Sexual Disorientation?

Having posted several pieces both here and elsewhere on the subject of homosexuality, marriage, and the Bible, I suppose some readers may have been wondering about my own sexual orientation. And so, even though it may cost me some conservative Christian readers, I thought it was time to reveal the truth:

I am a heterosexual.

Those of you who have met me face to face or have seen photos of me probably guessed already that I’m straight, based on how I dress and other clues.

What is likely to offend some conservative Christian readers is not my sexual orientation, but the fact that I am persuaded that I was born this way, that this is a fundamental part of who I am, and not something I chose. I cannot remember any point in my life at which I felt like I had the option of choosing to be attracted to men, or women, or both.

I know some conservative Christians may be troubled by these statements, but I’m persuaded that it is possible to be a Christian and yet also be persuaded that some things about us are at least largely determined by our genes, and that we may therefore be acceptable as we are. I hope that you will continue to accept me as I am.

Apparently it is not only the study of genes, but also the study of jeans, that leads to the conclusion that some differences are biological rather than the result of a willful choice:

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09924796617668384141 Bob O’Hara

    What if there were a hardware or computer store between the entrance and Gap?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08353226539928605633 Tripp

    I love the flow charts.

  • Pete

    I certainly never chose to be straight. Nor did I need the Bible to tell me I was supposed to be attracted to women and not men. And I pretty much get the impression from my few homosexual friends that they didn’t choose either. And why someone would choose to pick a life style that would get them ostrazized, not just by the church but even by the secular community, I do not know.And yet I have to deal with the Bible which seems rather clear on the subject. Indeed, if I had to pick one area where I know that if I am wrong (about the Bible that is), I am surely discriminating against others and needlessly making their lives difficult and unhappy. Adds a little complexity to Pascal’s wager.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13140007604009678479 David Ker

    And the homosexual man goes into the mall to buy jeans and instead buys a dress?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08342566023774158670 Cliff Martin

    James,Out of the closet, at last. I’m sure it must be liberating for you to finally openly declare your orientation. I confess, I am not shocked or disappointed. I accept you as you are, brother. No need to change orientation for me, though I’m quite sure you could not even if you wanted to. I suggest you go through life making the best of it, keep your faith alive, and manage your heterosexuality as well as you are able. Thank you for your courage and honesty.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06852762979025214594 Damian

    I always wondered why many Christians have trouble believing sexuality is genetic. We don’t have a problem with people having to live with other genetic dispositions – be they disabilities or advantages. Genetics don’t give anyone license to sin, but it also doesn’t mean they are automatically sinners. Like someone with a voracious sexual appetite stemming from genetics, it’s what they chose to do with what genetics has given that is key.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03126711689901268060 Quixie

    In the diagram that accompanies the post, I noticed that there are only three stores in that mall that were overlooked by the lady in question.Let me guess:Radio Shack …Cigars Plus …Hooters …?Ó

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02727241474360657192 Country Parson

    Out here we don't have a GAP, but we do have L&G; Ranch Supply, and they sell jeans…plus a lot of other cool stuff that can take some time to look at touch and consider buying for some remote yet possible use.CP

  • http://www.abandonallfear.co.uk Alex Fear

    Don’t take this to mean that I am homophobic or anything but there is no scientific proof as yet of homosexuality in genes.There has been some discussion about it being triggered by brain patterns(?).The usual disclaimer applies, I’m not a science bod, but here’s a neutral (I think) summary from a geneticist:http://www.bio.davidson.edu/Courses/genomics/2002/Pierce/gaygene.htmSo to answer Damian – there’s why.Regardless, my thoughts are that homosexuality in the genes does a disservice to homosexuals and there is some debate in the homosexual community as well – many don’t like the idea, sorry.I’m coming to the conclusion there is no such thing as sexuality. There is gender, but sexuality to me seems to be more about what people get off on, but I don’t want to get crude so let’s leave that for a more appropriate forum.I mean, if you say that people are predisposed (genetically or otherwise) towards people of the same sex (and by inference ‘in denial’ if they date opposite sex) then what you’re actually legitimising is the argument for paedophiles who wish to lower or abolish the age limit for sex.You’re actually advocating that some people are predisposed genetically to sex with children (therefore they should also be allowed to carry out that lifestyle), just as you should allow bestiality and why not polygamy whilst we’re at it, since polygamy amongst the animal kingdom is entirely natural.Gay people are not paedophiles, but if a genetic link IS ever found – we’re going to have to rethink sex with children and animals.This may offend some people but just because something offends it doesn’t mean it’s wrong or shouldn’t be honestly addressed.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06852762979025214594 Damian

    Alex,You seem to have missed my point entirely. Many people of faith seem to be opposed to the concept of sexuality as a genetic trait. I was saying that I didn’t understand why.There are many genetic traits – disease, race, both positive and negative. Nobody claims that ones genetics excuses one from sin. That’s my point. Nothing is legitimised simply due to genetic predisposition. Genetics has been associated with criminal behaviour – it doesn’t mean that crime is legitimised.So I’m not advocating anything of the sort. You’re being absurd. If a link is found between paedophilia and genetics – we won’t have to rethink anything. Sin is sin. We’re not excused by our circumstances, or our predispositions.Hence, I’m content to believe that one cannot control one’s sexual orientation. But that doesn’t mean that they are legitimised in their sin.

