November 12, 2005

Is Homosexuality a Dysfunction?

(The following is an excerpt from an exchanged I had relating to an article on a gay high school in New York. My response to one of the accusations follows.)

Accusation:

"No one knows yet if homosexuality is genetic or not so for you to say it's a psychological dysfunction is just as insane as anyone saying it's genetic. You have no evidence to support your theory either."

My response:

You seem to be affirming that the genetic link has not been successfully made. I commend you on your honesty and understanding here. So many people blindly swallow the media rhetoric that it has indeed been proven. In fact, the claim, "God made me this way," rests on this spurious conclusion. In light of the idea that "no one knows the facts in this area," it is interesting that gay advocates are willing to reshape society's sexual and marital norms so readily. Ambiguity does not necessarily deliver a victory to this novel ethic, and reshaping our culture is not taking the "neutral" position.

"Dysfunction" is a matter of exception to the "normal" development or behavior of an individual. Since God (or "nature," if you're an atheist) has equipped us to produce and rear children in a male-female context, and most would affirm that this should be a "loving" environment, then "normal" should be whatever that arrangement produces on average. And who will say that it is not "best" for a child to have both an attentive and committed man and woman participate in the child's upbringing. To say otherwise seems a bit sexist and ignores the many supporting studies to the contrary. All this is to say that where love, attention, and/or the mother-father model are absent, we can expect exceptions to occur, i.e., dysfunction or pathologies. These variables would be considered "environmental" or "social" factors.

To say that there is no evidence to support conclusions for dysfunction is to ignore what the "gay gene" studies actually have been successful in concluding. Let's hear what some of the experts are telling us about this condition:
The Royal College of Psychiatrists concludes that "gender identity" disorders "are developmental," and "involve psychological, biological, family and social issues."
(http://www.symposion.com/ijt/ijtc0402.htm)

"Virtually all of the evidence argues against there being a determinative physiological causal factor and I know of no researcher who believes that such a determinative factor exists...such factors play a predisposing, not a determinative role...I know of no one in the field who argues that homosexuality can be explained without reference to environmental factors." (Steven Goldberg, Ph.D. (1994) When Wish Replaces Thought: Why So Much of What You Believe is False. Buffalo, New York: Prometheus Books)

"There is no evidence that shows that homosexuality is genetic—and none of the research itself claims there is. Only the press and certain researchers do, when speaking in sound bites to the public." (Jeffrey Satinover, M.D., The Journal of Human Sexuality, 1996, p.8.)

When "gay gene" researcher Hamer was asked if homosexuality was rooted solely in biology, he himself replied, "Absolutely not. From twin studies, we already know that half or more of the variability in sexual orientation is not inherited. Our studies try to pinpoint the genetic factors...not negate the psychosocial factors." ("Gay Genes, Revisited: Doubts arise over research on the biology of homosexuality," Scientific American, November 1995, P. 26.)

And even the notorious Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) tells us in a pamphlet:
"To date, no researcher has claimed that genes can determine sexual orientation. At best, researchers believe that there may be a genetic component. No human behavior, let alone sexual behavior, has been connected to genetic markers to date...sexuality, like every other behavior, is undoubtedly influenced by both biological and societal factors."
[My note: it is rather silly for them to say that no genetic link has been found on the one hand, yet on the other hand to include biological factors in what it is "undoubtedly influenced by." My point, though, is that even this gay propaganda machine admits that the only thing that is known is the social factor.]
To this I would add the following observation regarding Michael Bailey and Richard Pillard's famous "twin study." While this study has been swamped in controversy, and has been challenged by subsequent studies (Bailey was, himself, unable to reproduce these high numbers in a later, more comprehensive study), it will serve my purpose as a best-case scenario for the "gay gene" theory (these researchers are friendly to the gay-gene thesis, and observations regarding twins are some of the most tangible and easily grasped comparisons). First, note the following statistics from this study:
  • 52 percent of the identical twins were both gay
  • 22 percent of the fraternal twins were both gay
  • 9 percent of the non-twin brothers were both gay
  • 11 percent of the adopted, or genetically unrelated brothers were both gay
This outcome has been seen as suggestive of a genetic link. After all, there's a higher percentage for the identicals than for the siblings sharing lesser genetic material. However, if we look closer we see inconsistencies and strong indicators for environmental factors. First, 50/50 odds are pretty bad for identical DNA. This suggests that the genetic factor (assuming it is there) is not determinative (meaning it doesn't force the condition) and that it can be substantially overridden either by environmental or personal factors. Second, fraternal twins and non-twin brothers are genetically equivalent, but here we see that the figures are substantially different for each group. This suggests environmental dominance, since the unique common denominator with the fraternals is their closely shared upbringing. Third, we should expect to see the figure for adopted siblings to be lower than for any of the direct blood relations, yet it is actually higher than the non-twin brothers! Indeed, the adopted siblings should be expected to fall near the population average for homosexuality, yet they are several times higher than this (2-3 percent is the recognized average). Something is going on in these families that is increasing the odds of homosexual expression in these children.

