CNN, Richard Cohen and California dreaming

More later, but here is the CNN episode which discusses the CA law which once required study of factors which might lead to homosexuality.

Cohen quotes the ACP sheet that I just critiqued…

It must have been a very slow news day for this story to make CNN. The law involved has apparently not been used and is an anachronism. Even if it stays on the books, I suspect the CA legislature would grant about $1 to fulfill it. Pointless.

UPDATE:

CNN follows up with Clinton Anderson. Kyra Phillips says she supports gays and makes an good call for civility.

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  • William

    I suspect the CA legislature would grant about $1 to fulfill it. Pointless.

    Yes, just as the Italians wisely spent about €20 in preparation for the supposed millennium bug.

  • Eddy

    I find it interesting that we won’t spend a dollar to study possible ‘factors’ while we’ve invested oodles of money in search of ‘the gay gene’. So glad there’s no bias in the scientific process. :-)

  • William

    I’m sure that money will continue to be spent on studying possible ‘factors’ in the development of sexual orientation generally. What money won’t be spent on will be finding a cure’ for homosexuality – for the same reason that it won’t be spent on finding a ‘cure’ for heterosexuality.

  • Eddy

    IF they found factors, even if complex, this would give them insight into responsibly addressing those factors. Then the task would be redefining that ‘condition’ we call homosexuality and redefining what ‘cure’ really means.

    There is a natural and biological sex drive that draws upon memories and is directed by the brain…even those who dealt with their ‘factors’ would not be granted amnesia as part of their therapy.

    (A compulsive gambler is considered to have successfully recovered when he/she can resist frequent or occasional compulsions to gamble and/or when their life is no longer dominated by a fixation on gambling whether they give in or not.)

  • Ann

    What money won’t be spent on will be finding a ‘cure’ for homosexuality – for the same reason that it won’t be spent on finding a ‘cure’ for heterosexuality.

    William,

    Do you have any credible information regarding how research money (federal or private) is currently being spent on sexual orientation/identity issues?

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    IF they found factors, even if complex, this would give them insight into responsibly addressing those factors.

    If they are going to study factors involving the development of homosexuality, they can, and perhaps in studying homosexuality will, find those factors that drive heterosexuality. It would be unfair, irresponsible and downright prejudicial to study one, homosexuality, and not the other.

    What is the point of bringing up compulsive gambling?

  • Eddy

    I agree that science should explore those factors that drive heterosexuality; however, a very apparent motivation for heterosexuality already exists: the family and propagation of the species. While homosexuals can and do have families, it’s a complicated and cumbersome process in most cases. It doesn’t occur ‘naturally’.

    My point in bringing up compulsive gambling was very clear. It’s recognized as

    ‘a condition’; it’s treated; factors that may lead to it are studied; the implication of those factors are assessed with individuals and addressed; AND success is evaluated not by the absence of desire but by the ability to refrain from the behavior and of not being dominated by the intensity and frequency of the desires. That latter part was my principal reason.

    In responding to my first statement, William used the phrase ‘cure homosexuality’…even bolding the word ‘cure’. That word ‘cure’ is loaded. It implies sickness (something I didn’t say) and it further implies things about how we’d evaluate success…most specifically, you aren’t cured if you still have symptoms–regardless of how insignificant those symptoms might be.

    Rather than take part in a ‘sickness’ debate that doesn’t belong to me, I went for something that ‘is only a problem if you think it’s a problem’ and drew on the parallels to address his use of the word ‘cure’. Gambling, in itself, is actually a favorite national pasttime in the US, I needed to attach the word ‘compulsive’ to address the specifics of an individual who found gambling to be a problem.

  • Ann

    Heterosexuality does not seem to be an unwanted orientation whereas, for many, homosexuality is. That is why research and studies, etc. are needed. For those who do not value their homosexuality, it is a subject that needs to be understood beyond what we heretofore know.

  • Jayhuck

    But for scientific curiosities sake Ann, and to be fair, heterosexuality should be studied – but like I said, studying homosexuality by itself may very well lead to the causes for heterosexuality

    Eddy,

    a very apparent motivation for heterosexuality already exists:

    And in the past we’ve discussed possible reasons for the existence of homosexuality too.

    My point in bringing up compulsive gambling was very clear. It’s recognized as

    ‘a condition’; it’s treated; factors that may lead to it are studied; the implication of those factors are assessed with individuals and addressed; AND success is evaluated not by the absence of desire but by the ability to refrain from the behavior and of not being dominated by the intensity and frequency of the desires. That latter part was my principal reason.

    That’s all well and good – and I’m sure you didn’t mean to compare the two, but homosexuality is not a disease, whereas compulsive gambling is.

  • Jayhuck

    Ann,

    Some people do not want to be a part of the ethnic group they were born into – based on these feelings should we study the causes and origins of ethnicity so that we may someday be able to change it?

  • Ann

    Some people do not want to be a part of the ethnic group they were born into – based on these feelings should we study the causes and origins of ethnicity so that we may someday be able to change it?

    This is a flawed comparison. Ethnicity does not have any limiting effect on an individual’s abiity to have sex with the opposite gender, homosexuality does. For many, this is a issue that they do not value and want to understand more about.

  • Eddy

    That’s all well and good – and I’m sure you didn’t mean to compare the two, but homosexuality is not a disease, whereas compulsive gambling is.

    Since I never said that homosexuality is a disease, this is entirely beside my point. I was citing a problem that is ‘treated successfully’, that has contributing factors evaluated and addressed and where ‘cure’ is not the expectation. Also, since I’ve said in the past on this blog that I don’t believe homosexuality is a sickness, I feel no compulsion to play some politically correct dance with you.

    I liken it to an architect who attempts to explain stress factors in construction. Some of the same stress factors that need to be addressed in building a bridge are the same as those that go into building a skyscraper. When discussing the pressure of water current on a piling as it relates to the pressure of wind currents on a skycraper–perhaps as it applies to constructing an appropriate foundation, does he have to keep restating “of course, a bridge is not a building”?

    If and when you feel it’s important to add that, please do so. I’ve done that myself in the past. “While I agree with you in essence, I do think we should point out that…” That would save me a half hour’s worth of repeating essentially what I just said only to assure you that I didn’t say what I didn’t say.

  • William

    Ethnicity does not have any limiting effect For many, this is a issue that they do not value and want to understand more about. For many, this is a issue that they do not value and want to understand more about.

    Ethnicity does not have any limiting effect on an individual’s ability to have sex with the same gender, heterosexuality does. There may be some who want to understand more about this issue also.

    In neither case is understanding more about the isssue a matter of urgency. In fact, most people aren’t going to trouble their heads about such matters, but are content to get on with their lives.

  • Ann

    In neither case is understanding more about the isssue a matter of urgency. In fact, most people aren’t going to trouble their heads about such matters, but are content to get on with their lives.

    William,

    While this might be one way of looking at it, it certainly isn’t the only way. Your comment is subjective and does not address the larger issue. I also see that you left out part of what I said. You might feel as though you button up an issue with a comment like this one but please let me remind you that people’s lives are being threatened in Uganda because their government obviously does not understand this issue. I consider that urgent and welcome any credible information that can be imparted to them so they can address or respond to it differently and more responsibly. I personally don’t think it is the issue that they find troubling, rather, the advocacy of it, which can be viewed as intrusive and overbearing – several times now I have read where they do not want their country westernized, implying acceptance and endorsement.

  • Ann

    Ethnicity does not have any limiting effect on an individual’s ability to have sex with the same gender, heterosexuality does.

    It is far more common for a heterosexually oriented individual to have random or sporadic sex with someone of the same gender than it is for a homosexually oriented individual to have sex with an opposite gender person. Again, one orientation is limiting as to what they think is possible, while the other one is less so. For many this limitation is not valued.

  • Wild Bill

    Has anyone bothered to notice that same sex relationships happen elsewhere in the animal kingdom. It isn’t just limited to the human race. And since that is true, it isn’t a disease, folks. It is something that happens because of genetics.

    At least that is in MHO.

  • Eddy

    Wild Bill–

    I just reread all of the comments posted here and not one says it’s a disease.

  • Mary

    It is something that happens and we are not sure why it happens. We have a long ways to go to understand sexual orientation development.

  • Ann

    The important thing to know is that animals do not express concern or distress with any same sex/gender activity they engage in – humans do. We cannot discount these people just because we do not have the same concern.

  • David Blakeslee

    Well said Ann…

    And in terms of promiscuity, animals are notorious, also without distress.

    I wonder, what is the rate of STD’s among promiscuous animals?

    For heterosexuals, promiscuity is correlated with STD’s, and in adolescents, it is correlated with depression…I think.

  • Eddy

    Appeals to the ‘animal model’ always disturb me somewhat. In some species, the males kill infant males…in others, the nests of others of the same species are raided…dogs attempt to hump the legs of humans. Chimps masturbate right out in the open. Apes and monkeys fling dung at each other. Simply saying ‘it must be natural because it occurs in the animal kingdom’ is not enough.

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    You didn’t say it was a disease but you compared it to one. I don’t care to dance with you either

  • Jayhuck

    Ann,

    This is a flawed comparison. Ethnicity does not have any limiting effect on an individual’s abiity to have sex with the opposite gender,

    In your previous post your reasoning for doing further research on homosexuality was due to the fact that homosexuality was an UNWANTED ORIENTATION FOR MANY…

    Heterosexuality does not seem to be an unwanted orientation whereas, for many, homosexuality is.

    If the reason for doing further research is because a group of people do not WANT to have that orientation or be part of that group, than by the same token we should study other groups that people do not want to be a part of –

    This is not a flawed comparison according to your original post – Should we not help out those people born into ethnic groups who do not want to be a part of those groups get out if they determine that is what they want?

  • Eddy

    LOL. And you continually compare it to heterosexuality while many differences have been cited numerous times. I try to hear the valid comparisons while nixing the rest.

  • Jayhuck

    Ann,

    humans do

    You bet they do Ann – humans live in a world where they are taught that homosexuality is vile, evil or that they are going to hell if they engage in the activity – where they are told that their romantic interests are not as good as straight folks and are barred from marrying the person they love, where they are frequently attacked physically and mentally for being who they are – where few gay role models are allowed to exist in the media –

    And we wonder why some people experience distress – Hmmmmm?

  • Jayhuck

    LOL – I compare it to heterosexuality because its not a disease and because homosexuality and heterosexuality have far more in common than not

  • Eddy

    because homosexuality and heterosexuality have far more in common than not

    I don’t think so. Do you have any studies to support that or can you enumerate what they have in common? (No big hurry…I’ll be out through the afternoon.

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    Well, your the one who brought up the fact that there are differences and it is you who seem to care about those differences, so please elaborate for me what those differences are

    From my perspective I see that homosexuals and heterosexuals both:

    – work, pay taxes, are contributing members of society

    – make sacrifices and compromises for their partners, kids

    – want to share their lives with someone

    – groups want kids – depending on the couple but some straight and gay couples want this

    – groups have people that want to marry and people that do not

    - groups have individuals who are promiscuous and those who are not

    I’d write more but I have to get to work myself :) It doesn’t take a study, or a genius, to see just how much these two groups of people do have in common though

  • Ann

    In your previous post your reasoning for doing further research on homosexuality was due to the fact that homosexuality was an UNWANTED ORIENTATION FOR MANY…

    Yes, it is an unwanted orientation for many. For most of them, it is because they are not content with a unwanted stronghold over their life which is contradictory to that which they value. It is limiting them in ways that interfere with the life they want. Hopefully, research can address the reasons why some people have one orientation than the other and it can shed light on how it is further addressed and/or responded to. We deserve that. As to the issue of ethnicity, I am unaware of any cases that support it being the reason that a person is not attracted to the opposite gender for purposes of an intimate emotional and sexual relationship.

  • Ann

    It doesn’t take a study, or a genius, to see just how much these two groups of people do have in common though

    Well, that is all a matter of perspective and bias – if you want to discount many who feel the limitations of an unwanted orientation, then the comparison is skewed at best and mostly flawed – if you want to talk about people who are completely content with their orientation, as most heterosexuals are, then there are many commonalities.

  • Ann

    While research is continuing, and regardless of any conclusions from it , I am grateful for the SITF and those that use it as a guideline in therapy with individuals who have unwanted same gender attractions.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Often time those who are not gay will make a statement and then express shock when gay people find it offensive. “But, I’m not homophobic” they might say. And, indeed, their comment may not be homophobic.

    What it might be, instead, is heterosexist. Heterosexism is the practice of seeing the world solely through the perspective of a heterosexual, dismissing the opinions or perspectives of gay people, and assuming that it is a given that heterosexuality is intrinsically preferential to homosexuality.

    Often heterosexism does not come with malice, just with careless presumption. Here is a good example:

    Ethnicity does not have any limiting effect on an individual’s ability to have sex with the opposite gender, homosexuality does.

    Look as the assumptions:

    1. That having sex with the same gender is an “ability”. This sets homosexuality up as a disability, by definition.

    It assumes a paradigm of “ability” and “disability” rather than just two separate orientations. It addresses only the impact something may have on heterosexual sex, and sees all things only through that perspective.

    2. That the comparisons to ethnicity are internal rather than external. Ignoring the well understood fact that both ethnicity and orientation have long been bases for discrimination, oppression, and violent abuse by others, instead this statement focuses solely on internal comparisons

    What this does is dismiss the experiences of gay men and women as irrelevant to the conversation. While every gay person knows that comparisons to race are actually comparisons to the way that the “other” is treated (be it race, religion, orientation, nationality, whatever) and finding commonality in experience, dismissing this comparison says that the perspective of the gay person is inconsequential. A gay person’s perspective is less worthy.

    And, in fact, this is the most offensive part of the statement. It says, in effect, that the experiences of those who have been mistreated for their ethnicity are valid, but that homosexual persons are different. The unmistakable message to gay people is that while mistreating people for their ethnicity is recognized as wrong, there is no such assumption about mistreating gay people. The shorthand is “Racist behavior = bad. Anti-gay behavior = justifiable”.

    3. Once the distinction between race and orientation was identified, it was defined as a defect. Paraphrasing, what this sentence really said was “Ethnicity and homosexuality differ in that homosexuality is bad (defective, debilitating, limiting)”.

    To perhaps understand the distinction, look at this sentence:

    Ethnicity does not have any limiting effect on an individual’s ability to have sex with the same gender, heterosexuality does.

    Looking at it from this perspective, a straight person might wonder why having a limiting effect on same-sex sex would be a negative.

    And, of course, it’s not. For a straight person, anyway.

    But the original statement is as nonsensical as my reversal. It only seems to make sense if one starts with the presumption that homosexuality is inherently inferior, undesirable, and negative.

    In other words, it only makes sense from a heterosexist perspective.

  • Evan

    Jayhuck — There are objective reasons for some to consider their feelings unwanted if they are correlated with distress. THere are many studies that converge on the intersection between homosexuality and negative affect. More recently, a few researchers separated factors that come from the environment (like harrassment or “microaggressions”) from factors likely to be rooted in genetics. It does seem that people who are not straight are more vulnerable to stress from natural causes.

    Sexual arousal can soothe these feelings, but it’s not likely to make gay people less vulnerable to stress. It is up to science to understand why one is linked with another / whether one causes the other. It can be imagined a pathway by which certain temperaments which are high on internalising dimensions can have a hard time developing in a typical way alongside their peers, who are more outgoing and tend to exercise more certain brain wirings which promote positive affect and heterosexuality during adulthood. We’ll see if this picture is true and how much is predetermined by biology and how much by exercise.

  • Ann

    Timothy,

    I still cannot get through your comments without being turned off. It seems you thrive on being divisive and a victim. The assumptions you cited come from your perspective – not mine. Nice try at a spin but not effective, because no matter how much you want to believe the worst and have it to be true – it just isn’t.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Ann,

    OK. I see you are still the same old Ann.

    The assumptions were written right there in your statement, I only showed you how they sound to non-heterosexual ears. But you don’t care how they sound.

    I’m not surprised. In the slightest.

    That is, after all, the attitude of someone dedicated to heterosexual supremacy.

  • Eddy

    Jayhuck–

    I said that there are ‘many differences’ and that they’ve been cited in the past. You went further with your statement saying that they ‘have far more in common than not.’. I continue to disagree.

    Please remember that this detour started with your choosing to ignore the similarities between exploring the factors that lead to a gambling compulsion and addressing them and doing the same with homosexuality; instead magnifying the thing I didn’t say. (Curiously, you didn’t take William to task for introducing the word and concept of ‘cure’ into the conversation. Hmm…why is that? Could it be that we only police the language (and even what isn’t said) of those we disagree with and swallow whatever our buds say?) This followed simple comments re the fact that we’ve been researching a possible genetic component for decades while not exploring other possible causes at all. I maintain that that isn’t complete science. To disregard a possibility simply because it’s politically incorrect to do so.

    And, before you once again forget what I’ve already said, yes, I’d like them to study factors in heterosexual development also. I believe it could serve to curb a number of heterosexual problems that exist: juvenile experimentation, young adult sex for sport and conquest, fetishes, porn compulsions, prostitution. The notion ‘if it feels good do it’ and the presumption that consensual sex is without victims would both take a good, well-deserved thrashing.

  • Eddy

    Timothy–

    Given the topics that Warren brings to the table, it’s a given that we are going to come at issues from different viewpoints. Give it a label, make it sound demeaning, and buy your way out of an honest discussion.

    Oh, there’s Timothy again with his ‘liberal homosexist agenda’. Bam. I don’t have to read another word…I don’t have to consider any possible merit. I don’t have to extend the courtesy of recognizing that all of us are trying to articulate and discuss things that most people don’t even attempt. Instead it’s far easier to judge and to ascribe motives. Our side will rally behind us and say ‘here, here’ and another honest attempt at communication bites the dust.

    That is, after all, the attitude of someone dedicated to heterosexual supremacy.

    Ah, so typical of a liberal homosexualist. Falling an inch short of actually calling Ann ‘someone who is dedicated to heterosexual supremacy’. Totally missing what most of us, even some from the other side, see in Ann…a desire to understand and to offer compassionate help to those who are in conflict. You have all the answers for those who agree with you but Ann continues to speak for those who, for whatever reason, are conflicted by their homosexual feelings and impulses. You offer NOTHING for them other than to embrace those feelings and to shake off the conservative religious shackles. But, like Ann, I have known many who haven’t had any problem shucking the shackles in other areas of their life but somehow homosexuality still doesn’t feel right for them. And it goes beyond Jayhuck’s one-dimensional ‘societal oppression’ take.

    Most of my personal society…family, friends and neighbors…express more dissonance with my decision to go ‘ex-gay’ than they express towards ‘accepting your natural homosexuality’. The media has led them there. In short, I’d have less cultural and societal conflict if I ‘embraced my true gay self’…but a louder voice from deep inside says that it isn’t right–at least not for me. A part of me knows that a number of my personal sexual motivators all fall into the category of ‘emotional cannibalism’…my motivations for sex were to medicate feelings of rejection…were misguided envy (trying to possess sexually an image of manhood I couldn’t find in myself)…were expressions of rebellion against society’s strict mores. Maybe I was one messed up basket case but MY homosexuality said that it wanted love in a committed relationship but just couldn’t seem to go there. I KNOW there are thousands in pretty much that same boat.

    The presupposition of homosexualists is that I simply need to find and embrace that committed homosexual relationship but they say this without having paid an ounce of attention to my contributing factors and their expression (the rejection, envy, rebellion). To pronounce the path I (or anyone else in a similar boat) should take without considering the actual dynamics and how they play out, IS a bias at least equal to the bias you accuse Ann of.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Embrace whatever you want, Eddy. When you cool down you’ll recall that I’ve always supported that for you.

    The presupposition of homosexualists is that I simply need to find and embrace that committed homosexual relationship but they say this without having paid an ounce of attention to my contributing factors and their expression (the rejection, envy, rebellion). … To pronounce the path I (or anyone else in a similar boat) should take without considering the actual dynamics and how they play out, IS a bias at least equal to the bias you accuse Ann of.

    Yes. And that is precisely my point.

    Those who make presumptions about you are exactly in the same boat as Ann. They assume that being openly gay is preferable to be ex-gay and that your perspective can be dismissed.

    And, like Ann, they use language that assumes automatically that your choices are invalid and inferior. Language like “self-loathing” or “closeted” or “miserable” may deliberately offensive, but I’m getting more at the casual presumptiveness of language that pretends to be compassionate but really doesn’t give a damn about you as a person.

    You hate it when it’s directed towards you. You should.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    p.s. you may see in Ann a “desire to understand”, but she has never been anything other than downright nasty to me.

  • Eddy

    Timothy–

    I have no need to cool down, I’m not at all hot or agitated.

    My point was that I KNOW Ann; I’ve met her…I’ve seen her heart and I believe, emphatically, that you have misjudged her.

    I also understand the problems she has with you. You play the mind-reader and judge which never comes off less than condescending. So while you defend gays opinions based on ‘how do you think they’d respond to that’…please consider how you feel when someone reads more into what you’ve said than you’ve said and then dismisses you in the process.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Okay. I’ll take your word that Ann’s heart is lovely. Maybe I’ll see that loveliness too some day.

    BTW… this wasn’t intended to be an attack on Ann. Rather it was just one example of any of dozens of similar comments that regularly appear on this and other sites. Heterosexism is certainly not limited to Ann or to that one comment.

    It’s expected… but it’s still annoying nonetheless.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Interesting…. I have the strongest recollection of Ann being abusive and rude… yet when I search the site, I don’t see examples of her being nasty to me. Odd.

    Perhaps an apology is in order.

    Ann,

    It seems that either I’ve confused you with someone else or that I’m just remembering incorrectly. But in either case, it seems that I have maligned you and falsely accused you of nastiness.

    I hope you will accept my apology.

    Timothy

  • Ann

    Timothy,

    Thank you for this blessing – my heart is filled with gratitude and the tears I have are of joy. No one in this whole world has made more mistakes than me, however, I could never, ever inflict pain on another or cause them to hurt in any way – I know what that feels like and perhaps that is why I am quick to defend or protect when I perceive an injustice. Please forgive me if I don’t say exactly just the right thing at the right time – all I can do is assure you that if you chose to believe the best about me, I promise I will not dissappoint you.

    Eddy,

    You are a wonderful friend and I will always appreciate you and be grateful for all you have taught me. Thank you :-)

  • Jayhuck

    Ann,

    First of all, I think Timothy tried doing the numbers one time, but, as far as we know, there are not MANY gay people who are unhappy with their orientation – If I remember correctly the percentage of gay people seeking help for their orientation, or at least our best guesstimate of that percentage, was something like 0.5% of the gay population –

    Regardless though – you completely dodged my point about those people who are unhappy with their ethnicity – when you wrote:

    For most of them, it is because they are not content with a unwanted stronghold over their life which is contradictory to that which they value. It is limiting them in ways that interfere with the life they want.

    you were talking about some gay people, but the exact same thing can be said of people who are unhappy with their ethnicity – So shouldn’t research be done to help people change their ethnicity if their ethnicity is conflicting with their “values”? I’m asking a simple question here – I’d like to know how you would respond to such folks and what you think the best course of action would be to help these people who do not want to be part of the ethnic group they were born into

    Eddy,

    I’m just curious – what does this mean?

