BYU, Utah professors rebut LDS gay change group

Last Friday, the Salt Lake City Tribune published an opinion article by members of a Latter Day Saint group called Foundation for Attraction Research. This group, co-founded by National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality leader, Dean Byrd, claims that science validates their religious view of homosexuality. Among other problems, the article last Friday misrepresented the views of National Institute of Health Director Francis Collins.

A week later, today’s SLC Tribune has an effective rebuttal from Wiliam S. Bradshaw, professor emeritus of molecular biology at Brigham Young University; David G. Weight, professor emeritus of clinical and neuropsychology at BYU; and Ted Packard, professor emeritus of educational psychology at the University of Utah. The authors sent the article to me directly:

First, the authors’ manipulations of quotations from Dr. Francis Collins distort and misrepresent his views. They first cite Collins about possible genetic influence on homosexuality. After several intervening paragraphs they introduce separate comments about “individual free will” and “playing the hand dealt to us,” which they represent as his “additional insight on homosexuality.”

This juxtaposition is a deception. The “free will” comments actually refer to genes and intelligence or criminal and antisocial behavior, not homosexuality. Collins has responded to this corruption of his statements by A. Dean Byrd as incoming president of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, or NARTH.

Collins sets the record straight as follows: 1) “The words quoted by NARTH … have been juxtaposed in a way that suggests a somewhat different conclusion than I intended”; 2) The fact that there are other factors that influence how information in DNA is expressed “certainly doesn’t imply that those other factors are inherently alterable”; 3) Even though the actual genes contributing to SSA have yet to be identified, “it is likely that such genes will be found in the next few years.”

Here is the full text of Collins’ unequivocal denunciation of others who, like Byrd and the three authors, have recently misappropriated his scientific views: “It is disturbing for me to see special interest groups distort my scientific observation to make a point against homosexuality. The American College of Pediatricians pulled language out of context from a book I wrote in 2006 to support an ideology that can cause unnecessary anguish and encourage prejudice. The information they present is misleading and incorrect, and it is particularly troubling that they are distributing it in a way that will confuse school children and their parents.”

Regular readers here may recognize the source of this information about Collins – Exgaywatch and then here and here. Read the rest at the link above, I think the authors have made a quality rebutal.

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  • http://www.debbiethurman.com Debbie Thurman

    Clearly it is wrong to play fast and loose with someone’s work in order to forward an agenda. This has been repeatedly done by gay-rights advocates with other studies, of course. Outright declarations were made that a gay gene had been found years ago. It seems this tit-for-tat will never cease.

    If Collins is concerned about school children and parents being confused, I wonder what he would have to say about the ways in which this has already been happening through curriculum that praises homosexuality and asks students to become allies for gay rights, or insists homosexuality is inborn. Surely he has to see that this is the next Darwinism vs. Intelligent Design battle.

    Collins may not have offered his free-will arguments as “additional insight about homosexuality,” but he cannot argue that free will doesn’t apply there.

    I’ll bet this statement will be conveniently forgotten if no such genes are found:

    Even though the actual genes contributing to SSA have yet to be identified, “it is likely that such genes will be found in the next few years.”

  • Emily K

    Debbie, the only people that still believe “The Gay Gene” controls sexuality in some humans are “ex-gays” and right-wing anti-gay bigots that seek to find “proof” that homosexuality doesn’t exist in nature.

    In the mean time, science, gays, and equality advocates have moved on.

    It must be sad for people like you to know equality is inevitable (as Albert Mohler has even admitted) and that the children of gay parents, as well as the gay children of straight parents, will be treated as equals in the classroom.

    Of course, if people want to conflate the absence of chastising homosexuality and calling it “disordered” and “broken” with “praising” it, by all means. It’s a free country.

  • http://www.debbiethurman.com Debbie Thurman

    Debbie, the only people that still believe “The Gay Gene” controls sexuality in some humans are “ex-gays” and right-wing anti-gay bigots that seek to find “proof” that homosexuality doesn’t exist in nature.

    I don’t know who exactly you are referring to, but as for me, I haven’t cared for some time. It shouldn’t matter to a Christian because they know that everything is inborn. Original sin. Our two natures are ever dueling with each other.

    In the mean time, science, gays, and equality advocates have moved on.

    Science has not, as Collins is saying.

    It must be sad for people like you to know equality is inevitable (as Albert Mohler has even admitted) and that the children of gay parents, as well as the gay children of straight parents, will be treated as equals in the classroom.

    I think Mohler is right, and I am sad about it, as is he. He is preparing the Church for what is to come.

  • Mary

    Debbie, the only people that still believe “The Gay Gene” controls sexuality in some humans are “ex-gays” and right-wing anti-gay bigots that seek to find “proof” that homosexuality doesn’t exist in nature

    Not true. Many gays still believe that genes play a part in their homosexuality.

  • carole

    Warren, a question.

    You said in your April 10, 2010 post entitled, “Francis Collins Rebukes the American College of Pediatricians: A Closer Look”

    First, it is important to note that when Collins speaks of free will choices in his book, he is not referring to homosexuality specifically. In his book, he discusses genetics and intelligence and antisocial behavior among other traits. By referring to free will, he was not saying in his book that people can choose to change homosexual attraction by means of therapy.

    I haven’t read his book. In it, did he suggest that intelligence and antisocial behavior were wholly or primarily or partly the result of free will or did he discuss the mounting evidence that g and antisocial behavior are primarily linked to genetics and biology?

  • Ann

    Debbie, the only people that still believe “The Gay Gene” controls sexuality in some humans are “ex-gays” and right-wing anti-gay bigots that seek to find “proof” that homosexuality doesn’t exist in nature.

    Emily,

    This is a lie. While it might feel empowering to make these kind of statements, all they really reveal is an immature and undisciplined way of communicating.

  • Ann

    To all,

    It has been brought to my attention that the above comment is “a little harsh” . While I stand by my statement, I also respect the person who admonished me, so please accept my apologies and disregard the above comment.

  • carole

    Emily K, you said,

    Debbie, the only people that still believe “The Gay Gene” controls sexuality in some humans are “ex-gays” and right-wing anti-gay bigots that seek to find “proof” that homosexuality doesn’t exist in nature.

    I don’t know where you live but where I live most educated people believe in a gay gene, and I can understand why. They saw news articles and heard television anchors and reporters on tv many years ago announce its “finding.” I believe these articles probably came out after Hamer’s work, which suggested there was evidence of a gay gene and his claim that Xq28 on the X chromosome was a likely marker.

    Most people don’t realize that reporters rarely write up what can be considered an accurate account of most scientific research. Headline writers cause more problems by writing sensational, misleading headers. Further, newspeople are not likely to give prominence to follow-up studies, especially if the research cannot be explained in black and white terms. They like the simple and the clear. They also like the bold, not the subtle. This is true of their treatment of all subjects, of course, not just those dealing with scientific research.

    Thus, while some people (yes, these people are more likely than not to lack formal higher educations) are more likely to believe that homosexuality may be chosen or that while it may not be chosen, is the result of childhood experiences, particularly traumatic experiences, ironically, the “educated” are more likely to believe in a gay gene.

    Others who are “educated” believe that homosexuality is the result of a “failure” to have received certain hormones at the “required time” in gestation or a “failure” to have received them at the “right” time. As you noticed, I put several words in quotes to illustrate that these are quite often the words educated people use, both straight and gay, and because I am not interesting in quibbling about the choice of words in my sentences here –its their choice of words, and I am merely reporting them.

    People who frequent this blog may have differing views of the likely root(s) of sexual orientation, but from my having read their posts the last couple of years, I’d conclude most of them are familiar with the research and many of them are very familiar with it. Thus, people on this blog would know that no researcher claims there is a “gay gene” (singular) but that there are some researchers who surmise there may be a group of genes that contribute to the likelihood that someone may be predisposed to homosexuality. And, people on this blog have read the other hypotheses, both biological and psychological/social as well.

    The so-called “bigots” that I am guessing you are referring to? They seem to be the people who believe that gays choose to be gay. When you ask them why they think that, they usually do not want to engage, but when pressed to explain what they mean, respond with something akin to, “No one would do something like that unless they were perverted.”

    While it’s wrong that there is a single gene that codes for homosexuality, it’s a fair bet that those who believe that there is one are much more likely to be gay friendly than those who don’t.

  • Teresa

    This discussion is another play of the “sticky wicket”. NARTH, et. al., who continue to promote, albeit now rather subtly, the nurture focus for homosexuality will be hoisted on their own petard if nature is found to be the cause of homosexuality, e.g., a complex of genes, and/or intra-uterine hormonal development.

    However, the homosexual activists will also be hoisted on their own petard, because if these ‘markers’ can be identified in-utero, through amniocentesis, abortion looks rather appealing for some would-be parents.

    The Church will be hard-pressed to sell the pro-life argument to would-be parents, and equally hard-pressed to sell its congregations that this is-born … but, requires chastity. Free Will behavior modification will have to be upper-most for the Church, without all this hub-bub of “its the relationship with your dad/mom, abuse, etc.”

    Social recognition for chaste homosexuals will take on a new patina, if indeed, nature is the basic answer for homosexuality. Those str8 married folks will have to give up some of their ‘privilege’ to make room for those folks who against their biology (and interior desires), opt to be chaste.

    I recall in my lifetime the issue of schizophrenia being the result of the ‘refrigerator mom’, demons, whatever. When it was proven that a large factor was brain chemistry, things altered significantly.

  • Teresa

    I think Mohler is right, and I am sad about it, as is he. He is preparing the Church for what is to come.

    Debbie,

    The Church has capitulated in the last 80-90 years on major social issues, e.g.: artificial contraception, divorce and remarriage. I can’t think of too many Scriptural injunctions as severe as Our Lord’s words on divorce; but, somehow that’s as common-place as marriage today, and quite acceptable.

    If the Church was as busy cleaning its own house, as it is in finding scape-goats, it might actually be an institution that had credibility, don’t you think?

  • http://www.debbiethurman.com Debbie Thurman

    You know I agree with you on that, Teresa. Sad but true.

  • Michael Bussee

    I believe I was created gay. I don’t think it’s primarily genetic — although genes may play a part. I don’t believe it is “learned” or that it is broken, sinful or disordered. I think it’s part of my divine soul. A mystery that science will never completely explain. A gift from God.

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

    Clearly it is wrong to play fast and loose with someone’s work in order to forward an agenda. This has been repeatedly done by gay-rights advocates with other studies, of course.

    Name one.

    Name one single study in which gay groups deliberately distorted the words of a researcher or scientist to make it sound like he say the opposite of what he did. Name one single instance in which a researcher chastised a gay group for deliberate distortion, only to have them repeat it.

    Or apologize.

  • carole

    I believe I was created gay. I don’t think it’s primarily genetic — although genes may play a part. I don’t believe it is “learned” or that it is broken, sinful or disordered. I think it’s part of my divine soul. A mystery that science will never completely explain. A gift from God.

    I respect your religious beliefs, Michael, but I don’t quite know if I understand what you mean here . I do understand that you believe in an omnipotent Creator and that all that is good comes from Him. I understand that you think of your sexual orientation as a part of you that is innately good. If I am right about these last two statements, then I understand, I think, your statement: He made all those parts of you that are good. If I have not reasoned this as you would, let me know.

    As for your last statement, the physiological source of our search image, I think you are wrong. We have not heretofore had the tools to see things at the molecular level as we do now. It still may take some time, but as long as we don’t blow ourselves up or fall victim to some other catastrophic event, we’ll discover why we see another and go “Ahhhhh.” :) Furthermore, at some point, we’ll find out why we are drawn not just to one gender but to certain individuals.

    In fact, we already know some interesting things about attraction–that selection of certain mates over others provided for fitter offspring and the fit seek the fit to produce the fit and yes, this involves our personal attractions. Pretty neat stuff.

  • Michael Bussee

    I understand that you think of your sexual orientation as a part of you that is innately good. If I am right about these last two statements, then I understand, I think, your statement: He made all those parts of you that are good. If I have not reasoned this as you would, let me know.

    Yes. Innately good, to be used for good. Just as a heterosexual’s orientation is. You understand what I am saying. I think it’s part of my soul, my unique personality, my essense if you will. Intrinsically me and a gift — as are other talents, attributes and abilities He has given me. I maintain that that sort of “stuff” is beyond the reach of science to prove — at least not in our lifetimes.

  • preston

    Timothy, for starters, your review of the Yarhouse study is littered with distortions. So many that you were able to come to the opposite finding of what the researchers themselves found. To claim that the gay agenda does not distort words is not supportable. I can’t imagine there’s much disagreement there.

    Teresa, the better question is what will the gays do when it is proven that genetic and pre-natal effects play little or no role in SSA? Will the gay agenda scale back on its brain-washing campaign?

  • carole

    Yes. Innately good, to be used for good. Just as a heterosexual’s orientation is. You understand what I am saying. I think it’s part of my soul, my unique personality, my essense if you will. Intrinsically me and a gift — as are other talents, attributes and abilities He has given me.

    Thought so–good.

    I maintain that that sort of “stuff” is beyond the reach of science to prove — at least not in our lifetimes.

    As for our lifetimes, I think so, but admittedly I wouldn’t bet my life’s savings on it. (I gather you and I are close in age, not young’uns, in other words, so who knows?)

    However, my parents never thought they’d ever see a man on the moon, heart transplants, hearts repaired. In fact, during the Depression, I know my mother at least never thought she’d have food aplenty, own a house, send her kid to college, etc.

    I know that I never thought I’d see thrive and grow strong and healthy a baby who was born so premature the whole of him fit in his father’s hand, but I have…and I’ve lived to see that such a thing is no longer a rarity.

  • Teresa

    Teresa, the better question is what will the gays do when it is proven that genetic and pre-natal effects play little or no role in SSA? Will the gay agenda scale back on its brain-washing campaign?

    Back to you, Preston, when, as the current science is beginning to show, genetics and pre-natal is shown to play a large part in being homosexual … what will you do, Preston? Say it’s all a conspiracy, lies, deceit? I hope not.

    Whatever the future holds for homosexual etiology, we should accept it without trying to distort those findings either way according to our proclivities or are prejudices. We, as humans, spent centuries demonizing conditions that today have proved biologically-based … not caused by being demonically possessed, or I had a bad mother or father: to wit, left-handedness, color blindness, autism, schizophrenia, bi-polar, etc.

    I happen to be a gay woman, Preston. I have chosen chastity as my way of life. I am beginning to view my homosexuality as a gift from God; perhaps, for reasons other than Michael’s. Because of who I am in my orientation, I have been called to live a life closer to Our Lord. He accepts me exactly the way I am … no if’s, and’s, or but’s without equivocation.

  • Michael Bussee

    Carole, I am not saying it’s impossible that science may prove the causation of sexual orientation. I just don’t think it’s very important — like advances in medicine, food, a home, an education, etc. The way I see it, it really doesn’t matter why people are gay or straight. I think much too much time and resources have been wasted trying to find the “cause” and then “cure” it.

    Very few people seem very interested in what makes people straight. They just take it as “normal” or “god-given” and get on with their lives. As I said, it’s not an illness, not broken, not a sin, not a disorder. What’s much more important is how they live and how they love. For me, it’s about character, not causation. One is essential. The other is interesting but, in the end, not really all that important.

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

    Preston,

    Timothy, for starters, your review of the Yarhouse study is littered with distortions. So many that you were able to come to the opposite finding of what the researchers themselves found. To claim that the gay agenda does not distort words is not supportable. I can’t imagine there’s much disagreement there.

    You are throwing out accusations there. So how about you put some substance to your claim.

    What are these “distortions” which you imagine? Have you read the book and the follow up report? Have you pored over the graphs and backed into what wasn’t on the page?

    And, for that matter, do you really see the authors disagreeing with me? Sure the “Christian” media made claims about the study that were, frankly, dishonest, but neither Jones nor Yarhouse make any pretension that the Exodus study demonstrated much success or that the “heterosexuals” that they ended up with were what most folk mean by “heterosexual.”

    I think they presented their material with as positive a spin as they could while still maintaining integrity, and I was less generous. But I doubt that our opinions about what the study revealed are that far apart.

    And, Preston, here’s the kicker: I didn’t misquote either of them or falsely portray what they believed.

    I will now entertain your apology for maligning me.

  • http://www.debbiethurman.com Debbie Thurman

    In 1993 mainstream media (ad hoc gay advocates) widely trumpeted that a gay gene had been found in reference to Dean Hamer’s study. That’s one, many times over.

  • http://www.debbiethurman.com Debbie Thurman

    Because of who I am in my orientation, I have been called to live a life closer to Our Lord. He accepts me exactly the way I am … no if’s, and’s, or but’s without equivocation.

    We can’t fully know in this life, but I believe this is closer to the truth of the matter.

  • http://exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    Debbie, the only people that still believe “The Gay Gene” controls sexuality in some humans are “ex-gays” and right-wing anti-gay bigots that seek to find “proof” that homosexuality doesn’t exist in nature.

    I think the point Emily is making, and it is quite valid, is that we see a plethora of references in anti-gay literature to the nearly twenty-year old results of Dean Hamar’s research into the possible location of a gene that regulates human sexual orientation.

    The simple fact is that further research did not confirm his results. Most claims about that study originally were by the media looking for a juicy story. I know of no legitimate LGBT organization that states those claims as true, and haven’t for many, many years.

    There is, however, a constant reference to this one study by anti-gay groups as some proof that a) gays lie, b) there is no “gay gene”, c) change is possible. In fact it proves none of that. It proves that Hamar did not find what he though he found, where he thought he found it. The only distortion of that study is by anti-gays.

    As Timothy might say, either give an example of any reputable LGBT organization claiming Hamar found a “gay gene” or apologize.

    So yes, Emily is quite right.

  • http://exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    Sorry, Hamar = Hamer

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

    David,

    Actually the follow-up was inconclusive. There were several. Some confirmed his findings but others did not.

    So the current conclusion is to not accept Hamer’s findings as conclusive or as incorrect, but rather to see them more as an interesting piece of a puzzle that may make sense some day. Something is likely going on at Xq28, but we’re not quite sure what yet.

  • http://www.exgaywatch.com Emily K

    David, thank you for clarifying what I was saying. You are exactly right. Anybody confused about my remarks regarding “The Gay Gene” shoudl read David’s comment.

  • http://exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    Timothy, I was going by Francis Collin’s informal remarks to me about Hamer’s results. Beyond that I find it irrelevant to the issue of equal rights and, as Collins also pointed out, to the claim of change. On a scientific level, it’s always fascinating to see new data on this stuff, but I’ve not studied Hamer’s methodology in many years.

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

    yeah, sorry, I was just quibbling over a small inconsequential detail

  • Mary

    David, I , too , find that it is irrelevant to equal rights. Whether or not, gays deserve the same rights in marriage, life, employment, etc…

  • http://exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    I’m glad to know that, Mary. Thanks.

  • http://www.debbiethurman.com Debbie Thurman

    As Timothy might say, either give an example of any reputable LGBT organization claiming Hamar found a “gay gene” or apologize.

    Is there any LGBT organization that has not claimed at one time or another that gays are born that way, without proof to make the claim? (It was I who brought up Hamer, so the study is irrelevant to Timothy’s question). That means they would have to have relied on a variety of false studies, commissioned by those with a pro-gay bias.

    But Mary is right, although I would state it slightly differently. Proven or not, it has no bearing on discrimination. “Equal rights” in gay parlance is a nebulous term.

  • Mary

    Is there any LGBT organization that has not claimed at one time or another that gays are born that way, without proof to make the claim?

    I hear all the time from my gay friends that it is inborn and in their “genes”. So believe it or not that rumor that was started so long ago has entrenched itself in the culture.

  • stephen

    Good news. I’m now an ordained minister. True. I’ve got the parking sticker to prove it which comes in handy at Walmart. I underwent a rigorous training online that lasted almost 4 minutes. Just like Pat Robertson or my hero Ted Haggard. Since the most profitable ministry these days is the ‘Pray Away the Gay’ that’s whatI l’ll be conducting. Jesus wants me to make money so I look forward to tax exemptions (hey, Debbie!!) and one on one times with Mormons in sweat lodges. Mormon boys are the most destroyed by their families so I’ll do well there.

    Soon as I get my ministry site online I’ll be letting you all know where it’s at.

    Only one question – the online course didn’t get into it – One God, right? I mean, God. Monotheism. OK? So Jesus is… ? God? Or…? Why does he say ‘Forgive me, father.’ Who is father? Or. “Why has’t thou forsaken me?’ (doing oldy-timey for the devout amongst us) Who is thou? Or. If God let’s – him, her. it – self get crucified knowing that it will be resurrected then isn’t that a kind of card trick? An overnight inconvenience? In which case isn’t the whole thing rubbish? Help me here.

    I need to know so I can bring fairies, faggots and dykes to Christ. Any help on the whole Father/Huh? deal would be appreciated.

    Blessings on you all. Amen from my new ordained ministry.

  • Jayhuck

    I’m honestly just sad that they didn’t name it:

    Foundation for Attraction Research and Therapy.

    So close ;)

  • Jayhuck

    Debbie,

    “Equal rights” in gay parlance is a nebulous term.

    I’m not sure I understand what you mean by this Debbie. I thought it better of me to ask than to jump to conclusions

  • Jayhuck

    Debbie,

    Clearly it is wrong to play fast and loose with someone’s work in order to forward an agenda. This has been repeatedly done by gay-rights advocates with other studies, of course. Outright declarations were made that a gay gene had been found years ago. It seems this tit-for-tat will never cease.

    You make it sound as if the way awful way in which anti-gay groups have misused other peoples research can even come close to being compared to gay-rights groups saying they were born this way, when all the evidence they had, all they knew, suggested this was the case. You cannot be suggesting these are somehow comparable? Author after Author of numerous scientific studies over the last many years have had to continue to step forward to admonish these groups working to undermine gay rights.

    What gay rights groups said and what these anti-gay groups have done are nowhere near the same thing. And you wonder why some gay people are upset with some religious folk. In part, its because of talk like this

  • Mary

    I need to know so I can bring fairies, faggots and dykes to Christ. Any help on the whole Father/Huh? deal would be appreciated

    Seriously! Is this your idea of conversation? Stephen you have often remarked about you being a pastor. Act like it.

  • Mary

    And I seriously mean without the sarcasm of insulting people who believe that homosexuality is not what God intended. You might be surprised to find that many well-educated Ivy Leaguers have such thoughts. And they did not earn their degrees or titles of distinction from a matchbook cover.

  • Eddy

    I’m willing to suggest that the methods are extremely comparable.(Shades of a famous Jayhuck tactic…’but it’s true for the other side too”.) It’s time to step down from the damnable high horses and acknowledge that BOTH sides have a tendency to do the same thing.

    Let’s go back to the thread that led to this one. Once again comments were made by ‘the other side’ that Alan Chambers, president of Exodus, admits he still has temptations. The actual context of Alan’s admission were that very much in his life had changed…that he was now happily married, felt fulfilled, had several children. Yet, Jayhuck, folks from your side only reiterate the sound bite ‘admits he still has tempations’ and omit the many changes (fulfilled heterosexual family life, principle among them) to make the case against ‘change’.

    I’ve tried and I can’t see any big difference between that tactic and the supposed tactic that the group from the topic thread used. If you can see it, please explain it.

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    I’ve lost count of the number of times actual researchers have had to admonish anti-gay groups for twisting their research to demonize and undermine gay people. Its far from the same thing. I don’t ever remember a time when researchers had to do this, on this scale, with gay people/groups. I’m sorry, but I’m not going to cow tow to the idea that the way in which these very different groups have gone about talking about homosexuality is truly similar.

  • Jayhuck

    What some religious groups have done to smear, demonize and undermine gay people, what they’ve done to further their agenda, is beyond dishonest, it is evil.

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    Yet, Jayhuck, folks from your side only reiterate the sound bite ‘admits he still has tempations’ and omit the many changes (fulfilled heterosexual family life, principle among them) to make the case against ‘change’.

    Well, he still does have temptations obviously, and that’s probably important to talk about, but it seems, lately, at least on this blog, no one wants to begrudge him his happiness. If he is fulfilled, that’s great. Allen’s statements probably wouldn’t have been such a big deal if he hadn’t worked so hard to prevent gay couples from enjoying the same kind of life he lauds.

  • carole

    Carole, I am not saying it’s impossible that science may prove the causation of sexual orientation. I just don’t think it’s very important — like advances in medicine, food, a home, an education, etc. The way I see it, it really doesn’t matter why people are gay or straight. I think much too much time and resources have been wasted trying to find the “cause” and then “cure” it.

    I would like to suggest that you look at the broader picture, Michael, of the study of the sex drive and of mating. The study of sexuality is only partly about the study of the origins of orientation/attractions, just a part of it. The media concentrates on sexual orientation right now only because of the political issues surrounding it, but researchers have always sought to understand this aspect of our nature.

    For example, just a week or so ago, a team of researchers came up with evidence of something scientists (as well as lay people) have suspected all along–that violence and the sex drive are linked in a not unsubstantial population of humans. For decades the crime stats all over the world have shown the correlation between the two and researchers have suspected that the centers for aggressive behavior that leads to violent acts and the center for sexual excitation may be very close together and that , in some people, there is, so to speak, “cross-wiring” .

    They found such a thing, finally, in their latest experiment on rats, and they believe they will find the same with human beings. You can see how such studies can lead to a greater understanding of how the brain works and how we might proceed one day to seek ways to prevent violence of this kind.

    In the primitive brain lies our basic instincts, including our drive to mate, our drive to eat, our drive to protect ourselves and our own, our propensity to visit violence upon others. We can’t separate them even if we wanted for to understand one leads to an understanding of the others.

    This is just one of many reasons researchers study sexuality. I won’t even go all the physical anthropologists and the population geneticists learn from it, but I’ll simply re-state that orientation is but one small part of the topic and to ignore one subcategory is to rob us of an understanding of the other subcategories and thus, the larger picture.

  • carole

    Correction– I said, ” just a week or so ago, a team of researchers came up with evidence of something scientists….”

    I meant that this research was reported about a week or so ago. (I know, minor point).

  • Lynn David

    It is strange that the Latter Day Saint group called Foundation for Attraction Research chose to publish in the opinion section of a newspaper. It is fitting that they were rebuked in the same. But since when is science pronounced in such a venue? If the Foundation for Attraction Research has empirically researched facts let them provide them to the scientific community in the appropriate journal. But a newspaper’s “Opinion” section? Well, the name says it all.

  • Lynn David

    I hope the two BYU professors’ positions are not in trouble over this.

  • http://www.debbiethurman.com Debbie Thurman

    Jayhuck, the double standard that clearly exists prevents anyone on the gay side from being censured. Science and gay research are in bed together.

  • http://www.debbiethurman.com Debbie Thurman

    Allen’s statements probably wouldn’t have been such a big deal if he hadn’t worked so hard to prevent gay couples from enjoying the same kind of life he lauds.

    Wow. Talk about a backward statement. The kind of life “he lauds” is not what you are seeking.

  • http://www.debbiethurman.com Debbie Thurman

    Equal rights for gays. It presumes there is a right to same-sex marriage and parenting. But where is that right laid out?

  • Jayhuck

    Debbie,

    What it presumes is that there is a right to marriage!

    Jayhuck, the double standard that clearly exists prevents anyone on the gay side from being censured. Science and gay research are in bed together.

    Clearly you cannot seem to see the difference between the way anti-groups twist science to spill vitriol against gay people, to demonize and undermine them and the way gay people try and explain themselves.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Debbie said:

    Jayhuck, the double standard that clearly exists prevents anyone on the gay side from being censured. Science and gay research are in bed together.

    I think someone above asked for evidence of this and I would like at least one example to know what you mean. I have made a small sideline in debunking various claims over the years and have looked at all sides and debunked various claims. Having done that, I don’t believe the evidence supports your claim in the absolutistic way you make it. Let me give you an example that cuts the other way.

    Michael Bailey is one of the researchers often criticized by evangelicals for his early twin studies with Pillard. He used convenience samples and got a very high heritability for homosexuality. However, he continued to do twin studies and reported a much lower heritability in 2000. He acknowledged in the paper that his earlier twin studies were off because of sampling bias and reported the newer much lower numbers accurately. Here is an example of scientific self-correction. I would be hard pressed to find a similar example on this issue among evangelicals.

  • Eddy

    folks from your side only reiterate the sound bite ‘admits he still has tempations’ and omit the many changes (fulfilled heterosexual family life, principle among them) to make the case against ‘change’.

    I’ve tried and I can’t see any big difference between that tactic and the supposed tactic that the group from the topic thread used. If you can see it, please explain it.

    I’m sorry, but I’m not going to cow tow to the idea that the way in which these very different groups have gone about talking about homosexuality is truly similar.

    First of all, it’s ‘kowtow’ not ‘cow tow’. Secondly, I’ll accept the fact that you can’t explain the difference…that you won’t even try.

    What some religious groups have done to smear, demonize and undermine gay people, what they’ve done to further their agenda, is beyond dishonest, it is evil.

    LOL. What do you know? Shall we do a Jayhuck here? “What some gay groups have done to smear, demonize and undermine conservative religious people, what they’ve done to further their agenda, is beyond dishonest, it is evil.” Surely, you’ll say it isn’t so and just as surely you’ll be spouting firmly held opinions not facts.

  • Eddy

    Clearly you cannot seem to see the difference between the way anti-groups twist science to spill vitriol against gay people, to demonize and undermine them and the way gay people try and explain themselves.

    This type of hyperbolic statement frustrates the discussion. In the main topic thread, we have the challenge that an ‘ex-gay group’ improperly used (i.e. twisted) a scientific conclusion. However, there is absolutely no evidence or suggestion that they used it ‘to spill vitriol against gay people, to demonize and undermine them’…they used the comment only to support the legitimacy of having an ‘ex-gay group’.

  • http://www.debbiethurman.com Debbie Thurman

    What it presumes is that there is a right to marriage!

    It presumes there is a right to redefine marriage. And the first state to do it did it without due legislative process, to boot.

  • http://www.debbiethurman.com Debbie Thurman

    Having done that, I don’t believe the evidence supports your claim in the absolutistic way you make it.

    I did make my statement appear too absolutist. But I will work on finding some evidence that supports it. Do you at least agree that it is difficult to get a peer-reviewed article in a mainstream scientific journal that is antithetical to homosexuality as a normal variance?

  • Eddy

    Warren,

    If the newly formed LDS group had used the same quotes (to support their own view that it’s ‘learned’ or ‘conditioned’) but stated clearly that the author of the quotes was not speaking to the issue of change and was not making any value judgements re the homosexual condition…if that were the case, would there still be objection to the LDS group using the quotes?

  • http://www.exgaywatch.com Emily K

    If the only evidence on Debbie’s side, the only thing that can allow her to sleep at night satisfied with her lifestyle choices, is a conspiracy theory (without evidence) that scientific research and the “gay agenda” are “in bed together,” then it’s probably safe to assume she can’t bring about the evidence Warren, et al requested.

  • http://www.exgaywatch.com Emily K

    I’d like to add that it’s a classic example of what happens to those entrenched in their views when solid evidence starts to trickle in to oppose them. There are people out there who deny heliocentrism and have to resort to conspiracy theories about “science being in bed with heliocentrists.”

    People thoroughly entrenched will never change their views; they’ll always find a way to convince themselves they are correct. One common example is by saying that gays politically manipulated the 1973 decision to remove homosexuality from the DSM. You know, with all our gay money, power, and influence we had 4 decades ago.

    Maybe they had help from the Elders of Zion.

  • Eddy

    People thoroughly entrenched will never change their views; they’ll always find a way to convince themselves they are correct.

    EmilyK–

    All evidence points to the fact that you are ‘people’ too. And your comments suggest that you also are ‘thoroughly entrenched’ and ‘will never change (your) views’.

    It’s a tad unfortunate that you’ve reduced the possible influences to money, power and influence.

    If this were an actual productive conversation rather than a ‘tit for tat’, I’d even be willing to share some of the other viable possibilities.

  • preston

    Emily, I think even many on the pro-gay side acknowledge the intense pressure and lack of science that went into the 1973 DSM travesty.

    Jayhuck, it’s very politically incorrect these days to be gay skeptical so your spasms about the supposed vitriol and demonization are not compelling.

    I wouldn’t say gay research and science are in bed with each other but it is very clear that the gay agenda has made it exceedingly difficult to get the necessary research performed and published. This makes sense since so much is riding on the prevention and censorship of non-gay-affirming evidence.

    Timothy asked for some examples where the pro-gays distort. Here are 3 majors distortions that almost all gay supports distort:

    1) the 10% myth. blatantly distorted for decades despite overwhelming evidence towards low-mid single digits.

    2) the 50% twin number (they’ve backed down a very little bit on this)(i’ve never even met a single pair of twins who were both gay!)

    3) both the researchers and those reporting on the research rarely consider a developmental theory. This goes for paternal birth order, observation in other animals, twin studies, gay uncle, brain chemistry, etc. Their speculation is always hereditary and pre-natal.

  • Mary

    I wouldn’t say gay research and science are in bed with each other but it is very clear that the gay agenda has made it exceedingly difficult to get the necessary research performed and published.

    Agreed.

  • http://www.debbiethurman.com Debbie Thurman

    I wouldn’t say gay research and science are in bed with each other but it is very clear that the gay agenda has made it exceedingly difficult to get the necessary research performed and published. This makes sense since so much is riding on the prevention and censorship of non-gay-affirming evidence.

    Maybe this is the more accurate statement. There is a clear bias. Not sure who’s in bed with whom. It’s not absolute, of course. That was inferred.

  • preston

    And Timothy, if there’s anyone who deserves an apology, it is the countless number of people you’ve misled into not trying to help themselves. Why do you even care if people try to deal with their feelings in other manners? What a bizarre mission you’re on.

  • Teresa

    I

    I wouldn’t say gay research and science are in bed with each other but it is very clear that the gay agenda has made it exceedingly difficult to get the necessary research performed and published. This makes sense since so much is riding on the prevention and censorship of non-gay-affirming evidence.

    Where is the evidence for this statement? What necessary research is being blocked from being performed and published?

    The Evangelical Community, the Catholics, and the LDS are very wealthy communities … wealth beyond are imagining. They are all very influential on many social levels. Why aren’t they doing the “necessary research” that you say is being blocked? They have every reason to want to see this kind of research undertaken, have the necessary Ph.D.’s to do it, and the money and universities to do it. Why don’t they?

    The LDS pretty much drives the economy of Utah, Nevada, Idaho, northern New Mexico, some parts of Wyoming, and Montana. The Catholics have money, universities, and plenty of clout throughout the U.S. The Evangelicals, the same.

    Let’s not kid ourselves about who’s in bed with whom. Everybody has an agenda, prejudice, and believes they are the only ones that are right.

  • preston

    For starters, the APA opposes it. If you don’t believe that or that it has a depressing effect on the research and treatment, I’m not sure we can have a reasonable conversation.

  • Eddy

    The Evangelical Community, the Catholics, and the LDS are very wealthy communities … wealth beyond are imagining. They are all very influential on many social levels.

    LOL! ‘The Evangelical Community‘. Teresa can’t imagine the wealth…heck, I can’t imagine this ‘community’ she speaks of. Do the Baptists pool their wealth together with the Assemblies of God and then they all get together for picnics and such and dream up ways to spend it????

    This so reminds me of the nut-jobs who often declared that those of us who were in ex-gay ministry were getting rich by the infusion of evangelical dollars being funnelled our way…this while I was co-director of one of the most influential ex-gay ministries and taking home $80 a week. No medical, no dental, no hidden perks like a house or car. The only ‘hidden perk’ was that I lived in a Christian household where I could work my monthly rent down to zero if I put in 8 hours worth of work into the house.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    preston – To be sure, you are not engaged in a reasonable conversation.

    Teresa makes an excellent point. NARTH has been in existence for over a decade and they have produced one study. When I was involved in NARTH I brought this up and presented research I funded at one of their conferences. However, did NARTH pick up on the necessary research program to validate reparative therapy? No. Believe me, if they did the research, it would be dismal.

  • http://www.debbiethurman.com Debbie Thurman

    So, Warren, are there scientists out there who would conduct research on change or etiology who do not have a pro-gay bias? Is funding an issue?

