Martin Ssempa didn’t like the article on gays in Uganda

Sunday, the Uganda Observer published an article on July 22 titled, “Inside the world of sexual minorities.” The article quotes local physicians with an informative article regarding various terms for sexual minorities. The article seems to make an effort at balance and information rather than opinion and moralizations.

Well, that did not sit well with Martin Ssempa who wrote a letter to the editor published today:

Wednesday, 04 August 2010 17:50

I am responding to the story ‘Inside the world of sexual minorities’ (The Observer, July 22-24, 2010). I view the two pages of extensive research you presented in such a national newspaper as any outcry of sympathy and acceptance of homosexuality and the people involved in the evil practice. It is a betrayal of readers’ loyalty and the family values in Uganda.

Your stories created the impression that:

•Homosexuals are a minority group, which should be accepted in society.

•Families can still survive even after one spouse turns gay, probably with the other spouse getting another lover too and ‘they live happily ever after.’

•The definitions given of the various forms of homosexuality are meant to encourage the young minds to explore the vice.

•The pictures that ran with the story give an impression of happy, blossoming relationships, which is not the actual case with homosexuality.

•It is okay for children to turn to homosexuality and that their parents can just seek counselling and everything will be fine.

On the other hand, the stories missed out the following facts:

•Homosexuals are 100% more likely to contract HIV/AIDS compared to normal heterosexual couples.

•Homosexuality has a negative impact on the body’s external organs and is a health hazard.

•Homosexuals are very depressed people who face gender identity disorders.

Besides, homosexuality is already illegal in Uganda. Therefore, unless you are promoting a crime, I do not see why you presented homosexuality as a scientific normality.

As loyal readers of The Observer and parents, we demand an apology and counter coverage on the pro-family issues.

Dr. Martin Ssempa,

Kampala.

Who knows where Rev. Ssempa gets his statistics. I am not sure what external organs he is referring to but I am sure many readers will take issue with his “facts” as I do. He is however, welcome to provide supporting documentation here if he would like to.

I may be missing some of the article given what Ssempa refers to in his letter. If anyone has a more complete version, if it exists, please let me know.

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  • Maazi NCO

    Warren,

    Ssempa spoke the minds of the vast majority (95%) of Ugandans. It is a well known fact that some private newspapers in Uganda— Daily Monitor, The Observer and The Independent— have been sympathetic to gay sex practitioners for quite a long time now. ( The state-owned “New Vision” hardly ever talks about gayism.)

    I have more respect for foreign gay lobbyists than these local journalists suffering from severe colonial mentality . At the very least, the foreigners formulated their own ideas about the “greatness of gayism” and are anxious to spread them round the globe. But this is not the case with Ugandan newspaper editors, since none of the pro-gay ideas they champion and publish are their own original thoughts on why gayism ought to be accepted in Uganda and throughout Africa. They simply rehashing the same rubbish lines mouthed by euro-american propaganda machine and western papers such as the New York Times about sanctity of the “consenting adults”, but when you ask them about Western criminalization of three or more consenting adults engaged in polygamous marriage, they have no answer to give. If you ask these journalists about bestiality, they give the same nonsense Euro-American Gay Lobby line— “animals cannot consent”. You see these journalists fidget and fumble when you tell them that if gayism is okay then there is absolutely no justification for criminalizing bestial sex on grounds of “consent” since we never ask animals for consent when we keep them as pets, race them in competitions, use them for farm labour, hunt them, kill and eat them for meat. These African journalists fidget and get confused because they have no answer to this question since the euro-american gay propagandists have not gotten round to formulating a logical response which they (local journalists) can repeat to Ugandans who ask this sort of question.

    Unlike Americans, Ugandans are not easily led by what is published in the print or electronic media. So it goes without saying that whatever pro-gay pleas from the Observer will fall on deaf ears. If Euro-American Gay Lobby is thinking of buying up these local private newspapers and injecting more gay stories into them, they will learn about bad investment the hard way.

  • Lynn David

    Who knows where Rev. Ssempa gets his statistics. I am not sure what external organs he is referring to but I am sure many readers will take issue with his “facts” as I do.

    I have wonderful skin – I moisturize. I think Ssempa and many others pull their stats out of their…. internal organs.

    I think you are missing a second part published on the 24th, Warren.

  • Lynn David

    But I cannot find anything more than the article of the 22nd.

  • Todd

    SSempa seems to have gotten much of his information from word of mouth – and it was reinforced b y three American Evangelical preachers: Rick Warren, Scott Lively, and Lou Engle.

    http://www.hulu.com/watch/150328/vanguard-missionaries-of-hate

  • Gerard Iga

    Nice one Maazi.i told you guys already.i am getting tired of you Europeans and Americans thinking that we Africans can’t think for ourselves.And Mr. Warren,the two pages’ worth of alleged research that Patience Akumu wrote in the Observer was only recycled,over-used,typical,gay propaganda material.Really stupid and annoying at best.

    “The article seems to make an effort at balance and information rather than opinion and moralizations.”

    Balanced! haha.that’s really laughable.Did you actually read it?

    Have a nice day Ssebo and be more “balanced” next time.

  • James

    Not only Ssempa but James also. i didn’t like it either. There are newspapers in the our nation that have been wrestled down to support homo agenda. Observer which is the least of all the English papers we have in the country is one of them. Any way it just comes out only twice a week and it’s a commentary..reports on old stories.