    I believe it could serve to curb a number of heterosexual problems

    Are you saying you want science to change people so that they behave the way you would like them to behave? I’m only asking for clarification here

  • Jayhuck

    Evan,

    You seem to be pulling information from some nebulous studies but you site none – I’m fairly certain they are ones that we’ve already discussed here –

    However, regarding stress – I think its pretty obvious that if you grow up gay you grow up with a great deal of stress especially in a society that treats you as vile, sinful, unequal, etc. That growing up feeling as if you have to hide who you are might predispose you to stress and then all those illnesses that can serve as the aftermath of stress – well, that’s not really surprising is it?

  • Jayhuck

    Evan,

    Fact is that ethnicity can cause distress for many – In fact there are diseases psychological and physical that exist more in some ethnic groups than others – I asked Ann the same question I am going to ask of you – if certain people would be happier and healthier being a part of a different ethnic group than the one they were born into – using your reasoning above for helping distressed gay people, would we not be required to research possible ways of helping these people change as well, if we were able to show they would do better in another group?

  • Jayhuck

    Ann,

    It is far more common for a heterosexually oriented individual to have random or sporadic sex with someone of the same gender than it is for a homosexually oriented individual to have sex with an opposite gender person.

    Can you please show me the study that backs up this claim? All of the gay people I know have had sex with opposite sex people at least once in their life – I don’t know where you get your information

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    A part of me knows that a number of my personal sexual motivators all fall into the category of ‘emotional cannibalism’…my motivations for sex were to medicate feelings of rejection…were misguided envy (trying to possess sexually an image of manhood I couldn’t find in myself)…were expressions of rebellion against society’s strict mores.

    There are straight people though suffering from the same issues – the difference is they don’t blame the problem on their heterosexuality – they don’t try to stop being heterosexuals – but they do have to re-learn what sexuality means

    I’m with Timothy – please embrace what you need to so that you are able to live according to your values – it is just odd that some gay people lay their problems with sexuality at their orientation, when straight people would never do this or be asked to do this, and not blame their own, personal issues with sexuality itself

  • Eddy

    Jayhuck-

    Once again I made a clear statement and you attempt to read into it. Here is the entire sentence…the second half addresses your curiosity.

    I believe it could serve to curb a number of heterosexual problems that exist: juvenile experimentation, young adult sex for sport and conquest, fetishes, porn compulsions, prostitution.

    If science studied the factors that contribute to sexual identity and shared what they learned with the rest of us, then perhaps we could better address some of these other issues which, in most instances, are recognized as problems. Now, I’m curious, Are YOU saying that they aren’t problems? Can I rightly infer that you see no problem with any of these heterosexual issues that I cited? (And, to make it clear, although I cited these as heterosexual issues that might be addressed by studying factors, these are homosexual issues as well.)

    I think its pretty obvious that if you grow up gay you grow up with a great deal of stress especially in a society that treats you as vile, sinful, unequal, etc.

    How dare you? This statement of yours that echoes a statement you also made to Ann immediately follows a statement where you dismiss HIS references to research…and yet you present your rebuttal anecdotally. On what planet does ‘it seems pretty obvious’ trump research and studies? Planet Jayhuck maybe. That old saw about seeing the homosexual as ‘vile, sinful and unequal’ sounds more and more inflated with every passing year. Did the masses turn off Rosie’s show after she came out? Isn’t the career of Ellen Degeneres still flourishing? Doesn’t Wanda Sykes also have a thriving career? How about Neil Patrick Harris? As a whole, even those people who may view homosexual acts as vile and sinful seem able to reserve their disgust for the behavior only and don’t see the person as vile and sinful. If you’re going to dismiss someone else’s point of view, it is recommended that you bring something more substantial to the table.

    There are straight people though suffering from the same issues – the difference is they don’t blame the problem on their heterosexuality – they don’t try to stop being heterosexuals – but they do have to re-learn what sexuality means

    Here is how I already answered to this:

    The presupposition of homosexualists is that I simply need to find and embrace that committed homosexual relationship but they say this without having paid an ounce of attention to my contributing factors and their expression (the rejection, envy, rebellion). To pronounce the path I (or anyone else in a similar boat) should take without considering the actual dynamics and how they play out, IS a bias at least equal to the bias you accuse Ann of.

    Do you see where I said ‘the path’? I didn’t specify homosexual, heterosexual or even something more in tune with celibacy or asexual. You claim that homosexuality is more similar than dissimilar to heterosexuality. SO, if you see that the major driving factors of a person’s sexual expression are essentially ‘non-sexual’ (rejection, envy, rebellion, etc.), then, if you were open-minded, you’d need to consider that perhaps the direction itself got tainted in that muddled mess. If we open-mindedly studied contributing factors to sexual and sexual identify development AND if we then addressed those factors, we should not presume which direction a person’s underlying orientation actually is. Clear away the clutter first and then take an objective look.

    I have said that I’d like to see contributing factors studied in both directions; you, however, seem dedicated to the notion that studying factors is unnecessary…your mind is already made up; mine is a more open-minded approach.

    My own experience served as my motivator to explore emotional factors with my clients. I’ve cited several times on this site that I continued to meet with clients who didn’t share my view that all homosexuality ‘misses the mark’. (Yes, it was ethical for me to make my viewpoint known; I was a Christian counselor in an Exodus related ministry.) They continued to see me because I helped them to understand the parts of their sexual expression that they didn’t have control over or that they recognized as problems. We mutually agreed that we’d work together on clearing away the obvious messes…the emotional triggers that fueled their activity…and then see what was left and which direction they wanted to pursue.

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    All I did was simply ask for clarification – then you launch into a diatribe – LOL!

    How dare I? First of all, if I remember correctly, he is only quoting from ONE study – I’m pretty certain we’ve discussed this study at length before and second, I think at the end of the study the authors offered different possible conclusions than the ones he did.

    Homosexualists – lol – I don’t think I’ve ever heard that term before. Its interesting

    then, if you were open-minded, you’d need to consider that perhaps the direction itself got tainted in that muddled mess. If we open-mindedly studied contributing factors to sexual and sexual identify development AND if we then addressed those factors, we should not presume which direction a person’s underlying orientation actually is. Clear away the clutter first and then take an objective look.

    Well, this would go both ways, right? I mean, it could be a person who identifies as straight for a little while might actually be gay but their direction was tainted – Isn’t that correct?

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    I have said that I’d like to see contributing factors studied in both directions; you, however, seem dedicated to the notion that studying factors is unnecessary…your mind is already made up; mine is a more open-minded approach.

    LOL – I never said my mind was made up or that I didn’t want factors to be studied – you seem to have a knack for putting words in people’s mouths that don’t belong there.

  • Jayhuck

    Evan,

    More recently, a few researchers separated factors that come from the environment (like harrassment or “microaggressions”) from factors likely to be rooted in genetics. It does seem that people who are not straight are more vulnerable to stress from natural causes.

    Remind me again the title of this study! The studies findings are questionable though because the factors that cause stress do not have to be overt – they could simply be the intentional or unintentional messages given out by media or other sources that a gay person hears saying they are sinful/”miss the mark”, are not the equal of their heterosexual counterparts, etc……

  • Jayhuck

    Can I rightly infer that you see no problem with any of these heterosexual issues that I cited? (And, to make it clear, although I cited these as heterosexual issues that might be addressed by studying factors, these are homosexual issues as well.)

    Sigh – I never said I didn’t see a problem with these things, I just wasn’t sure where you were going with the idea. I’m not a big fan of modifying behaviors I don’t like in order to fashion a better society – it borders on Orwellian – I mean, how would you implement these behavior modification techniques? I know you, and I doubt you would force such things on people. I understand that the research into these heterosexual problems is important in order to help people, but there was something behind the idea that just gave me the willies

  • Eddy

    All I did was simply ask for clarification – then you launch into a diatribe – LOL!

    LOL. Other than saying that ‘you read into it’, what amounts to a diatribe? Or was it that you didn’t really ask me what I meant? That your question was an insincere as it sounded?

    How dare I? First of all, if I remember correctly, he is only quoting from ONE study – I’m pretty certain we’ve discussed this study at length before and second, I think at the end of the study the authors offered different possible conclusions than the ones he did.

    LOL…and you quoted from NONE, so he still has you beat. I found and addressed the obvious flaws in yours.

    Homosexualists – lol – I don’t think I’ve ever heard that term before. Its interesting

    Even if it weren’t already coined, it’s a rather natural response to ‘heterosexist’, don’t you think? You’re always wanting to make sure that we see how alike things are from both the hetero and the homo side, so we needed a companion disparaging label to complement ‘heterosexist’…all in the spirit of fairness. (But yes, it is already out there, go on and google. It’s a term that makes some gay people quite angry…much like ‘heterosexist’.)

    Well, this would go both ways, right? I mean, it could be a person who identifies as straight for a little while might actually be gay but their direction was tainted – Isn’t that correct?

    Yes, Jayhuck, that would be correct. It is interesting how compulsive you are about us looking at everything from both sides…about having that gay/straight comparison…but then you seem to stumble over ‘homosexualist….like there shouldn’t be a corresponding term to ‘heterosexist’. I’m sure it’s not based in bias though.

    I answered your question above, where is your answer to mine?

    Now, I’m curious, Are YOU saying that they aren’t problems? Can I rightly infer that you see no problem with any of these heterosexual issues that I cited?

    The ‘they’ is: juvenile experimentation, young adult sex for sport and conquest, fetishes, porn compulsions, prostitution.

    And your original question was:

    I’m just curious – what does this mean?

    I believe it could serve to curb a number of heterosexual problems

    Are you saying you want science to change people so that they behave the way you would like them to behave? I’m only asking for clarification here

    I’m only asking for clarification here.

  • Eddy

    I mean, how would you implement these behavior modification techniques?

    Already answered.

    My own experience served as my motivator to explore emotional factors with my clients. I’ve cited several times on this site that I continued to meet with clients who didn’t share my view that all homosexuality ‘misses the mark’. (Yes, it was ethical for me to make my viewpoint known; I was a Christian counselor in an Exodus related ministry.) They continued to see me because I helped them to understand the parts of their sexual expression that they didn’t have control over or that they recognized as problems. We mutually agreed that we’d work together on clearing away the obvious messes…the emotional triggers that fueled their activity…and then see what was left and which direction they wanted to pursue.

    If you have a more specific question or objection, please cite the portion of my response that is incomplete or that confuses you.

  • Jayhuck

    Has me beat? he hasn’t identified the one study yet, nor have we discussed its possible, and if I remember right very real, problems – so if an unidentified and possibly problematic study has me beat – so be it – LOL.

    Homosexualist may turn out to be a very necessary word, but heterosexism is a much bigger problem. This is akin to white people claiming they are now being discriminated against too. That may be true but …

    Yes Eddy – I can that some of the things you mentioned are problems, although I’m not entirely certain how juvenile experimentation fits into your equation – what do you mean by this? I see it as a normal part of growing up for some people – a normal part of finding out who they are, unless we are defining this process differently

    I’m sure it’s not based in bias though.

  • Eddy

    Please google juvenile sexual experimentation…you will IMMEDIATELY find a number of studies, links and references (that aren’t sponsored by ‘conservatives’) that acknowledge that it is a problem and that it creates problems for the individuals involved.

  • Jayhuck

    Heterosexism: “a prejudiced attitude or discriminatory practices against homosexuals by heterosexuals.”

    Homosexism would would have to be the opposite –

    Hmmm – I wonder where the problem really lies ?

  • Jayhuck

    I googled the subject and It does still seem that the jury is out on whether ALL juvenile SEXUAL experimentation is necessarily bad though: the one bad article I found was religious in nature, so probably not the most impartial – I’ll have to look at more later because I need to get to work

  • Eddy

    Hmmm – I wonder where the problem really lies ?

    Yeah, that would happen if you read the word ‘or’ in the definition as if it’s the word ‘and’.

    You can stop wondering. It lies with close-minded people on both sides.

  • Jayhuck

    I agree, close minded people everywhere, of all shapes sizes and colors are problems Eddy, but Heterosexism, like racism, is talking about a Majority discriminating against a minority – that’s not ok and its a big problem. Much moreso than some in a minority having discriminatory attitudes against the majority. It is the size and scope of the discrimination that is problematic.

  • William

    Ann,

    The important thing to know is that animals do not express concern or distress with any same sex/gender activity they engage in…

    I accept your assertion that animals do not express concern or distress with any same sex/gender activity they engage in – although, if they did, I don’t know how they would express it in a way that would be comprehensible to us humans.

    …humans do

    That should, of course, be “some humans do.” Yes, of course, some humans do. Why? Because they are naturally constituted to feel concern and distress? I see no reason to think so. It seems far more probable to me that such concern/distress is the result of heterosexist conditioning. I will feel no concern or distress if I go to a surgeon for a necessary operation, but someone who has been brought up as a Christian Scientist may; I have heard of former Christian Scientists who have undergone urgent operations and have afterwards had to endure psychological guilt and trauma because they have acted against the beliefs of the religion in which they were brought up. Similarly, I feel no concern or distress if I eat a pork sausage; however, a friend of mine, who had ceased to believe in the strict orthodox Jewish faith in which he had been raised, nonetheless vomited the first time that he ate a pork sausage. (And no, it wasn’t food poisoning – always a risk with pork – because he threw up almost immediately.)

    I don’t know what things are like for gays nowadays in the USA, but here in the UK most of those whom I know have had to surmount significant problems caused by homophobic/heterosexist conditioning – and I thank God that most have done so successfully. The ones who haven’t faced this challenge and who find it difficult even to imagine what it’s like are those who are still in their teens or early twenties.

    By no means all of this is related to religious beliefs. Secular conditioning of this kind can be just as cruel and relentless and can result in what I call “social guilt” that is as powerful as religious guilt.

    We cannot discount these people just because we do not have the same concern.

    I don’t suggest that we can discount them. But the last thing that they need is reinforcement of false guilt.

  • Eddy

    The notion that the heterosexists are currently in the majority doesn’t change the definition of either word. As homosexualists are gaining considerable ground both in society at large and in the church, the effects of their prejudices are becoming more apparent.

    Some examples are the portrayals, in the media, of conservatives being mindless and stupid…of being blindly led and the similar condescending attitude of many gays towards ‘breeders’…that often implies that the only thinking straight men do is with their penises.

    When we can own up to our prejudices on both sides and freely discuss the issues while doing our personal best to keep all prejudice in check, we’ll have made progress regardless of who holds the ‘majority card’.

  • Eddy

    I googled the subject and It does still seem that the jury is out on whether ALL juvenile SEXUAL experimentation is necessarily bad though:

    I did not say ‘all’, ‘many’ or ‘some’…I was citing heterosexual problems that could possibly be ‘curbed’ (when you ‘curb’ your dog, you don’t stop him from pooping outside, you exercise a bit of responsibility and restraint). The same could apply to some other issues in my list…fetishes may not be all bad; depending on how we define pornography…some exposure to it may not be all bad either. BUT understanding the factors that lead to those behaviors CAN help to curb them when they ARE problems.

    Just curious: If Timothy had said that it would help to study the causative factors in order to curb the heterosexual problems of adolescent experimentation, sex for sport or conquest, fetishes, pornography or prostitution…would you have found anything in his statement to take exception to? This may be unfair of me, but I can almost envision you commenting with an “Amen!”

  • David Blakeslee

    Heterosexism….

    Anti-gay….

    what will the next word be to fight?

    Monogamism…?

    Anti-polyamory…?

    Name calling, no matter how “sanitized” is critical in changing the debate and changing minds…

    In it’s sanitized version, it is about shaming your opponent, just as in the less sanitized version, by grossly simplifying the argument.

    The sexual revolution has been a disaster…and it is still going on, dragging the vulnerable and the weak into medical and emotional abysses (no need of hell to motivate us anymore)…

    Crying victim and blaming culture is an odd solution in the most free society man has ever known.

    Humans are biologically wired for monogamy, heterosexual coupling and long term relationships…

    These all existed before culture and before religion.

    Heterosexism is nature’s value…not ours.

  • William

    Heterosexism is nature’s value…not ours.

    Quod gratis asseritur gratis negatur.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Jayhuck,

    “Homosexualists” is a term that has been adopted by the more extreme of anti-gay activists. I guess they figured that “homosexual” wasn’t adequately offensive in common usage and they will NEVER use the phrase “gay” because it is “giving in to the homosexual’s agenda” and, well, even their friends would be shocked if they used the language they were really thinking. So along came “homosexualist”.

    It seems to be a term for folks who support the notion that there is such a thing as sexual orientation and who oppose discrimination. A “homosexualist” may not necessarily be gay, but includes those evil straight folk who are capitulating to the nasty homos.

    I’ve generally only seen it on LifeSite or from Peter LaBarbera and folks of that ilk. Generally, those who use this phrase are the same folks who see nothing wrong with Uganda’s bill to execute some gays and incarcerate the others for life.

    To be honest, I was surprised to see Eddy adopt this one because I’ve only ever seen it in a place in which you know they really mean “f*ggot” and that doesn’t sound like Eddy at all. I suspect he isn’t aware of the associations of that word.

    It is not the opposite of “heterosexism”; that would be “homosexism”.

    Heterosexist describes a perspective that sees everything from the view of a heterosexual person. It generally includes prejudice (predetermined bias) but may or may not include malice.

    For example, if a Hallmark store didn’t have a single solitary card that was appropriate for a man to give his husband on his anniversary, that wouldn’t be evil or intentionally discriminatory. It’s just built on a view that never even recognizes that someone may want such a card (FYI, years and years ago this was the case. Hallmark now makes sure that their card selection includes gay folks too)

    It probably is best understood by comparing it to Anglocentrism, the idea behind the “White Man’s Burden” and much of 50′s and 60′s television. For much of the history of this nation, illustrators and advertisers and educators just assumed that everyone was white. “History” was white guy history. Medical research was on white guys, news stories were about white folk, and definitely the President was white. Most of this wasn’t malicious, just a matter of prejudice.

    The same is with heterosexism. It just ignores the existence of gay folk or sees them as a defective heterosexual.

    One of the funniest examples of heterosexism was in the 1990 census. That census (as with the current one), assumed that all relationships are in terms of being heterosexual.

    Was person two related to person one as a sibling? or a spouse? or a roommate? There wasn’t any place to indicate that person two and person one had made vows before their family, their church and their God and were a couple.

    So some same-sex couples who considered themselves married ticked the married box.

    But the computer wouldn’t accept two persons of the same sex being married. Obviously that was an error. Surely someone ticked the wrong box.

    So it implemented an automatic “fix” to correct this obvious mistake: it changed the gender of the second person.

    Of course there can also be homosexism, when something is seen entirely from a gay perspective. You see this much less frequently, but sometimes the gay community forgets that there are straight folk there as well. Or, more often, when gay folk forget that some people are bi.

    You also occasionally get the homosexist idiots who think, “everybody’s gay if you get enough beer into them”. Experience often cures that delusion.

    Most folk are shocked when they discover the extent to which they see the world from the narrowness of their own situation.

    David Blakeslee

    I should buy you a dictionary. You often seem to misunderstand commonly used words.

    “Anti-gay” and “heterosexism” are not calling names. They are adjectives that describe attitudes.

    If you think that these are ugly words, why don’t we all change the attitudes rather than object to the adjectives.

    Humans are biologically wired for monogamy, heterosexual coupling and long term relationships…

    Well, no… some people are wired for heterosexual coupling.

    But thank you for providing a very clear example of heterosexist thinking.

  • Eddy

    ‘what is asserted without reason may be denied without reason’

    Humans are biologically wired for monogamy, heterosexual coupling and long term relationships…

    These all existed before culture and before religion.

    These appear to be at least the semblance of ‘reason’. Are we suggesting that humans aren’t biologically wired for ‘monogamy’ and ‘long term relationships’? Hmmm…then what manner of freakishness is it that has gays wanting to emulate hetero marriage and family? Or is the suggestion that the aspirations to monogamy and long term relationships are culturally induced rather than biologically? Yet another reason why a study of factors is long overdue. As to ‘heterosexual coupling’, if we weren’t wired to reproduce, I’d assume the population would be millions less than what it is.

  • Eddy

    Timothy–

    I believe it’s much simpler than all that. ‘Homosexualist’ is a term created to respond directly to the term ‘heterosexist’. ‘Heterosexist’ was coined to allude to a prevailing agenda, whether that agenda was in fact in play or not. ‘Homosexualist’ is being employed in precisely the same way.

  • William

    Eddy,

    I was applying the saying Quod gratis asseritur gratis negatur specifically to your assertion that “Heterosexism is nature’s value…not ours.”

    Some might question whether one can meaningfully talk of nature having values, but granting that one can, I see no empirical grounds for asserting that heterosexism is one of them.

    As to ‘heterosexual coupling’, if we weren’t wired to reproduce, I’d assume the population would be millions less than what it is.

    It does seem obvious to me that the vast majority of people are wired for heterosexual coupling and reproduction; I’ve never disputed that, nor would I dream of doing so. It seems equally obvious that a minority are wired for homosexual coupling, and I’m one of them.

    Thomas Paine, in The Age of Reason, after praising the philanthropy of the Quakers, among whom he was brought up, added that “if the taste of a Quaker could have been consulted at the Creation what a silent and drab-colored Creation it would have been! Not a flower would have blossomed its gayeties, nor a bird been permitted to sing.”

    The universe proclaims the glory of God, not that of anyone else, so it’s not surprising that it’s less tidy and uniform, far more rich and varied, and certainly far less boring, than if it had been drawn up to the specifications of some mere mortal.

  • Eddy

    I was applying the saying Quod gratis asseritur gratis negatur specifically to your assertion that “Heterosexism is nature’s value…not ours.”

    I didn’t respond to you until AFTER your ‘Quod gratis’ quote. The ‘Heterosexism’ quote you were replying to is David’s not mine.

    I was responding to the use of the ‘Quod gratis’ quote as it seemed to be an attempt to shut down any need to discuss the matter based on the fact that you deemed it to be without reason.

  • William

    Eddy,

    I apologise for getting your comments and David’s mixed up.

    Yes, I do regard the assertion that ““Heterosexism is nature’s value…not ours” as being without reason (no matter whose assertion it is), in the sense that it is an assumption that no evidence requires us to make.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Eddy,

    Whenever I’ve seen the term “heterosexist” used, it has always been in the context of challenging presumptions that exclude gay people. Heterosexist is an adjective that describes an attitude.

    Whenever I’ve seen the term “homosexualist” used, it has always been in the context of exerting heterosexual privilege and damning gay people. Homosexualist is a noun that derides a people.

    I’m saddened that you see these as equal.

  • Eddy

    Timothy–

    Be careful with the absolutes like ‘whenever’. Was Ann ‘challenging presumptions that exclude gay people’ when you used the term in reference to her?

    Wasn’t your use of ‘heterosexist’ in reference to Ann an attempt to deride?

    And I’ve used the term ‘homosexualist’ a few times recently and a few times in the past and my purpose was neither to exert heterosexual privilege or to damn gay people, in all instances it was to dramatize the negative impacts to productive conversation of employing such labels to characterize your opponents rather than actually engage them in discussion. So, ‘whenever’ fails there too.

    I’m saddened that you’re needlessly saddened.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Eddy,

    If you wish to know the company you have joined, I just googled news containing the word homosexualist. Other than spoofs or satire, the news reports within the past week consist of three:

    homosexualist activists are now using these actions as a moral argument for the good of human homosexuality. … It used to be that saying that someone was behaving like an animal was a put down, now we have folks seeking to justify their sins by saying that they are just behaving naturally, like an animal.

