and why?

    Depending on your answer, I have a specific point I may be getting at shortly, namely that I’ve noticed in some people that an almost obsessive and seemingly panicked aversion to anything that could conceivably be construed as “sexist” or “patriarchal” can become as much of a pathologically repressing influence on sexuality as right-wing moralism (in terms, at least, of psychological damage to oneself). I’m thinking specifically of Andrea Dworkin and her ilk, but this also extends to, for example, some women who feel guilty about preferring the missionary position or who detest the idea of giving a blow job due to the belief that such is “submissive”, and to people who think enjoying BDSM play (from either side) is necessarily indicative of mental illness.

    As for your example of the “typical” rape case…unless you’re drawing the implied prevalence of such encounters from some statistics you’d like to cite, I believe there should be a “stereo” in front of “typical.” My impression has been that many, if not most, cases of sexual abuse are, while no less psychologically damaging, rather subtler, and the fact that popular imagination seems to define “rape” as “being held down by a stranger in a dark alley” may sometimes lead to these cases not even being recognized as rape (or even, consciously, as abusive) by the victim. In particular, cases of sexual abuse of men, which IIRC account for somewhere between 10% and 25% of all cases, tend to be ignored, partly due to the focus on stranger rape of women. However, this is a bit of a tangent; the rest of your point is fairly apt.

  • http://www.dougpaulsen.com Doug

    As per my errant ‘dog as homosexual’ interpretation, I obviously totally missed it. Going back and reading it, I find things within it that again point specifically to the Haggard case, for example; The man publicly disparages dogs but keeps his own dog hidden. I interpreted it as Haggard publicly disparaging gays but keeping his own gay life, and specifally, gay prostitute hidden. Even more, that prostitute outed him, and I took this to mean the dog attacking his master.

    My mistake.

    On the fact that some women enjoy facials, could it be that they enjoy the degrading aspect of it? Does it matter that women enjoy being degraded? Or is it that infamous culprit, society, that teaches women that they should enjoy being degraded, and this is what people are railing about when they rail against porn; that porn makes degradation socially acceptable?

  • Joe Hardwick

    Alex,
    What are you trying to do, make me work? I said I was lazy! ;)
    OK, one paragraph at a time. The “sizable portion of the population” who regard “the existence of pornography as inherently and invariably degrading toward women” didn’t figure into my post. Maybe because “most of these are unreceptive to rational persuasion.”….but not necessarily. Could just be that I am, as I said, lazy!
    My thinking on the degradation issue may tend to circularity. I think facials are degrading to women, and I think there would be little compulsion to include them if they weren’t. If you say some women like it, it will raise the question of whether this is a case of some women getting off on degradation. Some women admit to that, too. But whether these are the same women who enjoy facials, I can’t pretend to know.
    Just as sex is a perfectly natural instinct, so are the desires to dominate and submit. Is man a “rational animal”? To what extent can we allow either the rationality or the animal instincts to dominate, before we are mentally ill? I don’t know. I haven’t seen a convincing example of mental health…I think we are all more or less ill.
    I am not prepared to cite statistics on anything, just relate my understanding as the weight of diverse experiences has shaped my impression of things over the course of my life. I will readily admit that those experiences that I have responded to with the strongest emotions will dominate and, therefore, bias my over-all view of the world. I don’t think statistics would save me from that, though reason might, if there were any conflict between the emotion-influenced reality that I inhabit and the premises by which I otherwise understood the world.
    I would certainly hope that no one would have taken me to be stereo-typing either rape or its victims. I don’t know how 10-25% of anything is supposed to change my impression or expression of what is “typical.” I call those things typical that I encounter the most instances of. I have known women who have been raped, have seen interviews with them and have seen documentaries produced by organizations that exist to help them deal with the trauma. I should have said “those rapes typically brought to our attention”?
    Anyway, thanks for provoking further thought on these matters.

  • Alex Weaver

    Doug: I’ll ask the two out of three personal (female) acquaintances who responded affirmatively when it came up in conversation and are still speaking to me (for unrelated reasons), and I’ll see if I can find any broader or more general statements on that. I have a sneaking suspicion, however, that the feeling that facials are “degrading” is a secondary effect of our culture’s residue of largely Christianity-inspired sexual pathology…thoughts?