    I know of one top Journalist in Uganda who was sponsored by homos for a postgraduate degree course in Stanford University. Actually in exchange for this, a Lesbian from this University was sent to work with a certain newspaper company in Uganda. It’s this lesbian who helped the homos in Uganda organise a “behind the mask” press conference. She also trained most of them on how to defend homosexuality. IShe also bought her way to a screaming headline one day in one of Uganda’s Independent daily newspaper. When the nation discovered her agenda, a peaceful demonstration was organised. Sensing how she had insulted the people of Uganda, she shamefully packed her bags back to Stanford.

    You can sponsor many to write for you but the voice of the people will stand. No Sodomy in Uganda.

  • http://www.holybulliesandheadlessmonsters.blogspot.com a. mcewen

    How sad. Ugandans whining that they won’t be led by the noise by “Europeans” and “Americans” on the issue of the lgbt community.

    Just where do you all think Ssempa got that inaccurate information about gays and lesbians? You have been led by the nose from the beginning. The question is will you have sense enough to remove the yoke or will you continue and stab your own people in the back in pursuit of some ridiculous idea of morality.

  • Maazi NCO

    Just where do you all think Ssempa got that inaccurate information about gays and lesbians? You have been led by the nose from the beginning. The question is will you have sense enough to remove the yoke or will you continue and stab your own people in the back in pursuit of some ridiculous idea of morality.

    a.mcewen,

    Gayism has no place in Uganda and most of Africa in the same manner that polygamy has no place in the United States and the Western world. At some point, you will have to accept that you guys are fighting a war you can never win. We can of course agree to disagree, if you like. But that is up to you anyway. BTW, do not try to repeat nonsense about gayism being a genetic trait because no one in Uganda buys that and there is no CREDIBLE scientific evidence that backs the genetic storyline.

  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe Brain

    Try

    Sexual Hormones and the Brain: An Essential Alliance for Sexual Identity and Sexual Orientation Garcia-Falgueras A, Swaab DF Endocr Dev. 2010;17:22-35

    Feel free to offer a critique based on evidence.

    The fetal brain develops during the intrauterine period in the male direction through a direct action of testosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hormone surge. In this way, our gender identity (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and sexual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. However, since sexual differentiation of the genitals takes place in the first two months of pregnancy and sexual differentiation of the brain starts in the second half of pregnancy, these two processes can be influenced independently, which may result in extreme cases in trans-sexuality. This also means that in the event of ambiguous sex at birth, the degree of masculinization of the genitals may not reflect the degree of masculinization of the brain. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender identity or sexual orientation.

  • concerned

    Zoe,

    What about the social environment for the mother at the time of development. Stresses in her life will likely influence her own hormone production. This still means disorder from what is ideal for the developing fetus. Kind of like fetal alcohol syndrome. Of course I do understand that implies the child holds no responsibility for the orientation that will eventually be manifested.

    There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender identity or sexual orientation.

    Was this issue even looked at in the study?

  • Eddy

    Regarding the bolded portion of the previous post. There was no indication prior to 1492 that the earth was round. When limited by a bias, even science can intrepret data based on it’s own preconceived notions.

    In this way, our gender identity (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and sexual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb.

    Some people are still debating the hows and whys of orientation and this report has it all neatly summed up. Wow!

  • Maazi NCO

    The fetal brain develops during the intrauterine period in the male direction through a direct action of testosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hormone surge. In this way, our gender identity (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and sexual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb…..blah, blah, blah

    Zoe,

    I am no geneticist or neuroscientist, but I do have a Master’s Degree by Research in Electrical Engineering—-so I am a keen on scientific facts. But what I don’t like is rubbish being passed off as “science”. I know for a fact that there are all sorts of nonsense claims flying about, including the work of a “scientist ” who claimed he had discovered the mythical “gay gene”. There is simply no credible—-I repeat again — NO CREDIBLE scientific evidence that gayism is a genetic trait or that a person is born that way. Many gay propagandists masquerading as “scientists” have claimed lots of things in past and their work always get torn to shreds and junked when peer-reviewed by real honest scientists. Your claim is just one out of several funny ones out there. Africans are not moved by pseudo-scientific claims.

  • Maazi NCO

    TYPO CORRECTION:

    I am no geneticist or neuroscientist, but I do have a Master’s Degree by Research in Electrical Engineering—-so I am a keen on scientific facts.

    That should have read:

    I am no geneticist or neuroscientist, but I do have a Master’s Degree by Research in Electrical Engineering—-so I am keen on scientific facts.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren Throckmorton

    Maazi – You have gotten a pass long enough on your claims about credibility of evidence. If you are a scientist, you know you have to define terms. First, gayism is not a term in science, you have made it up. There is no evidence of biological factors in gayism, because no one knows what gayism is.

    If you want to be taken seriously, please let me know 3 studies you have carefully reviewed in the last year which even address biological factors in sexual orientation. If you want to claim some kind of ability to judge credibility, then lets talk specifics.

  • Lynn David

    Eddy…. There was no indication prior to 1492 that the earth was round.

    Huh? That’s an old wives tail. Most sailiing people knew the earth was spherical. Scots fishermen had been to the Americas to fish the Grand Banks. The Greeks (Eratosthenes) had made a calculation of the circumference of the earth in the 3rd century BCE. Islamic scientists always worked from a knowledge of a spherical earth; and one, al Biruni (?), made a calculation of the earth’s circumferece with over 99% accuracy in the 11th century.

    Just in the spirit of being more accurate. If anything, the problem you speak of concerning a ‘pre-1492 flat earth’ is one of the communication of ideas. Or possibly when a society set itself up as an idealogue and perhaps worships only the gnosis of a religious book.

  • Lynn David

    Ok…. tale. Had that pic of a short-tailed weasel (stoat) on the mind from my friend’s facebook page.