    OK. I get the linkage.

    “The Advocate is a homosexualist propaganda rag — and for NBC to partner with The Advocate just shows that they have chosen sides in the culture war and that they are going to push the demands of the radical homosexual activist lobby and are, and have in fact, become part of the radical homosexual activist lobby,” Barber decides.

    That would be Mat Barber, a man whose reputation is well established.

    And the third was an article in LifeSite news, an organization that has made perfectly clear the extent to which they are motivated by animus.

    I also know that Peter LaBarber and Laurie Higgins and Linda Harvey and many of those who earn their living attacking the civil rights of gay people use the term.

    I’m sorry that you do.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Was Ann ‘challenging presumptions that exclude gay people’ when you used the term in reference to her?

    Wasn’t your use of ‘heterosexist’ in reference to Ann an attempt to deride?

    If you re-read my comment you will see three things:

    1. It was not directed at Ann (well the second one I apologized for was, but the original was not). It was directed at a comment, an attitude.

    2. Ann was not “challenging presumptions”, but I was.

    I was challenging the presumption that “an individual’s ability to have sex with the opposite gender” was either something that all people should strive for or even want.

    3. I did not deride Ann. I clarified several times that heterosexism may not include malice and may not be intentional.

    OK, so now back discussing the use of “homosexualist”… here’s the simple truth: birds of a feather.

  • Eddy

    I’ve had the ‘guilt by association’ card played against me so many times that I must have developed immunity to the guilt or shame feeling you’re trying to conjure. (And this comes from guilt-inducers on both sides of the fence.)

    A word has a basic meaning and takes its nuance from its context. It seems they did use the word to suggest those who are driven by a one-sided agenda or lopsided agenda. It is quite understandable that those who are engaged in a sparring match with those who most often use the word ‘heterosexist’ would use the counter term.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Nah, they spar with those who use the more accurate term of “homophobic”.

    “Heterosexist” is generally reserved for those who aren’t actually actively engaged in seeking to do damage to the lives, liberty, or freedom of gay people. Heterosexist attitudes tend to be casual exclusion rather than active attack.

  • Eddy

    Timothy–

    Yes, you apologized and I commend you for that but that doesn’t change the truth that you used it in the way that you did.

    I was challenging the presumption that “an individual’s ability to have sex with the opposite gender” was either something that all people should strive for or even want.

    Ann repeatedly referenced ‘those who have unwanted same sex attractions’. Your above quote would then suggest that rather than address what she was clearly asking, you directed your response to her but only to ignore her point and push your own.

    The assumptions were written right there in your statement, I only showed you how they sound to non-heterosexual ears. But you don’t care how they sound.

    I’m not surprised. In the slightest.

    That is, after all, the attitude of someone dedicated to heterosexual supremacy.

    Can you explain how that quote did not deride Ann?

  • Timothy Kincaid

    OK… so apologies don’t count in your world.

    Whatever, dude

  • Eddy

    “Homophobic’” is an unreasoned fear of hatred of homosexuals. The term goes only to attitude not to actions. I’m certain that homophobes do try to take actions to protect themselves from what they fear or hate but it isn’t in the definition.

    “Heterosexist” as already cited by Jayhuck and not challenged by you is:

    –noun

    a prejudiced attitude OR discriminatory practices against homosexuals by heterosexuals.

    If you want to use the words with nuances only known to you and your compadres, more power to you. But do try to get the dictionaries to catch up to you. Since we don’t travel with your posse, we rely on the dictionary as a standard for common usage.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Ya know… i butted in to make a point. And just ended up getting entangled in another of these cut-and-paste rant at each other arguments.

    It was pretty stupid on my part. I really seriously should have known the end result.

    I really need to tell myself just not to go there. No one’s going to have any opinion other than the one they had the last time and the time before. And I guess I won’t either.

  • Eddy

    Apologies DO count and I did commend you for your apology…but apologies do not change the truth of what happened.

    You said:

    3. I did not deride Ann. I clarified several times that heterosexism may not include malice and may not be intentional.

    But the reality is that you DID deride Ann and then later apologized. And, even your clarification still suggest that she is/was heterosexist but that wasn’t malicious about it and wasn’t intentional. (Translation: God love her! She means well but she’s blind to it.)

    To which, I will repeat that Ann said several times…in this thread that had gone into a discussion of why some of us saw some real value in examining the factors that play into sexual identify development…that she was concerned with those who didn’t want their homosexual attractions. She was asking on their behalf. But the notion that some don’t want their attractions is naturally offensive to those who have come to peace with theirs and Ann’s questions and concerns got labelled as heterosexist.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Free online dictionary

    ho·mo·pho·bi·a (hm-fb-)

    n.

    1. Fear of or contempt for lesbians and gay men.

    2. Behavior based on such a feeling.

    homo·phobe n.

    homo·phobic adj.

    Merriam Webster

    ho·mo·pho·bia

    Pronunciation: ?h?-m?-?f?-b?-?

    Function: noun

    Date: 1969

    : irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals

    — ho·mo·pho·bic -?f?-bik adjective

    Or the more extended Wikipedia entry clarifying commonly accepted usage:

    Homophobia is a range of negative attitudes and feelings towards homosexuality and people identified or perceived as being homosexual. Definitions refer variably to antipathy, contempt, prejudice, aversion, and irrational fear. Homophobia is observable in critical and hostile behavior such as discrimination and violence on the basis of a non-heterosexual orientation.

    and

    Heterosexism is a term that applies to a system of negative attitudes, bias, and discrimination in favor of opposite-sex sexuality and relationships. It can include the presumption that everyone is heterosexual or that opposite-sex attractions and relationships are the only norm and therefore superior.

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    I think the correct term, if it is going to be used, would be Homosexist, not homosexualist – And yes, the fact that heterosexists may be in the majority doesn’t change the fact that homosexists exist, anymore than there are racists among both Caucasians AND African Americans – however…

    David,

    Crying victim and blaming culture is an odd solution in the most free society man has ever known.

    It hasn’t been the most free society for everyone David. Our history is full of discrimination and injustice where minorities are concerned

    Let’s talk about our not-so-distant past and slavery then David. Did African Americans not have a right to stand up against a culture that was repressing them?

    Humans are biologically wired for monogamy, heterosexual coupling and long term relationships…

    And apparently homosexuality – I think a better-than-good argument could be made that humans are NOT biologically “wired” for monogamy considering our most basic impulses tend to cause us to stray

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    When we can own up to our prejudices on both sides and freely discuss the issues while doing our personal best to keep all prejudice in check, we’ll have made progress regardless of who holds the ‘majority card’.

    When Evangelicals and right-wing players decide that gay people are indeed their equal, when gay people have the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts, THEN and only then can real and free discussions begin. As long as anti-gay folk are going to demand that gay people be treated DIFFERENTLY, you cannot have free and open discussions about issues – not while one party is being treated as less than equal

  • Eddy

    Believe it or not, I know exactly how you feel. I made one simply comment, it’s post #2 in the thread:

    I find it interesting that we won’t spend a dollar to study possible ‘factors’ while we’ve invested oodles of money in search of ‘the gay gene’. So glad there’s no bias in the scientific process.

    …and we’ve done everything but discuss the validity of studying possible factors.

    Instead policing each others words, finding a phrase to question or wonder about while dismissing all the rest of what’s been said, reading motives into what’s been said or asked.

    I keep telling myself it’s pointless too. I even try to find some fresh avenue of discussion…simply the validity of studying possible contributing factors…but just can’t get there. The very fact that I even want to consider that there are contributing factors is evidence of a) my conservatism b) my personal dissonance c) the heterosexist virus I’ve contracted through association with conservatives and d) must first surrender to the prevailing notion that gay IS just as inborn and biological as straight (although that’s still unproven).

  • Jayhuck

    Ann,

    I think the jury is still out on whether Ann is heterosexist or not! I’m still waiting for an answer to my question regarding ethnicity.

    Let me make it clear before things get completely out of control that I don’t think Ann is malicious, mean-spirited, or anything of the kind. She seems by all accounts to be a very kind, very caring person. However, those things don’t mean she is not heterosexist.

  • Eddy

    Jayhuck–

    When Evangelicals and right-wing players decide that gay people are indeed their equal, when gay people have the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts, THEN and only then can real and free discussions begin.

    So THEN, if your conclusion is that real and free discussions can’t begin until the Evangelicals and right-wing players decide that gay people are indeed their equal, is it your suggestion that this blog be shut down until they get there or is it your admission that you won’t engage in any attempts at real and free discussions with those of us who attempt to converse here?

    My quandary is that I aspire to having real and free discussions. I can see from this statement that you’ve ruled out that possibility. I don’t see any justification for responding to you further.

    Timothy–

    Thank you for the encyclopedic postings re homophobia. They do in fact demonstrate that the definition of homophobia has been expanded to include actions. I stand (or sit) corrected.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Eddy,

    I don’t am not aware of the oodles of money that has been invested in searching for the gay gene. I read this from time to time in the writings of those who seek to say “there is no gay gene”, but I’m not aware of much research at all.

    I know Dean Hamer did some work in the early 90′s. But I am not aware of much time or money spent on searching for a gay gene since then.

    Can you please direct me to where those oodles were spent?

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    Here’s the rub though Eddy, and this is why I think Ann may indeed be heterosexist – while she seems to care about those people who don’t want their SSA, she never seems to make allowances for the real fact that the problems with their SSA may be a result of the culture at large and not any inherent “values” which aren’t being met. If she did that, I’d be more inclined to think she wasn’t. I’ll freely admit I may have missed her making such a statement now or in the past.

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    My quandary is that I aspire to having real and free discussions. I can see from this statement that you’ve ruled out that possibility. I don’t see any justification for responding to you further.

    I’m saying what I have always said – you cannot have profitable discussions with another group of people when you continue to label that group inferior to yourself or when you try to treat them as people undeserving of the same rights as you – you will not make inroads into the gay community or foster positive discussions regarding studying the causes for homosexuality when homosexuals are fighting merely to be treated as equals.

    No, don’t shut down this thread, because if nothing else, it may serve to open up the road to equality for gay people – I think THAT is the purpose of threads like this right now – for gay people to see that Evangelicals are people who deserve to be treated with respect and vice versa – respect however involves seeing the other as an equal -

  • Eddy

    Timothy–

    Googling ‘Twin Studies’ or ‘Gay Gene Research’ will take you there. I don’t have any sense of how much money went into these various studies hence my use of the colloquial word ‘oodles’. I haven’t heard of any money being invested in studying ‘contributing factors’…even the main topic thread spoke disparagingly of monies being spent towards that end and the first commenter (I believe) suggested that even a dollar would be too much.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Eddy,

    It is my personal bias based on what I know and have read that sexual orientation is set (or is the result of factors that are set) either by birth or within the first few years of life. I also believe that in men it is sufficiently immutable so as to make an effort to change homosexuality (attracted to the same sex generally) to heterosexuality (attracted to the opposite sex generally) to be a waste of time.

    Those are my assumptions and, of course, include my biases.

    I also think that those who wish to live in accordance with their values should do so without fear or shame and that they should not be subjected to disdain or derision for their decision to do so. I would go so far as to say that those who choose to honor commitments to a spouse and devotion to children over their own personal attractions are worthy of respect.

    Again, my biases.

    OK, now down to the question about the factors.

    I think that a lot of study has already gone into the subject. For decades and decades there were efforts to tie homosexuality to some particular parenting pattern or other. I don’t think it ever proved to be successful, but many psychiatrist certainly tried. This was, after all, the prevailing assumption.

    Since the 70′s, focus has shifted to non-nurture based assumptions. There have been hypotheses ranging from in-utero hormones to soy. Again, without a great deal of success.

    But I don’t think anyone has stopped looking. Nor should they.

  • Jayhuck

    That is true Timothy – I had forgotten all of the money that went into studies prior to 1980 trying to tie homosexuality to non-genetic causes. Its not a wonder that the pendulum swung in the other direction for awhile.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    It wasn’t my impression that twin studies sought to identify a gay gene. Am I incorrect?

    And I googled “gay gene research”. The first response was NARTH and many of the rest were conservative media objecting to gay gene research.

    The only current research I found is Dr. Sanders’ ongoing project.

    I’m just not sure what you would prefer to have studied that isn’t already studied. Do you have any suggestions?

  • Eddy

    Jayhuck–

    I see two posts directed at me since I posted this:

    My quandary is that I aspire to having real and free discussions. I can see from this statement that you’ve ruled out that possibility. I don’t see any justification for responding to you further.

    Timothy-

    I appreciate your comment but want to add something that I believe Ann was getting at and what I suggested in a way earlier post. When you say ‘live according to their values’ it has a religious ring to it; we wonder about those who have something other than religious values saying ‘this isn’t right for me’. If people who have been straight all their lives can suddenly discover that they are gay, why isn’t the opposite true? Can’t people also mistakenly identify as gay?

    I agree that psychiatrists tried for years to establish a parenting link but that’s not true science…they already had a strong presupposition that they were trying to prove rather than doing an honest study of ‘what factors are contributing’. You didn’t date the decades where this study went on. I conjecture that if it was pre-1970, it was seriously flawed by the ‘mental illness’ model. And then, after 1970 we moved very quickly into mode where serious professionals couldn’t even look at is as a problem…only dissonance was a problem. So, from the 70′s on, most of the ‘studies’ were by Christian related groups. (That’s my theory, BTW, I am open to correction.) I have long held that other factors: siblings, society, and, more significantly than we’d like to admit, the media also contribute strongly an individual’s sense of self and sense of sexual self. That’s my bias…and those are the studies I long to see.

  • Eddy

    Timothy–

    I believe I was writing my post that suggested the precise areas that I would like to see studied while you were asking me that question.

    Sorry for the bad google lead…instead of ‘twin studies’, refine it to ‘twin studies homosexuality’…yes, Narth still appears as does another ascribed to Messiah, but you’ll find much more.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Eddy,

    This is from a 2007 article in Discovery magazine about gay gene research:

    Fourteen years later, neither Bocklandt nor any other researcher has pinpointed the precise base pairs that might turn a man gay. Part of this is due to the politics of funding for sex research. For a long period NIH grant proposals that included words like “gay,” “condom,” or even “sexuality” were turned down, much to the ire of researchers like Hamer. Shortly after he published his gay brothers study, Hamer completed a similarly designed family study looking into a genetic cause for a certain kind of anxiety. Since then there have been more than 400 independent studies looking into those genes. There have been no such studies for the gay gene.

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    yes – and as you’ve promised that so many times before, I responded. You might want to actually take a look at the response :)

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    Sorry – meant to say, seeing as how you’ve promised that so many times before I responded anyway. I elaborated on why groups that treat other groups without respect, which includes seeing the other as equal, won’t make it very far if they are trying to have meaningful, free and open discussions with them. There are some Evangelicals and others on the religious right that, if they don’t support the term Gay Marriage, at least support Civil Unions…. this is a step in the right direction. This matter has to be dealt with before you can get onto having those other discussions you seem to care so much about

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Eddy,

    I’m aware of twin studies and that they seek to know whether homosexuality has a genetic basis (and they did determine that sexual orientation is at least partially due to genes). I thought you mean specifically studies funded to search for a gay gene.

    And sorry for the cut and paste, but it makes it easier to respond specifically.

    When you say ‘live according to their values’ it has a religious ring to it; we wonder about those who have something other than religious values saying ‘this isn’t right for me’.

    Well that is an interesting question. I’m not sure that many do.

    I don’t believe that I’ve ever ran into someone who had non-religious reasons for ‘leaving homosexuality’ (for want of a better term) that were not related to external factors such as discrimination, family expectations, or other cultural, social, or institutional pressures. I’ve never met someone who accepted homosexuality and felt no external pressure but who somehow intrinsically felt “this is a perfectly ok thing, but it’s not for me”.

    I don’t know what my opinion is for that person, but I respect their right to free choice.

    If people who have been straight all their lives can suddenly discover that they are gay, why isn’t the opposite true? Can’t people also mistakenly identify as gay?

    I suppose that’s possible on a theoretical basis.

    And I definitely know that it is possible to fall in love with someone of the opposite sex unexpectedly – although this seems to be a phenomenon that is evident mostly in women. But these seem to be individual romances and not indicative of an overall change in orientation.

    And I don’t think I’ve ever heard of someone who discovered to their surprise that they really were straight all this time and just weren’t willing to believe it.

    Do you suppose we might be arguing for a demographic that may not exist?

    – I don’t disagree with your assumptions about the parenting studies –

    I have long held that other factors: siblings, society, and, more significantly than we’d like to admit, the media also contribute strongly an individual’s sense of self and sense of sexual self.

    I think you just changed the subject. We were discussing sexual orientation and you now are discussing “sense of self and sense of sexual self.”

    I’ve no way to discuss such matters. Those are personal lifestyle concepts and do not, as best I can see, necessarily pertain to sexual orientation (i.e. romantic, sexual, affection and spiritual attraction – or SSA).

    I may be mistaken, but it appears that you are implying that the media leads on to decide to be attracted to the same sex and that is a notion that I find difficult to take seriously.

    However, we do know that sibling studies have been done. And what we know to date is that the more older brothers one has, the higher the likelihood of being homosexual. This seems to be true whether the brothers are present or absent or ever even in their life. (This work is not conclusive). But this seems to be attraction rather than sense of self.

    And I know few people who would disagree that society contributes to sense of self. Those societies who execute or incarcerate gay people undoubtedly impact sexual identity. No one is a gay activist in Iran.

    But due to exactly those reasons, it would be nearly impossible to determine if orientation is impacted by society. Who would tell the truth?

  • Jayhuck

    I don’t believe that I’ve ever ran into someone who had non-religious reasons for ‘leaving homosexuality’ (for want of a better term) that were not related to external factors such as discrimination, family expectations, or other cultural, social, or institutional pressures.

    Nor I Timothy – I’m sure that there are a few out there, but every single person I’ve met or talked whose problem with their SSA wasn’t linked somehow to religion

  • Jayhuck

    Wow – I’m having problems communicating today –

    I meant; I’m sure that there are a few out there, but I’ve never met or talked to a person whose problem with their SSA wasn’t somehow linked to religion

  • Ann

    William,

    Yes, you are right – I should have said “some” when referring to the fact that (some) humans do experience distress about engaging in same gender sex or having continual same gender attractions with no opposite gender attractions. You are further correct that there is no way for animals to communicate anything like that to us (humans). To be clear, there are some who experience emotional pain, which covers a myriad of areas, in response to their unwanted same gender attractions. For me to analyze the reasons why, other than what I know for myself and others who have communicated with me, would be irresponsible. To an extent, I think you are correct about society, however, I do not believe that is the only reason one would feel emotional turmoil regarding same sex attractions.

  • Jayhuck

    ANN,

    To an extent, I think you are correct about society, however, I do not believe that is the only reason one would feel emotional turmoil regarding same sex attractions.

    Thank you for saying that Ann – that is admitting that of the few people who seem to experience problems with their SSA, some of those, who have been directed to feel badly of themselves due to societal factors, may merely need therapy to help them accept their orientation while others may be in need of therapy to help them abstain from acting on their feelings.

  • Ann

    Jayhuck,

    I thought I answered your question about ethnicity. I do not think it has anything to do with sexual expression. I am not sure what someone should do if they are experiencing emotional turmoil over their ethnicity, however, firmly believe they deserve the same consideration as anyone who is experiencing emotional turmoil.

    Regarding all the other things you wrote about me – heterosexualist, jury being out, casting doubt on my level of sincerity about caring, etc., etc. – I know you have called me anti-gay before too. I just don’t think it is healthy for me to accommodate your whims by continually defending myself against your desire to have me be someone I am not. I guess what hurts me the most is your need to believe I am the person you conjured up in your mind, and what that does for you.

  • Eddy

    I don’t believe that I’ve ever ran into someone who had non-religious reasons for ‘leaving homosexuality’ (for want of a better term) that were not related to external factors such as discrimination, family expectations, or other cultural, social, or institutional pressures.

    I have. I’ve met a few who had a personal desire for ‘wife and family’ that was pretty strong. I’ve met others who looked at the overall ‘gay lifestyle’ as more shallow than heterosexuality (and who recognized their own shallowness in the process). I’ve met others who were lured into homosexuality (granted by their own eagerness to be exploited for their looks or for money)…who came to identify themselves as homosexual but then began to wonder otherwise. I’ve met others who had zero self-esteem and very negative images of themselves as men, who took to homosexuality by default. Strange and unusual perhaps but we don’t know and we can’t judge until we delve deeper into the mind and emotions of those specific individuals.

    And I guess that answers that I believe that demographic does exist. I also vaguely recall a group out of New York City…back in the mid to late 70′s and perhaps early 80′s…who were dissonant for non-religious reasons. I can’t recall the name anymore and neither do I know how much they may have lined up with your other reasons for dissonance.

    I think you just changed the subject. We were discussing sexual orientation and you now are discussing “sense of self and sense of sexual self.”

    Nope. Didn’t change the subject. Consider my phrase ‘sense of sexual self’ fairly synonymous with your term ‘sexual orientation’. I try to avoid the term ‘sexual orientation’ because I find it’s loaded. I’ve cited that several times here on the blogsite but I realize that you were likely not around then. (I still slip up when I’m being careless but today’s comments have been so pervaded by misunderstandings that I was ‘on my toes’.) I’m only speaking to that part of ‘orientation’ that deals with a person’s inner sense of who they are and where they perceive they best fit or will most likely find fulfillment.

    I may be mistaken, but it appears that you are implying that the media leads on to decide to be attracted to the same sex and that is a notion that I find difficult to take seriously

    No, the media for many is THE predominant teacher/exampler in their life. Even the verbal messages from mom and dad are trumped by the visual impact of the media. Some examples: the media portrays quite often in stereotypes. The jock, the nerd, the geek, the sensitive dude. Jock gets the girl(s). Nerd gets the bullying. Geek gets rejected by all unless he has a unique talent or skill that the others need (Geek rescue). Sensitive and compassionate dude turns out to be either gay or a brooding psychopath about to explode. Children absorbing these messages are also unconsciously comparing themselves. “Where do I fit in? Which is my group?” If they don’t fully grasp that they can be ‘none of the above’, they might accept the wrong answer for themselves or struggle desperately to identify with one of the other images. Another example: let’s say your kid has a deep and abiding respect for their fellow man and woman. They don’t see anyone as a proper target of objectification. They feel morally that it is a violation of another person to imagine having sex with them (without their consent). Now, here comes football season and the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders are, as usual, scantily clad. His morals check his response somewhat. Even if he is slightly stirred, it is not to the degree that others are. “Whoa, check out the blonde! Get a load of that rack! Come to me, pretty mama!” Such statements could be coming from within the same room…or a toned-down version could be coming from the announcers but the individual begins to wonder “What’s wrong with me that I don’t respond like that?” He accepts ‘that response’ as what’s normal and presumes, at the same time, that there must be something wrong with himself.

    These are but two examples…but what’s the average these days on daily television watching? Even when we say the message is something else, the media is subliminally selling a whole lot more. Some are impacted to a greater degree than others.

    However, we do know that sibling studies have been done. And what we know to date is that the more older brothers one has, the higher the likelihood of being homosexual. This seems to be true whether the brothers are present or absent or ever even in their life. (This work is not conclusive). But this seems to be attraction rather than sense of self.