  • Preston

    Warren, true. The conversations would be more reasonable when you believed this: http://www.drthrockmorton.com/research.asp

    Do you have a summary anywhere that describes your change of heart?

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    On the matter of “gay gene(s)” — personally, I think it’s important to be open to the possibility of multiple etiologies for “homosexualities”, rather than assuming there is a single phenomenon with a single etiology. So it’s possible that one individual’s homosexuality might be thoroughly non-genetic in origin, while another person’s homosexuality is entirely genetic.

    That point made, I’m not convinced that there are gay gene(s), but I certainly believe there could be, and my reason for thinking this is that it would absolutely flabbergast me if there were no such thing as “straight gene(s)” — i.e., if there were NO genetic predisposition for heterosexuality in humans.

    Evidence for non-human species having a non-learned, purely instinctive capacity to distinguish male from female, and to preferentially direct their mating attempts towards the opposite sex, seems to be so ubiquitous that I think it very unlikely that “genetic heterosexuality” would have simply disappeared late in hominid evolution and been replaced by a socially-acquired heterosexuality that juveniles learn by imitating adult behaviors.

    To date, such “heterosexuality genes” have not been identified in humans. But since I think it’s reasonable to take for granted that they are THERE, and will someday be identified.

    And if there are indeed “straight genes,” it seems to me almost statistically inevitable that “gayness” could occasionally occur as an accidental side-effect of the very genes whose usual effect is to “cause heterosexuality.”

    In short, if you accept the possibility of heterosexuality itself being “genetically hardwired,” then I think you’re forced to accept as a corollary that the occasional “miswiring” could in fact result in “hardwired homosexuality.”

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    Just following up on my previous post: I think it’s mighty silly when people fixate on “the cause of homosexuality” while failing to realize that we don’t know the cause of heterosexuality, either — and that reframing the question as “what causes heterosexuality” is a perfectly valid direction to tackle the mystery of homosexuality.

    By the way, when I’m talking about the “cause of heterosexuality,” I mean the mechanisms by which we get from, say, a half-dozen genes each coding for a different protein, to the observed phenotype of most men being so responsive to women that they can get satisfaction from looking at a printed photograph of a naked woman, and there is a multi-billion-dollar industry catering to this. (NB: Ultimately, that’s ALL that any individual gene does: it codes for the synthesis of one highly specific protein.)

    I’m not asking the simple question “why are most people heterosexual?”, because that in itself can be answered by the banal truism that Natural Selection would tend to favor “heterosexuality genes.” But that doesn’t explain the actual function of these hypothetical “straightness genes.”

    I’m asking, instead, “How does nature ensure that most live-birth XY babies will grow up to be attracted to females, and not to other males?” And if there are “straight genes,” what exactly is it that they do?

  • Michael Bussee

    I think it’s mighty silly when people fixate on “the cause of homosexuality” while failing to realize that we don’t know the cause of heterosexuality, either — and that reframing the question as “what causes heterosexuality” is a perfectly valid direction to tackle the mystery of homosexuality.

    I completely agree.

  • Mary

    I think it’s mighty silly when people fixate on “the cause of homosexuality” while failing to realize that we don’t know the cause of heterosexuality, either — and that reframing the question as “what causes heterosexuality” is a perfectly valid direction to tackle the mystery of homosexuality

    I think that by allowing people to go into therapy and look at their sexual development is a good start at looking at the development of sexuality – gay or straight. However, that is being guided by gay affirming therapists at this point and time in history.

  • carole

    Michael,

    Like I said above in a post to you,

    I

    would like to suggest that you look at the broader picture, Michael, of the study of the sex drive and of mating. The study of sexuality is only partly about the study of the origins of orientation/attractions, just a part of it. The media concentrates on sexual orientation right now only because of the political issues surrounding it, but researchers have always sought to understand this aspect of our nature.

  • Eddy

    I think it’s mighty silly when people fixate on “the cause of homosexuality” while failing to realize that we don’t know the cause of heterosexuality, either — and that reframing the question as “what causes heterosexuality” is a perfectly valid direction to tackle the mystery of homosexuality.

    If only we would actually DO this instead of inserting it in a conversation as a clever retort! What DOES cause heterosexuality? Or as I asked (I think on the related thread that this one sprang from) what is the ‘real thing’ when it comes to heterosexuality? I was only partly facetious when I introduced Charlie Sheen into the conversation. However, many people would presume him to be as heterosexual as you can get…while his version of heterosexuality is reprehensible to many others. Did he simply get an extra dose of ‘the real thing’ or is there something we can learn about real heterosexuality from examining his exaggerated form. When it comes to the ‘real thing’, there seems to be a general sense that ‘normal heterosexuality’ certainly isn’t attraction to just one member of the opposite sex. In fact, the term ‘spouso-sexual’ has been coined to label ex-gays who develop attraction for only one partner. Are there people (men in particular) who, having never been gay, are still spouso-sexual.

    As an ex-gay who has never been sexual with a woman, I recognize female beauty…I’m distracted by cleavage…I recognize that Eva Longoria is far more physically appealing than Roseann Barr. Are we suggesting that a normal heterosexual needs to go a step further and actually ‘want’ or ‘desire’ more than just their partner? And what about those men who have fallen in love with women who aren’t ‘model pretty’? If attraction is all about physicality, what’s up with that?

    More questions still: How much of sexuality is in fact sexual? Is attraction just the desire for sex or are there other built in components. Desire for companionship, to propagate, to pass on your genes, to grow personally in an ‘other challenged’ relationship. (I’m sure there are more questions related to ‘what causes heterosexuality’ but it is a shame that hardly anyone seems to be asking them.)

    I personally believe that, although as a society we give lip-service to liberalism, the truth is that sex is still a touchy subject for many…including many in the field of psychology. We don’t know what to make of Charlie Sheen and his two live-in girlfriends. Many aren’t sure whether to emulate him or be disgusted. Because at the bottom line, we don’t know what heterosexuality is.

    Ironically, that’s a problem that didn’t always exist. It was understood that we were all sexual. But then all the different versions of sexual expression wanted their own names and we were happy to oblige. Heterosexual, homosexual, bi sexual, transsexual. (Again, I’ve likely missed some…oh, yeah, I forgot spousosexual for one.) But complete definitions didn’t come along with the names and we make up new names as they’re needed.

    While in the ministry, we encountered several men who believed themselves to be transsexual…they felt that they were women trapped in men’s bodies. The twist was that they desired sex with women and had no desire for sex with men. If they were successful in gaining access to sex-reassignment surgery, they would then, by the conventional definition, be lesbians. They wanted to have sex with a woman but as a woman. (We coined the term ‘translesual’ to describe these folks but, although I’ve heard of more instances of this, the numbers are small enough that the term has never come into common usage.)

    Going back to the opening quote. I think that asking the question ‘what causes heterosexuality’ is a valid and needed area of study for science to pursue. However, while science avoids the question, individuals uncomfortable for any reason with their own homosexuality should not be steered away from asking ‘what causes homosexuality’. Since it’s their life and their feelings, it makes sense to address the question that hits closer to home.

  • http://wthrockmorton.com Warren

    @ Debbie – Yes, funding is an issue. Bailey and I want to do a brain scan study of exgays but no one will fund it. I have asked Christian groups and Bailey progay groups and no takers.

  • Mary

    Warren,

    No grants, nothing?

  • Teresa

    LOL! ‘The Evangelical Community‘. Teresa can’t imagine the wealth…heck, I can’t imagine this ‘community’ she speaks of. Do the Baptists pool their wealth together with the Assemblies of God and then they all get together for picnics and such and dream up ways to spend it????

    This so reminds me of the nut-jobs who often declared that those of us who were in ex-gay ministry were getting rich by the infusion of evangelical dollars being funnelled our way…this while I was co-director of one of the most influential ex-gay ministries and taking home $80 a week. No medical, no dental, no hidden perks like a house or car. The only ‘hidden perk’ was that I lived in a Christian household where I could work my monthly rent down to zero if I put in 8 hours worth of work into the house.

    If the Southern Baptists didn’t want to sponsor your evangelical ex-gay groups, it’s not because they don’t have the money. And, that’s clearly a fact. And, aren’t Southern Baptists considered Evangelical by most standards? If not, then I stand corrected about the Evangelicals.

    If the LDS wanted to fund research, they have all the resources at their command.

    If the Catholics wanted to fund research, they have all the resources at their command.

    Resources: money, universities, qualified Ph.D.’s, therapists … all the requisites to undertake serious research.

    Why don’t they?

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    If only we would actually DO this instead of inserting it in a conversation as a clever retort!

    Daryl Bem’s “Exotic Becomes Erotic” (EBE) hypothesis for sexual orientation is noteworthy in that it recognizes right from the outset that heterosexual orientation also requires an explanation, and Bem criticizes the frequent assumption that only the exceptional case need be explained.

    If anything, you can argue that Bem tries too hard to develop a single-etiology, Grand Unified Theory of sexual orientation, and thus his EBE hypothesis may discourage people from considering multiple-etiology theories.

    But nonetheless, without necessarily endorsing EBE, I often recommend it for people to “chew on,” because it attempts to provide an explanation for why we don’t observe, e.g., that 50% of the population is hetero and 50% is homo (as we might expect to be the outcome if orientation were caused by infants of either sex “imprinting” more strongly on one parent than the other) — in other words, it recognizes that the strong skew towards hetero needs some sort of mechanism, every bit as much as the homosexual exceptions need a mechanism. And it also attempts to argue that orientation is indirectly rooted in genetics without actually positing either “straight genes” or “gay genes.”

    I think both of these points (that heterosexuality is not yet “explained,” and that genetic influences do not necessarily work in a simple and direct way) are well worth discussing even if you ultimately conclude that EBE fails as a hypothesis.

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    I believe I was created gay. I don’t think it’s primarily genetic — although genes may play a part. I don’t believe it is “learned” or that it is broken, sinful or disordered. I think it’s part of my divine soul. A mystery that science will never completely explain. A gift from God.

    I more or less agree with the sentiment of this, except that I would say “an assignment from God to me, a gift from myself to me” — to emphasize that homosexuality is a morally neutral thing that some individuals make into a soul-corroding curse, and other individuals make into a soul-enriching gift. And just to be clear, when I say that “homosexuality is a morally neutral thing,” I mean both the inward desire and its outward, physical consummation.

    But in asserting that homosexuality can “enrich the soul,” I am not attempting to argue that homosexuality is better than heterosexuality, or even equal to heterosexuality. I am arguing that homosexuality can have real positive value, even if on balance it ends up being less valuable than heterosexuality.

  • Teresa

    But in asserting that homosexuality can “enrich the soul,” I am not attempting to argue that homosexuality is better than heterosexuality, or even equal to heterosexuality. I am arguing that homosexuality can have real positive value, even if on balance it ends up being less valuable than heterosexuality.

    Throbert,

    This is an area that I think really is overlooked. I see the issue surrounding this as pretty stone-deaf to the talents that come with homosexuality. The Church only emphasizes the ‘disorder’ … and, it’s pretty easy to take that statement as meaning the whole of us.

    I see so much talent that is easily dismissed or overlooked, because somehow saying that creative talent/genius is quite abundant in the gay community, would somehow blunt the ‘moral tone’ that the Christian Community wants to send.

    Thank you for noting this, Throbert.

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    I see the issue surrounding this as pretty stone-deaf to the talents that come with homosexuality

    Teresa, that was very well said. In fact, you said it better than I did, because I was only thinking about the possibility that an individual might become more nurturing, more stoic, more generous, more tolerant, more funny, etc. as a result of having a long-term homosexual relationship with another person of the same sex who already had these qualities.

    As you note, however, some homosexuals may have “talents” that are related to their homosexuality, but that are beneficial to the general community around them, and not only to themselves and their intimate partners.

    To take a familiar example, there is some evidence that Michelangelo was sexually attracted to other males — though trying to apply categories like “straight, bi, gay” to him is problematic, because he’s dead and we can’t ask him what his masturbatory fantasies are about.

    Nonetheless, there’s abundant evidence that he wasn’t “strictly hetero” or “homo-averse” — and if there is even a slight correlation between his artistic genius and his “not-totally-straight”-ness, why on earth would any sane person even discuss the idea of trying to weed out that “homo-tendency” from the human genetic pool?

  • Lynn David

    Throbert McGee….. To date, such “heterosexuality genes” have not been identified in humans. But since I think it’s reasonable to take for granted that they are THERE, and will someday be identified. And if there are indeed “straight genes,” it seems to me almost statistically inevitable that “gayness” could occasionally occur as an accidental side-effect of the very genes whose usual effect is to “cause heterosexuality.” In short, if you accept the possibility of heterosexuality itself being “genetically hardwired,” then I think you’re forced to accept as a corollary that the occasional “miswiring” could in fact result in “hardwired homosexuality.”

    It’s called gene expression and one UCLA study has associated it with an X-chromosome that fails to shut down (methylate).

  • Jayhuck

    Preston,

    And Timothy, if there’s anyone who deserves an apology, it is the countless number of people you’ve misled into not trying to help themselves. Why do you even care if people try to deal with their feelings in other manners? What a bizarre mission you’re on.

    Oh please! Good grief!

  • Eddy

    Why would we presume that Michaelangelo’s artistic temperament sprang somehow from his gayness (to whatever extent it may have existed) and not consider that the artistic temperament came first and perhaps became a set up for the development of homo-desires.

    As an artist, he was likely more sensitive…more aware of his surroundings. His consumption with things artistic might have ‘set him apart’ from other males creating a sense of deficit for male bonding. The intensity of his artistic passion may have made the pursuit of marriage and family impossible in his eyes.

    When I’ve tried to discuss the issue of ‘gay identity’ in times past on this blog, the conversation often got stonewalled…but I’ve known many men who presumed that their sensitivity, bookishness, non-aggressiveness, compassion, etc. were part of their ‘gay self’. I’ve known many others who see a male who exhibits these qualities and wonder if they aren’t symptoms of homosexuality…sometimes even suggesting to the individual that they are likely gay.

    I reject the notion that these traits are exclusively gay. If nothing else, it paints a poor picture of the straight male suggesting that he lacks in these qualities. WARNING: Pet Theory once again: In the media portrayal, if a man possesses more than two of the qualities I listed, we will eventually learn that he’s either gay or a psychopath about to go on a rampage. What effect might such repeated images have on a young man who possesses these traits? How might that impact his own sense of sexual identity?

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    First of all, it’s ‘kowtow’ not ‘cow tow’. Secondly, I’ll accept the fact that you can’t explain the difference…that you won’t even try.

    My apologies. As always, I appreciate the spelling correction. I was in a hurry this morning, and blurry-eyed to boot. And hey, I’m from Kansas, so – well, um – anyway, I apologize for the error :)

    LOL. What do you know? Shall we do a Jayhuck here? “What some gay groups have done to smear, demonize and undermine conservative religious people, what they’ve done to further their agenda, is beyond dishonest, it is evil.” Surely, you’ll say it isn’t so and just as surely you’ll be spouting firmly held opinions not facts.

    Nice try, but honestly I can’t think of a single gay group suggesting that conservative religious groups were responsible for Nazi totalitarianism, or who work to make it illegal for conservative religious folk to be able to marry the person they love, or who say they don’t deserve to raise children, etc, etc. C’mon Eddy! Surely you can do better than this.

    At some point you have to realize you are comparing apples and oranges here. Conservative religious people have been attacking gay people even before gay individuals began banding together in earnest to fight them. Think of all the awful things spouted by Anita Bryant in the 70′s.

  • Jayhuck

    Nor, can I think of any gay groups who:

    Propose forcing conservative evangelicals into some sort of reparative therapy, or who advocate criminalizing people who practice evangelical Christianity, or who claim most Evangelicals are pedophiles, or who suggest backing the death penalty for Evangelicals, or who blame Evangelicals for the deterioration of the family – or – Do you really want me to go on, because I have a longer list Eddy! – LOL

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    Gay people were forced into having to defend themselves from, well as long as I can remember and as far back into “gay liberation” history as I’ve read. If conservative Christians are somehow upset about what gay people are saying now, especially about them, they really only have themselves to blame.

  • Jayhuck

    long = long ago

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    When I’ve tried to discuss the issue of ‘gay identity’ in times past on this blog, the conversation often got stonewalled…but I’ve known many men who presumed that their sensitivity, bookishness, non-aggressiveness, compassion, etc. were part of their ‘gay self’. I’ve known many others who see a male who exhibits these qualities and wonder if they aren’t symptoms of homosexuality…sometimes even suggesting to the individual that they are likely gay.

    I don’t think these stereotypes are as much a part of the gay youth in this country. In my admittedly limited experience, when I’ve talked to younger gay individuals they don’t seem to automatically make these sorts of assumptions anymore, although I’m sure there are some who do, and it doesn’t seem to be that individuals with these characteristics automatically make this assumption about themselves. It would be interesting to know exactly how the gay youth of today differ in thought and practice from the gay people who came before them.

  • Teresa

    I reject the notion that these traits are exclusively gay.

    Eddy,

    No one implied that these traits are exclusively gay. Where did you read that?

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    Why would we presume that Michaelangelo’s artistic temperament sprang somehow from his gayness (to whatever extent it may have existed) and not consider that the artistic temperament came first and perhaps became a set up for the development of homo-desires.

    This is a good point, Eddy — acknowledging that Michelangelo’s artistic gifts were in some way linked to his attraction to males should not make us assume that his “gayness” somehow “made him artistic.” As you note, it could be that the artistic temperament came first, and the homoerotic leanings developed from that.

    Or it could be that both the homosexuality and the artistry were effects of the same underlying cause, but without either one causing the other.

  • preston

    Regardless, it’s ridiculous to support something merely because someone like Michelangelo might have been it. Should we be happy that Abe Lincoln was not gay? It’s just a dumb road to go down.

    Jayhuck, are you capable of providing a thoughtful response to any of this?

  • preston

    For all of those critiquing my posting, please go read Warren’s research. It reflects very accurately my sentiments. He probably says it better than I. http://drthrockmorton.com/research.asp

  • Jayhuck

    Preston,

    Jayhuck, are you capable of providing a thoughtful response to any of this?

    I’ve provided plenty! We are still waiting for you to do the same.

  • http://www.debbiethurman.com Debbie Thurman

    Nor, can I think of any gay groups who:

    Propose forcing conservative evangelicals into some sort of reparative therapy, or who advocate criminalizing people who practice evangelical Christianity,

    Well, now, that’s an interesting statement, Jayhuck. I would submit that a well-heeled consortium of gay groups are indeed forcing Christians into a group-think corner in order to repair their perceived un-Christian beliefs abou, you know. The damage much be ameliorated. And if not, they may find themselves in a place where expressing certain kinds of “Christian thought” may, indeed, be criminalized. Already has, in some places.

  • http://www.debbiethurman.com Debbie Thurman

    @ Debbie – Yes, funding is an issue. Bailey and I want to do a brain scan study of exgays but no one will fund it. I have asked Christian groups and Bailey progay groups and no takers.

    Who funds the other studies?

  • http://www.exgaywatch.com Emily K

    And if not, they may find themselves in a place where expressing certain kinds of “Christian thought” may, indeed, be criminalized. Already has, in some places.

    I think that the recent SCOTUS case involving the Phelps clan shows that even the most vile rhetoric spoken as religious opposition to gays cannot be criminalized in this country. So all this talk of socially conservative pastors being arrested for preaching on a sunday is bunk.

    Now, if you’re referencing cases in, for example, Canada, the UK, and Sweden, I can’t speak to those since my political involvement regarding equality is limited to America, my home nation. I am not aware that those countries have the kind of free-speech protections that we are fortunate to have.

  • http://www.exgaywatch.com Emily K

    The above comment I made is still beside the point. So-called Christian groups like the AFA and other classified hate groups spread vile lies about gays and call for us to be “re-educated” and our private actions to be criminalized simply because they are found unpalatable to certain people.

    I know of no mainstream lgbtq organization that seeks the same of Christianity. I do know of several gay and gay-supportive Christian organizations, however.

  • Eddy

    Nice try, but honestly I can’t think of a single gay group suggesting that conservative religious groups were responsible for Nazi totalitarianism, or who work to make it illegal for conservative religious folk to be able to marry the person they love, or who say they don’t deserve to raise children, etc, etc.

    I do feel sorry about the things you can’t think of…it must be a disabling problem. You see, I was around and active in ministry (before any ministry got suckered into making any political statements) and gays were calling us Nazis. I’ve witnessed the outrageous public displays of The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and their mockery of Christians and their values. I have learned of several instances where the right of a couple to adopt was questioned because they identified as Christians. In one recent example, the couple was denied the right to adopt because they believed homosexual behavior was sin.

    If conservative Christians are somehow upset about what gay people are saying now, especially about them, they really only have themselves to blame.

    Don’t know the reasoning behind this follow up post. No one said anything about them being upset. I simply turned your statement around.

    Re your comments in response to mine on identity. I appreciate your fleshing out my theory a bit more. As we all know, I could go on for quite a while about the dynamics of identity. My comment went primarily to media influence and the impact that media stereotypes have. And I believe it’s a given that the media both caters to the masses (i.e. give them what they want. identify with what triggers them) and influences the masses (i.e. tells them what they want, how they ought to feel.)

    Teresa-

    My apologies if it came across to you that I read that somewhere on the blog. It was intended just to be a strong statement of my position juxtaposed against the self-identifying conclusions of the folks I cited in the preceding paragraph.

  • Eddy

    The recent SCOTUS decision dealt with a specific case of legality. The father of the serviceman sought legal damages against Westboro based on what they had done. (Had done is important here.)

    Westboro (unfortunately) had broken no existing laws. Neither the father or the son were gay and they were the principles in the case. They were the victims. So the court walked the line that it did.

    IF Westboro had taken their statements to the funeral of a gay man, their anti-gay messages would have been seen not as ‘political speech’ but as ‘hate speech’ and, I’m convinced, would have been judged to be criminal.

  • http://www.exgaywatch.com Emily K

    Since the united states doesn’t have “hate speech” laws, they wouldn’t have broken any law and so long as they stayed in the boundaries of protected protest zones (which they always are careful to do) they would not have been arrested.

    And I think they carry the “God Hates Fags” signs wherever they go. I believe most of the things they protest, they do so because they are in some way related to not treating gays like pariahs.

  • http://www.exgaywatch.com Emily K

    also, calling someone a Nazi, as foolish and myopic as it is, isn’t the same thing as penning a book that attempts to prove a vulnerable minority group perpetuated the entire Holocaust.

    Not a single pastor in the united states has been arrested since sexual orientation has been granted protection status under hate crimes laws.

    as for the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, well, come on. of course there are going to be ridiculous gay groups acting up. I believe that Act Up is one of them, in fact.

    Compare that to the LGBTQ wings of Unitarian Universalism, the Metropolitan Community Church, and Soulforce, 3 groups that have a much wider audience and membership – all three of whom support and preach Christianity, even if it’s a Christianity here people consider blasphemous and false.

  • http://www.exgaywatch.com Emily K

    I’d ALSO like to add that no matter how riotous groups like the Sisters of Perpetual Induglence may be, they do not have NEARLY the political and financial muscle that groups like Focus on the Family, Concerned Women for America, and NOM do.

  • Mary

    Besides talking about groups of people and swathing statments about others – can we at least focus on individuals whom we are in communication with here. Do any of you really think that since we have the opportunity here to bridge some gaps that making grand and broad accusations of the other persons so called group is going to get us any farther along in a cooperative community of citizens?

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    IF Westboro had taken their statements to the funeral of a gay man, their anti-gay messages would have been seen not as ‘political speech’ but as ‘hate speech’ and, I’m convinced, would have been judged to be criminal.

    News flash for ya, Eddy: Westboro has taken their statements to the funerals of gay men — with Matt Shepherd’s funeral being the most high-profile of them that I’m aware of, but not the only one.

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    Calling someone a Nazi and trying to link an entire group of people to ACTUAL Nazis are two entirely different things. You don’t seem to have gotten the message so I will post a longer list when I get home ;)

    I do feel sorry about the things you can’t think of…it must be a disabling problem

    I appreciate your concern

  • http://jontrouten.blogspot.com/ Jon Trouten

    News flash for ya, Eddy: Westboro has taken their statements to the funerals of gay men — with Matt Shepherd’s funeral being the most high-profile of them that I’m aware of, but not the only one.

    Heck, that’s how they started out: exclusively protesting the funerals of gay people — most of whom were not public figures by any means. They were just gay men or women. There was not widespread condemnation of Westboro’s funeral-protesting tactics until they began protesting the funerals of soldiers and officers.

  • Jay

    I have learned of several instances where the right of a couple to adopt was questioned because they identified as Christians.

    This is an unfortunate result of hate crimes laws, and working to make sure all people have equal rights. It is also an injustice that will hopefully be rectified in the future.

    HOWEVER, this is not because gay groups were out to directly prevent conservative Christians from adopting kids. This isn’t similar at all to the way in which conservative Christian groups work to create legislation to forbid all gay people from adopting, or from marrying, or from raising a family. The scope of and reason for the problem isn’t anywhere near the same.

  • Jay

    Well, now, that’s an interesting statement, Jayhuck. I would submit that a well-heeled consortium of gay groups are indeed forcing Christians into a group-think corner in order to repair their perceived un-Christian beliefs abou, you know. The damage much be ameliorated. And if not, they may find themselves in a place where expressing certain kinds of “Christian thought” may, indeed, be criminalized. Already has, in some places.

    I don’t know of any gay groups doing this. I do think there have been some court cases against Evangelical Christians adopting, etc, but these are unfortunate results, in most cases of hate crimes laws. We are in a more turbulent time trying to make rights equal for both groups, gay and conservative Christian, but I believe these rough edges will be ironed out as time goes on. We are just beginning the process.

    However, unlike some Christian groups, no gay group I know of set out with the intention of creating some of these issues.

    If you’d like to see a longer list of injustices inacted on the gay community by some conservative Christian groups I’ll be more than happy to list them

  • William

    Preston:

    And Timothy, if there’s anyone who deserves an apology, it is the countless number of people you’ve misled into not trying to help themselves.

    A typical example of begging the question: this comment assumes that efforts to change one’s sexual orientation are likely to be successful. The general weight of the evidence is that they are not, and that programs which supposedly help people to do so can be harmful. Even where no direct harm is done, I regard the waste of time, and often also money, as sufficient condemnation.

    Eddy:

    You ask what “the real thing” is. I admit that I find this difficult to define precisely, but this much I will say: even a transient, casual sexual encounter whose sole purpose is mutual gratification has more of “the real thing” about it than a sexual relationship entered into simply for the purpose of satisfying a philosophical concept such as “complementarity”. Although I disagree with many of the opinions of the late C.S. Lewis, I think that he was spot on when he observed that if there is one thing worse than sex without love, it is sex without even lust. (He was referring to the disagreeableness of a prostitute’s work when he wrote that, but I think that it is more than applicable here also.)

  • Eddy

    Agreed. And yet I don’t recall that anyone took them to court over it until Snyder’s dad did. If someone with cause…someone for whom it was personalized hate speech…had taken them to court, I believe the results would have been different. In any case, I’m praying that this WILL be the case. I watched Phelps’ daughter being interviewed on TV this morning and I strongly feel that theirs is an arrogance that needs to be checked. I don’t think they fully understood the ruling either and believe that they have been given free reign. Perhaps as they go even more over the top and beyond the bounds of decency, they’ll get their legal comeuppance.

  • http://www.debbiethurman.com Debbie Thurman

    About the time that Matthew Shepard was murdered and the Phelps clan began their hateful protests, John Piper preached a two-part sermon about homosexuality that I find still resonates with truth and compassion today. FWIW, here and here are the links.

  • Teresa

    Mary stated: Besides talking about groups of people and swathing statments about others – can we at least focus on individuals whom we are in communication with here. Do any of you really think that since we have the opportunity here to bridge some gaps that making grand and broad accusations of the other persons so called group is going to get us any farther along in a cooperative community of citizens?

    Wow, finally a bit of common sense in all this. Thank you, Mary, for this.

    I, for one, would really appreciate it if we could agree on at least some common ground. Can we come up with some points of agreement, here? Here’s my list:

    1. Being gay is an uncomfortable situation to be in, in any society.

    2. A good many of us would prefer not to be gay; and, we’ll do anything to prove to ourselves that we’re not.

    3. Most str8 people have no idea what to do with us gay people. It’s an either/or type of thing. Either they bend over backward to act as if it doesn’t matter; or, they make us their little project to ‘fix’ or ‘change’.

    4. Change (re-orientation) is possible; but, for men, especially, pretty uncommon. Since, so few studies have been done on gay women, the jury is out as to ‘change’; but, it appears it happens more for gay women than gay men.

    5. No longitudinal studies have been made to verify if ‘change’ (re-orientation) is enduring or transient.

    6. The gay issue is polarized and emotionally charged. Each side feels threatened and is unwilling to see the merit in the opposing side’s viewpoint. We take all this very personally; as if, our very lives depend on what we have to say.

    Rule #62 in AA: Don’t take yourself too damn seriously!

  • Teresa

    I have another question for this Group. Why is it that the Christian Churches, no matter what denomination they are, refuse to look at the destruction that str8 people have caused? Why is it that gay people are the focus of “God’s Judgment” on our society, or, least, that’s how it’s proposed?

    I ask again to the Christians:

    1. Who is responsible for the out-of-control divorce rate?

    2. Who is involved in the statistically high percentage of adultery?

    3. Who is involved in abortion?

    4. Who is involved in artificial birth-control, which in at least 20-25% of cases is abortifacient?

    5. Who is involved in the use of prostitution, by and large?

    6. Who is involved in the astronomical out-of-wedlock births?

    7. Who is involved in the silent, but epidemic, incest cases and sexual abuse?

    8. Who is involved in couples living together without benefit of marriage?

    9. Statistics of the use of pornography: 73% of Christian men and 37% of Christian women.

    I, again, ask the Christians on this blog, why aren’t the Churches working overtime to ‘change’ these things. I contend and submit, homosexuals are an easy target to pin society’s ills upon.

    It’s always easier for me to tell you how to change your life, than to change my own.

  • Eddy

    Teresa–

    I believe the Christian churches are involved in trying to address these other areas. Support groups for those involved in these areas don’t make the news. Efforts to address these areas aren’t controversial and also don’t make the news.

    And…there aren’t any widespread movements trying to endorse pornography, incest, abuse, abortion as things the church should condone…so there’s no real conflict for blog-fodder.

  • Teresa

    Eddy,

    I think what you’ve said is not entirely correct. There are no ‘crusades’ to stop divorce. There may be support groups for those going through a divorce, or already divorced. There is absolutely no campaign that I have seen saying divorce is evil, Scripturally condemned by Our Lord in no uncertain terms.

    The only movement really is abortion. Other than that, most of these issues, which corrode and corrupt society, are simply ignored for the most part.

    My question still remains: why isn’t the Church working overtime, publicly in many venues, to address these things. The things I’ve listed are rampant throughout our society. Where’s the Church in trying to stop pornography … publicly. Where’s the Church in trying to stop artifical birth-control, publicly.

    My contention is that the Church has ‘accepted’ these things. Sure they have little support groups for divorced people, but nothing encouraging in a public, demonstrative way that this is wrong. Or, it used to be a big no,no.

    I still contend homosexuality is the last thing the Church can grab onto to be of any importance culturally. It’s an easy scapegoat for the Church’s lack of significance in any meaningful cultural way. At least, that’s my opinion.

  • Eddy

    Actually, Teresa, in response to the escalating divorce rate, more and more churches REQUIRE premarital counseling where they attempt to get the couple to confront or at least consider some of the issues that are leading factors in divorce.

    In many churches, if a couple indicates that they are considering divorce, counseling and intervention is offered and, in some places, required if the individuals wish to remain in the congregation. In many, if a divorce does take place, there are ‘disciplines’. The divorced person may not function in a position of authority or leadership (with some leniency to the ‘innocent party’ if there was one).

    As to the ‘publicly’ part of your query, wasn’t it largely Christian groups who were behind movie ratings…and the mandatory ratings of music cd’s? Isn’t it usually Christian groups who are behind the moves to have porn shops moved out of or away from communities? Don’t most of those folks taking the pictures of johns out seeking prostitutes ascribe to Christian values?

    Of all the churches I’ve been involved with over the years, I can’t think of one that even endorsed contraception much less abortion in any stage.

  • Teresa

    Eddy,

    Divorce and remarriage is still at the rate of 50% or better. All the counseling before marriage hasn’t done anything to stop that. Unless you belong to some strict, Evangelical Church, married divorcees operate at all levels in Churches, including as Pastors.

    Also, what Evangelical Church do you belong to that condemns artificial contraception? I know of no Protestant Church that bars the use of artificial contraception; but, I’m sure willing to learn of some, if there are any. Only the Amish/Mennonites would condemn their use.

    Also, what about the huge issue of ‘women ministers’ in the Church. St. Paul certainly condemned that, didn’t he. But, now it’s fairly regularly accepted in many Churches.

    Movie ratings are rather unmeaningful. The slide in our perceptions of the last 60 years is quite phenomenal. The Catholic Church is the only one decades ago that had what was know as the Legion of Decency. If I can take you on a journey of what was not acceptable 6 decades ago: Gone With the Wind had a rating of ‘C’ … Condemned. Most people would laugh at that today.

    Porn shops are pretty much a thing of the past … you have to know that, Eddy. Porn has slid under the door of every home in America, and is used by a large segment of Christian men and women. Where’s the public outcry by the Churches on this? Why the muted response, or no response? Sure, they may have little groups for people sexually addicted; but, where is the Church in taking that to the public forum. It’s killing our society … ruining a good many of us.

    I still contend, because the homosexuals are a minority; perhaps, 3-5% of a society; they’re the easiest target to go after. Who wants to disturb the vast majority of our congregations over their own sinful behavior.

    My contention is that the Churches have accepted today what in a person’s lifetime it strictly forbade: mainly, divorce and remarriage, artificial contraception, and women ministers. These are all scripturally condemned. Why are they now acceptable?

    If the Churches can abandon Scriptural sanctions on some things, why not on all things? Who gets to choose and why?

  • carole

    @Teresa, I’ll give a shot:

    Wow, finally a bit of common sense in all this. Thank you, Mary, for this.

    I, for one, would really appreciate it if we could agree on at least some common ground. Can we come up with some points of agreement, here? Here’s my list:

    1. Being gay is an uncomfortable situation to be in, in any society.

    For most people in most societies, yes, to varying degrees. (In some societies and in some places in some societies, “uncomfortable” is much too mild a word.)

    2. A good many of us would prefer not to be gay; and, we’ll do anything to prove to ourselves that we’re not.

    I’m straight, always have been so, yes, I prefer not to be gay, but I assume you are addressing people here with same-sex attractions, so I’ll address that point: I can’t pretend to answer for those people on this blog who have had or still have ssa, but I haven’t gotten the impression that they “would do anything to prove to ” themselves they they “are not” gay. I think they often speak of how they view their individual change, which they stress is not meant to be generalized for others, that they speak in specific terms, terms which are sometimes ignored, and which describe change that is minimized My guess is they’d like for everyone to pay closer attention to reading their exact words.

    3. Most str8 people have no idea what to do with us gay people. It’s an either/or type of thing. Either they bend over backward to act as if it doesn’t matter; or, they make us their little project to ‘fix’ or ‘change’.

    I don’t agree with your statement. Most of the straight people I know pay little attention to you or gay issues. They have every day worries that keep them from paying attention to many issues, in fact; they are busy earning a living, meeting their bills, and raising their kids. That there are subgroups that do pay attention to you is true. Some seem spiteful and bent on perverting issues and scientific research. Others see people who seek help and offer it.

    I don’t think it’s clear at all that most want to “fix” you; it’s clear that at least some of these groups want to help those who feel they need/want “fixing” or “changing” but that has nothing to do with you.