  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe Brain

    @Maazi NCO – I was impressed with your analysis of Prop 8, and your pointing out that the Ugandan legal system was quite different, having regard to “morality” and “tradition” – which includes inter alia burning suspected witches, does it not? Such traditions exist in western society too. Be that as it may, let’s look at the issue at hand.

    Start with the following:

    A sex difference in the human brain and its relation to transsexuality. by Zhou et al Nature (1995) 378:68–70.

    Our study is the first to show a female brain structure in genetically male transsexuals and supports the hypothesis that gender identity develops as a result of an interaction between the developing brain and sex hormones

    I trust you find Nature to be a reasonably reputable publication? One with some credibility?

    Moving on.

    Male-to-female transsexuals show sex-atypical hypothalamus activation when smelling odorous steroids. by Berglund et al Cerebral Cortex 2008 18(8):1900-1908;

    …the data implicate that transsexuality may be associated with sex-atypical physiological responses in specific hypothalamic circuits, possibly as a consequence of a variant neuronal differentiation.

    Male–to–female transsexuals have female neuron numbers in a limbic nucleus. Kruiver et al J Clin Endocrinol Metab (2000) 85:2034–2041

    The present findings of somatostatin neuronal sex differences in the BSTc and its sex reversal in the transsexual brain clearly support the paradigm that in transsexuals sexual differentiation of the brain and genitals may go into opposite directions and point to a neurobiological basis of gender identity disorder.

    Sexual differentiation of the human brain: relevance for gender identity, transsexualism and sexual orientation. Swaab Gynecol Endocrinol (2004) 19:301–312.

    Solid evidence for the importance of postnatal social factors is lacking. In the human brain, structural diferences have been described that seem to be related to gender identity and sexual orientation.

    A sex difference in the hypothalamic uncinate nucleus: relationship to gender identity. by Garcia-Falgueras et al Brain. 2008 Dec;131(Pt 12):3132-46.

    We propose that the sex reversal of the INAH3 in transsexual people is at least partly a marker of an early atypical sexual differentiation of the brain and that the changes in INAH3 and the BSTc may belong to a complex network that may structurally and functionally be related to gender identity.

    White matter microstructure in female to male transsexuals before cross-sex hormonal treatment. A diffusion tensor imaging study. – Rametti et al, J Psychiatr Res. 2010 Jun 8.

    CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that the white matter microstructure pattern in untreated FtM transsexuals is closer to the pattern of subjects who share their gender identity (males) than those who share their biological sex (females). Our results provide evidence for an inherent difference in the brain structure of FtM transsexuals.

    Now it can be argued that the neurological anomalies are a consequence, rather than a symptom, of “gayism”. That becoming a “gayist” changes one’s brain through an agency unknown. So we should look to see if there are any areas where this cannot be the case – where behaviour is instinctive, set in the womb, and correlated with “gayism”.

    “Prenatal hormones versus postnatal socialization by parents as determinants of male-typical toy play in girls with congenital adrenal hyperplasia” Pasterski VL, Geffner ME, Brain C, Hindmarsh P, Brook C, Hines M Child Dev 76(1):264-78 2005

    Girls with CAH displayed more male-typical toy choices than did their unaffected sisters, whereas boys with and without CAH did not differ. Mothers and fathers encouraged sex-typical toy play in children with and without CAH. However, girls with CAH received more positive feedback for play with girls’ toys than did unaffected girls. Data show that increased male-typical toy play by girls with CAH cannot be explained by parental encouragement of male-typical toy play. Although parents encourage sex-appropriate behavior, their encouragement appears to be insufficient to override the interest of girls with CAH in cross-sexed toys.

    Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH) is an Intersex condition, which can result in masculinised genitalia. It also results in a greatly increased rate of lesbianism and bisexuality. In extreme cases – about 10%- it can result in a mostly male appearance, and male gender identity.

    Note in comparison this quote from the Swaab et al paper:

    Boys and girls behave in different ways and one of the stereotypical behavioral differences between them, that has often been said to be forced upon them by upbringing and social environment, is their behavior in play. Boys prefer to play with cars and balls, whereas girls prefer dolls. This sex difference in toy preference is present very early in life (3–8 months of age) [1]. The idea that it is not society that forces these choices upon children but a sex difference in the early development of their brains and behavior is also supported by monkey behavioral studies. Alexander and Hines [2], who offered dolls, toy cars and balls to green Vervet monkeys found the female monkeys consistently chose the dolls and examined these ano-genitally, whereas the male monkeys were more interested in playing with the toy cars and with the ball….

    We’re even zeroing in on exactly what brain structures are involved:

    Regional gray matter variation in male-to-female transsexualism by Luders E, Sánchez FJ, Gaser C, Toga AW, Narr KL, Hamilton LS, Vilain E. in Neuroimage. 2009 Mar 30.

    We analyzed MRI data of 24 male-to-female (MTF) transsexuals not yet treated with cross-sex hormones in order to determine whether gray matter volumes in MTF transsexuals more closely resemble people who share their biological sex (30 control men), or people who share their gender identity (30 control women). Results revealed that regional gray matter variation in MTF transsexuals is more similar to the pattern found in men than in women. However, MTF transsexuals show a significantly larger volume of regional gray matter in the right putamen compared to men. These findings provide new evidence that transsexualism is associated with distinct cerebral pattern, which supports the assumption that brain anatomy plays a role in gender identity.

    So it’s not correct to say that trans women have “female brains” : only certain parts of the brain have to be cross-sexed, others may or may not be.

    Neuroimaging Differences in Spatial Cognition between Men and Male-to-Female Transsexuals Before and During Hormone Therapy by Scoening et al J Sex Med. 2009 Sep 14.