    Can you elaborate on the concluding sentence there? Are you saying that they seem to be attracted on some level to their older brothers and somehow transfer that attraction to other men?

    By way of anecdote, it proves nothing…well nothing other than that no formula applies to everybody…I have 3 older brothers. However, I also have 3 younger brothers. By that model, my youngest brother should be flaming down the street but I’m the only one who has had the homosexual leanings. (The youngest however does have serious hetero issues!)

    My personal spin is that we accept the media representations as true; we accept our older siblings as ‘the norm’; we also have the spoken messages of our church and our community (our society) and we have our perceived acceptance (or lack thereof) by our parents as our primary ‘teachers’ as to who we are and where we fit. (I think peers probably fit in with ‘community’ but maybe stand out as a separate contributing ‘barometer’.) We measure ourselves and come to identify ourselves by these many barometers.

    So many times I’ve heard, ‘I always knew I was different but I didn’t realize what that meant’. Maybe they were ‘different’ because they were gay but then, the gay community keeps saying, ‘we’re just like you except for who we choose to go to bed with’…what happened to those ‘differences’? Did they disappear? Or is the latter statement slightly untrue…are there genuine pre-adolescent sensations of being different that turn out to be part of a ‘gay personality’? Or, did the sense of being different, lead to the conclusion ‘I’m gay’ and then get assimilated into the gay identity? (I’m very very short but I forget that when I’m around my very very short family. It just is.)

  • Jayhuck

    Ann,

    You didn’t ever answer my question about ethnicity, and I never questioned your ability or depth of caring.

  • Jayhuck

    Ann,

    In fact, you’ve been successfully dodging answering the question ever since I asked it.

  • Jayhuck

    Ann,

    Um – I haven’t conjured anything up in my mind – if you’ll read a previous post I said by all accounts you seem to be a very caring and kind individual. If I’ve conjured any image of you it is that one. I have no idea what you are going on about

  • Eddy

    Ann–

    :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

  • Jayhuck

    I’ve met others who looked at the overall ‘gay lifestyle’ as more shallow than heterosexuality (and who recognized their own shallowness in the process). I’ve met others who were lured into homosexuality (granted by their own eagerness to be exploited for their looks or for money)…who came to identify themselves as homosexual but then began to wonder otherwise. I’ve met others who had zero self-esteem and very negative images of themselves as men, who took to homosexuality by default. Strange and unusual perhaps but we don’t know and we can’t judge until we delve deeper into the mind and emotions of those specific individuals.

    All these qualities can be found in heterosexuals Eddy.

    I’ve also met people who began to wonder otherwise, who thought they should identify as ex-gay, who thought that the gay lifestyle was shallow or who felt they were exploited by the gay community, then they come to find out that most gay people aren’t any shallower than straight people, that gay people often want the same things as straight folk, that the straight community can and does exploit its own, and that they can be selfless, caring, shallow-less individuals and STILL be gay – hence, the Ex-Ex gay folk.

    Blaming some people on issues that are really your own gives rise to such folks – eventually they realize their orientation had little to do with their own personal issues

  • Eddy

    Will not discuss with you, Jayhuck.

    When Evangelicals and right-wing players decide that gay people are indeed their equal, when gay people have the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts, THEN and only then can real and free discussions begin.

    The Evangelicals and right-wing players haven’t decided yet. And ‘THEN and only then can real and free discussions begin.’ That’s your stance and I’m trying to honor your position with you. Please stop directing comments to me. It makes me look rude for not replying when I’ve already said it twice. Feel free, if you must, to discuss my comments with the others.

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    You completely missed the point of my post. I have no intention of not responding to your comments if I wish. But feel free to stop responding to mine.

    Please tell me this Eddy – Do YOU feel that you can have real, open, honest discussions with another group if you continue to treat them as less than equal – if you don’t respect them enough to see them as equals? I’m curious to know your thoughts on this.

  • Eddy

    Bye all! I’ve had more than I can take.

    Timothy-

    I’ll check in later or tomorrow to see if you have any response to my response to your latest post.

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    So many times I’ve heard, ‘I always knew I was different but I didn’t realize what that meant’. Maybe they were ‘different’ because they were gay but then, the gay community keeps saying, ‘we’re just like you except for who we choose to go to bed with’…what happened to those ‘differences’?

    Also by way of anecdote – when I’ve said “I always knew I was different”, and I’ve said it many times to people when trying to help them understand when I began to understand I was gay – its been with the understanding that the difference WAS being gay. Some people may mean other things, but in the conversations I’ve heard it was always understood that is what this means. Feeling DIFFERENT, meant having sexual feelings that weren’t like what most everyone else was experiencing

  • Eddy

    Timothy-

    I’m going to need to cancel my subscription to this thread. I will try to check back in in a day or so…otherwise, if you feel that we’ve pretty much said it all, I’m good with that too. Sorry ’bout that. I actually thought we had rallied to where we might get productive.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Eddy,

    I’ve met a few who had a personal desire for ‘wife and family’ that was pretty strong

    .

    I know a lot with a strong personal desire for “spouse and family”. And they fulfilled that desire.

    I suspect that the distinction between “spouse” and “wife” are probably based more in external pressure than some intrinsic drive.

    I’ve met others who looked at the overall ‘gay lifestyle’ as more shallow than heterosexuality (and who recognized their own shallowness in the process). I’ve met others who were lured into homosexuality (granted by their own eagerness to be exploited for their looks or for money)…who came to identify themselves as homosexual but then began to wonder otherwise.

    OK. I haven’t, but then again you have greater access to “don’t want to be gay” folk than I do so I’ll defer to your experiences.

    I’ve met others who had zero self-esteem and very negative images of themselves as men, who took to homosexuality by default

    .

    Ummmm…. I believe you have met some who claimed this. This is, after all, a not-infrequent claim of some ex-gay ministries and fits nicely with the “inadequate masculinity” position of NARTH and “Journey into Manhood” and groups of that sort.

    But with all due respect to you, no I do not believe that to be true.

    And, as is the case in the other situations, I do not take as evidence “some guy told Eddy”, even though I don’t doubt your honesty at all. I have, actually, heard some folks make the “shallowness” statements before, but when I spent some time getting to understand where they came from it always led back to either religion or social conditioning.

    If only they had what they see in the movies instead of the miserable furtive sneak out to the truckstop then they’d be happy. If only they had a wife instead of endless meaningless sex or a partner they don’t love or some cute eyecandy on their arm.

    And they are right… pretty much anything would be better than their miserable existence. But that they are choosing “go straight” over “be a decent and responsible gay man” always seemed based in either cultural or religious expectation.

    Maybe you’ve met otherwise.

    Consider my phrase ’sense of sexual self’ fairly synonymous with your term ’sexual orientation’.

    OK. I prefer using commonly understood language as it is easier to communicate but if you prefer some other term that means the same then I think we’re fine. I don’t think that “find fulfillment” is a component of sexual orientation, but I think I know the point you are trying to make.

    Thanks for the clarification on what you meant by media.

    But I think you are arguing sexual identity, not attractions. And while identity can be one way of demonstrating sexual orientation, I think we all know that it has almost no impact on attractions. In other words, attractions can impact the identity one assumes, but we have seen no evidence that identity can have any impact on attractions (or at least not in adults).

    Perhaps some study could be made into whether media (or, more generally social expectations and ideals) lead to sexual identities that lead to sexual attractions, but then we are right back in the 70s and none of that panned out. Maybe it wasn’t conducted correctly and a better study could provide clarity.

    But I guess I’m a bit uncertain how one could determine that the great cycle of “I respect women so I’m not going to be crude and therefore I’m different, I guess I’m gay” could be tested. I guess the best way would be to look at households with highly religious values and a strong basis in general respect resulted in more gay sons.

    (I’m not a good example. While we did have a strong “respect” ethic and were encouraged to reject the sexualization of anyone (an excuse I used for many years to avoid explaining my lack of carousing), my parents also thought that television, secular music, etc. was an evil influence so we didn’t have it. I was raised essentially media-free.)

    Or, also, we could see if families with more television exposure result in more gay sons. I don’t think that I have seen any pattern of that, but as you note, it hasn’t been studied.

    Can you elaborate on the concluding sentence there? Are you saying that they seem to be attracted on some level to their older brothers and somehow transfer that attraction to other men?

    Sorry for the confusion. I was saying that homosexuality as defined by attraction is impacted (based on studies so far) by the number of older brothers, whether they are in the house or not (Anthony Bogaert). I was trying to distinguish this from your “sense of self” definition, in case it meant something else.

    My personal spin is that we accept the media representations as true; we accept our older siblings as ‘the norm’; we also have the spoken messages of our church and our community (our society) and we have our perceived acceptance (or lack thereof) by our parents as our primary ‘teachers’ as to who we are and where we fit. (I think peers probably fit in with ‘community’ but maybe stand out as a separate contributing ‘barometer’.) We measure ourselves and come to identify ourselves by these many barometers.

    Yes, I’ve heard this many many times. I think I can say without offending you that this is the Standard Ex-Gay Explanation.

    I agree that it should be studied. If it is observable then we can certainly consider it.

    To be honest, I doubt that there is much there. I just know too many gay folk for whom it isn’t even remotely close to true.

    So many times I’ve heard, ‘I always knew I was different but I didn’t realize what that meant’. Maybe they were ‘different’ because they were gay but then, the gay community keeps saying, ‘we’re just like you except for who we choose to go to bed with’…

    I’ll pretend that I didn’t read “choose”

    what happened to those ‘differences’? Did they disappear? Or is the latter statement slightly untrue… … (I’m very very short but I forget that when I’m around my very very short family. It just is.)

    I think that you are conflating two different concepts.

    Yes, gay folk often say “I knew I was different” and then “but we’re just the same’.

    However the first “different” is a matter of different in response to stimuli, an unexpected difference from the other heterosexual little boys and girls. While this isn’t universal, it is a commonly repeated experience of gay folk.

    But when gay folk say, “we’re just the same”, we mean other than the obvious difference: the gender of the person we are attracted to.

    It’s a bit like a left-handed person being “different” but also “just the same as” anyone else. Yes there is a difference, but it is not (and should not be – though it certainly has historically been considered) a difference that diminishes the humanity of either. (Left-handed folks are sinister)

    are there genuine pre-adolescent sensations of being different that turn out to be part of a ‘gay personality’? Or, did the sense of being different, lead to the conclusion ‘I’m gay’ and then get assimilated into the gay identity?

    I pulled this out to address it separately.

    It is certainly a possibility that being predisposed to a specific type of personality could lead one to feel different. And that this difference would then express itself later in identity as “not like other boys” and eventually get named “gay’ which then informs them that they should have sex with boys.

    But this does seem to contradict the experiences of every gay man I know.

    I do not know of a single solitary gay man who identified as gay before experiencing same sex attraction. Not one.

    Now I’m 46 and I know that times have changed. But most gay men my age experienced same-sex attraction before they had a word to attach to it. Many experienced it without having a concept to attach to it… different, yes. attracted to the same sex, yes. but not yet getting “I like boys, not girls”.

    But I don’t object to such research. Mostly ;) because I think it would prove it wrong (in the same way that the Jones and Yarhouse study stuck a knife in “change is possible”)

    But if it is true, that would be good to know. It wouldn’t say much about reorientation, but it would be interesting to know.

  • David Blakeslee

    There are those heterosexuals who feel inauthentic in promiscuity…without religious input or cultural pressure.

    There are those heterosexuals who give up promiscuity solely because of cultural, but not religious pressures, because they want a wife and children.

    There are those who experience SSA and feel inauthentic also…without religious input or cultural pressure.

    It is simplistic to assume that all gays promiscuous…

    It is simplistic to assume that all those who have unwanted SSA feel that way due to cultural or religious pressures.

  • Eddy

    Timothy–

    I had to chuckle somewhat over the two references you made to ‘this is standard ex-gay verbage’…not those exact words…my chuckle relates to the fact that I may have been a very strong influence on ‘the standard’. In the early days of the ex-gay movement, expecially between 1978 and 1984 or thereabouts, I was one of the most prolific ‘writers’. Initially, I drew on my own experiences for my teachings, but, the more I engaged in one on one counseling and group facilitation, the more I began to recognize familiar patterns emerging. My conclusion was that if I saw a pattern demonstrated in 3 or more of my clients, then it was likely a pattern that others would identify with as well and I would address such issues in the ‘teaching sheet’ of our monthly newsletter. (BTW: To my knowledge, NARTH emerged a bit later; at times, much to my dismay, I think I hear echoes of things I’ve written in what they say. I can’t place it at the moment but it seems there was a part of one of Nicolosi’s talks that seemed to be based in part on my ‘Roots’ series.My impression was that he picked up on a part of what I had said but didn’t quite have the ‘causative’ picture.)

    I respect your different assessment of those who weren’t comfortable with being gay for other reasons. I also recognized the distinct possibility that religious rigidity could have driven some into marginalized or compulsive homosexual behaviors. (A person who believes it to be sin isn’t going to seek out a long-term committed relationship; if they do yield to homosexual impulses, it is likely to be of the most unsavory type: anonymous sex of the bookstore or public restroom type. Furthermore, they are unlikely to have a condom in their possession because that would mean they’d been planning to engage. In the days when the AIDS epidemic was rampant, this was a very serious concern that we could not overlook.)

    Sorry about that word ‘choose’. In the context of the sentence, the only other word I could thing of was ‘happen’ and that sounded too much like casual sex. I personally believe that although we do make choices about our everyday behavior that, for most people, it was not a conscious CHOICE to be gay. The notion did not present itself as a choice; most often, it comes feeling like a realization. “Ah, so this is why I feel different.”

    I’m also for the research, even if it does prove my theories wrong. Many of the gay people I know…and many of those with dissonance…are very ethical, highly principled people. They just want to be as informed as they can be so that they manage their lives appropriately with a bit of substance to shore them up in the face of the strong biases they hear from either side.

    As I’ve already said, I find ‘orientation’ to be a loaded word. By extension, ‘reorientation’ is also. Do I think an honest exploration of causative factors will change people completely? If by ‘change completely’ we mean never another same-sex temptation or fantasy, then ‘NO, I don’t think so.’ I don’t see amnesia as a Biblical promise. But I do believe that it would help many to successfully embrace heterosexuality…meaning enjoy it, find it satisfying and fulfilling, finding as much or more fulfillment in it as they did in their homosexuality. I can’t prove it but I do believe it.

    I do want to thank you for your part in the change of tone of our discussion; I worked on it a little from my end too.

  • Jayhuck

    David,

    There are those who experience SSA and feel inauthentic also…without religious input or cultural pressure.

    That may be – I’ve never met them.

    It is simplistic to assume that all gays promiscuous…

    I thought that was a given but thanks for saying as much!

    It is simplistic to assume that all those who have unwanted SSA feel that way due to cultural or religious pressures.

    As above – I’m sure that’s true, but I’ve never met them.

    This goes back to our long and mostly non-productive discussion about the source of most anti-gay sentiment.

  • Jayhuck

    Tim,

    But I think you are arguing sexual identity, not attractions. And while identity can be one way of demonstrating sexual orientation, I think we all know that it has almost no impact on attractions. In other words, attractions can impact the identity one assumes, but we have seen no evidence that identity can have any impact on attractions (or at least not in adults).

    Yes – thank you for expressing what I seem to have such a problem expressing!

  • Ann

    In fact, you’ve been successfully dodging answering the question ever since I asked it.

    Jayhuck,

    Unless I am missing something, I see that I have answered your question several times now. Please scroll up and if you don’t find the answers I have given, then let me know.

  • Ann

    I do want to thank you for your part in the change of tone of our discussion

    Yes, I wholeheartedly agree – thank you – it was so good to read what you wrote, and, for me personally, the way you wrote it.

  • Ann

    p.s. – sorry, the above should have been addressed to Timothy

  • Jayhuck

    Ann,

    Nope – you never answered the question!

    No worries about the other post :)

  • Jayhuck

    Ann,

    I would love to know your answer to the question though if you do decide to answer it.

  • Jayhuck

    Ann,

    My apologies – you did answer the question – somewhat anyway! Thank you for that. If we are wanting to do research into homosexuality to help those people who are having distress over their orientation possibly alter their feelings, we should be willing to do the same for those experiencing distress over other areas such as ethnicity – if a person would fair better as a member of a different ethnic group, we should attempt to help them do that – admittedly that is pretty much science fiction at this point but I do not doubt that it is possible in the future :)

  • Ann

    I would love to know your answer to the question though if you do decide to answer it.

    Ok, can you please ask me again – perhaps I misunderstood.

  • Ann

    you did answer the question – somewhat anyway! Thank you for that

    ok, good – thanks for letting me know

  • David Blakeslee

    @ Jayhuck,

    When one side argues for a nuanced and non-stereotypical view of their issues and experiences it is beyond puzzling that they adopt stereotypical and simplistic views, not of just of their enemies, but of their brothers and sisters in their struggle to make sense of their SSA.

    “Ex-gays” are your brothers and sisters, they are as nuanced and varied as you, Timothy, Michael and others that participate at this site.

    Sometimes they are categorized quickly as having internalized homophobia…or by people like Besen as fakes and phonies. Weak, unscientific articles are repeatedly referenced as “proving” being ex-gay is harmful…

    Given the rhetoric, I cannot imagine a welcoming group existing were a secular client of mine to “come out” as ex-gay…and he did not want to do the “Exodus” thing.

    It seems your lack of experience guides your opinions.

  • David Blakeslee

    There is a repeated conversational error that occurs on this site which is innocent, but misinforming.

    We seem to often talk about the rigidity of attractions (what Timothy refers to as orientation)…but repeatedly FAIL (not always ) to emphasize that this seems to be quite different for women.

    I read above from Timothy and Jayhuck agrees:

    I don’t believe that I’ve ever ran into someone who had non-religious reasons for ‘leaving homosexuality’ (for want of a better term) that were not related to external factors such as discrimination, family expectations, or other cultural, social, or institutional pressures.

    I just had lunch recently with someone, quite by accident, who left a long term Same Sex relationship that was completely accepted by the extended family and largest support system. They had a family together and the decision to leave was due to a profound change in attractions. This person is not relgious in the least. They do not participate in any “support group” around their desire to change. They have been ridiculed repeatedly by many of their Gay and Lesbian friends (how’s that for pressure?).

    external factors such as discrimination, family expectations, or other cultural, social, or institutional pressures.

    A simplistic understanding of these factors as external…implying they are inauthentic or corrupting. These factors are strongly interactional, especially in a free, non-coercive society.

  • NickC

    I do not know of a single solitary gay man who identified as gay before experiencing same sex attraction. Not one.

    I’ll confirm Timothy Kincaid’s observation from a different perspective.

    From the time he was in high school at least, my oldest son has been extremely attracted to gay people and gay culture. At the time he went to college, all he was reading was Jean Genet, William Burroughs, Edmund White, and other gay authors. He talked frequently about his many gay friends. He was delighted to announce to us that his roommate had just come out.

    On top of this, he had absolutely no interest in sports, cars, and other stereotypically guy topics. We lived in Kansas at that time, and these traits definitely marked him as different.

    If there was anyone who might have tried to identify as gay for social reasons alone, it was my son. But when I finally asked him one day, “Matt, what’s going on? Are you trying to tell us something?, his answer was:

    “I wouldn’t mind being gay. There’s a lot of stuff about gay culture that attracts me. But when I think about actually doing the sex myself, that just disgusts me.”

    I thought that was very healthy response. My son knew that his reading and interestes and friends didn’t make him gay. Gay or straight was a matter of who he actually wnated to have sex with.

    The reason we speak of “sexual orientation”–the term Eddy doesn’t like–is that homosexuality/heterosexuality boils down to the orientation of one’s sexual attractions. Although no one scientific explanation has yet dealt with all the questions on how orientation develops, the general direction of all the research points to the conclusion that orientation is not chosen; it is determined very, very early in a person’s development, and very likely before; and it cannot be consciously changed by any type of intervention yet attemped (chemical, behavioral, counseling, etc)

    My son Matt is not going to become gay no matter how much he hangs out with gay people. And I never became straight even when I felt happiest and most satisfied during my 26-year marriage to his mother.

  • David Blakeslee

    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/world/child-abuse-is-a-gay-problem-says-vatican-20100414-se4y.html

    Stereotypes hurt and misinform…regardless of who they seek to protect.

  • David Blakeslee

    Thanks NickC

  • Eddy

    Timothy–

    while identity can be one way of demonstrating sexual orientation, I think we all know that it has almost no impact on attractions.

    Actually, I don’t think we all know this. In fact, conversations on this blog that addressed the concept of identity usually ended with one or two bloggers from the one viewpoint saying ‘I don’t know what you mean by identity’ and a number of bloggers from the other side confusing it with the issue of labelling.

    attractions can impact the identity one assumes, but we have seen no evidence that identity can have any impact on attractions (or at least not in adults).

    I realize that you were using the proverbial ‘we’. But I know that I’ve seen that identify can have impact on attractions. If we go back to those studies you alluded to that had the presupposed end of determining parental influence, they weren’t looking at ‘identity’…instead they considered ‘bonding deficits’, ‘maternal dominance’ and the like. Pre-1970, homosexuality was generally abhorrent…irrationally so…to many–even in the psychiatric community. I had a few sessions of my own right after high school (yeah, it seems I’m more than a decade older than you) where the shrink was convinced that ALL of my personal anguish boiled down to my homosexual issues. (As if having 3 Marine Corps brothers while being an outspoken anti-war protestor had nothing to do with my anguish and was somehow related to homosexuality.)

    I was frustrated with his continued focus on homosexuality (or my feelings about it) as the root of all my problems and decided to ‘push his buttons’ a bit. He was real good at platitudes and talking around the surface but visibly flinched every time that I put a picture in his head. “What should it matter to anybody if my preference is for sucking dicks?” (Sorry, Warren, but it’s necessary for the illustration.) Flinch, choke, red face!

    Oh, he could talk ‘homosexuality’ but he couldn’t talk about ‘sex’. And it always intriqued me how many (my impression is ‘most’ but I’ll stick with ‘many’) gay people fell into roles. Bottom/Top, Dom/Sub, Passive/Agressive, Butch/Fem. Surface talking about homosexuality never got to why a person would feel drawn to a basic role or how they’d experience gratification in a role. I rejected the first two label pairings years ago. What seemed more true was Giver/Receiver(who gives the penis, who receives it). Many ‘bottoms’ were far from ‘submissive’…far from ‘passive’. Many ‘tops’ (especially when it came to oral sex) were quite ‘passive’…laid back, eyes closed, ‘just do me’. The pattern I noticed was (in males) was that some related to ‘receiving’…either or both orally and anally; others related to ‘giving’. What causes people to gravitate to such roles? And why has no one ever considered that it was worth studying?

    For many ‘receivers’ that I’ve spoken to, their own orgasm is almost an afterthought. The sensual gratification for the one performing oral sex is almost all in the mind. While the lips and tongue may be useful in sex, they aren’t sexually responsive in themselves. For many who do achieve orgasm, it seems attached to a ‘trigger’ response…when they feel ‘choked’ or ‘dominated’…or when the giver has his orgasm. (This could be related to a response to the discharge or to a brain-trigger of “I’ve pleased him”.) Responses are not universal although some patterns do exist. Anyway, it seems curious enough to warrant study and I believe that such study would demonstrate that the brain is indeed our primary sex organ and that it impacts our sexuality in more ways than we’ve yet considered.