    For example, lots of people seek spiritual guidance from churches and pastors and holy books, actions which I think are often valuable even if they don’t and can’t offer any scientific evidence that an omnipotent, kindly supreme being exists at all; similarly, sometimes this action of seeking guidance can be harmful—but none of this has anything to do with me. It’s not my business, not at all, and I wouldn’t think of deriding their choices.

    example: (a good friend and collegue had a teenaged daughter who began going to a pentecostal church of her own accord. The more devoted to the church she became, going there frequently, my friend decided to go one night and see what was going on. He found her, along with many other youths, sitting on the floor, speaking in tongues. His response was immediate. He took her home, feeling his daughter had been brainwashed. Mind you, the man himself, while not a frequent church goer, was a believer, but was nonetheless aghast as pentecostal practices were to him as “out there” as Moonies. His wife was not frightened that their daughter was being harmed. Where one saw harm, the other did not. The church leaders had professed that their way would lead her to God. The incident left hard feelings, but people are very resilient. It’s my guess her religious experience was probably very valuable for her as she is a wonderful adult now. My point is this: she hadn’t been kidnapped, she had her mother’s and father’s permission to attend that church, and I and others had no right to scream that she was being harmed. That was for her and her parents to decide. They worked it out.

    4. Change (re-orientation) is possible; but, for men, especially, pretty uncommon. Since, so few studies have been done on gay women, the jury is out as to ‘change’; but, it appears it happens more for gay women than gay men.

    Seems a reasonable statement especially when respect is given to the word “change.” If someone were to announce that they had come up with a way to make males physically/erotically respond to the form or fantasy of women while having no such reaction to the male form, then I’d say they should write it up, submit it, and let the science world have at it.

    5. No longitudinal studies have been made to verify if ‘change’ (re-orientation) is enduring or transient.

    My understanding is that there have been no large sampled studies over time, but I’ll leave that up to Warren or others to verify.

    6. The gay issue is polarized and emotionally charged. Each side feels threatened and is unwilling to see the merit in the opposing side’s viewpoint. We take all this very personally; as if, our very lives depend on what we have to say.

    I’d say “gay issue” is too general for me to offer comment. It is true that the subject of “change” among those who come to this blog and claim it either is possible or not possible does seem to be contentious. What I have observed, for the most part, is this: whenever the word “change” is clarified (and it has been over and over and over), the subject devolves into personal attacks and OT remarks.

  • Teresa

    “Whites must take into account how much history has projected onto blacks all criminality and all of society’s ills. It has become the means for keeping white criminality invisible.” — Patrica Williams

    I use this quote above from Patricia Williams, a black Harvard University law professor, as very demonstrative of my above Comments.

    Simply stated as paraphrased from the above quote:

    Christians must take into account how much history has projected onto gays all criminality and all of society’s ills. It has become the means for keeping Christian ‘sin’ invisible.

  • Eddy

    Teresa–

    How we’ve gone from a discussion of the topic to expecting an answer for all of the various social issues of today and the churches response or lack thereof…well it’s beyond me.

    I too am alarmed at the high divorce rate but I think it would be even higher if the churches hadn’t responded with premarital counseling.

    Not sure where you live but we still have porn shops in my area. And we don’t seem to have the ‘naughty sections’ in our local drugstores like they once did. Shops billed as ‘newstands’ still have their adult sections. I believe the churches response has been one of restricting and controlling to some extent. A battle to outlaw pornography entirely would pit Christian dollars against the dollars behind the ACLU. Those are deep pockets also. So the church instead speaks to its own congregation of the evils and dangers. Admittedly, it can’t stem the growing tide.

  • carole

    And although I am not religious, I am going to address these points as well, Teresa:

    1. Who is responsible for the out-of-control divorce rate?

    Why, those who get divorced. No one single factor, but surely no-fault divorces precipitated the mess. However, is it not true that gays get divorced as well as straights? That Christians and non-Christians get divorced? I am missing your point here, obviously.

    2. Who is involved in the statistically high percentage of adultery?

    Well, it used to be men, but women are increasingly having affairs as I have read over the last several years, particularly affluent and educated women. Studies here are all over the place, but most seem to agree that fidelity is rarer than it once was, for sure.

    3. Who is involved in abortion?

    “Involved”? The woman, the doctor or clinic, often the man, but often not the man as he is many times not told about the pregnancy. Demographic data show certain populations more likely to abort than others: young women, women over 25, women who already have a child, black women, urban women, poor women, Hispanic women…..data vary from decade to decade w/in some groups.

    4. Who is involved in artificial birth-control, which in at least 20-25% of cases is abortifacient?

    I don’t know. I do know my grandmother was caught by my mother giving herself an abortion with a coat hangar. Other women in town used lye soap (this took place on the oil fields of Texas and Ok in the twenties) so I am familiar with the notion that people do all kinds of things like this.

    5.

    Who is involved in the use of prostitution, by and large?

    This runs the gamut, male and female, young and old, the drug-addicted, runaways, and all the Johns of every stripe, of several age groups, of every orientation.

    6. Who is involved in the astronomical out-of-wedlock births?

    Everyone “is involved” but non-Asian minorities lead the way.

    7. Who is involved in the silent, but epidemic, incest cases and sexual abuse?

    I don’t know except to say that the middle class is not exempt.

    8. Who is involved in couples living together without benefit of marriage?

    Runs the gamut. Young and old, all economic groups, certain states more than others.

    9. Statistics of the use of pornography: 73% of Christian men and 37% of Christian women.

    Interesting stat. I don’t necessarily doubt it, but source, please.

    The web has given rise to the viewing of porn and yes, it seems that to many it’s become an addiction. I don’t fall into your demo group above, but I will tell you that until I got a home pc I had never viewed video of x-rated porn. It’s easy to get, and I was intrigued. Like most women, I find porn boring. I watched a little and that was it. I have read that most of the women viewing it are doing so upon their boyfriend’s request, fearing that if they don’t share the experience with him, he’ll dump her for the porn or for the porn + someone else who will view it with him.

    I, again, ask the Christians on this blog, why aren’t the Churches working overtime to ‘change’ these things. I contend and submit, homosexuals are an easy target to pin society’s ills upon.

    Okay, so as I am not a church-goer, I can’t address this other than to say there are so many Christian denominations, not to mention the Christian “churches” in this country alone, not to mention world-wide, that your statement is blatantly all-encompassing. When someone in my town steals, I don’t get blamed because of what he has done.

    Oh, and one thing–when I am scanning the tv stations with the remote, I do hear televangelists preaching against the things you’ve mentioned. Does that count as “doing something” about them?

  • Mary

    Most of the straight people I know pay little attention to you or gay issues. They have every day worries that keep them from paying attention to many issues, in fact; they are busy earning a living, meeting their bills, and raising their kids

    Although other people really are living their life – I do understand what Teresa means. The gay issue seems to get more attention at the dinner table than other issues.

  • Eddy

    Not my dinner table! I have a family member who is a genuine heterosexual pig…and stories continue to filter in here at the family homestead. The family member in question has, by example, passed on some of his flakiness to his sons. Gay stuff NEVER comes up around here.

  • carole

    Although other people really are living their life – I do understand what Teresa means. The gay issue seems to get more attention at the dinner table than other issues

    .

    The media decides what gets attention and what doesn’t.

    No disrespect intended, Mary, but unless you are at the dinner tables of “straight America, how would this be verified?

    I wound up on this blog because I googled a science topic and after visiting several of the sites, Warren’s was the next. I don’t think I am typical of most straights in that I am retired with time to do this and an interest in the research Warren often discusses.

    I know this blog draws many readers and posters who are church-going and involved in Christian faiths, but a look at the demographics of America tells you that much of America is secular, at least in practice.

  • carole

    “Whites must take into account how much history has projected onto blacks all criminality and all of society’s ills. It has become the means for keeping white criminality invisible.” — Patrica Williams

    Teresa, you do understand, don’t you, that educated, thinking people do not automatically agree with a statement such as the one above simply because the woman is a Harvard prof and/or black?

    This blog is no place for me to take this statement and tear it to shreds, first, for its careless hyperbole, and second, for the writer’s obvious lack of knowledge of social science data and emerging data from population genetics studies.

    Read some books, go some blog archives, do some real studying before you put out the kind of blather that results in a Cornell West or an Al Sharpton.

  • Teresa

    Carole,

    I have done tons of research, and am well acquainted with the literature in this area. I’ve done some real studying in this area. So, I think you jump to conclusions to say otherwise.

    However, you are entitled to your opinion and your voice. I won’t discount it; as I try not to discount any Commenter here.

    I am willing to learn, listen, and be respectful of other’s opinions.

  • Mary

    straight America, how would this be verified?

    If you are or have been gay and are out of the closet – then the gay issue becomes something that is talked about more. I think Teresa was talking when gay people are around the gay issues of bending over backwards to make them feel okay or trying to change them is a common experience.

    No worries – did not feel you disrespected me! LOL!!!

  • Teresa

    Last comment regarding my previous comments.

    Certainly, I know who gets divorced, who has abortions, who watches pornography, who has children out-of-wedlock, who commits adultery, etc.

    The point I was trying to make is that the Christian Churches have found it difficult to hold the ‘center’ in their congregations. Who’s to blame? I have no idea … it’s not one thing, for sure. Be that as it may, it puzzles me as to why homosexuality has become the ‘poster child’ for sin.

    Am I wrong about this? Could be. It’s my perception, however.

  • carole

    @Teresa,

    I am willing to learn, listen, and be respectful of other’s opinions

    Okay, then to your statement–

    Most str8 people have no idea what to do with us gay people. It’s an either/or type of thing. Either they bend over backward to act as if it doesn’t matter; or, they make us their little project to ‘fix’ or ‘change’.

    This perception is, in my opinion, the result of an unhealthy self-absorption, something that happens when a person lets one facet of his or her life or one issue that is of concern cloud/color the whole of everyday existence. This kind of thinking gives “straight people” too much power over your life, power they don’t want, power they don’t seek. They aren’t thinking about you although it gives the person who holds this belief a handy scapegoat. Such an attitude is a no-win trade-off: while it insulates the individual from blame (the up), it ascribes power to others(the down).

    2.) I watch very little tv, so it’s even more astounding that when I do, I see plenty of ads sponsored by different Christian denominations, ads which urge parents to spend time with their kids, ads that urge parents to attend a place of religious worship in order to build a strong family structure, ads that counsel teens to seek an adult if they are feeling “isolated, lonely” or thinking about an abortion. I am always saddened by these ads. When I grew up, no one had to advertise about how to build a strong family.

    I have had my doubts that such advertising pays off, but then I realized that those paying for the advertising must feel it does pay off a bit or they would not buy the time at all.

    In our town the public schools have grown worse and worse and two large Protestant churches have each built junior highs and elementary schools and there are large waiting lists for all of them. A high school is in the planning stages. The curricula of the schools includes age-appropriate inclusion of some of the things you mentioned–marriage, abortion….”moral training” I do believe we can term it.

    Thus, I do believe, from what I have seen, that the churches in my community are attempting to deal with many issues in the schooling of the kids. (We have had a Roman Catholic school, k-8) for as long as I can recall.

    I haven’t a clue as to whether or not homosexuality is addressed in these schools, but I can try to find out.

    Lastly, I think it’s not helpful to speak of “the Church” as you do. Other than the Roman Catholic Church, I can think of no church in my area that acts with one voice.

  • carole

    Clarification. I said,

    The curricula of the schools includes age-appropriate inclusion of some of the things you mentioned–marriage, abortion….”moral training” I do believe we can term it.

    I said “schools”, plural, when I should have said “school” for I haven’t seen the curriculum guide for the other schools.

  • carole

    Am I wrong about this? Could be. It’s my perception, however.

    I think you are. I realize there are some organizations that are politically active and which, for all intents and purposes, wish gay people would go back into the closet and lock the doors.

    However, the average young person on the street doesn’t know of these organizations and are not influenced by them any more than they can name Joe Biden as VPOTUS or locate South Africa on a map (they point to the tip of South America). The average middle aged person or Baby Boomer is busy with living their own complicated lives. Only when the media shoves a story down their throats do certain issues arise. (That is why many people, educated or not, still believe in “a gay gene” for instance.)

    However one feels about it, most of America is simply not fundamentalist in their beliefs and practices, and their attitudes are not shaped by the forces you claim to see everywhere.

  • Teresa

    @Carol,

    I watch no TV, and haven’t for the better part of 16 years. So, my major news outlets are really alternative internet sites.

    I will take what you say as fact. I don’t really care what str8 people think about me. However, I will add that certainly being gay makes one more sensitive about this issue: I should suspect the same way the Patricia Williams quote was a hot button issue for you, which it was.

    I am not being self-absorbed by this issue. I happen to enjoy this site and blogging on it. If that comes across as self-absorbed, that’s your issue not mine.

  • carole

    I don’t really care what str8 people think about me.

    Perhaps you don’t care about their personal opinion of you, in particular, but you did say that “most str8 people” ….well, here is your quote again:

    Most str8 people have no idea what to do with us gay people. It’s an either/or type of thing. Either they bend over backward to act as if it doesn’t matter; or, they make us their little project to ‘fix’ or ‘change’.

    After all, if straights make you “their little project to ‘fix’ or ‘change’ you are saying that they (“most straights”) are taking a great deal of interest in you, for projects of all kinds take time and energy and devotion. Maybe you’d like to re-word the comment if you feel you misspoke.

    However, I will add that certainly being gay makes one more sensitive about this issue: I should suspect the same way the Patricia Williams quote was a hot button issue for you, which it was.

    I will tell you what is a hot button for me–hyperbole, on any topic. It never leads to communication, never, and using hyperbolic, sensationalistic quotes not backed by fact to support other hyperbolic statements born of dubious generalizations is doubly bad.

  • Teresa

    Carole,

    This discussion, at this point, is really getting us nowhere. I’ll concede the issue that I indulged in hyperbole.

  • Jayhuck

    Carole,

    I don’t agree with your statement. Most of the straight people I know pay little attention to you or gay issues. They have every day worries that keep them from paying attention to many issues, in fact; they are busy earning a living, meeting their bills, and raising their kids. That there are subgroups that do pay attention to you is true. Some seem spiteful and bent on perverting issues and scientific research. Others see people who seek help and offer it.

    I think the very same thing could be said, in many ways, of most gay couples and gay families, oddly enough :)

    I don’t think it’s clear at all that most want to “fix” you; it’s clear that at least some of these groups want to help those who feel they need/want “fixing” or “changing” but that has nothing to do with you.

    I agree with you here as well.

    In our town the public schools have grown worse and worse and two large Protestant churches have each built junior highs and elementary schools and there are large waiting lists for all of them. A high school is in the planning stages. The curricula of the schools includes age-appropriate inclusion of some of the things you mentioned–marriage, abortion….”moral training” I do believe we can term it.

    I’m honestly just curious what you mean when you say “public schools have grown worse and worse”. I know there are reasons in several parts of the country and especially in urban areas to be worried about public schools, but what do you mean by this statement? What does a Protestant Church offer in a “moral training” class? Whose morals are being taught?

  • Jayhuck

    Carole,

    That is why many people, educated or not, still believe in “a gay gene” for instance.

    I think, and I understand I may be wrong here, that when people today talk about a gay gene, they are in fact talking about how genes influence sexual orientation. If someone actually believes there is one gay gene, then I have to say its not he fault of the media, especially in today’s world, with so much information at your fingertips. If the knowledge of the people you describe is bound and defined by the media, be it Fox or MSNBC, I would find it difficult to spend any great deal of time around them.

  • Jayhuck

    Of all the churches I’ve been involved with over the years, I can’t think of one that even endorsed contraception much less abortion in any stage.

    We have more in common than I realized – LOL

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    A battle to outlaw pornography entirely would p

    it Christian dollars against the dollars behind the ACLU. Those are deep pockets also. So the church instead speaks to its own congregation of the evils and dangers. Admittedly, it can’t stem the growing tide.

    Christianity is not the only religion that abhors pornography, fyi! Churches should speak to their own congregations and stop trying to force their agenda on others. I would love to see a study done that shows the numbers of so-called Christians who frequent porn sites. I think that would be very telling.

  • Jayhuck

    And if not, they may find themselves in a place where expressing certain kinds of “Christian thought” may, indeed, be criminalized. Already has, in some places.

    I think that the recent SCOTUS case involving the Phelps clan shows that even the most vile rhetoric spoken as religious opposition to gays cannot be criminalized in this country. So all this talk of socially conservative pastors being arrested for preaching on a sunday is bunk.

    Yes Emily – Debbie, at least, needs to be a little more specific when she suggests things like Christian thought may be criminalized – already has…

  • Eddy

    I still believe that this particular SCOTUS decision went the way it did because the speech was ‘political speech’ rather than ‘hate speech’. I agree that the speech was hateful but since the victim filing the suit was not gay, he was not a victim of hate speech but rather of political speech.

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    Eddy, this is from the SCOTUS majority opinion in the Snyder v. Phelps case:

    The “content” of Westboro’s signs plainly relates to public, rather than private, matters. The placards highlighted issues of public import—the political and moral conduct of the United States and its citizens, the fate of the Nation, homosexuality in the military, and scandals involving the Catholic clergy—and Westboro conveyed its views on those issues in a manner designed to reach as broad a public audience as possible. Even if a few of the signs were viewed as containing messages related to a particular individual, that would not change the fact that the dominant theme of Westboro’s demonstration spoke to broader public issues.

    Please note the bolded text — the court’s opinion did NOT hinge on the fact that the deceased soldier was not actually a “fag” (as some of the placards claimed), but rather that the “dead fag soldier” claim was not that primary theme of the protest, which was mainly directed to “broader public issues.”

    So even if the fallen soldier had actually been homosexual, the court’s reasoning that Westboro’s “dominant theme” was about “broader public issues” would still be applicable.

    (This is quite apart from the fact that, despite what you seem to think, “hate speech” against homosexuals or any other group is not illegal in the U.S.)

  • http://www.debbiethurman.com Debbie Thurman

    (This is quite apart from the fact that, despite what you seem to think, “hate speech” against homosexuals or any other group is not illegal in the U.S.)

    Is the SPLC hoping to make it illegal by highlighting “hate groups”? Or do they just want to see such groups ostracized?

  • http://wthrockmorton.com Warren

    RE: SPLC – They have no intention of making any attempts to make such speech illegal. In fact, they filed a brief in favor of Westboro in the Phelps case.

  • http://wthrockmorton.com Warren

    In general, the arguments against gay rights which hinge on protecting religious speech are simply made for political purposes. Perhaps some of the makers of the argument believe it, but a pretty quick check of free speech cases will disabuse a reasonable person of this worry.

    Even with analogies of sexual orientation to race, there are no real concerns here in the US (not true elsewhere). Racist speech is protected. The real worry I think among the more strident of the far right is that the more the public finds such speech to be offensive, the less they will be able to stigmatize gays.

    As an aside, a big part of why I have moved away from the advocacy groups is this kind of speech and the flawed arguments and use of research for the sole purpose of stigmatizing a class of persons.

  • http://www.comingout4christians.net Dave

    Debbie Thurman# ~ Mar 7, 2011 at 9:36 am

    (This is quite apart from the fact that, despite what you seem to think, “hate speech” against homosexuals or any other group is not illegal in the U.S.)

    Is the SPLC hoping to make it illegal by highlighting “hate groups”? Or do they just want to see such groups ostracized?

    Just FYI … you will get very little sympathy from me if you start waving the alleged threat to free speech flag.. there is no such threat here in the U.S. .. a fact that should be incredibly obvious in looking at the recent Supreme Court verdict. You need to seperate political rhetoric from truth. The pastors in this article were unable to do that when they went to Washington to try to get arrested.

    Dave

  • http://www.debbiethurman.com Debbie Thurman

    Even with analogies of sexual orientation to race, there are no real concerns here in the US (not true elsewhere)

    Are you saying our Constitution makes us different, Warren? If not, what?

  • Jayhuck

    Warren,

    The real worry I think among the more strident of the far right is that the more the public finds such speech to be offensive, the less they will be able to stigmatize gays.

    I agree and appreciate the statement.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Debbie – Yes, I think the free speech rights that we have here with Supreme Court stamping those rights home via many decisions separates us from nearly everywhere else.

  • http://www.debbiethurman.com Debbie Thurman

    Will that always hold up, with so many challenges to our Constitution?

  • Jayhuck

    Debbie,

    What challenges?

  • http://www.debbiethurman.com Debbie Thurman

    Let’s go all the way back to 1973, via Roe v. Wade. A constitutional “right” to privacy was found to supercede the right to life of the unborn. And now our president and attorney general see a right to same-sex marriage in the Constitution. Are we that confident that free speech will remain safe? What makes it more sacrosanct than life and marriage?

    The more false teachers we have, the easier it becomes to drift away from foundational truths into some murky sea of moral relativism.

  • Jayhuck

    Debbie,

    Since Roe v Wade I have only seen Free Speech strengthened by the courts.

    BTW, I love it when you compare same sex marriage to abortion. Ugh

  • Jayhuck

    Debbie,

    What are “false teachers”? Would you mind being more specific?

  • http://jontrouten.blogspot.com/ Jon Trouten

    And now our president and attorney general see a right to same-sex marriage in the Constitution. Are we that confident that free speech will remain safe? What makes it more sacrosanct than life and marriage

    I could be mistaken, but I believe they president and attorney general believe that it is unconstitutional for the federal government to acknowlege certain state-recognized marriages, but not others. Regardless, they are still enforcing the law, just not defending it in court.

  • http://www.debbiethurman.com Debbie Thurman

    BTW, I love it when you compare same sex marriage to abortion.

    I am only talking about constitutional rulings, not comparing one to another.

    What are “false teachers”? Would you mind being more specific?

    Jesus covers them in his Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5-7.

  • Jayhuck

    Debbie,

    Sigh – Yes I know about the sermon on the mount, believe it or not, and the story regarding a tree and the fruit it bears. I will post it here for everyone.

    Matthew 7, v15 -

    “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

    However, I wasn’t asking what the Bible said about false teachers, I want to know how you interpret this particular passage. I’ve seen an incredible number of Christians whose “fruits” are foul. Tell me how you interpret it and I’ll tell you how I do.

  • Jayhuck

    Specifically, I would like to know who you think the “false teachers” are.

  • NickC

    Debbie’s comment above conflates any legal decision she doesn’t like with an erosion of the constitutional right to free speech.

    Roe vs Wade, whatever one thinks of the decision, did not overturn a previously held constitutional “right to life.” The constitution says nothing at all about abortion as such, and no court decision prior to Roe vs Wade ever held that abortion violated a fetus’ constitution rights. In fact, by 1973, a third of the states had legalized abortion without any challenge that they were violating the US constitution. Roe vs Wade is controversial for extending a constitutional protection that had not been previously defined, but not for overturning any constitutional protection that previously existed.

    The protection of both free speech and the free practice of religion, on the other hand, is explicitly stated in the Bill of Rights. There is an enormous body of case law and Supreme Court decisions addressing these rights, and the general trend of those decisions (as here with Phelps) has been to strengthen the protection of speech, not weaken it.

    As Warren points out, arguments against gay rights based on free speech are made purely for political purposes–perhaps more accurately, for purposes of stoking hysteria. If gay people won every one of our battles for equal rights tomorrow, the religious would still be free to proclaim–from the housetops if you want–that they think we’re a bunch of sinners doomed to hell.

    Of course, fewer and fewer people will be paying any attention to you. But that’s already your problem, isn’t it?

  • http://wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Roe v Wade made a state issue a federal one and inappropriately I believe. However, I cannot see any way that free speech becomes a local issue for different states to decide (you can bash gays here, you can’t there).

    I suppose if the apocalypse comes, the Supremes limiting free speech in antagonism to religious views and no other kind would be a sign of it. In the mean time, I think current law will find SSM will do nothing to free speech. Freedom of association might take some hits, depending on whether or not public offering of goods and services are in view. I suspect whatever allows all male or all female this or that, or religious exemptions will be enforced.

  • http://www.debbiethurman.com Debbie Thurman

    Specifically, I would like to know who you think the “false teachers” are.

    Oh no you don’t. We aren’t going there. Those who teach in contradiction to what Christ or the apostles taught are false teachers. We are not their judges.

  • http://www.debbiethurman.com Debbie Thurman

    Nick is correct in that the Constitution does not address a “right to life.” It presumes that we all possess that unalienable right, granted by our Creator and not by government. In that way it supercedes everything men set in stone.

    He is also right in this:

    The protection of both free speech and the free practice of religion, on the other hand, is explicitly stated in the Bill of Rights.

    And that protection of religious practice is abridged by Roe v. Wade when Catholic doctors or nurses are directed to perform abortions, for instance. And what if abortion becomes part of a national health plan? Will military chaplains also find their freedom of religion (and possibly of their speech) abridged by the repeal of DADT? The possibility exists. We have no precedent for this.

  • http://www.debbiethurman.com Debbie Thurman

    Roe v Wade made a state issue a federal one and inappropriately I believe.

    And Perry v. Schwarzenegger is the precursor to a similar SCOTUS ruling on same-sex marriage.

  • http://jontrouten.blogspot.com/ Jon Trouten

    Will military chaplains also find their freedom of religion (and possibly of their speech) abridged by the repeal of DADT? The possibility exists. We have no precedent for this.

    How do chaplains currently handle religious differences? We have chaplains that are in charge of ministering to all sorts of faiths and religious backgrounds, not to mention those without religious beliefs. Do we really believe that openly gay soliders is going to shake things up more than the current system that overseas Catholics, evangelical, denominational, & progressive Christians as well as Jews and Muslims and Unitarians?

  • http://www.debbiethurman.com Debbie Thurman

    How do chaplains currently handle religious differences?

    We’re not talking about religious differences. We’re talking about something which has been considered to be sin down through the ages suddenly declared a service member’s right. Big Brother playing God. Nothing else is being changed in the UCMJ or being overridden in Scripture.

  • http://jontrouten.blogspot.com/ Jon Trouten

    Well, then I guess the chaplaincy will lack any ability to cope and will totally fall apart.

  • http://www.comingout4christians.net Dave

    Debbie Thurman# ~ Mar 7, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    How do chaplains currently handle religious differences?

    We’re not talking about religious differences. We’re talking about something which has been considered to be sin down through the ages suddenly declared a service member’s right. Big Brother playing God. Nothing else is being changed in the UCMJ or being overridden in Scripture.

    Well … worshiping the devil would certainly be considered sinful by many/most.. yet the constitution guarantees freedom of religion to all in this country .. including devil worshippers. Fornication is considered sinful by many in the Christian church but no one is asking the government to make it illegal..

    Big brother ..as you refer to government is NOT the church … so your comparisons fall flat. Seperation of church and state runs both ways.. the job of civil government .. at least in this country, is to ensure rights for all .. not to prescribe a particular religion’s morality code.

  • Jayhuck

    Debbie,

    Oh no you don’t. We aren’t going there. Those who teach in contradiction to what Christ or the apostles taught are false teachers. We are not their judges.

    That’s not what the passage says. It says you will know them by their “fruit”. So how do you interpret “fruit”?

    LOL – We have thousands of Christian denominations teaching different things, interpreting what Christ and the Apostles taught differently. And each one, more or less, thinking they have it right.

  • Jayhuck

    Dave,

    at least in this country, is to ensure rights for all ..

    Yep – you are absolutely correct. Rights for all, not just rights for conservative Christians.

  • http://www.debbiethurman.com Debbie Thurman

    Well, then I guess the chaplaincy will lack any ability to cope and will totally fall apart.

    Coping is not the question. Will they be disciplined if they don’t toe the PC line?

  • http://www.debbiethurman.com Debbie Thurman

    LOL – We have thousands of Christian denominations

    We do?

  • Jayhuck

    Debbie,

    Yes, we do.

    Here’s one place to go to look at the stats:

    Number of Christian Denominations

  • http://www.comingout4christians.net Dave

    Debbie Thurman# ~ Mar 7, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Well, then I guess the chaplaincy will lack any ability to cope and will totally fall apart.

    Coping is not the question. Will they be disciplined if they don’t toe the PC line?

    I would assume that they (the chaplains) will deal with or respond to homosexual sin the same way they have responded to heterosexual sin… so whats the big deal??

    Dave

  • http://www.debbiethurman.com Debbie Thurman

    Fornication is considered sinful by many in the Christian church but no one is asking the government to make it illegal..

    No one is asking government to enshrine it into law or public policy, either.

    Big brother ..as you refer to government is NOT the church … so your comparisons fall flat. Seperation of church and state runs both ways.. the job of civil government .. at least in this country, is to ensure rights for all .. not to prescribe a particular religion’s morality code.

    What the heck are you saying? I said Big Brother equals the Church? No.

    We have — ta-da! — discovered a new right to same-sex marriage for gays. That is prescribing a new morality code (or inventing a religion), and now we are requiring service members to abide by it.

  • http://www.debbiethurman.com Debbie Thurman

    I would assume that they (the chaplains) will deal with or respond to homosexual sin the same way they have responded to heterosexual sin… so whats the big deal??

    As I implied above, we are bringing one particular sin out of the shadows and are gilding it. Or in Sermon on the Mount parlance, we are “giving hearty approval” to it.

  • Jayhuck

    Debbie,

    We have — ta-da! — discovered a new right to same-sex marriage for gays. That is prescribing a new morality code

    This is not the same thing as inventing a religion, unless you feel the same way about interracial marriages or the end of slavery. These were new rights bestowed upon people, AND a new code of morality if you will.

  • http://www.debbiethurman.com Debbie Thurman

    Your source identifies only scant numbers of denominations, and admits many of those unnamed thousands are only “borderline Christian.” Anybody can form a religious group and call it a denomination.

  • Jayhuck

    Debbie,

    As I implied above, we are bringing one particular sin out of the shadows and are gilding it. Or in Sermon on the Mount parlance, we are “giving hearty approval” to it.

    Step back for a moment and realize that not everyone views this as a sin. I know you do, I understand why, but there are others with other beliefs that should not be discounted. I think Dave is trying to make you understand the reason between separation of Church and state. Its to protect you AND those who don’t agree with you. Its not about taking your particular conservative Christian beliefs and legislating them.

  • http://www.debbiethurman.com Debbie Thurman

    These were new rights bestowed upon people, AND a new code of morality if you will.

    They were not new rights. They always existed. They were wrongly ignored. You may feel the same about gay marriage, but history and the Bible stand to differ. And please don’t tell us the Bible condoned slavery. It merely spoke to what existed in the culture, wrongly.

  • Jayhuck

    Debbie,

    My source identified over 33,000 denominations in the world. There are also over a thousand Christian denominations in the US alone.

    Ugh – OK, here’s another reference.

    Number of Christian Denominations

  • http://www.debbiethurman.com Debbie Thurman

    Its not about taking your particular conservative Christian beliefs and legislating them.

    Ah, but someone is legislating their liberal religious beliefs.

  • Jayhuck

    Debbie,

    They were not new rights. They always existed. They were wrongly ignored. You may feel the same about gay marriage, but history and the Bible stand to differ. And please don’t tell us the Bible condoned slavery. It merely spoke to what existed in the culture, wrongly.

    Oh Really Debbie – Want to go down this road? I won’t tell you, I’ll let the Bible do it for me.

    However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way. (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)

    And yes those were new rights when it came to the law of the land.

    They were not new rights. They always existed. They were wrongly ignored.

    I can make the exact same case for gay marriage – the courts, the people responsible for interpreting our constitution however, are doing it for me

  • http://www.comingout4christians.net Dave

    Debbie Thurman# ~ Mar 7, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Fornication is considered sinful by many in the Christian church but no one is asking the government to make it illegal..

    No one is asking government to enshrine it into law or public policy, either.

    Big brother ..as you refer to government is NOT the church … so your comparisons fall flat. Seperation of church and state runs both ways.. the job of civil government .. at least in this country, is to ensure rights for all .. not to prescribe a particular religion’s morality code.

    What the heck are you saying? I said Big Brother equals the Church? No.

    We have — ta-da! — discovered a new right to same-sex marriage for gays. That is prescribing a new morality code (or inventing a religion), and now we are requiring service members to abide by it.

    No .. but you said big brother is playing God… which seems to imply that you want the govt to represent God (or at least a particular religion’s moral viewpoint). If you want to have government represent the Christian world view (or at least your Christian world view) then they need to represent it in ALL areas not just the ones you pick and choose.

    As I said above in an earlier post on freedom of religion (which you did not address) .. devil worship is perfectly legal and allowable in this country .. Discriminate against someone for doing so (worshipping the devil) and you will find yourself in trouble with the law. Is this yet another big brother failing?? And if so .. why aren’t Christians up in arms about it??

    Again .. I see a very selective use of where you want government to represent a particular Christian world view.

    Dave

    P.S. I also find it interesting that you surmise that allowing people to identify as gay or lesbian is somehow tied into immorality …. doesn’t the same problem exist for heterosexuals and heterosexual behavior??

  • Jayhuck

    Debbie,

    Ah, but someone is legislating their liberal religious beliefs.

    No I’m not. I’m not particularly religious at the moment. And the people who are working to further gay rights are not working from a religious angle.

  • http://www.debbiethurman.com Debbie Thurman

    Jayhuck, tell us how you come to so glibly rely on Old Testament law in the case of slavery, yet reject it outright with regard to homosexuality. Nothing in the New Testament supports slavery, whereas we have ample evidence that homosexuality was condemned throughout Scripture. Jesus came to fulfill the law. How exactly did he do that for slavery?

    I’m not a biblical scholar, but I can see that God had certain harsh requirements of his chosen people in the Old Testament, prior to Jesus’ establishment of a new covenant. He wanted them to separate themselves from other nations under the old covenant.

    I already rebutted your last point.

  • http://www.debbiethurman.com Debbie Thurman

    If you want to have government represent the Christian world view

    And where did I make that point, Dave?

    As I said above in an earlier post on freedom of religion (which you did not address) .. devil worship is perfectly legal and allowable in this country .. Discriminate against someone for doing so (worshipping the devil) and you will find yourself in trouble with the law. Is this yet another big brother failing?? And if so .. why aren’t Christians up in arms about it??

    I did address it. Look again. Christians don’t have to “get up in arms” to oppose sinful or heretical behavior. They are to love God and their neighbors, speak the truth with grace, preach “Christ and him crucified” and make sure their own houses are in order. God carries the big stick. He is the judge.

    Your last statement is so out there as to not merit a response.

  • http://www.debbiethurman.com Debbie Thurman

    Ah, but someone is legislating their liberal religious beliefs.

    No I’m not. I’m not particularly religious at the moment.

    Such vanity. I am not talking about you. I am talking about the government. If you are a lobbyist, then I am talking about you.

  • http://www.comingout4christians.net Dave

    Well if you don’t want (or feel the need for) govt to express a particular Christian world view then why would you be upset if they affirmed that same sex attracted individuals could marry? You’re double talking here .. either govt must express a particular Christian world view or they don’t have to do so. Which is it???

    Dave

    P.S. Considering all the lies and phoney statistics coming from Christian resources against the lgbt commumity .. it would appear that .. indeed ..some Christians are up in arms about this…

  • Jayhuck

    Debbie,

    Jayhuck, tell us how you come to so glibly rely on Old Testament law in the case of slavery, yet reject it outright with regard to homosexuality. Nothing in the New Testament supports slavery, whereas we have ample evidence that homosexuality was condemned throughout Scripture. Jesus came to fulfill the law. How exactly did he do that for slavery?

    I was merely responding to your implied idea that the Bible doesn’t condone slavery. I don’t know anywhere in the new testament where slavery is condemned. Do you?

  • Jayhuck

    Debbie,

    Such vanity. I am not talking about you. I am talking about the government. If you are a lobbyist, then I am talking about you.

    I’m the vain one? LOL

    How is the government legislating liberal religious belief. The government isn’t working to legislate religious belief of any kind when it comes to gay marriage. Where do you come up with these things?

  • Jayhuck

    Debbie,

    I love how when an inconvenient truth, for some conservative Christians, about the bible crops up, ie slavery, that fact is brushed off as a cultural phenomena, but when it comes to subjects such as homosexuality, there is no such view of the scripture.

    The Bible says alot of things, things some Christian groups don’t like so much they don’t even read those passages aloud in church.

  • http://www.debbiethurman.com Debbie Thurman

    Well if you don’t want (or feel the need for) govt to express a particular Christian world view then why would you be upset if they affirmed that same sex attracted individuals could marry? You’re double talking here .. either govt must express a particular Christian world view or they don’t have to do so. Which is it???