    Conclusions. Our results confirmed previously reported deviances of brain activation patterns in transsexual men from men without GID and also corroborated these findings in a group of transsexual patients receiving cross-sex hormone therapy. The present study indicates that there are a priori differences between men and transsexual patients caused by different neurobiological processes or task-solving strategies and that these differences remain stable over the course of hormonal treatment.

    Thus showing that while some neural functioning is affected by hormonal treatment, other parts are not.

    I’ve just quoted a few of the hundreds of papers on the subject. This small subset is all available online.

    My main interest is in gender identity, rather than sexual orientation, hence the emphasis on that in those papers. But I suspect “gayism” whatever that may mean conflates the two anyway. Certainly the Ugandan legislation makes no distinction (in section 24 IIRC).

    Another set of “Nature’s Experiments” are those with 5alpha-reductase-2 deficiency (5alpha-RD-2) and 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase-3 deficiency (17beta-HSD-3) . These people can have a “Natural Sex Change” from female at birth to male later. This can either cause or cure transsexuality, depending on the neurology.

    Now you may find this evidence unconvincing, due to religious or other personal beliefs. That is your privilege of course. But to say there is no “credible evidence” flies in the face of the facts, as has been shown in several court rulings.

    Re Kevin – Significant Findings Of Justice Richard Chisholm In Respect Of The Expert Medical Evidence In That Case As To The Causation Of Transsexualism And As Strongly Affirmed By The Full Court (Australian Family Court) On Appeal. Deakin Law Review 2004 v22

    At paragraph (247): ‘In my view the expert evidence in this case affirms that brain development is (at least) an important determinant of a person’s sense of being a man or a woman. No contrary opinion is expressed. All the experts are very well qualified. None was required for cross-examination, nor was any contrary evidence called’.

    At paragraph (248): ‘In my view the evidence is, in essence, that the experts believe that the brain development view is likely to be true, and they explain the basis for their beliefs. In the circumstances, I see no reason why I should not accept the proposition, on the balance of probabilities, for the purpose of this case.’

    At paragraph (252): ‘The traditional analysis that they are “psychologically” transsexual does not explain how this state came about. For example, there seems to be no suggestion in the evidence that their psychological state can be explained by reference to circumstances of their upbringing. In that sense, the brain sex theory does not seem to be competing with other explanations, but rather is providing a possible explanation of what is otherwise inexplicable’.

    At paragraph (253): ‘In other words (as I understand it) the brain of an individual may in some sense be male, for example, though the rest of the person’s body is female’.

    At paragraph (265): ‘In my view the argument in favour of the “brain sex” view is also based on evidence about the development and experience of transsexuals and others with atypical sex-related characteristics. There is a vast literature on this, some of which is in evidence, and I can do no more than mention briefly some of the main points’.

    At paragraph (268): ‘It seems quite wrong to think of these people as merely wishing or preferring to be of the opposite sex, or having the opinion that they are’.

    At paragraph (270): ‘But I am satisfied that the evidence now is inconsistent with the distinction formerly drawn between biological factors, meaning genitals, chromosomes and gonads, and merely “psychological factors”, and on this basis distinguishing between cases of inter-sex (incongruities among biological factors) and transsexualism (incongruities between biology and psychology)’.

    At paragraph (272): ‘In my view the evidence demonstrates (at least on the balance of probabilities) that the characteristics of transsexuals are as much “biological” as those of people thought of as inter-sex’.

  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe Brain

    concerned – Yes, stress on the mother does appear to increase the number of transsexual babies. An even greater effect is that of exposure to hormonal drugs in the womb. The anti-miscarriage drug DES appears to have caused a large number of birth anomalies in both sexes, mainly Intersex conditions, but not just those.

    The drug DES was given to pregnant women throughout the 40s, 50s, 60s and into the early 70s to prevent miscarriages. 1 in 5 46xy(usually male)-gened people exposed to this drug, a female hormone, in the first trimester end up transsexual women rather than being men. That’s a similar proportion to those affected by Thalidomide, which leads to phocomelia, “flipper limbs” in those with a genetic pre-disposition to it. DES increased the rate of transsexuality by a factor of 500.

    See Prenatal exposure to diethylstilbestrol(DES) in males and gender-related disorders:results from a 5-year study by Scott Kerlin.

    More than 150 network members (out of 500) with “confirmed” or “strongly suspected” prenatal DES exposure identified as either “transsexual, pre- or post-operative,” (90 members), “transgender” (48 members), “gender dysphoric” (17 members), or “intersex” (3 members).

    In this study, more than 150 individuals with confirmed or suspected prenatal DES exposure reported moderate to severe feelings of gender dysphoria across the lifespan. For most, these feelings had apparently been present since early childhood. The prevalence of a significant number of self-identified male-to-female transsexuals and transgendered individuals as well as some individuals who identify as intersex, androgynous, gay or bisexual males has inspired fresh investigation of historic theories about a possible biological/endocrine basis for psychosexual development in humans, including sexual orientation, core gender identity, and sexual identity (Benjamin, 1973; Cohen-Kettenis and Gooren, 1999; Diamond, 1965, 1996; Michel et al, 2001; Swaab, 2004).

  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe Brain

    Oh, and in case anyone thinks I’m being insensitive by referring to dichogamous pseudohermaphrodites – ie those who undergo a “Natiral Sex Change” in the natural course of events – as “Nature’s Experiments”:

    1.

    I strongly support the choice of those people in this situation to either “go with the flow” – which can require genital reconstruction to complete the change – or alternatively to have surgery to prevent the change. Their decision, no-one else’s.

    To understand what this can mean in human terms, see RE: SALLY (SPECIAL MEDICAL PROCEDURE) [2010] FamCA 237

    2.

