Psychoanalytic theory and the etiology of homosexuality: What does research say?

Does research support psychoanalytic explanations for homosexuality? In one recent exchange at the blog, Ex-Gay Watch, NARTH Scientific Advisory Board member, Jim Phelan advanced psychoanalytic theory with reference to a book entitled, Freud Scientifically Reappraised: Testing the theories and therapy, by Seymour Fisher and Roger Greenberg (1996). The 1996 edition is an update of their initial report in 1977. Specifically Dr. Phelan said that Fisher and Greenberg concluded that empirical research supported the Oedipally based Freudian conception of male homosexuality being derived from a distant or negative father and an overprotective mother – the so-called “classic triadic relationship.” 

I have expressed reservations about the psychoanalytic model before on this blog. Rereading Fisher and Greenberg refreshed my memory about why I do not believe the evidence for the theory is strong.

Regarding male homosexuality, Fisher and Greenberg said on page 139,

The post-1977 material we have reviewed concerning male homosexuality has narrowed the apparent support for Freud’s formulation in this area. Previously, we regarded the empirical data to be congruent with with Freud’s theory that male homosexuality derives from too much closeness to mother and a distant negative relationship with father. As noted, the increased pool of data available reinforces the concept of the negative father but fails to support the idea of the overly close, seductive mother…So we are left with only one of the major elements in Freud’s original formula concerning the parental vectors that are involved in moving a male child toward homosexuality. This reduction in confirmed points on the graph makes it all too easy to conjure up alternative theories of homosexuality that could incorporate the “negative father” data…There would be no need to appeal to the Oedipal image of a son competing with his father for mother’s love.

And so Fisher and Greenberg suggest that the evidence they reviewed supported a correlation between negative fathering and adult homosexuality but not the Oedipal drama surrounding mother. In addition to this limitation of psychoanalytic theory, there is no need to limit theorizing to thinking that poor fathering causes homosexual attractions in some general way for all same-sex attracted men. The empirical work is not able to specify well where the father-son relationship may have faltered. When sons recollect poor relationships with father, the questionnaires infrequently capture when the bad relationship occurred. For many men, I have spoken to and worked with, the bad relationships that are reported came after the emergence of homosexual interests, often in young adolescence. Furthermore, a sizable number of homosexual men report no such disruptions ever.

Fisher and Greenberg acknowledge the deficits in the research. Regarding early research (pre-1977), they noted:

…this entire body of literature is based on a strategy of asking adult homosexual subjects (and the adult heterosexual controls) to remember how their parents treated them during childhood. The questionnaires made such inquiries as, “Was your mother overly close to you?” “Was she intrusive?” “Was your father cold?” “Was he weak?” “Was he distant?” (p. 136).

The authors are skeptical that this strategy is sufficient to address the theoretical formulations that fathers were in fact all of the traits described. Furthermore, the authors pointed out four major methodological problems with the early research.

1. Some of the studies were based on highly selective samples (e.g., homosexuals in treatment or institutionalized for some reason).

2. The definitions of “homosexual” were in some instances so vague that one cannot distinguish whether subjects were possibly bisexual or had simply experimented on a limited basis with homosexual acts.

3. Bias was introduced into responses because some subjects were in psychoanalytic therapy and therefore had already been indoctrinated with Freud’s theory of homosexuality.

4. Few attempts were made to differentiate subjects with reference to mediating variables such as degree of integration into the homosexual community, age at which consistent homosexual behavior began, or degree of masculinity-femininity.

For me, these are crucial research issues that should make anyone very cautious in describing the body of research as supporting a conclusion. Even so, Fisher and Greenberg lent support to the observation of significant deficits in father-son relationships with male homosexual sons. Unaddressed is the issue of direction of causal relationship. Did the research identify the cause of homosexuality being poor fathering or on the other hand, can we tell whether fathers and sons were disrupted due to the emerging behavioral and sexual differences of the sons? The answer to both sides of that question is no, we can’t tell. And as Fisher and Greenberg note, with the mother dimension in serious question, the reparative/Oedipal explanation involving father is weakened. It may be that fathers are involved in cause but in some other more peripheral way (e.g., they do not support traditional heterosexual norms) or it may be that father-son relationships are strained but not with causal implications at all.

As for research regarding lesbians, the psychoanalytic notion is similar. Conflicted mother-daughter relationships are implicated, along with negative fathers. However, Fisher and Greenberg did not find support for the mother-daughter dynamic but did find a weak relationship between lesbianism and negative fathers. The same research cautions mentioned with regards to gay males applies here.

What can we conclude? Very little, in my opinion. It is inconsistent with the most charitable reading of what is not very good research to say psychoanlysis is supported as to etiology of homosexuality. In a future post, I hope to look at research since 1996.

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  • Ron Moule

    For gay men, there are lots of other aspects of psychoanalysis that relate to our sexuality not in terms of causation, but in terms of practice. See the work of Winnicott, Lacan and Stoller – no they don’t write Motown songs, but do concentrate on linguistic and symbolic experience i childhood and adolescence which shapes and expresses desire.

    More relevant perhaps to sexuality is the fight AGAINST homosexual desire, in attacks on gay people, institutions and politics by hate- and fear-filled religion, conservatism and fascism: what about the aetiology of “homophobia”?

    Another key aspect which “aetiologist” theories ignore is the experience of so=called “bisexuals” – I prefer to call the experience heterosexual and homosexual, rather than “name” the person – that is strongly-felt desires which are not restricted to one sexual object. If aetiology fixes sexual object-choice, how can so many lesbian and gay people have obtained pleasure from encounters which are heterosexual, and how can so many quite happy heterosexuals obtain gratification, pleasure, intimacy, love or thrills from gay experiences or relationships?

    Remember, Freud’s explanation of the Oedipus complex ignored some key aspects of the original story, privileging the child’s perspective and ignoring the parent’s; ignoring the child’s experience towards their own children especially: he overlooked homo-social aspects of the myth, preferring to hetrerosexualise the narrative.

    Much of his other work on homosexuality is buried, or can be inferred, from his later work; it is almost a theory through masquerade and disguise. When I wrote to Anna Freud she was interested in exploring her relationship with her father; a few months later I received a lovely note from her life-long companion explaining her illness prevented her from taking part in the film.

    Some might ask, why did Freud bring up a daughter who not only followed him into the “family firm”, but did not marry; others might ask whether Anna was herself a daughter, not only of Freud, but of Bilitis.

