Born Gay?

Article ID: DH055-1 | By: Joseph P. Gudel

The following is an excerpt from article DH055-1 of the Christian Research Journal. The full article can be viewed by following the link below the excerpt.

BORN GAY?

Perhaps the most dangerous myth disseminated today by the pro-homosexuality movement is that modern science has proven that homosexuality is innate and immutable. That is, homosexuals are born gay, much like being born left-handed or with blue eyes. The inference, of course, is that if they are born that way, then homosexuality cannot be considered immoral or unnatural; the homosexual is just following his or her genes. However, as Congressman William Dennemeyer put it, “if homosexuality is a perversion of what is natural, then homosexuals must look at their own conduct in an entirely different light and explain it in less satisfying terms.”21 It is well beyond the scope of this article to summarize all the findings concerning the genesis of homosexuality. However, the scientific evidences for its origins are usually classified in terms of either biological causes (i.e., genetic/hormonal) or environmental factors (e.g., psychological causes, volitional, and so forth). (1) Biological Causes. The most recent research suggesting that homosexuality may be caused by biological factors came out in 1991 with the publication of some preliminary findings of Dr. Simon LeVay, a neuroscientist at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego. His research consisted of studying the brains of 41 cadavers, including 19 homosexual males. He found that “a tiny area believed to control sexual activity [the hypothalamus] was less than half the size in the gay men than in the heterosexuals.”22 This study was seized upon by many as “irrefutable evidence” that homosexuals are born gay, something the homosexual community has been proclaiming for many years. However, “instead of resolving the debate,” a Newsweek article suggests, “the studies may well have intensified it. Some scientists profess not to be surprised at all by LeVay’s finding of brain differences. ‘Of course it [sexual orientation] is in the brain,’ says Johns Hopkins University psychologist John Money, sometimes called the dean of American sexologists. ‘The real question is, when did it get there? Was it prenatal, neonatal, during childhood, puberty? That we do not know.’”23 Other problems with his findings include: (1) all 19 of the homosexual men had died of AIDS, something that many researchers believe could very well account for or contribute to the differences; (2) there was no way to know the sexual history of the “heterosexual” men; (3) there is no way to determine if the smaller hypothalamuses were the cause or the result of homosexuality; and (4) Dr. LeVay, a homosexual himself, admitted that his study was not entirely a dispassionate scientific endeavor.24 (2) Environmental Factors. There are probably just as many, if not more, psychiatrists and psychologists who believe that homosexuality arises from various environmental factors. The majority of these say that homosexuality’s root causes are psychological, not biological. But these people are not cited nearly as often by the media as the others — perhaps a pro-homosexual bias by the media? And they are virtually never even acknowledged by the homosexual community, because most homosexuals want to believe that they were born that way and had no choice (conscious or subliminal) in the matter. In any case, some of the most noteworthy and respected researchers and therapists in the world deny that homosexuality is determined by biological factors. For example, therapists helping homosexuals who are unhappy with their condition can cite one case history after another showing that negative early childhood experiences are the one common factor found in almost all their patients. The vital factor here is that these people were raised in a very unloving home environment, never knowing love or acceptance from their mother or their father, or in some cases both. According to these studies, the child’s reaction to this rejection and lack of nurturing is formulated at a very early age, usually before five years old. The following references illustrate these findings. William H. Masters (codirector of the Masters and Johnson Institute), Virginia E. Brown, and Robert C. Kolodny stated categorically in their 1982 work Human Sexuality: “The genetic theory of homosexuality has been generally discarded today.”25 Robert Kronemeyer, in his work Overcoming Homosexuality, writes: “With rare exceptions, homosexuality is neither inherited nor the result of some glandular disturbance or the scrambling of genes or chromosomes. Homosexuals are made, not born ‘that way.’ I firmly believe that homosexuality is a learned response to early painful experiences and that it can be unlearned. For those homosexuals who are unhappy with their life and find effective therapy, it is ‘curable.’”26 John DeCecco, professor of psychology at San Francisco State University and the editor of the 25-volume Journal of Homosexuality, expressed the same view in a 1989 USA Today article: “‘The idea that people are born into one type of sexual behavior is entirely foolish,’ says John DeCecco… Homosexuality, he says, is ‘a behavior, not a condition,’ and something that some people can and do change, just like they sometimes change other tastes and personality traits.”27 One thing is clear: it is hardly an established scientific fact accepted by the entire medical field that homosexuality is solely or even primarily caused by biological factors. This brings us to the question just raised above: Can those who are homosexual change?