    While >99% of these cases are from female to male due to 5ARD or 17BHDD, a handful go the other way, from male to female, due to a variety of causes, none well understood as the sample sizes are so small.

    I’m one of the latter. Which is why I’ve researched this stuff, it’s for my own health, and more importantly, that of my child.

  • Eddy

    I’m both puzzled and disturbed by Warren’s insinuation that Maazi made up the term ‘gayism’. Although it’s a term that sounds awkward to our ears, a google search of the term brings up more than 70 pages of results?!

    Surely Maazi isn’t that prolific!

    A casual browsing through the google ‘hits’ seems to indicate that it’s a term that’s interchangeable with homosexuality and that it seems to be more popular in foreign cultures than in our own. That’s where I get disturbed. Why, when we are trying to understand and/or impact a foreign culture would we insist that those foreigners step up and use our language?

    Having lived in Minnesota for much of my life, I can’t bring myself to call a ‘soft drink’ a ‘soda’ anymore. (In Minnesota, ‘soda’ means ‘a soft drink with ice cream’). I’m kinda stuck with the Minnesota usage of ‘pop’…short for ‘soda pop’ which has been in use at least since the 1950′s. When people here in Pennsylvania try to ‘correct’ my usage, it comes across not so much as a correction but as a rigidity on their part. They KNOW what I’m talking about but they insist that I say it their way. LOL. I wouldn’t score that highly in terms of ‘embracing diversity’ and I wouldn’t score the criticism of the use of ‘gayism’ highly in terms of ‘cross cultural communication’.

    There were valid points in Warren’s post but I, for one, was thrown off by this ‘correction’ which I found to be tacky.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren Throckmorton

    Eddy – FInd me a scientific study using it. He was wanting to talk credible scientific evidence about gayism, a term I have never seen in a scientific study of the causes of homosexuality, either in a US lab or anywhere. I would not score the term highly being used by someone claiming to want to talk about the credibility of scientific evidence in that arena. It is used in older literature in a demeaning sense and sometimes used as a term for homophobia. But his use of it a term representing same-sex attraction is exactly why I made my statement. If he wants to talk about credibility, he should display some.

  • Evan

    @Zoe

    I used to be interested in this stuff. So I remember some things. Like this study:

    Girls and boys differ in their preferences for toys such as dolls and trucks. These sex differences are present in infants, are seen in non-human primates, and relate, in part, to prenatal androgen exposure. This evidence of inborn influences on sex-typed toy preferences has led to suggestions that object features, such as the color or the shape of toys, may be of intrinsically different interest to males and females. We used a preferential looking task to examine preferences for different toys, colors, and shapes in 120 infants, ages 12, 18, or 24 months. Girls looked at dolls significantly more than boys did and boys looked at cars significantly more than girls did, irrespective of color, particularly when brightness was controlled. These outcomes did not vary with age. There were no significant sex differences in infants’ preferences for different colors or shapes. Instead, both girls and boys preferred reddish colors over blue and rounded over angular shapes. These findings augment prior evidence of sex-typed toy preferences in infants, but suggest that color and shape do not determine these sex differences. In fact, the direction of influence could be the opposite. Girls may learn to prefer pink, for instance, because the toys that they enjoy playing with are often colored pink. Regarding within sex differences, as opposed to differences between boys and girls, both boys and girls preferred dolls to cars at age 12-months. The preference of young boys for dolls over cars suggests that older boys’ avoidance of dolls may be acquired. Similarly, the sex similarities in infants’ preferences for colors and shapes suggest that any subsequent sex differences in these preferences may arise from socialization or cognitive gender development rather than inborn factors.

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/h228274658v54070/

    Unless you’re saying that there’s a gene/hormone for preferring cars over dolls, you must understand that this research is done in a certain (human) context. The human cubs are not born in a vacuum and don’t grow up in a vacuum. They’re born in a society. In which mummy and daddy already are shaped by it, the toys they can choose from ditto, how people treat a boy or a girl, same thing.

    If I grow up playing basketball I use my genes differently than if I sit on my back playing videogames. The same genes can make one 1.81m high or 1.87m high, depending on how you use them. FOr kids this is probably even more important than for teens. Some brain parts develop very early and it matters a lot how was the early environment. I’m not saying this research is without merit, but saying hormone level correlates with toy preference doesn’t explain much. The study I’ve just linked shows that as researchers try to go deeper and see what qualities in toys attract kids differently they find a part of the effect may be created by the environment they meet when they come into the world. So I would trust more these studies if they included interactional factors too, because those kids weren’t born and bred in the lab.

    There’s a fashion in research to try to explain psychological development in terms of biological factors. It’s a reaction to the apparent failure of the former social, interactional paradigm. We’ll see how it holds. I’m putting my money on both. Nature doesn’t create what we expect it to, neither way.

  • Evan

    Questions – to Zoey

    1 Why do you think kids have toys? Why are they different according to sex? Why do girls get female bodies as dolls to play with and boys get cars?

    2 Why are men and women mostly separated in humans’ society? Biological factors? Social? Both?

    3 Can you use words to make a monkey feel ashamed? Half joking!

  • Eddy

    Warren–

    I indicated that the problem I had with your post was your insinuation that Maazi made up the term. It seems clear from your rebuttal that he did not. I can hear that you have a real issue with the term ‘gayism’ but I can only partially comprehend your objection. (Note: We may simply have to leave it at that. The goal of this site is not my complete comprehension of all things.)

    It is used in older literature in a demeaning sense and sometimes used as a term for homophobia.

