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Fact Sheet: A Gay Gene?

by Linda Harvey

(Note to readers: Please copy and distribute this to anyone you believe it would help: students, parents, neighbors, youth group workers, legislators, etc. Thank you and God bless.)

In spite of all the publicity....

Some people still believe homosexuals are not "born that way." Why?

(Could it be they know the facts?)

Fact #1: No research study exists that proves homosexuality is inherited.

Yes, many recent studies have received tremendous publicity. But few media people-- or even the gay/lesbian groups publicizing them--have actually examined the studies. None of the four major studies claims to have conclusive evidence of a genetic origin for homosexuality.

The four studies are Simon LeVay's 1991 "brains" study of human corpses, published in the journal Science; two studies of twins, published by J. Michael Bailey and Richard C. Pillard in the Archives of General Psychiatry in 1991 and 1993; and Dean Hamer's X-chromosome study published in Science in 1993.

These studies share some characteristics:

In all the studies, the researchers themselves never claim that their studies definitely prove a genetic connection, nor does the study itself show such results.(The publicity "spin" given to these studies has, in other words, been less than honest.) The research methods in all these studies have been repeatedly criticized as being sloppy--- not having control groups, inconsistent identification of research subjects, non-representative samples, and conclusions that don't match data. In Dean Hamer's study, a fellow researcher later accused him of falsifying results. None of these studies has been replicated by later research, and one study on twins by other researchers found radically different results. In every study, at least one of the primary researchers was a homosexual, which has to bring up a question of possible bias. BUT............there's a bigger issue. Even if a "genetic" connection did exist, would this make homosexual behavior both unavoidable and, most importantly, beneficial?

Fact #2: Many so-called "homosexuals" change their sexual preferences and behavior.

Homosexual behavior is not unavoidable, nor is it unchangeable. Many studies exist that show this to be true. One study of lesbian women in San Francisco and Berkeley in 1993 illustrates this point. It showed that 81% of women who called themselves lesbians reported having been involved sexually with men in the prior three years. AND..20% of these women had been involved with gay or bisexual men.(American Journal of Public Health, 1995). What kind of neat category does this fall into?

The fact is that,sexual feelings and behavior are very subject to change, both by one's beliefs and values, and also by life experiences. When actual behavior is examined, those who say they are advocating "homosexuality" really prefer an "anything goes" sexual standard, because they don't want to held to one definition of sexual behavior. This doesn't correlate with a genetic origin of strictly homosexual behavior, and this is why the terms "gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender," etc. are now always part of homosexual rights discussions.

The goal of gay activists is actually freedom for sexual experimentation without criticism or consequences--an unrealistic and immature approach to sexual decisions, especially when the high-risk medical facts are known about homosexuality.

Fact #3: Many homosexuals say loud and clear that they chose this behavior.

The genetic theory is not popular with everyone--including many gays and lesbians. In a 1997 survey of readers published in the top-selling gay magazine, The Advocate, half of those surveyed said they believed sexual preference can change over the course of one's lifetime.This is probably reflective of their own feelings and experiences.

Fact #4: Even those committed to homosexual behavior over a long time can completely change to heterosexual behavior.

The front page story in the April 13, 1998 Detroit Free Press illustrates this. The story is about Philip Movius, who had his first homosexual encounter at age 15. He is now 39, a hairdresser in Flint, Michigan--and a doting husband with two children. His last homosexual experience was nine years ago.

He decided to give up homosexuality, and with the help of counseling and his religious faith, he has. The experiences of thousands like him who are just beginning to go public with their successes really refute the notion of a "genetic" basis for homosexuality.

Fact #5: The strong homosexual desires some people feel are real-- but are often shaped by traumatic experiences, not genetics.

For decades, researchers have identified the strong link between dysfunctional childhood experiences and homosexual feelings. Many adult homosexuals, when they are honest, admit to sexual molestation by an adult or older peer in their childhood or early teens--and that this was a pivotal point where they "decided" they were homosexual. Other homosexuals, while not molested, will report traumatic relationships with one or more parents, with siblings or with peers.

This is the link that should be explored more thoroughly, because it has been so universally reported--the link between childhood abuse and homosexual desire. Counseling to overcome the effects of such abuse is readily available, and should be encouraged for teens and young adults who struggle with homosexual feelings.

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