    Dave, I don’t need government to support a Christian worldview. The Church should be able to be the Church well enough on its own. This conversation has morphed away from its original purpose, but it has further morphed from concern over government mandating support for something that could abridge religious freedom or freedom of speech. Remember that?

  • http://www.debbiethurman.com Debbie Thurman

    I love how when an inconvenient truth, for some conservative Christians, about the bible crops up, ie slavery, that fact is brushed off as a cultural phenomena, but when it comes to subjects such as homosexuality, there is no such view of the scripture.

    Ah, you put words in my mouth, Jayhuck. It’s not the cultural differences I am referring to. I said homosexuality was condemned throughout Scripture. You were supposed to show us how slavery was upheld in the New Testament, remember?

  • http://www.debbiethurman.com Debbie Thurman

    How is the government legislating liberal religious belief. The government isn’t working to legislate religious belief of any kind when it comes to gay marriage. Where do you come up with these things?

    Follow this thread. If you can’t ( who can?), I’ll make it easy: government-sanctioned same-sex marriage has a religious element to it, no matter what anyone says. It pushes against established religious (and cultural) mores and seeks to redefine biblical truth. Marriage has traditionally been viewed as a sacred covenant. Yes, it is also a civil contract. But that does not preclude the sacred.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    This conversation has morphed away from its original purpose, but it has further morphed from concern over government mandating support for something that could abridge religious freedom or freedom of speech. Remember that?

    The original thread was about the cogent rebuttal to NARTH. I know you are concerned about morphing, but what actual evidence is there that freedom of speech or religious freedom will be harmed in this country by a decision that would require states to recognize a right for gay people to marry each other?

  • http://www.debbiethurman.com Debbie Thurman

    I was merely responding to your implied idea that the Bible doesn’t condone slavery. I don’t know anywhere in the new testament where slavery is condemned.

    Let’s use that logic for homosexuality, shall we? I don’t know of any place in the Bible where homosexuality is held up as a standard. Not condoned = opposed to. Not condemned = upheld.

  • http://www.debbiethurman.com Debbie Thurman

    The original thread was about the cogent rebuttal to NARTH.

    Yes, and God knows if we’ll ever get back to it.

    I know you are concerned about morphing, but what actual evidence is there that freedom of speech or religious freedom will be harmed in this country by a decision that would require states to recognize a right for gay people to marry each other?

    What evidence is there, by the same token, that it won’t be harmed? Need there be evidence of something that could only in the future? How could there be? You have more faith in the system than do I. Governments have all toppled historically. Is ours somehow impervious to destruction? Only God and His words stand forever.

  • http://www.debbiethurman.com Debbie Thurman

    It is useless to continue pursuing this line of discussion. I wish to withdraw and stop feeding it. I have made the points that need to be made.

  • Jayhuck

    Debbie,

    Let’s use that logic for homosexuality, shall we? I don’t know of any place in the Bible where homosexuality is held up as a standard. Not condoned = opposed to. Not condemned = upheld.

    The passages you refer to regarding homosexuality are interpreted differently by biblical scholars. There is evidence that the homosexuality spoken about in the Bible has nothing to do with homosexuality as we understand it today. I understand how you view it, others do not share you views.

    Follow this thread. If you can’t ( who can?), I’ll make it easy: government-sanctioned same-sex marriage has a religious element to it, no matter what anyone says. It pushes against established religious (and cultural) mores and seeks to redefine biblical truth. Marriage has traditionally been viewed as a sacred covenant. Yes, it is also a civil contract. But that does not preclude the sacred.

    Oh wow – your really think this? We are talking about that secular aspect of marriage. The gay marriage movement is not about trying to force churches to marry gay people, that would be a move on the government to try and change religion. We are talking about civil and secular marriage here, and yes the two can be, and often are, separated. A couple can easily be married without every bringing God into the equation.

    Your “biblical truth” is not another Christian’s “biblical truth” Debbie.

  • Jayhuck

    It is useless to continue pursuing this line of discussion. I wish to withdraw and stop feeding it. I have made the points that need to be made.

    This, I agree with.

  • preston

    what actual evidence is there that freedom of speech or religious freedom will be harmed in this country by a decision that would require states to recognize a right for gay people to marry each other?

    First of all, gay people can marry each other, so long as one is male and the other female. But I’m guessing that’s not what you meant.

    The problem with forcing states to recognize same-sex marriages is states rights, not free speech or religion. Within states, I suspect legislatures will continue to find that it is not in their interest to change the fundamental definition of marriage.

  • Emily K

    First of all, gay people can marry each other, so long as one is male and the other female.

    Hm. by THAT logic, we could establish one (or several) state religions and still call it “freedom of religion.” After all, even if Christianity were made illegal, they’d STILL have the “freedom” to worship in a mosque, shinto temple, or druid’s altar!

  • http://jontrouten.blogspot.com/ Jon Trouten

    Seriously, how many straight people want to marry gay people? Talk about unevenly yoked folks…

    The problem with forcing states to recognize same-sex marriages is states rights, not free speech or religion. Within states, I suspect legislatures will continue to find that it is not in their interest to change the fundamental definition of marriage.

    The other problem is that there are states that do recognize same-sex marriages and the federal government treats some of those state’s married citizens differently than other married citizens because of the federal DOMA law. That’s what Obama’s administration finds unconstitutional and what they find impossible to defend in court.

  • http://www.comingout4christians.net Dave

    Debbie Thurman# ~ Mar 7, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    Well if you don’t want (or feel the need for) govt to express a particular Christian world view then why would you be upset if they affirmed that same sex attracted individuals could marry? You’re double talking here .. either govt must express a particular Christian world view or they don’t have to do so. Which is it???

    Dave, I don’t need government to support a Christian worldview. The Church should be able to be the Church well enough on its own. This conversation has morphed away from its original purpose, but it has further morphed from concern over government mandating support for something that could abridge religious freedom or freedom of speech. Remember that?

    I remember that … and I (and I believe think Dr.Throckmorton ) posted that that is political rhetoric that is not based on truth. You still haven’t answered my question .. I know you think you have .. but I was responding to your post about big brother supporting something that goes against your religous beliefs… you seem to ignore that. And instead you are still spewing up this far right idea that gay marriage = loss of free speech rights. Sorry .. but I don’t see the math here ..

    Dave

    P.S. I hate to say this .. but the position you are taking is the stereotypical exgay position .. a position with a lot of spin about alleged loss of free speech rights if gay rights go through. .. in other words .. a very anti gay position ..

  • http://www.comingout4christians.net Dave

    Debbie Thurman# ~ Mar 7, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    I love how when an inconvenient truth, for some conservative Christians, about the bible crops up, ie slavery, that fact is brushed off as a cultural phenomena, but when it comes to subjects such as homosexuality, there is no such view of the scripture.

    Ah, you put words in my mouth, Jayhuck. It’s not the cultural differences I am referring to. I said homosexuality was condemned throughout Scripture. You were supposed to show us how slavery was upheld in the New Testament, remember?

    You didn’t address this to me but let me help Jayhuck out here …

    Passages on slavery in the New Testament…

    Ephesians 6:5-9

    5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6 Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, 8 because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free. 9 And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.

    Colossians 3:22

    22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.

    I Timothy 6:1-2

    1 All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God’s name and our teaching may not be slandered. 2 Those who have believing masters should not show them disrespect just because they are fellow believers. Instead, they should serve them even better because their masters are dear to them as fellow believers and are devoted to the welfare of their slaves.

    Titus 2:9-10

    9 Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, 10 and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.

    I Peter 2:18-19..

    18 Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. 19 For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God.

    Dave

  • Teresa

    The problem with forcing states to recognize same-sex marriages is states rights, not free speech or religion. Within states, I suspect legislatures will continue to find that it is not in their interest to change the fundamental definition of marriage.

    Preston, we agree here. But, this is exactly what happened in Roe v. Wade. Some State Legislatures voted down abortion. In fact, I lived in a State that did that in in November of 1972. In January, 1973, we had the landmark SCOTUS decision handed down, which made null and void the decision of our State.

    I suspect, as it appears do many people on either side of this issue, this ultimately will rest with a decision from SCOTUS. But, life in fact, has its wonderful moments … and, SCOTUS, may in fact decide in favor of ‘States Rights’. It may, also, be, that the ‘settled issue’ of privacy found in Roe v. Wade will again be taken up by SCOTUS, and not withstanding ‘stare decisis’ concerning abortion, SCOTUS may allow States Rights concerning abortion.

  • http://www.debbiethurman.com Debbie Thurman

    Dave, with regard to the N.T. passages you quoted on slavery, you proved nothing other than what I put forth. There is no justification for slavery there, only instruction for Christian living. Slavery was a cultural reality, wrong as it was. Many slaves were Christians, as were their masters.

    I really do not want to continue this tit-for-tat. No more responses from me.

  • NickC

    I used to be a Roman Catholic. The Catholic Church teaches that its members who marry in the church and then divorce cannot remarry. (It has broadened the “annullment” process to allow more loopholes for this, but that’s another subject.)

    Has the fact that the remarriage is perfectly legal in all 50 states prevented the Church from continuing to teach this doctrine? Not that I ever noticed. Do Catholic judges and justices of the peace and clerks in goverment offices feel that their religious rights are infringed when they get involved in legal proceedings for divorce and remarriage? I’ve never heard such a complaint.

    In what way is this different from the situation that exists in states where same sex marriage is legal?

    You can make the same point about “fornication.” Federal and state laws already banning discrimination on the basis of marital status. Does that prevent Christian churches from teaching that it’s sinful for heterosexual couples to have a sexual relationship without benefit of marriage? Does it violate religious beliefs when a company can’t refuse to hire someone because he/she is in an unmarried relationship?

    Obviously, there are many, many areas where the law permits and even protects behavior that various religious groups may prohibit. Homosexuality is absolutely no different than other areas where religious people function as citizens of a larger society where not everyone holds the same beliefs.

  • Jayhuck

    Debbie,

    Dave, with regard to the N.T. passages you quoted on slavery, you proved nothing other than what I put forth. There is no justification for slavery there, only instruction for Christian living. Slavery was a cultural reality, wrong as it was. Many slaves were Christians, as were their masters.

    But yet, permission for slavery was granted in the OT and nowhere in the Bible is it condemned. Hmmmmm

  • Eddy

    Christianity is not the only religion that abhors pornography, fyi! Churches should speak to their own congregations and stop trying to force their agenda on others. I would love to see a study done that shows the numbers of so-called Christians who frequent porn sites.

    Jayhuck, what in anything I’ve said suggest that I needed an ‘fyi’? Teresa’s questions were related specifically to Christian response (or lack thereof) and that is was I was speaking too. And, fyi, it isn’t just Christians and other religions that abhor pornography.

    In my previous response to Teresa, I cited that the church did address issues within the church but she countered that they weren’t doing anything publicly…so i brought up examples of how they were also responding publicly.

    Throbert–

    Please reread your own bolded text:

    that would not change the fact that the dominant theme of Westboro’s demonstration spoke to broader public issues.

  • Teresa

    Christianity is not the only religion that abhors pornography, fyi! Churches should speak to their own congregations and stop trying to force their agenda on others. I would love to see a study done that shows the numbers of so-called Christians who frequent porn sites.

    Jayhuck, do you see anti-pornography attempts as an abridgement of free speech?

  • Teresa

    Lest we forget an assertion I made much earlier on this Thread regarding the Church, which I should have defined as Protestantism, and artificial birth control. I stated that artificial birth control was acceptable to Protestantism (the Church). I was taken to task by Eddy and Jayhuck that this was not so. Below, some quotes regarding this issue:

    Then in 1930, at the Seventh Lambeth Conference, the Anglican Communion, after years of considerable internal debate, issued the first statement permitting birth control “when there is a clearly felt moral obligation to limit or avoid parenthood and where there is a morally sound reason for avoiding complete abstinence.”[7] During the 30 years afterward, Protestant acceptance of birth control steadily increased.[2] By 2005 acceptance had increased such that a Harris Interactive poll conducted online among 2,242 U.S. adults found that 88% of non-Catholic Christians who identified as either “very religious” or Evangelical supported the use of birth control/contraceptives.[8]

    The majority of Protestants, irrespective of denomination, maintain that use or non-use of birth control in its various methods is a matter of conscience for individual Christians before God, and that individual couples should be convinced in their own minds of what is and is not permissible for them particularly (see Romans 14). In this view, God has a personal relationship with individual Christians and, because he has given no explicit Biblical commandment against birth control and uses and has even caused and overseen modern technological advancements (see Daniel 12:4), he guides particular couples’ birth control practices in accordance with his particular will for their lives. Conservative evangelical leader John F. MacArthur states the view,

    Nothing in Scripture prohibits married couples from practicing birth control, either for a limited time to delay childbearing, or permanently when they have borne children and determine that their family is complete … In our viewpoint, birth control is biblically permissible. At the same time, couples should not practice birth control if it violates their consciences (Romans 14:23)—not because birth control is inherently sinful, but because it is always wrong to violate the conscience. The answer to a wrongly informed conscience is not to violate it, but rather to correct and rightly inform one’s conscience with biblical truth.[15]

    R. Albert Mohler, Jr., the ninth president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky states,

    Evangelical couples may, at times, choose to use contraceptives in order to plan their families and enjoy the pleasures of the marital bed. The couple must consider all these issues with care, and must be truly open to the gift of children. The moral justification for using contraceptives must be clear in the couple’s mind, and fully consistent with the couple’s Christian commitments.[16]

    Additional adherents of this view include Rainey, James Dobson,[17] Jordan, Mohler, and evangelical ethicists Franklin E. Payne[18][19] and John and Paul Feinberg.[20] Although most Protestants adhere to this view, some such as Rainey may nonetheless advocate for one of the categories he describes, depending upon which Christian values they deem most important.

    (Wikipedia … Protestant views on birth control)

    Artificial Birth Control: the Pill, Condoms, IUD’s, Diaphragms, Vasectomy, Tubal Ligation, etc.

    I’m not sure what you gentlemen meant by you don’t know of any Christian Denomination that accepts birth control? Can you explain?

  • preston

    we had the landmark SCOTUS decision handed down, which made null and void the decision of our State [to ban abortions].

    It’s not really a similar situation. With respect to abortion, the government is saying its citizens have a constitutional right to privacy so that people like you cannot tell me how to behave in private. How a state defines marriage has nothing to do with privacy or any other rights laid out in the constitution or bill of rights.

  • Teresa

    How a state defines marriage has nothing to do with privacy or any other rights laid out in the constitution or bill of rights.

    If this ends with a SCOTUS decision, we may be surprised what the Justices will find laid out (or not) in the Constitution.

  • mike

    I have been reading a weekends worth of comments and have heard terms like “gay gene” and “brainwashing” and both side of the religious debate. To start with, the “gay gene,” we as a society do not yet have the technology to go that deep into genetic code. On the surface, the current code shows no difference or abnormality in the genes of homosexuals vs heterosexuals. Further research will be done to find out why homosexuals exist because bigots want to eradicate them. Second: brainwashing. As a student of Theology, history and sociology I have see the ravages of brainwashing. We can start with the Greeks, or jump to the Romans through Islam and Judaism then onward to Christianity and LDS and watch the similarities in their own views of brainwashing, heresy, genocide, bigotry, hatred, martyrdom an so on. Throughout history someone has evoked religion as a reason to kill, hate, and segregate. In doing this, they have in a sense brainwashed their followers into believing whatever has come from there mouths. Whether it be crucifixions, hangings, burnings, drownings, or being fed to the lions for sport, these people have found ways to punish those who disagree or dispute their beliefs. In today’s America, half of society is vilifying homosexuals for who they are. It doesn’t matter if it is by choice or by birth, it is happening. Because of this, America is becoming less free. Free to be who we want to be, to aspire to be, or love who we wish. Only ACTUAL homosexuals will ever know the feeling of being homosexual and those who believe it is just a choice and it can be cured will never know. I know many homosexuals and know many who believe they are homosexual and can tell the difference by the way they behave. It today’s society, it has become more acceptable to be homosexual because of the belief that we should be free to be who we are and others are accepting of those who are the way they are. My wife and I have many gay and lesbian friends and are active in the community. And we can see the differences in people. We are not overly religious, me growing up in a Methodist household and she growing up Buddhist. I am friends of many faiths and citizens of many countries and America is becoming more and more closely linked in the beliefs toward homosexuals as many of the countries we despise. Christianity is the most out front haters of homosexuality followed by a close second to Islam. Other religions are much more accepting and forgiving. Those in our society who believe homosexuality is “evil” and heresy should take a look at themselves and at history. WE are just repeating history. In American history it began with imperialism and non-free rule, but once we became an independent nation, we turned on ourselves. We have persecuted blacks as slaves all the way until today, not as slaves, but in some instances as second-class citizens. Although it is, thankfully, only very small group fringe groups persecuting blacks today, it still happens. It got worse toward the end of the 19th century and got better in the 1970′s it continued. Now it seems we need some one else to pick on and berate, so we use homosexuals. And this is one that has no racial, ethnic, or religious barriers. The come from all walks of life, religion and country. The rights of Americans, natural born and naturalized, are being treated in such a way that if the founding fathers of our country were living today, they would be on the side of freedom, the freedom to live as we see fit within our selves.

  • Jayhuck

    Teresa,

    Jayhuck, do you see anti-pornography attempts as an abridgement of free speech?

    Yes…sometimes. For me, it depends on the context. I have a great deal of faith in our judiciary system – perhaps it is misplaced faith.

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    Throbert–

    Please reread your own bolded text:

    “that would not change the fact that the dominant theme of Westboro’s demonstration spoke to broader public issues

    I re-read it, and I’m not sure what your point is. The bolded part seems to me to confirm that SCOTUS would have decided the case the same way if the Westboro freaks had protested at the funeral of a gay person instead of a straight person, provided that other factors were the same.

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    Mike: Thanks for your comment, but you might want to consider putting in some paragraph breaks next time — it just makes it easier for the reader to digest, and makes it more likely that your comment will be read. (A lot of people will just scroll down past big unbroken chunks of text in one huge paragraph.)

    But anyway, I did read the whole thing, and this is what jumped out at me as the most interesting claim:

    Only ACTUAL homosexuals will ever know the feeling of being homosexual and those who believe it is just a choice and it can be cured will never know. I know many homosexuals and know many who believe they are homosexual and can tell the difference by the way they behave.

    LIke you, I also suspect there are some people who are “true homosexuals” and others who may believe that they’re homosexual but really aren’t (rather, they’re bisexuals who have shut down their heterosexual side and are only acting on their homosexual side; or in some cases they might even be heterosexuals who have learned to enjoy homosexual activity in an artificial way as a sort of fetish, without being “emotionally homoerotic”).

    However, I’m not sure what you mean when you’re talking about behavioral differences that distinguish the “real homosexuals” from the “pseudo-homosexuals.”

    When you say “the way they behave,” do you mean:

    “masculine” vs. “feminine”, or

    “promiscuous” vs. “monogamous”, or

    “confident” vs. “insecure”, or

    “gentle” vs. “abusive”, or… ?

    I’m just trying to get a sense of the typical behavior traits that you see as distinguishing the real homosexuals from the ones who only think they are.

  • preston

    mike, here’s my problem: I’m an atheist so am disassociated with all the religious baloney. I agree that everyone should be able to live freely but I think the one group who many on this thread and in the gay community do not believe should be able to live freely are those who would like to try and change. The gay community is going all out to brainwash (yes, brainwash!) the public into believing that homosexuality is normal and cannot be changed and shouting down all contradictory research. The gay community has effectively diminished the existence of non-gay-affirming mental health professionals and research into environmental causes of SSA has ground to a halt.

    So if there is any group that is engaged in persecution, it is the gay community persecuting the change community.

  • preston

    Here’s another classic mis-interpretation of causation: http://www.samoaobserver.ws/index.php?view=article&id=18884%3Afaafafine-more-&option=com_content&Itemid=53

    The researchers don’t even mention that the altruism could have been developed through environment. In fact, that’s the most likely reason yet it goes unsaid. Very common tactic by pro-gay researchers.

    The Fa’afafine, by the way, seem like a solid example of how sexuality and gender identity are predominantly developmental (ie, nurture).

  • Jayhuck

    Preston,

    but I think the one group who many on this thread and in the gay community do not believe should be able to live freely are those who would like to try and change.

    If you really believe this, then you haven’t truly been engaged in this discussion for the past few weeks. No one, and I repeat for your sake, no one wants to prevent people from TRYING to change who really want to do this.

  • Jayhuck

    Preston,

    So if there is any group that is engaged in persecution, it is the gay community persecuting the change community.

    Really? You are really going to say this? LOL – Wow! You obviously have no idea what is going on in the world, do you? You say you are disengaged from religion but I suspect differently from the way you seem to demonize the gay community here.

  • preston

    It’s amazing how much energy goes into such stupid hypotheses: http://www.uleth.ca/berg/Doctoral/VanderLaan/VanderLaan.htm

  • Jayhuck

    Preston,

    The gay community is going all out to brainwash (yes, brainwash!) the public into believing that homosexuality is normal

    News flash for you Prest, but it IS normal! Sorry, many many straight people, not just the gay community, are saying it, and have been saying it for over 30 years

  • Jayhuck

    Preston,

    t’s amazing how much energy goes into such stupid hypotheses:

    I was just about to say something similar regarding your comments – LOL

  • Eddy

    Teresa–

    I’m not sure what you gentlemen meant by you don’t know of any Christian Denomination that accepts birth control? Can you explain?

    Sure. I didn’t say that. What I said was

    Of all the churches I’ve been involved with over the years, I can’t think of one that even endorsed contraception much less abortion in any stage.

    The churches I’ve been involved with all shared a belief that ‘children are a gift from the Lord’. By extension, they believed that none are ‘accidents’. Some of the churches I had been involved with had some level of tolerance for contraception under special circumstances but none of them endorsed it.

    Your original comments went to churches who seemed to be singling out homosexuality while winking at these other issues; I believe that if you looked further into the views of those folks who participated in the online survey, you’d likely also find that most of those people would not fit into your category of those who ‘single out homosexuality’.

    Throbert–

    While it’s clear that we disagree, my opinion is that ‘the dominant theme’ of Westboro’s protest at Snyder’s funeral was deemed by SCOTUS to be political. (“The US is involved in wars and is losing lives because God is mad at us for accepting this sin.”) It is that free speech provision (loophole) that caused this particular decision to favor Westboro. Other instances will surely occur where it is deemed that similar hateful speech isn’t a political statement of ’cause and effect’ but is simply hate speech and the results will be different.

  • preston

    Jayhuck, I do not think it is normal and I believe my position is better supported by facts, starting with the obvious conflict with evolution. But you are correct that the gay community has been very successful in convincing the public (I liken it to brainwashing) that homosexuality is normal. It is to the point where being gay-skeptical is one of the least politically correct positions to take. It’s similar to atheism where atheism is probably correct but is very politically incorrect.

  • Jayhuck

    Preston,

    Jayhuck, I do not think it is normal and I believe my position is better supported by facts, starting with the obvious conflict with evolution. But you are correct that the gay community has been very successful in convincing the public (I liken it to brainwashing) that homosexuality is normal. It is to the point where being gay-skeptical is one of the least politically correct positions to take. It’s similar to atheism where atheism is probably correct but is very politically incorrect.

    There is no conflict with Evolution Preston. I never said the gay community was successful in convincing the public. What I am saying is that the vast majority of scientists, psychologists and psychiatrists all believe that homosexuality is a normal variation. This is a fact that you, for whatever reason, feel you must minimize by somehow convincing people it was the gay community that duped All of these other incredibly intelligent folks. More and more, I get the sense you have a grudge against the gay community for some reason, and I do not believe that you are an atheist. I have many atheist friends and I’ve never heard one of them speak against the gay community as you do. However your words can be found in the mouths of many religious people.

  • Jayhuck

    Preston,

    It’s similar to atheism where atheism is probably correct but is very politically incorrect.

    Its nowhere near similar. Atheism is “probably correct”? What do mean? In todays society atheism is becoming VERY politically correct. In fact, I think i hear about atheism today more than I do about any religious organization.

  • preston

    I’m sure this is agains the forum rules but, jayhuck, can you increase the thought behind your posts? They don’t seem to add much value. I will agree that when I say “I think” or “I believe” that doesn’t hold much weight, but I will typically provide some additional information.

    I’ve just read your questioning my atheism and, as usual, you are dead wrong. In fact it is my atheistic beliefs of which evolutionary theory is a bedrock which leads me to reject homosexuality as not-normal.

    No one, and I repeat for your sake, no one wants to prevent people from TRYING to change who really want to do this

    Can someone else please tell jayhuck that this is plainly false. “No one”? Really? You don’t think Timothy wants to prevent people from trying to change?

  • Eddy

    Jayhuck–

    Preston,

    So if there is any group that is engaged in persecution, it is the gay community persecuting the change community.

    Really? You are really going to say this? LOL – Wow! You obviously have no idea what is going on in the world, do you? You say you are disengaged from religion but I suspect differently from the way you seem to demonize the gay community here.

    I’ll admit it’s a lengthy thread but I can’t find any comments by preston that rise to the level of ‘demonizing’ gay people. Can you provide examples of specific comments that seem to you to be ‘demonizing’?

    And please, when attacking someone, could you provide a little substance? Statements like “you obviously have no idea what is going on in the world” and the suggestion that, as an atheist, preston seems to be getting his views from religion require a little backup (at least in an intelligent and respectful dialogue).

  • Jayhuck

    Preston,

    I’m sure this is agains the forum rules but, jayhuck, can you increase the thought behind your posts? They don’t seem to add much value. I will agree that when I say “I think” or “I believe” that doesn’t hold much weight, but I will typically provide some additional information.

    You know, alot of us have been asking the very same thing of you ;)

  • preston

    Here’s another ridiculously pro-gay biased article starting with the headline: http://newsroom.ucr.edu/news_item.html?action=page&id=2122

    The review reviews only a tiny fraction of animal groups! This is how the gay agenda hoodwinks the media.

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    Demonizing may be too strong a word for what Preston is doing, but he is going out of his way to portray the gay community as “brainwashers” and making all sorts of claims against the gay community which are patently false. He cannot back any of them up with evidence. So while his comments may not actually be demonizing the gay community, he certainly seems comfortable making statements that have no merit.

    I would hope that in your criticism of the thread, you would see fit to require the same backing up of statements from Preston as you seem to be doing of me.

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    The review reviews only a tiny fraction of animal groups! This is how the gay agenda hoodwinks the media.

    You want to field this one?

  • Eddy

    You know, alot of us have been asking the very same thing of you

    No one has been asking this here in the blog conversation. Are you suggesting that you are discussing the blog conversation with ‘alot’ of the people involved in the conversation off the blog? Or did you once again come up with a pithy (but untrue) putdown statement.? (That, ironically, demonstrates prestons frustration with your comments that have no substance.)

  • preston

    Thanks, eddy.

    Again, I’m mostly concerned about the diminished opportunities for those wishing to deal with their unwanted same sex attraction. I’d like to see more secular opportunities available. As well as more studies and research into the environmental causes of same sex attraction and efficacy of change efforts. I still think we have a lot to learn about these topics. But the gay community is making this very difficult. That’s really my biggest beef with the gay community. I’m not really too concerned what they do, ideally mostly in private.

  • Eddy

    Jayhuck-

    Do I want to field this one? Thanks for the offer but I’ll manage my own blog life.

  • Jayhuck

    Preston,

    Here’s another ridiculously pro-gay biased article starting with the headline: http://newsroom.ucr.edu/news_item.html?action=page&id=2122

    The review reviews only a tiny fraction of animal groups! This is how the gay agenda hoodwinks the media.

    So what if this doesn’t meet your requirement for the fraction of animal groups that should be reviewed. The point of the paper appears, in part, to be this:

    “It’s clear that same-sex sexual behavior extends far beyond the well-known examples that dominate both the scientific and popular literature:

    How is this an example of how the gay agenda “hoodwinks” the media? You reference articles, but then you add your own words to them that don’t make any sense, and honestly don’t really pertain to the the article about which you’re speaking.

  • preston
  • Jayhuck

    Preston,

    Again, I’m mostly concerned about the diminished opportunities for those wishing to deal with their unwanted same sex attraction. I’d like to see more secular opportunities available. As well as more studies and research into the environmental causes of same sex attraction and efficacy of change efforts. I still think we have a lot to learn about these topics. But the gay community is making this very difficult. That’s really my biggest beef with the gay community. I’m not really too concerned what they do, ideally mostly in private.

    Why do you want to see more studies Preston? So if they don’t meet your obviously rigorous ethical and scientific standards, LOL – you’ll just whine about them being more gay agenda brainwashing propaganda? You aren’t just interested in those with unwanted same sex attraction Preston – that has become clear as we’ve listened to you talk about the gay community on this and other threads.

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    Thanks for the offer but I’ll manage my own blog life.

    Yes Eddy, I know you will. I’m beginning to understand just how you manage them. Honestly, for a long time I thought Preston was you and that you were trying to pull the wool over our eyes again by posting under another name, as you’ve done in the past. I’m still not completely convinced Preston isn’t you, but I feel pretty secure believing he is not.

  • Jayhuck

    them = it

  • preston

    Because, jayhuck, most people will only see the mis-leading headline: “Same-Sex Behavior Seen in Nearly All Animal Groups, Review Finds” or read the first mis-leading paragraph: “Same-sex behavior is a nearly universal phenomenon in the animal kingdom, common across species, from worms to frogs to birds, concludes a new review of existing research.”

    Misleading is not even the correct word. Those two sentences are completely false and not even slightly supported by the research being reported on. “Universal” does not even closely approximate “extending far beyond well-known examples”.

    Do you agree that many or even most people will only see the headline or only the first sentence? Or that the headline and/or first sentence will stick in their mind even if they read further? Do you agree that the headline and first sentence are misleading? Do you agree that “all” and “universal” are the wrong words? Do you agree that they are false and not supported by the report? Do you agree that the headline and first sentence were purposefully intended to mis-lead?

    Do I really need to detail this out for you?

  • preston

    jayhuck, what don’t you understand? My problem with the gay community is that it is making it difficult for people to find help to change and making it difficult to conduct non-gay-affirming research. This is a fact that I don’t think most in the gay community, even, would dispute. I don’t care too much about the gay lifestyle in general although I don’t think it’s necessary to re-define marriage for them. That’s about it. But please understand that I am first and foremost interested in people getting better help with change efforts. For which research would help. And it would help if professional bodies would not discourage it.

    I’m am not Eddy. Wrong, again.

  • preston

    My apologies to others on the thread.

  • Jayhuck

    Preston,

    This small article does not detail for us all the species involved in the study, it only provides a few examples. You get that, right? This article you linked to is NOT the study itself. We don’t know how many species were involved in the actual study

  • Jayhuck

    Preston,

    My problem with the gay community is that it is making it difficult for people to find help to change and making it difficult to conduct non-gay-affirming research. This is a fact that I don’t think most in the gay community, even, would dispute. I don’t care too much about the gay lifestyle in general although I don’t think it’s necessary to re-define marriage for them. That’s about it. But please understand that I am first and foremost interested in people getting better help with change efforts. For which research would help. And it would help if professional bodies would not discourage it.

    And we’ve been telling you you are wrong. The gay community is doing nothing of the sort, as much as you’d like to believe otherwise. But you don’t seem to want to listen to anyone but yourself. You won’t listen to straight people who tell you otherwise, or even non-pro-gay, pro-live-according-to-your-values folk like Warren, or listen to the fact that the APA is open to the idea of Egodystonic orientation. No, you only care about repeating the same things over and over and furthering your own particular agenda. You don’t care about the facts, only what you believe should be occuring

  • Jayhuck

    Preston,

    You are like a broken record, and this is coming from someone who has been one. You aren’t saying anything new, and you won’t listen to anyone who tries to tell you you are wrong. You remind me of a commenter on here named Maazi – at least he used to post here. No matter what anyone said, he kept repeating his ideas over and over and over ad nausea um.

  • preston

    Jayhuck, I have included plenty of evidence. Are you saying that you and others disagree with these statements:

    1. The mental health profession discourages treatment and research that is non-gay-affirming.

    2. Blogs like boxturtlebulletin and exgaywatch try to pursuade people that SOCE don’t work and that supporting research is inacccurate.

    3. Gay researchers have a vested interest in showing pro-gay results.

    4. The people on the APA task forces were significantly pre-disposed to siding with the pro-gay side.

    5. 1,000s of people have reported satisfactory change.

    6. The incidents of treatment leading to harm is minimal and no more than might be seen in other similarly controversial conditions.

    7. Environment plays at least some role in sexual identify.

    8. Gay choose to “come out”.

    9. More research and more professionals involved in SOCE would improve the results.

    10. Many non-religious people believe 1-9.

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    Here’s another ridiculously pro-gay biased article starting with the headline: http://newsroom.ucr.edu/news_item.html?action=page&id=2122

    I agree that the headline for this article (Same-Sex Behavior Seen in Nearly All Animal Groups, Review Finds) may have been deliberately and inappropriately spun in a pro-gay way.

    However, here’s the THIRD paragraph of the “ridiculously pro-gay biased article” article:

    There is a caveat, however. The review also reports that same-sex behaviors are not the same across species, and that researchers may be calling qualitatively different phenomena by the same name.

    Again, while recognizing that there may be bias in the headline, and also acknowledging that media idjits sometimes re-report a story based solely on the headline, sub-head, and lede sentence — I would point out that the article did not exactly bury its “caveat” on page B27. It’s right there in the 3rd graf, coming after two succinctly-written introductory grafs.

    Not only that, but the caveat even explicitly brings up the possibility that researchers may be biasing the interpretation of the data by erroneously categorizing fundamentally dissimilar activities under the single heading of Same-Sex Behaviors. And it even gives a concrete, plain-language example of “qualitatively different phenomena” that perhaps shouldn’t be grouped together: a mutant-gene male fruitfly that tries to mount other males because it totally lacks the ability to distinguish males from females is doing something very different from normal male dolphins that CAN distinguish male from female, but (for some reason) occasionally and deliberately direct courtship-type behaviors towards each other, instead of towards females.

    A bit later on in the short article (paragraph 10), the author points out that while same-sex behaviors might indeed have positive evolutionary benefits in some species, in other animal species, same-sex courtship is going to be nothing more than a total waste of time and energy — and that therefore, as an example, some male locusts seem to have developed a “stop mounting me” chemical whose smell discourages other males that have mistakenly tried to hump them. In other words, it specifically cites an example of natural evolutionary pressures producing a “No Homo!” spray in some insects.

    Damn, that sure is some ridiculous pro-gay bias going on there, dude…

  • Jayhuck

    Preston,

    Jayhuck, I have included plenty of evidence. Are you saying that you and others disagree with these statements:

    1. The mental health profession discourages treatment and research that is non-gay-affirming.

    2. Blogs like boxturtlebulletin and exgaywatch try to pursuade people that SOCE don’t work and that supporting research is inacccurate.

    3. Gay researchers have a vested interest in showing pro-gay results.

    4. The people on the APA task forces were significantly pre-disposed to siding with the pro-gay side.

    5. 1,000s of people have reported satisfactory change.

    6. The incidents of treatment leading to harm is minimal and no more than might be seen in other similarly controversial conditions.

    7. Environment plays at least some role in sexual identify.

    8. Gay choose to “come out”.

    9. More research and more professionals involved in SOCE would improve the results.

    10. Many non-religious people believe 1-9.

    Nope – wrong again! Like a broken record! We’ve addressed almost all these issues before, but you don’t want to listen Preston, so I suppose there isn’t any real need to continue a discussion with you. The mental health profession does not discourage, not in the way you seem to believe it does, and even though I’m sure some non-religious people believe – I think I know what you mean when you say this – the majority of people ARE religious. Most non-religious folk don’t seem to.

    5. 1,000s of people have reported satisfactory change.

    Please back this number up with evidence. What does satisfactory change mean? Do you include celibacy in this list? Haven’t we already been down this road? Only a small fraction of people were able to get to a point of problematic heterosexual functioning. More were able to become celibate. You do realize that all of the people who have sought change so far number less than 1% of the entire gay community don’t you?