  • http://www.abandonallfear.co.uk Alex Fear

    @Damian,You missed my point. To my knowledge there is no direct link between genes and homosexuality.Neither is there a link between genes and crime.To imply there is is patently false.That is not to say that there is not ongoing studies and it has been suggested- however I sincerely doubt they ever will find a direct genetic link – because crime and sexuality are relative.Crime is relative to the laws that are determined by the current government- not our genetic traits.If the government outlaws ballpoint pens, then to use one is a crime. So you then have to factor in that there may be some gene that causes people to use ballpoint pens which is pretty absurd.How about sexuality? Bit more complicated here but would you say a dog humping a leg is legosexual – predisposed toward legs? Would you say a woman who is in love with vibrating dildos – objectum sexual (Sorry!) has a genetic predisposition towards battery operated devices?There are too many variables for there to be a certain gene which recognises a battery from some other device.The names we give to classify certain sorts of behavior, are not necessarily the names that nature gives to them. Indeed I think we may be over-complicating the matter.There is sex for pleasure and sex for reproduction. Certain people get pleasure from different things.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06852762979025214594 Damian

    Alex,I was assuming genetics was a factor, because that’s the the assumption of the original post. But your logic (if it was a factor) doesn’t follow – just because genetics is a factor in a person taking some action, doesn’t mean that someone is legitimised in that action.But as you’re stumbling on the genetics thing, lets just say that sexuality is beyond peoples own control, for whatever reason. Lets compare it to a largely harmless congenital condition such as spina bifida occulta. The simple having of this condition has no inherent ethical or moral bias. The person is still responsible for whatever their actions are.This is what I’m saying. You seem to suggest that one can use the ‘its the way I was born’ to excuses responsibility for ones action.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01588539631307626802 Beyond Words

    Forget male and female, straight or gay. I may not even be human. When I need jeans, I skip the mall and go straight to Salvation Army. Total: $5 I’m probably responsible for the downturn in the economy.

  • Pete

    You missed my point. To my knowledge there is no direct link between genes and homosexuality.Identical twins separated at birth (therefor raised in different environments) are the perfect test case for determining whether there is a genetic predisposition for some behavior or trait. If there is no such link, then these identical twins should be just as likely to share the behavior as the public at large since their environmental experiences are different. For instance, if homosexuality is purely a choice, and one twin is discovered to be homosexual, the other twin should be no more likely to be homosexual then the present percentage of homosexuals in the community. If homosexuality were purely genetic then if one twin was homosexual the other should always be homosexual. If it is somewhere in between, (as long as this in between is statistically significant given the number in the sample size), then homosexuality would be a combination of genetic and environmental issues.Identical twin studies have been done in the case of homosexual behavior. You can google these studies, I find results that are all over the map. It seems some of the studies were not properly conducted (the participants were self-selecting responding to adds in publications, sometimes gay publications). Later studies have been larger and more accurate. I’ll go ahead and quote a paragraph from “The Language of God” by Francis Collins, in part because I’m lazy to word it myself and also because whatever result he is referencing is the most conservative I have seen (20% as opposed to 50%).Evidence from twin studies does in fact support the concludsion that heritale factors play a role in male homosexuality. However, the likelihood that the indentical twin of a homosexal male will also be gay is about 20 percent (compared with 2-4 percent of males in the general popuilation), indicating that sexual orientation is genetically influenced but not hardwired by DNA, and that whatever genes are involved represent predispositions, not predeterminations.So its both-and, not either or. Oh if life could just be more simple. A lot of conservative Christian sites like to reference these studies since they do show homosexuality is not hardwired, and almost always ignore the opposite implication of these studies, that there is some genetic predisposition.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02561146722461747647 James F. McGrath

    I’d like to raise the question (raised here in an earlier post; prudish readers ought to go here instead) in this context as to whether commenters believe the gender of the giver and recipient of love should matter from a Christian perspective, or only the character of the love, and why.

  • http://www.abandonallfear.co.uk Alex Fear

    @Damian,From your first post:-“I always wondered why many Christians have trouble believing sexuality is genetic.”Which is plainly wrong. As Pete has indicated, at best there is a suggestion or likelyhood. Now I take it you have softened that stance to there being an ‘influence’. But your first post seemed to suggest you saw it purely as genetic and I was merely helping you to see why some Christians have difficulty with it… it’s not all black and white.(This is why I sometimes hate Christian intellectuals more than atheist ones… clanging symbols and no mercy for weaker brothers and sisters).Regarding the study provided by Pete…Whats not to say that there are correlations between genes and gay people? Either way I’ve watched a documentary even produced by a homosexual that disclaims the gay gene- it hasn’t been found yet.Perhaps if I put it in insurance terms… years ago insurance companies did a study into which car colour was involved in the most accidents, turns out, at the time it was red. They were all set to increase premiums on red cars until someone pointed out that red was a popular colour- hence more on the road.This is logically called denying the antecedent, which I’m sure you’re familiar with.But don’t go all ad hominem on me, I was discussing this on another blog and was kindly provided the link below: Why not hear a view on homosexuality and genetics from the horses mouth?http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/article/5375/As I said not even all homosexuals are on board with the genetics argument, and as I also stated I don’t think there is such a thing as ~sexuality.

  • Pete

    Either way I’ve watched a documentary even produced by a homosexual that disclaims the gay gene- it hasn’t been found yet.Development biologists no longer look for a “gene” for something as there is not a one to one correlation between a single segment of dna and a particular trait. Development is an extremely complicated matter where many protein coding genes are combined and turned on and off at separate times and in separate orders by other switching dna, etc. Indeed, most of our protein coding “genes” are indentical with most mammals and yet obvious we are very different. Its unlikely even if sexual orientation were determined before birth that you would find a particular “gene”, though you might find a process that results in this outcome, such as to much or to little of hormone xyz at critical moment of stage II.a of embryonic development. The twin studies are fairly conclusive that your sexual orientation is not predetermined soley by the DNA itself, but it is just as conclusive that dna plays some role in combination with environmental factors. This factor very well may be direct rebellion against God and extreme unrighteousnesses, though I am not personally leaning that direction. Most homosexuals I know claim by the time they came of age to be attracted to anyone it was people of the same sex, and I have read many psychologists that claim a well trained psychologist can tell the sexual orientation of a person by age five, though I have not seen any of this data myself. I find it likely the environmental factor takes place during embryo development, and there would be innurable environmental factors that could be the culprit.Until such a developmental cause is found, it is a reasonable position to assert homosexuality is purely sin and somehow at least partly in control of the sexually maturing adult. But I find it extremely unhelpful and naive when I hear Christians assume homosexuality was some simple choice anyone could make (if we were only unrighteous enough!) or that it is the result of to much porn.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06852762979025214594 Damian