    I tried finding a citing where ‘gayism’ was used as a term for ‘homophobia’ and I haven’t been successful. I do see a number of citings where it is used as a term for homosexuality and some others where it seems to be a disparaging term for gay activism. Perhaps you meant that it is a term used in a demeaning sense by homophobes? (I really AM puzzled…seriously…I can’t picture ‘gayism’ being a term for ‘homophobia’. Homophobics aren’t known for calling themselves ‘homophobes’ or ‘gayists’…so if the word were used as ‘a term for homophobia’, I’d assume it was used that way by opponents of homophobia and ‘homophobia’ itself has a lot more oomph than ‘gayism’.)

  • ken

    Eddy# ~ Aug 9, 2010 at 10:59 am

    “I can hear that you have a real issue with the term ‘gayism’ but I can only partially comprehend your objection.”

    No Eddy. I suspect Warren’s objections to Maazi’s post are similar to mine. Basically, that Maazi is attempting to claim some sort of expertize in a topic (sexual orientation) his posts (here and elsewhere) clearly show he knows nothing about.

  • Eddy

    LOL. Maazi is certainly NOT trying to claim expertise in the field of sexual orientation; I’m pretty certain that he doesn’t even believe in the concept. That may be why he won’t buy into our terminology.

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

    Eddy – At the same time he may not buy into the concept, he is claiming some kind of expertise in evaluating studies about it by another name. He said:

    There is simply no credible—-I repeat again — NO CREDIBLE scientific evidence that gayism is a genetic trait or that a person is born that way.

    I suppose there is no evidence that gayism, whatever it is, is not a genetic trait or born “that way.” He certainly appears to be talking about sexual orientation while using another term for it. If he is not talking about sexual orientation, then what is gayism. If he wants to make a claim about it, let him define it.

  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe Brain

    @Evan – most of what is usually considered “Gendered Behaviour” is a social construct with zero biological basis. It differs from place to place and time to time. For example, in the 19th century, Pink was a “masculine” colour, Blue a “feminine” one.

    Perhaps 70% of “Gendered Behaviour” is like this, a product of peer-pressure, and social millieu. Another 20% has a biological basis, but that’s sometimes quite tenuous, amplified by reinforcement feedback. Maybe 10% has a solid biological foundation, and is much the same in Pittsburgh and Patagonia, New York and New Guinea, and in 2000 AD and 2000 BCE.

    That’s not to say “Gender” is a social construct: it’s as objective a metric as height. But someone who’s tall in Thailand may be short in Sweden. Height is objective: tall and short social constructs.

    Reinforcement feedback is a way of amplifying minor distinctions into major ones. For example, before puberty, male and female children are about as capable as each other physically. As they grow older, most boys tend to be stronger than most girls. A young boy uninterested in sports may have to engage in them well beyond his capability or desire, in order to appear sufficiently “Manly”. A young girl with equal athletic ability to him will have pressure not to be too athletic, as that’s unladylike. Thus a minor statistical difference – or one that doesn’t even exist at that age – gets magnified so the original biological effect is grossly outweighed by the social differentiation.

    But… I’m not a psychologist. I think Warren is far better qualified to answer than I am. I’m just a Rocket Scientist with a rare medical condition that’s landed her in No Man’s Land in the Culture Wars.

    To answer your questions:

    1. Beyond my pay grade. I’m interested in neurology and behaviour of Intersexed vs non-Intersexed people in general, your question is beyond my knowledge. I suspect though that since toys of some description are found in all societies, there’s a human need for them. The type of toy though is another matter. In order to gain more knowledge, we’d have to experiment on children. Getting Ethics clearance for that should be extremely difficult, and designing an experiment guaranteed not to harm the subjects may not be possible.

    2. Children self-separate before puberty, before coming together again later. However, while many societies separate the sexes, the degree varies. I think that the “ladies retire while the men have cigars and port” phenomenon is biologically based, as a ladies sewing circle has quite different interactions from a male hunting party. I know, I’ve been in both. Male bonding is a fascinating phenomenon, but although I’ve been in such groups, I was never of them. I don’t understand men at all. I do know that the “staring into the fire while winding down” bit is a product of testosterone level. I suspect that neurology, hormones, and sociology all play parts.

    3. A monkey? No. A Forest Chimpanzee – quite possibly, they appear to have such a concept. A dog, certainly. A Bonibo Chimpanzee? No idea.

    And a politician – no way.

  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe Brain

    What’s scary is that in this particular area – the science of sex and gender – I’ve been called on by professors of both medicine and psychology to give lectures to their students. Even though my general medical and psych knowledge is so feeble. In this one area, I’m an expert. That means I know very little – just more than most.

    Milton Diamond has expressed a high regard for my work anyway – a bit like a self-taught physicist being told by Steven Hawking that he has some good ideas.

    Oh and Eddie – thanks for the link to the Jadva, Hines and Golombok paper. I’d lost the reference to it when the Archives of Sexual Behaviour went pay-per-view.

  • Eddy

    Warren–

    It is overwhelmingly obvious that ‘gayism’ is essentially synonymous with ‘homosexuality’. I’ll admit that the word might have a nuance or two (the most likely being that it incorporates the sense of an agenda and/or that it purposely rejects the notion of being an inborn trait) but any nuances have NO bearing on Maazi’s statement. The statement remains true even if those nuances are incorporated into the word.

    Does it take an expert to say that there is ‘no credible evidence’? I don’t think so. The notion of homosexuality being an inborn condition has been floating around for years; the challenge to prove that it is indeed inborn has likewise been ‘out there’. There is MUCH vested interest in that issue. IF ‘credible evidence’ did exist, it would not be hidden in the dark recesses of the internet; it would be easily found simply by googling “inborn, homosexuality” or “genetic, homosexuality”. ANY person doing any modest research would find lots of thoughtful but inconclusive studies and, in less than an hour’s time, could reasonably conclude that there is NO CREDIBLE evidence that it IS inborn or genetic. It’s a very popular theory but it remains a theory.