    We did remarkably recover from our squeamishness over sex by the early 80′s. But, by then, we had pretty much decided simply that homosexuality was a ‘normal variation’ so there was no need or call to study ‘contributing factors’…of which I believe ‘identity’ is a major one.

    As I reflected on this this morning, I believe this may explain more the aside in my last post re NARTH and Nicolosi. When I used the word ‘causative’, I was suggesting that the part of my theories that weren’t reflected in Nicolosi’s was that the basic ‘sense of self’ or ‘identity’ is what causes many individuals to 1) sense “I am different” 2) assume there’s something wrong with being different 3) seek an answer to why I am different 4) come up with an answer and seek to accept that answer. (Step 4 further demonstrates why I thoroughly reject the oft spoken “You made a choice” mantra. Nowhere, for the individual who has discovered an answer is there a sensation of ‘choice’. Seeking to accept that answer is rightly perceived by the inner self to be a response full of honesty and integrity.)

    A bit about my rejection of the term ‘orientation’. I’ve said that I feel it’s loaded. 1) it implies a ‘condition’…beyond that it aspires to be a ‘psychological condition’…although psychiatry doesn’t view it as a sickness or disorder. Where do we have another model of something that isn’t a sickness or disorder that we call a ‘condition’? 2) I do not believe it’s a sickness or disorder while I do believe that it’s a sin (please don’t take fresh offense, don’t we already know that that’s my bias?) 3) we don’t identify other sins as psychiatric conditions 4) calling it a ‘condition’, because it plays into the ‘sickness or disorder’ model, impacts what we expect ‘success’ to be…we constantly hold ‘reorientation’ as the standard. 5) going back to #3…for those other behaviors that some see as sins, if dealt with in psychiatrics, success is not the absence of any inclination towards that behavior. 6) when we do identify something as a condition, we give it more dominance than it may deserve. (A Christian might come to me deeply anguished over their ‘homosexual condition’…I’ve been known to ask ‘and how are you doing with your ‘lying condition’ or ‘selfishness condition’? They immediately would recognize that they gave the h issue dominance. ) 7) when we assume we have a condition, we often ascribe other things to it that aren’t necessarily a part of it. (For years, I felt unduly embarrassed if I recognized that a male was handsome or striking as if that was my ‘gay part expressing itself’. If that were true, then noticing how attractive Eva Longoria is would be an expression of my ‘straight part’. The simple truth is that the media coaches us daily on what is handsome, attractive, striking. We notice and we acknowledge. It can be sexual but it often isn’t.)

  • Eddy

    Nick C–

    My last post was a long time in the writing and yours came in while I was writing. I realize you may not agree with my conclusions but I did realize that I hadn’t completely explained my rejection of the term ‘orientation’. (It’s a long post…my enumerations are near the end.)

  • Ann

    The reason we speak of “sexual orientation”–the term Eddy doesn’t like–is that homosexuality/heterosexuality boils down to the orientation of one’s sexual attractions

    Nick C,

    This might be true for many, however, it is not true for some women who connect with another woman emotionally and then the sexual attraction follows.

  • Ann

    What, if anything, does instinct have to do with human sexuality?

  • Ann

    Emotionally stirrings can and do lead to sexual stirrings for some – this can happen in all areas of relationships or encounters. Just think of the people who have said – there was no attraction there at first until I got to know him or her. Attractions can be emotional chemistry and/or sexual chemistry.

  • Ann

    sorry – misspelled a word – emotionally stirrings should be emotional stirrings

  • NickC

    I do not believe it’s a sickness or disorder while I do believe that it’s a sin (please don’t take fresh offense, don’t we already know that that’s my bias?)

    Eddy, what’s the “it” in this statement?

    By the context of the paragraph, “it” appears to mean homosexual attraction itself, and not just behavior. I understand that you regard actual gay sex as sinful. Do you regard the fact of same-sex attraction as sinful, even if the person doesn’t act on it?

    Orientation simply means the direction in which something is pointed. A building’s orientation may be to the north or the south. In the same way, sexual orientation means the direction of one’s sexual attractions–toward the opposite or same sex (or both). You can debate the morality of how one responds behaviorally to a homosexual verus heterosexual orientation, but orientation itself is morally neutral.

  • NickC

    Ann-

    I realize that sexual orientation/attraction seems to be more fluid in women than in men. And of course many people have some level of bisexual attractions or orientation.

    I’ll go even further–I acknowledge that some people do experience changes in their primary orientation over their lifetime. I have friends who had no awareness of sexual attraction to other men until some point in mid-life, yet now identify as exclusively gay. And I know of other cases where someone seems to shift the other way.

    But all cases I personally know of, change in orientation seemed to happen spontaneously, rather than through therapy or a conscious decion. So I’ll stick to my statement above that orientation “cannot be consciously changed by any type of intervention yet attemped (chemical, behavioral, counseling, etc).”

  • Ann

    But all cases I personally know of, change in orientation seemed to happen spontaneously, rather than through therapy or a conscious decion. So I’ll stick to my statement above that orientation “cannot be consciously changed by any type of intervention yet attemped (chemical, behavioral, counseling, etc).”

    Nick C,

    I believe any change of thought, mindset, perception, response, etc. only comes from within and, often, it is mysterious. For the spiritually oriented, it can be called grace. Therapy, ministries, support groups, etc. can and do help people a lot if it is of their choosing and if they are motivated to work with another or others.

  • William

    @ Eddy

    …it [the term orientation] implies a ‘condition’…beyond that it aspires to be a ‘psychological condition’…although psychiatry doesn’t view it as a sickness or disorder. Where do we have another model of something that isn’t a sickness or disorder that we call a ‘condition’?

    I agree with you that the term ‘condition’ does imply some kind of sickness or disorder, but the term ‘orientation’ doesn’t imply a condition. As the late Fr Gareth Moore, OP, wrote some years ago in New Blackfriars with regard to homosexuality, “we have no reason to suspect that there is any such condition.”

    No-one, I imagine, would suggest that saying that someone had a heterosexual orientation implied that he or she had a condition. There is therefore no reason why we should regard talk of a homosexual orientation as carrying this implication.

  • Eddy

    NickC–

    Good catch! I was writing hurriedly as I was late for an appointment. My two ‘it’s’ didn’t line up. Psychologically (the first ‘it’), I don’t believe that homosexuality is a sickness or disorder. From a religious standpoint (the second ‘it’), I should have clarified that I was speaking to behaviors and to the deliberate cultivation of fantasies. Being sexually attracted to one’s own gender is NOT a sin.

    I’ve made that distinction numerous times on this blogsite and am somewhat embarrassed that I failed to make it this time. My bad!

  • NickC

    Sure therapy, ministries, support groups, etc. can and do help people a lot if it is of their choosing and if they are motivated to work with another or others. Who’s going to argue with a statement that broad?

    All I’m saying is that “therapy, ministries, support groups, etc” have not been demonstrated to produce a change in sexual orientation. That’s one very specific, tightly defined type of change–change in the primary direction of a person’s sexual attractions.

    Therapy, ministries, and support groups may help a person suppress or “deal with” homosexual attractions in order live in congruence with his/her religious and moral beliefs. But if you’ve got evidence they can produce an actual change in orientation, we’d all love to see it.

  • NickC

    Eddy

    Let’s see:

    1) The commonly accepted definition of “sexual orientation” is simply the direction of a person’s sexual attractions.

    2) You agree that “being sexually attracted to one’s own gender” is not a sin.

    So where does that leave your seven points on why you reject the concept of orientation?

    It seems to me that while you say you recognize the difference between orientation and behavior, in your arguments you continually mix the two together.

    For example, in your point 5) you say:

    going back to #3…for those other behaviors that some see as sins, if dealt with in psychiatrics, success is not the absence of any inclination towards that behavior.

    In regard to our present topic: If you want to define success as a gay-oriented person avoiding all gay sexual behavior, then I fully agree: you don’t measure success by whether the person stops feeling any same-sex attractions.

    It’s only when you or others define success as a true change in orientation that the persistence of same-sex attraction equals lack of success.

  • Ann

    All I’m saying is that “therapy, ministries, support groups, etc” have not been demonstrated to produce a change in sexual orientation. That’s one very specific, tightly defined type of change–change in the primary direction of a person’s sexual attractions.

    Nick C.,

    I would tend to agree – I think therapy, ministries, and support groups can help anyone with anything once an individual has made the decision as to how they want to live and be. Often, these pathways can also help the individual identify what they want and don’t want and facilitate ways to live congruently with this. Free will is essential to any change or modification, and for most, it is an ongoing process that is renewed daily.

    Therapy, ministries, and support groups may help a person suppress or “deal with” homosexual attractions in order live in congruence with his/her religious and moral beliefs. But if you’ve got evidence they can produce an actual change in orientation, we’d all love to see it.

    I don’t think it is always looked upon as “suppress or deal with” regarding core attractions, rather, an understanding of them and how to respond to them. Again, this comes from a decision one makes of their own free will – usually it is because what they value is more important to them than their temptations. This can apply to other areas of life too.

  • Eddy

    NickC-

    If you’ve got evidence of any other sin that a person has never been tempted by again, I’d like to see it.

    What the orientation model has us expecting with regard to homosexuality is not only that they stop doing it but that they never consider doing it again AND that they make a complete switch to attractions that were once foreign and/or distasteful to them. IF there are factors that lead into the formation of same sex desires, those factors do not disappear in an instant. If there are multiple factors, some will likely have a more intensive impact than others; some will be more deeply rooted. The individual will be more aware of some factors than others.

    But since few see value in exploring whether there are contributing factors, is it really suprising that we don’t see more change than we do?

    And, to hear repeatedly that ‘you’re on the wrong road’, ‘you’re deluding yourself’, ‘no one ever really changes; ‘you’ve got a basic and unchangeable orientation’. So glad that Columbus didn’t listen to people who offered precisely that type of counsel. I realize of course the dissimilarities in that analogy but I’m going with ‘the uncharted waters’ approach.

  • NickC

    Eddy

    I think you are willfully misunderstanding what I stated.

    As long as we’re talking about behavior I fully agree with you. If you regard same-gender sexual activity as sinful, then any approach that helps you avoid that activity without unbearable inner conflict can be called a success. You do NOT need to stop feeling all same-gender sexual attractions to say that you’ve successfully changed your sexual behavior.

    You are the one who keeps confusing the issue by dragging the question of orientation into the debate. The “orientation model” provides a very clear distinction between orientation and behavior. Orientation is not the entirety of personhood.

    It seems to me (and this is strictly from my own reading of your comments) that you yourself are not content with resolving your sexual behavior in line with your religious beliefs without also resolving your actual orientation. You cling to the possibility that “IF there are factors” that contribute to your orientation, and IF you could identify and resove them, then MAYBE you could stop feeling same-gender attractions completely.

    I’d propose another if. IF you are truly happy and fulfilled living according to your religious beliefs despite your sexual attractions, and IF you really don’t consider it necessary to stop feeling those attractions in order to remain happy and fulfilled, then WHY does it bother you so much to acknowledge that your sexual orientation hasn’t changed and most likely never will?

  • Ann

    And, to hear repeatedly that ‘you’re on the wrong road’, ‘you’re deluding yourself’, ‘no one ever really changes; ‘you’ve got a basic and unchangeable orientation’. So glad that Columbus didn’t listen to people who offered precisely that type of counsel. I realize of course the dissimilarities in that analogy but I’m going with ‘the uncharted waters’ approach.

    Eddy,

    This is so important – with constant messages of discouragement, one who already feels confusion and emotional turmoil can easily feel a sense of hopelessness in having anyone understand what they are feeling. This is so cruel. Some have more fortitude than others and take the Columbus approach, however, many feel helpless in their attempt to have others listen to or understand their struggle. I cannot put adequate words to it but it is just awful.

  • Eddy

    But if you’ve got evidence they can produce an actual change in orientation, we’d all love to see it.

    No, Nick, I’m not the only one who keeps dragging the word orientation back into the debate. It never left. I was in fact responding to your statement quoted here.

    Here’s the lead sentence of the actual topic:

    here is the CNN episode which discusses the CA law which once required study of factors which might lead to homosexuality.

    Some of the first comments on this thread went to how needless, pointless, etc. that would be. And, since that time, I’ve simply been trying to make a case for why the study of factors might have some genuine significance. There are those who aren’t happy with being gay…perhaps this could help them. Perhaps the fact that they aren’t happy being gay is an indicator that they are somehow marginal…or perhaps that they stumbled into identifying as gay. Studying factors could help them. This area of study that has been neglected has been an area of interest to me for more than 30 years…not only, as I clearly expressed earlier, that I personally identified with some causative factors…but also that I reckognized in many of my clients that such causative factors seemed to influence them as well.

    It seems to me (and this is strictly from my own reading of your comments) that you yourself are not content with resolving your sexual behavior in line with your religious beliefs without also resolving your actual orientation

    Uh, excuse me, Nick…who brought up orientation there? I cited ‘the concept of orientation’ and then used the word in a quote later in my post. You call that ‘dragging it back in’. And then you use it 6 times. (And, honestly, I don’t have a problem with you using the term…I have a problem with you trying to suggest that I’m the one doing it and you’re not. These conversations get testy and some of our word choices cause offense to others…but do we need to compound that by trying to shift the blame around?)

    It seems to me (and this is strictly from my own reading of your comments) that you yourself are not content with resolving your sexual behavior in line with your religious beliefs without also resolving your actual orientation. You cling to the possibility that “IF there are factors” that contribute to your orientation, and IF you could identify and resove them, then MAYBE you could stop feeling same-gender attractions completely.

    I’ll forgive your use of the word orientation even though, if your trying to convey my own thoughts to me, it would usually fly better if you couched it in my language not yours. But, what you are saying is essentially true. The dominion of homosexual thoughts and temptations over my life has diminished tremendously. I learned that, for me, when I personalize rejection, I’ll likely experience homosexual temptations. When I’m wrestling with my self-image and get focussed on how I don’t fit in in various scenarios, I’ll likely experience homosexual temptations. (I’m a genuine klutz at sports and it’s partially related to a vision focus problem…my binocular vision doesn’t work properly. If I allow myself to come away feeling like a ‘no account loser’, the temptations will resurface.) If I allow myself to fester in bitterness or self-pity, I’ll likely be drawn to the same area where I medicated those feelings in the past. So, I don’t see ‘orientation’, I see these other factors (I call them ‘companion sins’)…I see them as the real issue and the homosexual attractions only as the symptom. I suspect that others see it in reverse, they have a homosexual orientation and sometimes the experience these other feelings because of it.

    So, I’d like to see the study done because it would help to clear away some of the clutter and the second guessing. (As in the example I used to Timothy…where simply noticing that a man is good-looking or striking doesn’t even pass through the temptation filter.) A freebie-filter story. I have never been sexually attracted to younger guys (well, except when I was that young myself). My type, if I had one, was more your blue collar construction worker. Back when I was a full-time minister, I was invited to speak to a church youth group in a two part session, two weeks in a row. I sat up front with two of the group hosts facing the group. As the second week’s session was assembling, I turned to the hosts and inquired “That guy wasn’t here last week, was he?” And they confirmed that he wasn’t. And then again…another guy and again they confirmed. Then two more. Quite suddenly, I felt like an exposed predator…”why have I noticed every guy who wasn’t here last week?” (That would have put a serious damper on my presentation.) But I did know myself and I knew what I wasn’t despite that voice in my head. I turned to my hosts again and commented that that girl wasn’t here last week…and I pointed out another…and then another where I said ‘you know, I wanna say that she wasn’t here last week either but something’s very different’. My hosts were flabbergasted! “Do you realize that you just picked out every person who wasn’t here last week…and the girl you questioned about…she just cut her hair and dyed it, we almost didn’t recognize her ourselves.” I was pretty much my own teacher (with, I believe, God’s help) and I was able to quickly and effectively quench that fiery dart of self-doubt and false guilt. I think how great it would be if we could take a much closer look at contributing factors, about the confusion of attractions. (Envy is an attraction. For a man who used to have sex with the objects of his envy, on his journey, he’ll likely go through a phase where it’s been reduced to simply envy. “Yep, I see that. Yep, he is bigger, stronger, more handsome than I. Yes, I wish I had his build, his strength, his looks. But having sex with him isn’t going to give me any of that.”)

    When a person identifies himself or herself by the ‘condition’ or ‘orientation’ they’re going to misinterpret some of these other issues as ‘the gay part of me’; in giving homosexuality the trump position, they may even remain blind to these other issues that are obstacles to their personal growth.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Eddy

    Let me address your objections to “orientation” item by item and then generally.

    1) Sexual orientation does not imply a ‘condition’; it is simply an attribute.

    2) You have clarified that you mean sexual behavior, not sexual orientation.

    3) Again, sexual orientation is not a psychiatric condition. It’s an attribute.

    4) Reorientation is only the standard for those who find their sexual orientation in and of itself to be an undesirable attribute.

    5) Again, sexual orientation is not a condition or a behavior.

    6) We don’t identify sexual orientation as a condition.

    7) We don’t assume we have a condition.

    Looking at each of your points, we come to the only conclusion: you don’t like the term “sexual orientation” for reasons that have nothing to do with the meaning of that term.

    I am not trying to “grill” you, but if acceptable, I’d like to ask you a series of questions:

    1) Do you agree that there are persons who are generally attracted to persons of the opposite sex and generally not attracted to persons of the same sex, and that this is not matter of “dominion” or “temptation” or “objectifying” or “lust”, but rather just the draw that identifies which gender is appealing?

    2) Do you agree that there are persons who are generally attracted to persons of the same sex and generally not attracted to persons of the opposite sex, and that this is not matter of “dominion” or “temptation” or “objectifying” or “lust”, but rather just the draw that identifies which gender is appealing?

    3) Do you agree that a term which means “the gender to which one is generally attracted” would be a useful and meaningful term which would be of value in discussing issues surrounding homosexuality?

    4) Are you aware that the universally shared meaning of “sexual orientation” is “the gender to which one is generally attracted”?

    And finally one more very difficult question (for which I run the risk of being seen as offensive):

    5) Is it possible that some people don’t like the term “sexual orientation” because it implies that they have one (i.e. that they are generally attracted to one gender and not the other) and because they don’t really want to admit that about themselves?

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Eddy,

    Envy is an attraction. For a man who used to have sex with the objects of his envy, on his journey, he’ll likely go through a phase where it’s been reduced to simply envy. “Yep, I see that. Yep, he is bigger, stronger, more handsome than I. Yes, I wish I had his build, his strength, his looks. But having sex with him isn’t going to give me any of that.”

    Although this is the Nicolosi argument, I don’t know anyone outside of the ex-gay world who believes this notion. We hear this and wonder, “Are heterosexuals attracted to women because they secretly envy their boobs?”. Do all straight men secretly wish they could birth children?

    Do all women have penis envy? Is that why they are attracted to men?

    And what about those of us who are as big and strong and handsome as we wish to be?

  • Ann

    I don’t know anyone outside of the ex-gay world who believes this notion

    If this is their sincere belief, regardless of their attractions, what does it matter to anyone else?

  • Timothy Kincaid

    If this is their sincere belief, regardless of their attractions, what does it matter to anyone else?

    Do you apply this standard to those who say that they are born gay? If that is their sincere belief, does it matter?

  • Eddy

    Yikes, I’ve stepped on a yet another linquistic landmine.

    So, I do gather that the word ‘condition’ is not acceptable. However, I think it’s largely unacceptable because we think of a ‘condition’ as a medical or psychiatric problem…so, in one sense, we agree. Part of what I’ve been saying is that it isn’t an illness or a psychiatric disorder.

    Rather than debate it though, I think I’ll run it up the ‘common usage’ flagpole and ask a number of people both gay and straight whether sexual orientation is a ‘condition’ or an ‘attribute’ and see how the numbers play out. (I’ve just searched a few encyclopedic entries and could not find the word ‘condition’ associated with ‘sexual orientation’. HOWEVER, I could not find ‘attribute’ either.)

    To your questions:

    1) Yes, I concede that that is possible given the way you’ve phrased the question.

    2) Yes, I concede that that is also possible given the way you’ve phrased the question.

    * my ‘given the way you’ve phrased the question’ acknowledges that you made no allowance for the possible contributing factors that are the topic of this post and which I believe might determine which gender one develops attractions to. Not ‘dominion’, ‘temptation’, ‘objectifying’ or ‘lust’ just simply that the intended direction got skewed due to identity issues. And even there, I concede that there may be some, even many, for whom it may be natural. My concern is that we don’t seek to explore the possible causative factors for the ones you aren’t asking about.

    3) I agree that would be nice. But unfortunately we find in our ‘living language’ that words and terms take on ‘extra baggage’ through usage. Long ago, I cited on this blogsite that I’m comfortable with ‘SSA’ and ‘OSA’ because they don’t yet carry the baggage that the other terms do. And they are adjectives in essence rather than nouns. I see a major difference there but it’s one I’ve never successfully communicated here and I don’t see that now would be any different.

    4) No, I’m not aware of that. In fact, I’m aware that universally some don’t even buy into the concept of ‘sexual orientation’. You’ll find acknowledgements of that in the Wiki encyclopedia.

    5) That’s possible. But not as likely as you think. It’s your ‘becauses’ I take exception to. 1) the first reason is way too shallow. If you have come to recognize, for whatever reason, that you possess an ‘attribute’ that you feel is not appropiate to yourself…that you’ve decided to attempt to purge that attribute somewhat in your life, one of the first things you’ll do is stop identifying by it. (I looked up ‘attribute’ and an example they gave was ‘Sensitivity is one of Joe’s attributes.’ Now, if Joe decides that sensitivity has caused him more problems than it was worth and decides to work at not being so sensitive, who would force Joe on a regular basis to declare ‘I am sensitive; sensitivity is one of my attributes.’ Only addicts seem to do that and I think we’re agreed that sexual orientation is not an addiction.) 2) because they don’t want to admit that about themselves is almost laughable when you take a moment to consider who you likely had in mind when you said that. Was I on your list? I don’t want to push the button twice in one day but I gave a pretty descriptive phrase of what I once said to a psychiatrist. So the notion of it being some ‘secret shame’ that I’d rather hide from falls a little flat. Perhaps though, you were thinking of ex-gays in general. You’re hearing the objection to the term from leaders…and the leaders also all (or almost all) admit to occasional temptations. Again, I don’t think they’re hiding from some ‘secret shame’. It is primarily what I said in point 1 of this paragraph coupled with a strong belief (that I share) that the term is loaded.

    Bonus round: While I do not subscribe to a homosexual orientation, for me, if I have sexual inclinations most of them are directed towards men. At one time, it was 100% with a total aversion to even considering sex with a woman. Now it’s probably 85% towards men and 15% towards women. And, since I’m single, the combined total simply leads me to sing my heart out at karaoke. But I don’t quantify as a norm. I simply go about my day. I deal with temptations to strangle one of my brothers and one of his kids…with measuring out an appropriate sized portion of ice cream when I visit the freezer…with stopping by the 3rd cocktail if I go out…with not getting preoccupied by the construction workers who I pass on the way to tend to my brothers dogs. I haven’t strangled anyone and although I deal with thoughts of revenge, I can usually dispense with them within a few minutes. I succeed about 50% of the time with the ice cream. I usually only succumb to more than a 3rd cocktail if I’m engaged in a conversation I don’t want to leave. And I forget the construction workers as soon as I’ve passed them.