    7. Environment plays at least some role in sexual identify.

    No one would disagree with you here. It plays a part in heterosexual identity just as it does in homosexual identity.

    8. Gay choose to “come out”.

    LOL – what in the world does this mean?

    6. The incidents of treatment leading to harm is minimal and no more than might be seen in other similarly controversial conditions.

    Please back up this statement with evidence. We know that there have been hundreds of people harmed by so-called “change therapy”

    2. Blogs like boxturtlebulletin and exgaywatch try to pursuade people that SOCE don’t work and that supporting research is inacccurate.

    That’s false, but I’ll let the authors and contributors to these sites tackle this one, I’m going to bed soon :)

    3. Gay researchers have a vested interest in showing pro-gay results.

    You logic suggests then that anti-gay researchers have a vested interest in showing anti-gay results, right? It only follows….

  • Jayhuck

    Throbert,

    I agree that the headline for this article (Same-Sex Behavior Seen in Nearly All Animal Groups, Review Finds) may have been deliberately and inappropriately spun in a pro-gay way.

    This may be true, but there is no evidence yet to suggest it is. The article is not the study, and the article clearly was only providing a few examples. The article was not the study itself so its impossible to know, at least from it, exactly how many species of animals were involved in the study.

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    I don’t have time right now to get into a detailed analysis of media bias, but I just wanted to make one very quick point for both Preston and Jayhuck (and everybody):

    When reading any news story, it’s important to remember that the headline, sub-head, and lede (opening sentence/paragraph) were not necessarily written by the same person(s) who wrote the main meat of the story.

    For Preston, I wanted to emphasize the point that just because the “top of the article” is biased, it doesn’t mean that the article as a whole is biased; and in this case, it also doesn’t mean that the report being reviewed in the article is biased.

    For Jayhuck, I wanted to emphasize (in agreement with what Preston said) that nonetheless, any bias in the “top of the article” still matters, because a lot of readers just look at the headline and opening paragraph, and don’t read the rest of the article carefully (or at all).

  • Eddy

    Jayhuck-

    I once posted for a short time under another name…I believe that it was ‘Anonymous2′. Please don’t infer that it’s an ongoing habit of mine or that I lied when I said publicly on the blog that I wouldn’t do it again. You’re insinuation that I’m a liar is insulting.

    Suggesting that someone is ‘brainwashing’ doesn’t begin to rise to the term ‘demonizing’. If you think it fits, then you’ll need to admit that gays regularly demonize ‘the change folks’ because gays often make the claim both that we have been brainwashed by the church and that we brainwash those who come seeking change.

    And I see that’s your only example.

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    1. The mental health profession discourages treatment and research that is non-gay-affirming.

    I’m not a mental health professional, nor have I ever sought out “change therapy”, but my overall impression is that, yes, there is a general bias against “change therapy.” HOWEVER, it appears to me that this bias emerged as a reaction to another bias — specifically, that most “change therapists” have historically been biased against the very concept and possibility of “well-adjusted, healthy, wholesome homosexuality.” In other words, the change movement has been dominated by people who believe that in an idealized, “prelapsarian” world, the number of homosexuals would be zero; that all homosexuality is pathological; that “God’s Original Plan” was for 100% of people to be heterosexual, but then Adam and Eve screwed things up and that’s why homosexuality exists.

    2. Blogs like boxturtlebulletin and exgaywatch try to pursuade people that SOCE don’t work and that supporting research is inaccurate

    I’m not familiar with exgaywatch, but from what I’ve seen of BTB, they seem to be pretty respectful of Dr. Throckmorton’s work, although they are hostile to the majority of “change therapy” groups, partly for the reasons I gave regarding #1.

    3. Gay researchers have a vested interest in showing pro-gay results.

    Mmmmaybe. I would definitely say that gay researchers whose social life revolves around the gay community, and who therefore want to stay popular in the gay community, have a vested interest in showing “pro-gay results.” But gay researchers who don’t give a damn what other gay people think about them don’t have that same kind of “vested interest.”

    4. The people on the APA task forces were significantly pre-disposed to siding with the pro-gay side.

    Not sure which task forces you’re speaking of.

    5. 1,000s of people have reported satisfactory change.

    This may be true, but reporting “satisfactory change” is a different thing from confirming the results that the ex-gay organization promised or appeared to promise in their public literature. Which is to say that another problem with a lot of the ex-gay movement is that (at least historically) they have failed to include that *Results not typical disclaimer you always see at the bottom of ads for weight-loss products where a slim, attractive woman is holding up the tent-size jeans she used to squeeze into before trying the product.

    6. The incidents of treatment leading to harm is minimal and no more than might be seen in other similarly controversial conditions.

    I think this statement is almost meaningless because historically there has been such a wide variety of approaches to “change therapy” — including attempts at Pavlovian conditioning that attempted to associate homoerotic imagery with drug-induced nausea and/or painful electric shocks. Also, some religious ex-gay ministries may use approaches like “If you’re still having homosexual temptations, it means you’re not trying hard enough. Can you just imagine how much it disappoints Jesus when you don’t try hard enough to change?” Stuff like this is vastly different (and in my opinion, vastly more likely to cause harm) than a client-centered approach that says, “Maybe God wants you to change and with His help you can stop having homosexual feelings and start having heterosexual feelings, OR maybe God wants you to be in a heterosexual marriage with a partner of the opposite sex who accepts your homosexual feelings, OR maybe God wants you to be a celibate homosexual, OR maybe God would be happy with you being a more self-controlled, stable, monogamous homosexual,” where a variety of potential outcomes are validated for the client.

    7. Environment plays at least some role in sexual identify.

    I don’t think there’s any question that environment and culture play significant roles in the overall formation of “sexual identity” — but I see “orientation” as being only one facet of “sexual identity.”

    8. Gays choose to “come out”.

    Duh.

    9. More research and more professionals involved in SOCE would improve the results.

    Agreed.

    10. Many non-religious people believe 1-9.

    I dunno if “many” do, but I’m a non-religious person, and I’ve given you my honest responses to 1-9.

  • Jayhuck

    Throbert,

    I’m not a mental health professional, nor have I ever sought out “change therapy”, but my overall impression is that, yes, there is a general bias against “change therapy.”

    I honestly appreciate this, but where you see bias I see a healthy skepticism. The studies that have been done have not been kind in some ways to “change therapy” and the fact that so many people have been harmed by the process would, I think, lead health professionals to feel this way. I think this is why, in part, Dr Throckmorton got out of the change therapy business, at least if we are talking therapy in terms of groups like NARTH.

  • Jayhuck

    Throbert,

    For Jayhuck, I wanted to emphasize (in agreement with what Preston said) that nonetheless, any bias in the “top of the article” still matters, because a lot of readers just look at the headline and opening paragraph, and don’t read the rest of the article carefully (or at all).

    I understand what you are trying to say, and I understand that the media often sensationalizes stories in order to garner readership. What *I* am trying to say is that we don’t know for sure if the article is misleading or not. We don’t know how many species are in the actual studies which were reviewed. It wouldn’t surprise me if its not completely true or is a little misleading, but I am amazed at the findings nevertheless :)

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    Warren asks, somewhere upthread:

    what actual evidence is there that freedom of speech or religious freedom will be harmed in this country by a decision that would require states to recognize a right for gay people to marry each other?

    Speaking as a homo, I have to admit there is a chance that freedom of speech and religion could be harmed (albeit in a rather trivial way) if states were required to legally recognize same-sex couples using the specific word “marriage”.. This could conceivably lead to scenarios where a religious person who strongly believes that marriage can only mean “one man, one woman” was nevertheless compelled by his or her job to describe a legally solemnized gay relationship using terms such as “marriage” or “married.”

    For this reason (and others) I would greatly prefer a SCOTUS decision that simply required states and the Federal gummint to legally recognize same-sex “couplehood” under some name, without any requirement that it be called by the alphabetic string m-a-r-r-i-a-g-e.

  • Ann

    What I am saying is that the vast majority of scientists, psychologists and psychiatrists all believe that homosexuality is a normal variation.

    Jayhuck,

    I am not too sure about the credibility or biases of psychologist and psychiatrists, however, I am interested in what scientists say about orientation. What sources are you referring to when you say the vast majority of scientists all believe that homosexuality is a normal variation?

  • Ann

    I don’t think there’s any question that environment and culture play significant roles in the overall formation of “sexual identity” — but I see “orientation” as being only one facet of “sexual identity.”

    Throbert,

    Can you go into a little more detail about this – I particularly think the part about orientation being only one facet of sexuality identity is very important/interesting.

  • Jayhuck

    Ann,

    This is probably a good place to start:

    Homosexuality

    This article contains more than just the fact that homosexuality is a normal variation, but check out some of the references at the bottom.

  • Ann

    Jayhuck,

    I was actually looking for something with more substance than wikkipedia. When you say the vast majority of scientists all believe that homosexuality is a normal variation, that is a lot of scientists that are saying something very profound that could answer a lot of heretofore questions and put a lot of this contention to bed. Some would argue with this conclusive, overwhelming agreement from these vast numbers, however, most would respect credible scientific findings. What vast majority sources are you citing and how can I read their scientific conclusions that homosexuality is a normal variation?

  • http://www.comingout4christians.net Dave

    I doubt very much that an entire armful of studies that said homosexuality was normal would put anything to bed. The very question is offensive. I can think of few other attributes of personality that people would argue about as trying to prove whether they are normal or not except perhaps for some very extreme conditions that prevent someone from being able to exist in society.

    In short .. we don’t ask for this proof in other circumstances .. only this one .. that , in itself, says alot.

    Dave

  • Jayhuck

    Ann,

    The wikipedia article talks about other studies and what professional organizations say about how the understanding of homosexuality has changed over the years. I encourage you to review the article, check out the bottom references for examples of studies, and pay particular attention to the section called Psychology in the Wiki article. Review the article and let me know what you think. One classic study that was done was done by Evelyn Hooker. I’m a little busy today or I would spend some time researching and posting here for you, but I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to do some of the foot work yourself. Do read the article though, check out the references at the bottom and review the section in the article called psychology. The article is really a good starting point for this conversation

  • Ann

    Dave,

    I understand the position you are taking, however, it is not necessary to do with me and what I am asking for. Jayhuck made a statement that the vast majority of scientists all believe that homosexuality is a normal variation. I think that is an important statement and one that could correct any lay person who says or thinks differently. This, I think, would be a very good thing for gay people everywhere. Since I have not read or heard this, to the degree he is stating, I am very interested in the references he used to make this statement.

  • Jayhuck

    Ann,

    When you say the vast majority of scientists all believe that homosexuality is a normal variation, that is a lot of scientists that are saying something very profound that could answer a lot of heretofore questions and put a lot of this contention to bed.

    That fact that there is a consensus on this issue in the scientific community has not in fact put anything to bed, due in large part to some religious groups. I agree with Dave – Despite the evidence, there are religious organizations who do and who will probably always part ways with the rest of the scientific community.

  • Ann

    Jayhuck,

    Thanks – I appreciate the reference, however, when you said the vast amount of scientists believe that homosexuality is a normal variation, it sparked my interest. I was looking for something more substantial than wikkipedia and/or psychological references. Scientific findings and conclusions are very different and, for me, far more credible. I have not read or seen or heard anything that says what you stated so that is why I am interested.

  • Jayhuck

    Ann,

    When I talk about scientists I am including Psychologists in the equation. Psychology is a social science. Did you read the Wiki article?

  • Jayhuck

    Ann,

    It was the discipline of psychology that labeled it a disorder, so I think its only fair that it be that same scientific discipline that found it to be a normal variation. Is this a problem for you? Do you want to see studies in the biological sciences that show that homosexuality has been found in a large number of animal species?

  • Ann

    That fact that there is a consensus on this issue in the scientific community has not in fact put anything to bed, due in large part to some religious groups. I agree with Dave – Despite the evidence, there are religious organizations who do and who will probably always part ways with the rest of the scientific community.

    Jayhuck,

    Is it a fact that the consensus in the scientific community has come to definitive conclusion on this? I did not know that. Can you refer me to this conclusion? I honestly do not think most people know this, and if they did, would understand homosexuality differently instead of just guessing or opining on it in lay terms. There used to be a time that if a woman could not concieve a child, it was all her fault – she wasn’t trying hard enough, praying hard enough, etc. After medical and scientific findings, it was determined that, in fact, it was not her fault at all, she was born without a womb or vagina or ovaries, etc. Did the religious people all still want to think otherwise, maybe, but most people stopped making assumptions about her and understood the truth based on these scientific/medical facts.

  • Jayhuck

    Ann,

    Please read the Wiki article then lets talk after that, ok? I need for you to work with me here. It was the science of Psychology that labeled homosexuality a disorder and a pathology. Later this same social science found that that was not the case.

  • Jayhuck

    Ann,

    Perhaps I should have said that a vast majority of the social science community sees homosexuality as a normal variation in sexuality. That might have cleared up some of the confusion. The “hard sciences” like biology, chemistry and physics cannot really talk about homosexuality being a normal variation because when we talk this issue, we are talking about: attractions, feelings, and behaviors – all the realm of the social sciences. This is my fault Ann and something I should have made clear earlier.

    What biology CAN tell us is that it is found in nature.

  • Ann

    Please read the Wiki article then lets talk after that, ok? I need for you to work with me here. It was the science of Psychology that labeled homosexuality a disorder and a pathology. Later this same social science found that that was not the case.

    Jayhuck,

    It is alright – I just thought you had some information I, and most people, did not know about. When you said What I am saying is that the vast majority of scientists, psychologists and psychiatrists all believe that homosexuality is a normal variation, I immediately was interested in the vast amounts of scientists you referred to who had come to this conclusion as I had not seen that. I know you like wikkipedia, however, from my perusal, I only saw the same things that have been referred to before. If there is new information I am missing that supports your statement – that the vast amount of scientists have come to the conclusion that homosexuality is a natural variation – I am very interested in reading it.

  • Jayhuck

    Here Ann, I’ll post this and then have to leave for awhile. Might help you understand what I was talking about.

    The research and clinical literature demonstrate that same-sex sexual and romantic attractions, feelings, and behaviors are normal and positive variations of human sexuality. The longstanding consensus of the behavioral and social sciences and the health and mental health professions is that homosexuality per se is a normal and positive variation of human sexual orientation.[67] There is now a large body of research evidence that indicates that being gay, lesbian or bisexual is compatible with normal mental health and social adjustment.[66] The World Health Organization’s ICD-9 (1977) listed homosexuality as a mental illness; it was removed from the ICD-10, endorsed by the Forty-third World Health Assembly on May 17, 1990.[68][69] Like the DSM-II, the ICD-10 added ego-dystonic sexual orientation to the list, which refers to people who want to change their gender identities or sexual orientation because of a psychological or behavioral disorder (F66.1). The Chinese Society of Psychiatry removed homosexuality from its Chinese Classification of Mental Disorders in 2001 after five years of study by the association.[70] According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists “This unfortunate history demonstrates how marginalisation of a group of people who have a particular personality feature (in this case homosexuality) can lead to harmful medical practice and a basis for discrimination in society.[66] There is now a large body of research evidence that indicates that being gay, lesbian or bisexual is compatible with normal mental health and social adjustment. However, the experiences of discrimination in society and possible rejection by friends, families and others, such as employers, means that some LGB people experience a greater than expected prevalence of mental health difficulties and substance misuse problems. Although there have been claims by conservative political groups in the USA that this higher prevalence of mental health difficulties is confirmation that homosexuality is itself a mental disorder, there is no evidence whatever to substantiate such a claim.”[71]

    Most lesbian, gay, and bisexual people who seek psychotherapy do so for the same reasons as heterosexual people (stress, relationship difficulties, difficulty adjusting to social or work situations, etc.); their sexual orientation may be of primary, incidental, or no importance to their issues and treatment. Whatever the issue, there is a high risk for anti-gay bias in psychotherapy with lesbian, gay, and bisexual clients.[72] Psychological research in this area has been relevant to counteracting prejudicial (“homophobic”) attitudes and actions, and to the LGBT rights movement generally.[73]

    The appropriate application of affirmative psychotherapy is based on the following scientific facts:[67]

    * Same-sex sexual attractions, behavior, and orientations per se are normal and positive variants of human sexuality; in other words, they are not indicators of mental or developmental disorders.

    * Homosexuality and bisexuality are stigmatized, and this stigma can have a variety of negative consequences (e.g., minority stress) throughout the life span (D’Augelli & Patterson, 1995; DiPlacido, 1998; Herek & Garnets, 2007; Meyer, 1995, 2003).

    * Same-sex sexual attractions and behavior can occur in the context of a variety of sexual orientations and sexual orientation identities (Diamond, 2006; Hoburg et al., 2004; Rust, 1996; Savin-Williams, 2005).

    * Gay men, lesbians, and bisexual individuals can live satisfying lives as well as form stable, committed relationships and families that are equivalent to heterosexual relationships in essential respects (APA, 2005c; Kurdek, 2001, 2003, 2004; Peplau & Fingerhut, 2007).

    * There are no empirical studies or peer-reviewed research that support theories attributing same-sex sexual orientation to family dysfunction or trauma (Bell et al., 1981; Bene, 1965; Freund & Blanchard, 1983; Freund & Pinkava, 1961; Hooker, 1969; McCord et al., 1962; D. K. Peters & Cantrell, 1991; Siegelman, 1974, 1981; Townes et al., 1976).

  • Ann

    Perhaps I should have said that a vast majority of the social science community sees homosexuality as a normal variation in sexuality. That might have cleared up some of the confusion. The “hard sciences” like biology, chemistry and physics cannot really talk about homosexuality being a normal variation because when we talk this issue, we are talking about: attractions, feelings, and behaviors – all the realm of the social sciences. This is my fault Ann and something I should have made clear earlier.

    Thanks Jayhuck – I appreciate this and it makes perfect sense to me.

  • preston

    Jayhuck’s reference points back to the APA which we know disregarded a great deal of science to reach its decision. And in fact 42% of its members voted against the DSM change at the time, which rarely gets reported. It must also be noted that the APA’s pronouncements on homosexuality are put forth by a task force that is made up exclusively of gay-friendly psychologists, virtually guaranteeing the outcome.

    So while Jayhuck gets points for citations, he must know that it’s not the entire story.

  • Ann

    Jayhuck,

    Thanks for all the references you listed. They appear to be mostly psychological in nature, not scientific, which is what caught my interest with your initial statement. I know you have to leave so perhaps we can catch up on another thread or topic :-D

  • Jayhuck

    Ann,

    That was my mistake. I should have made it clear that when the term “normal variation” is used it is used within the discipline of psychology, and that the other sciences can’t really talk about homosexuality in this way – of it being a normal variation. What biology can show is that it is normal in the sense it is found in a wide variety of species in the animal kingdom, and it can also talk about the origins of homosexuality. I apologize for the confusion. Thanks for helping me clarify this :)

  • Jayhuck

    Ann,

    They appear to be mostly psychological in nature, not scientific, which is what caught my interest with your initial statement. I know you have to leave so perhaps we can catch up on another thread or topic :-D

    FYI – Psychology is a science. The other sciences cannot talk about it being a normal variation :) You’re welcome

  • Jayhuck

    Ann,

    Psychology is the science that studies human behavior, of which sexual orientation is a part.

    Modern psychology is a science because its adherence to the scientific method. It is the same scientific method that has led to advances in physics, chemistry, medical science, and all other fields of human endeavor that are regarded as “sciency” by the public. Without getting too technical, the distinguishing characteristics of science are testing, theory building, hypothesis generation and replication.

    Its not the most exact of sciences because studying behavior is much more difficult in many ways than studying, say, the nucleus of an atom, and like the other “harder sciences” it has its problems, but it is the science that studies human behavior.

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    Jayhuck — cough, ahem — it occurs to me that in the time it took you to go back and forth and back and forth with Ann, entreating her to read the wikipedia article, you coulda just given her a freakin’ five-sentence summary of Evelyn Hooker’s elegant and famous experiment (for example).

    Here, let me have a go:

    Dr. Hooker thought that a lot of then-existing studies of mental illness in homosexual men were flawed by a sampling-bias problem, since they mainly looked at gay guys who had already been in psychiatric treatment because they were obsessive-compulsive, or they wet the bed, or they thought their dogs were talking to them telepathically, or whatever.

    So she rounded up a bunch of gay guys who had never sought out psychiatric treatment, along with a similar number of straight guys who had also never been to a shrink, and gave all her volunteers a battery of standardized psych tests that are designed to help diagnose various neurotic conditions.

    Then she gave the test results to some of her psychologist colleagues, and said, “Here, fellas — half of these male subjects like tacos, and half of them go for corndogs. But can you guess which men are which?

    Hooker’s reasoning was that if homosexuality were truly a pathological condition, then compared with the straight men, the gay men ought to suffer from more neuroses and general psychological dysfunction — thus, trained psychologists ought to be able to make educated guesses as to which tests had been completed by homos, simply by looking for the high scorers on the cuckoo scale.

    But her colleagues were unable to sort the subjects correctly into a “gay pile” and a “straight pile,” because the various psych problems that the tests were screening for turned out to be more or less evenly distributed between the hetero and homo groups.

  • http://www.comingout4christians.net Dave

    preston# ~ Mar 8, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    Jayhuck’s reference points back to the APA which we know disregarded a great deal of science to reach its decision. …

    No we don’t know that .. you just think that. This decision has been in effect for several decades now .. plenty of time for people to rethink it and change it if they felt it needed changed

    Dave

  • Jayhuck

    Throbert,

    LOL – I know, I know. Sigh. I began to realize though that my statement, understandably, made Ann think I was talking about a branch of science different than psychology, and it sounds like she was hoping there was something out there in the hard sciences to back up what I was saying. Then I had to backtrack a little and try and help her, and myself honestly, understand that Psychology was the only branch of science that could really deal with this question, then….. Oh well, its really my fault for not being more clear in my initial statement.

    Thank you very much for posting the info on Evelyn’s study :)

  • Jayhuck

    Dave,

    Thank you!

    Throbert,

    LOL @ Tacos and Corndogs ;)

  • Ann

    Then I had to backtrack a little and try and help her, and myself honestly, understand that Psychology was the only branch of science that could really deal with this question, then…..

    Anybody remember the vp debate between George HW Bush and Geraldine Ferraro?

    Ok, I don’t think psychology can reveal anything new to what is already known about orientation. I completely agree with Throbert and his reference to Dr. Hooker. Psychology can help individuals and their individual goals for being in therapy, however, I do not think psychology has ever told us conclusively anything substantial about the genesis or development of orientations. I do think science can someday tell us why we have the attractions we have, and more important to me, why some do not have the attractions they want.

  • Mary

    Fornication is considered sinful by many in the Christian church but no one is asking the government to make it illegal..

    No one is asking government to enshrine it into law or public policy, either

    It used to be unlawful and enshrined in public policy.

  • Eddy

    LOL. Will the bluster never cease????

    Jayhuck referred Ann several times to the article from Wikipedia regarding homosexuality. I can’t help but wonder which part of the article he was referring to.

    Homosexuality

    Sexual orientation

    Orientations

    Asexual · Bisexual · Heterosexual · Homosexual

    Gender-based alternative concepts

    Human female sexuality · Human male sexuality · Intersexuality · Third sex · Two-Spirit

    Research

    Biology · Demographics · Environment · Kinsey scale · Klein Grid · Neuroscience · Non-heterosexual · Psychology · Queer studies · Sexology · Timeline of sexual orientation and medicine

    Non-human animals:

    Homosexual behavior in animals (List)

    AND

    1 Etymology and usage

    2 Sexuality and gender identity

    2.1 Sexual orientation, identity, behavior

    2.1.1 Sexual identity development: “coming-out process”

    2.2 Gender identity

    2.3 Social construct

    2.4 Same-sex romance and relationships

    3 Demographics

    4 Psychology

    5 Etiology

    5.1 Lesbian narratives and awareness of their sexual orientation

    5.2 Sexual orientation change efforts

    5.3 Fluidity of orientation

    5.3.1 Gender and fluidity

    6 Parenting

    7 Health

    7.1 Physical

    7.1.1 Public health

    7.2 Mental

    7.3 Gay and lesbian youth

    8 History

    8.1 Africa

    8.2 Americas

    8.3 East Asia

    8.4 Europe

    8.5 Middle East, South and Central Asia

    8.6 South Pacific

    9 Law, politics, society and sociology

    9.1 Legality

    9.1.1 Sexual orientation and the law

    9.2 Political activism

    9.3 Relationships

    9.4 Military service

    9.5 Religion

    9.6 Heterosexism and homophobia

    9.7 Violence against gay and lesbian people

    10 Homosexual behavior in animals

    LOL. You just read that Ann and you’ll know Jayhuck’s response to your very specific question.

  • preston

    What biology can show is that it is normal in the sense it is found in a wide variety of species in the animal kingdom

    That something is observed in the animal kingdom does not make it normal. At all. Siamese twins are not normal despite that the condition exists amongst humans and animals.

    plenty of time for people to rethink it and change it if they felt it needed changed

    Dave, hopefully you understand that changing it back is going to be more difficult than changing it in the first place since one side has significantly more incentive. Significantly. The 1973 task force was quite dismissive of the decades of prior research. It would be very difficult to argue that point. The task force literally came to the conclusion that ALL of the 100s of prior studies were flawed or inconclusive in some manner.

  • http://www.comingout4christians.net Dave

    Preston ..

    The decision is 38 years old … get over it …

    Throbert McGee’s post on this thread (Mar 8, 2011 at 6:26 pm )

    is but one example that shows that homosexuality is NOT a mental illness.

    Dave

  • http://wthrockmorton.com Warren

    preston said again:

    Significantly. The 1973 task force was quite dismissive of the decades of prior research. It would be very difficult to argue that point. The task force literally came to the conclusion that ALL of the 100s of prior studies were flawed or inconclusive in some manner.

    What decades of prior research? The 100s of prior “studies” were mostly psychoanalytic case studies and not real empirical studies. Preston, if you had some real knowledge of that body of literature, we maybe could talk. But you are parroting NARTH, having no real understanding of what these reports were.

    Furthermore, you have no idea what the context was for the changes in diagnosing and treating mental disorders. The entire psychiatric world was in flux and much changed at that point. Diagnosing went from a psychodynamic model to a behavioral model. With this change, it made little sense to consider homosexual behavior/attraction to be a mental disorder. The truth is that for many, if not most SSA people, the attractions arise spontaneously with no traumatic events in their history which would presage a maladaptation.

  • Ann

    Eddy,

    I am so glad you are posting again – missed your wisdom and sense of humor.

  • preston

    Warren, I expect better out of you than to also be flat dismissive of NARTH. While its tactics and members may be unsavory to you, I just don’t see how you can outright dismiss everything it pulls together. I definitely prefer your older work. What the heck happened? Now you sound like Jayhuck.

    For the more open-minded: the 600+ pieces of research over 125 years: http://www.lighthousepolicy.com/uploads/What_Research_Shows.pdf

  • preston

    Are traumatic events really the only way to develop a maladaptation? If so, you are correct that I do not have the right context.

    Not being so caught up on either side, I might even have a better perspective!

  • preston

    Can anyone guess who wrote this?

    Their view is that there were no empirical studies that supported the idea that conversion therapy can change sexual orientation. However, they omitted a number of significant reports and failed to examine the outcomes of many studies that have demonstrated change.

  • mike

    Sorry everyone for the lack of paragraph breaks.

    Preston:

    And anyone else who cares to read:

    You may really want to take a look at something a little newer. Not long before this report was published, and for that matter, all of the preceding publications referred to in the publication, many in this country believed that any person of any ethnic background could not contribute to society in the same manner as Caucasians.

    As far as brainwashing, the gay community does nothing even remotely close to brainwashing. The only want to be equal, As of now, they are treated as a lesser class of citizen. They are not allowed to marry and are being fought every step of the way when it comes to adoption. They are beaten, discriminated against in the workplace, their children are discriminated against and in this country it should never under any circumstance be allowed.

    If you personally feel some angst toward the gay community, then that is your right and the right of everyone in this country, but is is no one’s right to infringe upon their personal liberty. The is NO empirical evidence to say whether or not homosexuality is born or acquired, only opinions. Most of which have been ingrained into our heads by others in the community and our families. The rest have been biased reports citing unsubstantiated data and religious views.

    In this country there is no shortage of bigotry and hatred, but if we are to have a free society, we must support the rights of all who live here. No matter how much we disagree with them. We are the only post WWII country that allows the swastika to be publicly displayed and we are the only post WWII allied force that still governmentally persecutes homosexuals. We are about freedom, justice, and equality. With out these fundamentals, we will no longer be the great nation we have fought and died for. We police the rest of the world to ensure others enjoy the same rights we are afforded, but we can’t get past our our inner demons and allow all of our fellow citizens equal rights.

  • mike

    FYI regarding NARTH!

    NARTH proclaims to be a secular organization but often supports reparative therapy and participates in ex-gay events conducted by an array of religious organizations including Focus on the Family’ Love Won Out symposium. In many instances, NARTH’ rhetoric is indistinguishable from sectarian organizations.

    “We, as citizens, need to articulate God’s intent for human sexuality,” Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, President of NARTH, said in CNN’ 360 Degrees with Anderson Cooper, April 14, 2007. At the Feb. 10, 2007 Love Won Out conference in Phoenix, the “secular” therapist told the audience, “When we live our God-given integrity and our human dignity, there is no space for sex with a guy.”

    http://www.truthwinsout.org/narth/

    This group epitomizes BRAINWASHING !

  • preston

    My sense is that gays have fairly sufficient freedoms today. All those negative things you mention are quite rare and there’s a pretty good argument for sticking with the historic definition of marriage. What is dangerous is that gays have acquired freedom from criticism. In many respects gays have attained elevated status.

    I’m not sure what else to term it other than brain washing. We have reached a point where you cannot express a gay-skeptical sentiment in mixed company. Despite that one can make a strong argument that SSA is an abnormal psychological development.

    And I know I’m a broken record on this but it is the gay community that is persecuting those who want to change and those who might help them.

  • mike

    Speaking as a homo, I have to admit there is a chance that freedom of speech and religion could be harmed (albeit in a rather trivial way) if states were required to legally recognize same-sex couples using the specific word “marriage”.. This could conceivably lead to scenarios where a religious person who strongly believes that marriage can only mean “one man, one woman” was nevertheless compelled by his or her job to describe a legally solemnized gay relationship using terms such as “marriage” or “married.”

    For this reason (and others) I would greatly prefer a SCOTUS decision that simply required states and the Federal gummint to legally recognize same-sex “couplehood” under some name, without any requirement that it be called by the alphabetic string m-a-r-r-i-a-g-e.</blockquote

    Those who you refer to can already discriminate against who they perform marriages for. Catholics have always refused to perform non-Catholic weddings until both parties have joined the church and met ALL requirement of the church. Most others have relaxed their reign on marriage. If the marriage is performed by a justice of the peace, they are a member of the government and cannot legally refuse the services offered to all. So in the case of legalized gay marriage, it doesn't really matter. My wedding was performed by an ordained GLBT minister, so again no problem.

    Concessions should never have to be made, by you or anyone else.

  • preston

    mike, are you suggesting that male/female sexuality is not what is intended by god or evolution? wow.

  • mike

    Preston:

    Sure you can. The only thing that may “elevate” them is “Hate Crime Laws.” We have them for nearly every demographic. Why not them. It is a protection from violence, not speech. You can still say whatever you want and if the company you are in is offended, then. . .

  • mike

    No! GOD has nothing to do with it. I never said gad had anything to do with it! Religions need to stay out of our personal lives unless we invite it.

  • mike

    Homosexuality and bi-sexuality have been around since the beginning of recorded history. It has only been frowned upon in relatively recent history.

  • http://www.comingout4christians.net Dave

    preston# ~ Mar 9, 2011 at 12:21 am

    Warren, I expect better out of you than to also be flat dismissive of NARTH. While its tactics and members may be unsavory to you, I just don’t see how you can outright dismiss everything it pulls together. I definitely prefer your older work. What the heck happened? Now you sound like Jayhuck.

    For the more open-minded: the 600+ pieces of research over 125 years: http://www.lighthousepolicy.com/uploads/What_Research_Shows.pdf

    Well .. like Warren said .. you are parroting Narth… I actually went to your link to see the 600 plus pieces of research and found nothing … no references to any studies .. Dr Throckmorton already told you what happened to his viewpoint .. it changed .. because the evidence did not support it .. unlike you .. he actually listens to people / research and changes his opinion when the evidence warrants.

    Dave

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee


    mike, are you suggesting that male/female sexuality is not what is intended by god or evolution? wow.

    I think Mike may have been suggesting is that neither God nor evolution has any reason to prefer that 100% of individuals in a population be heterosexual all the time — which is to say that neither God nor evolution has any prejudice against low rates of homosexuality in a population, as long as it’s not too prevalent. (Which is, in fact, what we observe: the number of exclusive homosexuals is clearly greater than zero, yet is probably well under 5% of the populace.)

    Mind you, we can’t actually know God’s exact thinking on the matter (assuming there is a God at all).

    But the claim that Evolution is quite able to tolerate single-digit percentages of homosexuality (or, more generally, that Evolution will happily accept the rare-but-more-than-zero presence of a trait that tends to prevent individual reproduction) isn’t a matter of controversy.

    Of course, Preston already knows this — as someone well-grounded in evolutionary science, he doesn’t need me to explain the principles of “kin selection” or “heterozygote advantage” to him!

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    What the heck? (I’m not sure how I put strike tags around my entire post!)

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    But here’s the most important part, without the strikethrough:

    Of course, as someone well-grounded in evolutionary science, Preston doesn’t need me to explain the principles of “kin selection” or “heterozygote advantage” to him!

    By the way, although kin selection and heterozygote advantage are different things, there’s a key point common to both of them: namely, that a genetic trait can be “silently carried” (and thus passed on to the next generation) by individuals who don’t actually show the trait themselves. I assume it’s fairly obvious why this would be important to any discussion about hypothetical “gay genes.”

  • Emily K

    That something is observed in the animal kingdom does not make it normal. At all. Siamese twins are not normal despite that the condition exists amongst humans and animals.

    Yes, but to those conjoined twins such a life IS “normal.” And they don’t deserve to be discriminated against for a condition that is neither harmful to themselves or others, nor changeable at will.

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    Throbert McGee’s post on this thread (Mar 8, 2011 at 6:26 pm )

    is but one example that shows that homosexuality is NOT a mental illness.

    To be clear, I don’t think that Evelyn Hooker’s famous 1958 experiment, in and of itself, “proved that homosexuality is not a mental illness.”

    The significance of the experiment, instead, was that it challenged the psychological community to re-examine its prevailing assumptions about homosexuality, and whether these assumptions were empirically based. It did this in two ways:

    (1) By challenging professionals to distinguish homosexuals from heterosexuals under “blind testing” protocols, she forced the psychological community to acknowledge that historically, assessments of homosexuals had been miles and miles away from “blind” conditions, and therefore the reliability of these assessments had most likely been compromised by factors such as “sampling bias” and “confirmation bias.” (NB: Hooker’s experiment itself may not have been as “ideally blind” as it could have been, but by doing the experiment in the first place, she encouraged other professionals to design similar experiments and improve on Hooker’s methodology.)

    (2) By demonstrating that there was not a testable difference between the heterosexual and homosexual subjects on various metrics of “social dysfunction,” she forced her colleagues to think about their working definitions of “normal” and “abnormal.” And Hooker implicitly suggested that it was illogical or an oxymoron to label an individual as “non-dysfunctional yet abnormal” — in other words, that the absence of dysfunction was itself a reasonable definition of “normality.”

  • Preston

    Throbert, I don’t think homosexuality offers any reproductive advantage but is merely a developed psychological condition. That is why it can be addressed with therapy and other approaches.

    I didn’t say “100% of individuals be heterosexual all the time”. I merely said “intended”. Why twist beyond recognition.

    Ok, Emily so now the rarest of circumstance is “normal” in your world. Good grief.

  • Jayhuck

    Preston,

    Not all evolved behaviors offer a reproductive advantage. That should be clear to anyone. Surely you’ve seen by now that evidence proves there is little chance of making any kind of real change through therapy.

    Throbert,

    There have been several studies over the last 40 years since Evelyn’s though to show that homosexuality is not a mental illness.