    (type-corrected)

  • http://www.jimphelan.vox.com Jim Phelan

    Warren: I see you draw attention, not only to the Fisher & Greenberg texts, but to XGW, whereas the commenters there are rather hostile to where I state that F&G, for the most part, claim to support Freudian theory. This is largely due to their pro-gay stance and disgust for any therapy other then gay affirmative. Yes, where F&G says it is “…all too easy to conjure up alternative theories…”, is indeed why we find ourselves so much in this culture war. I really hope folks will read, in entirety, both the 1977 or 1985 version (published by Columbia University) and the 1996 version, and not just rely solely on an extract paragraph or two, or pro-gay comments about such, especially from most who haven’t even read the books, nor even heard of them until my recent mentioning of them.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    Ron – I would be quite interested in your correspondence with Anna Freud. Care to share more?

    Jim – Yes, I hope people read both editions as well. I also hope readers who are interested look at the data and methods used in those studies. Many are case studies and simple surveys. And I hope people note the fact that Fisher and Greenberg, after reviewing all that stuff had many reservations and caveats. When I read reparative therapists writings, I rarely see those caveats.

  • Drowssap

    On this board gay people hail from every family dynamic. Timothy Kincaid came from a great family while Lynn David had a much more difficult time growing up. I don’t want to discount family dynamic entirely because it certainly has an effect but it can’t be the sole cause of SSA. If poor upbringing caused SSA children from broken homes would largely be gay.

    Since there isn’t a plethora of good research on SSA I read a lot about other things.

    Schizophrenia isn’t SSA but the evidence surrounding it is fascinating.

    Childhood abuse seems to correlate with Schizophrenia

    http://psychcentral.com/news/2006/06/13/child-abuse-can-cause-schizophrenia/

    BUT… as far as true mechanisms are concerned environmental damage has become the dominant theory.

    Flu virus triggers Schizophrenia and Autism

    http://www.autismconnect.org/news.asp?section=00010001&itemtype=news&id=6252

    Link found between TBE Virus and schizophrenia

    http://www.thelocal.se/9013/20071106/

    Schizophrenics suffer from environmental damage, no doubt about it. But abuse appears to hinder the bodies repair mechanisms.

    Could SSA be the result of of an early or prenatal environmental exposure? Could social enviroment and stress also play a roll? Maybe on both counts.

  • Evan

    I think Freud’s intuitive labelling of homosexuality as having a developmental nature will be proven right someday, although any biological component may be significantly missing there. I have noticed this ‘arrested development’ type in most gay men I know, this childlike and narcissistic (in the general sense, not the pathological one) stance. I’m not saying that it is a disorder or that gays should be looked at as lesser people, far from me this assumption. I’m talking about ‘being different’, just as Michael Bailey says that, on average, gays display more effeminate features (the technical term is ‘sex atypical’).

    As Freud pointed out in that letter to the mother of a homosexual, there is no shame in being homosexual, on the contrary, many great men and women have been homosexual and are remembered for great works or art and of thought (some among the greatest). But at the same time, just my personal opinion on the subject, the nature of homosexuality is not the same as that of heterosexuality, without making any assumption about social legitimacy or status. We should not force research to only bring to the surface what conforms to already established politics. Rights should not be based on research — and I think Freud’s position is impregnated with this thought too. Frank Aqueno, the gay writer I have referred to in some messages here, said that trying to conform to heterosexual institutions, like marriage, or asking the question “Do you think I have chosen to be this way?” is homophobic, is trying to validate oneself according to majoritarian social practices.

  • jayhuck

    Warren,

    For many men, I have spoken to and worked with, the bad relationships that are reported came after the emergence of homosexual interests, often in young adolescence. Furthermore, a sizable number of homosexual men report no such disruptions ever.

    Thank you for stating this – this has indeed been my experience as well, but its nice to know others have experienced the same.

    Drowssap -

    Could SSA be the result of of an early or prenatal environmental exposure? Could social enviroment and stress also play a roll? Maybe on both counts.

    Could OSA be the result of an early or prenatal environmental exposure? Could social environment and stress play a role in the development of OSAs?

    I do take some issue with comparing homosexuality, which is not a disorder, with schizophrenia or autism which are.

  • http://www.jimphelan.vox.com Jim Phelan

    Yes, Warren, I agree that Fisher and Greenberg, had reservations and caveats (you said “many”, I feel “some”, are more like it), which should be expected from any neutral observer conducting a review and anticipating its publication to a major book company, however, I would add they were rather optimistic, actually, very optimistic, especially for a book published in 1996. Please, at least recognize this and relinquish some of your unbalanced portrayal of the book, the theory, and psychoanalysis itself.

    To address your earlier comments, alluding to rather light research methods, the whole field of clinical psychology, including especially the elite sector of psychoanalysis, would have to close shop if it were not for “case studies and simple surveys” which have led the way, rather the general norm, not the exception, of the profession itself. I’m not agreeing this was the way to have gone about it, I would love to see funding for large scale, random study of psychodynamic factors, but unfortunately, this did not happen, and probably will never happen given the political direction of research these days. God have mercy.

  • jayhuck

    Evan,

    But at the same time, just my personal opinion on the subject, the nature of homosexuality is not the same as that of heterosexuality, without making any assumption about social legitimacy or status. We should not force research to only bring to the surface what conforms to already established politics. Rights should not be based on research — and I think Freud’s position is impregnated with this thought too. Frank Aqueno, the gay writer I have referred to in some messages here, said that trying to conform to heterosexual institutions, like marriage, or asking the question “Do you think I have chosen to be this way?” is homophobic, is trying to validate oneself according to majoritarian social practices.

    Regarding your opinion on the nature of homosexuality and heterosexuality – I’m sure that opinion is shared by many people, but the fact is we don’t know.

    As for Frank Aqueno, it is fine for him to say these things, but he doesn’t speak for all or even most of the gay community. You are correct that rights should not be based on research, but they should be equal. If the gay community wants to get married, they should have that right, just as Mr. Aqueno should have the right NOT to marry if he so desires.

  • jayhuck

    Evan,

    I have noticed this ‘arrested development’ type in most gay men I know, this childlike and narcissistic (in the general sense, not the pathological one) stance.

    I have noticed this same “type” in many straight men as well. Sometimes, we find things in people that we expect to be there! There is no research I know of that shows that this arrested development is common in most gay men.