    Joe:

    What are you trying to do, make me work? I said I was lazy! ;)

    Oops… 0-:)

    OK, one paragraph at a time. The “sizable portion of the population” who regard “the existence of pornography as inherently and invariably degrading toward women” didn’t figure into my post. Maybe because “most of these are unreceptive to rational persuasion.”….but not necessarily. Could just be that I am, as I said, lazy!

    By “not susceptible to rational persuasion” I mean the ones who, when confronted with counter-arguments try to shift the burden of proof (“what, you think XYZ is good/should be allowed or something?”), claim their opponents have been brainwashed and offer no further support for this claim, and various other fallacious tactics. One female acquiantance in particular regards these claims and that position as patronizing and hence deeply offensive, and I am inclined to agree.

    My thinking on the degradation issue may tend to circularity. I think facials are degrading to women, and I think there would be little compulsion to include them if they weren’t. If you say some women like it, it will raise the question of whether this is a case of some women getting off on degradation. Some women admit to that, too. But whether these are the same women who enjoy facials, I can’t pretend to know.

    Yeah, honestly, that is kind of circular. I’m sure there’s some overlap, but these are two distinct categories. It’s also not clear to me that submission in the context of consensual sex play is necessarily “degrading” as the term is usually understood (anecdotal evidence suggests that many submissives prefer feeling cared for and protected rather than humiliation or being “used”). Similarly, I have heard various expressions of enthusiasm for feelings of “naughtiness” or “nastiness” from female acquiantances and writers, and I suspect that such would be interpreted as synonymous with “degradation” in many circles due to ambiguity and confirmation bias.

    Just as sex is a perfectly natural instinct, so are the desires to dominate and submit. Is man a “rational animal”? To what extent can we allow either the rationality or the animal instincts to dominate, before we are mentally ill? I don’t know. I haven’t seen a convincing example of mental health…I think we are all more or less ill.

    Good question. I don’t have a satisfactory answer. I can certainly think of many sexual behaviors and fantasies which I find so bizarre that I have difficulty formulating a comprehensible motive for them other than mental illness (chastity comes to mind…), but would not treat this failure of imagination as reflecting a natural or obvious limit on what should be allowed or unscorned.

    I am not prepared to cite statistics on anything, just relate my understanding as the weight of diverse experiences has shaped my impression of things over the course of my life. I will readily admit that those experiences that I have responded to with the strongest emotions will dominate and, therefore, bias my over-all view of the world. I don’t think statistics would save me from that, though reason might, if there were any conflict between the emotion-influenced reality that I inhabit and the premises by which I otherwise understood the world.

    Reason can and will if coupled with willpower, but it’s a learned skill that goes against the grain of most of our natural inclinations. The results, I find, are worth it.

    I would certainly hope that no one would have taken me to be stereo-typing either rape or its victims. I don’t know how 10-25% of anything is supposed to change my impression or expression of what is “typical.” I call those things typical that I encounter the most instances of. I have known women who have been raped, have seen interviews with them and have seen documentaries produced by organizations that exist to help them deal with the trauma. I should have said “those rapes typically brought to our attention”?

    I have only been personally acquainted with three women who I were aware of their having been sexually abused, and neither of their stories fit the incident you cite very closely. One of them was a case of forced prostitution; one was not subjected to nonsexual violence but was aggressively pursued, and reluctantly allowed herself to be “molested” (her word) by an acquaintance and developed severe psychological trauma resulting in something akin to a dissociative disorder and eventually in physically assaulting him; and one had a guy she “hooked up” with push past her boundaries without asking and ignore her protests before being abruptly dissuaded by a broken jaw (rather candid, I know, but as I’m not naming names x.x). Anecdotal evidence is of limited rhetorical weight, but I have seen statistics indicating that the majority of incidents of rape were by acquaintances of the victim rather than strangers, and read things that suggest that “Stockholm”-type psychological conditions are more common as a response than might be expected.

    As for the 10-25% of male victims, I suppose it’s not really relevant to the discussion; by way of explanation, I’ve had an axe to grind, regarding popular culture’s habit of disregarding the sexual victimization of males, since being informed while in 5th grade that the school rules defined sexual harrassment exclusively as conduct of boys toward girls, and so there was nothing they could do about certain of my female classmates’ conduct.

    Anyway, thanks for provoking further thought on these matters.