    Maazi was responding to commenters who were trying to suggest that theory is fact. It’s very odd that rather than admit at that point in the discussion that Maazi is correct that it is still an unproven theory, you chose to be confrontive without any real base. You confronted with two challenges: 1) the word ‘gayism’ oviously rankles you but, as I pointed out in my first paragraph, there appears to be no legitimate justification for how rankled you are–especially when you take into account that you are speaking to a person from a foreign culture. 2) you claim that he claims to ‘expertise’ but I don’t believe that’s true as I addressed in my second paragraph. At the worst, his bold statement could be seen as a bold challenge. “Go ahead, then, and show me and my people the credible evidence that moves your position from theory to scientific fact.”

    It’s his culture we’re speaking about; it’s his culture that this blogsite (among others) is trying to influence. The primary drive behind the outside pressure is the presumption that homosexuality is an inborn or genetic condition (this is revealed in the oft-repeated notion ‘it’s who we are not what we do’). So it seems fair for Maazi to clarify that that remains a theory and to challenge commenters to provide substantive proof that it’s more than that.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren Throckmorton

    Eddy wrote:

    Does it take an expert to say that there is ‘no credible evidence’? I don’t think so.

    No, most real experts don’t say that. It takes a non-expert to say it and that is usually who does.

    Homosexuality does not need to be completely genetic to have genetic influences of some kind. Nor does it need to be genetic to have hormonal influences prenatally. It does not need to be genetic nor hormonal in any complete way to be durable upon adulthood. The either or argument is what experts don’t do. But non-experts like to say there is no credible evidence that homosexuality is inborn as if that disposes of the biological matter.

    Furthermore, the evidence does not have to be complete to be credible. The evidence is just that, evidence. No one knows what the causes are for any given person but to just dismiss the biological factors because the evidence is developing is not a scientific approach, it is the approach of an advocate.

  • Eddy

    Kind of like those who change the definition of ‘mutability’ to mean 100% change so that they can dismiss those who were once exclusively gay and are now happily married. Yeah, I hear ya! They speak like advocates not scientists.

  • Maazi NCO

    Warren,

    My posting is quite clear that I am no expert in neuroscience and genetics. But I was once a researcher who wrote, co-wrote and presented scientific findings at various international conferences on electrical/electronics engineering. Anyone who is into research knows it is not too difficult for people to manipulate data to fit into a theory they are desperately trying to justify. In controversial subjects such as gayism, there are strong vested interests at play and the dominant interest—-at least in the West— is to justify the theory that gayism is “natural”, “in-born” and “okay”. The Euro-American gay lobby is so powerful and influential that scientists are under pressure to produce some information that appear to justify the theory. It is generally safe for a researcher to work from the predetermined answer (i.e. “Gayism is natural/inborn”) backwards to the question (i.e. “Is gayism natural/in-born ?”) and bend data along the way to fit the theory. On the other hand, a scientist working from the question to the answer is under pressure to self-censor if research results go contrary to the “received wisdom” of the gay lobby and even if such a researcher is brave enough to seek publication of his/her work in a journal, the peer-review team may be too scared to allow such work through, even if it meets all required standards for publication. No one wants to be door-stepped by angry gay activists or to have his/her academic tenure scrapped because of a piece of research work. This is the reality in Western countries.

    Its just like study of climate change where scientists who question some of the theories or the accuracy of predictions made by computer simulation models are castigated as “climate change denialists”—a sinister term which ryhmes with “holocaust denial”. Many reputable climate scientists not sponsored by oil companies, but who happen to be skeptics have since learned the hard way that it pays to keep your views to yourself if you want more research funds and a renewal of your academic tenure when it expires. (BTW, I am not necessarily questioning the climate science, but I strongly believe that scientists should be free to be skeptical because scientific research has always thrived on skepticism).

    Anyway, I was digressing. Now back to the subject of gayism :

    The problem with research on gayism is that too many gay-friendly claims have been made by “maverick scientists” which ended up being declared “outright rubbish” or “inconclusive” by an overwhelming number of real honest scientists. Personally, I think that gayism research is one area of scientific investigation where voodoo gets mixed up with biological science. No where is this voodoo/science mix-up more apparent than in claims made about the numerical size of gay sex practitioners in every country in the world. There has been claims by some “scientists” that there were 500,000 gays in Uganda and 3 million gays in Nigeria. Now, the question Africans are all asking is how did these researchers get these numbers in a continent where gayism is so hidden that it is essentially invisible? A continent where proper record-keeping ranges from “inefficient ” to “non-existent”? The answer is probably voodoo-influenced guesstimates

  • JakehP

    Is there a legitimate anti-gay argument from Uganda that doesn’t rely on vast conspiracy theories? It seems like far too many of these people would pretend the sun didn’t exist if they thought it could justify subjugating some scapegoat. I know that inventing and hunting a boogyman can help people ignore things around them, but it seems that Uganda (among many or most countries) has plenty of actual problems to deal with … not this piddly junk that will only and always affect a small minority, no mater what path is taken. This distraction is just that, a distraction.

  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe Brain

    @Maazi NCO – Being sufficiently objective is hard. That’s why I make sure others know of my situation, so they can judge for themselves. I try to be objective, while acknowledging that I may not be and not know it.