    Alex,You seem to have missed my point entirely. Many people of faith seem to be opposed to the concept of sexuality as a genetic trait. I was saying that I didn’t understand why.There are many genetic traits – disease, race, both positive and negative. Nobody claims that ones genetics excuses one from sin. That’s my point. Nothing is legitimised simply due to genetic predisposition. Genetics has been associated with criminal behaviour – it doesn’t mean that crime is legitimised.So I’m not advocating anything of the sort. You’re being absurd. If a link is found between paedophilia and genetics – we won’t have to rethink anything. Sin is sin. We’re not excused by our circumstances, or our predispositions.Hence, I’m content to believe that one cannot control one’s sexual orientation. But that doesn’t mean that they are legitimised in their sin.***I was assuming genetics was a factor, because that’s the the assumption of the original post. But your logic (if it was a factor) doesn’t follow – just because genetics is a factor in a person taking some action, doesn’t mean that someone is legitimised in that action.But as you’re stumbling on this, lets just say that sexuality is beyond peoples own control, for whatever reason. Lets compare it to a largely harmless congenital condition such as spina bifida occulta. The simple having of this condition has no inherent ethical or moral bias. The person is still responsible for whatever their actions are.***Alex,I didn’t mean to suggest that. To me, the important thing is that sexuality is – as Pete puts it – hardwired, rather than the scientific reason why it is so. I do not believe it is a choice that people make.So, the confusion is my fault. I should have initially said that ‘I find it hard to understand why Christians have trouble beleiving sexuality is hardwired’. Now apply what I’ve said to that, and hopefully you’ll see I have a point.As Pete says, there does seems to be evidence that homosexuality is not a simple choice. I’ve never met a homosexual who has used the phrase ‘ When I decided to be gay’.In reply to James, if ‘love’ is a euphemism, then I’m not convinced by the biblical evidence that there’s a difference. Doug Chaplin summarised well here why. I don’t think there’s enough evidence to persecute. Regardless, it seems like it is the act of sex rather than the actual relationship, which is judged on the same grounds as every other.