From every quarter, researchers admit that even if there could be said to be a genetic connection there are still environmental factors involved. Here is what we are left with: genetic factors are possible, but not yet demonstrated, but environmental factors are known to be involved. In light of this, it is curious that the research activity leans toward gene studies at the expense of the environmental ones, yet environmental conditions are things we might actually hope to affect. I smell an agenda, and the researchers Bailey & Pillard are candid enough to tell us why: "If true, a biological explanation is good news for homosexuals and their advocates." But why the heck would that be good new? Would it be "good news" to find out that most lung cancer is a matter of genetics, which can't be easily changed, versus smoking, which one has opportunity to mitigate? There seems to be an a priori commitment to justifying the homosexual "orientation" rather than simply getting to the bottom of the what and why of it. But, of course, that is the approach of a bygone era of psychiatric science not driven by political correctness and advocacy.

So, what can we say about the environmental factors. Do we imagine that they are "good" influences, like having doting parents and a first-class education — that homosexuality is the result of an ideal upbringing? Is the best product of the child-rearing enterprise, in fact, a homosexual? Or, do we discover, as observations do seem to indicate, that it is a matter of less than ideal childhood experiences? Homosexuality, regardless of the "unknown" genetic component, seems to be influenced by negative environmental factors. This implies that those who are victim of this situation are being adversely affected. And this defines psychological dysfunction. It may be a pathology that the victim doesn't mind, or admit (like alcoholism, which supplies the addict with some positive reinforcement), but it is a pathology nonetheless.

And what do we do with pathologies? Do we affirm them and celebrate them? Do we consider them normative and of equal standing to all other behaviors? Do we reengineer society to conform to their particular idiosyncrasies? Of course not! But neither should we denigrate the intrinsic value of the affected persons. The sin is not in being victim of the environmental influences, or even the possible biological contributors; the sin is in pursuing the symptoms, celebrating the condition, rationalizing its merit, and insisting that society give hearty approval to those who do so.

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25 Comments:

At 11/12/2005 6:33 PM, Blogger Paul said...

One last thought about the genetic link: if homosexuality is transferred via genetics, and homosexuals generally do not produce offspring (except in very modern times through the magic of science), then just exactly how is it that it has significantly survived in the gene pool?

 
At 11/12/2005 7:11 PM, Blogger daleliop said...

Well, just as you say, modern times are different. People in the past had to remain in the closet with grave consequences if they revealed their orientation. They may have also been confused, as the condition was not public. There would have been many people in the past who would still have married and had kids but would may still have retained homosexual tendencies. Also, some may have had bisexual tendencies, so that trait could have been passed on through marriage without many signs, which may be a precursor to or relation in the same vein (no pun intended) as homosexuality.

Another possibility is that those genes responsible are passed on but remain dormant (like diseases from the parent). It's only when two carrier parents have kids which result in a homosexual tendency.

It may be that both genetic and environmental factors are involved. There are genes that are activated due to environmental influences. Like a person with a genetic history of lung cancer may not get lung cancer, but they are much more susceptible if they take up smoking than a person without such a history.

Perhaps if one wants to prove that homosexuality is mostly or completely environmental, then they should take a couple of straight people and see if they can turn them gay through conditioning and other psychological techniques.

 
At 11/13/2005 10:18 PM, Blogger Vman said...

I've heard the assertion that Homosexuality is a coping mechanism triggered by environmental factors. If this is true then shouldn't there be pills or treatments for homosexuality?

 
At 11/14/2005 7:05 AM, Blogger Jeff said...

Vman, yes there should be treatment for homosexuality. Some groups try to do this, and many have come through the training and are great advocates of it.
However, to do so is to invoke the wrath of the homosexual community who see it as hate speech to say that anyone can be cured of homosexuality.

 
At 11/14/2005 12:42 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Dale,

I'll buy some of what you say (that they married and bred anyway for various reasons), but I think an undesirable/unproductive recessive trait can come to a point of functional extinction, like blond hair in China.

The "gay gene" researchers are all affirming that environmental factors are definitely a part of the cause, but only that they think there might be a biological factor. My point is that no one's interested in doing anything with that environmental factor. However, I'm willing to entertain the idea that there is a biological or soulish-personality component to it, which might make someone more susceptible to the environmental influences. But even that doesn't escape the preeminence of the environment. This is because it implies that the remediation of the negative influences could avert a homosexual outcome, much like the avoidance of smoking could avoid lung cancer. It also suggests that if environment can be influential in producing the condition it could also be of some influence in treating the condition. And as Jeff indicates, there are many who have taken successful steps in that direction. But as he also indicates, they are often branded traitors for doing so, even by non-homosexuals. Can you imagine anyone supporting a band of alcoholics picketing an AA meeting?