  • Drowssap

    jayhuck

    Could OSA be the result of an early or prenatal environmental exposure? Could social environment and stress play a role in the development of OSAs?

    Without OSA all higher forms of life on Earth would be dead within a few months. There is nothing mysterious or particularly interesting about its origins.

    The reason I read about Autism and Schiz is because both are mental, and both reduce the chances of having offspring. More importantly both get a lot of research dollars. When SSA starts getting money thrown at it, I’ll stop reading about other things.

  • jayhuck

    Drowssap -

    Without OSA all higher forms of life on Earth would be dead within a few months. There is nothing mysterious or particularly interesting about its origins.

    There is little if no chance of this ever happening, but you are wrong about NEEDING OSA – science has developed to the point that we only need men and women, we don’t need OSA! Not that there’s a chance it will ever disappear – on the contrary, it is more likely that over-population and dwindling resources will be the end result.

    Autism and Schiz, as you call it, are disorders – SSA is not. Perhaps if we studied OSA we could unlock SSA as well. There’s no real reason to think that understanding OSA couldn’t help us understand SSA, and I think that’s enough of a case to put some importance on researching it.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Timothy Kincaid came from a great family

    Oh, good heavens no. My father is still living and out of respect I’ll avoid discussing the particulars of my childhood but it’s fair to say that my parents hadn’t the faintest clue about raising children and did an abysmal job. They just didn’t conform to the stereotypes about the parent of gay men. My father was not distant during my childhood and my mother was not smothering. And whatever the flaws of their parenting skills, my perceptions were always that they were happy with each other.

  • Evan

    Great reply, Drowssap. I couldn’t say it better. =))

    But I for one am primarily interested in why men and women are attracted to each other. We will not be able to understand any other type of attractions until we get a grasp of that. Maybe that’s what is missing from the picture to elucidate all types of sexual identity: the original print.

  • http://www.jimphelan.vox.com Jim Phelan

    Warren,

    After you graciously pointed out four major methodological problems with the early research, verbatim, I notice you did not add, verbatim, what the authors immediately said after such:

    “Fisher concluded that despite such defects, the overall trend of the findings was significant. In addition, he pointed out that these were individual studies…of unusually high quality in which a number of the confounding variables just mentioned were well controlled, and the results still supported the ‘negative father’ hypothesis” (p. 138).

    This is quit different from your accusations.

  • ken

    Evan said in post 68308:

    I have noticed this ‘arrested development’ type in most gay men I know, this childlike and narcissistic (in the general sense, not the pathological one) stance

    How is it that you know these men Evan?

  • quo mark II

    Warren,

    One shouldn’t conclude, like Fisher and Greenberg, that patients in psychoanalysis would have been indoctrinated with ‘Freud’s theory of homosexuality’ (actually several different theories). They would have been ‘indoctrinated’, if anything, in the theories of their analysts, which might differ from Freud in various ways, both minor and major.

  • Drowssap

    Jim Phelan

    Hi Jim,

    I’ve got a question. Have you ever considered that homosexuality might be biological in origin, but not genetic? By that I mean that most 99.9%+ of the population is genetically designed for OSA. However exposure to something in the environment at a very early age (possibly prenatal) creates SSA wiring?

    It sounds crazy until you consider thats where narcolepsy comes from. Schiz, Autism and OCD are almost certainly caused by exposures. If those things are environmental, why not SSA?

    I don’t mean to eliminate genes and socialization from the picture. But take ulcers as an example. Ulcers are caused by a bacteria, but genes, diet and tempermant can push symptoms one way or the other.

  • jayhuck

    Drowssap -

    By that I mean that most 99.9%+ of the population is genetically designed for OSA.

    You could just as easily say that 99.9% of the population is designed for SSA – I think what you meant is that 99% of the population is designed for CONCEPTION, something that shouldn’t necessarily be confused with love or attraction.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    Jayhuck – Why do people acquire OSA?

  • http://www.jimphelan.vox.com Jim Phelan

    Drowssap,

    I would be foolish to disregard the role of biological (not genetic) factors in the role of homosexual development. One in particular, is temperament. I believe, that temperate can be a distinguished factor on how a boy or girl resolves their oedipal conflicts and perhaps other social factors that lead to homosexual development.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    I’m curious about temperament.

    Is it also a distinguishing factor on left-handedness or extreme right-handedness? Is temperament a distinguishing factor on fraternal birth order? Is it a distinguishing factor on the size of the isthmus of the corpus callosum? Does it impact the length of fingers or auditory response? Does temperament have an impact on the x-chromosomes of someone’s mother?

  • Evan

    Jayhuck:

    There is little if no chance of this ever happening [end of all human life on Earth without OSA people], but you are wrong about NEEDING OSA – science has developed to the point that we only need men and women, we don’t need OSA!

    Now THAT is a scary statement. It sounds like 3002: Sexual Odyssey…

  • jayhuck

    Evan,

    Now THAT is a scary statement. It sounds like 3002: Sexual Odyssey…

    LOL ;)

  • jayhuck

    Warren,

    Jayhuck – Why do people acquire OSA?

    I think I may be missing something here. I don’t believe that people ACQUIRE any orientation – OSA or SSA. I might need you to elaborate a little more on the question before I can answer it!

  • Drowssap

    Evan

    Glad ya liked my response, hehe.

    But I for one am primarily interested in why men and women are attracted to each other. We will not be able to understand any other type of attractions until we get a grasp of that. Maybe that’s what is missing from the picture to elucidate all types of sexual identity: the original print.

    Every aspect of OSA sexual attraction can be boiled down to reproductive self interest. What straight men and women find physically & socially attractive is so predictable that it isn’t even interesting. Except for some darned reason whenever there is a show on this subject I can’t pull my eyes away from it. 8-)

    But realistically straight men and women are very predictable. If you look at large groups they are completely, 100% predictable.

  • Drowssap

    Timothy Kincaid

    Oh, good heavens no. My father is still living and out of respect I’ll avoid discussing the particulars of my childhood but it’s fair to say that my parents hadn’t the faintest clue about raising children and did an abysmal job.

    DOH! I stand corrected. I don’t know why, I always thought you had a great childhood growing up.

    Sounds like we might have had the same parents. 8-)

  • Drowssap

    Jim Phelan

    Could some people be gay because of tempermant? Yes. But 3% or 4% of the male species? No way! Mother Nature is too precise.