  • Jayhuck

    Preston,

    My sense is that gays have fairly sufficient freedoms today. All those negative things you mention are quite rare and there’s a pretty good argument for sticking with the historic definition of marriage. What is dangerous is that gays have acquired freedom from criticism. In many respects gays have attained elevated status.

    I seem to remember when you told all of us that all you really care about is ensuring that people who want to change get that help. Now you’re truer colors are beginning to show :)

  • carole

    By the way, although kin selection and heterozygote advantage are different things, there’s a key point common to both of them: namely, that a genetic trait can be “silently carried” (and thus passed on to the next generation) by individuals who don’t actually show the trait themselves. I assume it’s fairly obvious why this would be important to any discussion about hypothetical “gay genes.”

    Yes, they are different things; both have often been tossed around as possible evolutionary strategies that may have allowed homosexuality to have managed to persist in populations in spite of its obvious reproductive disadvantage.

    However, kin selection for the last several years has been tossed aside by most as a likely scenario. As many have pointed out, a eunuch, rather than a man who has a sex drive for other men, would make more sense if one wishes to argue the kin selection hypothesis, but even a eunuch would have to cause to survive twice as many offspring as a mother herself. There is absolutely no evidence that homosexual men cause to survive their nieces and nephews and no evidence that they cause to survive twice the number of them that a parent does, which would be necessary to support a break-even point in fitness.

    The problem with arguing that homosexuality may be the result of heterozygote advantage is that in those areas where the heterozygote condition confers protection to a majority of a genetic population at the expense of a smaller population, it does so against huge killers, like malaria. The existence of such a killer was a huge selection pressure. Since homosexuality (and I am talking here only about homosexuality in which a man has no instinctive drive/lust for the female form but does have such a lust/drive for the male form) occurs at a rate that most experts place at 2-4% in most (but not all) places. These numbers are much too high to support the notion of heterozygote advantage. That is, at that rate, we’d have to have noticed an advantage against something very, very big (as big as malaria, actually) conferred on one group or the other.

    There are other examples of heterozygote advantage against killers not as great as malaria, but even they don’t exist at the high rate of 2-4%.

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    A final comment about Hooker’s experiment: One of the tests she gave to her hetero and homo volunteers was the “Rorschach inkblot test” — which was invented in the 1920s and was probably at the very peak of its popularity and professional reputability in 1958, when Hooker did her experiment.

    However, the Rorschach test would come under increasing criticism towards the end of the 20th century, with some of the harsher skeptics arguing that it was little more than a gussied-up form of “cold reading” — in other words, shrinks administering the Rorschach test were doing essentially the same thing as Miss Cleo and her tarot cards, but under a thick veneer of Science™.

    So, assuming for the sake of argument that the Rorschach test has all the diagnostic value of mood rings, does this partly invalidate Hooker’s results?

    Not really, in my opinion, because the fact remains that prior to Hooker’s experiment, countless homosexual clients may have been diagnosed as “mentally ill” based in part on Rorschach results — not because the Rorschach was actually meaningful, but because many of the psychological professionals administering the tests were predisposed to find “evidence” of mental illness in self-admitted homosexuals, because “everyone knew” that homosexuals were mentally ill.

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    Carole — I understand your objections, but I think you are too hastily dismissive of the kin selection and/or heterozygote advantage factors. Remember, we’re talking about hypothetical “gay genes” persisting in populations of humans, not in populations of hamsters or rats or zebras or tigers or dolphins or chimpanzees. (I’m just rattling off some mammalian species that have different levels of intelligence and different tendencies towards solitary or social living.)

    Humans are both highly social and highly intelligent, and the significance of this for the sexual orientation discussion is that the expression of any “gay genes” could be modified or mitigated by learned behaviors and social pressures — in other words, a male with a strong genetic disposition towards homosexuality can nonetheless learn to successfully in heterosexual reproductive behaviors (at least, successfully enough to pass his genes on!).

    So, since “genetic homosexuals” are not sterile and sometimes manage to pass on their genes all by themselves, the “kin selection” and “heterozygote advantage” factors do not have to do all the heavy lifting by themselves in order to transmit the hypothetical “gay genes” from one generation to the next. Instead, such genes may sometimes be passed on by “genetic homosexuals” who choose not to behave in exclusively homosexual ways; at other times, such genes are passed on by the heterosexual siblings of exclusive homosexuals.

  • preston

    Jayhuck, I was responding to Throbert’s comment about ““kin selection” or “heterozygote advantage”. Keep up, bud.

  • Emily K

    Any minority, no matter how small, should not be discriminated against if it is simply a variation of humanity that is not harmful to themselves or others.

    This includes homosexuality, conjoined twins, those with Down Syndrome, polydactyly, and the blind.

    And I didn’t say I think any of the above are “normal.” I said it is normal to those who possess the trait. Which, it is.

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    I didn’t say “100% of individuals be heterosexual all the time”. I merely said “intended”. Why twist beyond recognition.

    Preston: Apologies for “twisting” your words, but I was trying to pin down the limits of what you meant by the imprecise term “intended”.

    Because when some people say “God intended for us to be heterosexual, not homosexual,” what they mean is: “God’s personal preference is that the number of homosexuals should be zero.”

    But when other people say “God intended for us to be heterosexual, not homosexual,” what they mean is: “God’s plan is that almost all of us should be heterosexual, and that homosexuality is a rare condition that He bestows on a few individuals for His own mysterious purposes.”

  • Ann

    Throbert,

    Miss Cleo = LOL!

    On a more serious note, do you know if emotional illness is a part of mental illness or are they two completely separate issues? Did the DSM remove both or just mental illness (if that is what was removed)?

  • carole

    Throbert,

    I had the same response as you the first time I read the kin selection/ heterozygote hypotheses.

    However, regarding the kin selection hypothesis, the math has been worked out to the point that even if the homosexual man only had a very small fraction fewer of the children than his heterosexual counterpart over thousands of years, his genes would still disappear to almost zilch. Now, true, this is only possible if we assume that a man who has no lust for a woman but who, because of the societal/cultural pressures under which he lives, nonetheless married and produced offspring (which we know was/is historically the case), has a fraction fewer children than the heterosexual men of his time and place.

    However, it is almost assuredly the case that a man with no such lust for a woman, who did indeed marry and produce offspring because of cultural and societal expectations, did not “indulge” as often as his heterosexual counterpart. As many gay men have professed again and again, they have to “work at” a heterosexual union. Of course some (most?) can do it, but common sense and mathematic averages and probabilities say it wouldn’t have happened as often, even among those who “could,” as it did with hetero men, and references to Oscar Wilde don’t mitigate those realities. Over the course of time, homosexual men’s genes would have lost out upon the evolutionary field of competition.

    Kin selection is not an evolutionary explanation that most experts , no matter their field (evolution, pop. genetics, biology, etc.) any longer see as likely.

  • Ann

    Throbert,

    I don’t like to attach the word illness to emotional conditions (temporary or ongoing), so please disregard the word “illness” as I realize it does not apply to what I am asking. Do you think or know if emotional conditions get enmeshed with what is perceived as mental illness or are they considered two completely different issues?

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    However, regarding the kin selection hypothesis, the math has been worked out to the point that even if the homosexual man only had a very small fraction fewer of the children than his heterosexual counterpart

    Carole, thanks for your patience on this, but I’m still not “getting” the mathematical obstacle here, though I admit I’m math-challenged.

    However, let me draw your attention to the bolded passage, in which you contrast the homosexual man to his heterosexual counterpart. But in my understanding of kin selection, the pertinent question should actually be:

    “How do the aggregate procreative efforts of the homosexual man and his gay-gene-carrying siblings compare with the aggregate procreative efforts of a similarly-sized family in which none of the siblings are either homosexual or a gay-gene carrier?”

    In other words, when assessing the mathematical plausibility of kin-selection being able to maintain the hypothetical “gay genes”, you should not be comparing the homosexual man with his heterosexual counterpart — you should be comparing the overall fecundity of an extended family clan in which the “gay genes” are present with that of an extended family clan in which the “gay genes” are absent.

    Again, though, I’m really over my head as to how the probabilities would work out over a thousand generations. And I don’t have an intuitive sense at how many more babies the gay-gene-carrying siblings would need to have (on average) in order to compensate for their homosexual brother’s failure to pass on the gay genes himself.

    P.S. We could call the two competing clans the “Hetfields” and the “McQueers,” ho-ho!

    P.P.S. Yes, I got called “McGay” in high school — but much more often “McGeek.”

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    Ann — I have no professional or formal educational background in psychology whatsoever, so I really don’t know whether the DSM makes a clear distinction between “mental” and “emotional” conditions.

  • Ann

    Thank you Throbert – I appreciate your answer.

  • ken

    carole# ~ Mar 9, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    “However, regarding the kin selection hypothesis, the math has been worked out to the point that even if the homosexual man only had a very small fraction fewer of the children than his heterosexual counterpart over thousands of years, his genes would still disappear to almost zilch.”

    Do you have a reference for where this math was done?

    Evolution doesn’t simply depend on having the most children. It depends on having the most children who survive to reproduce. Throbert pointed out that you couldn’t just look at the gay man. Instead you need to look at the extended family. Another way to look at it is do parents who have a gay offspring have more or less great-grandchildren than parents with no gay offspring (i.e. how many of their childrens children survive to reproduce)

    “Kin selection is not an evolutionary explanation that most experts , no matter their field (evolution, pop. genetics, biology, etc.) any longer see as likely.”

    how have you determined most experts discount kin selection?

  • carole

    Arrrrrgh, I had a long post typed and lost all of it in trying to cut and paste so here goes, in rapid fashion, as best I can in the time I have:

    Ken, yes, totally true that it matters not from an evolutionary perspective how many offspring are born; what matters is how many live to reproduce and how many of those offspring live to reproduce and so on and so on. The survival of the genes is what counts–at least in examining genetics.

    Throbert, a few things (perhaps not in the coherent order in which I first typed them, however):

    1. You mention what is commonly called the theory of sexual antagonism, the idea that what is genetically reproductively advantageous to one sex can be reproductively disadvantageous to the other sex. Increased female fecundity in mothers and/or sisters of homosexuals is a model proposed by some, the idea being that any loss of fitness represented by the occasional man who is gay is more than offset by increased fecundity in one or some of his female relatives. I do undertand that.

    Camperio- Ciani, et al have proposed a model by which the trait could be sustained in this way http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1691850/, 2004

    Here is an even more recent work of theirs: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0002282

    Also

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080617204459.htm

    Camperio-Ciani seems pretty sure this explanation supports the sexual antagonism hypothesis, but I have seen arguments against his methodology, and I believe other surveys of familial offspring don’t jive with his, but I can’t look up the sources right now. Seems to me, however, that this is well-worth more study with even larger sample sizes and that methodology concerns can be remedied.

    Their conclusion from this study:

    The study confirms previous reports, in particular that homosexuals have more maternal than paternal male homosexual relatives, that homosexual males are more often later-born than first-born and that they have more older brothers than older sisters.

    Of course, his last sentence refers to the older brother phenomena, which, for a time was widely accepted but which has been unsupported by other studies, one in particular, I believe posted by Warren by Andrew Francis of Emory University:

    http://wthrockmorton.com/2008/11/23/new-study-casts-doubt-on-older-brother-hypothesis-and-reparative-drive-theory/

    I think there’s another study that also casts serious doubts about the older brother theory so no sooner does it seem we get results that lead down a promising path when the studies are not replicated.

    2. Throbert, I think what you were referring to is what is generally attributed to Ed Miller, the balanced polymorphism hypothesis in which homosexuality is a polygenetic trait. Inheritance of several or all of these alleles produces homosexuality but inheritance of some of them results in heterosexual men who are empathic, thus making these men better fathers. The idea is similar to that of sexual antagonism in the sense that the feminizing of a few men and the resultant fitness cost to them is more than offset by the increased survival of offspring by protective, “loving” fathers who have inherited many of the genes resulting in empathy.

    I haven’t seen much on this lately.

    3. As for the kin selection hypothesis, I don’t know anyone who really buys this anymore. ( BTW, while Hamilton proposed the ks/altruism/inclusive fitness hypothesis–not in relation to homosexuality necessarily– he was introduced to the germ theory before he died, was quite interested in it, felt there was logic to it. His student, Alan Grafen, once said that while he believed in the pathogen theory and had himself thought of it, it was something people ought not talk about. Since then, on the Pharyngula blog, he has stated that he feels it’s the most likely hypothesis. Occam’s Razor.

    Anyway, back to kin selection. There are many studies which sought to find support for this hypothesis as regards homosex: they all concluded there is no evidence that the hypothesis explains the evolutionary sustenance of male homosexuality.

    Bobrow and Bailey: ” Is male homosexuality maintained via kin selection?” Evolution and Human Behavior http://www.ehbonline.org/article/S1090-5138(01)00074-5/abstract

    Rahman, Q. “An empirical test of the kin selection hypothesis for male homosexuality”

    PubMed

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=an%20emprirical%20test%20of%20the%20kins%20selection%20hypothesis%20for%20male%20homose

    from

    http://www.steamthing.com/gaygerm.html

    The following from a discussion of Greg Cochran and Paul Ewald infectious causation model:

    The math is unforgiving. If a genetic trait has a fitness cost of just 1 percent, it will sink to the very low rate of a random mutation after only 100 generations. Over the course of human evolution—roughly 800,000 generations so far—a trait would vanish even if its fitness cost were as low as 0.001 percent. According to the best available estimates, however, 3 to 4 percent of men and 1 to 2 percent of women in the United States are exclusively homosexual. That’s a lot of homosexuals. Too many, Cochran and Ewald believe, for the condition to be genetic.

    And discussion of and their answer to the sexual antagonistic hypothesis:

    ‘Or perhaps homosexuality is an unintended side effect of a gene for something else—a side effect more marked in one gender than the other. That might explain why more men than women are exclusively homosexual. Hamer, the discoverer of the Xq28 link, favors this explanation. “Suppose you had a gene that tended to make men gay, but the same gene in women made them more reproductive,” Hamer suggests. He proceeds to give examples. “If you had a gene that made people more attractive and intelligent, it might make men gay, but it might make women more likely to reproduce. Or suppose you had a gene that made people attracted to men. If you gave it to a guy, he would probably be gay, but if you gave it to a woman, she would simply be . . . well, let’s say, ‘exceptionally attracted to men.’

    But Cochran and Ewald doubt this explanation, too. Evolution tends to balance out any gender inequity as severe as Hamer describes. After a while, some mutation would come along that jiggered our hormones to reduce the gene’s fitness cost to men, while retaining its benefit for women. “In the long run,” Cochran says, “sex-antagonistic genes are tamed.”

    You might want to try this: http://web.archive.org/web/20050305131514/http://thrasymachus.typepad.com/thras/2005/02/cochran_intervi.html

    From it:

    Greg Cochran:

    Well, in no case has the purported advantage ever been confirmed, and in most cases the theory doesn’t even make any mathematical sense. For example, one popular theory has gay men helping their siblings raise their kids: if they caused lots more nephews and nieces to survive, a gene that caused that behavior could increase in frequency. There are two kinds of problems with this theory: first, nephews and nieces are only half as likely to carry one of your genes as your own kids – so to break even, gay men would have to cause at least four extra nibs to survive. You only need raise two of your own kids to break even genetically. Second is that no one has ever noticed any special tendency for gay men to help raise nephews and nieces how could a behavior that would have to be stronger than mother love have gone completely unnoticed? And this is one of the less-goofy genetic theories: most are just nonsense. They all founder on the basic mechanism of evolution: genes that reduce reproductive success tend to become rare.

    Or this:

    http://muse.jhu.edu/login?uri=/journals/perspectives_in_biology_and_medicine/v043/43.3cochran.pdf

    Now, as for the more specific math that argues against the idea that gay men had enough offspring to sustain the trait throughout history, I can’t find it. It’s a “co-efficient equation” that an evolutionary biologist worked out (something tells me it was Trivers but I can’t swear to that). I saw it on a blog, could be Gene Expression, but could be any number of others as well).

    The work being done at UCLA on the extreme skewing of the X chromosome in mothers who have more than one son (I think 17% of the sample of mothers with more than one gay son had this skewing) is intriguing, since the turning off of one X in a woman is typically random and fairly even in distribution but was not so in these women. However, while this does speak to gene expression rather than just genes, I haven’t read enough yet to understand why a particular X would contain alleles that resulted in fitness costs any more than the other X would. That is, if the X that is expressed results in homosexuality, how is it sustained for long in a population? And, as to the methylation that turns off one of those Xs, we know that a variety of things can cause that, including infection or inflammatory responses to infection. I haven’t read enough recently about this study to be too clear about it.

    Done. I fear WArren may be upset that we have gone OT as we often do.

    Perhaps the Sanders study of gay brothers will turn up new and interesting data.

  • Preston

    Kin selection is yet another bogus theory that pro-gays bandy about despite a lack of evidence and plausibility. Humans have not needed an extended family to get to reproductive age since basically forever.

    The theories that gays come up with to try and explain how homosexuality could have a reproductive advantage are absurd.

  • Eddy

    Warren–

    I don’t recall seeing an answer to this question:

    Eddy# ~ Mar 5, 2011 at 9:55 am

    Warren,

    If the newly formed LDS group had used the same quotes (to support their own view that it’s ‘learned’ or ‘conditioned’) but stated clearly that the author of the quotes was not speaking to the issue of change and was not making any value judgements re the homosexual condition…if that were the case, would there still be objection to the LDS group using the quotes?

    (LOL. I did check in one evening to see 68 new posts, forgive me if your response was buried in those.)

  • http://wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Eddy – I didn’t see the question in the midst of all the comments.

    Those disclaimers would certainly help clarity and would have tempered Collins’ response, I suspect. However, it still would not deal accurately with the evidence, which is that there are data that point to biological factors other than direct genetic inheritance and that attractions are quite durable. I believe any religious group working in this arena should acknowledge that for accuracy’s sake and for the practical benefit of best helping their clients achieve their objectives.

  • Rebecca

    Yet another theory for why some are gay.

    Dr. Lesley Rogers, an esteemed Australian scientist, has written several books including one from 2003 entitled Gene Worship in which she logically dismantles the gay gene theory. An article from the Australian gay left states,

    “Scientists like Lesley argue that humans – and all other organisms – are a very complex mix of genes, developmental processes, environmental and social factors. In people these processes interact in a multi-layered way, resulting in what we now describe as ‘human’. A gene ‘for’ something as complex as sexuality is simply a nonsense in trying to understand how we become what we are.” Australian Gay Left

    I believe that Dr. Rogers views sexual attractions as culturally determined and therefore amenable to change and choice. She sees a genderless society as optimal. UNE – Staff – Lesley Rogers

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com warren

    carole – Not upset, especially when you talk substance as you have. Just my usual mellow self :)

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com warren

    Rebecca – Thanks for mentioning Rogers. The problem there is that one would need empirical support for the belief that orientation should be subject to conditions of culture and choice. I used to think more this way but the data just don’t support it, at least within our culture.

    I do think the constructionists and the essentialists are like the blind men and the elephant, each with a separate part claiming to have the whole. It seems clear that some people are quite adventuresome in their behavior and will try about anything sexually including same sex relations – these people no doubt believe they construct their sexuality. Others however, have known since they were small that they liked the same-sex “in that way.” I think they make a good case for the essentialists.

  • http://www.debbiethurman.com Debbie Thurman

    Do you think or know if emotional conditions get enmeshed with what is perceived as mental illness or are they considered two completely different issues?

    Like Throbert, I am no psychologist or mental health professional (merely a provincial English major who performed critical analyses on works like O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night or Kafka’s Metamorphosis).

    As a former mental health “consumer” with a diagnosis of major depressive disorder that I lived through for a decade, I can only say that depression is the one area where mental illness/brain disorder and the myriad contributing emotional factors are often conflated. I have no problem accepting that genetic factors contributed to my condition, given my obvious family history with mental illness. But the emotionally traumatic valley I found myself in during my twenties had much to do with my problem.

    Depression can be quite fluid and responsive to good emotional support and spiritual grounding. After l grew stronger and more grounded, I experienced more devastating events than those that set my depression in motion, yet I had no relapses.

    As far as I can tell — I only have the abridged desk reference — the DSM refers to the various types of depression as disorders, meaning mental illness and not emotionally induced conditions. It has long been debated whether emotional distress causes chemical imbalances or if it’s the other way around. And once upon a time, even during the ’80s when I was undergoing treatment, psychiatrists treating depression didn’t merely prescribe drugs and do therapeutic follow-ups (pill-checks) for depression. They used psychotherapy (talk therapy) a good deal, as well. So the brain disease view is a more recent one.

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    Carole — thanks for the more detailed explanations and links. I had heard different versions of the “enhanced sibling fecundity” idea — both the one in which a gay man’s sisters have more kids, and the one in which a gay man’s brothers father more children (not necessarily all with the same woman!).

    I have to chide myself because I realized I was conflating “kin selection” with various forms of “heterozygote advantage” in thinking about the math — they both postulate “more niblings and grand-niblings,” but by very different mechanisms, so “kin selection” in the proper sense is easier to exclude because the math becomes particularly implausible. (That was the basis for some of the experimental tests that you linked, such as Bobrow and Bailey.)

    So now it makes a lot more sense to me why kin selection as a specific mechanism has been discarded even by scientists who are still at least tentatively open to the “gay genes” possibility.

    One comment about a quote from your links:

    According to the best available estimates, however, 3 to 4 percent of men and 1 to 2 percent of women in the United States are exclusively homosexual. That’s a lot of homosexuals. Too many, Cochran and Ewald believe, for the condition to be genetic.

    Strictly speaking, shouldn’t the author have written “too many for the condition to be primarily or even commonly genetic,” or something like that?

    In other words, how do Cochran and Ewald exclude the possibility that “genetic homosexuality” does in fact exist, albeit as the rarest form of the homosexual condition? That is, it may be the case that only 1% of all homosexuals are “that way” because of “gay genes,” with not-genetic etiologies accounting for the other 99% of the homosexual demographic.

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    In other words, how do Cochran and Ewald exclude the possibility that “genetic homosexuality” does in fact exist,

    Just to be clear, I understand that Cochran and Ewald are not absolutely denying the occasional existence of “genetic homosexuality,” but rather are asserting that their “germ origin” hypothesis has much better explanatory value, and is more Occam’s Razor-proof, than any “gene origin” hypothesis.

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    Others however, have known since they were small that they liked the same-sex “in that way.”

    When I was around 5, a neighbor boy who was around 7 managed to get hold of one of his dad’s Playboy mags, and several of us boys were secretly ogling it. I vividly remember not “getting” what the big deal was with the naked woman in the centerfold, or why the other boys wanted to keep looking at her. But this particular issue of Playboy had an article about nudist colonies or nude beaches or something like that, with a small quarter-page photo that included some adult men in full-frontal nudity. (Just standing around having a picnic with naked women, mind you.) But I desperately wanted to steal the magazine so that I could look at that one little photo of naked grown-up men — with all that hair on their bodies and around their genitals — whenever I felt like it.

    And when I was around 8, I saw a foot-high copy of The Wrestlers in a museum gift shop — again, I was mesmerized by the naked men, while all the classical statuary of naked women was of no interest (except for the many-breasted Artemis from Ephesus, which I thought was hilarious — I imagined her wearing an egg carton as a bra!).

    This was despite the fact that I had no shortage of opportunities to see my father and other adult men naked in the locker-room at public swimming pools, while I very seldom got to see real-life women naked. Yet my desire to gaze at naked men was for some reason insatiable, while my curiosity about naked women was quite easily and thoroughly sated!

  • David Blakeslee

    Carole,

    “Wow” thanks for the effort, double time. :).

    Suggestion, write in Word which autosaves, then cut and paste.

  • David Blakeslee

    Reflecting,

    The stories we create are powerful modulators of our experience…even if the stories are patently false.

    The unfolding scientific story of Same Sex Attractions needs to be told as “unfolding,” rather than “decided.”

    This has already been revealed to the religiously devout, the capacity to be deceived and profoundly.

    But the politically motivated, fueled by flawed, deceptive or incomplete scientific theory or research seem to saturate their thoughts with the authority of their “preferred facts.”

    Plenty of outrage over the flawed theory and science of Reparative Drive.

    Little outrage over the flawed theories described above.

    Thank God for Occam’s razor.

  • Preston

    Others however, have known since they were small that they liked the same-sex “in that way.” I think they make a good case for the essentialists.

    I wouldn’t agree until we know more about what happens during the first 5-10 years of life…when humans experience a massive amount of psychological development. To simply proscribe it to nature is wrong.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Speaking of Occam’s razor, I suspect the simplest way to understand Throbert’s childhood recollections is at face value, rather than imposing some kind of fear/hate of dad fixation which drove him to reject naked women and move toward naked men.

    My childhood experience is exactly the opposite even though my dad was distant and my mom was super invasive.

  • Preston

    I agree that fear/hate father, invasive mother, etc aren’t necessarily the causation. But that does not preclude other environmental influences. Again, it is improper to simply throw out he first 5-10 years and proscribe to genes or pre natal.

  • http://wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Preston said:

    I agree that fear/hate father, invasive mother, etc aren’t necessarily the causation. But that does not preclude other environmental influences. Again, it is improper to simply throw out he first 5-10 years and proscribe to genes or pre natal.

    In those 600 studies, and 100 years of research or whatever you said, what are those factors? No one is throwing anything out. However, it is not enough to say there must be something there, and not specify it. What factors?

    We know that childhood gender nonconformity is correlated with adult homosexuality but we do not know that this factor is causal. We do know from recent studies that child abuse and distant parents are not strongly related to adult orientation but that leaves gender nonconformity which by the way is heritable and related to measurements of fetal testosterone. The research is unclear about the strength of the relationship or even if it is causal.

  • preston

    I have a 1 year old and must say that the amount of psychological development is absolutely stunning.

    From my reading, the 600+ studies surveyed various amounts of change.

    Gender nonconformity may be influenced by heredity but there again we certainly cannot rule out environment and might even be smarter to look more closely at environment.

    Surely your view of psychological development extends beyond trauma or flawed parenting? Quite simply, an adolescent spends 5-10 years of soaking up an astronomical amount of environmental influences.

  • Ann

    Throbert,

    I had a similar experience when I was younger, however, it was in reading something and how my reaction to it stayed with me many, many years. I think I was around 8 or so and it was something that was completely not age appropriate so not only did I feel the guilt and shame of my feelings but also knew it was wrong that I was reading it in the first place. Here is another question – please let me know if they become bothersome or if I am crossing any boundaries. I think most people become aware of who they are attracted to by sight. How would a blind person have this awareness if they cannot see? How do they imagine what they are attracted to without any reference? Would they be more neutral or flexible in their desires because they would base their feelings on other sensations?

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    I suspect the simplest way to understand Throbert’s childhood recollections is at face value, rather than imposing some kind of fear/hate of dad fixation which drove him to reject naked women and move toward naked men.

    Heh-heh… your suspicion is correct. Whatever the etiology of my homosexuality, I’m pretty sure it’s not related to anything dysfunctional or unusual in the parent/child relationship! My childhood home life was more or less idyllic, apart from fighting with my younger sister and the periodic relocations that go with being a “military brat.” And my parents were (and are to this day) a dynamic duo and it’s impossible for me to describe either one as being more distant or less loving than the other — they were both warm and affectionate and generally “involved” as parents towards me and my sister.

    I might as well add that when I was about 6, a high-school guy who was babysitting us waited until my sister was napping and then exposed his erection to me and did various other inappropriate things, on three different babysitting occasions. At no point was the activity ever painful or unpleasant for me, though I certainly didn’t get sexual pleasure from it, either. But I do recall a sort of positive gratification — it was interesting, though not arousing or pleasurable.

    At this point, some people might say, “Aha! That’s what made you gay — you were molested by an older male!”

    But I myself have always been skeptical — or at least agnostic — as to whether there was any causation here, since I know with absolute certainty that my fascination with men and penises and generally all things male antedated those encounters with the babysitter by at least a year. (As I said, I’m a military brat, and therefore I can often pin down the time ranges of early childhood memories because they’re associated with a particular house.) So I’m inclined to think that at most, that high-school boy may have nudged me further in a direction that I was already going.

    Which is not to excuse the extreme wrongness of what he did, but only to say that I don’t attribute my homosexuality to him.

    And incidentally, when I was around 8 and did the Catholic rites-of-passage of First Confession and First Communion, I had to wrestle with the memories of what my babysitter had done. However, the psychological conflict for me was this:

    I understood that it was technically a sin that I had obligingly done what my babysitter told me to do, and that I was therefore required to confess it to the priest. But at the same time, I didn’t feel the teeny-tiniest bit of guilt or revulsion about the acts, even though I understood (based on my own reading) that I was supposed to feel guilty about committing sexual sins with a male. And I also knew that if I mentioned the thing with the babysitter when I made my First Confession to the priest, there would undoubtedly be a huge fuss, and people would think I was weird, and my parents would worry that I was damaged. And I knew that if a genie offered me a wish that the babysitter had never done what he did, I would’ve declined, because in some way I cherished the memories.

    So, my First Confession ended up being more or less: “I fight with my sister a lot, and sometimes I hit her. I don’t always obey my parents. Sometimes I take the Lord’s Name in vain. And one time I stole a candy bar from the store when no one was looking.”

    P.S. The part about shoplifting candy was actually a lie that I told the priest, to pad out my list of sins!

    P.P.S. It was only at a much later age when I began to realize that if I had told my parents or the priest or whomever about what the babysitter had done, I might’ve helped to prevent him from doing it to other kids — kids who perhaps couldn’t “take it in stride and walk it off” as well as I could.

  • preston

    I’m simply speechless that you don’t think those incidents could have been a significant factor. And do you really have sufficient recollection from your first 5 years of life to dismiss everything that happened during it?

  • http://wthrockmorton.com Warren

    preston said

    I’m simply speechless that you don’t think those incidents could have been a significant factor. And do you really have sufficient recollection from your first 5 years of life to dismiss everything that happened during it?

    It is indeed obvious that you are not a therapist or have any kind of training but I will say that you have the mindset of a reparative therapist – keep asking the same questions until you get the answer you want.

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    Um, what makes you think that I’m dismissing everything that happened during my first five years? (Which I don’t remember very clearly, admittedly.) I’m not pushing the “born that way” line, and I’m totally open to “very early childhood” etiologies.

    And I’m not totally dismissing the possibility that those “incidents” were a significant causative factor towards my homosexuality; I just think that they probably weren’t of major causal significance. As I said, the naked-man fixation was definitely there before the babysitter incidents, and although the incidents were “interesting” to me, I never thought of them as “fun” (quite apart from the inappropriate sexual stuff — which the babysitter described as “my punishment” — he was overall kind of a bully).

  • Eddy

    I must be one of those crazed reparative therapists to the core because I find this paragraph almost unbelievable.

    I understood that it was technically a sin that I had obligingly done what my babysitter told me to do, and that I was therefore required to confess it to the priest. But at the same time, I didn’t feel the teeny-tiniest bit of guilt or revulsion about the acts, even though I understood (based on my own reading) that I was supposed to feel guilty about committing sexual sins with a male. And I also knew that if I mentioned the thing with the babysitter when I made my First Confession to the priest, there would undoubtedly be a huge fuss, and people would think I was weird, and my parents would worry that I was damaged. And I knew that if a genie offered me a wish that the babysitter had never done what he did, I would’ve declined, because in some way I cherished the memories.

    I was known for being a rather precocious child…I also earned the childhood nickname of “Mr. Dictionary”…but words(and concepts) like ‘technically’, ‘obligingly’ and ‘undoubtedly’ are not your standard 6 to 8 year old fare. But I’m willing to let that one slide if only this sentence could be explained:

    I didn’t feel the teeny-tiniest bit of guilt or revulsion about the acts, even though I understood (based on my own reading) that I was supposed to feel guilty about committing sexual sins with a male.

    So, we’ve got an 8 year old who’s already got access to and been reading books or other materials that address the issue of committing sexual sins with a male???? That ought to be a clue that 1) either the memory has been distorted by later processing or 2) that this was one unusual home to have such materials available for an 8 year old to read.

  • ken

    Warren# ~ Mar 10, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    “It is indeed obvious that you are not a therapist or have any kind of training but I will say that you have the mindset of a reparative therapist – keep asking the same questions until you get the answer you want.”

    I’d say it is worse than that Warren. Preston doesn’t seem to understand much (if anything) about sexual orientation. And his only “education” on the topic came from NARTH.

  • Mary

    I didn’t feel the teeny-tiniest bit of guilt or revulsion about the acts, even though I understood (based on my own reading) that I was supposed to feel guilty about committing sexual sins with a male

    Sounds like someone is imposing adult reality onto a child. Although, I can totally see how you would not feel guilt nor revulsion. Many children who are molested have an experience (because of the sexual stimulation) of pleasure. That’s normal.

    I heard many adults speak of their childhood sexual molestation as having no effect on them. However, I uphold that the mind of a child is not prepared to handle the flood of thoughts that come with sexual molestation and do alot of acrobatics to make it “okay.”

  • preston

    Warren, I still respect your knowledge and experience on the matter. Ken, not so much.

    Could you at least help me understand the problem(s) with this:

    I’m simply speechless that you don’t think those incidents could have been a significant factor. And do you really have sufficient recollection from your first 5 years of life to dismiss everything that happened during it?

    I purposefully used the word “could”. I still believe causation is unresolved. And I think we can mostly agree that it is difficult for an adult, or even a teenager, to recollect years 1-5 and that years 1-5 have an significant impact on disposition (psychology, personality…whatever you want to call it). And Throbert’s revelation was new (to me) and seemed to warrant what I guess you are considering a repetitive question.

    With all due respect, warren, I am an intelligent thinker on this topic who is doing considerably more than parroting NARTH platitudes. I’m a bit surprised at your dismissiveness.

  • Ann

    I heard many adults speak of their childhood sexual molestation as having no effect on them. However, I uphold that the mind of a child is not prepared to handle the flood of thoughts that come with sexual molestation and do alot of acrobatics to make it “okay.”

    Mary,

    From my own personal experiences, I can say you are very right in this analysis.

  • ken

    preston# ~ Mar 10, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    “Could you at least help me understand the problem(s) with this:”

    Because you ignored what Throbert said except the part that fits your own (and NARTH’s) bias about the “causes” of homosexuality.

    “I am an intelligent thinker on this topic who is doing considerably more than parroting NARTH platitudes. I’m a bit surprised at your dismissiveness.”

    An intelligent thinker would have thought to ask the following questions regarding a potential link between child molestation and homosexuality:

    What percentage of ALL gay men (not just those who seek therapy) were molested as children?

    What percentage of ALL children who were molested grow up to be heterosexual? homosexual? How do these statistics compare to that of the general population?

    how reliable is the data for the given stats?

  • David Blakeslee

    Childhood sexual abuse tends to be experienced more negatively as they age. Children are inherently resilient in the face of trauma; the developmental drivers to adapt and overcome are very powerful.

    In later years, previous abuse they thought they were “over” becomes more complicated. This is often due to failures adaptive defenses they created to keep memories and sensations at bay; or when they discover that there is a repetitive pattern they have been living out unconsciously in their present relationships. Or when the fatigue of a lifetime of “hypervigilance” catches up in the form of exhaustion and depression.

    You may want to look here for those who wish to emphasize that “age discrepant sex” is not always harmful: The Journal of Sex Research, Volume 41, Number 4, pp 381-389.

    The facts are, though, that as we age people who previously thought they had not been harmed migrate to the group who have concluded they have been harmed.

  • David Blakeslee

    Throbert…thanks for your frankness.

    I am not saying that I know what your ultimate attitude toward your abuse will be.

    I have made up sins as an adult to fill out my confession resume :).

  • carole

    @Throbert,

    In other words, how do Cochran and Ewald exclude the possibility that “genetic homosexuality” does in fact exist, albeit as the rarest form of the homosexual condition? That is, it may be the case that only 1% of all homosexuals are “that way” because of “gay genes,” with not-genetic etiologies accounting for the other 99% of the homosexual demographic.

    I have read Cochran say he believes the pathogen hypothesis accounts for most exclusive male homosexuality.