As far as your gay experiment is concerned, I don't think we'd find many volunteers for this, since few people would want to expose their children to any sort of childhood trauma just for the sake of science. And no matter how politically correct someone is, I think they secretly hope their children will turn out straight. It may simply be enough to look for common environmental characteristics among those who do happen to be homosexual. But again, gay activists cry foul whenever anyone even raises a hint that it might be a pathology rather than a "natural" (read, genetic) condition. However, there are some researchers who have bucked the trend and come to certain conclusions, and of the numerous homosexuals with whom I've had first and second-hand exposure, I've been able to confirm their findings. As I stated in Vman's blog, it seems to have the most to do with gender role-modeling, especially in relation to the father. Every homosexual that I am privy to has had a missing, distant, or hostile father-figure, among other issues.

 
At 11/14/2005 12:43 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Vman,

I don't think a pill would get it. Homosexuality is far more complicated than something like the urge to overeat (which we have diet pills for). Also, a pill would simply be a palliative for the symptom, not an ultimate "cure." But an interesting question for a homosexual might be, "If there were a pill you could take to become heterosexual, would you take it?" I'd lay odds that the majority would deny they had any sort of problem. Indeed, many would probably exhibit some form of pride in their condition. After all, they believe it is all a part of "who they are." And mustn't we "believe in ourselves," "follow our hearts," "and be true to ourselves?"

 
At 11/14/2005 6:22 PM, Blogger roman said...

Paul,

"But an interesting question for a homosexual might be, "If there were a pill you could take to become heterosexual, would you take it?" I'd lay odds that the majority would deny they had any sort of problem. Indeed, many would probably exhibit some form of pride in their condition."

Maybe if the question was asked early enough in the formative stage of life.
I don't know exactly what process this would entail but the challenges would be formidable.
The first challenge would be to recognize homosexuality as a dysfunction (problem)in the context of natural development.
Second, to set measured standards early enough in order to recognize a developing "problem".
Thirdly, to affect some kind of remedial course of treatment.
Being from Massachusetts, a state where this dysfunction has been "sold" and "bought" as acceptable by many, I hope that this mind set is not as easily sold in other states.

 
At 11/15/2005 5:55 AM, Blogger Chris said...

What if you asked a someone to take a pill to become a homosexual (i.e. "fake" the condition)? Would they take it? I doubt even the straight homosexual advocates would. Why? Because even they see it as a dysfunction...

Anyways, I am fairly certain you could never produce a pill to fix it. If you could, this would mean it where a physcical problem (like being bi-polar). You have no concious willfull control over physical problems. You can deal with them some through techniques, but they can't be "cured" by non-physical means.

Homosexuality is the perversion of normal sexuality. It is a psychological problem, like pedophelia. It just so happens that it is socially acceptable (since it is between two adults), while pedophelia is not. It's so sad/funny to see shows like Law and Order SVU deal with this issue. One day they are vehemently raging and hating a pedophile, and the next day one of the main cast members is dealing with coming to terms with the fact that their son was gay.

It's easy to be mad/disgusted by and hate a pedophile because what they are doing is destroying a child's life. Yet, when you really think about it, they are only doing it because (ussually) someone did the same to them when they were a child. This doesn't make it less wrong, but it does bring up a point. If they had had the same help when they were a child, if someone had rescued them from their abuser, they probably wouldn't be doing what they are doing. I doubt there are many publicly prominent pedophile support groups. A place where someone is dealing with their feelings (as an adult) can go to get help (Ussually they are just forced to join the group -after- they commit the crime. And even then it's still socially acceptable to hate them).

So, wheras they are both sexual perversions, since one is aimed at mature members of the opposite sex where the other is aimed at small children, one is celebrated, while the other is considered to be the most disgusting thing ever. One is encouraged, and said to be "normal" and "healthy", while the other is discouraged, and said to be "disgusting" and "unhealthy". To me, this is like saying that cutting off your foot is great, but cutting off your hand is horrible. It's very close to being the same thing, but one is socially acceptable to hate on because it involves children.

They both need treated, but niether can be helped through pills...

 
At 11/15/2005 12:46 PM, Blogger Paul said...

The problem (for gay activists) is that whatever means they use to try to convince us that they are simply born that way will work equally well for pedophiles (and bestiaphiles, alchoholics, etc.). Indeed, I have often heard such cases made on their behalf. This should then destroy their appeal to the if-they're-born-with-it-then-it's-natural-and-good justification — you would think anyway. The escape from this has not been to surrender the argument; it is to affirm pedophilia as well.