    How could that sort of personality survive with such a massive fitness anchor attached to it? Fast forward 1,000 years and men would all be Braveheart. All the nice guy genes would be gone.

  • jayhuck

    Drowssap -

    How could that sort of personality survive with such a massive fitness anchor attached to it? Fast forward 1,000 years and men would all be Braveheart. All the nice guy genes would be gone.

    Sounds like some stereotyping there to me. ;)

  • Drowssap

    Jim Phelan

    I think the biggest problem I have with a purely psychoanalytical explanation for SSA is that it doesn’t predict all of the various, physical anomolies we see.

    In 2000 Kenneth Zucker did a Meta analysis of 20 studies that looked into handedness and homosexuality. SSA research gets little funding. The fact that scientists thought it was worthwhile to conduct 20 studies that asked 1 question tells me something. It was an important question. And yes, they found out that homosexuals are about twice as likely to be left handed as straights.

    http://people.uleth.ca/~martin.lalumiere/pdf%20files/Lalumiere%20et%20al%202000.pdf

    To the man on the street an increased incidence of left handedness sounds genetic, but it isn’t. That’s called pathological left handedness and it’s a sign of an environmental exposure or instability.

    (Google pathological left handed and premature baby, or meningitis or hard labor, lots of things switch babies/toddlers from right to left handed)

  • Drowssap

    jayhuck

    Sounds like some stereotyping there to me

    Well, maybe a little, hehe.

  • jayhuck

    Drowssap -

    To the man on the street an increased incidence of left handedness sounds genetic, but it isn’t. That’s called pathological left handedness and it’s a sign of an environmental exposure or instability

    That is true, but we are not talking about an INCREASED INCIDENCE in left-handedness, we are talking about an pre-existing incidence of left-handedness -

    If several DIFFERENT groups started developing left-handedness than that would be indicative of something pathological, but if we keep finding something in a particular group of people – such as Sickle Cell disease in African Americans – then THAT says we may be looking at something genetic.

  • jayhuck

    Drowssap -

    (Google pathological left handed and premature baby, or meningitis or hard labor, lots of things switch babies/toddlers from right to left handed)

    You can’t compare talking about babies to talking about different subsets of people. I’m sure the babies/toddlers you were talking about were of all different types: African American, Hispanic, Caucasian, etc…

  • Drowssap

    jayhuck

    I’m not sure of your point in the last post. Around half of all premature babies are born left handed. Children exposed to meningitis at an early age are also massively more likely to be left handed. Any kind of trauma as a result of the birth process also increases the likelihood of being a lefty. Why even slight brain damage switches hand orientation from right to left I don’t think anyone knows for sure. I don’t think any of this has been broken down by race. Race probably isn’t much of a factor at all.

  • Drowssap

    jayhuck

    I think where the disconnect is that you view homosexuals almost like a distinct group or race. In fact gay people appear to be genetically identical to straights. Someday they’ll find a “gay” gene but even in that case most people with it will be 100% straight.

  • jag

    Drowsapp states:

    “Without OSA all higher forms of life on Earth would be dead within a few months. There is nothing mysterious or particularly interesting about its origins.”

    I beg to differ. Like Jayhuck, I think there is something interesting about the origins of any “attraction,” although I find that human reproductive potential is likely less of a question. To be frank, I think that acknowledging OSA as inherent and natural may say something about attraction in general…is attraction inherent in most, or inherent ONLY in those who experience it in a certain direction? We certainly know that OSA is societally reinforced as well.

    I disagree that OSA holds little mystery. Knowing how humans function in the majority, says much about how many who have differing yet similar (attractions but not in a similar direction) might experience these.

    Biology is often something that builds on conventional knowledge to explain exceptions.

    Warren further states a rather interesting question:

    “Why do people acquire OSA?”

    Science leads us to believe that it is inherent to aid in reproductive capacity. As I stated above, if we acknowledge it is inherent, we have to consider that SSA may be also. The reason? Like hetersexuality, we see homosexuality in a variety of forms in nature, and from my own understanding, we have seen it consistently throughout cultures/history worldwide as well.

    I’m not really sure we yet know the exact origin of the attractions, but studies of oxytocin and other biological functions are starting to lead us to believe that SSA at least has a biological component, much like its OSA counterpart.

    As I’ve stated many times on this blog, and perhaps agree with Drowsapp on:

    I don’t find anything “mysterious or particularly interesting” the origins of opposite-sexed attractions, nor do I find the origins of SSA all that interesting. What does it matter?

  • http://www.jimphelan.vox.com Jim Phelan

    Drowssap,

    You said: “And yes, they found out that homosexuals are about twice as likely to be left handed as straights.”

    So, what does that show? Considering most people have two hands, there’s a 50/50 chance the’d be right or left handed, and “twice” is half! And finally, what about the gay person who is right-handed?

  • Evan

    Jag: As I stated above, if we acknowledge it [OSA] is inherent, we have to consider that SSA may be also. The reason? Like hetersexuality, we see homosexuality in a variety of forms in nature, and from my own understanding, we have seen it consistently throughout cultures/history worldwide as well.

    This is a very contentious statement. There is a methodological problem of understanding animal behaviour using human motivation associated with similar behaviour. Most animals don’t have sex, they reproduce, but there have been studies showing some gratuitous sexual activity in dolphins and other species. Some argue that homosexual behaviour in animals comes from a form of exercising physical bashing and authority given a limited range of animal expression. Anyway, we could argue over this a lot, without agreeing on much, because we cannot establish whether same-sex animals are attracted to each other or are attracted to having sex.

    I know Bagemihl collected evidence of same-sex behaviour from over four hundred species, but the question of attractions and comparability with human behaviour is unresolved.

    In rats, scientists noticed changes in sexual preference just by tampering with levels of hormones, in humans it is obvious why this cannot be the case.

    Why do attractions matter as an object of study? It matters per se, and it matters because finding causes can help improve people with dysfunctions in sexual life, caused by imbalances or deficiencies in brain function.

  • Eddy

    Jim–

    I think your math comprehension skills might be on par with mine. Please note this portion of drowssaps’s statement: “twice as likely to be left-handed”. I don’t know where you were trying to go with the 50/50 thing.