    There’s a lot of bad science out there, that’s for sure. But the majority of people researching this area and publishing their results are genuinely trying to determine the facts. They may be wrong – but they’re not deliberately distorting.

    That pre-natal hormones affect neurology and sexual behaviour should be mind-bogglingly obvious. Just look at Freemartin cattle. Every agrarian society that keeps livestock has to be aware of such issues: they were in Biblical times (see Matthew 19:12 first line).

    FWIW – not much – I’ve changed my opinion of you, as your last postings have shown rather more logic than ideological rhetoric. I hope to do the same. Yes, we disagree, but at least I think we can have a conversation without imputing bad faith to either side. I was wrong there, and I apologise.

  • ken

    JakehP# ~ Aug 10, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    Jake,

    No matter what Maazi claims, he does not represent all Ugandans. I suspect that given the opportunity interact with and learn about gays, most Ugandans would be far more open-minded about the issues.

  • Eddy

    Ken–

    I’m not asking this sarcastically…Are you basing that opinion on anything substantive or just going with a gut impression?

  • ken

    “Are you basing that opinion on anything substantive or just going with a gut impression?”

    Yes, I know other Ugandans besides Maazi.

    Further, it has been my experience that most people (regardless of nationality) are open-minded enough that they can over come prejudices based on mis-information when given a chance to actually inter-act and learn about whom those they are making incorrect assumptions.

  • Eddy

    Yes, I know other Ugandans besides Maazi

    .

    Is there any chance of getting a few of them to blog here? Their voices would be both appreciated and valuable. So far, the bloggers we’ve had from Uganda (with the exception of gayuganda) are pretty much in line with Maazi.

  • ken

    “Is there any chance of getting a few of them to blog here? ”

    Unlikely, this isn’t an issue they are interested in devoting any time to. However, if you are interested in knowing about what other ugandan’s think, you should look at some of their online news sources, like http://www.observer.ug and I’m sure you could find others if you just searched for them.

  • Eddy

    Thanks, Ken. I’ve done so and will do so again. What I haven’t been able to find is something that quantifies percentages of how many hold to the more liberal approach as opposed to those who hold to the traditional approach.

    Perhaps it’s just me but I find it puzzling that they don’t find this an issue worthy of devoting much time to. A bit odd that WE have been literally CONSUMED by it for over a year…seeing it as a very significant battle for human rights and against the mistreatment of gays. And yet, these friends of yours who are Ugandans, don’t have a similar sense of urgency. Makes me wonder if that tells us anything? That perhaps we are over-reacting or that it isn’t quite as serious as we believe. No conclusion…just trying to interpret this situation through actual human response.

  • Maazi NCO

    Yes, I know other Ugandans besides Maazi.

    Of course Ken, let me guess—- Frank Mugisha, Val Kalende, GayUganda, David Kato, Sylvia Tamale and the renegade Anglican priest, Rev. Canon Gideon Byamugisha.

    No matter what Maazi claims, he does not represent all Ugandans. I suspect that given the opportunity interact with and learn about gays, most Ugandans would be far more open-minded about the issues.

    Ha, ha, ha. You will actually find out that I am as moderate as they get when it comes to the issue of gayism. An overwhelming number of Ugandans are against gay sex and unlike me, most people will not even have the patience to listen to you justify something as extremely depraved as sodomy not to mention engaging you in a dialogue on that subject. I am surprised that you point to the comments made by readers as Observer as evidence of Ugandans being “open-minded” ? Please are we talking of Ugandan Observer or the New York Observer? Ugandans who respond to pro-gay articles written by Daily Monitor, The Observer and The Independent are overwhelming anti-gay. Ken stop deceiving yourself !!

    Unlikely, this isn’t an issue they are interested in devoting any time to……

    You don’t have to be Einstein to know that Ugandans and indeed most Africans cannot be bothered to devote time to discussing sexual depravity. We do not go out into the streets, frothing foam from the mouth and looking for sex deviants to club to death. If that is what you perceive to be open-mindedness then you have no idea what the word means. In fact, prior to the silly self-righteous uproar from ordinary westerners and extreme anti-Uganda propaganda from western media, I would never have imagined myself sitting behind my computer and devoting time to this taboo subject. But here I am defending our culture and traditions on a foreign blog !!

  • Maazi NCO

    Perhaps it’s just me but I find it puzzling that they don’t find this an issue worthy of devoting much time to. A bit odd that WE have been literally CONSUMED by it for over a year…seeing it as a very significant battle for human rights and against the mistreatment of gays. And yet, these friends of yours who are Ugandans, don’t have a similar sense of urgency.

    Eddy,

    Ugandans do not go hunting for gays to kill, but they will not tolerate any foreign-directed campaign to blackmail their government into legally enshrining a sexual behaviour that they consider abhorrent. They will not tolerate crazy ideas like “same-sex marriage” and “gay adoption” which are nothing, but an open call for the destruction of our solidarity-based communal society which is in deep variance to the highly individualistic “Mind-Your-Own Business” fragmented society that are so prevalent in the West.

    My above comments certainly explains why most pro-gay advocates always make sure the exit door is nearby whenever they hold their press conferences or when they address local university students, local women rights groups or members of professional bodies. For instance, not too long ago, pro-gay puppet commentators fled through nearby exit doors when medical students they were hoping to brainwash to take their side in a university forum took strong exceptions at their Euro-American-directed propaganda. Later on, one of the puppet commentators in a fit of paranoia told a news reporter that he and his associates fled because he was scared that the students would attack them. And these are the kind of local paid-up agents whom the foreign gay propagandists are incredibly comparing to the distinguished Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi?

  • Mary

    But here I am defending our culture and traditions on a foreign blog

    Seems strange – doesn’t it?