  • http://www.abandonallfear.co.uk Alex Fear

    @Pete,Development biologists no longer look for a “gene” for something as there is not a one to one correlation between a single segment of dna and a particular trait. Development is an extremely complicated matter where many protein coding genes are combined and turned on and off at separate times and in separate orders by other switching dna, etc. Indeed, most of our protein coding “genes” are indentical with most mammals and yet obvious we are very different. Its unlikely even if sexual orientation were determined before birth that you would find a particular “gene”, though you might find a process that results in this outcome, such as to much or to little of hormone xyz at critical moment of stage II.a of embryonic development.Still this is all speculation and conjecture at this point isn’t it, by people who are trying to find the answer to why people are homosexual.The twin studies are fairly conclusive that your sexual orientation is not predetermined soley by the DNA itselfCorrect. I’m not a biologist but I am educated in statistics and you need to learn to read stats correctly.The twin study shows that there is more possibility that a person will be gay if they have a twin who is gay, than if they don’t have a twin who is gay. But 80% (4 in 5) chance of heterosexuality says that it’s not a huge probability – ie no correlation there. There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.But it is just as conclusive that dna plays some role in combination with environmental factors. This factor very well may be direct rebellion against God and extreme unrighteousnesses, though I am not personally leaning that direction.So is there a gene that predetermines rebellion against our creator? I think most homosexuals might take umbrage with that.*snip*But I find it extremely unhelpful and naive when I hear Christians assume homosexuality was some simple choice anyone could make (if we were only unrighteous enough!) or that it is the result of to much porn.I never said it was a simple choice. Becoming a Christian wasn’t a simple choice for me, there has been lots of development and tough decisions – through doubt and determination, but the choice was made and is still being made.I imagine for someone who felt attracted to the opposite sex also had to make a journey not dissimilar and in a way is still making that choice at certain points or crossroads in the journey. A friend of mine married a man who has made the choice to be straight after thinking he was gay. He’s totally attracted to his wife, but before he was attracted to men and anyone would guess from meeting him that he was gay.If you doubt the choice, then read the article I linked to written by a gay man, which discusses bi-sexuality and people who’ve switched sides.@DamianYou seem to have missed my point entirely.No I didn’t.Many people of faith seem to be opposed to the concept of sexuality as a genetic trait. I was saying that I didn’t understand why.Well, do you understand now?There are many genetic traits – disease, race, both positive and negative. Nobody claims that ones genetics excuses one from sin. That’s my point. Nothing is legitimised simply due to genetic predisposition. Genetics has been associated with criminal behaviour – it doesn’t mean that crime is legitimised.So how do you morally arrive at differences between genetic traits?If crime is immoral, and homosexuality is immoral… why is race or hair colour, not immoral?If someone cannot choose the colour of their skin due to genetic trait, then of course we shouldn’t persecute them.And there is the rub! Skin colour is a genetic trait that cannot be fixed (without surgery or intervention), whereas homosexuality can be chosen, as well as crime.. so aren’t you just muddying the waters between what is actually a genetic trait and what is not?Once again you brought up crime but it there is no gene or trait for crime! There cannot be.If it is made a crime to wear an orange tie to work, are you saying there is some trait in people that cause them to wear orange ties?And if there are traits in us towards crime, rebellion so on, what you’re saying basically supports the theory there is an original sin.Either way, skin colour cannot be chosen, crime can. It’s as simple as that. I know you’ll default to traits again which leave room for choice but then you fall into the trap of defining skin colour as something that can be chosen.So I’m not advocating anything of the sort. You’re being absurd. If a link is found between paedophilia and genetics – we won’t have to rethink anything. Sin is sin. We’re not excused by our circumstances, or our predispositions.I agree sin is sin. But do you think homosexuality and gay marriage should be prevented? Do you think paedophilia should be prevented? If there is a trait for one, there is a trait for the other, if traits excuse one behavior then you have to excuse the other – so society needs a rethink.However if traits are a red herring, then you can easily approach the behaviors differently. But what makes a paedophile anyway? The law makes a paedophile, not nature. Nature may deem a girl ready to be impregnated at 12 years old – the law says she is not ready till 16 or 18 depending on where you live.Hence, I’m content to believe that one cannot control one’s sexual orientation. But that doesn’t mean that they are legitimised in their sin.And I say there is no sexual orientation. You are given your reproductive organs at birth, this determines which sexual orientation you are. What you are attracted to, what fetishes you prefer and so on, are so far not proven to be genetic.The problem here is defining what attraction is. You can be attracted to anyone, you can choose to love anyone and make that person a life partner- it has nothing to do with sex, but you may find that those qualities in the person you are attracted to may make you want to have sexual relations with them.I imagine that gay men see the male form as attractive, but does this make them gay? Some people find horses attractive, some find children attractive and some find certain objects attractive – do they all fall into a certain ~sexuality? Some people believe it does, for me, it’s a choice to cross the boundaries of attractiveness in to sex, rather than simply appreciating the desirable person/object for what it is.I used to think about it the way you did, trust me I did but I find I’m questioning things more these daysBut as you’re stumbling on this,Heh.lets just say that sexuality is beyond peoples own control, for whatever reason. Lets compare it to a largely harmless congenital condition such as spina bifida occulta. The simple having of this condition has no inherent ethical or moral bias. The person is still responsible for whatever their actions are.This is completely irrelevant to the discussion.To me, the important thing is that sexuality is – as Pete puts it – hardwired,I don’t think he said that. It’s obviously not from what he said.rather than the scientific reason why it is so. I do not believe it is a choice that people make.Of course it is. You choose to commit a crime, you choose who to marry and you choose who to have sex with.To use your analogy once again… is a person a criminal because they commit crime, or is a person a criminal because of a genetic trait?So, the confusion is my fault. I should have initially said that ‘I find it hard to understand why Christians have trouble beleiving sexuality is hardwired’. Now apply what I’ve said to that, and hopefully you’ll see I have a point.FAIL.As Pete says, there does seems to be evidence that homosexuality is not a simple choice. I’ve never met a homosexual who has used the phrase ‘When I decided to be gay’.So, what, your a Calvinist?

  • http://www.abandonallfear.co.uk Alex Fear

    DOH!When I said this:“I imagine for someone who felt attracted to the opposite sex…”I meant this:”I imagine for someone who felt attracted to the same sex…”

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06852762979025214594 Damian

    Alex,I’m discontinuing the conversation at this point in response to your rudeness. I hope Pete does the same. I think what I was trying to say was clear a few comments ago, so it’s unnecessary for me to say any more.

  • http://www.abandonallfear.co.uk Alex Fear

    @Damian,I’ll take that as you didn’t want to address my points because you are starting to see the glaring inconsistencies (particularly on non-existent genetic traits for crime).FWIW I felt your line “I always wondered why many Christians have trouble believing sexuality is genetic.” to be slightly aloof and arrogant, as though on becoming a Christian this knowledge should be clear and automatic and that it’s odd anyone should not understand it.Following dialogue I found occasionally patronising but I let it slide.. too bad you can dish it out but can’t take it.

  • Pete

    But 80% (4 in 5) chance of heterosexuality says that it’s not a huge probability – ie no correlation there. There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.??????????????????????Become more educated in statistics:)Yes, there is a correlation. If you do not share the exact same genes (even if you are a brother), you have a 1 in 20 chance. If you do share the exact same genes, you have a 1 and 5 chance. That is significantly greater, especially given the sample size for the newest studies (and 1 in 5 is the most conservative estimate I have ever seen, I am not sure of Collins source. Every other result I have actually seen shows a higher percentage).I reassert that homosexuality is partially influenced by genetics, in some yet unknown combination with environmental factors, which may be 1) hormones, 2) sexual abuse, 3) absent father, 4) extreme and perverted unrighteousness.So is there a gene that predetermines rebellion against our creator? I think most homosexuals might take umbrage with that.Clearly that was not what I was implying. I never said it was a simple choice. Becoming a Christian wasn’t a simple choice for me, there has been lots of development and tough decisions – through doubt and determination, but the choice was made and is still being made.That’s interesting. Becoming a Christian was a matter of belief for me. I believed Jesus was God, rose from the dead, and was able and willing to forgive me of my sins. I trusted him to do that very thing. It is very hard for me to choose what I believe, I have to be convinced by reality (ie evidence). Yet I don’t really see the relation here to my sexual orientation. I didn’t choose to be attracted to women, I just always was. Did you choose to be attracted to women? Was there a time you could have chosen to be attracted to men?

  • http://www.woodbeecarver.com Donald K. Mertz

    Does one choose to be “ignorant” or is one born “ignorant”? may be the real question.