    No problem. ^.^

  • Joe Hardwick

    Alex,
    My original comment had little to do with the way I or women feel about facials, and more to do with the apparent necessity that porn producers feel to include them. My opinion (which you granted) was that it is degrading, and my hypothesis was that the degradation must be in demand by what I would consider a perverse (Ebon’s caged dog) audience.
    People who council rape victims report that their attackers often accuse them of “wanting it” or “asking for it.” I was pointing to this phenomenon as another example of the caged dog, where the cage is guilt and manifests itself, upon the release of the impulse, in a re-assignment of credit and responsibility for the act to the victim.
    I still think these comments (not a dissertation, mind you, but comments on a blog post) were reasonable.
    You have infringed, again, upon my laziness, as has that “I am a spammer” box.

  • Chris

    It has always seemed to me that “degradation” was more of a random collection of inkblots than a coherent concept. (If someone disagrees, please provide a clear and unambiguous definition.) If degradation is in the eye of the beholder, then doesn’t it follow that nothing is inherently degrading, only percieved as such? Then it clearly (to me at least) follows that no one person’s or group’s perception should be allowed to forbid what *they* see as degrading, because others may not agree.

    I always thought that porn producers included facials because they were visible. Porn is produced for an audience, and the audience won’t be able to see something that goes on inside someone’s body. It seems unnecessary to invent more complicated rationales.

    However, most likely the real reason that porn producers include facials is because they have observed that porn with facials sells better than porn without it, and the porn producers themselves may not even know *why* their audience prefers that, they just know that is what the audience *does* prefer, and therefore they give it to them. The first rule of entertainment is knowing the audience.

    As much as some people love to accuse porn producers of creating the audience – really, they’re not that powerful. They cater to the audience, they don’t make it. (To stretch the analogy: dog food manufacturers are not responsible for the existence of dogs. No matter how convincing the dog food ad, it will not create a dog for you if you didn’t already have one. And nobody is going to buy a brand of dog food that their dog refuses to eat – at least, not more than once or twice.)

  • Joe Hardwick

    I think I would call those acts degrading that seemed calculated to make someone appear and/or feel inferior. While it may be a gray-area concept, it hardly qualifies as an ink-blot one. Jews can usually tell you, for example, which anti-semetic comments are degrading. Mel might not agree with them, but that doesn’t make it an ink-blot concept. He, for his part, might have found Diane Sawyer’s interview with him degrading, as she seemed to lay the condescension on quite thickly. Much of the ambiguity, it usually turns out, was inversely proportional to our empathy in the case.
    “Then it clearly (to me at least) follows that no one person’s or group’s perception should be allowed to forbid what *they* see as degrading, because others may not agree.”…..who said anything about forbidding anything?
    Chris, c’mon, the whole set is visible. But within the context of the whole visible set, it just happens to wind up on the female’s face often enough that the camera man has to eagerly position himself and zoom in for what you and I have the vocabulary (thanks to this remarkably coincidental frequency of occurrence) to refer to as a “facial?”
    Your other line of reasoning, that they do it to meet demand, is what I said to start with. The demand for it was my point; not the porn producer’s power to create an audience (which would defeat my argument, not support it), and certainly not some diabolical plot to “forbid” anything to anyone.
    Have we not spent more than enough energy discussing facials, yet?

  • Alex Weaver

    Most likely. I think we can agree that paranoia about sexual “unhealthiness” (whether in terms of behaviors or fantasies being “perverted” or “degrading”/”submissive”) is potentially as serious a contributor to sexual dysfunction as right-wing moralism, a point that it’s easy to miss when we’re bombarded with said right-wing moralizing. I’m trying to think of how to put that in terms of a “dog” analogy…

  • Alex Weaver

    Note: Self: finish thought, then post.

    In addition, it’s worth noting that “degradation” is kind of an ink-blot concept, in that people agree on a general conceptual theme but differ widely on which behaviors or ideas fall under it. Of course, this is true of a great number of concepts; “respect” and “masculinity”/”femininity” come to mind…

  • Stu

    Well instead of just standing by shaking his head feeling all sad and self-righteous, why doesn’t the second guy go and offer to help the first guy? It isn’t about standing around judging whether the glass is half empty or half full, it’s about responding, overflowing with love – especially to those who are suffering in the cycle of abuse!Shees!