    You aske what would they likely say about any “genetic” explanation of a very low incidence of homosexuality (your 1% of 2-4%)? I think they’d say that mutations can and do explain a very low incidence of just about anything….but that mutations that result in hits to fitness are eventually pruned out of existence. (The genes for something like Huntingtons or Lynch Syndrome, for example, have been maintained because their effects don’t usually take place until after carriers have had already had their offspring.)

    However, new mutations can always occur so a certain gene which accounts for a trait or a condition gets pruned out of existence if it affects reproduction, but a new mutation that explains a similar trait might pop up and occur at a very low level, then get pruned out…and so and so on.

  • carole

    David,

    The unfolding scientific story of Same Sex Attractions needs to be told as “unfolding,” rather than “decided.”

    For sure.

  • preston

    ken, I think there are a variety of potential causes of SSA so your suggested study would not be of much value either way.

    I’m curious what you think I ignored. He said he was “skeptical/agnostic” that there was “any causation”. He claimed to know at 5 years of age he was on an irreversible path towards homosexuality. That this fairly shocking set of sexual events that “at most, nudged” him along. Who knows how long the baby sitter was around or what he had done on other occasions. And what sorts of experiences Throbert had the prior 1800 days. And, further, the impact of being uprooted occasionally, to Gitmo, no less (before you respond, I am not saying that getting uprooted makes you gay).

    Sorry, ken, but I just cannot agree that Throbert’s situation is fully settled in the way it was described above.

    I’m still not asserting that any of these things individually or in the aggregate is the cause of his homosexuality. But you would have to be completely close-minded to think none of this could have contributed, or even contributed significantly.

    I’m not even sure why I reply because I know you will knee-jerk disagree.

  • carole

    Throbert, I meant to point out that your hypothetical 1% of 2-4% would fall in the range of mutation territory–rare: (.0002% – .0004%)

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    I was known for being a rather precocious child…I also earned the childhood nickname of “Mr. Dictionary”

    I was a gifted child, too, but when it came to processing written information, I was not merely “rather precocious” — I was more like “Village of the Damned precocious”! Seriously, I used to absorb the contents of college-level textbooks in seconds simply by pressing them against my dome-like forehead.

    Okay, I’m exaggerating a little — but the point is, I was an “abnormally” advanced reader, which brings me to…

    So, we’ve got an 8 year old who’s already got access to and been reading books or other materials that address the issue of committing sexual sins with a male????

    This may astound you, but careless people just leave Bibles lying around in churches, where an 8-year-old kid who’s bored out of his mind during Mass can just pick ‘em up and start reading! And the Bible has all that stuff about the wicked men of Sodom, and laws against lying with men or with beasts, and Paul’s deprecation of “homosexual offenders.”

    Mind you, I’m not 100% sure that I picked up this info from the Bible; I also had a library card and knew how to look up “sex” in a card catalog, in hopes of finding books with glorious color photos of naked men like I’d seen in that Playboy a few years earlier. Unfortunately, the library did NOT have any such books, but in my ultimately futile efforts to find them, I may well have stumbled across titles like Homosexuality: A Christian Response, though I don’t recall for sure if I did. (But I vividly remember finding, as an 8-year-old wandering the grown-up section of the library, a collection of obscene limericks by folklorist Gershon Legman — the funniness of his name, combined with the jaw-dropping dirtiness of the limericks, made an indelible impression!)

    Finally, my dad had some copies of National Lampoon that he didn’t hide very well — it’s possible that in one of them, I saw some satirical story about a Bible-thumping preacher railing against homosexuals.

    So, in short, I don’t remember the exact source, but one way another I had been able to suss out from my own reading, by the time I was 8, that what the babysitter had done to me what the babysitter and I had done was “homosexuality,” and that people generally considered a sin, although it wasn’t obvious to me why God would think it was sinful. And I never beat myself up or thought of myself as a bad boy for having willingly played along with what the babysitter told me to do — even though I did conclude that it was “technically” a sin!

    All that said, despite my verbal precocity, in many other ways I had the naive intellect of a child — so I didn’t fully understand the gravity of what had happened with my babysitter, and I had a very hazy idea of what “sex” and “homosexuality” actually were. (In my mind, since this high-school guy had put his penis in my mouth, and we were both boys, we had “done homosexual sex.”)

    And I truly don’t think I was substantially damaged by what he did — I didn’t hate myself, I didn’t become wildly promiscuous, I didn’t develop an attraction to children. And as I’ve already said, I don’t think this experience “turned me homo.” But I see myself as having dodged a bullet almost miraculously — for it was only by the lucky confluence of multiple mitigating factors that I avoided being harmed.

    Among those “mitigating factors”: There was no physical pain involved, or verbal threats; he was a “big kid” rather than a REAL grown-up such as a teacher or coach; my parents were not fanatical prudes who taught me that nakedness and the genitals were dirty and Satanic; I was an exceptionally bright kid with an instinct to process things as “a learning experience”; and finally, it sort of fit with that ever-present curiosity I already had about penises and male pubic hair and so forth.

    But I fully understand that, as they say in weight-loss ads:

    *Results not typical

    ;-)

  • Rebecca

    What’s sad here in all this nature vs. nurture talk is that important developmental research from the pre Internet period is neglected.

    I have a book written in 1981 entitled Infantile Origins of Sexual Identity by eminent researchers Herman Roiphe, M.D. and Eleanor Galenson, M.D. which is essentially a body of research based on a study of 66 infants and their families who attended their research nursery from 1968 to 1975. This is a longitudinal study design.

    The book opens with the statement that “the events of the pre oedipal period remained relatively obscure until the direct observational research undertaken by Margaret Mahler” in the late 50′s and 60′s. They state that “Mahler has consistently emphasized that the separation-individuation process unfolds simultaneously with libidinal-phase progression (which means sex drive), emergent aggression, and ego structuralization” as it relates to object relations. Roiphe and Galenson’s goal was to “correlate the development along each of these axes” after first identifying a certain “relatively invariant behavioral sequence” in relation to “drive development and anal-zone awareness” and finally connecting this to “object relations and ego functioning.” Quite a mouthful and very very difficult to take in initially unless you are used to reading in this field.

    Note the following from the preface:

    Quote:

    As our research proceeded, we became increasingly convinced that we had been engaged in tracing the development of the sense of sexual identity from its vague beginnings during the earliest weeks and months to a definite conscious awareness of specific gender and genital erotic feelings and fantasies by the end of the second year. This definitive awareness has turned out to be a critical factor in ongoing psychological development and this therefore been designated as the beginning of a new psychosexual phase. (the early genital phase) – p. x. (parenthesis and italics mine).

    How can anyone meaningfully debate the origins of adult sexual object preference without considering infant psychosexual development? I encourage all who debate the nature nurture question to read this important work.

  • preston

    Well, according to warren, that’s not something I can discuss.

    Is anyone else freaked out by Throbert’s stories? I’m assuming they’re true but wouldn’t be surprised if it’s fiction. Obviously surprised by the nonchalance of reporting a serious felony. What’s the statute of limitations on something like that? Definitely nothing “bright” about it.

  • Eddy

    Throbert–

    Thanks for addressing the big mystery I found in regarding your reading. I do concede that it’s possible that you did manage to do such reading although I strongly suspect that it wasn’t in ‘the Bibles in the pew’ scenario. Raised Catholic myself, I can’t recall being in any Catholic Church where anyone brought a Bible to Mass. And there’s also precious little ‘sit around time’ where people leave their seats…only Communion. I’d have to do some checking to see if Missals actually address the homosexual verses from the Bible.

    The library is the most plausible. I’m pretty sure I’ve got a few years on you but I started ‘sneaking downtown to the State Library’ and looking up sexual stuff…but that wasn’t until I was 12 or 13. Still, a bolder child with easier library access could have done such a search at an earlier age.

  • Rebecca

    Ken asks:

    What percentage of ALL gay men (not just those who seek therapy) were molested as children?

    “Several studies have reported significantly higher rates of childhood sexual abuse among homosexual as compared to heterosexual adults.59 While the sample sizes tend to be small, the findings are remarkably consistent. For example, Bramblett and Darling found 54% of their sample of adult male survivors perceived themselves as heterosexual, 14% perceived themselves as gay and 32% perceived themselves to be bisexual.60″ http://narth.com/2010/11/conversion-therapy-revisited-parameters-and-rationale-for-ethical-care/

    This is from an article on the NARTH website written by Chris Rosik. There is more about this almost halfway down under the article’s heading – ‘Other Developmental Influences.’

  • Emily K

    Wow. I hope that the high school age boy who sexually molested a child in his care is/was brought to justice. What a sick f*** that guy is. Pedophilia is never acceptable.

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    Eddy — you’re absolutely right about Catholics not bringing Bibles to Mass, but military bases often have shared multifaith chapels, and I definitely have memories from various points in my childhood of sitting in Mass and flipping through the Bibles that were placed in the pews for use during Protestant services, along with the paperback “missalettes” that we Catholics used, and general Christian hymnals. (And occasionally there’d be one of those little plastic Communion cups that someone forgot to discard after a Protestant service, with a thin film of red wine clinging to the bottom!)

    On the other hand, I did First Communion on a very small military base in Turkey that didn’t even have a dedicated chapel — both Catholics and Protestants held their Sunday services in the base movie theater, which was equipped with standard theater-style padded seats that folded closed (sometimes noisily!) when everyone stood up. So there were definitely no Bibles or hymnals left in the seats at that “church”! But I might’ve seen a “pew copy” of the Bible at some other military chapel before we got to Ankara — I’m not sure.

    Anyway, there were plenty of Saturday afternoons (and weekdays during the summer) when my mother would drop my sister off at the free military daycare center, while leaving me happily occupied at the base library, so that she could run errands or do officer’s-wife volunteer stuff for a few hours. And for the most part I would just hang out in the juvenile section with “Beezus and Ramona” or “The Great Brain,” or whatever caught my fancy, but now and then I would wander into the “grown-up” section of the library on a quest for books about penises. (And, also, Erma Bombeck — I just worshipped her when I was around 8 or 9! I would guess that the compendium of dirty limericks I accidentally discovered might’ve been shelved near the Bombeck in the “non-fiction humor” section.)

    And come to think of it, the library also had trashy paperback novelizations of R-rated movies that were the talk of the 3rd-grade playground, but that my totally unfair parents wouldn’t allow me to watch, like Blue Lagoon and Halloween and Amityville Horror — so that’s yet another source from which I might’ve gleaned information about sex that 8-year-olds “aren’t supposed to know about.” And believe me, I was very skilled at gleaning!

  • Mary

    You may want to look here for those who wish to emphasize that “age discrepant sex” is not always harmful: The Journal of Sex Research, Volume 41, Number 4, pp 381-389

    Sounds like we are moving towards pedophilia? Sorry, I don’t care if there is one remark about it in a journal – I don’t buy it.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Rebecca – I am skeptical of anything on NARTH’s website in that they take any study that demonstrates what they believe and ignore studies which do not.

    Here is a prospective study of sexual abuse and orientation. In this study, it appears that sex abuse was linked to a slightly higher likelihood of same-sex behavior sometime in one’s life but not having a same-sex partner currently or in the past year (a proxy for orientation).

    It appears that sex abuse might lead to experimentation but does not appear to lead to ongoing same-sex living.

  • preston

    OK, Warren, this is getting ridiculous. It is you who is the broken record. You automatically dismiss anything NARTH links to. And then blatantly mis-report.

    For those who may have missed it, the researchers conclude:

    These prospective findings provide tentative evidence of a link between childhood sexual abuse and same-sex sexual partnerships among men

    No, adolescent abuse does not cause homosexuality, but it certainly can contribute and possibly be the primary factor.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Preston – I acknowledge the wording is confusing but I did not misreport. Here is the report of results from the study:

    Childhood physical abuse and neglect were not significantly associated with increased likelihood of same-sex cohabitation or sexual partnerships (see Table 3). Individuals with documented histories of childhood sexual abuse were more likely than controls to report ever having had same-sex sexual partners (OR = 2.81, 95% CI = 1.16–6.80, p ? .05). Conversion of this odds ratio to an effect size equivalent to a standardized mean difference (Chinn, 2000) yielded an effect size of .57, a moderate effect (Cohen, 1988). However, victims of sexual abuse were not more likely than controls to report cohabitation with a same-sex partner (OR = 1.73, 95% CI = .35–8.52, p > .10) or to report same-sex sexual partners in the past year (OR = 1.18, 95% CI = .14–10.28, p > .10).

    Ever having a same sex partner is what the authors meant by “partnerships” which is unfortunate because it sounds like relationship. Note that the results find no cohabitation or past year partners associated with sexual abuse.

    I am not sure if I have written this before but I think this study might make everybody right when it comes to sexual abuse and gays vs. ex-gays. Ex-gays often describe sexual abuse in their histories but try to avoid current same sex partners. Gays often say they weren’t abused. There was no association between abuse and cohabitation and current partners which is what I would expect of a gay person. However, what I expect from an ex-gay (past SS behavior but none currently) is what is reported here.

  • preston

    Also, I think the results were moderated by including both males and females which I believe have both very different adolescent psychosexual development and very different SSA development. The link between abuse and male SS behavior was quite a bit stronger.

  • William

    Preston, quite apart from arguments about what the evidence does or not tell us on this matter, do you want sexual abuse to “contribute and possibly be the primary factor” in the development of homosexuality? If so, why? Just asking.

  • Ann

    William,

    I would like to know what effects, if any, sexual abuse overall has on either a boy or girl under the age of 15. If violence is involved, how does that add to the effects? If spontaneous enjoyment is found during the abuse, what effects does that have? If it is a member of the family and secrets are kept, what effect does that have? I am sure the effects are very different for each individual and yet, the residual effects could have some very common elements.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com warren

    preston – separate analyses were carried out for both men and women.

  • David Blakeslee

    Warren,

    Individuals with documented histories of childhood sexual abuse were more likely than controls to report ever having had same-sex sexual partners (OR = 2.81, 95% CI = 1.16–6.80, p ? .05).

    This may explain “ego-dystonic” homosexuality. It can’t be simply understood as culturally induced.

    You have not commented on Rosik’s summary at Narth…I would welcome it.

    Incidence rate seems to be higher among MSM (which is the behavioral, rather than identity way of defining this group).

    I think the cohabiting qualifier is an interesting idea, but not sure how that same standard would be applied in research on heterosexuals…and why it is relevant.

  • David Blakeslee

    Warren,

    From your post on this research:

    Also, the study does not indicate that sexual abuse leads to homosexuality. In the control group, 5.3% said they had engaged in same-sex relationships, whereas in the sexual abuse group, 27.3% did.

    The sexually abused group engaged in same sex relationship as 5 times the rate of the non-sexually abused group.

    Wow.

    Freud might talk about repetition compulsion.

    Trauma theorists might talk about trying to master the feelings of victimhood by repeating the behavior associated with it, only as an initiator rather than a victim.

  • David Blakeslee

    Also, the fact that there is an association (correlation) between lack of co-habitation in men and sexual abuse as a child could suggest that there is a lasting impairment in interpersonal relations which makes co-habitation difficult.

  • William

    Ann,

    Never having been sexually abused myself either under or over the age of 15, and not being any kind of expert in the matter, I ‘m afraid that I don’t know the answers to your questions.

  • William

    David Blakeslee:

    Childhood sexual abuse tends to be experienced more negatively as they age. … as we age people who previously thought they had not been harmed migrate to the group who have concluded they have been harmed.

    Yes, David, I’m sure that you’re absolutely right about that. A very striking example was provided about ten years ago in The Observer by a British filmmaker who wrote an article describing how, during his time at a boarding school in Scotland, he had been sexually abused regularly over a period of years by a male teacher. For years he kept quiet about it, and never even told his wife, telling himself that “it has done me no harm”. Looking back thirty years later, he realised that “Every day for the next three decades was a day complicated by the consequences…” It was only one night shortly after his father’s death, when he was having dinner with some friends, that he suddenly broke down and blurted out the story to them.

    I would add that the same can be said of anti-gay abuse, whether direct or indirect, during adolescence and youth. By “direct” I mean bullying, nagging and other obvious forms of mistreatment (e.g. being forced or cajoled into undergoing some kind of “therapy”) because you are known or suspected to be gay. By “indirect”, I mean having to spend your teenage years living with a secret, worrying about what will happen if you are “rumbled”, having to endure in silence the regular barrage of messages (although they aren’t knowingly directed at you) that your sexuality is bad and makes you a worthless person, and building an invisible wall around yourself so that no-one can get close enough to discover your secret.

    In the case of both types of abuse, years after you think that you have put it all behind you and buried it and that anyway it has done you no lasting damage, you can suddenly experience unexpected flashbacks which bring home to you the fact that its repercussions have been far more serious than you had realized.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com warren

    David – I wish the researchers would have asked about attractions, arousal, behavior, etc. but they did not. The closest we get to a proxy for orientation is the combo of cohabitation and partner in the last year. I recognize that is not ideal and leaves open reasonable hypotheses such as you are offering.

    RE: Rosik – I will have to look at that. I believe I glanced at it and saw not much new. One thing that must be accounted for in any analysis of abuse and orientation is the covariable of gender nonconformity. Gender nonconforming kids are abused more whether they are gay or straight.Thus, abuse is going to show up more when orientation is the focus.

    My reason for saying sexual abuse does not cause homosexuality in some general sense was because the numbers weren’t higher and because not all kids who were sexually abused become gay and because all gay people were not sexually abused. To you and me, this is obvious but to those who need a trauma in the history, it needs to be pointed out. Reparatives are ok with parents not causing it if they can believe that the rest of the gays are so because of the trauma of abuse.

  • preston

    do you want sexual abuse to “contribute and possibly be the primary factor” in the development of homosexuality

    I’m not sure I understand the question. If it is the truth, I would like for such truth to be identified.

    sexual abuse does not cause homosexuality

    I completely agree. But I think it’s clear that it can be a contributing factor and possible a significant contributing factor. But that in no way suggests that victims of abuse will necessarily become gay. And it also does not suggest that abuse is the only possible cause.

  • David Blakeslee

    Thanks Warren…

    the 5 times factor in sexual abuse being correlated with engagement in Same Sex behavior when compared to non-sexually abused seems stunning and remarkable;

    …but not causative.

    The kind of carefulness about “causation” is worthy here…but it is negligent to no emphasize this and not the correlative factors, which are dramatic if I read the article correctly.

  • Rebecca

    Warren,

    I agree with David’s observations about the unusual incidence of sexually abused boys having had gay contact but not cohabitating. It suggests some sort of relational instability.

    As to this study being better because it is prospective, I think that benefit is canceled out by selection bias since most child molestation goes unreported and those in this study may reflect more traumatic molestation or a certain age bias. But then again it seems likely that in a retrospective study, straight men would underreport sexual encounters with older men.

  • preston

    but not causative

    But you are not ruling out causation, correct? And in fact the data would support theories of causation, correct?

    Standard Disclaimer: people can be abused and not become homosexual. Other factors, on their own or in conjunction, could lead to homosexuality.

  • Jayhuck

    David B -

    This has already been revealed to the religiously devout, the capacity to be deceived and profoundly.

    As if the religiously devout are the only ones on whom this knowledge has been bestowed. Really?

  • Jayhuck

    Thanks Warren…

    the 5 times factor in sexual abuse being correlated with engagement in Same Sex behavior when compared to non-sexually abused seems stunning and remarkable;

    David B

    It would also be interesting to know how early opposite sexual abuse may cause opposite-sex behavior in an individual who might otherwise have been homosexual. I can only imagine this occurs.

  • Jayhuck

    Preston,

    Jayhuck, I was responding to Throbert’s comment about ““kin selection” or “heterozygote advantage”. Keep up, bud.

    I’m not quite sure what you meant by telling me to “keep up”. I was referring to the comment you made about traditional marriage.

  • ken

    preston# ~ Mar 11, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    “It is you who is the broken record. You automatically dismiss anything NARTH links to. And then blatantly mis-report.”

    NARTH has had a long history of distorting research findings to push their own views. Being skeptical of NARTH claims is only common sense. the NARTH reference Rebecca cited also referenced work by Paul Cameron, a red-flag for any article (NARTH or other) discussing sexual orientation.

    “No, adolescent abuse does not cause homosexuality, but it certainly can contribute and possibly be the primary factor.”

    interesting how you go from researchers claiming “tentative evidence of a link” to “possibly primary factor”

    btw, Warren can you provide a cite for the article you are talking about?

  • ken

    David Blakeslee# ~ Mar 11, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    “the 5 times factor in sexual abuse being correlated with engagement in Same Sex behavior when compared to non-sexually abused seems stunning and remarkable;”

    That depends, did the article specify how much (if any) of the same sex behavior was the result of prostitution?

  • David Blakeslee

    Jayhuck,

    As if the religiously devout are the only ones on whom this knowledge has been bestowed. Really?

    Can’t find whre I said what you said…but that doesn’t mean I didn’t say it!

    I think I was trying to talk about how vulnerable to deception religious folks are, due to the demands for trust, obedience and community.

    Thats all.

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    the 5 times factor in sexual abuse being correlated with engagement in Same Sex behavior when compared to non-sexually abused seems stunning and remarkable;

    …but not causative.

    One possible explanation for the correlation could be that the men who abuse boys make a conscious effort to screen out the “strictly heterosexual” boys before making any overt advances, and thus preferentially direct their abuse towards boys who seem more likely to be homosexually curious and responsive.

    In other words, the abusers aren’t “turning the boys homosexual”; they’re selecting (or at least, attempting to select) the already-homosexual-leaning boys.

    Of course, this may not be a factor in the case of pedophiles who prey on prepubescents only, but I’d be rather amazed if the “hebephile” priests who prey on young adolescent altar boys (for example) don’t make at least some effort to identify and target those boys who aren’t gossiping about hot chicks or not confessing to “impure thoughts” about female celebrities, etc.

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    Which is of course not to deny that heterosexual boys are also victims of homosexual abusers; it just seems like a logical “game strategy” that homosexual predators would try to locate homosexual victims as easier prey.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com warren

    ken – good question re: prostitution – the authors asked about and controlled for prostitution.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com warren

    ken: Archives of Sexual Behavior

    Volume 39, Number 1, 63-74, DOI: 10.1007/s10508-008-9449-3

    Does Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse, or Neglect in Childhood Increase the Likelihood of Same-sex Sexual Relationships and Cohabitation? A Prospective 30-year Follow-up

    Helen W. Wilson and Cathy Spatz Widom

  • Eddy

    I think I was trying to talk about how vulnerable to deception religious folks are, due to the demands for trust, obedience and community.

    Another generalized statement that could surely be turned around. I wonder what good things can come out of ‘trust, obedience and community’. Or what bad things might spring out of their absence…

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    I think a great deal of good can come out of trust, obedience and community, as well as a great deal of bad, depending…

  • Eddy

    So, wouldn’t it be safe to say that with or without trust, obedience and community ALL folks are vunerable to deception? What about those things makes religious folks particularly vulnerable as you seem to suggest in your comment to David?

    how vulnerable to deception religious folks are, due to

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    Are you talking to me? I didn’t say anything about religious folks being vulnerable to deception. That quote is from David:

    I think I was trying to talk about how vulnerable to deception religious folks are, due to the demands for trust, obedience and community.

    I misunderstood him and thought he was saying something else.

    As for trust, obedience and community, I think whether these things produce “good results” all depends on a number of factors. I think the religious group at Waco had all of those qualities; trust, obedience and community, yet the result was something much less than ideal. Another example might be those pesky Germans around the time of WWII (I hesitate to use the N word since I don’t want my comment flagged). I’m certain they possessed all those qualities as well, but don’t think the product of their association and obedience was anything any reasonable person would call “good”.

  • Eddy

    Jayhuck–

    ooops! my bad. And I’ve had two cups of coffee!

    Thanks for the correction.

    David–

    where were you going with that statement???

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    Its ok, I haven’t even had my coffee yet so its somewhat a miracle I was able to stay that focused

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    Eddy, as long as you’re on this thread — one other memory occurred to me that’s relevant to “Catholics and the Bible.”

    When I was around 8 — again, around the time that I made First Communion, and during our three years in Turkey — my family got two cats. And the cats would often move back and forth between my bedroom and my sister’s bedroom during the night, and sleep in our beds. (My parents kept their bedroom door shut so the cats wouldn’t wake them up!)

    Anyway, at some point during the three years that we had those cats (we couldn’t take them with us from Turkey because of strict rabies-quarantine laws), I managed to discover Leviticus 18:23 — “thou shalt not lie down with a beast”. And this seriously concerned me for a while because I wasn’t sure whether letting my cat sleep under the covers with me amounted to “lying with a beast”!!

    Now, “lying with a beast” is obviously a very KJV turn of phrase, and Catholics generally tend to prefer translations other than the KJV, so presumably I must’ve been reading a “Protestant” Bible for some reason in order to have found that phraseology and thus get confused by it.

    But, assuming it was in a Bible, and not in some other source, that I saw a reference to homosexuality being a sin, it must have been a different translation that used a more modern expression like “if a man has sex with a man” — since, clearly, at that age I didn’t yet know that “to lie with” was a Biblical euphemism for sex.

    (And similarly, if I’d seen Lev. 18:23 in a more modern translation that said “do not have sex with animals,” I wouldn’t have been worried about letting my cat sleep in my bed!)

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    I hope that the high school age boy who sexually molested a child in his care is/was brought to justice. What a sick f*** that guy is. Pedophilia is never acceptable.

    I hope that I was the first, last, and only kid he ever molested, either because he repented or he was subsequently caught or he just fell off a cliff or something.

    I want to make clear that I’m not saying “no harm, no foul”; what he did was morally horrible even though I don’t believe that I suffered horrible effects and I’ve never felt any personal anger towards him.

  • preston

    I don’t believe that I suffered horrible effects and I’ve never felt any personal anger towards him

    If sufficient evidence arose that demonstrated these acts as having been the primary factor for your SSA, would you feel differently?

    Your point about aggressors seeking out optimal targets is actually a good one. But I think you make a tragic error. The victims are not homosexual-leaning. They are heterosexuals who might exhibit qualities such as curiosity, lack of intellect, accommodation, effemination, gender confusion, gender nonconformity, etc. But thanks to the APA and gay agenda, we are not allowed to try to get them back on track.

    I have a strong suspicion that Throbert’s molestation had a not insignificant impact on his development of SSA.

  • ken

    Thanks for the ref. Warren. I’m on the road, but I’ll look this article up when i get home.

  • Jayhuck

    Oh Preston,

    Your point about aggressors seeking out optimal targets is actually a good one. But I think you make a tragic error. The victims are not homosexual-leaning. They are heterosexuals who might exhibit qualities such as curiosity, lack of intellect, accommodation, effemination, gender confusion, gender nonconformity, etc. But thanks to the APA and gay agenda, we are not allowed to try to get them back on track.

    I think it is you who makes the tragic error. They are homosexuals who might exhibit qualities such as curiosity, lack of intellect, accomodation, effemination, gender confuions, gender non-conformity. But Thanks to the APA and the gay agenda we are allowed to actually talk about these people. LOL

    What do you mean by “back on track”?

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    Your point about aggressors seeking out optimal targets is actually a good one. But I think you make a tragic error. The victims are not homosexual-leaning. They are heterosexuals who might exhibit qualities such as curiosity, lack of intellect, accommodation, effemination, gender confusion, gender nonconformity, etc. But thanks to the APA and gay agenda, we are not allowed to try to get them back on track.

    Preston, why do you assume that none of the victims are already experiencing actual homosexual attractions prior to being molested by someone of the same sex?

  • preston

    They might be experiencing homosexual attractions. But I think it is possible or even probable that their course is not set in stone at that point. The adolescent psyche is far more mutable. Much more difficult to change later in life.

  • William

    But thanks to the APA and gay agenda, we are not allowed to try to get them back on track.

    That really sets alarm bells ringing for me. The thought of anyone trying to tamper with the sexual development of young people because they “exhibit qualities such as curiosity, lack of intellect, accommodation, effemination, gender confusion, gender nonconformity, etc.” fills me with revulsion. In my view, it’s pretty well as bad as sexual molestation, and likely to be just as harmful in its effects. If the APA and the so-called gay agenda (whatever that’s supposed to be) are now making such interference more difficult, I can only say most sincerely: Thank God.

  • preston

    Yes, it’s tricky working with adolescents for the reasons you cite. But that’s a bad reason to forbid it. Equating it to sexual molestation is breathtakingly insane.

    So this is the one thing we are not aloud to interfere in? Nonsense.

    The gay agenda are the folks peddling the nonsense that change is impossible, attempts to change will lead to harm, homosexuality is innate and immutable, anything that supports change is discredited, 10% of the world’s population is gay, civil unions are insufficient, change only means 100% change, helping people change is as bad as sexually molesting them.

  • Teresa

    @Preston:

    For persons who cannot (for whatever reason) get beyond their homosexuality; what, in your opinion, are options for these people as they go through life?

    Again, this is not meant to be a sarcastic question, or a ‘gotcha’ question. I’m asking this seriously.

  • Eddy

    Teresa–

    I can’t speak for all ex-gay ministries but the one I was involved with actually saw very few who came in as a result of parental pressure. The number was slightly higher for those who come in due to spousal pressure.

    I’ve told the story here of parents who dragged their son into my office for counseling. I told them I’d like to meet with them and with their son separately. In my meeting with them, they presented the huge quandary they were having about Thanksgiving. It seems their gay son wanted to bring his partner home for the holiday. They said they could probably handle having the partner there for the dinner but no way were they going to allow them to share a room. “It just wouldn’t be right.”

    I then asked about their other son, the heterosexual one. Was he coming home too? And bringing his girlfirend? “And where will she be sleeping?” To their credit, they recognized their double-standard immediately. After that, the gay son came in to talk to me voluntarily and even brought his partner on two occasions.

    Wiliam:

    The thought of anyone trying to tamper with the sexual development of young people because they “exhibit qualities such as curiosity, lack of intellect, accommodation, effemination, gender confusion, gender nonconformity, etc.” fills me with revulsion.

    Me too! I’ve known far too many young people who were TOLD they were gay as a result of exhibiting those qualities.

  • preston

    I think it’s a reasonable question and I think the concern about failure is excessive. We don’t seem to be so concerned with failure in most other endeavors. This topic seems to be one of the few or only where risk of failure leads to not trying.

    One analogy I’ve used is marriage counseling: you counsel towards remaining married but if divorce occurs, then you help with that.

    By I think it is crucial that heterosexual-affirming treatment be available to non-religious people. In fact, I think heterosexual-affirming treatment should be encouraged.

    And I think we desperately need more research, especially that which seeks to understand the development of SSA and approaches and results of change efforts. These have all been pushed to the fringe or to non-clinical religious organizations. Quite a shame.

  • William

    Equating it [tampering with adolescents because they don’t conform to a heterosexiat paradigm or to gender stereotypes] to sexual molestation is breathtakingly insane.

    Just to make my position absolutely clear, Preston, I very definitely do equate it with sexual molestation in terms of the damage likely to be done by such interference. If you think that that’s breathtakingly insane, so much the worse for you. If people of your way of thinking are now no longer “aloud” [sic] to interfere with young people in this way, so much the better for those young people.

    I realise that those who in the past have engaged in this kind of meddling have done so with good intentions, but as the late Sir Oliver Lodge observed of someone:

    I suppose he may be credited with good intentions; which I always consider the feeblest kind of praise, because the only people without good intentions are criminals; and I am not so sure about them.

    I’ve known far too many young people who were TOLD they were gay as a result of exhibiting those qualities. – Eddy

    I agree with you: that’s absolutely wrong too.

  • preston

    William, I’ll give you one last chance to mend your position.

    To summarize, the sexual molestation we are considering is a babysitter inserting his penis in a 6 year old’s mouth on multiple occasions. The “tampering” we are considering might include a parent encouraging heterosexual behaviors or discouraging homosexual behaviors. Or engaging in counseling along the same lines.

  • preston

    “tampering”, by the way, is your word, obviously chosen to distort.

  • Teresa

    I can’t speak for all ex-gay ministries but the one I was involved with actually saw very few who came in as a result of parental pressure. The number was slightly higher for those who come in due to spousal pressure.

    Thanks, again, Eddy, for sharing your experience on this.

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    I think it is crucial that heterosexual-affirming treatment be available to non-religious people.

    I have no idea whether secular “change therapy” exists, because it’s never crossed my mind to go looking for it, but what makes you so certain that non-religious heterosexual-affirming treatment isn’t available?

    But assuming for the sake of argument that such treatment truly doesn’t exist, let’s consider the case of a (wink-wink) purely hypothetical non-religious person who’s troubled by recurring homosexual desires, and who believes that religiously-based “change therapy” actually does work.

    If he’s at all consistent in his atheism/irreligiousness, then obviously he must attribute the efficacy of religious “change therapy” to non-supernatural, non-divine factors — such as, perhaps, the social-network support of being in a mutually-affirming group of other men who are trying to nurture the development of heterosexual desires and resist the Gay Is Okay message. So as long as he feels secure in his conviction that it isn’t the working of any (non-existent) “god” that enables people in Exodus to change, what’s he got to lose by pretending to vaguely believe in Jesus and going to their meetings for a while, just to get the heterosexual affirmation he’s been missing?

  • Eddy

    Throbert–

    I didn’t see any suggestion in Preston’s comment that the heterosexual-affirming treatment be religious.

  • William

    Preston, thank you for giving me one last chance to “mend” my position, by which I take it that you mean clarify my position.

    A babysitter inserting his penis in a 6 year old’s mouth on multiple occasions (or even only on one occasion) is a very serious matter indeed from both a legal and a moral point of view. Attempting to tamper – and yes, I do insist on using the word “tamper” – with an adolescent’s sexual development without good reason – and I do not regard homosexual attraction or failure to conform to gender stereotypes as a good reason – is not a criminal offence and is far less morally shocking.

    But I am not concerned only with the moral and legal aspects of the behaviour at the time, but also with the repercussions that it can have on a person’s later life. The main reason why the sexual abuse of children, although it has always rightly been regarded with abhorrence, is nowadays regarded even more seriously is that we have become more aware that it is not just an unpleasant experience which no child should ever have to endure; it is also liable to have grave and lasting effects on his or her life years, even decades, later, e.g. poor self-image, inability to trust others, difficulty in forming both sexual and non-sexual relationships, increased vulnerability to alcohol and substance abuse, suicidal tendencies, to name just some. Homophobic abuse, even if one tries to sanitize it by using words like “encouraging”, “discouraging” and “counselling”, is liable to have precisely similar effects. It is in that specific respect that I regard both kinds of abuse as equally noxious. I condemn both unreservedly.

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    Eddy — Yes, I know. He appeared to be lamenting the shortage of non-religious heterosexual-affirming treatment, and I was wondering why a non-religious person couldn’t seek help from religiously based treatment organizations.

  • Richard Willmer

    If someone is troubled by their sexual preference, they could speak with their family doctor with a view to seeking a referral to a psychologist or a counsellor.

    But surely the issue here is not whether someone should or should not be ‘happy’ with their sexual preference (that is surely a matter for the individual concerned), but whether ‘change therapy’ is actually efficacious.

    (Many people – both gay and straight – have ‘troubled minds’ over their sexual desires; what I’m not convinced of is that is necessarily an issue of sexual preference – it may be that past experiences of one sort or another have played a part, and it is the ‘fallout’ from these, rather than sexual preferences per se, that need to be addressed.)

  • Jayhuck

    Preston,

    I think it is crucial that heterosexual-affirming treatment be available to non-religious people.

    I would be fine with this. I don’t know of any gay men who have a problem specifically with their orientation who aren’t religious. I’m sure they are out there. As long as the people realize that the therapy is unlikely to help them be straight, or even be in a heterosexual relationship.

  • Jayhuck

    Preston,

    By I think it is crucial that heterosexual-affirming treatment be available to non-religious people. In fact, I think heterosexual-affirming treatment should be encouraged.

    Why should it be encouraged? If gay men don’t want it and are happy, and the vast majority of them appear to be, why would you encourage it? Homosexuality is not a disease.

