Homosexuality: Lets Reopen the Debate!
I wonder why, in the current cultural war over "gays" in general and whether they should marry in particular, no one speaks publicly of the issue of choice? Is it a closed issue?
I mean, isn't the whole gay premise that since being gay is an innate, genetic trait, and since they cannot help being gay, that they should, as any other ethnic group, marry and even raise children? And how many times have we read that homosexuality is like race? It is like someone being black. That's a horrible analogy but it is what the gays say.
So, let me see if I am getting this. If being gay is like being black, and being gay works itself out in one's behavior as having sex with someone of the same sex, then how does being black work itself out in the behavior of a black person? Or, to carry this absurdity even further, how about a Chinese person? How does being Chinese work itself out in the behavior of a Chinese person? How does a Chinese person behave? What if the Chinese person is a Chinese-American, born and bred in the U.S.A.? How then would that work? Is it not someone's behavior and not a state of being that we are talking about?
What I sincerely don't get is just who says that someone that has sex with a member of the same sex does so as the result of being in the condition of being gay? To put it into the words of the "politically correct" engineered vocabulary, "Just who says that same sex behavior is the result of a same sex orientation?" Who came up with this notion?
Let's try, even though we are laymen, to be scientific about this. I mean, after all cannot laymen understand complex issues?
Was this sexual orientation business derived from employing the scientific method? Was 1) observation, 2) hypothesis, 3) prediction, 4) testing, and the attempt to 5) replicate steps 3 and 4 used to form a theory (the last step of the scientific method) that homosexual orientation is innate and therefore cannot change?
Here is an example of the breakdown of what this should have looked like to come up with a cogent theory:
Observation: Some men and women have sexual relations with members of the same sex. Is there a genetic drive that causes some individuals to want to have same-sex relations?
Hypothesis: A possible explanation for this observation is that some individuals are genetically inclined or oriented to having same-sex relations. And by the way, there can be multiple hypotheses to test the question formed out of the observation.
In other words, there could be many possible hypotheses (educated guesses) to explain the observation. But, all you hear in the media is the one premise--innate and unchangeable.
Predictions: If it is genetic, then in identical twins (being genetic clones) where one member of the pair is a homosexual, the other member will be homosexual too. There will have to be a 100% certainty that both twins will be gay.
Testing: Then the scientists come up with a way to test the predicted results via experimentation.
Replication: Other scientists try to replicate the initial experiment to see if they come up with the same or nearly the same results.
Theory: When the same consistent results are reached through many studies, then a theory is formed. A theory is a well-tested hypothesis.
That is a simple, layman's explanation of the scientific method. Where I am having the most trouble, about the entire homosexual issue, is at the testing stage (step 4) in the scientific method mentioned above. Do you test this hypothesis in a lab? No. You do a series of survey-like studies. For the sake of brevity, let me share with you one study done to attempt to verify this hypothesis.
In the study, A Genetic Study of Male Sexual Orientation, researchers Michael Bailey and Richard C. Pillard discovered in their sample group that half of the identical twins pairs were both gay while the other half had one gay member in the pair and the other was heterosexual. That means a 50% concordance rate. A concordant twin-pair would mean that both twins' members were gay while a disconcordant twin-pair would have one gay member and one straight member.
The immediate and glaring problem here is that identical twins are genetic clones of each other. If one member of the twin pair is gay, and being gay is a genetically coded thing, then the other member of the twin pair must be gay also. It would be impossible to have anything other than a 100% concordance rate.
If being gay is genetically caused, then in identical twin-pairs, both members would be DNA coded for homosexuality.
The testability of Bailey and Pillard's hypothesis troubles me for 5 reasons:
1) To be accurate, one would have to survey identical twins raised in different environments and not in the same environment. Raised in the same environment would seriously taint the proposition that genetics and not environmental issues were the determining factor in a homosexual orientation with concordant twin-pairs. In other words, how could you be 100% sure the determining factor in the orientation development of the concordant twin-pair wasn't influenced by their environment?
2) The way in which Bailey and Pillard obtained their research subjects was by advertising in homosexual publications. Concordant identical twin-pairs responded more often to the ads than disconcordant twin-pairs where one member was gay and then other one was not. Was this a true representation of the homosexual community?
Too, how accurate is self-reporting? In these studies, the researchers asked a homosexual how he/she knows he/she is gay, the usual responses are, "I have always felt different.", or "The earliest memories I have is feeling different from members of my sex."--how is that objective? Wouldn't a gay person, who is interested in absolving himself of the guilt of his sexual behavior or interested in promoting the gay socio-political position, have everything to gain in spouting the "party line"--I was born that way? Worse yet, what if he so believes the party line that he is self-deluded? Likely?
Scarier things have happened.
To offer human experience as the basis for establishing truth is a risky business indeed. Anyone can have an experience and claim it is true. There can be as many experiences as there are people to have them! If a billion people of the planet's population came forward and claimed that they have always felt like a dog, would that make it true? If they claimed that their earliest memories were that of feeling "different" from humans, would that validate their claim as true? What if they even said that they've done dog-like things all their childhood and, even as adults, eating Alpo and barking when someone comes to the door? Would that make it true?
Self-reporting from a biased population is not an accurate way of obtaining objective results.
3) Often, only one of the twin-pair members participated in the study and reported on the sexual orientation of the twin-pair member who didn't participate in the study. Again, this taints the study and does not insure accurate results.
4) The 50% concordant rate that did surface in the study could have been affected by the extreme genetic similarity of identical twins can exaggerate concordance rates. This taints statistical results.
5) The authors of the study believed that in concordant twin-pairs, those in which both were homosexual, that both would report the subjective claim that their earliest possible memories were of that being different from other boys. They reasoned this because if being gay was genetic, then this subjective claim of "childhood gender non-conformity" (Jeffrey Satinover, M.D.; Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth; page 86) would have been present at the earliest possible memories in both twin-pairs. It was not the case.
"But just as the twin studies failed to demonstrate genetic causation, their twin pairs in which both were homosexual experienced "childhood gender nonconformity" no more frequently than did the single homosexual in a discordant pair. Although an early recollection of "being different" is thus common among homosexuals, the evidence suggests that this sense of difference is in fact not caused by something genetic." (Jeffrey Satinover, M.D.; Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth; page 87).
It is this study, with two other major ones, on which the media bases their "proof positive" claim that homosexuality is genetically based. These three studies have been the battle cry for the gay movement. Yet, the other two studies, as with the Bailey and Pillard study, did not come up with the results hoped for by their authors. The result: homosexuality is not genetic. What does this make of the gay movement's "proof positive" claim of genetic causation?
How can one hope to test the subjective claim of having always "felt different" from the other boys or girls, or as in the Dr. Satinover's term, "childhood gender non-conformity"? Why is only one hypothesis ever considered in the arena of public discussion and debate--that homosexuality is genetic thus innate and unchangeable--when the studies the gays so loudly trumpet as proof are, in reality, no proof at all?
Those who control the flow of information, the press, have the responsibility to tell both sides of the issue. It is irresponsible not to and it is neither fair nor balanced.
Think about this: The desire to eat food is a genuine biological drive to survive. But what we put into our mouths to eat is our choice. The desire to have sex is a genuine biological drive (but not necessary to survive as an individual), but how and with whom we choose to have sex is a choice! Think about it!
Doug Bower is a freelance writer and book author. His most recent writing credits include The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Houston Chronicle, and The Philadelphia Inquirer, and Transitions Abroad. He lives with his wife in Guanajuato, Mexico.
His new book Mexican Living: Blogging it from a Third World Country can be seen at http://www.lulu.com/content/126241
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