    Your second post: That’s the main part that I think Nicolosi may have gotten by reading my booklet years ago. I’ve explained the concept in better detail to others–even outside the ex-gay world–and they did concede it was possible.

    Your follow logic appeals to the natural order and you do realize that I’m talking about things that have gotten twisted. Of course, a man isn’t going after a woman because he envies her breasts. I never suggested that envy was his motivation. And I don’t suggest that it’s the motivation of every gay man.

    But…consider the old geezer who hooks up with a young babe trying to reclaim his youth. Or consider the gay men who are fixated on the ‘twinks’. Can’t you see how both could be wanting something they don’t have and are in a misguided attempt to get it sexually? That may not be envy, per se, but there’s some weird notion that you can possess a quality by having sex with it. And yes, it doesn’t work.

    The men I’ve known who have identified as ‘size queens’ generally felt that they were short-changed in that department. With clients who I suspected were driven by envy, I’d give them a little exercise. One week, I’d ask them to describe who they’d like to be…what talents, strengths, features, etc. The next week, I’d ask them to describe their ‘ideal catch’…the man they’d like to have if they could. (Sometimes I’d switch the order…the important thing was that they weren’t back to back in the same session.) And, more often than not, the lists were nearly identical. But I’m sure if I had asked them straight out ‘Do you have any issues with envy?’, they’d have answered in the negative. Envy, by the way, is usually an issue with one given to the receiver role…a compulsion to have another person’s ‘manhood’ inside of them. (I found it curious that most women don’t seem to be that fond of performing oral sex and a greater number object to anal sex. And yet, for many gay men, those are the be all/end all of their sexual desires.LOL. Maybe it’s a good thing when a child grows out of the “Why?” stage.)

    Disclaimer time: yes, I’m sure there are many who aren’t motivated by compulsion. yes, I agree that there are likely many who just favor receiving and envy isn’t a factor at all. yes, I agree that there are many who aren’t given to roles at all.

  • Ann

    Do you apply this standard to those who say that they are born gay? If that is their sincere belief, does it matter?

    If that is their sincere belief, then they would know far more about themselves than I do and I would respect that. I just think each individual has their own set of beliefs and explanations and reasons why they believe them. If they don’t sound right to me, that does not invalidate their belief. Sometimes if individuals are given the beneift of the doubt and allowed to work things out themselves, they might come to different conclusions – but it is their conclusion which holds more substance and endurance than trying to live up to another’s standard.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Eddy,

    I think I am incapable of communicating with you. I feel like Alice trying to talk with Humpty Dumpty.

    As delightful at you are (and you quite often are just delightful), I find it frustrating to have a conversation in which the words shift their meaning and far more time is spent trying to track down what each other means by the words we are saying than in actually communicating.

    In my lexicon envy isn’t an attraction; in my thinking cocktails and ice cream are not determinants for sexual orientation; to my understanding, whether someone agrees with a concept has no bearing on how it is defined. I just want to use language in order to express ideas, not to make them fuzzy and vague.

    I guess maybe there’s no path across the divide. No language in common. No basic concepts that can be a starting point.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Ann,

    I guess we differ in perspective.

  • Ann

    I guess maybe there’s no path across the divide. No language in common. No basic concepts that can be a starting point.

    Yes there is a path and a language and basic concepts – would you consider that in wanting understanding, we must try to understand as well?

  • Ann

    I guess we differ in perspective.

    How?

  • David Blakeslee

    No, I’m not aware of that. In fact, I’m aware that universally some don’t even buy into the concept of ’sexual orientation’. You’ll find acknowledgements of that in the Wiki encyclopedia.

    Interesting…

  • David Blakeslee

    Envy can be sexualized…of course…

  • Ann

    Envy can be sexualized…of course…

    So can curiosity

  • Jayhuck

    David,

    When one side argues for a nuanced and non-stereotypical view of their issues and experiences it is beyond puzzling that they adopt stereotypical and simplistic views, not of just of their enemies, but of their brothers and sisters in their struggle to make sense of their SSA.

    Did I argue for a simplistic view view? If you are referring to this…

    There are those who experience SSA and feel inauthentic also…without religious input or cultural pressure.

    I’m only giving my two cents – I’m merely being honest when I state that I’ve never met a person who has trouble with their SSA, who is experiencing “inauthenticity with it”, whose feelings of inauthenticity wasn’t being influenced by culture or religion – and I’ve talked to many! As I said above, I’m sure they exist, but I’m guessing they are very rare.

    I mean just look at the VAST majority of ex-gay groups out there – they are without question primarily religious in nature

    “Ex-gays” are your brothers and sisters, they are as nuanced and varied as you, Timothy, Michael and others that participate at this site.

    I never said they weren’t Dave

    Sometimes they are categorized quickly as having internalized homophobia…

    Sometimes this is true!

  • Jayhuck

    Envy can be sexualized…of course…

    There are probably few feelings that can’t be

  • Jayhuck

    In fact, I’m aware that universally some don’t even buy into the concept of ’sexual orientation’.

    And? Some people don’t buy into the concepts of Evolution or Climate change, despite the evidence.

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    You seem to be ignoring the fact that the study of non-genetic causal factors has a long and somewhat inglorious history – its hardly an area that has been neglected in the past.

    You identified with some “causative factors”? Are these proven causative factors, or just something given life by various ex-gay groups without any evidence to back them up.

    In my job – and I’ve been guilty of this myself – I see people who are presented with a list of symptoms for a given disease and if they read through them, more times than not, they identify with several and think that they actually have this disease – you see this more in people studying to be healthcare professionals, where they healthcare students think they have any disease that they might be studying that week – but it just doesn’t make it so

  • Eddy

    Timothy–

    Most distressing!

    As delightful at you are (and you quite often are just delightful), I find it frustrating to have a conversation in which the words shift their meaning and far more time is spent trying to track down what each other means by the words we are saying than in actually communicating.

    I’d ask you which words switched their meaning but truth is I’m beyond caring. On my evening walk, I was mulling over my own frustration over how ‘your side’ is the one changing the meaning of words. And it seems so very clear to me…and then I get home and find out that YOU think that I’m the one that’s changing meanings.

    What’s even more frustrating is that I’ve had so many challenges on word usage–much of it that I considered downright nit-picky–that it actually cramps my ability to write…I phrase and rephrase trying to avoid some damnable trigger word that will set and yours off. LOL. Now, maybe in dancing to the politically correct speech family, I failed again. I’m at the point of ‘so what’.

    The cocktails and ice cream detour had two purposes. 1) it was meant to restore you and I to a lighter tone…your longer post was quite a bashing and your questions were loaded with insinuations that seemed to miss the essence of what I’d spend hours explaining. 2) it was to make a point that homosexuality is just one issue in my life. It fits right in there amidst the other temptations I deal with on a daily level. It is not predominant. It does not rule. Life goes on and it’s a good life. And although I’ve been a Christian for some 40 years now, I still have issues to contend with re drinking (the cocktails), re gluttony (the ice cream overindulgence temptations).

    My guess is that the biggest problem between us is that you demand that I speak in your language and that I cater to your way of thinking but, while you know I come from a Christian mindset and while you know I think in terms of ‘temptation’, you choose to disconnect when I speak from within my mindset. Frankly, I’m tired of speaking my life, values and experience in your terms…they don’t translate well because your words don’t truly correspond with mine.

    It was a fun ride and I do find you somewhat fascinating but I agree that we live in different worlds, that we speak and think in different languages. And perhaps we should just give it up. There is a path across the divide…but not between you and I.

  • Eddy

    Jayhuck–

    I no longer engage in discussion with you. I no longer read what you address to me. Feel free to discuss my ideas and your problems with them with the others.

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    Your response isn’t necessary I suppose – I’ll ask you questions and if others want to respond I’m sure they will

  • Jayhuck

    Dave,

    Let me try this again –

    Sometimes they are categorized quickly as having internalized homophobia…

    Sometimes its true that they HAVE internalized homophobia – but more often than not I think those few that have problems with their SSA are simply trying to live in accordance with their own religious values.

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    There is a path across the divide…but not between you and I.

    Perhaps – and this may illustrate better what I was trying to say to you earlier – but the path cannot begin in earnest, will not be very productive, until both sides approach the other with respect, until they approach each other as equals. I think smaller conversations can help foster this, but what I was trying to convey to you, and what eventually caused you to end discussions with me, was the fact that you thought I was trying to say no discourse was possible until equality was achieved – that may be how I presented myself – wouldn’t be the first time I wrote faster than I was thinking or that I wrote before fully fleshing out my thoughts, that may be how my words were interpreted, but what I really meant was that real, open, honest, profitable, productive conversation – the kind that changes things in a big way – cannot happen until both sides approach the other as equals – deserving the same rights and freedoms as the other – Until then, we have to settle for the little conversations, like the ones that happen here, that will hopefully set the foundation for those dialogues

  • Eddy

    David, Ann–

    Thanks for acknowledging that envy (and a host of other emotions and responses) can be sexualized. The fact that some people are unable to grasp this doesn’t make it any less true.

  • David Blakeslee

    Thanks Jayhuck…

    To Timothy and anyone still reading,

    Language is always evolving…one of the stunning examples is comparing ancient Arabic to ancient Greek to modern English in the number of words each language has in its lexicon.

    We can be much more precise with our word usage than we could even 100 years ago…

    We can use the same potential, however, to obfuscate…and muddle meanings

    I believe our language has changed remarkably in the discussion of SSA over the last 150 years…(sex, to gender, to gender identity and so on).

    Our attempts at precision and modification cannot stop here…it has to continue as it is modified by more science, more culture and more community…

    The meanings of SSA are varied, and the rigidity of those sensations varies by gender. And the living out of those sensations is modified by values, culture, and community.

    Fundamentalist Christians want to stop the discussion of meaning and language at Romans 1.

    Some GLBT activists want to stop the discussion with their definition of terms…to include anti-gay, homophobia, and heterosexism.

    In a growing and vibrant culture, those terms will be modified from their current, restrictive, conversation controlling, nature.

  • Ann

    Perhaps – and this may illustrate better what I was trying to say to you earlier – but the path cannot begin in earnest, will not be very productive, until both sides approach the other with respect, until they approach each other as equals.

    Jayhuck,

    Can you please give some examples of how both sides can approach each other with respect? From my point of view, I do not see the exchange of views on the issues as the problem, rather, when sarcasm, questioning one’s sincerity, name calling (hetrosexualist/homosexualist, anti-gay, etc), persnickity comments, portraying a victim role, arrogance, the unwillingness to consider another’s thoughts or feelings without attacking them for having those thoughts, and/or when self serving comments enter the equasion, the problem begins and ends without resolution. When you want to believe the worst about someone you will scrutinize everything they say or write to bolster or solidify this position. It keeps one in a comfort zone and they feel a false sense of control, all the while, it never accomplishes anything productive. Unfortunately that is what we are stuck with. It is important to be mindful that in an attempt to intentionally hurt another with words that are meant to hurt, we are doing exactly the thing we ask others not to do to us. There are wonderful people somewhere between Fred Phelps and Wayne Besen who believe in civility and I believe many of them are here.

  • Eddy

    Ann–

    I’m afraid you’re going to get the old song and dance again…’until THEY treat us as equals open and honest dialogue can’t happen’. Despite the numerous times that we’ve practically shouted that THEY are not in these dialogues, whenever it suits, THEY are brought in as a reason or excuse.

    What is more troubling, though, is the constant pressure to make us prove, clarify or restate that WE are not THEM. How many times do we have to say it? How many times do we have to clarify a position that we’ve already addressed with that person time and time again? We’ve got plenty to absorb our attentions with current miscommunications without the need for the incessant rehashing.

    On the bright side, we did stay closer to the actual topic on this one. :-)

  • Jayhuck

    Ann,

    Eddy’s probably right – same song and dance – but you might want to read how I elaborated on that above – in my last post yesterday :)

  • Ann

    but you might want to read how I elaborated on that above – in my last post yesterday

    Jayhuck,

    Your last post yesterday, 4/14, referred to the concept of evolution – is that the one you meant?

  • Jayhuck

    Dave,

    I don’t know that anyone is trying to END the discussion, and this is something we’ve spoken at length about in other threads, but we have to be able to agree on the definitions of various terms in order to have meaningful discussions – otherwise we simply can’t talk tomorrow –

    Let’s not pretend that there aren’t working definitions for many of these terms out there – If some conservative Christians decide they don’t want to agree with the working definitions of terms used by scientists when discussing this issue that is fine, but they can’t turn around, redefine terms so that they fit within their own belief system, then complain when people don’t understand them or have problems talking to them. And let’s not knock others who do think that the working definitions for these terms are the best we have at the moment to use in discussions like this.

    If scientists are able to have this discussion and at least agree on basic definitions of terms/working definitions of terms, then surely the rest of us can as well. If we all decide we want to define them however we like according to our belief system, ANY belief system, then we’ll never be able to dialogue

  • Jayhuck

    Ann,

    I am sorry – I guess the day had turned to 4/15 when I left the post, so it would be my first post of the day today :)

  • Ann

    so it would be my first post of the day today

    Jayhuck,

    Are you referring to the one about healthcare, etc.?

  • Ann

    Let’s not pretend that there aren’t working definitions for many of these terms out there

    Ok, I am aware of most of the terms, however, what if someone does not fit the working definition of the term or does not want to be referred to by it? What happens to them?

  • Jayhuck

    Oh good grief Ann – I’m so sorry – The time stamp on this blog does not accurately reflect when I actually left the post – I’m in a meeting today but on break so I’ve only been able to leave quick posts and haven’t double checked the post I was trying to refer you to – I wish the posts still had numbers attached to them :)

    Its the one left at 1:32 AM today according to the time stamp

  • Ann

    Its the one left at 1:32 AM today according to the time stamp

    Jayhuck,

    Thank you for taking the time from your meeting to claify this for me – don’t worry about writing back until you have time.

  • Jayhuck

    Ann,

    Thanks – I thought I was going to have time over my lunch hour but this class/meeting is running over so my time for eating has been cut short – I’ll get back to you hopefully later tonight – if I can get my taxes done – Yes, I procrastinated until the bitter end ;)

  • Eddy

    Don’t say ‘change’. Don’t say ‘healing’. Don’t say ‘sin’. Don’t say ‘broken’. Don’t say ‘promiscuous’. Don’t say ‘temptation’. Don’t say ‘condition’. Don’t say ‘wrestling with’ or ‘struggling with’. Don’t compare to lying, gambling, overeating, drinking. The only acceptable comparison is to heterosexuality.

    Always say ‘and the same goes for heterosexuals’ even if it does but in a different way…that difference is unimportant. Even if clearly talking about those who are promiscuous, always state that you know this isn’t true of everyone. Even if clearly talking about those for whom homosexuality is a conflict, always state that you know this isn’t true for everyone.

    At least once a week, restate your political viewpont. At least once a week, restate whether or not you think that ALL homosexuals will be judged ‘guilty’ in God’s eyes. At least once a week, make it clear once again that you have precious little in common with Fred Phelps or other gay-bashers. At least once a week, explain how regarding a behavior as sinful or broken is not bashing.

    Further, even if identifying by a condition (ooops attribute) that you regard as sin is offensive to your faith, take the label and wear it. Accept the term ‘homophobe’ as a fitting label even though you’re quite sure you are NOT a homophobe. Accept the term ‘heterosexist’ as a fitting label although you’re pretty sure you don’t fit that label either.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    I don’t know that anyone is trying to END the discussion, and this is something we’ve spoken at length about in other threads, but we have to be able to agree on the definitions of various terms in order to have meaningful discussions – otherwise we simply can’t talk tomorrow –

    Let’s not pretend that there aren’t working definitions for many of these terms out there – If some conservative Christians decide they don’t want to agree with the working definitions of terms used by scientists when discussing this issue that is fine, but they can’t turn around, redefine terms so that they fit within their own belief system, then complain when people don’t understand them or have problems talking to them. And let’s not knock others who do think that the working definitions for these terms are the best we have at the moment to use in discussions like this.

    If scientists are able to have this discussion and at least agree on basic definitions of terms/working definitions of terms, then surely the rest of us can as well. If we all decide we want to define them however we like according to our belief system, ANY belief system, then we’ll never be able to dialogue

    Thank you. This was EXACTLY my point but you said it far more eloquently.

    Ok, I am aware of most of the terms, however, what if someone does not fit the working definition of the term or does not want to be referred to by it? What happens to them?

    Then we have no communication.

    As is the case.

  • David Blakeslee

    For people who have no communication…there are a lot of words in sentences that seem to make a lot of sense on both sides…

    @ Jayhuck,

    Thanks for your thoughtful reply, however, “working definitions” are always in the process of being refined…

    If you can look at the beam in your own eye…for a moment. There has been a long and detailed examination of what it means to be “ex-gay.” It was a patient process where both sides were heard and I think we are very close to agreement.

    I believe Eddy noted that even the definition in Wikipedia of sexual orientation has caveats which are often excluded.

    To me to dealing with assumptions people used to associate with Autism…bad mothering, blah, blah, blah.

    The definition of Autism at that time was quite precise…but wrong.

    I am sure such will be the case with anti-gay, homophobia and heterosexism (just as sexism is used by certain groups when it is convenient and ignored when it is inconvenient, thereby corrupting the meaning of the term).

  • Ann

    Then we have no communication.

    As is the case.

    Somehow this does not sound or seem fair to me. I understand it to a point but do not see the accuracy in it. Anything that excludes one because they do not fit another’s model, just sounds and seems unfair to me.

  • Eddy

    Timothy–

    I’m suprised you found this piece of balderdash eloquent

    :

    Let’s not pretend that there aren’t working definitions for many of these terms out there – If some conservative Christians decide they don’t want to agree with the working definitions of terms used by scientists when discussing this issue that is fine, but they can’t turn around, redefine terms so that they fit within their own belief system, then complain when people don’t understand them or have problems talking to them.

    1) ‘many of these terms’– since there are many, please provide 3 that fit the rest of the balderdash statement.

    2) I’d suggest not using ‘sexual orientation’ since it doesn’t meet ‘they don’t want to agree with the working definitions of terms’. We agree to your use of the term but a) we acknowledge that the encyclopedia admits that it’s not universally accepted and b) it’s not your use of it we object to; it’s being forced to apply it to ourselves.

    3) What terms have we redefined?

    LOL. I think the entire paragraph, wordy and full of phrases, essentially applied to just one thing: our distaste for the concept of ‘orientation’. Jayhuck’s reference was to ‘many of these terms’ and you’ve not been party to most of the blog discussions of late…for him to say and for you to heartily endorse it, the examples of the ‘many’ should all be found within this thread.

    So, please, at least 3 examples of things we’ve rejected the working definition of and/or redefined. I keep looking at can’t find them. How will we ever recover from our blindness if you don’t show us the way?

  • Mary

    Yeah Eddy I agree that when someone who says that my definition of myself and others is “too much work to communicate” what they are really saying is “you don’t agree with the way I see you.” And I guess they are right.

  • Eddy

    Mary–

    You begin with ‘Yeah Eddy I agree’ but I don’t recall saying the words or making the point that follows.

  • Mary

    Just seeing if you are reading.

    But the point is made …. people on this blog don’t want to engage in a discussion if it means you or I or any other (ex gay for lack of a better word) wants to describe our sexuality differently than they do.

  • Eddy

    Mary–

    And all I’m saying is don’t tie my name to things that I haven’t said. Even now, I don’t tend to make generalized statements like “people on this blog don’t want”…if I criticize, I tend to make it specific and to provide substance for why I think my criticism is valid. That allows and calls for responsible rebuttal while a generalized criticism usually only invites a generalized response.

  • NickC

    I don’t usually have time to follow and post comments on these discussions. The other day happened to be a very slow day when I had little work to do, so I got more engaged. As far as I can see, the conversation didn’t really go anywhere, so I won’t bother in the future.

    But just to let you know that I have read the responses to my last comments, and to try to clarify once again:

    If people with different points of view are going to have a conversation, you really have to start by defining terms. What I find baffling in Eddy’s comments here (with the backup chorus of Mary and Ann) is the refusal to agree on ANY terms we could all use.

    I personally think “orientation” and “behavior” can be very useful, unloaded terms. If we could agree on the same definition of these or similar terms, then I think it would be much easier to move on to the even more contentious definition of “change.”

    As an unloaded term, orientation means simply the primary direction of a person’s sexual attractions. Orientation thus understood is not the sole determinant of a person’s behavior or identity.

    Behavior is actual sexual conduct, and more broadly, the way one identifies and lives life.

    Eddy describes his personal experience as: “The dominion of homosexual thoughts and temptations over my life has diminished tremendously.” I have no argument with that. In fact, I can say the same for long stretches of my 30 years of ex-gay living. I felt very satisfied for a long time living as a heterosexual, including marriage, and dealing with homosexual attractions as just another type of temptation.

    But there was never a point–not a single day–when I could say that the primary direction of my attractions became heterosexual. I don’t say this to anguish over that fact. I didn’t anguish over it at the time. I’m simply pointing out that I could successfully change my behavior and identity without changing my sexual orientation.

    Does that mean change in orientation NEVER happens? No. As I acknowledged earlier, I personally know or am aware of at least a few people who seem to have had a mid-life change from straight to gay and vice-versa. However, the cases I know of seem to have happened rather spontaneously, not as a result of someone deciding or consciously choosing, “I don’t want to be gay/straight anymore.”

    I will continue to maintain that I have seen no evidence–in the Jones & Yarhouse study or anywhere else–that any type of medication, therapy, or religious ministry can produce a change in orientation as I have defined orientation here. I believe that statement is fully in line with the premise of Warren’s Sexual Identity Therapy. If Eddy or others can point to any research to the contrary, I’d like to see it.

  • Eddy

    Nick–

    I clearly said to Timothy as I also said in a long and drawn out discussion that occurred on this blog months ago, that I’ll agree to SSA. Please stop trying to paint a picture that we are so unyielding. We object to ‘orientation’. We feel our objection is valid and have further noted that the encyclopedias (while not even citing ex-gays) note that there is significant (at least worthy of being noted) objection to the term and concept. I’m sorry that you don’t get it. Please get specific about all those other terms you suggest that we are irrationally troubled by.

    I have expressed sensitivity to the words ‘change’ and ‘healing’…guess what, these are words used EVERY DAY in Christian experience. Why are people troubled when ex-gays use them? Because people have bought into the concept of orientation…thus they hear the words ‘change’ and ‘healing’ as ‘change of orientation’ and ‘healing of orientation’ while to the Christian they mean ‘change of heart, change of attitude, change of perspective, change of behavior’ and ‘healing of attitudes, healing of emotions, healing of personal identity’. Christians aren’t going to stop saying ‘change’ and ‘healing’; nor should they be required to. So, just a modicum of respect, would suggest that just as we have agreed to modify our use of ‘change’ and ‘healing’ especially when talking to people who take offense at those words and clearly defining what we mean when we use them, that perhaps those who are speaking to us modify their use of ‘orientation’ and also clearly define every time that they feel compelled to use the term. Sounds fair to me. And just as I don’t expect people from the other side to actually USE the words ‘change’ and ‘healing’, I don’t think they should expect me to use a term that I am similarly uncomfortable with. Especially when we’ve agreed to ‘SSA’ which says much the same as ‘orientation’ while avoiding the parts we have trouble with.

