The Innate-Immutable Argument Finds No Basis in Science In Their Own Words: Gay Activists Speak About Science, Morality, Philosophy
A. Dean Byrd, Ph.D.
Shirley E. Cox, Ph.D.
Jeffrey W. Robinson, Ph.D
. The following article was published in the Salt Lake City Tribune, in slightly abbreviated form, on May 27th, 2001. Lead author A. Dean Byrd, NARTH's Vice President, received many responses (mostly positive) to this intellectually provocative editorial.
The Salt Lake City Tribune has published several articles in recent months regarding homosexuality. While many of the articles are well-written, they do not reflect the scientific literature. In fact, the social advocacy of many of the articles seem to suggest a greater reliance on politics than on science.
Leaving aside the politics of the issue, perhaps it is time to examine the innate-immutable argument about homosexual attraction. First of all--although the issue is enormously complex and simply cannot be reduced to a matter of nature vs. nurture--the answer to that debate is probably "yes" --it is likely that homosexual attraction, like many other strong attractions, includes both biological and environmental influences.
What is clear, however, is that the scientific attempts to demonstrate that homosexual attraction is biologically determined have failed. The major researchers now prominent in the scientific arena--themselves gay activists--have in fact arrived at such conclusions.
Researcher Dean Hamer, for example, attempted to link male homosexuality to a stretch of DNA located at the tip of the X chromosome, the chromosome that some men inherit from their mothers. Referring to that research, Hamer offered some conclusions regarding genetics and homosexuality.
"We knew that genes were only part of the answer. We assumed the environment also played a role in sexual orientation, as it does in most, if not all behaviors.... Homosexuality is not purely genetic...environmental factors play a role. There is not a single master gene that makes people gay....I don't think we will ever be able to predict who will be gay."
Citing the failure of his research, Hamer further writes,
"The pedigree failed to produce what we originally hoped to find: simple Mendelian inheritance. In fact, we never found a single family in which homosexuality was distributed in the obvious pattern that Mendel observed in his pea plants." What's more interesting is that when Hamer's study was duplicated by Rice et al with research that was more robust, the genetic markers were found to be nonsignificant. Rice concluded.
"It is unclear why our results are so discrepant from Hamer's original study. Because our study was larger than that of Hamer's et al, we certainly had adequate power to detect a genetic effect as large as reported in that study. Nonetheless, our data do not support the presence of a gene of large effect influencing sexual orientation at position XQ 28."
Simon LeVay, in his study of the hypothalamic differences between the brains of homosexual and heterosexual men, offered the following criticisms of his own research:
"It's important to stress what I didn't find. I did not prove that homosexuality is genetic, or find a genetic cause for being gay. I didn't show that gay men are born that way, the most common mistake people make in interpreting my work. Nor did I locate a gay center in the brain.
"INAH3 is less likely to be the sole gay nucleus of the brain than part of a chain of nuclei engaged in men and women's sexual behavior...Since I looked at adult brains, we don't know if the difference I found were there at birth, or if they appeared later."
Indeed, in commenting on the brain and sexual behavior, Dr. Mark Breedlove, a researcher at the University of California at Berkeley, demonstrated that sexual behavior can actually change brain structure. Referring to his research, Breedlove states,
"These findings give us proof for what we theoretically know to be the case-that sexual experience can alter the structure of the brain, just as genes can alter it. [I]t is possible that differences in sexual behavior cause (rather than are caused) by differences in the brain."
....more can be found here"http://www.narth.com/docs/innate.html
I will pass on you insult!
And interesing little fact that the X (not the Y) chromosome contains 7 of the 10 instructions needed for a baby to become male in the womb.