    I’m thinking it would translate something like: If TWO out of 20 straight people are left-handed then FOUR out of 20 gay people would be. Even so, it’s an odd little statement. I’ve known lots of gay people over the years and never noticed an overabundance of lefties.

  • Ann

    When the word “science” is used in reference to validating or invalidating certain facts regarding homosexuality – what exactly does the word mean? Is it medical, biology, research, psychology, surveys, etc.?, and if so, who determines what individual or individuals are selected? I have only read/heard that people from ministries or ex-ex-gay groups are the ones involved and that the nature of the science or research are are surveys. Is this what is meant by “science?” I would still like to know more about people who are blind from birth and how they are attracted to people and how do they envision this individual in their mind? If they have not seen pictures or bodies, what would be their attraction and how do they envision having sex? Would it matter to them if they experienced receiving initial oral sex or penis stimulation from a man or a woman if they got the same end effect? If intercourse was involved, I’m also wondering if they had no pre-conceived visualizations, would they be able to be stimulated by both genders to reach orgasam? If they could not envision sex except to feel it and then become attracted to that which stimulated them, then wouldn’t that tell us more about fluidity? Would that be able to help us understand whether attractions are innate or could they be acquired? If acquired, what is it that a blind person is attracted to, regarding specific gender, if they cannot see the object of their affection? Are they binded to this one attraction and does it preclude them from feeling attracted to a same or opposite gendered individual? On an emotional level, what is it that they see and feel in their mind that would direct their attention to one gender or another if sex was not involved? I know I only used the male gender here but I also believe my questions would apply to a female as well.

  • jayhuck

    Drowssap,

    I think where the disconnect is that you view homosexuals almost like a distinct group or race. In fact gay people appear to be genetically identical to straights. Someday they’ll find a “gay” gene but even in that case most people with it will be 100% straight.

    Um, I would hope that gay people and straight people are at least 99.9% similar genetically given that we belong to the same Genus and Species ;) I think what you meant to say with that “most people will be 100% straight” statement is that most mammals of the same genus and species will be similar. That’s just a given really.

  • jayhuck

    Evan,

    This is a very contentious statement. There is a methodological problem of understanding animal behaviour using human motivation associated with similar behaviour.

    Why is this such a contentious statement? I don’t think that Jag was trying to argue that we only use animals to understand humans, because she also provided information that you failed to address which had to do with the fact that homosexuality has existed in nearly all times and in many different and varied settings/cultures.

    Most animals don’t have sex

    As for this I’m not sure where to start – most animals aren’t single-celled organisms that reproduce asexually – most actually do have sex. Perhaps not in your country but they do here. :)

  • Drowssap

    jag

    What I’m getting at is that if OSA didn’t exist all higher life on the planet would quickly perish. It wouldn’t be a gradual Children of Men scenario. If animals stopped breeding planet Earth would quickly turn into a wasteland. The dinosaur extinction would be minimal by comparison.

    Nobody doubts that OSA is strongly and robustly built into the system.

    Example

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071025120520.htm

    Nematodes have only 383 nerve cells in their entire bodies. Mother Nature devotes 8 to sexual orientation. That’s a full 2%! If just 1 of the 8 cells survives to puberty a male nematode becomes “straight.” Why do Nematodes have 8 cells when just 1 is enough? Because to Mother Nature babies are the entire ballgame.

  • Drowssap

    Jim Phelan

    An increased incidence of left handedness is a biological marker that something is going on in the environment. Scientists were smart enough to ask that question in 20 seperate studies because it is an important piece of general information. Are there 20 respectable studies that asked any other question about SSA? I don’t think there are. 100% of the gay population doesn’t need to be left handed before it becomes an important clue.

    Example

    1) Car lot A, 10% of the vehicles have microscopic scratches on their paint

    2) Car lot B, 20% of the vehicles have microscopic scratches on their paint

    That’s a strong clue that something different is happening in these two car lots. If ALL of the cars in lot B also shared another trait the microscopic scratches that 20% had would help solve the entire mystery.

  • Drowssap

    jayhuck

    I don’t mean to imply that gays and straights are 99.9% identical. I mean that as far as we know today gays and straights are 100% genetically identical. There might be a difference but nobody has been able to find it. Identical twins routinely have opposite orientations.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Jim and Eddy,

    Left-handedness occurs in about 7 to 10 percent of the population. Gay men and women have about a 39% higher likelihood of being left-handed than do people at large. Gay men also have a higher percentage of extreme right-handedness – though I don’t know the increased likelihood.

    In other words, most people are moderately right-handed. Gay people (or men, at least) are far more likely to be found on either end of the spectrum.

    Incidentally, the portion of the brain that impacts handedness, the corpus collosum, also seems to have a measurable physical difference based on orientation.

    Sandra Witelson, a neuroscientist in the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University, recently released the results of a study on the subject. As part of her research she observed the measurements of the isthmus of the corpus collosum and results of dexterity tests on her sample population of right handed gay and straight men. She was able to then predict the sexual orientation of her test subjects with 96% accuracy.

  • Evan

    Ann,

    I asked myself that question a few times, trying to find any research on blindness and sexuality, but information is really scarce. The study of people with congenital blindness could clarify what role does vision play in the formation of attractions, since their development of sexual interest occurs without visual cues and eye contact.

  • jag

    Evan -

    I suggest you do some reading on this:

    “Most animals don’t have sex, they reproduce, but there have been studies showing some gratuitous sexual activity in dolphins and other species.”

    There have been numerous studies showing same-sex behavior that is related to long-term pair bonding in a number of species…if you’d like references, here are some places to start:

    Let’s start with the Bonobo or Pygmy chimpanzee…who have arguably one of the most extensive same-sex sexual repertoires – many are bisexual. Not to get too graphic, but they have mutual genital rubbing and other non-reproductive acts – these also are not done for status, but simply mutual pleasure and with mutual affection.

    Blount, B.G. (1990). Issues in Bonobo Sexual Behavior” American Anthropologist 92: 702-714.

    We also see homosexuality in giraffes…

    Coe, M.J. ” Necking Behavior in the Giraffe” Journal of Zoology, London 151: 313-21

    But like in Heterosexuality, in homosexuality in animals we see monogomy, and nonmonogamy, lifelong bonds and nonlasting pairs, parenting and nonparenting relationships.

    We compare humans to animals all the time – we do psychological and physical research using them as models. Obviously, there is not always exact translation, but the comparative points are certainly undeniable.