  • http://www.abandonallfear.co.uk Alex Fear

    Pete,When you talk about the 20% correlation between twins, you mention a mixture of unknown environmental factors.. but isn’t it true that until you know the percentage and definitions of environmental factors then you can’t really quote the stats at all?Once again this is denying the antecedent.I have seen many pictures of twins wearing duplicate clothing. Is this because they are genetically influenced to behave this way, because they have a predisposition to the same articles of clothing… or is it because both they or their parents get a kick out of dressing identical twins identically?Correlation does not equal causation.Just as many people will dress in popular fashionable clothes because everyone else is doing it, and it’s not cool to be seen in budget clothing (look up ‘chav’ to get an idea what I mean). It’s therefore most likely a form of peer pressure (or will to defy peer pressure) which is stronger amongst twins than siblings and only children.Until you define the environmental factors and their attributions to someone deciding (thinking) they are gay then you can’t say for definite.The only logic given for someone being gay as opposed to choosing to be gay you offer is gay people don’t usually say they choose to be gay.. I believe it goes something like “I was always attracted to boys…” etc.Belief in something, belief that you are something doesn’t mean you actually are, e.g. Someone who is suicidal who doesn’t believe they have anything to offer to the world is wrong.. no matter how they feel or what evidence they can offer.Also you are completely missing out bi-sexuals and people who are happily married for years suddenly deciding to leave their partner and go for someone of the opposite sex.Also, if there are people who are in denial about their homosexuality.. or people who suddenly realise they are homosexual, the opposite must be true. There must be homosexuals who are in denial about their heterosexuality.. who are believing and acting as though they are gay.. convincing themselves they are gay, when actually all along they have been heterosexual.Have you never heard of the term ‘delusional’. Many anti-theists consider us to be delusional. Believing in something that doesn’t exist.People can become so convinced of something that it actually becomes self-perpetuating.I’ll give you one last nugget to chew on… Feral children. Genetics or environment? Predisposition or lack of awareness?Would a feral child describe themselves as making a choice to take on the characteristics of an animal, or would it have seemed more natural to crawl around on all fours and bark instead of speak?I am genuinely interested to see if you can frame genetic traits in terms of those suffering Mowgli Syndrome.:)

  • Pete

    When you talk about the 20% correlation between twins, you mention a mixture of unknown environmental factors.. but isn’t it true that until you know the percentage and definitions of environmental factors then you can’t really quote the stats at all?No, I don’t. It is quite simple. The fact that it is 20% is simply a measurement. Counting. 1,2,3,4,5. The reason there must be some environmental factor is because it is not 100%. What the environmental factor is, if not many things, is irrelevant to 1 in 5. That is simple counting. 1,2,3,4,5. Now, why is 20% significant? It only has meaning when compared to the general population. If there were no genetic causation of any kind, they identical twins separated at birth should not be any more likely to become homosexual then any adopted seperated brothers. And the rate of the latter is known, and is the same as the general public at large under any consideration, somewhere between like 1-3%.We need not determine what the enviormental additoins are to state these facts. They are simple counts.Indentical twins seperated at birth 20%everyone, including brothers seperated at birth 1-3%There are two explanations for this. Either there is some genetic predisposition, or this is result is just chance (ie, what are the odds you flip a fair coin and get 50 heads in a row, the odds are not zero). As the sample size gets larger, the odds of it being chance decrease into negligence. or is it because both they or their parents get a kick out of dressing identical twins identically?Everything you say in this section is irrelevant as the twins are separated at birth.The fact that all gay people I knew asserted it was always that way does not answer the environmental cause. It just leans towards concluding whatever it is, it happens early.I don’t treat bisexuality different, whatever the causes, whether they are genetic, environmental, or choice; applies to whether you are attracted to one, the other, or both.As for people who are mistaken about being hetersexual or homosexual, personally I have never heard of any. I know personally one man who was married who latter turned out to be gay. But he was never mistaken, he always knew he was gay. He got married to conform to society and the catholic church. But maybe there are people like that. Either way, I’m not here to speculate any environmental causes. That is not the point of my involvement here. You can have the last word on that if you wish. My point is that it is not only environmental causes. There is no other way to interpret the identical twin study.

  • http://www.abandonallfear.co.uk Alex Fear

    @Pete,Fair enough, you have a point about twins dressing identically, I concede that point.However even separated twins does not confirm a genetic trait.Once again correlation != causation.A disease, or physical characteristic is genetic, it is not a choice, genes can be identified, characteristics can be identified.Sexuality, and whoever or whatever you choose to have sex with is a choice, just as criminal behavior is a choice.There is another factor we have not touched on here, cultural. There are certain stereotypes attributed to homosexuals, whilst not characteristic of homosexuals as a whole, there are stereotypes e.g. effeminate.But an effeminate man is not necessarily gay. We in the West live in a culture where sexuality is increasingly open and accepted. A man may look at his own characteristics and interests (eg. prefer dancing to football) and these indicators causes him to ‘feel’ or ‘realise’ he is gay.Again, as I stated earlier, scientists are now looking at neuroscience to explain homosexuality rather than genetics.If a persons brain operates a certain way, is influenced be certain cultural aspects, then they are likely to respond in a certain way to those cultural pointers. Eg. A man who is relationship driven, or a woman who is goal orientated.For me, the twin studies are inconclusive. I need to take each twin as an individual and look at the life and environment they are raised in. If you can’t provide the stats and details regarding the environmental factors, you can’t really just rely on the one conclusion.Finally, I don’t know if you will respond after this point as I seem to have exasperated you…1) You completely ignored my question about feral children.2) I mentioned this earlier, but I personally have a female friend who has married a man who thought he was gay (an effeminate man, who comes across stereotypically gay). Who despite ‘being’ gay at the time found himself falling in love (and into bed) with my friend (who he later married).For me , this personally answers the question about homosexuals who may be mistaken about their homosexuality, and also, that genetics does not really explain this situation (since he found himself attracted to a woman, despite ‘being’ openly and to any observer, ‘gay’).Homosexuality is a label we give to a person of a specific gender choosing to have sexual relations with a person of the same gender.Homosexuality is a label for something which is simply a personal preference for sexual gratification.The fact that every year a number of men will report to emergency rooms with vacuum cleaners attached to certain parts of their anatomy satisfies my belief that the only genetic thing about sex is the urge to participate in it, alone or otherwise.