The project of normalizing pedophilia is already under way. Besides the more subtle cultural shifts, some of the major milestones along this path are the radical reduction in the age of consent (already happening in many other countries), the bold and vocal existence of groups like NAMBLA (and that the ACLU will actually take up their cause), and the legalization of "virtual" child pornography. It should also be noted that in 1994 the American Psychiatric Association quietly revised its diagnostic manual to say that paraphilias (which include pedophilia) are not a perversion or disorder unless the person's behavior causes them distress or social impairment. In other words, it's only a problem if your conscience is bothered by it; if you are a sociopath then you're healthy!

 
At 11/16/2005 3:36 PM, Blogger Chris said...

disgusting.

It's no wonder so many people think the world is about to end. We are truly returning to sodom and ghomorah. Actually, I almost wonder if some portions of our society are WORSE...

 
At 12/18/2005 12:29 PM, Anonymous straight-white-married-non-theist said...

The problem (for gay activists) is that whatever means they use to try to convince us that they are simply born that way will work equally well for pedophiles (and bestiaphiles, alchoholics, etc.). Indeed, I have often heard such cases made on their behalf. This should then destroy their appeal to the if-they're-born-with-it-then-it's-natural-and-good justification — you would think anyway. The escape from this has not been to surrender the argument; it is to affirm pedophilia as well.

First, unless I miss my guess, you are linking homosexuality with pedophilia. If you have solid, peer reviewed evidence, then perhaps you should cite it. I suspect the proportional number of pedophiles in the straight popolation is at least equal to the number of pedophiles in the gay population.

Second, your argument could be used to affirm any sociapathic behavior. Mass murder, say. And yet we still have laws on the books that allow society to punish murder.

One might ask if you're more bothered by the ickyness of gay sex than by the biblical injunction against it. I would suggest consensual gay sex is none of your business; particularly in the pluralistic society in which we live.

If, on the other hand, you believe we should be a strictly Christian nation with the resultant return to a Biblical world-view and values, then I think you should be honest and say as much. We who appreciate diversity would like to know your true goals.

The project of normalizing pedophilia is already under way. Besides the more subtle cultural shifts, some of the major milestones along this path are the radical reduction in the age of consent (already happening in many other countries),

I agree that our society is turning children into sex objects at younger and younger ages. But this is being driven by Madison Avenue, and not by some radical hidden homosexual agenda.

Also, please cite examples of "the radical reduction in the age of consent," specifically here in the US. I don't really care what they do in Sweden. I don't recall news stories of a rash of legislation allowing 37 year old men to marry 11 year old girls. Or boys, for that matter.

the bold and vocal existence of groups like NAMBLA (and that the ACLU will actually take up their cause),

"Bold and vocal?" Really? I can't remember the last time I had to walk through a crowd of NAMBLA members to get to my car at the mall, or the last time NAMBLA gathered at the courthouse to advocate more man/boy looove. I *do* remember a recent Klan gathering at our local courthouse. Is NAMBLA really more bold and vocal than the KKK? Or Fristian/DeLayite Religious Warriors? Personally, I don't think so. Tennesee may be different than other parts of the country, though.

and the legalization of "virtual" child pornography.

Again, Madison Avenue. Not Carson from "Queer Eye."

It should also be noted that in 1994 the American Psychiatric Association quietly revised its diagnostic manual to say that paraphilias (which include pedophilia) are not a perversion or disorder unless the person's behavior causes them distress or social impairment. In other words, it's only a problem if your conscience is bothered by it; if you are a sociopath then you're healthy!

Or maybe they are trying to suggest that as long as one doesn't act on the urge, one is "healthy." There are many urges or thoughts the average human being might have, some of which, if acted on, would be illegal.

Or perhaps you'd advocate the creation of a Biblical Thought Police, staffed entirely by those who are without sin and are therefore qualified to throw the first stone?

 
At 12/19/2005 10:49 AM, Blogger Paul said...

Hi SWMNT,

Thanks for taking the time to comment. Dissenting voices are always welcome and serve to take the discussion to a deeper level.

I'm preparing a reply, but have some time constraints just now. I'll try to get something out as soon as possible.

 
At 12/20/2005 10:06 AM, Blogger Jeff said...

to SWMNT,

Welcome aboard. I'd like to take issue with your assertion that Paul isn't being honest about his agenda. Just take him at face value. You wouldn't want us assuming your real motives would you?

Paul doesn't seem to be linking homosexuality with pedophilia. What I see him doing is equating them philosophically. He's pointing out that many of the arguments used to support homosexuality as being worthy of respect as a valid lifestyle can also be used, if we are consistent in our logic, to support pedophilia or other things we all agree to be a perversion.