    I don’t think it is so “contentious” to say, or controversial. Please give some time to review some journals in the area, you’d be surprised what you find. Birds, dragonflies, etc…

  • Drowssap

    Timothy Kincaid

    Sandra Witelson, a neuroscientist in the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University, recently released the results of a study on the subject. As part of her research she observed the measurements of the isthmus of the corpus collosum and results of dexterity tests on her sample population of right handed gay and straight men. She was able to then predict the sexual orientation of her test subjects with 96% accuracy.

    Fascinating! I never heard of this, is it new? Has it been replicated?

  • Drowssap

    Here is the study Tim is refering to

    http://psychcentral.com/news/2007/11/08/born-to-be-gay/1504.html

    Obviously I disagree with the notion that this is genetic. Biological? No doubt about it. I guess time will tell.

  • jayhuck

    Drowssap -

    ” I mean that as far as we know today gays and straights are 100% genetically identical. There might be a difference but nobody has been able to find it. Identical twins routinely have opposite orientations.”

    Please provide evidence to your claims that gays and straights are 100% genetically identical. I’ve never heard any respectable scientist say this. There are identical twins who also have the same orientations. I’ve personally never seen a twin study that approaches 100% on any issue – even 50% can be a strong indicator of genetic influence – I suggest you read this article:

    Genetics and homosexuality

  • jayhuck

    Drowssap,

    No one, not even straight people themselves are 100% identical in a genetic sense. I’m not sure why you are trying to force this issue.

  • jag

    Timothy -

    Please say a bit more about the study conducted by Sandra Witelson…

  • Drowssap

    jayhuck

    There could be hundreds of gay genes but scientists haven’t discovered one yet. As of right now there is no evidence to support the notion that gays and straights are genetically different in any way.

    My personal belief is that there is a decent chance that a few genes exist that increase the odds someone will be gay. However most people with these genes will be straight.

    But that’s a hunch and I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m wrong. Right now we’ve got nothing but guesses. If you’ve got a link to a story where a credible scientist claims that gays and straights are genetically different forward it here, I’ll read it.

  • Drowssap

    Jayhuck

    From your link

    In the womb, things happen that can affect how we develop. A surge of hormones here, a viral infection there, and we are not the same as we would be without these environmental factors.

    Could a virus really reprogram the human brain for SSA? Easily possible.

    Why the heck would it do that? Who knows.

    Exhibit A

    Ancient virus reprograms sheep for success

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060911233630.htm

    Exhibit B

    Virus triggers humans to store fat

    http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=000EEADC-A456-13DA-A45683414B7F0000

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Drowsap,

    I posted a rather thorough comment directing you to Witelson’s work and to a study by Bogaert just released that is fascinating if read as companion. Unfortunately, I think it has been caught by a spam guard. You can link to both from

    http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2007/11/27/1052#

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Yes Drowsap,

    You favor a virus or other pathogen;

    I favor genes & hormones;

    Warren favors Bem’s exotic make erotic – with possible biological factors;

    Jim Phelan favors psychoanalytic triadic theory;

    At this time we really can’t tell. I think all we can really do is caution ourselves not to be dogmatic and to be open to evidences from emerging research. Hardly a month goes by when there isn’t some new study released. None of them tell the whole picture but we can hope that if we are all open minded a picture will begin to emerge.

  • jayhuck

    Drowssap -

    Do we really have to go down this road again?

    As of right now there is no evidence to support the notion that gays and straights are genetically different in any way.

    Well, we know that all straight people are not 100% genetically identical, so there’s a good chance that gay and straight people aren’t 100% genetically identical. If a straight man has brown hair and the other has blond hair, they are not 100% genetically identical as you said?

    As for the Virus reprogram – there’s a great deal more evidence pointing to a genetic component for homosexuality than there is a viral component – but hey – using your own argument, for all we know, a virus could be what is influencing OSA – There are a few viruses that a great majority of the population carries – I suggest you read the article again and look at the evidence we have for genetics – at least that points in that direction:

    Genetics and Homosexuality

    The one overriding thing I find from the evidence that we actually have, and from reading statements made by other scientists – and not anecdotal stories or your own Hypothesizing Drowssap – is that orientation, gay or straight, is very likely to be a combination of genetics AND the environment.

  • Drowssap

    Timothy Kincaid

    At this time we really can’t tell. I think all we can really do is caution ourselves not to be dogmatic and to be open to evidences from emerging research.

    100% agreement. If somebody discovers a gay gene or how socialization can “flip the switch” I’ll toss my theory out the window. Right now we just don’t know.

  • Drowssap

    jayhuck

    orientation, gay or straight, is very likely to be a combination of genetics AND the environment.

    When scientists say that “X” is a product of genes and environment that is science double-speak for, “we don’t know.” Every trait of every living organism on earth is a product of genes and environment. It’s one of those statements that researchers make because

    A) It’s always correct

    B) It doesn’t actually mean anything

  • Drowssap

    Whoops…

    B) It doesn’t actually mean anything that can be challenged

  • http://www.jimphelan.vox.com Jim Phelan

    Please read this before making your conclusions about left-handedness and homosexuality:

    Is left-handedness linked to homosexuality:

    http://www.mygenes.co.nz/lefthand.htm

  • http://www.jimphelan.vox.com Jim Phelan

    Let’s consider also the Australian Twin Study of 5,000 twins. Identical twins have identical genes and usually have identical womb environment. And they have virtually identical upbringing. So, if they both have the same trait, probably some combination of common genes, prenatal factors and upbringing is responsible. So the critical question is – if one twin has SSA, does the other twin? And in what percentage of cases?

    As for Phenylketonuria, which is caused by a known gene defect, if one twin has it, the other twin almost always has it. As for OSA. The concordance is very high. If one twin is OSA the other is usually OSA as well. However, we cannot tell from this whether it is caused by genes, upbringing, or some combination. The concordances decrease as we move SSA which has a concordance of 11%. The other points with that kind of value are the cancers, which all oncologists will tell you have a large element of chance involved. SSA has a large element of chance in it. In fact we have to say it has an unusually large element of chance in it compared to most traits. By change we mean non-shared events, which affect one twin and not the other. From: “Twin Studies from Australian Population Study” http://www.mygenes.co.nz/

  • Drowssap

    Jim Phelan

    Dr. Neil Whitehead is about twice as smart as I am. However I disagree that an increase in the presence of lefties is not an important clue.