  • http://www.abandonallfear.co.uk Alex Fear

    Sorry, I need to add a bit more, as I don’t think I made this point clear…The point about a person ‘realising’ they are homosexual.. ‘realising’ because of certain things they are attracted to (e.g. men more interesting than women, relationship-orientated, dancing rather than football etc).. the point is these are all defined by the beholder.The twins in the studies identified themselves as gay, however, the first-hand evidence I have offered is that a ‘gay’ person can find themselves being wrong, being attracted to women.The twin studies are a snapshot in time. This is why we need to look at each one personally. Have they suddenly found themselves becoming bisexual later on in life? Have they realised they are in fact heterosexual?)The results are inconclusive and I am inclined to believe in studies of the brain rather than conjecture about genetic traits that offer no actual evidence to be examined under a microscope.I do hope you choose to respond, however I realise in your last post that you acknowledge the results being inconclusive.

  • Pete

    I do hope you choose to respond, however I realize in your last post that you acknowledge the results being inconclusive.I said no such thing. I find the results conclusive that there is some genetic predisposition to homosexuality. I don’t think you understand the nature of the twin study, I’m going to do my best and start over to explain it to you. But before we begin, let me address the feral children, as my answer is pretty simple. I don’t know whether feral children have any genetic predisposition to the behavior. I’m not even sure what it is. Have they done any identical twin studies on feral children separated at birth? If so, what were the results? I’m don’t think there is any other way to isolate genetic and environmental causes so short of such a study I would have nothing to add.The fact that you keep trying to suggest that we need to know the environmental causes to understand the results of the study suggests to me you simply don’t understand the study. Lets drop the identical twin part, and also drop brothers being separated at birth and just study homosexuality. First we identify a homosexual and then look for what might be the cause. We might find it is simple choice, we may ask the young man and he might declare he simply hates God, wants to spite him, and therefore has sex with men. Or maybe he doesn’t believe in God or morality of any kind and finds it pleasurable. These are reasonable answers. Now there are plenty of unrighteous men out there, and most of them would choose to have sexual relations with females they are not married to in the eyes of God and probably multiple females at that, so why a small number display their unrighteous by being attracted to men might still leave some unsatisfied, but maybe it is this simple. Or maybe we notice something else. We notice that homosexual men have a higher incidence of growing up without a father, or who were sexual molested as a child. Now for sure, many people grow up without fathers or are sexually molested that do not grow up to be homosexual, and likewise many homosexuals have neither of these factors, so now we need to discuss what we mean by higher incidence. First we survey the public at large and determine what percentage are homosexuals. For sake of argument, lets conclude it is 1% of the male population is homosexual. Then we locate a random sample of 100 families where the male was absent (or with much more difficulty, where we can confirm sexual abuse). Through whatever research necessary we determine what percentage of male children in such circumstances grow up to be homosexual. For sake of argument, let me make it very large to prove my point, what if 50% of them became homosexual. Is this significant? What would we expect if there was no causation? If there was none, and we had a large enough random sample size (ie, don’t just ask the parents in San Francisco), we would expect the percentage to be the same as the population at large since these factors had no effect, ie 1%. The fact that we find it is 50% is astounding, and would be a strong correlation between absent fathers and homosexuality. Now, like you have repeatedly asserted, this correlation is not necessarily causation. Indeed, maybe it is linked with some other factor that is the real cause. Maybe it is really absent mothers, and you discover absent fathers mean women have to work outside the home more and are effectually more absent then in traditional family situations. Mind you, I am making all of these numbers up. Is there such a correlation? I’m sure such studies have been done, especially since absent fathers used to be a prime suspect for researchers. I suspect since they have moved away from this that careful large scale well designed studied have shown no such correlation. I’ll goggle that sometime later to check but the reality of that is not the point of this discussion. Now, someone might ask, maybe it is genetic? How would we know? What sort of study could we do to isolate out any genetic causes and/or genetic predispositions that could determine a correlation? Well, we could start working on mice, locate those who homosexual behavior, and begin comparing their DNA with that of heterosexual mice. That has probably been tried. You could clone the mice and see if its cloned off spring remains homosexual, even if you create a hundred of them and raise them in 100 different environments. And to really establish it on firm grounds, once you think you have identified the difference, you could splice that into the egg of the cloned animal and see if the resulting mouse is heterosexual. Things like this might have already been done, but you can understand why a good amount of this type of research is not ethical on humans. Also, as discussed before, such a complicated behavior trait such as sexual attraction is probably the result of a great combination of genes and switches, and finding this combination is probably outside of technology right now. And finally, we won’t find anything this simple, because we have already determined that a certain set of DNA does not map directly to homosexual behavior. We know this because of the twin studies, a result Christians like to highlight all the while ignoring what this study also tells us. And it is to this point we turn.Identical twins are perfect for genetic studies because they are our own set of clones. But within the same family, it helps us little because they share an almost identical environment, so isolating one from the other would be tricky. Separated identical twins provide the answer to this, because we know their environments are