That's just a fact of logic. If you want to find a philosophical, moral argument to support the viability of homosexuality then it has to be one that doesn't fall prey to this mistake.

As for a link between pedophilia and homosexuality, it does appear there is one though. Child Molestation and Homosexuality

 
At 12/21/2005 1:16 AM, Blogger Paul said...

SWMNT,

First, unless I miss my guess, you are linking homosexuality with pedophilia.

I think you may have misunderstood my line of argumentation. Maybe I wasn't clear enough. I was not linking the two behaviorally or biologically, only linking the way each might argue for itself. For instance, they might both use the "I was born with it" argument, and if that argument, in-and-of itself sanctifies one then it sanctifies the other. I was merely demonstrating the inadequacy of that argument as a valid moral qualifier.

your argument could be used to affirm any sociopathic behavior.

I'm not attempting to affirm any particular behavior here. Perhaps this is just a further misunderstanding of my point.

One might ask if you're more bothered by the ickyness of gay sex than by the biblical injunction against it.

Maybe I am and maybe I'm not. However, this has no bearing on my argument, and I did not appeal to my "feelings" for my conclusion. How I or anyone else feels about homosexuality has no effect on its moral, psychological, or genetic standing. In fact, I could reference several persons with homosexual inclinations who would make similar arguments to mine, and I find certain things not "icky" that I am compelled to argue against.

I would suggest consensual gay sex is none of your business; particularly in the pluralistic society in which we live.

Perhaps I could suggest the same for prostitution, suicide, drug use, or consensual torture and cannibalism (which does exist). You will have to dig deeper than "consent" to justify homosexuality. And simply because our society is pluralistic no more makes diverse behavior right than saying that it's acceptable to own a batch of anthrax because we live in a biotech age.

If, on the other hand, you believe we should be a strictly Christian nation with the resultant return to a Biblical world-view and values, then I think you should be honest and say as much.

Where'd this come from? I am making strictly rational argument here, not a biblical argument (not that the Bible is irrational). For my biblical argument, go here. Please take my arguments on their own merit and in their own contexts.

As to returning to a "Christian nation," all I will say for now is that I agree with our nation's founders, who were probably better Christian men than I (on the whole). If they had wanted a theocracy, they would have set one up. I am reasonably happy with what they have established, as are the majority of those Christians I know. Your concern is not so much with what Christians want to do to this nation, but rather what they want to preserve in it. We are not the one's seeking the change. The burden of justifying change is on the backs of those who would seek it.

I agree that our society is turning children into sex objects at younger and younger ages. But this is being driven by Madison Avenue, and not by some radical hidden homosexual agenda.

I'm glad you too are concerned for our youth, but I wonder how far you would permit society to go in the effort to discourage their sexualization. Unfortunately, this would probably require us to infringe on some rights and freedoms.

I wonder why Madison Avenue would care so much about offending parents (the source of children's money) in order to sexualize their youth. Even if it were merely Madison Avenue responsible here, it may be argued that there are personal biases and agendas in those executives who are allowing things to turn in this direction versus some other equally profitable one. And that agenda is certainly not isolated to those individuals. Madison Avenue may simply be the most effective medium for instilling these new ideas and values into the culture.

Also, please cite examples of "the radical reduction in the age of consent," specifically here in the US. I don't really care what they do in Sweden. I don't recall news stories of a rash of legislation allowing 37 year old men to marry 11 year old girls. Or boys, for that matter.

You may be right that it is not an avalanche force assault, but it never is; social change happens inch by inch. And I think it is naïve to say that what happens in other countries does not affect us. Europe has a history of preceding the US in cultural conventions, just as California seems to precede the rest of the states.

Perhaps there are few people who are so reckless as to openly advocate relationships between the old and the very young (though there are some). However, there is an attempt to eliminate age of consent laws and to downplay the moral and psychological issues relating to sex with and between minors. Here are just a few examples:

We can find high profile books on the topic such as these:
Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex
Erotic Innocence: The Culture of Child Molesting

We can find advocates for lowering the age of consent laws (besides just NAMBLA):
Adult At Fourteen

We can now find academic studies that are not afraid to challenge the taboos:
A Meta-Analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using College Samples

And further interest from the scholarly community:
The Ipce Library

You will commonly find romanticized stories and advocacy in mainstream gay publications:
Summer of Love
The Eye of the Beholder

And most telling of all is this bullet point found in the 1972 Gay Rights Platform, which was endorsed by the National Coalition of Gay Organizations: "Repeal of all laws governing the age of sexual consent."
And here's even more detail along those lines

[Regarding NAMBLA] "Bold and vocal?" Really? I can't remember the last time I had to walk through a crowd of NAMBLA members to get to my car at the mall, or the last time NAMBLA gathered at the courthouse to advocate more man/boy looove.