  • Ann

    If people with different points of view are going to have a conversation, you really have to start by defining terms. What I find baffling in Eddy’s comments here (with the backup chorus of Mary and Ann) is the refusal to agree on ANY terms we could all use.

    Nick C,

    I can only speak for myself regarding this – I do not have objections to terms that describe human sexuality. I think it is helpful for scientific purposes. My concern has always been that, for the most part, labels (not terms) carry assumptions with them. Often this can lead to misunderstandings and mis-characterizations. Although your orientation (term) did not change during your marriage, you said you lived as a heterosexual and were satisified with that for stretches of time. During that time, if someone was insistant on calling you gay, would it had applied and would you have agreed with it?

    The way you described your thoughts is the way I would prefer it be done – it spoke of your personal experience and left no room for any assumptions based on a generic label. Your story is different, as many can be, and a simple label cannot fully be accurate to describe it. I also like your suggestion of orientation and behavior as workable terms. They make sense. For whatever it is worth, I also want to say how refreshing it is to not only read what you wrote, but how you wrote it – with fairness and consideration. I do not know, with any level of certainty, whether orientation completely changes. In the big picture, I am not sure whether it really matters. What does matter is that all people have the choice to live the life they value and feel the most peace with. I don’t think terms interfere with this, however, I think generic labels do. I know some do not agree, however, it sits well with me to wait and see how another refers to themselves before I jump in and refer to them with a label they do not want.

  • Ann

    Instead of using the term – sexual orientation, which indicates sexual activity – can we just use the term – orientation or oriented – and then attach the correct description to it? For instance – she is spiritually oriented or her attractions are mainly oriented toward women or while his attractions are primarily oriented towards other men, he has chosen to stay married because he loves his family. Just a suggestion – please be kind in responses.

  • Mary

    LOL. See….Nick would rather call those of us who don’t agree to the term of sexual orientation as gay or straight as being difficult. I remember a time when being gay was considered many things and it took the gay community and activists years and years of media attention to get views to change. Yet, when some today who happen to be on the other opinion about sexuality as it pertains to them – we are now considered “difficult” Tooooooo funny. What a double standard.

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

    Mary – I do not know what comment of NickC you are referring to. Actually, there is nothing very controversial about it at all and surely not contradictory what you and Eddy and Ann have been saying. NickC goes further than the activists and says that orientation can change for some.

    And he is correct about Jones and Yarhouse and the state of the research. Whatever you call it, there are experiences of attraction and then there is what you make of it. Women and men seem to differ as a group with some men being like most women and some women being like most men. I see nothing we all disagree about there.

    Where the rub and the activists come in is to what degree can certain therapeutic experiences change the attractions. I see little evidence that these are changed completely and totally for most people as the result of therapy or active efforts to change. However, as Eddy described, there is a shift in lived experience as the result of effort and perspective shift. These are important changes that should not be minimized. However, as a matter of clarity we should also agree about the generalizability of those results. Also, we need to work to agree on a way to describe them. For instance, some describe envy as an emotion which seems connected to SSA. However, there are still some people for whom that is an issue and others for whom it is not. You cannot generalize to all SSA people. Nor can you ignore that those envyings will never lead to SSA for most. To wit, no matter how much I might envy someone else of the same sex, I will never be sexually attracted to that person. Despite the fact that my mom was way overprotective, and my dad was generally distant and hostile at times, and I played with girls in Kindergarten and so on, I cannot foresee ever being attracted to the same-sex during good emotional times or bad.

  • Ann

    Dr. Throckmorton/Warren,

    I think that people gravitate to those places that support their point of views on any given subject. There is less contention there as most everyone agrees with a certain mindset. They just don’t grow in thought as they are not challenged. What you have provided for here is a place for people with different thoughts to come together and expand their current or long held beliefs, all the while experiencing growing pains for doing so. I certainly have had my own. I suppose the people who come here and choose to participate or continue participating are those that are more open minded than they are given credit for. Through it all, conversation continues. Just the fact that having SSA is not the end of the conversation is good news no matter how you look at it. Much progress has been made as to understanding others and I hope someday science will shed some light on human sexuality to put it all into perspective. My Friday afternoon thoughts :-)

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Eddy,

    When you read this, please do not look for things about which to object. Just assume for a moment that I’m sincere in my effort to communicate. Even if you don’t believe it, humor me for a moment.

    OK?

    Please just listen to what I’m saying, really try to hear it. Lets not engage in culture war but try instead an experiment into communication.

    Let me use the example of “sexual orientation” do illustrate why I think we have a breakdown in communication.

    I understand and accept that you see your attractions in terms of temptation to sin. I have no quibble with that worldview. I also know that you choose not to identify as being gay.

    And I also know that you say that you understand what I mean when I use the term “sexual orientation”. But I am truly confused about this; it appears to me that you and I are not understanding the word the same way.

    Here’s why.

    You acknowledge that being attracted towards the same sex (what I would call having a homosexual orientation) is not in and of itself sinful. That would be contrary to Christian belief as it would not include any matter of free will.

    Instead you speak of “behaviors” as being sinful.

    But here’s where we cease to be speaking the same language. Because, if I understand you correctly, “behavior” is not limited to the sexual acts that one can find (depending on one’s perspective) as being banned in Scripture, but rather includes indulging one’s temptation, identifying with sin, and other things which seem to me to ideas instead of behaviors.

    In other words, “behavior” includes things that I would consider to be intrinsic aspects of having a homosexual orientation. That is, while I would consider the words, “I’m gay” to simply be factual, you see them as sinful. While I think that acknowledging one’s primary direction of attraction does not necessarily imply that one is going to behave in any manner, you believe that acknowledging that one is homosexually oriented is in itself a behavior that is contrary to God’s will in your life. It is accepting dominion over your life and denying God’s possibilities.

    So you reject my language.

    But the solution is not to just adopt your language. It make no more sense to me than mine does to you.

    I have difficulty trying to discuss research into the contributing factors to “temptation” or “dominion”. These are spiritual terms. It seems bizarre to me to try and contemplate what social, societal, or other factors allow Satan greater access to tempt one or how we would go about testing the strength of principalities and powers of this world.

    I understand change and healing from a religious perspective, but I feel as though these distract from a conversation. I feel that we have so many times gone down the road where “my side” will want to discuss measurable change in the direction of attractions and instead will have to wade through discussions about healing of the soul and change in identity and finding one’s meaning in Christ and seeking holiness as a goal.

    All of these are fine. They really are. But, to me, they say absolutely nothing whatsoever (at all) about measurable change in the direction of attractions.

    I recognize that identifying with Christ may be far far more important to you. And I don’t want to take that away from you.

    But I believe that identifying with Christ is possible without having to “change identity” or deny that you are gay. Identity says absolutely nothing whatsoever about the measurable direction of ones attractions. And language like “the opposite of homosexuality is holiness” only sounds to me like evasive tricks to fool oneself into not looking closely at ones life (I apologize for how harsh that sounds).

    I don’t know how to talk about science and research and studies from the perspective of sin, submission to God, or holiness. I end up feeling as though I’m dancing about architecture.

    And the rejection of sexual orientation befuddles me. From my perspective, your worldview seems to be circular logic. It sounds like you are saying that having a sexual orientation is not sinful but admitting it is.

    And what further complicates the problem is that every statement at this site is met with culture war. It has become my opinion that those who talk here at Warren’s site have grown accustomed to a certain mindset and manner of speaking that is presumed to be the only accepted or acceptable way to approach a matter.

    I really don’t see folks coming on here to attack Christians or conservatives or ex-gays. I don’t see snarky mean-spirited bitch-slaps at you. And if they occur, folks do apologize.

    But the opposite is not true. I really do believe that there is a consistent pattern of snark and dismissiveness and snide comments directed towards those who disagree with the conservative Christian perspective. There is no effort to be civil on the part of some.

    There is a demand that we “respect” any statement or viewpoint, while at the same time be subjected to abuse. I think it would be close to true to say that I have not posted a comment here in the past year that hasn’t been met with snark, ridicule, or personal insults.

    And while you think that we have made some words not PC, I think the exact opposite is true. If I use the very common word “anti-gay” to describe something that is in opposition to gay folk, I’m accused of “calling names”.

    If I try to point out that a statement has a heterosexist perspective, I’m “calling names”. Rather than listen to what I’m trying to say, I’m assigned evil motives, my language is put off limits, and conversation is shut down.

    And I am being genuine when I say that it appears to me that the goal of many who comment here is to “shoot them down” rather than to hear what we are saying.

    So this leaves us without a basis to have any conversation. Instead of talking to each other we talk at each other. And, as this is frustrating to both of us, we shout and cut and paste and demand concessions of each other.

    I truly don’t know that we can find a way out. I’m willing to have conversations if we can find a way, but I’m beginning to think that this is futile.

    I hope this helps explain my frustration.

  • Eddy

    1) I’d first like to mention that Ann and I have been involved in this particular conversation far longer than Mary has. I think Mary has made 3 brief comments while Ann and I have actually been engaging in back and forth discussion with others. I’ll further note that in Mary’s first comment she said she agreed with me but then went on to agree with something I didn’t say. I honestly have enough to deal with taking responsibility for my own attitudes and statements without this added confusion. Mary’s comments have also been more generalized and flavored with more snarkiness than mine…which is another reason why I’ve distanced myself. I’m trying to show respect while demanding respect; I’m trying to avoid generalizations while criticizing generalizations. I firmly believe from my life experience that we can have major differences of opinion, sometimes get a little testy, but still treat each other with respect.

    2) Warren said

    :

    Where the rub and the activists come in is to what degree can certain therapeutic experiences change the attractions.

    With all due respect, we’ve really tried very hard to stay true to the actual topic of this thread. It wasn’t ‘to what degree can certain therapeutic experiences change the attractions’ but rather ‘is there any value in studying possible contributing factors’. Rather than assess the possible merits of such study, some feel it’s more appropriate to pronounce the results without the study ever taking place.

    3) I agree with Warren’s assessment of the ‘lived experience’ but wonder if people hear that as ‘behavioral change’. I’ve been trying to make the point that the difference goes far beyond that…that sexuality or homosexuality are no a major filter for a person’s life. When you see me write on this blog, it would sound and seem like a high percentage of my life is dominated by concerns about sexuality. Admittedly, when I say things like “I was reflecting on my walk today” or “I thought of this while having my morning coffee”, it does come across like a predominance. However, that’s not true. On the same walk, I reflect on landscaping ideas for my yard, how to cope with my bi-polar nephew, how damned hilly this town is, when I’ll have my next karaoke outing, my next move in a game of online Scrabble, whether I should friend so and so on Facebook, how to boost support of our community’s Youth Club, etc. The same goes with the morning coffee. Homosexuality doesn’t factor into my daily reflections much at all unless I happen to be involved in a discussion here. And, I believe that is markedly different from most people who identify themselves as having a homosexual orientation.

    4) That’s why I’m okay with SSA instead. Ann, I think that using ‘orientation’ in any form will still foster the confusion. The terms ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘homosexual orientation’ have a 40 year head start over ‘spiritual . orientation’. ‘Oriented’ isn’t as much of a problem except that most people aren’t that careful at listening and speaking…and they’ll hear and speak ‘orientation’ anyway.

    5) Just to be clear. Envy is just one example that I have seen be a factor. It certainly doesn’t apply to everyone…and envy, in itself, isn’t sexualized for the vast majority. But it can be–and is–for some.

    6) If we do think of homosexuality as an ‘attribute’ (still working on that one), then we need to consider that not all attributes have the same roots. Using ‘sensitivity’, perhaps John has sensitivity because he learned it. His early life experiences brought him into contact with people or situations that drew him out of himself and taught him to see and feel the issues that others needed to deal with. But perhaps Frank has sensitivity because he was treated poorly and thus became sensitive to others who were also victimized in some way. And, Bill, well it seems he was that way from birth…always more in tune with what was going on around him than most. And we might have another who has ‘sensitivity’ but only as it applies to their own self…extremely touchy, always feeling slighted or wounded, counting and magnifying offenses…but never quite grasping that others have been slighted and wounded too.

    6) Somehow I feel that focussing on ‘orientation’ we tend to look for a singular cause or script, a singular explanation and, IMSLTHO, we’re not going to find it. Humankind is far too diverse, far too complex for that. {in my slightly less than humble opinion)

  • Mary

    Eddy,

    I apologize for the snarkiness. I do get tired of the double standard and the repetitive conversation here. But again – I do apologize. I’ll step aside on this one, for now.

  • Eddy

    Timothy–

    1) I was writing my previous comment while yours got posted…if parts of it seemed to address yours, it was coincidence.

    2) I tried reading your post objectively…and I do hear you…but I’m troubled that after all my explaining you still don’t hear me. You still make the suggestion that perhaps we don’t like admitting to orientation because we don’t want to face that fact in ourselves…that in the face of all my personal disclosures including percentages of attraction simply rings as untrue and demonstrates that your filter has processing issues.

    3) I was slightly offended by what you didn’t say. Earlier you thoroughly endorsed a comment of Jayhuck’s that took a broad swipe…I asked for just 3 examples of the many and yet we’re simply talking the one issue.

    4) Except for our difference about ‘orientation’…and I remind you that I’ll happily go with SSA…I don’t see where I’ve ever compelled you to speak in my terms. I have asked you to HEAR in my terms but not to speak in them.

    5) In truth, we RARELY speak in the religious terms. The ‘sin’ word goes weeks without being mentioned. ‘Temptation’ only seems to come up when the conversation gets focussed on ‘orientation’.

    6)

    instead will have to wade through discussions about healing of the soul and change in identity and finding one’s meaning in Christ and seeking holiness as a goal.

    Sorry, I couldn’t help but be offended by this one. I did cite ‘healing of emotions and the self’ and I did reference ‘change in identity’. No one present mentioned ‘finding one’s meaning in Christ’ or ‘seeking holiness as a goal’. So for you to complain about having to ‘wade through the discussions of’ is hyperbolic…a gross exaggeration…and also refers to the fact that you’re not able to separate me and my discussions with you from the conversations your having on other fronts or inside your head. (I said ‘me’ but I don’t recall Ann even venturing close to that territory.)

    7) Totally off the point, but I just noticed that Mary did have a comment or two far earlier in the thread…in my last post I cited that she’d just dropped in recently.

    8)

    There is a demand that we “respect” any statement or viewpoint, while at the same time be subjected to abuse. I think it would be close to true to say that I have not posted a comment here in the past year that hasn’t been met with snark, ridicule, or personal insults.

    I have no doubt that you sincerely believe this. It goes to the filter problem. Please scroll up this page to the posts from the 13th. My time stamps start around 5:23…don’t know if yours will coincide or if they reflect that you are a few hours earlier than I. Anyway, there are two or three exchanges between us just prior to that where we BOTH go a tcch snarky BUT your impression is that you ‘have not posted a comment here in the past year that hasn’t been met with snark, ridicule, or personal insults.” Consider posts at 554, 606, 613, 621, 624, 626, 742 (not sure if that one was to you), 810 (or 840…can’t read my scratch), 856, 1159 and then move on into posts from the following day. Please that’s just about a dozen responding to you where I couldn’t find snark, ridicule or personal insults. That allows for two possibilites–either I’m so unaware that I’m responding that way that I don’t even see it in retrospect–or–you’ve got an issue with your filter. Can you take a look at them yourself and see which of us is missing something?

    I don’t mean that as some useless detour. If we really are caught up in a situation where we are responding to impressions rather than to what the other is actually saying, there really doesn’t seem to be much of a point in continuing. The real issues are volatile enough without the real or imagined snarkiness.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Eddy,

    I think that you are correct that there is not point in continuing to attempt to communicate.

  • Eddy

    Because the alternative would be that it would require admitting that while accusing us of obfuscation there’s quite a bit of evidence to suggest there’s much to indicate that the constant accusations aren’t really true.

    I have made 3 challenges based on the blog record…things we’ve been accused of or insinuations as to motives…and there’s no answer. 1) the ‘many’ terms that we redefine 2) that the reason we don’t like admitting to a homosexual orientation is that it makes us face the truth about ourselves 3) that you can barely post a comment that isn’t responded to with snarkiness, ridicule or personal insults.

    There is no ridicule or personal insult in this posting. Given that I’m trying to expose slander against me and others, it’s not even snarky. Only the first paragraph even gets close and I would think that, given that I’ve answered to challenges throughout this thread, that I would be entitled to one or two challenges of my own and in forming an opinion when those challenges are evaded. I even responded to one comment from you that had at least a half dozen questions/challenges…only to get the opening line “I feel like Alice trying to talk to Humpty Dumpty”. (Now, in my world, that’s snarky!)

    But we can leave it there:

    I think that you are correct that there is not point in continuing to attempt to communicate.

  • Eddy

    Trying once again to take an objective look at what you said

    You acknowledge that being attracted towards the same sex (what I would call having a homosexual orientation) is not in and of itself sinful.

    yes, I agree.

    That would be contrary to Christian belief as it would not include any matter of free will.

    No, I don’t think this is contrary to Christian belief. It is Christian belief. All of mankind is fallen and has a penchant for sin…I’m not sure if the phrase ‘besetting sin’ is anchored in the Bible or just in my theology…but ONLY ONE person was above sin, the rest of us contend with temptations to sin on a daily basis.

    I don’t get what you’re saying with ‘as it would not include any matter of free will’. You get a tempted, to choose not to act on it. That’s free will. (I’ve a feeling you’ve got more invested in this phrase than you expressed…but it was the first major curve ball.)

    Instead you speak of “behaviors” as being sinful.

    Yes, and deliberate fantasy too.

    But here’s where we cease to be speaking the same language.

    No, I think we stopped speaking the same language two sentences prior to this one.

    Because, if I understand you correctly, “behavior” is not limited to the sexual acts that one can find (depending on one’s perspective) as being banned in Scripture, but rather includes indulging one’s temptation, identifying with sin, and other things which seem to me to ideas instead of behaviors.

    Essential agreement except ‘other things which seem to me to be ideas’ seems ambiguous. I may or may not agree depending on what they are.

    In other words, “behavior” includes things that I would consider to be intrinsic aspects of having a homosexual orientation. That is, while I would consider the words, “I’m gay” to simply be factual, you see them as sinful

    .

    I’m not sure I see them as ‘sinful’, I see them as pointless and counterproductive. If I’m living in a Christian world, trying to live by Christian standards and beliefs, what is my motivation for identifying by something I now reject? And, if I’ve been privy to several decades of word play and influence and been trashed, ridiculed and rejected by a group because I now reject the behavior, what’s the importance of my identifying by that (behavior, condition, mindset, attribute) that I’m breaking away from? Or the better, more revealing question might be, why is it so important to them that I do? Why isn’t saying I still have attractions…saying I deal with SSA…why isn’t that enough?

    While I think that acknowledging one’s primary direction of attraction does not necessarily imply that one is going to behave in any manner, you believe that acknowledging that one is homosexually oriented is in itself a behavior that is contrary to God’s will in your life.

    Maybe there’s something to be found in this paragraph. I actually don’t have an issue with ‘acknowledging that one is homosexually oriented’. It’s using the actual English and the words with their original nuance…I’ve got a leaning in that direction. I probably wouldn’t say it like that because, as I’ve tried to convey, ‘homosexual orientation’ is an ‘it’…it’s a noun…it’s taken on some meaning beyond simply ‘I’m homosexually inclined’. I realize that you likely see ‘homosexually’ ‘oriented’ and wonder what the hell I’m talking about. In that case, I’d refer you to ‘ex’ ‘gay’. To me it simply means ‘out of’ ‘gay’ but don’t we know how loaded it feels to others? Or how about ‘gay’ ‘lifestyle’, this was a phrase even used by gays themselves but then, it seemed it got ‘loaded’…some negative imagery got caught up in the basic phrase and now, in dialogues such as ours, someone (at least from my side) will get called out if they use it. So, ‘sexual orientation’ is itself a loaded concept, at least in my opinion and I continue to shun it’s usage.

    It is accepting dominion over your life and denying God’s possibilities.

    It is not so much ‘accepting dominion over your life’ as giving it undue precedence. As a Christian, I don’t identify myself by any other behavior that I’ve since rejected…why would this one be the exception? And, since I don’t identify by any of the others, wouldn’t identifying by this one give it some special prominence and focus?

    You asked me to try to read everything and not pull things out…and I honestly tried…but pretty much everything that followed all of this felt like it was full of little digs, jabs and insinuations…and those got the better of me. I feel like I’m trying to personally reply to you but that your comments to me are ‘to me and mine’…with the emphasis NOT on me and what I’ve said but on what ‘THEY” have said. And, when I feel that, it tends to tick me off.

    I’ll have to review the blog record again but I feel like I’ve taken correction from you a time or two, learned a thing or two, commended you once or twice but even with the volumes I have written in response to you, I don’t recall you affirming a single word I’ve said. Maybe EVERY thought comes across as hogwash…or maybe I have problems with MY filter. I’ll have to review your comments to me to see.

  • Ann

    Timothy,

    I don’t think I have anything to say that will add value to your comment except that I suggest, if you have time, to read your comments this past year on the blog, in the same light you have asked Eddy to read your post, and tell me if you still think you are the victim or if you have been the one victimizing others. We can be anything we want, but when it crosses the boundaries of being civil then a whole new dimension has been reached, and one that has nothing to do with human sexuality.

  • Eddy

    Stedman’s is one of the three top medical dictionaries. Despite all the resistance to my saying that the term ‘sexual orientation’ is somehow loaded with more meaning that just what direction one leans, let’s see what we can learn from Stedman’s. Italics are mine.

    sexual orientation n.

    The direction of one’s sexual interest toward members of the same, opposite, or both sexes, especially a direction seen to be dictated by physiologic rather than sociologic forces. Replaces sexual preference in most contemporary uses.

    especially a direction seen to be dictated by physiologic rather than sociologic forces.

    Stedman’s isn’t pronouncing a medical judgement saying that the direction of one’s sexual interest IS physiologic rather than sociologic; they are saying that the term ‘sexual orientation’ focusses on a physiologic rather than sociologic force behind direction.

    I KNEW there had to be a reason why my cordial and reasonable suggestion of the use of SSA as a term where we could all speak on the same page was treated as if I hadn’t even said it.

    Actually, the ramped up combo of victim and attack strategies was what made me keep digging. These strategies have been so overworked as to become pathetic. BUT I’m reminded of those bird species that when you get too close to the nest, make a big noisy distraction to draw your attention elsewhere. And now, emulating others, we play dead.

  • Eddy

    Sorry…it italicized the entire quote so I bolded the significant phrase underneath it but forgot to remove ‘italics are mine’.

  • http://exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    The quality of discussion on this blog has degraded significantly over the past year. It appears only a handful of commenters (even less now?) have created a bubble of beliefs which they then defend from those “outside.”

    Attempts to introduce new points of view are treated as attacks, and objectors are assigned victim status. The use of established terms with common meanings is considered nefarious strategy, and ultimately the conversation, if one could call it that, degrades into some bizarre mutation of the facts.

    Timothy has a gift for communication, and a sincere understanding of the issues of faith that come into play with this issue. You will find few people so willing to engage, understand, and explain. Watching this systematic distortion of every word he writes mocks the discussion that once took place here.

    What is the point?

  • Eddy

    You’ve got to be kidding!

    Any unbiased reader of this blog record will see otherwise.

    The use of established terms with common meanings is considered nefarious strategy, and ultimately the conversation, if one could call it that, degrades into some bizarre mutation of the facts.