  • Rebecca

    Richard,

    Most people nowadays are losing their basic health care coverage. Affording a therapist for long term talk therapy is something very few people can do. Often the ministries, neutral or not, are one of the few affordable places people who are ego dystonic about their attractions can find support for their questions about sexual orientation. I think PeopleCanChange.com is supposed to be non religious. But from what I understand, many of their clients are people of faith.

    I think people who are troubled should start with research online. One really has to be informed to be able to critically evaluate the help offered by various therapists, programs, medical specialists, ministries. Its hard work to analyze the biases inherent in all of these. A good sign is when a therapist acknowledges their biases. An open mind is very helpful.

  • preston

    Throbert, if you think religion is bunk, I’m not sure how helpful that is going to be.

    Jayhuck, many gay men do want it. I dispute that the “vast majority” are happy or have always been happy. I have trouble believing that you don’t know any non-religious people who are troubled by their SSA?

    As long as the people realize that the therapy is unlikely to help them be straight, or even be in a heterosexual relationship

    We’ve been over this quite a bit. These statements are not supported by evidence (or common sense or anecdotal reports).

  • Jayhuck

    Preston,

    I realize my experience doesn’t prove anything, but I know A LOT of gay men, and I don’t know any who want to try and change, who aren’t religiously motivated that is.

    We’ve been over this quite a bit. These statements are not supported by evidence (or common sense or anecdotal reports).

    Unfortunately those statements are supported by evidence.

  • Jayhuck

    Preston,

    I’m re-posting this from another thread – it was written by William:

    Preston, “not uncomplicated” was the term actually used by Jones and Yarhouse to describe the heterosexual functioning achieved by the small number (11 out of 98 in their book) whose orientation they counted as having changed – although one of those later had the grace to write to them and admit that he had lied, telling them what he had thought they wanted to hear.

    Psychologists tried for decades to change homosexuals Preston. You make it sound as if this is something that’s never been tried before.

  • Mary

    You make it sound as if this is something that’s never been tried before

    Apparently there has been some succes – otherwise trying would have stopped a long time ago.

  • Teresa

    Apparently there has been some succes – otherwise trying would have stopped a long time ago.

    As President Clinton said: “It depends on what the meaning of “is” … is”

    It depends on what the meaning of “change” is …

    It means whatever we say it means; however, we mean it.

  • preston

    Psychologists tried for decades to change homosexuals

    And successfully. No question about it.

  • preston

    It depends on what the meaning of “change” is …It means whatever we say it means; however, we mean it.

    Not really. But it definitely means more than complete change.

  • Richard Willmer

    @ Rebecca:

    I certainly agree with you that therapists should ‘acknowledge their biases’ when it comes to what might help a prospective client. Then the client can at least make an informed choice.

    While I understand your point about health coverage, what worries me about some of the ‘ministries’ is that they seem to presume what the ‘correct outcome’ (i.e. ‘orientation change’) – an outcome called into question by the science (or lack of it) – for a prospective client should be.

    What might be most helpful for many who are ‘troubled’ are those ‘ministries’ that are not driven by some kind of ‘ideological agenda’, but that seek to listen and respond sensitively to a particular individual who is seeking their assistance.

  • Rebecca

    Richard,

    I would guess that most ministries presume that if you follow their advice, you will spend eternity in heaven- also an outcome called into question by science (or lack thereof). Fortunately, here, it is a free market for information and religious beliefs. (Although peer acceptance needs, family and otherwise, may make some of that freedom costly).

    I checked out People Can Change.com’s website, as they are not affiliated explicitly with any religion. They sure seem to be supportive of individuals’ choices.

    In sharing our experience, we mean no disrespect to those who identify as gay and choose to live a gay life. They are as deserving of respect as we are. Their path may be right for them. We cannot judge another person’s life.- People Can Change.com

  • William

    Psychologists tried for decades to change homosexuals

    And successfully. No question about it.

    With very little, if any, success. No question about it.

    http://www.glreview.com/article.php?articleid=42

  • Rebecca

    They have been trying to cure cancer, they’ve been trying to reverse obesity, they’ve been trying to cure depression, they’ve been trying to change the love objects of pedophiles. All without a lot of success, but that doesn’t keep them from trying.

    We can try to culturally redefine optimal for obesity, but that doesn’t change the fact that there are individual and societal costs to such choices.

  • Rebecca

    We really do need a decent theory of how humans arrive at their love object choices. The gay gene theory is such a black box and doesn’t explain pedophilia nor fetishism nor heterosexuality for that matter. I mean, how do you go from the gene to the protein to the brain to the behavior to the identity? We don’t even have a theory as to why a species is attracted to its own members as opposed to other animals.

    Here’s another question for science: If our attraction to a type of love object comes straight from a gene or genes, how does that gene, from an evolutionary standpoint, keep up with being attracted to other phenotypic genetic changes? I mean, who keeps a pin up of a Neanderthal?

    A grand unified theory of sexuality should explain all of it. Without it, it would seem any predictions as to immutability of anything are simply a guess.

    Your thoughts, Dr. Throckmorton? Ethological observations?

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    Throbert, if you think religion is bunk, I’m not sure how helpful that is going to be.

    You’re “not sure”, or you’ve concluded it’s not helpful because you’ve tried religion-based heterosexual-affirmation and found that it failed for you?

    (A failure that you attributed, however, to your own lack of religiosity — but not to the deep-rootedness of your homosexual feelings, and not to any inherent inefficacy of heterosexual-affirmation programs?)

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    We don’t even have a theory as to why a species is attracted to its own members as opposed to other animals.

    That’s not entirely true, because in the case of many non-human species we have a partial understanding of how individuals are able to direct courtship efforts towards opposite-sex members of their own species while avoiding closely-related but genetically incompatible species (as well as same-sex members of their own species). Sometimes pheromones or other olfactory cues are involved; in fireflies there are species-specific flashing patterns; in many birds there are species-specific singing patterns.

    That said, the gene-to-behavior mechanisms for all these hasn’t been necessarily worked out, although in some cases there are theories for how genes produce such highly specific behaviors. And if analogous mechanisms for “automatic” sex-recognition and species-recognition are operating in humans, we don’t know what these mechanisms actually are.

    A grand unified theory of sexuality should explain all of it.

    The trouble with a GUT approach to sexuality is that the pursuit of it can potentially lead down an unproductive “single etiology” path that fails to consider multiple etiologies.

    But I definitely agree on the importance of recognizing that the common, “normal,” or “wild type” condition also needs to be explained, and not only the exceptional, “deviant” conditions.

  • preston

    We need more research on psychological development during the first 1-15 years. I’m pretty certain that is when our heterosexual orientations can go off track due to environmental influences. We also need to figure out what are appropriate means of treatment because of the obvious sensitivity at those ages.

    With very little, if any, success. No question about it.

    “little” might be debatable. “any” is not. There are hundreds of studies showing change. Period.

    Cancer is another good example. We have made significant progress. We still fail in most cases. Many people live satisfying lives with cancer. No one is saying we should give up hope or treatment’s not possible. Or shaming people from trying to beat it. Or claiming that all the studies that show change are discredited.

  • ken

    Rebecca# ~ Mar 14, 2011 at 5:41 am

    “They have been trying to cure cancer, they’ve been trying to reverse obesity, they’ve been trying to cure depression, they’ve been trying to change the love objects of pedophiles. All without a lot of success, but that doesn’t keep them from trying. ”

    Are they also trying to “cure” left-handedness? having blue eyes? should they be?

  • http://wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Rebecca – That theory is elusive as no theory I know can account for male and female object preference without ignoring discounting empirical evidence.

    I do not claim that male homosexuality for every homosexual is immutable but I think that all of the efforts which have been documented demonstrate that at the least the attractions are durable. How ever they get in place, they seem to show up in brain scans, differences are seen in brain symmetry, putative pheromone response, response to various SSRIs, maternal X chromosomal skewing, and preliminal perception. For the most part, men who really want to change and choose heterosexual attractions, can’t do it. Women in general change more spontaneously but even there, deliberate change does not seem very frequent.

    Seems to me that any theory needs to take into account what we already see.

  • preston

    Are they also trying to “cure” left-handedness? having blue eyes? should they be?

    Why would that be desirable or necessary.

    Warren, but isn’t brain structure or chemistry also mutable? That’s my understanding.

    There still seems to be a distinct lack of proper causal attribution, probably on both sides, but seemingly more so on the pro-gay side. The heterosexual-affirming position, after all, posits that homosexuality is a psychological development and environmentally influenced.

  • William

    Are they also trying to “cure” left-handedness? having blue eyes? should they be?

    Why would that be desirable or necessary.

    Should they also be trying to “cure” homosexuality?

    Why would that be desirable or necessary?

    The heterosexual-affirming position, after all, posits that homosexuality is a psychological development and environmentally influenced.

    It is just as possible and as easy to affirm heterosexuality without deprecating homosexuality as it is to affirm right-handedness without deprecating left-handedness. Indeed many people do so. I’m just one of them. That homosexuality is a psychological development and environmentally influenced, whether or not it be correct, is not a theory that affirming heterosexuality requires one to posit. That said, anyone is free to posit absolutely anything that he or she pleases.

  • Rebecca

    ..in many birds there are species-specific singing patterns.- Throbert

    That is a good point, Throbert. The research on these singing patterns in birds seem to point to an early life type of learning called imprinting. Sexual imprinting is yet another subtype of this early learning mechanism and appears to be well researched in bird species.

    Sexual Imprinting is an early learning process by which a young zebra finch learns the features of its prospective mate. http://www.uni-bielefeld.de/biologie/vhf/BF/Sexual_Imprinting.html

    The field of neuroethology has done much research in this type of early learning that appears especially in some birds. Neuroethologists have documented sexual imprinting going from gene expression to protein (FOS is a gene often involved) to dendritic pruning in the brain to the consolidation of the choice as expressed by behavior.

    http://www.uni-bielefeld.de/biologie/vhf/BF/physiol_aspects.html

    (site has cool graphics)

    Neuro-ethologists have done this by cross fostering some bird species. Raising one species with another and exposing them to opposite sex species at certain “critical periods.” Then they isolate them for a period and then test what species they choose for mating. Interestingly, this lends support for early learning theories of love object choice at least species-wise and provides some explanation of why those choices are so enduring once consolidated.

    Throbert, you may be on to something as far as what a Grand Unified Theory of Sexuality (GUTS) would need to explain (at least for higher organisms).

    Warren, weaknesses of this approach in light of your criteria?

  • preston

    William, you continue trying to equate homosexuality with heterosexuality but they are not the same or two-sides of the same coin. Humans are heterosexual and some small percentage of them deviate sexually due primarily to environmental factors. Not similar at all to eye color. Could probably find some similarities to handed-ness.

    Here’s a thought: everyone should have a chance to be heterosexual. This would unfortunately involve interaction at an early age.

  • William

    William, you continue trying to equate homosexuality with heterosexuality but they are not the same…

    No, of course they’re not the same. We all know that. If they were the same, the words and concepts homosexuality and heterosexuality wouldn’t exist and we wouldn’t be having this discussion in the first place.

    …or two sides of the same coin.

    I agree that “two sides of the same coin” is a rather inept metaphor in this context, and not one that I would have thought of using, since it would seem somehow to suggest that heterosexuality and homosexuality were more or less equally prevalent, which we all know is not the case.

    Humans are heterosexual…

    The vast majority are, certainly. To keep on insisting that all are is pointless. I don’t know why you can’t just accept that the universe has not been drawn up to your specifications.

    …and some small percentage of them deviate sexually…

    Just an emotionally-toned way of saying that a minority differ in their sexuality from the average, implying the highly questionable underlying assumption that not being in the majority must be a bad thing.

    …due primarily to environmental factors.

    Maybe. Maybe wholly due, maybe partly due. If partly, maybe to a great extent, maybe to a tiny extent. We don’t know.

    Here’s a thought: everyone should have a chance to be heterosexual.

    And most people are. It sounds as though you are suggesting that the reason why a minority aren’t is that someone or something is standing in their way to scotch their chances. I see no evidence at all for this, nor do you offer any.

    This would unfortunately involve interaction at an early age.

    God forbid. The story of the “treatment” that the notorious Dr Rekers gave to the boy known variously as Craig or Kyle and its results should steer anyone away from that destructive idea. (See Chapter 4 of Simon LeVay’s book Queer Science.)

  • Jayhuck

    Preston,

    Here’s a thought: everyone should have a chance to be heterosexual.

    Why? What is it that heterosexuals have that gay people do not – apart from the obvious that is? What if they don’t want to be?

    I don’t know why but I just find this statement amusing.

  • Jayhuck

    Rebecca,

    They have been trying to cure cancer, they’ve been trying to reverse obesity, they’ve been trying to cure depression, they’ve been trying to change the love objects of pedophiles. All without a lot of success, but that doesn’t keep them from trying.

    The problem with this statement Rebecca, as Ken eluded to, is that you are trying to equate homosexuality with a disorder. For most gay men homosexuality is not a disorder. It should be obvious, and throw up a red flag, to anyone that the only people really trying to change homosexuals are religious conservatives.

  • Rebecca

    @Jayhuck,

    Obviously it is very hurtful to be ridiculed or viewed as inherently bad or even as disordered by others for having feelings that seem so natural.

    Again, however, it is difficult to come up with an analogy that captures the issues of being gay in a straight world. I think one of the reasons for this is that sexuality is so foundational to the human identity. After a baby realizes it is human like its parents, the very next label is male or female, like dad or like mom wtih attendant expectations for mating. . There is nothing else that basic to our identity formation. Being alcoholic or having cancer is not a developmentally foundational identity.

    I think a better, albeit imperfect analogy is obesity. Obesity can be a lifelong issue or a temporary condition. Both environmental and genetic factors can be involved. It exists in a continuum. In some cultures obesity is an admirable quality or even taken for granted (unlike cancer or alcoholism), but this variation is not without real economic costs associated with increased morbidity and mortality in the population. Because of these costs, homosexuality is not just like eye color variation.

  • preston

    To keep on insisting that all are is pointless

    OK, I will re-phrase: Human beings are heterosexual. It’s not simply “not being in the majority”. It is a condition that precludes reproduction! How can you dismiss or overlook that so casually?

    I see no evidence at all for this [standing in the way to to scotch their chances]

    Then you are blind. “no evidence”? Zero? If you truly believe that then you are delusional. Otherwise you are lying. The evidence may be lacking but it is not zero.

    What is it that heterosexuals have that gay people do not

    Uhhmmm…reproduction? You know, the foundation for all of life?

  • William

    It is a condition that precludes reproduction! How can you dismiss or overlook that so casually?

    I know it is. As a matter of fact, I’ve known it for quite some years, believe it or not. So what? There are plenty of people reproducing; in fact some seem to do little else; so what does it matter if a small minority aren’t?

    And don’t you think that people are of value in themselves, simply as people, whether or not they are reproducing? If not, what virtue can there possibly be in producing more of them?

    The evidence may be lacking but it is not zero.

    Produce the evidence, or at least tell us where to find it.

  • preston
  • Rebecca

    Here’s a thought: everyone should have a chance to be heterosexual. – Preston

    Preston, I am trying to understand what you mean by that phrase? Are you saying that everyone should have a chance to have therapy to change? Are we discussing the availablity and or efficacy of therapy?

    Please support your assertions with well developed logic. I find that doing that exercise helps me to see weaknesses in my own arguments so that I may refine them or else opens up other avenues of thinking. Making value judgments about others , I find, seems to divert energy from rational thought into closed down defensive positions.

  • preston

    It has to do with being able to address the issue at an earlier age when it might be easier. It’s reasonable to be extra sensitive with adolescents but I was postulating that maybe we owe them the chance to be heterosexual.

    I didn’t really follow the last sentence. Rest assured that I analyze my own thinking to a considerable degree and for practical purposes, not everything makes it into my posts.

  • William

    At least 95% of youth will and do grow up heterosexual, whether or not. There is nothing standing in the way of the rest being heterosexual – except that they just aren’t, and there is no known way of making them so.

    The most fully documented case of trying to “head off” homosexuality in a boy, which was undertaken because he was gender-nonconforming, is that of “Craig” or “Kyle”, who was treated by the anti-gay psychologist Dr George Rekers. The good news was that the attempt was a failure. The bad news was that the “treatment” caused him immense and far-reaching psychological damage. Reading things doesn’t usually make me cry, but I have to confess that reading about this case did.

    The dangers of putting religious pressure on gay adolescents to “conform” are exemplified in the book Prayers for Bobby: A Mother’s Coming to Terms with the Suicide of Her Gay Son by Leroy Aarons, which has now also been made into a film.

    Attempts to tamper with the sexuality of gay adolescents can’t be justified by sententious dicta like “Maybe we owe them a chance to be heterosexual”.

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    Attempts to tamper with the sexuality of gay adolescents can’t be justified by sententious dicta like “Maybe we owe them a chance to be heterosexual”.

    It’s even less justified if the REAL reason for doing it is the hope of bringing observed reality into better concordance with preston’s personal understanding of evolution, or with religious people’s personal understanding of what the Bible says — if, in short, the professed altruistic concern for the well-being of homosexuals is largely a sham.

    In other words, preston doesn’t personally understand why homosexuality exists, and this frustrates him — so his response is to complain (and complain, and complain) that science isn’t doing enough to reduce the incidence of this bothersome thing he doesn’t understand (and to further complain that, by the way, science lack of interest in curing or preventing homosexuality is largely the result of an organized Gay Cabal interfering with science).

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    bringing observed reality into better concordance with preston’s personal understanding of evolution

    It’s not my bed that is too short; it’s your legs that are too long!

  • William

    It’s even less justified … if, in short, the professed altruistic concern for the well-being of homosexuals is largely a sham.

    Which, of course, it is.

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    Although in fairness to preston, he’s certainly right that the Gay Received Wisdom can also be very Procrustean — a lot of homosexual people very much want same-sex attraction to be congenital and immutable in ALL cases, and take great offense at the mere suggestion that homosexuality could sometimes be a “learned habit” that only emerges post-adolescence.

    (Of course, some gay people are open to the idea that there are “homosexualities” with multiple etiologies, but this is going against the dominant gay culture, which is currently stuck on “Born This Way.”)

  • Rebecca

    Preston,

    Now I understand your previous comment. Thanks for clarifying.

    You said you didn’t follow my sentence:

    Making value judgements about others, I find, seems to divert energy from rational thought into closed down defensive positions.

    I think I should have said comments that are ‘invalidating’ as opposed to “value judgements”, can put others on the defensive and cause any interchange or reasonable debate to devolve into something unproductive.

    This is a good website to explain what I mean by the word “invalidating.”

    Invalidation.

    http://eqi.org/invalid.htm#Examples of invalidating expressions.

    I just found the site and am glad I gave myself a review because my high school senior will be getting her college decisions soon. I don’t want to say the wrong thing if she doesn’t get into her target school.

    Actually, if NARTH’s theories about the causes of homosexual attractions are correct…that homosexuality is due to a lack of parent- child attunement, then learning about how to minimize invalidation might lessen the tendencies in a far healthier way than any special change therapy program.

    In fact, there’s a lot of research showing that it benefits all children to have parents who can attune and empathize with their children.

  • Rebecca

    Throbert,

    People tend to form their core identity at a much earlier stage than adolescence.

    If sexual identity is indeed learned in infancy and toddlerhood as Galenson and Roiphe and many others suggest, it would be foundational and difficult to change. Think of retrofitting the foundation of a building. It would impact so many other aspects of later development that have been laid on top of it. Hard to shift but maybe not impossible.

    Another comparison would be language. Most humans have an early critical period during which they pick up any language to which they are exposed. After that time, they can still learn, but with much greater effort and usually they speak these later languages with an accent. Maybe that is how homosexual development is in certain individuals but with genetics sometimes carrying the swing vote. Maybe that is the theory that explains why stories of 100% change are so rare. They always have “an accent.”

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    Rebecca: I have also used the “native language” metaphor when talking about sexual orientation, to emphasize that a trait can be 100% nurture and 0% nature, yet still become “more or less immutable.” (After a certain point in development, it’s very rare for anyone to acquire a second language with “native proficiency”, and also very rare for anyone to entirely forget their first language — the exceptions being so uncommon that they seem to prove the rule.)

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    Thus, while it may be possible for exclusive homosexuals to “learn heterosexuality” as a sort of second language, this doesn’t mean that they lose their “fluency” in homosexuality, nor that they ever become as responsive to the opposite sex as they are to the same sex — only that their heterosexual responsiveness can become much stronger than it used to be.

    And I think that Throckmorton’s model of sexual identity recognizes this, and that Exodus has finally started recognizing this — but that previously, Exodus was essentially claiming that a 40-year-old monolingual English speaker could completely forget the English language and develop native proficiency in Mandarin Chinese.

  • Ann

    Throbert and Rebecca,

    Have to leave in a minute but just wanted to say how much I appreciate these last couple of posts – both of you have articulated much better than any of my efforts to say the same things – thank you.

  • ken

    Rebecca# ~ Mar 15, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    “In some cultures obesity is an admirable quality or even taken for granted (unlike cancer or alcoholism), but this variation is not without real economic costs associated with increased morbidity and mortality in the population. Because of these costs, homosexuality is not just like eye color variation.”

    Are you saying homosexuality has costs to society the same way obesity does? If so what are these costs?

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    Here’s an alternative to the “obesity” analogy for homosexuality:

    Imagine being born with mutations in certain genes that are responsible for the development of the red and blue color receptors in the retina of the eye. The mutations have two significant effects on your phenotype:

    (1) You are completely colorblind and see the world in a monochromatic, grayscale continuum. (Or perhaps a “greenscale” continuum — but in any case, it’s monochromatic.)

    (2) However, you are able to see wavelengths of infrared and ultraviolet that are invisible to most humans. Thus, some flowers that appear solid-colored to people with normal vision have dazzling zebra-stripe designs to you, as they do to many insects, because you can see ultraviolet patterning on the flower. And you can also see the warmth of another person’s body, or a hot cup of coffee, or the spot on the sofa where the cat was sleeping a few minutes ago, in a pitch-black room.

    I experience my homosexuality as analogous to this, because I am clearly missing out on certain experiences that normal heterosexual men can take for granted in their lives. But I’m also able to experience things that normal heterosexual men cannot, or that they can only do in a limited way and with difficulty — so there’s a definite trade-off!

    Of course, the “things I’m experiencing” are not sense perceptions, but rather social interactions with men and with women: I don’t interact with either men or with women in the same way that a heterosexual man typically would.

    So an observant heterosexual man will be able to “see things” about men and women and male/female social relationships that I don’t necessarily pick up on, but the converse can also be true — I may easily “see things” about men and women that a heterosexual man is likely to miss.

    As concrete, practical examples of what I’m talking about: In my personal experience, many straight women will be much more candid about their sex lives when speaking to a gay male friend than they ever would with straight male friends. And some straight men will be more candid about their personal insecurities when speaking to a gay male friend than they would be with straight male friends (who might make fun of them) or with female friends (who might consider them unsuitable boyfriend material if they knew about the insecurities).

  • Teresa

    I experience my homosexuality as analogous to this, because I am clearly missing out on certain experiences that normal heterosexual men can take for granted in their lives. But I’m also able to experience things that normal heterosexual men cannot, or that they can only do in a limited way and with difficulty — so there’s a definite trade-off!

    Excellent Comment! Throbert, you explained this so well and understandably. Thanks for this.

    I’ve tried to explain it along lines of being creatively gifted that many homosexuals are … but your analogy and explanation is far better.

    It’s kind of the glass half empty or half full, isn’t it?

  • preston

    a lot of homosexual people very much want same-sex attraction to be congenital and immutable in ALL cases, and take great offense at the mere suggestion that homosexuality could sometimes be a “learned habit” that only emerges post-adolescence.

    (Of course, some gay people are open to the idea that there are “homosexualities” with multiple etiologies, but this is going against the dominant gay culture, which is currently stuck on “Born This Way.”)

    Finally some refreshing rationality!

    doesn’t personally understand why homosexuality exists

    I think I have a better understanding than many.

    The good news was that the attempt was a failure

    One of the ugliest sentiments I’ve seen here. Respect gone.

    NARTH’s theories about the causes of homosexual attractions are correct…that homosexuality is due to a lack of parent- child attunement

    My sense is that this is a leading hypothesis for some of NARTH’s members but not a NARTH position. I think NARTH’s position in the aggregate is that various, primarily environmental, influences can lead to SSA.

  • http://www.debbiethurman.com Debbie Thurman

    The language analogy is fascinating. Never thought of it in that way before. But it turns on a light for me. I recall, after being immersed during my 20s in Austrian culture for a relatively short while, being fairly comfortable with the German language, and even finding myself thinking in German unprompted. I found learning a new language fun and engaging, yet I also longed for an American to speak my native tongue with now and then. I know I could have remained in another culture and been quite comfortable in it. But I also know I would never have forgotten where I came from.

  • Rebecca

    Ken,

    You asked what are the medical costs to society of homosexuality and obesity. Costs are driven by medical conditions known to correlate with certain diseases or injuries.

    “Direct medical costs may include preventive, diagnostic, and treatment services related to obesity. Indirect costs relate to morbidity and mortality costs. Morbidity costs are defined as the value of income lost from decreased productivity, restricted activity, absenteeism, and bed days. Mortality costs are the value of future income lost by premature death.”

    According to a study of national costs attributed to both overweight (BMI 25–29.9) and obesity (BMI greater than 30), medical expenses accounted for 9.1 percent of total U.S. medical expenditures in 1998 and may have reached as high as $78.5 billion ($92.6 billion in 2002 dollars

    Similarly, there are costs associated with an active MSM lifestyle. Per the CDC, “In 2006, more than 30,000 MSM and MSM-IDU were newly infected with HIV.” Also, a “recent CDC study found that in 2008 one in five (19%) MSM in 21 major US cities were infected with HIV, and nearly half (44%) were unaware of their infection.”

    A study published in the November, 2006 issue of Medical Care projects the treatment for HIV patients to run about $12 billion annually. The expected lifetime medical cost of an HIV patient would be over $600,000. There are stats on prevalence of course with other STDs.

    I myself was taken aback by the 1 in 5 ratio. Any community suffers with its young men are afflicted in in inordinate numbers.

  • Rebecca

    Throbert,

    On the special talents of gays. Clearly our lesbian and gay children are often our most gifted and sensitive.

  • William

    The good news was that the attempt was a failure

    One of the ugliest sentiments I’ve seen here. Respect gone.

    Yes, Preston, I can quite understand how that must have struck you as “one of the ugliest statements on here”. Perhaps the following would have suited you better:

    “People who hold the belief that everyone, but everyone, is or ought to be heterosexual are right to attempt to interfere with the sexual development of young people who seem likely not to conform to their unrealistic paradigm, and we should want their efforts to be crowned with success. The failure of Dr George Rekers’s officious tinkering to succeed in its object is therefore a cause for grief. As for the harm inflicted on young people by interference of this kind, what the hell? A price well worth paying.”

    Here’s a thought from another psychologist called George, Dr George Weinberg, writing in 1972 on attempts made to “convert” people from homosexuality to heterosexuality:

    However, it is no stigma on psychotherapists that we have failed. The real stigma would be on us if we had succeeded. … The “homosexual problem” as I have described it here is the problem of condemning variety in human existence. If one cannot enjoy the fact of this variety, at the very least one must learn to accept its existence, since obviously it is here to stay.

  • preston

    Clearly our lesbian and gay children are often our most gifted and sensitive

    What the heck does this mean?

  • Rebecca

    Preston,

    You asked what i meant when I called gays gifted and sensitive.

    Janelle Hallman is a therapist (with a Christian world view) who has worked with hundreds of women and their issues of same sex attraction. She does not believe that any single factor individually determines or directly causes female SSA.

    She states the following in her book, The Heart of Female Same Sex Attraction:

    “..I observe on a fairly consistent basis, the following exceptional and quite probably inherited characteristics and personality traits in the women with whom I have worked:

    They have above average intelligence.

    They are profoundly sensitive and attuned to other people and relational dynamics. They are observant and curious,.. with a propensity to ponder analyze and reflect.

    They have an innate sense of justice…

    They exhibit gender nonconforming abilities and interests..

    They are gifted and talented; their creativity is far reaching.

    They have a high level of energy and are adventurous and often athletic.

    Of course, she sees a self selected population of women, so they may not be representative of all women with these feelings. I don’t know of any studies in this regard. These are my instincts from the handful of lesbian women I have known.

    Gay men are highly visible in the arts and gay men tend to be famous for their aesthetics.

  • Teresa

    @Rebecca, excellent source for corroborating your statement about gays being gifted and sensitive.

    More from Janelle Hallman:

    What we do know from the extant research is that homosexuality most likely arises out of an interaction of

    1) genetic and biological factors, inherent or inborn traits, chracteristics and temperaments,

    2) an individual’s need to both belong and self-identify, and

    3) an individual’s experiences, reactions, environment, relationships and attachment patterns,

    and is therefore a complex, mysterious and a unique and ongoing changing and enduring dynamic within each individual’s life.

    Just to mention the issue of change can be offensive to many homosexual men and women. People toss the word “change” around as if it has a universal meaning. Some say “change is possible.” But what do they mean? Change what? Others say, “change is not possible.” But what are they referring to. What can’t change?

    “Change” might mean altering or diminishing one’s sexual desires – or fantasies – or behaviors – relational styles – or one’s inner concept of self or identity – or a person’s core sexual orientation. It is indeed debated as to which of these elements can or can’t change. There is evidence on both sides of the argument. “Change” might also mean reducing the shame, self-hatred or low self-esteem related to a homosexual orientation – coming to peace with a gay identity – coming out to one’s loved ones. In the end, I believe it is up to each individual to decide what they might want to change, if anything in their life.

    In the counseling setting when people use the word change, often what they mean is that they simply want something different. When we hear a client’s desire for something different, we hear a desire for change. The nature and direction of change is based first upon each individual’s choice. Therefore, every homosexual man or woman should be given full autonomy and the right of self-determination in terms of the specific types of changes, if any, they desire to make in their own life. And as in every other area of life, even when we set out to make certain changes, there are no guarantees that we will reach all of our goals nor are there quick and easy fixes; but without a vision or aspiration, we would all certainly perish.

    *Janelle Hallman … Beliefs on Homosexuality

  • preston

    I agree pretty much with passages Teresa posted. The only comment I would make is to downplay the biological/genetic factors which I think are extremely limited.

    I’m going to stay out of the discussion on the relative goodness or badness of groups of people.

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    Similarly, there are costs associated with an active MSM lifestyle. Per the CDC, “In 2006, more than 30,000 MSM and MSM-IDU were newly infected with HIV.” Also, a “recent CDC study found that in 2008 one in five (19%) MSM in 21 major US cities were infected with HIV, and nearly half (44%) were unaware of their infection.”

    A study published in the November, 2006 issue of Medical Care projects the treatment for HIV patients to run about $12 billion annually. The expected lifetime medical cost of an HIV patient would be over $600,000. There are stats on prevalence of course with other STDs.

    I myself was taken aback by the 1 in 5 ratio. Any community suffers with its young men are afflicted in in inordinate numbers.

    Rebecca — this is why I have thrown myself into promoting a frot-centric model of intimacy for MSMs, and have made it a personal mission to try and explain Bill Weintraub to gay men and to society at large.

    Important note: the “frot” link goes to a wikipedia article that is “work safe,” but not “child safe”, in case anyone is reading with a young’un bouncing on your knee. The “Bill Weintraub” link is “work safe” at the top, but becomes less so as you scroll down through the essay — there are pr0nographic jpegs of naked men and naked women, and photos of vaginal intercourse and mutual masturbation between men. But despite the scandalous photo content, the essay is well worth reading.

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    Excellent Comment! Throbert, you explained this so well and understandably. Thanks for this.

    I’ve tried to explain it along lines of being creatively gifted that many homosexuals are … but your analogy and explanation is far better.

    It’s kind of the glass half empty or half full, isn’t it?

    Teresa, let me assure you that I’ve met some very dull-witted and uncreative homosexuals in my time, along with a lot of brilliantly creative heterosexuals. So I’m personally not convinced that homosexuality disproportionately correlates with creative gifts. But the point I wanted to make with my analogy about “mutant color vision” is that even if homosexuals aren’t “creatively gifted,” we’re still able to offer a different perspective on male/female interactions, and humanity would be much poorer without this “different perspective.”

    When I, as an openly homosexual man, befriend a heterosexual man, he knows that whatever I am, I’m not his rival for the affections of a woman. And when I befriend a heterosexual woman, she knows that whatever I am, I’m not trying to get into her panties!

    Some people have also argued that when Thog the caveman had to go on a long hunt for mammoth, he was better off leaving his cave-wife Reena under the watchful eye of Quooquee, the gay caveman, than trusting one of his horny heterosexual brothers to look after her.

    And when Thog’s wife Reena the cave-mommy had to go on a long march in search of edible roots and berries, and needed a cave-nanny to watch her kids, she was better off hiring Dorgo, the lesbian cavewoman who won’t respond to Thog’s flirtations, than some heterosexual chick who might get knocked up by Thog and then demand child support.

  • preston

    I’m not his rival for the affections of a woman

    This comment was removed and the author placed on moderated status.

  • Rebecca

    Throbert, I guess the idea of mutual masturbation is a creative way to minimize the risk of sexually transmitted disease which is certainly a step in the right direction epidemiologically . Throbert, I am glad you are conscious of that risk. I worry though about the promiscuity aspect and what it does to people’s ability to be intimate with someone they really love and with whom they want to have a long term relationship. What is there left to give? Is it so fulfilling for life to be a serial orgasm?

    Just thinking aloud…When an emotional sound woman chooses a mate, she considers stability, earning potential, hopefully temperament, etc. Qualities which will provide her with a secure future and qualities which tend to contribute in the long run to stabilizing a community. The female risks and invests much when she chooses to procreate. She becomes physically and emotionally vulnerable as her attractiveness to other potential mates decreases due to the baggage of children and mileage inflicted on her body from each pregnancy. For her survival and that of her children, it is in her best interest to attract a mature man who then focuses his mental and physical energy on providing consistently for his family as opposed to being preoccupied with procuring serial sexual encounters. Thus her tendency to seek qualities consistent with monogamy would increase the prosperity and survival overall of a community. In terms of evolution, perhaps this explains why communities whose elders developed moral sexual conduct codes tend to be well represented throughout history and even today.

    At the same time,a woman notices that successful providers are risk takers…Hmmm. Something to think about.

    However, whatever dads are up to, mothers really cannot preoccupy themselves with sexual activity. For many years, they need to put their children’s needs and training first. Then, the most successful fathers pass on the need for self control and group assimilation. These qualities should over express themselves in the successful communities. It is one type of survival strategy that must confer some good benefits.

    We are really seeing this kind of cultural emphasis on the primacy of the community’s survival in the conduct of the Japanese right now. Men at the reactor sacrificing themselves for the greater good.

    Why are things the way they are? Its a good exercise to reason out things from this standpoint. I am sure others have already written papers about this. Thoughts?

  • Rebecca

    Corrections -

    ..When an emotionalLY sound woman chooses a mate, she considers stability, earning potential, hopefully temperament, etc

    ..the most successful fathers pass EITHER BY EXAMPLE OR THROUGH GENES, THE BEHAVIORS of self control and group assimilation..

  • ken

    Rebecca# ~ Mar 17, 2011 at 5:59 am

    Ah the specter of HIV. Here’s another interesting HIV fact. Since 2006 African Americans are responsible for almost the same number of reported new HIV infections as are Men who have sex with Men (MSM) (452,985 to 452,985). Note there may be (and probably is) significant overlap in these populations

    Based on this information are you also willing to say:

    “Because of these costs, being black is not just like eye color variation.”

  • Rebecca

    To me the stunning disintegration of so many black families and the resultant dysfunctionality lie at the heart of these tragic statistics for HIV in African Americans. It is not being black that drives these costs, it is the breakdown of the family system that plagues a number African Americans. The factors leading to this breakdown are a subject for debate. It may be a type of macro psychodynamic issue where the economic, social and family environment conspire against people and possibly transmit intergenerationally.

  • ken

    Rebecca# ~ Mar 23, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    I’m not sure I follow your answer here Rebecca. Sounds like you are saying “no” to my question. but perhaps you could clarify.


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