By "bold" I mean that they are not ashamed to make a public show of themselves, like laying out their position on a website or sponsoring court cases. And as for those homosexuals who do rally and march, it remains to be determined how many of these would support dropping the age of consent.

I *do* remember a recent Klan gathering at our local courthouse. Is NAMBLA really more bold and vocal than the KKK?

The KKK? Is that what you think representative of orthodox Christianity? I think you'll need to go back to the drawing board on this; the KKK is considered a radical organization even by the cults of Christianity. I have no duty to defend or make comparisons by them.

I am willing to consider that the majority of homosexuals might not have dark, strategic plans for the corruption of our youth (any more than all blacks are fans of Jesse Jackson), but, unfortunately, these are not the ones who are on the front lines advancing the liberal agenda. When you battle a nation you tend to confront its advancing army, not the quiet citizens on its home front.

[Regarding the APA recategorizing paraphilias] maybe they are trying to suggest that as long as one doesn't act on the urge, one is "healthy." There are many urges or thoughts the average human being might have, some of which, if acted on, would be illegal.

This would be a more desirable interpretation, but based on my reading of the material I don't think that is the best way to understand their position.

Or perhaps you'd advocate the creation of a Biblical Thought Police, staffed entirely by those who are without sin and are therefore qualified to throw the first stone?

Or perhaps we should have a thought police, such as in Canada, which prohibits the expression of the very opinions that Christians hold, and even threatens to regulate what may be preached from behind the closed doors of the church.

And are you implying that homosexuality is indeed a sin, but that we fellow sinners are morally unqualified to pass judgment? On that reckoning we might have basis for a discussion (but if you're going to quote my Scriptures to make your case you'll forgive me if I do likewise), however I don't think you've arrived there yet.

 
At 1/19/2006 11:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've reread (perhaps more carefully) the original post. What I took away was that you are arguing that because homosexuality is most likely the product of a less than ideal childhood, that it is a dysfunction.

But there are many maladaptive traits or behaviors, some of which might be pathological, that we might obtain from our upbringing. Asthma. Substance abuse. Inability to form loving relationships. Lack of desire to strive and succeed. Some of these we apply moral judgments to. Some we don't. I don't go to hell for having asthma, but I do if I'm gay. I don't even know if I go to hell if I'm a practicing alcoholic. I certainly am not subject to the same kind of hatred and vitriol. Why is that? Childhood accidents can result in permanent disability, but we do not consign someone in a wheelchair to an eternity in Hell, even if they resist treatment.

So is homosexuality a pathology, a trait, or a behavior?

Finally, if homosexuality is a pathology, and caused by environmental factors, do we also hold the parents to account? Are they, also, to be consigned to hellfire and eternal torment?

Let me say, too, that I in no way intended to link Christianity with the KKK. My intent was to suggest that compared even to a marginalized and largely discredited group such as the Klan, NAMBLA is something less than a "bold and vocal group."

 
At 1/19/2006 11:44 AM, Blogger Jeff said...

No one's 'condemned to hell' here. Perhaps you read that in to the post based on past experience.

Paul (my guess here) just wants to show that homosexuality is likely a pathology like the other ones you mentioned. And as such, the claim for protected minority status is invalid.

Equal protection under the law is to be expected. All citizens deserve to be protected from attack or mistreatment (just hoping to head off a misunderstanding there).

 
At 1/19/2006 1:02 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Anon (SWMNT),

Good comments! Very much in line with the discussion, and takes it to the next level, though Jeff's right that the hell/judgment aspect is a sidetrack. But I'm in the mood to bite.

Yes, I am saying that it is nature/design gone wrong. And yes, there are many other parallels. Some are directly analogous, like alcoholism or abusiveness, and some are not so directly parallel, like asthma. The distinction between the two is a matter of direct, unmediated, involuntary causality. For example, if a parent hit hist child in the head with a baseball bat he may well receive brain damage. There is a direct causal connection which the child had no hand in processing, reacting to, affirming, or reinforcing.

With alcoholism (assuming an environmental influence), the connection is not determinative, like the bat against the head. It is a matter of conditioning, which requires the child to respond to his upbringing in a way that does not guarantee the result of alcoholism. He could manage to rise above it, commit suicide, become a criminal, become homosexual, or become an alcoholic. And if he does become an alcoholic, it does not mean that beer gets into the car, goes to his house, and jumps into his mouth. There is volition involved, unlike brain damage. That is to say, the child cannot be mentally well most of the day and go out at night to indulge himself at the retard clubs. The mentally defective child does not have a desire to be brain damaged that he acts upon, rationalizes, surrenders to, or gets therapy for.