    Other than ‘sexual orientation’ and it’s stepchild ‘homosexual orientation’, what other established terms with common meanings have been rejected? (This a rephrasing of an earlier challenge I presented…still awaiting an honest answer.)

    Timothy has a gift for communication, and a sincere understanding of the issues of faith that come into play with this issue.

    So confused am I. If Timothy has such a remarkable gift for communication (defined as the EXCHANGE of ideas) and a sincere understanding of the issues of faith that come into play…why then would he say:

    I have difficulty trying to discuss research into the contributing factors to “temptation” or “dominion”. These are spiritual terms. It seems bizarre to me to try and contemplate what social, societal, or other factors allow Satan greater access to tempt one or how we would go about testing the strength of principalities and powers of this world.

    I understand change and healing from a religious perspective, but I feel as though these distract from a conversation. I feel that we have so many times gone down the road where “my side” will want to discuss measurable change in the direction of attractions and instead will have to wade through discussions about healing of the soul and change in identity and finding one’s meaning in Christ and seeking holiness as a goal.

    All of these are fine. They really are. But, to me, they say absolutely nothing whatsoever (at all) about measurable change in the direction of attractions.

    I recognize that identifying with Christ may be far far more important to you. And I don’t want to take that away from you.

    But I believe that identifying with Christ is possible without having to “change identity” or deny that you are gay. Identity says absolutely nothing whatsoever about the measurable direction of ones attractions. And language like “the opposite of homosexuality is holiness” only sounds to me like evasive tricks to fool oneself into not looking closely at ones life (I apologize for how harsh that sounds).

    I don’t know how to talk about science and research and studies from the perspective of sin, submission to God, or holiness. I end up feeling as though I’m dancing about architecture.

    Does he not understand Satan’s strategy of ensnaring? Does he not understand Satan’s goal of distorting God’s creation?

    Timothy acknowledges the conflict of going down a road where his side will want to discuss measureable change and the other side will want to discuss matters including change of identity. (I omitted the other two factors he mentioned because they really weren’t parts of the core conversation if they were mentioned at all…they belong to the ‘measureable change’ discussion and we were trying to discuss possible contributing causes…yes, and perhaps addressing them…but we didn’t use Christianeze speech for that.) Well, was measureable change the topic of this post? At the point that Timothy stepped in we had simply been discussing the validity of studying possible factors that might contribute to the development of a homosexual identity. It would appear that ‘measureable change’ is the detour here. We’re discussing things that might lead into a homosexual identity and he’s discussing things after the identity has been assumed and then rejected. Which was closer to the topic?

    He gives lip-service to those Christian concepts (most of which do have secular parallels) but then says they say nothing to ‘measureable change’. Again, who made ‘measureable change’ the topic? It wasn’t the topic of the lead post and it wasn’t a discussion of the possibility of contributing factors. The fact that they say nothing to ‘measureable change’ is a simple reflection that we resisted having the conversation hijacked and chose to stay on topic despite strong resistance to even considering the possibility of contributing factors.

    Timothy alludes to the statement ‘the opposite of homosexuality is holiness’…but Ann, Mary, David or I never said that in this post and, to my knowledge, never said it anywhere.

    I don’t know how to talk about science and research and studies from the perspective of sin, submission to God, or holiness. I end up feeling as though I’m dancing about architecture.

    Of the words and concepts Timothy mentions here, I believe only ‘sin’ was actually used by any of us. I know I used it…temptation doesn’t make much sense if you aren’t talking about a behavior that you believe to be wrong for you. I would think that a gifted communicator with a sincere understanding of the issues of faith that come into play with this issue WOULD be able to understand what I’m saying when I use such words and WOULD be able to communicate IF he didn’t just reject my beliefs completely from the get go. (I can talk to people who believe that going to movies is sin…that any alcohol consumption is sin…that laboring on Sunday is sin. With alcohol, I can even go bi-lingual…moving from a discussion of sin and temptation into more psychological terms if it appears the individual has an actual society-recognized ‘drinking problem’.

    I would expect that much and more from someone recognized as being a gifted communicator with an understanding of the issues of faith (including mine) that come into play with this issue.

  • Ann

    David,

    I don’t think I add much value to the conversations here and never meant to. I came here through invitation and was an observer for a long time before adding any comment. The comments I have made have been directed to two specific areas – acknowledging those people who do not experience authentic content about their sexual orientation toward the same gender and to counter the specific deleterious comments that seem to show up once in awhile in an attempt to shut down or control conversation. I realize that, in my attempts to make a difference, I have been extremely unsuccessful. It seems as though it all goes back to being scrutinized to determine who’s side one is one. I am not on anyone’s side and don’t want to be. Please forgive all the “I’s” in this comment – it is meant to just say I am sorry that you and Timothy have seen me in a light that is contrary to everything I am and that these observations have concluded almost each time with an attack and then me countering it – it would have been so cool (for me) to have it turn out differently. I actually know you and others have much more to contribute than me – I am hoping you continue and that comments are tempered by realizing that to be effective, one has to talk about or attack an issue and not the person.

  • Jayhuck

    You will find few people so willing to engage, understand, and explain. Watching this systematic distortion of every word he writes mocks the discussion that once took place here.

    I absolutely agree with you where Timothy is concerned – I’ve never met someone like Timothy who has been such a force for trying to create a bridge between the conservative and anti-gay Christian and more liberal Christian and pro-gay camps. He has gone out of his way to bridge the two.

  • Jayhuck

    In my mind sexual orientation deals mainly with attractions not behaviors – you are, for all practical purposes homosexual Eddy – that says nothing about your values or your behaviors, just the fact that you are primarily attracted, as you yourself have noted, to members of the same sex. I’m confused why there is so much confusion.

    There ARE working definitions for these concepts people – why can we not use them and try to further this dialogue?

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    Rather than assess the possible merits of such study, some feel it’s more appropriate to pronounce the results without the study ever taking place.

    You did read the posts where we talked about the fact that the bulk of the research into the causes for homosexuality encompassed such studies for decades, right? Where do you think the research needs to go that it hasn’t already been?

  • Jayhuck

    David Blakeslee,

    Thanks for your thoughtful reply, however, “working definitions” are always in the process of being refined…

    Yes – that’s true for all working definitions, but for them to be meaningful or useful at all, they have to be understood and accepted by all for at least a small portion of time – that isn’t happening here

    If you can look at the beam in your own eye…for a moment. There has been a long and detailed examination of what it means to be “ex-gay.” It was a patient process where both sides were heard and I think we are very close to agreement.

    Thank you really calling that passage from Matthew out :) Do we really know what it means to be Ex-Gay – it seems to depend on who we are talking to. Gays, Ex-gays, or Ex-Ex Gays – the term seems to be pretty relative

    I believe Eddy noted that even the definition in Wikipedia of sexual orientation has caveats which are often excluded.

    You are only lending credence to the idea that communication between the different camps is impossible – if we cannot agree on definitions we cannot have a dialogue on these issues – its a pretty simple concept to grasp

    To me to dealing with assumptions people used to associate with Autism…bad mothering, blah, blah, blah.

    The definition of Autism at that time was quite precise…but wrong.

    Are you directing this at me? I didn’t say anything about Autism

    I am sure such will be the case with anti-gay, homophobia and heterosexism (just as sexism is used by certain groups when it is convenient and ignored when it is inconvenient, thereby corrupting the meaning of the term).

    Racism is used by some when it is convenient and ignored when it is inconvenient – that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good term, or that it doesn’t define and express attitudes that are real and present in society

    You seem to be very forgiving about certain terms and the way they are used yourself and less when they are terms that seem to portray you and yours in a negative light – that is human perhaps but not a very understanding or rational approach to take

  • Jayhuck

    Ann,

    Please forgive me – you asked me a question several days ago that I never got around to answering due to my work week and tax day. Now I cannot seem to remember the question or find it in the mess of this thread – would you mind asking me again and I will do my best to answer it

  • Ann

    Now I cannot seem to remember the question or find it in the mess of this thread – would you mind asking me again and I will do my best to answer it

    Jayhuck,

    I cannot remember it either – thank you for the follow-up though and hope your taxes turned out ok :-)

    I also hope you all come to a concensus, with consideration of inclusiveness for everyone (forever hopeful), regarding human sexuality.

    Lakers play today – greatest basketball team in the world – I’ll be watching!

  • Eddy

    It seems the allegations persist yet no one will step forward to support the allegations.

    Other than ’sexual orientation’ and it’s stepchild ‘homosexual orientation’, what other established terms with common meanings have been rejected? (This a rephrasing of an earlier challenge I presented…still awaiting an honest answer.)

    I will note once again, that beyond Wikipedia’s caveat about the above terms not having universal acceptance, Stedman’s medical dictionary also strongly implies that the ‘orientation’ comes loaded with a presupposition that it’s physiologic rather than sociologic. Since the topic of this thread happens to be the value of studying possible causes other than physiologic, it is quite logical in an open-minded conversation, to mutually agree to exclude a term that already contains bias. If no other working term had been suggested, I could understand the objections to some degree but SSA has been suggested.

    So, the endless mantras of ‘how can we proceed without an agreement of terms, comes across as pure evasive bull. We’ve got a term: SSA. The constant pretense that a common term has not been offered doesn’t change the truth that it was.

    I agree that real and productive conversation cannot happen until we come to an agreement on terms; that’s why I’m so puzzled that we won’t even discuss the validity of using SSA instead of ‘homosexual orientation’ especially when a reputed medical dictionary supports the notion that ‘orientation’ already comes loaded with a presupposition as to causation. Why is my request to use SSA instead being resisted so strenuously…or perhaps I should say ‘why is my suggestion to use SSA instead being ignored as if I hadn’t even said it three or four times at least”?

    For the moment, that’s the main question but the question quoted at the beginning of my comment also persists.

  • Jayhuck

    But SSA doesn’t necessarily encompass those with a homosexual orientation – Its so broad it encompasses anyone that is attracted to the same sex

  • Jayhuck

    I’m sorry – I meant the term SSA doesn’t just deal with people that have a homosexual orientation – its so broad as to include anyone that has even mild or fleeting attractions to the same sex, people who probably identify as and probably are considered straight. Can we really use this term effectively?

    And Eddy, your problem with the use of the terms we’ve been talking about seems pretty evasive as well – I mean the entire scientific community seems to have working definitions for these terms, and use them well enough to be able to talk to each other and do research – for some reason though, we don’t seem able to use them here

  • Jayhuck

    Perhaps a better term, for people who are primarily attracted to the same sex, would just be homosexual. It seems appropriate and probably speaks to the group we are going to be talking about anyway

  • Jayhuck

    Ann

    Thanks – well, let’s just say I survived tax day :) I’ll have a nice little refund that I’m going to immediately slip into my savings account

  • Ann

    I’ll have a nice little refund that I’m going to immediately slip into my savings account

    Wonderful :-)

  • David Blakeslee

    @ Jayhuck,

    Thanks for taking time to reply…

    Are you directing this at me? I didn’t say anything about Autism

    This was meant as an example of precision in definition, which turns out to be wrong…we are all vulnerable to it.

    In this particular situation, like the old, strict definition of schizophrenia, doctors would precisely blame the parenting skills of the parents…the definition (at that time drove the intervention).

    I am arguing that terms like anti-gay, homophobia, heterosexism and so on are similarly precise and “agreed upon,” but that they are wrong…or applied rigidly and simplistically; distorting people and the nature of the argument…

    Timothy, I think a few months ago, tried to simplify the opposition to gay marriage as being solely due to religious reasons…that is just goofy on its face.

    It is highly likely that humans experienced anxiety and imposed limits on same sex coupling prior to the establishment of religion, probably for maladaptive and very adaptive reasons.

    Timothy has rightly energetically asked us to bring precision to our defintion of homosexuality…to move from global generalizations to specific characteristics. In some ways he has been very helpful.

    I can move within these helpful redefinitions quite easily…

    Just looking for the same.

    I think it is not too much to ask, but it may be do difficult to do from a minority position, where risks of being manipulated and tricked have devastating consequences.

  • Eddy

    In a discussion of what factors might contribute to a homosexual identify, one might also study those who have fleeting thoughts as opposed to those who identify. Rather than box the individuals up with a tidy label that, by Jayhucks admission, fits some but not all…wouldn’t it be more appropriate to use the term that does fit all…SSA?

    Without labelling people, Ann and I have been addressing the merits of such a study for those who, for one reason or another, haven’t found and don’t think they will find complete fulfillment in homosexuality. SSA seems more appropriate to them, until we can come to know each individual, than ‘orientation’ does.

    And this question (among others) still remains:

    Other than ’sexual orientation’ and it’s stepchild ‘homosexual orientation’, what other established terms with common meanings have been rejected? (This a rephrasing of an earlier challenge I presented…still awaiting an honest answer.)

  • Mary

    Maybe if we looked at this from a different angle.

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/04/15/adora.svitak/index.html?hpt=C2

    People regardless of their “demographics” still are tryingto define themselves in a way that may be different from a “popular” understanding. And I think that is valid and should be treated with the same respect as those who once demanded they be redefined.

  • Jayhuck

    There is no homosexual identity Eddy – homosexuality has to do with feelings, not necessarily behavior – SSA is so broad I’d have no idea if you were talking about people with an primarily homosexual orientation or a primarily heterosexual one – when we talk about identity I think we use the word gay, don’t we?

  • Eddy

    A bit of tragic-comedy:

    ‘to create a bridge between the conservative and anti-gay Christian and more liberal Christian and pro-gay camps.’

    Spouting rhetoric that purports to ‘create a bridge’ while branding the one group as ‘conservative and anti-gay’. God save us from compulsive labellers…they know not what they do!

  • Jayhuck

    David,

    I

    am arguing that terms like anti-gay, homophobia, heterosexism and so on are similarly precise and “agreed upon,” but that they are wrong…or applied rigidly and simplistically; distorting people and the nature of the argument…

    The same holds true for terms like racism as well – All I’m trying to say is that these terms are useful and sometimes necessary and they describe attitudes that are real

    Timothy, I think a few months ago, tried to simplify the opposition to gay marriage as being solely due to religious reasons…that is just goofy on its face.

    The VAST , and I mean VAST majority of opposition to gay marriage has come from religious folks and perhaps a few other people who’ve been frightened by the campaigns of fear launched by such folks – I’ve found very few examples of anti-gay marriage activism out there that don’t have a religious component

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    I’m sorry – my intention was to write conservative and/or anti-gay – I know full well there are many Christian Conservatives that support equal rights for gay folks

  • David Blakeslee

    The same holds true for terms like racism as well – All I’m trying to say is that these terms are useful and sometimes necessary and they describe attitudes that are real

    True that…

    sometimes necessary…attitudes that are real.

    For example, sometimes Conservative Christians are labeled as misogynistic and sexist for refusing women the role of pastor….anti-woman…etc.

    The VAST , and I mean VAST majority of opposition to gay marriage has come from religious folks

    Religious folks are the carriers of cultural wisdom and tradition…

    You could use the same words by saying “the vast majority were african americans, or heterosexuals…”

    It is beyond simplistic, especially since those who are religious hardly make a majority in a state like California (one of our nations least churched states).

    Attributing this to religion doesn’t fit the demographic…or California’s liberal sexual culture…

    Blaming it on the religious is a hateful soundbite.

  • Mary

    Jayhuck,

    Pardon me for interupting but

    homosexuality has to do with feelings, not necessarily behavior – SSA is so broad I’d have no idea if you were talking about people with an primarily homosexual orientation or a primarily heterosexual one – when we talk about identity I think we use the word gay, don’t we?

    The idea that SSA is broad term is the point. SSA does involve all kinds of people, and it is broad for the very reason that describing someone’s attraction does not describe someone very well at all. As a person who has gone through the changes from one spectrum to the next, I can certainly see how homosexual does not quite cover it for people with SSA. Homosexual in today’s terms usually implies something like you are a blond or a brunette. I think we understand a person better who says they have blonde hair or brunette hair than being called a blond or brunette.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Eddy,

    When you read this, please do not look for things about which to object. Just assume for a moment that I’m sincere in my effort to communicate. Even if you don’t believe it, humor me for a moment.

    OK?

    Please just listen to what I’m saying, really try to hear it. Lets not engage in culture war but try instead an experiment into communication.

    I think the experiment failed.

    (Also, I’m not sure why you insist that the only topic of this thread is the factors that contribute to a homosexual identity. I thought it was “study of factors which might lead to homosexuality”.)

    David,

    Timothy, I think a few months ago, tried to simplify the opposition to gay marriage as being solely due to religious reasons…that is just goofy on its face.

    I think that is unlikely. Perhaps you are misquoting me or have me confused with someone else.

    And I think that you misunderstand Jayhuck’s statement. And I think perhaps that you are factually misinformed.

    CNN Exit Polls found that the more frequently one attended church, the more likely that one was to vote yes on Prop 8. For example, those who attended weekly voted 82% in favor, while those who never attend voted 83% against (about half of Californians attend church at least monthly).

    Also, I believe that Jayhuck was suggesting that the objection to same-sex marriage was primarily driven by religious adherents, not that everyone who voted yes was deeply religious. And this is true.

    We know, for example, that the original plan to put Prop 8 on the ballot was organized through a Catholic Bishop in San Diego and all the seed money to get signatures was from Catholics he recruited.

    We also know that half of the money contributed to the Yes on 8 campaign came from those who were active in one denomination alone: the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormons). And 80-90% of all volunteers came from the same. This was directly due to religious belief and was coordinated by the church in Salt Lake, Utah.

    We also know that the National Organization for Marriage has stated a willingness to work with non-religious persons who are opposed to same-sex marriage but have not been successful in finding them.

    It is both fair and accurate to say that the “VAST majority of opposition to gay marriage (virtually all anti-same-sex-marriage activism) has come from religious folks.” There may be (and are) some non-religious folk who are opposed to same-sex marriage, but they don’t appear to be putting up much opposition.

    Jayhuck,

    I’ve no significant issue with SSA, with the understanding that this term means “those who are primarily attracted romantically, emotionally, and sexually to persons of the same sex”. Generally, I’ve not seen SSA used to include incidental or momentary same-sex attraction and when it does it usually does so clearly.

    Also, we should be careful to make clear that one need not be either gay supportive or anti-gay. In fact, I think that in their general lives, most conservatives are neither. Most conservatives just want to be nice and get along and have no desire to “fight the homosexual agenda” or to “fight for equality”. They may have an anti-gay opinion or vote anti-gay on some issue, but they are not themselves anti-gay.

  • Eddy

    Timothy:

    I actually wrote two posts in response to the one you just cited. In the second one, I’m on record as agreeing totally with one of your statements, agreeing with the next one but adding one item to it, a disagree, a tentative agreement where I think we’re on the same page but needed you to clarify, and one where you stated what you thought I thought and I tried to clarify my position.

    So I DID humor you…I did listen for a moment…I even expressed more agreement than disagreement. Yeah, I didn’t back down on ‘orientation’…I was prepared to if my internet searching (prompted by our discussion) revealed that I was wrong about it being loaded. But my search confirmed that ‘orientation’ is weighted against considering sociologic causes just as I alleged.

    Oftentimes, when an experiment fails, the responsibility for the failure often lies with the conductor.

    (Also, I’m not sure why you insist that the only topic of this thread is the factors that contribute to a homosexual identity. I thought it was “study of factors which might lead to homosexuality”.)

    One definition of ‘homosexuality’ is ‘behaviors’ or ‘activity’; another is ‘orientation’. I presume the term is often used loosely to indicate either/or or sometimes both. So I try to avoid using it and speak specifically to behaviors, desires, or identity. I do stand corrected.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    I don’t think I have anything to say that will add value to your comment except that I suggest, if you have time, to read your comments this past year on the blog, in the same light you have asked Eddy to read your post, and tell me if you still think you are the victim or if you have been the one victimizing others. We can be anything we want, but when it crosses the boundaries of being civil then a whole new dimension has been reached, and one that has nothing to do with human sexuality.

    Add,

    Am I correct in assuming that you are accusing me of lacking civility?

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Ann,

    I’m not sure how to review every thread from the past year. I really didn’t comment much in the past year, really. I was able to review several and most were civil on the part of everyone.

    However, there was one in which I’m amazed at my own restraint. I was personally accused of making stories up, supporting sex with children, being childish, and so on. It was all very personal, and intended to be.

    In at least a one instance, it was you.

    I took a little break after that thread.

  • Eddy

    Timothy–

    Can you explain this comment

    I really didn’t comment much in the past year, really. I was able to review several and most were civil on the part of everyone.

    in the light of this one

    I really do believe that there is a consistent pattern of snark and dismissiveness and snide comments directed towards those who disagree with the conservative Christian perspective. There is no effort to be civil on the part of some.

    There is a demand that we “respect” any statement or viewpoint, while at the same time be subjected to abuse. I think it would be close to true to say that I have not posted a comment here in the past year that hasn’t been met with snark, ridicule, or personal insults.

    Or vice versa?

  • Ann

    However, there was one in which I’m amazed at my own restraint. I was personally accused of making stories up, supporting sex with children, being childish, and so on. It was all very personal, and intended to be.

    In at least a one instance, it was you.

    Timothy,

    To be clear, I have never accused anyone of supporting sex with children so I am just not sure who you are referring to. I don’t think I have ever accused you of making stories up because that has never been a concern of mine with you. Being childish – yes, absolutely, I think you have been very childish in some of your comments and it was glaring. I think you know that though as several others here have said the same thing to you. I actually have forgotten all that with your gracious and apology, to which I would just like to reiterate how gratful I was and still am for it.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Eddy,

    Sorry, I won’t be playing the cut-and-paste game with you.

    Ann,

    I do realize that you think I’ve been childish in some comments. You have made that abundantly clear. We all have opinions about each other but your call to civility is a wise one.

  • Eddy

    Timothy–

    When I challenged your untrue statement outright presenting facts from this blog record, you simply refused to answer. When I present it to you as a ‘cut and paste’ next to another comment you made that seems to disagree, you accuse me of playing a game.

    There’s only one game being played, sir, and you are one of the major players.

    Don’t bother explaining. I’m not here to play games with you. I’ll let your own contradictory words speak for themselves.

    First Timothy says (in an obvious effort to smear those who represent the ‘other’ point of view):

    I really do believe that there is a consistent pattern of snark and dismissiveness and snide comments directed towards those who disagree with the conservative Christian perspective. There is no effort to be civil on the part of some.

    There is a demand that we “respect” any statement or viewpoint, while at the same time be subjected to abuse. I think it would be close to true to say that I have not posted a comment here in the past year that hasn’t been met with snark, ridicule, or personal insults.

    When I tried to challenge this emotionally charged statement, my challenge was simply ignored.

    Then, in making another point today, Timothy said:

    I really didn’t comment much in the past year, really. I was able to review several and most were civil on the part of everyone.

    Both statements refer to this year. In one he can scarcely remember one where he wasn’t somehow victimized (I pointed out a dozen in this thread’s record); in the latter statement, he admits he’s hardly blogged here in the past year and, the ones he did review, were mostly civil on the part of everyone.

    BTW: The cut and paste winner for this particular thread happens to be a certain Timothy Kincaid on April 13 at 9:49PM where he did the cut and paste 9 times in one comment. Rules must have been changed and I wasn’t notified.

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

    Does anyone realize how tiresome these threads have become. No one seems to be discussing the post. I don’t care who is playing what game.

    Enough.


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