    Even today scientists ask that same question. Check out http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com and Tim mentions a new study that shows an increase in hard right handedness and lefties among gay people. Researchers wouldn’t ask the same question over and over again if it wasn’t important. I don’t mean to imply it is genetic. That is not my personal belief.

    Obviously the jury is still out on SSA.

  • Ann

    Jim,

    I believe in some cases, identical twins do not share the same womb environment. I think some share two separate sacks within the womb while others share one sack. Of couse the later is more risky because the babies can fuse together. I really don’t know anything about medical information or science but this might be a point to consider.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Ah yes, NARTH’s advisor Dr. Neil Whitehead.

    This is the same Dr. Whitehead that was trotted out to try and argue against the fraternal birth order effect. His argument was that adopted gay men were more likely to participate if they had older brothers than if they didn’t.

    http://www.exgaywatch.com/wp/2006/07/narth-responds/

    Although that was one of Whitehead’s more extreme leaps in logic, it certainly isn’t his only effort to argue away scientific observation that doesn’t fit with his preconceived notions.

    If it comes down to a credibility war between Dr. Sandra Witelson and Dr. Neil Whitehead, there’s simply no question.

  • http://www.jimphelan.vox.com Jim Phelan

    Folks,

    Tutlebox and Ex-gay Watch are not scientific resources. Please go to the research and the actual professionals, not the commenters, who are bias. No one is born gay, get over it; relinquish the fantasy. Thank you. I rest my case. Talk amongst yourselves in a partisan country club matter if you like. Please leave out the personal attacks, however.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    Well, good idea to go to the research – and that is what the post is about – the research. However, the research is mixed and along with a bunch of studies implicating biological correlates, one should go to ALL the research.

    I hope to have analyses of the Witelson and Bogaert studies next week.

  • Drowssap

    Jim Phelan

    I’m sure you are a good guy and I have no doubt that you mean well. I just disagree with you and Dr. Whitehead.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    I hope to have analyses of the Witelson and Bogaert studies next week.

    I look forward to hearing your perspective.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    I believe in some cases, identical twins do not share the same womb environment. I think some share two separate sacks within the womb while others share one sack. Of couse the later is more risky because the babies can fuse together. I really don’t know anything about medical information or science but this might be a point to consider.

    Thanks, Ann. I wasn’t aware of that. It certainly raises questions.

    When taken in combination with the comments about “turned off” genes that Warren just posted, it gives one things to ponder.

  • Eddy

    Timothy–

    Thanks for the info on left-handedness. Your version was easier to apprehend than Drowssaps…at least for me. You can probably guess that I have a bias towards environmental factors. The one question I’d want to explore is whether negative reactions to left-handedness could foster some reaction in the brain that led to the homosexual identity. As I said, the question does come from my bias but I’m not sure that it’s an unfair or unreasonable question. Is what I’m suggesting at all viable?

  • Evan

    I don’t know all the background details about handedness, about how it works in the brain and how it can develop during childhood, but if it’s of any use in this discussion I remember when I was a very small child – about 3 or 4 years old – I was exclusively left-handed (in drawing, brushing teeth etc.). A few years later, when I went to primary school I was exclusively right-handed and learned how to write using my right hand. I can’t remember what exactly happened that made me change from adextrality to dextrality, but it seems such behaviour can be very plastic in the early life.

  • Ann

    Does anyone know how to describe the question of science I asked in #68620?

  • Drowssap

    Ann

    I have no idea about blind people or how their orientation develops.

    I would guess that orientation goes even deeper than sight and visualization. Blind people are probably gay/straight just like sighted people.

    But that’s only a hunch.

    As an aside, I’ve read anecdotally that deaf people are more likely to be gay and autistic people are more likely to be gay or transgendered than others. I dunno if anyone has done a study to see if that is actually true.

  • Drowssap

    Eddy

    Hey Eddy, I didn’t know there was another “environmentalist” out there. 8-)

    I’m curious why do you believe the answer lies somewhere in the environment?

    Virtually everyone writes about genes, socialization or a combo of the two. Five years from now I bet that won’t be the case. Environment is shooting front and center for just about everything.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Eddy

    The one question I’d want to explore is whether negative reactions to left-handedness could foster some reaction in the brain that led to the homosexual identity. As I said, the question does come from my bias but I’m not sure that it’s an unfair or unreasonable question. Is what I’m suggesting at all viable?

    That isn’t a bad question. And I don’t know the answer.

    A couple things can argue against it, somewhat.

    1) the Witelson studies suggest that the isthmus of the corpus collosum plays some part. Some could argue that the brain is malliable and therefor the isthmus changes as a result of handedness rather than vice-versa – but this is not to me a particularly convincing argument. It seems conclusion driven rather than logical, but that probably shows my bias.

    2. the research indicates that extreme right-handedness also is more frequent in gay men. From what I understand, most people who are extreme right-handed don’t even know that they are different from any other right-handed person. This would argue against a sense of difference in handedness (either left or extreme right) being a cause of identifying as different sexually.

    I think as science pursues this we’ll know more.

  • Ann

    Drowssap,

    Do you know anything about the science question I asked?

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Ann

    I would still like to know more about people who are blind from birth and how they are attracted to people and how do they envision this individual in their mind? If they have not seen pictures or bodies, what would be their attraction and how do they envision having sex? Would it matter to them if they experienced receiving initial oral sex or penis stimulation from a man or a woman if they got the same end effect? …

    I don’t know about blind people and how they “visualize” sex, if they do at all. But I do know that sexual attraction is not based solely on visual stimulation.

    Studies have shown that sweat is perceived as attractive or repulsive based on the gender of the person emitting it. Women and gay men prefer the scent of male sweat while straight men and lesbians prefer female sweat.

    The same thing was shown with pheromones (though we don’t know exactly to what extent these work in humans).

    I suspect that studies of other senses, perhaps sound or touch (I don’t know if they have been performed), would result in similar difference in levels of attraction. I do know that we think of certain voices as being “sexy”. As ridiculous as it is, we’ve all said, “s/he sounded really cute on the phone”

    I’m not arguing this to make “born gay” or biological points – after all, one could argue that these could be learned attractions or subconscious responses. But it’s pretty clear that a blind person has an orientation and that it is based on gender differences other than simply visual appearance.

  • Drowssap

    Ann

    I sure wish I could. I read it but I flat out am not sure one way or the other on the blindness question.