So, in some sense, we should be able to see a distinction between those problems for which we could find personal guilt and those for which the person is a wholly passive "victim." But the other problem is that nobody's on a crusade to normalize and celebrate things like brain damage and alcoholism (other than nutburgers like this). If it turns out that homosexuality is indeed a dysfunction, as it once was understood to be (having been declassified as a result of political pressure), then this would pull the rug out from under the gay advocates. And therein lies my main theme.

I (and I am not alone here as a Christian) am not suggesting that persons with this dysfunction are hell-bound simply because they have homosexual compulsions. We all have sinful compulsions for gosh sakes. I am suggesting that it is wrong to celebrate this dysfunction, to normalize it as just another valid (even "God-given") lifestyle, to shout down those who want out of it, and to encourage youth to explore this path if they feel so inclined. Indeed, this path is being paved and lighted for all those children who are sufferers of those environmental factors that may potentially develop into some sort of dysfunction. If we can first admit that it is a dysfunction, it seems that a number of conclusions and responses naturally follows from there. And that is exactly why such a conclusion is being fought so ferociously by the gay community, who seem to enjoy their dysfunction, just as many alcoholics do.

As far as parental culpability, if homosexuality is indeed a "sin," then we can at least say that God will debit the accounts of all those at fault, just as the law would hold me responsible if I strike my child with a baseball bat. In fact, Scripture does speak often about the impact of our misdeeds on others, and the guilt we incur in doing so. But as far as how being a participant in the product of sin relates to one's eternal destiny, the Christian answer is not that this or that particular sin disqualifies you from heaven. It all depends on whether or not you choose to stand on your own merits before God and be held accountable for ALL the crimes you have committed, or if you choose to throw yourself on the mercy of the court and accept the sin-payment that God is willing to provide for you through Christ.

As to NABLA vs. the KKK, I will concede some ground to you, though it does seem that the KKK has lost ground in society while NAMBLA is on the rise, and such trends play into my concerns.

 
At 1/19/2006 2:53 PM, Anonymous SWMNT said...

If we can first admit that it is a dysfunction, it seems that a number of conclusions and responses naturally follows from there. And that is exactly why such a conclusion is being fought so ferociously by the gay community, who seem to enjoy their dysfunction, just as many alcoholics do.

Hmmmm... I'm not ready to admit that homosexuality is a dysfunction. Which, I suspect, puts us at an impasse. Even if it is, I fail to see why it matters to the average person. It certainly doesn't matter to me that my coworker is gay. And it doesn't matter to me that my sibling is gay. Why is it important that homosexuality be defined a dysfunction? (Other than to deny committed homosexual couples rights, or status equal to marriage.)

(For my part, I'll do some research to see what I can find on the issue.)

As to NABLA vs. the KKK, I will concede some ground to you, though it does seem that the KKK has lost ground in society while NAMBLA is on the rise, and such trends play into my concerns.

On what basis do you assert NAMBLA is on the rise?

 
At 1/19/2006 4:02 PM, Blogger Jeff said...

Paul, SWMNT, I hope you don't mind me jumping in here.

SWMNT said: Even if it is, I fail to see why it matters to the average person. It certainly doesn't matter to me that my coworker is gay. And it doesn't matter to me that my sibling is gay. Why is it important that homosexuality be defined a dysfunction?

Well, for those who believe in God it matters in that there are eternal consequences.
But for those that don't, it would NOT matter UNLESS there are some damaging consequences.

It is my contention that there are damaging consequences to society as a whole, but perhaps more to the point, for those individuals involved in the behavior.

This is where I'll stop because I know that Paul has gone to great lengths in the past to detail the consequences and to support them with scientific studies.

 
At 1/19/2006 6:19 PM, Blogger SWMNT said...

I've read the Lifeways piece he wrote on "Is Homosexuality Compatible With Christianity?" Thanks.

We'll have to agree to disagree on this issue. On all issues, possibly. Probably. Likely.

 
At 1/20/2006 12:56 PM, Blogger Jeff said...

That article deals with the theology of the issue and I wouldn't expect you to appreciate it if you question the whole issue of the truthfulness of the Bible.

But the issue previously discussed was about the damaging affects of the homosexual lifestyle. Wouldn't that, if proven, make a difference in how you view it?

Oh, and I'm not so pessimistic about finding areas of agreement. I'm sure there are many.

 
At 1/20/2006 7:25 PM, Blogger SWMNT said...

I don't believe homosexuality or homosexual sex is neccessarily any more damaging than heterosexuality or hetersexual sex.

 
At 1/20/2006 7:58 PM, Blogger Paul said...

SWMNT: I'm not ready to admit that homosexuality is a dysfunction

I can appreciate that. No rush to conclusions for you. And my thinking can only get better on this the more I am challenged to develop it.