  • http://www.patheos.com/blog/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    Both in Haggard’s case and in my parable, once the damage has been done, there is little that a well-meaning bystander could do to help. Haggard made choices that ended up exposing him as a hypocrite; now he will inevitably have to face the consequences of those choices and deal with the fallout. Should he decide to stop being a hypocrite, abandon his judgmental religion and embrace his sexuality, I’m sure there are many people who would be glad to counsel him on how he can better find happiness, but given that he has decided to re-immerse himself in fundamentalist indoctrination, it seems unlikely that he will accept advice of that nature.

  • Jeromy

    So what would all of you think about an atheist (me), and I am certainly no republican, though I don’t much care for the democrats either, who thinks that homosexuality is a mental disorder? Don’t get angry, now. I do have gay friends. Yes, real friends, whom I call and see regularly. One gay friend just got fired from his job and I am very sad about that. He was good at his job and a lot of fun to work with. The reason I consider it a mental disorder is simple…all you need to do is take one look at the human body, and *poof*, there you have it…this thingy goes inside that thingy, the purpose of which is to make another people. The fact that it feels REALLY GOOD is a mechanism to perpetuate the animal’s existence. If sex was not pleasurable, there would be no homosexuals. Therefore, the act of homosexual sex is no more than an effort in mutual pleasure, just as is sex between a man and a woman with no intent to make babies. I have found no exceptions to this rule (yet): A gay man has psychological issues with women. A gay woman has issues with men. Sometimes this is an outwardly evident anger or fear, sometimes it is repressed. Either way, I have found no exceptions to this. I have found many gay people who will deny it, but always in the end (no pun tee hee) I find a crack in their phyche that indicates an irrational, or quite justified, problem with the opposite gender. This, obviously, should not lessen our respect or love for others just because they are gay. There are many mental disorders that are FAR worse than this. In fact, I don’t even consider this particular mental disorder to be bad, or humorous, or weird. I consider it curable, by addressing the underlying cause of fear or anger towards the opposite gender. Wow! This is, like, unatheistical, ain’t it? So, while I can understand the parable, the biggest flaw in it that I can see is the fact that the dogs are perfectly normal, whereas having sex with your own gender is most certainly not the normal thing to do, and in fact is counterintuitive. They should have been three-legged dogs, to represent a faulty sexuality, a sexuality marred by the fact that the sexual acts being performed do not utilize the organs that NATURE and EVOLUTION provided for the purpose. Don’t anybody yell at me, darn it, I’m not a bad guy. I have every right to think this way. I am, after all, a free-thinker.

  • http://nes-ramblings.blogspot.com/ Nes

    Well, I don’t know about that, Jeromy. There are some who have said that they have felt attracted to the same gender at a very early age (like, 5 years old); There was an article at Morons about it, though I can’t find it right now. I would hope that they haven’t all had severe issues involving the opposite sex at such an early age! It would also fail to account for reports of homosexual animals; they’ve been observed both in the zoo and in the wild. Unless all of those animals have a mental disorder as well?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blog/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    So what would all of you think about an atheist (me), and I am certainly no republican, though I don’t much care for the democrats either, who thinks that homosexuality is a mental disorder?

    I think that belief is incorrect.

    The reason I consider it a mental disorder is simple…all you need to do is take one look at the human body, and *poof*, there you have it…this thingy goes inside that thingy, the purpose of which is to make another people.

    Here’s where your argument goes off the rails: evolution does not have purpose. Adaptations evolve because they provide some form of survival advantage, but they do not need to be advantageous in only one way, and the selective rationale behind a given adaptation can change over time as it is put to new uses. A function or structure that originally evolved for one reason can be and very often is coopted to serve a different function. We see many examples of this in nature: our lungs evolved from ancestral swim bladders, our hands from ancestral fins. (If you had been around in the Devonian period, would you have thought that those strange fish-like creatures using their fins to awkwardly flop up on shore were acting “unnaturally”?)

    I have found no exceptions to this rule (yet): A gay man has psychological issues with women. A gay woman has issues with men. Sometimes this is an outwardly evident anger or fear, sometimes it is repressed.

    This reminds me more than a little of the apologist claim that all atheists are just “angry at God”. They, too, would say that they have found no exceptions to this rule.

    It seems to me that your hypothesis is crafted to be unfalsifiable. If you find a gay person who shows no psychological issues toward the opposite gender, would you just conclude that those issues are present but “repressed”? Do you propose any way to detect repressed issues separate from the mere fact of a person’s being gay?

  • Alex Weaver

    I would also contend that your view of same-sex attraction as a result of psychological hangups about the opposite sex would seem to have a hard time explaining bisexuality.