    IMHO attraction is probably determined by a neurotransmitter in the brain. Whether someone can see or not probably isn’t significant. Their mind has a built in laundry list of good/bad but they have one less sense to find it with.

    But thats a guess.

  • jayhuck

    Drowssap -

    Virtually everyone writes about genes, socialization or a combo of the two. Five years from now I bet that won’t be the case. Environment is shooting front and center for just about everything.

    Are you kidding? If you read enough Ex-Gay literature you will find that nearly all of it is trying to support an environmental cause for homosexuality? – and it has been doing this for decades. Take a gander at NARTH’s website when you have time. Genetics is a relatively recent development when taking about the cause of homosexuality.

  • http://seasonedbelievers.blogspot.com Gary

    Take a look at the articles on genes being turned on or off, an interesting use of terms when discussing sexual issues. The article on Duke researchers and the series by NOVA TV.

    The NOVA series mentions identical twins with one girl being very different from the other. They traced the “cause” to a famine back when their grand mother was pregnant with their mother. So, could there be a correlation of sexual preference with family tree trauma?

    I am a family therapist that looks at generational patterns and it seems to be a common factor in a client’s behavior. This might partially explain the reasons why a homosexual person may have had great parents but grandparents and great grandparents who suffered greatly. My work in Russia indicates great generational trauma from the Communist era and a need to do family of origin work.

  • jayhuck

    Gary,

    That article you speak of by the Duke researchers has to do with how a person gets ill. The article says absolutely nothing about sexuality. In fact, we’ve known for quite awhile that the environment can influence a person on the genetic level so this isn’t really new information. Case in point: Cancer! Often, in this situation, this is caused by having certain genes turned on or off leading to leading to out-of-control cell replication.

  • jayhuck

    Gary,

    This might partially explain the reasons why a homosexual person may have had great parents but grandparents and great grandparents who suffered greatly.

    Is there any evidence to suggest that most or all gay people had grandparents and great grandparents who “suffered greatly”? I’ve never seen any myself.

  • Ann

    When the word “science” is used in reference to validating or invalidating certain facts regarding homosexuality – what exactly does the word mean? Is it medical, biology, research, psychology, surveys, etc.?, and if so, who determines what individual or individuals are selected? I have only read/heard that people from ministries or ex-ex-gay groups are the ones involved and that the nature of the science or research are are surveys. Is this what is meant by “science?”

  • Ann

    it would be interesting to see what happens with surogates as well – the embryo is exposed to a completely different environment in the womb. In past years the egg was usually from the surogate and the sperm from the genetic and participating father. Now couples can use their own eggs and sperm and a surogate to carry the baby or babies. That introduces a whole other environment. Also, another consideration with twins is that they can either have one placenta providing nutrients to both babies or each baby can have their own placenta providing the nutrients – adding another exposure to what they receive in the womb. I really do not know anything about the medical or science aspect of post conception but these are some things they might want to be considered.

  • Drowssap

    jayhuck

    If you read enough Ex-Gay literature you will find that nearly all of it is trying to support an environmental cause for homosexuality

    To be totally honest I’ve never read any ex-gay literatature. As for Narth I know their website and they promote the psychoanalytic model. Socialization falls into the realm of environment so I suppose that does qualify. But that’s not what I’m refering too. I mean biological environment.

    I do check the Narth site every few weeks just to see if/when research comes out. Usually they disagree with it but at least I know it’s out there so I can google it. 8-)

  • Evan

    Even if the gene is present in one’s genotype, that does not mean it will be expressed; we already knew that.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Ann,

    “Science” generally means knowledge based on systematic observation. It must be both observable and empirical (ie testable). All the different branches you listed can fall under this category.

    Some sciences are more exact than others. For example, we can accurately measure the temperature at which water boils. Every gallon of water, every time. Other are less exact and can only be discussed in terms of averages.

    When “science” is used in terms of homosexuality, what that generally refers to is some sort of study of a sample of homosexual people – generally with a control group of heterosexual people – and an observation of characteristics.

    Sometimes these are soft science studies – such as measurement of expressed attractions – and sometimes these are hard science studies – such as a measured response of brain size or activation. Even in the hard science studies, because we are dealing with human responses and issues of identity and self-determination of attractions, such studies have to be weighed carefully.

    Ultimately, one cannot say that “science says” anything about homosexuality until studies have been replicated with similar results. But with enough repetition of results, some conclusions can be drawn.

    Thus we can say pretty clearly that gay persons are more likely to be lefthanded than are straight persons, on average. Not a very exact statement, but measurable, repeatable, and statistically significant.

    On the other hand, some observations are seen that may not be readily repeated. Much of the “gay gene” studies have suffered from inconclusive follow up studies.

    Others seem to raise their heads from time to time but are not conclusive one way or another. The fraternal order effect would be one of those.

    For inconclusive studies, or those not yet repeated, one might say “science suggests”.

    And others are based on methods so shoddy that they are laughable. They are “studies” comparable to determining the country’s favorite ice cream by asking your own kids. Paul Cameron’s “research” all falls into that category.

    But nonetheless, the inclusion of “science” is a valuable distinction. It is what takes the opinion out of the real of guessing and holds it up to light.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    ugh.. the REALM of guessing

    Ann,

    I hope that helped clarify

  • ken

    Ann asked in post 69071:

    When the word “science” is used in reference to validating or invalidating certain facts regarding homosexuality – what exactly does the word mean?

    Science means “the study of nature.”

    Is it medical, biology, research, psychology, surveys, etc.?

    Depends on the context.

    and if so, who determines what individual or individuals are selected?

    The person in charge of the research. Although, he or she may delegate that task to someone else.

  • Ann

    Thank you very much for the detailed explanation of the word “science” – I understand the meaning of it better now.

  • Lynn David

    I came here only after Dr T referenced this post in a more recent post (22Aug2008) and read Drowssap’s post #68289. I’d like to clear something up, I had a great and loving family life. I could not have asked for any two better parents. My father was neither distant nor cold but warm and even affectionate with me (appropriately so to stop any thoughts to the contrary). At the same time the he imparted the requisite “manly skills” to me by sharing his work (in construction) and play (fishing, hunting and even boxing), and I gladly/happily shared in them. Drowssap is perhaps remembering some talk on here about some of the physical attacks on my person from others when I was in my early teens.


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