It does seem fairly warranted to believe that there is a strong environmental component, especially since all of the researchers seem to be admitting this themselves. And since most of the researchers appear to be gay-friendly (indeed, "proving" a biological link seems to be the motive for some), I am inclined to add weight to these kinds of concessions when they make them. It's one reason I respect the Big Bang theory: because even the atheistic scientists, who have nothing to gain by affirming an origin-event, finally cast their support for it.

I think the twin studies provide pretty concrete indicators that trump all the other technical and equivocal studies that some have attempted. And if the figures in the identical twins were anywhere close to 100%, then I'd be much more sympathetic to a determinative cause (though it could still be an environmentally determinative thing, I suppose). The fact that the numbers are even less than 50% for concordance in twins suggests a strong environmental influence in either its appearance or its suppression (the most robust study was the Australian one that showed 38% for men and 30% in women). The only question then is to determine what kind of "influence" is relevant to the appearance of homosexuality, and if those conditions would be considered positive or negative. If negative, then it would seem that we have a pathology (i.e., a "dysfunction"). Interestingly though, if positive, then we might say that homosexuality is a more "normal" or "healthy" product. I don't think we can go there, so the only other choice would seem to be socially/morally neutral environmental factors, like living in Ohio vs. Idaho, or growing up in a green room vs. a yellow one.

But it seems as though there is an allergy to exploring the environmental factors. Those who are not afraid to do so, and have worked with homosexual patients not particularly bent on justifying their preferences, seem to have discovered connections involving relationships with parents and guardians, relationships which are not ideal or are wholly absent during those formative years of development and gender development. And I have also noted the same in the case of every homosexual I have encountered; I have reason to believe they are on to something.

Here is an article that discusses the implications of the twin studies. I find this an interesting excerpt from that article:

"A fascinating sidelight on all this comes from the work of Bailey. His team asked non-concordant identical twins (one was homosexual, one not) about their early family environment, and found that the same family environment was experienced or perceived by the twins in quite different ways. These differences led later to homosexuality in one twin, but not in the other."

SWMNT: Even if it is, I fail to see why it matters to the average person. It certainly doesn't matter to me that my coworker is gay. And it doesn't matter to me that my sibling is gay. Why is it important that homosexuality be defined a dysfunction?

If it is a dysfunction, let us call it a dysfunction, and without all the politics. It might even foster more sympathy than hostility by those who have moral concerns with this condition. In fact, I have issues on the other end of the spectrum with Christians who still think of this as nothing more than a "choice." It may be helpful for all parties to understand all the complexities involved in this and why someone might end up going down this road.

As far as why I would care about this, well, first of all, I'd agree with Jeff that if this were really a problem in their relationship with God, then I would care by extension of my concern for others. If I really think life has eternal consequences, and I really care about others, then you should be able to follow the connection here.

But even if there were no moral/spiritual ramifications, we could still consider the immediate physical concerns. This lifestyle is not without its side effects and consequences — things that not only affect the homosexual but society itself. One might also ask why we should care about cigarette smokers, but society seems to care very much. If/since it is harmful, then we care about the participants, our youth who might be influenced to take this path, and the impact that it has on the culture-at-large, insurance rates, and healthcare costs. Basically, we care about this if we subscribe to the philosophy of "the public good," which is regularly applied in many other areas of society.

Here is a sampling of the kinds of things that are found in higher levels among the homosexual community:

* Numerous physical health problems (AIDS is just the latest on the scene)
* Mental health issues
* Risky sexual behavior
* Substantial promiscuity
* Promiscuity in "monogamous" same-sex relationships (even by consent)
* High alcohol and drug use
* Domestic abuse
* Shorter life-spans

Here are some articles that flesh out these talking points. Perhaps you will not like the sources, but they are at least heavily footnoted from secular journals: Here and here
Here is a list of other articles regarding homosexual health issues: NARTH

It is more difficult to find the same kinds of comprehensive articles on gay health issues from pro-homosexual sources (it's bad press that they'd prefer to avoid), but you can find them candidly discussing their woes here and there: Sample 1 and Sample 2

SWMNT: On what basis do you assert NAMBLA is on the rise?

This issue is ancillary to my case against homosexuality, so I am willing to set it aside. I'm not closely following all their present activities and the public acceptance and homosexual community support for this organization. My main concern is that organizations like this are part of the stream of our present cultural flow, which I make a brief supporting case for in my comment above on 12/21/05. The trend is toward the elimination of sexual constraints and taboos. This seems to me a reasonable observation.

 
At 8/28/2010 7:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, I posted info with sources about lesbians...they were up briefly? Where did they go?

 
At 8/31/2010 7:51 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Anon, I see your comments in my email inbox, but I don't see them here either. I am largely in agreement with them, so I wouldn't have deleted them. I've not seen this happen before, but I've also not been very active on blogspot for awhile.

If you still have them, please repost them. Otherwise, I could copy them in here for you from my email.

 

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