Jonathan Merritt Discusses Sexuality and Vulnerability in New Book

On Sunday in a blog post at Religion News Service, Jonathan Merritt summarized some personal reflections on his sexuality which are detailed in his new book Jesus is Better Than You Imagined. Merritt, also the author of A Faith of Our Own: Following Jesus Beyond the Culture Wars which I endorsed. In that book, Merritt raises good questions and frequently illustrates the damage done to the Gospel and to people by culture war battles over social issues. In this blog post and his new book, he … [Read more...]

New Study of Gay Brothers Renews Interest in Genetic Factors in Homosexuality

Papers in Australia and the UK published stories late yesterday about a study recently described at the 2013 International Association for Sex Research by Alan Sanders and then yesterday by Michael Bailey at the American Association for the Advancement of Science on genetics and homosexuality. According to an abstract of a 2012 presentation of the study, the researchers conducted a genome-wide linkage study involving over 400 pairs of gay brothers. The team identified two regions of interest: … [Read more...]

Top Ten Posts in 2013

Here are the ten most visited pages on the blog for 2013. Two posts were written prior to 2013 but continue to be quite popular. I designate them in the list below by the year of publication. 1. On The Allegations of Plagiarism Against Mark Driscoll 2. Janet Mefferd Removes Evidence Relating to Charges of Plagiarism Against Mark Driscoll; Apologizes to Audience 3. Ingrid Schlueter Resigns from Janet Mefferd Show Over Mark Driscoll Plagiarism Controversy 4.  John Piper Calls Out … [Read more...]

What makes someone gay and can people change orientation?

In 2010, I submitted a summary of sexual orientation research to Uganda's Independent. They published it in their Uganda Talks section. In light of the passage of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill and recent discussions on this blog, I am reprinting it here. There isn't much that I would change about it three years later but I will comment at the end of the post. At Uganda Talks we welcome guest blogs from our readers. Today, Professor Warren Throckmorton writes about the anti-homosexuality … [Read more...]

New Paper Proposes Epigenetic Pathway to Homosexuality (UPDATED)

I am still reading the paper by William Rice, Urban Friberg and Sergey Gavrilets (available for review here) and have asked several other scientists for their opinion of it.  It is a complex argument but one which initially seems compelling to me. Here is the abstract: Male and female homosexuality have substantial prevalence in humans. Pedigree and twin studies indicate that homosexuality has substantial heritability in both sexes, yet concordance between identical twins is low and … [Read more...]

Eyes Wide Open: Pupil Dilation and Sexual Orientation

A new study from Gerulf Rieger and Ritch Savin-Williams confirms the relationship between sexual desire and pupil dilation. While this relationship has been known for some time, now it is possible to measure the dilation with precision. In doing so, the authors report significant relationships between self-reported sexual orientation and the way pupils dilate in response to sexual imagery. Read a summary of the study here, and the open access journal report here. The authors report that … [Read more...]

Uganda Human Rights Coalition Opposes the Anti-Homosexuality Bill

A broad coalition of human rights advocacy organizations in Uganda issued a press release late yesterday. Here is the press release in full: Press Statement Uganda: Parliament Should Reject Anti-Homosexuality Bill 16th February 2012 On Tuesday 7th February 2012, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill (2009) was reintroduced to the Parliament of Uganda. If passed, this draft legislation would violate the human rights of all Ugandans, and should immediately be dropped, the East and Horn of Africa … [Read more...]

Anoka-Hennepin School District Ends Silence Policy Toward Sexual Orientation

UPDATE - 2/14/12: The school board placed this information on their website about the change (scroll down to see the approved policy): The Anoka-Hennepin School District has a new policy designed to promote a respectful learning environment in which teachers facilitate student discussions of contentious topics in a balanced and impartial manner that encourages development of critical thinking and decision-making skills. "I believe this policy is the best thing for Anoka-Hennepin and for all … [Read more...]

The Evangelical Blackout of Sexual Orientation Research, Part 2

Last week, I commented on what I see as an evangelical blackout of sexual orientation research by Christian media and organizations. While I stand by that viewpoint, the situation is actually worse than a blackout. The blackout is selective; some new research is reported. However, the studies reported and the way they are reported seem designed to create a slanted picture. A case in point. Currently, on the NARTH (National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality) website, … [Read more...]

Hillary Clinton's Remarks Calling for Decriminalization of Homosexuality

I am late to this story which unfolded on Tuesday, Human Rights Day. The Obama Administration called on the rest of the world to decriminalize homosexuality, punctuating this call with remarks from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Geneva. The full text of these remarks are here. I am going to pull out some comments that are significant to me. Clinton directly makes the case that laws criminalizing homosexuality are violations of human rights. It is violation of human rights when people … [Read more...]