different. Still, you need to study a large set of twins, over a large amount of environments, to both assure yourself your results are significantly accurate and also to blend away all the environmental factors. You mentioned you studied statistics so I assume I won’t have to belabor the point, but just in case, if you had a coin, and wanted to know what the odds where for each side, flipping it twice and declaring your answer would be a very poor statistics. You would have a 25% chance of getting two heads and therefore concluding it always lands heads, you would get a 25% chance of getting two tails and therefore assuming it always lands tails, and a 50% chance of getting either heads/tails or tails/heads and therefore correctly concluding the odds are the same for each. Likewise, you need a large enough study to make sure you really cancel out environmental factors. If you pick two families, there is a chance by pure luck you pick families supply the same exact environmental cause that was the actual cause of homosexuality, like letting them watch gay porn or having them drink special gay-making grape juice. I think you get the picture.So, if we were able to follow and research a large sample of identical twins separated at birth, I want you to think about what we would expect if THERE WAS NO GENETIC PREDISPOSITION ie genes had NOTHING to do with it at all?All give you a few moments…………Answer: If we locate one that is a twin, we should notfind his identical twin to be more likely to be homosexual then the general population at large. Ie, if 1% of American men are homosexual, and Tim in Florida is gay, then his identical twin Ben in Georgia should be gay on average 1 in 100 times, whatever causes it, be it personal choice, seems to happen in roughly 1 in 100 men and therefore those are the odds for Ben. Since genetics played no role, Ben should not be more likely to be homosexual then any other man. Now what would we expect if it was not just a genetic predisposition but the genes played the entire roll. This one everyone seems to understand, it would be 100%. What is the real result, 1%, or 100%, its neither, its 20%, which means it is not just environment, and not just genetics, but some combination. I think this last point confuses you. Your statement that 1 in 5 is not a high correlation misses the point entirely, why is it not 1 in 100? What do the twins share with each other that would result in 1 and 5 and not 1 and 100. In this case, it is quite clearly NOT the environment. It is their identical genes. So now you push and ask what the environmental cause is, and there must be something. I don’t know. Here is my point. I don’t have to know to conclude there is a genetic predisposition, because that is exactly what the twin study concludes. There must be some genetic predisposition or otherwise we would NOT find a higher percentage of men being homosexual, given that there identical twin is, if they are separated at birth and grow up in completely different circumstances. Really, what I wrote above is all I wish to affirm in this thread, and I hope you understand it now. If you still disagree, please answer this specific question, “why is it 1 in 5 and not 1 in 100, why is it a higher percentage? What could possibly be the cause?” I find the rest of what you wrote irrelevant to this question, and as I just bored you with nearly 3 pages I just comment on a few things.I don’t think people become homosexual because they don’t like football and think the culture tells them then they are gay. I simply can’t fathom this would cause you to want to have sex with a man. Nothing on earth would make me wish to have sex with a man, not even if my life was a stake, and I would do just about any unrighteous thing if my life was at stake. Actually, I don’t like a lot of stereotypical male things, such as Hunting, Nascar, and the outdoors. And I’m all about the ladies. Either way, nothing I said was proof. That is all anecdotal. If you can think of a way to create a large scale study that maps the effects of cultural expectations on effeminate behavior and incidence of homosexuality, I’d like to hear it. Not sure how you would isolate out the fact that maybe homosexuals are effeminate. I mentioned this earlier, but I personally have a female friend who has married a man who thought he was gay (an effeminate man, who comes across stereotypically gay). Who despite ‘being’ gay at the time found himself falling in love (and into bed) with my friend (who he later married).I won’t discount your friend’s experience. Recognize this is antidotal. In order to demonstrate this a large scale study needs to be done (and please clue me in if it has been) that homosexuals, (and allow me to narrow this down to people who have actually had homosexual sex), change, become heterosexual, stop desiring men and begin to desire women. I would be very interested if this was the case. This would be good news for a few of my gay friends who wish they weren’t being they are Christian and looked down upon by the church and society at large (not to mention those who are convicted it is wrong, and are therefore celibate or living in guilt). Likewise, I recognize my comments that those who are gay that I know assert they have always been attracted to men is also antidotal. That is why I was careful not to make some conclusive statement about environmental causes preceding puberty, though I do lean that way, given I have never met anyway who described a different experience. But I very well could be wrong. I’ll let real research decide.For me, the twin studies are inconclusive. I need to take each twin as an individual and look at the life and environment they are raised in. If you can’t provide the stats and details regarding the environmental factors, you can’t really just rely on the one conclusion….The results are inconclusive and I am inclined to believe in studies of the brain rather than conjecture about genetic traits that offer no actual evidence to be examined under a microscope.The results are conclusive. Under your requirement, even if identical twins were gay 100% of the time, you would still not call it conclusive. Indeed, have we found under the microscope the genes that create the hormones and electrical signals that cause a desire of food? Are you suggesting a genetic cause for desiring food is inconclusive? I very much hope I have explained why you are mistaken about this now. If not, there really isn’t much point of continuing. We will have to agree to disagree and hopefully part on good terms. If you do respond, please answer my above question, why is it 1 in 5 and not 1 in 100, why is it a higher percentage? What could possibly be the cause of this difference?

  • http://www.abandonallfear.co.uk Alex Fear

    There seems no point in continuing this, like flogging a dead horse but…You are still interpreting the results incorrectly. Here it is simply put:Say 2% of the overall population (America I assume) are gay.Of that 2% we take twins and find that 1 in 5 (20%) are both gay. Now of that 20% we take 100% of both gay and determine the percentage:a) geneticb) environmentalThe same can be done for the heterosexual group (since you must have to reason that their is a genetic heterosexual trait as well).You see now why the conclusion is wrong?The way you’re interpreting it is that:20% homosexual twins = genetic80% homo/hetero twins = environmentIf you DON’T KNOW what FACTORS and PERCENTAGES make up the ENVIRONMENTAL or GENETIC CAUSE then all you have is a NULL HYPOTHESIS and an INFERENCE.why is it 1 in 5 and not 1 in 100, why is it a higher percentage? What could possibly be the cause of this difference?This is simple maths and is leading.But as to what you infer by it… I don’t know… sample size? selection bias? Failure to reject the null hypothesis? Failing to report a confidence interval (perhaps difficult in a study like this, but how confident was the study that the participants were gay? How sure were the participants?), uncontrolled environmental factors?There are lots of places in these subjective studies where errors can creep in – even during the interview process.Let’s not forget that these are self-idenfitied homosexuals of course.Here’s an I just thought of on the fly. You interview two American twins who are raised apart in America. What is the percentage chance of both being gay if one is gay, as opposed to two Afghanistani twins raised apart in Afghanistan if one is gay? Think about it.I can think up other examples to show how these studies can be interpreted but right now I can’t be bothered.I’m disappointed you weren’t interested in my point about feral children and that you suggested twin studies laughable! At least google “feral children” and inform yourself even if you don’t want to debate this further.As for your request for research, I can’t find any studies but I can direct you to this page for some stats:http://www.thebody.com/content/whatis/art2449.htmlFor older adolescents, half of the boys and girls reported fantasizing exclusively about the opposite gender, while 41.6 percent of older girls and 36.4 percent of older boys reported fantasizing about both genders.Bisexual/lesbian respondents (33 percent) were as likely as their heterosexual peers (29 percent) to have ever had penile-vaginal intercourse, while those unsure of their sexual orientation (22 percent) were less likely to have engaged in penile-vaginal intercourse.Finally, I will conclude with my main arguments, I do not think I will continue to respond after this.1) Genetic traits and genes define what we are, we have no choice over hair colour, facial structure or an inherited disease.2) Behaviour is a choice. A criminal is a criminal for because he commits a crime, not because he was 'born that way'. An polygamist is a polygamist because they choose to marry more than one partner, not because they were 'born that way'. A person chooses to remain celibate… you get the idea.3) There is no such thing as ~sexuality. These are labels that define sexual behaviour. There is attraction, lust and choice/preference. All can be ignored or chosen. Ergo…4) There is no genetic trait that attracts people to animals (bestiality), siblings (incest), objects (objectum sexual) or children (paedophilia), these are simply psychological problems or in some cases demonic (yes I believe in imaginary beings).5) There is not a sexuality trait, just as there is not a criminal trait, or a shopping at Tesco rather than Asda trait.6) People are able to convince themselves very strongly of what they perceive to be the truth. They are also able to find evidence to support their conclusions.7) People also change many times over their lifetime, inside and out. Their ideologies change, their lifestyle choices change. This can be described as a journey, and people who think they are gay now may find themselves attracted to women later, just as there are those married now to a person of the opposite sex who will later divorce and leave for a same-sex lifestyle.—10 years ago I hated my family, and I always had to be out on the social scene. Being at home made me depressed and despondent. I hated being alone with myself. 10 years later, I love nights in, I love my family and I enjoy my privacy and quiet. As a teen I thought I knew it all, as a man I realise I know very little. How many teens confused about sexuality are making choices they wouldn't if they were to wait 10 years?—8) There is a concern amongst some the LG&B; community that defining sexuality by genes may lead to eugenics.I have tried to respond to your points and admittedly I have played the devils advocate.You don't seem interested in addressing the points I raise, whether this is because you see me as intellectually inferior or are simply tiring of this debate, I cannot fathom, however I'm content to leave it there and concede to any new information you may wish to raise in response.It's been fun.

  • http://www.abandonallfear.co.uk Alex Fear

    I apologise for my horrendous grammar and spelling in the last post. I’m a bit tired.

  • Pete

    You don’t seem interested in addressing the points I raise, whether this is because you see me as intellectually inferior or are simply tiring of this debate, I cannot fathomDon’t worry, I don’t consider you intellectually inferior but yes, we are both obviously tiring of this debate. I asserted several posts ago I was only trying to make the twin study clear, I don’t think Feral children have any relation to this at all unless there has been a similar study, as I said before, I don’t know of any other way to separate out genetic and environmental causes.I don’t know if I can make it any clearer at this point, but I will assert once again if there was no genetic predisposition to homosexuality and at careful large scale identical twin study of separated children were done, the result should be 1 in 100, just as the general population.I’ll leave you with a thought to ponder. You don’t have to respond (though a response saying you read my reply would be nice closure, just a smiling face would do)What if the study was done, and the result was, if one twin is gay, the other twin is gay 99% of the time. What would you conclude from this?Thank you for taking the time to participate in this debate.

  • http://www.abandonallfear.co.uk Alex Fear

    :)I’d have to say if the result was closer to 99% then we’d have to factor in a genetic trait.Still I would be skeptical until it was confirmed by a selection of genes, rather than simply phone interviews, social engineering and the subjects own word on it.Too much we don’t understand about the world yet, I also believe in curses and family inherited curses (obviously once a person begins to live in fellowship with Christ, curses have no power).I know that some Christians who read this blog would conclude I was being ‘irrational’ but I think that’s like two kids playing in the mud, one pointing out how much dirtier the other kid is.Since we all believe in the invisible sky-fairy then we should be mindful of other powers and principalities, and be careful not to place our own individual God in a little protected box so that it fits in with our natural worldview.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04242830221402075183 Ruth Paul

    Male impotence is such a nightmare that every man shudders to think of it. But still the fact is that every man has to confront with it at one point of his life for some or the other reason. A mans psychology plays a great role in the sexual relationship of a man. http://www.viagrathunder.com


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X