Skip to comments.Episcopal organization Integrity must face scientific facts about sexuality
Posted on 07/12/2005 12:43:30 PM PDT by sionnsar
Integrity, the Episcopal Church's official organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender [LGBT] Episcopalians is finding itself increasingly marginalized by newer scientific studies that show that sexuality preferences can not only be changed, but some sexual orientations might actually be fraudulent.
Since the founding of the organization by Dr. Louie Crew in rural Georgia in 1974, Integrity has been the leading grassroots voice for the full inclusion of LGBT persons in the Episcopal Church and for equal access to its rites, says the promo at its website. Inclusion has been the mantra of Integrity, with 'come as you are stay as you are' theology being promoted to allow persons not willing to toe the heterosexual hard line a place at the communion table of our Lord without changing their behavior.
Not only are their tens of thousands of former homosexuals and lesbians who have testified that change is possible, (many of whom are now married with children,) a new study argues that true bisexuality may not even exist.
A report in the New York Times, a bastion of liberal proclamation, headlined a story: "Straight, Gay or Lying? Bisexuality Revisited".
The story by Benedict Carey casts doubt on whether true bisexuality exists, at least in men.
The study, by a team of psychologists in Chicago and Toronto, lends support to those who have long been skeptical that bisexuality is a distinct and stable sexual orientation, she writes.
People who claim bisexuality, according to these critics, are usually homosexual, but are ambivalent about their homosexuality or simply closeted. "You're either gay, straight or lying," as some gay men have put it.
In the new study, a team of psychologists directly measured genital arousal patterns in response to images of men and women. The psychologists found that men who identified themselves as bisexual were in fact exclusively aroused by either one sex or the other, usually by other men.
The study is the largest of several small reports suggesting that the estimated 1.7 percent of men who identify themselves as bisexual show physical attraction patterns that differ substantially from their professed desires.
"Research on sexual orientation has been based almost entirely on self-reports, and this is one of the few good studies using physiological measures," said Dr. Lisa Diamond, an associate professor of psychology and gender identity at the University of Utah, who was not involved in the study.
The discrepancy between what is happening in people's minds and what is going on in their bodies, she said, presents a puzzle "that the field now has to crack, and it raises this question about what we mean when we talk about desire."
"We have assumed that everyone means the same thing," she added, "but here we have evidence that that is not the case."
Several other researchers who have seen the study, scheduled to be published in the journal Psychological Science, said it would need to be repeated with larger numbers of bisexual men before clear conclusions could be drawn.
Bisexual desires are sometimes transient and they are still poorly understood. Men and women also appear to differ in the frequency of bisexual attractions. "The last thing you want," said Dr. Randall Sell, an assistant professor of clinical socio-medical sciences at Columbia University, "is for some therapists to see this study and start telling bisexual people that they're wrong, that they're really on their way to homosexuality."
He added, "We don't know nearly enough about sexual orientation and identity" to jump to these conclusions.
In the experiment, psychologists at Northwestern University and the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto used advertisements in gay and alternative newspapers to recruit 101 young adult men. Thirty-three of the men identified themselves as bisexual, 30 as straight and 38 as homosexual.
The researchers asked the men about their sexual desires and rated them on a scale from 0 to 6 on sexual orientation, with 0 to 1 indicating heterosexuality, and 5 to 6 indicating homosexuality. Bisexuality was measured by scores in the middle range.
Seated alone in a laboratory room, the men then watched a series of erotic movies, some involving only women, others involving only men.
Using a sensor to monitor sexual arousal, the researchers found what they expected: gay men showed arousal to images of men and little arousal to images of women, and heterosexual men showed arousal to women but not to men.
But the men in the study who described themselves as bisexual did not have patterns of arousal that were consistent with their stated attraction to men and to women. Instead, about three-quarters of the group had arousal patterns identical to those of gay men; the rest were indistinguishable from heterosexuals.
"Regardless of whether the men were gay, straight or bisexual, they showed about four times more arousal" to one sex or the other, said Gerulf Rieger, a graduate psychology student at Northwestern and the study's lead author.
Although about a third of the men in each group showed no significant arousal watching the movies, their lack of response did not change the overall findings, Mr. Rieger said.
Blasting the findings of Dr. Alfred Kinsey who said "males do not represent two discrete populations, heterosexual and homosexual. The world is not to be divided into sheep and goats." But current researchers were unable to produce direct evidence of bisexual arousal patterns in men, said Dr. J. Michael Bailey, a professor of psychology at Northwestern and the new study's senior author.
"I'm not denying that bisexual behavior exists," said Dr. Bailey, "but I am saying that in men there's no hint that true bisexual arousal exists, and that for men arousal is orientation."
About 1.5 percent of American women identify themselves bisexual. And bisexuality appears easier to demonstrate in the female sex. A study published last November by the same team of Canadian and American researchers, for example, found that most women who said they were bisexual showed arousal to men and to women.
Yet researchers were unable to produce direct evidence of bisexual arousal patterns in men, said Dr. J. Michael Bailey, a professor of psychology at Northwestern and the new study's senior author.
"Most of them seem to lean one way or the other, but that doesn't preclude them from having a relationship with the nonpreferred sex," she said. "You may be mostly interested in women but, hey, the guy who delivers the pizza is really hot, and what are you going to do?"
Frank Griswold, ECUSA's Presiding Bishop has argued that homosexuality is "hard-wired" thus perpetuating the myth that gays cannot change, yet Dr. Jeffrey Satinover, a psychiatrist and one of the world's leading authority's on homosexuality says our sexuality is not immutable, it is malleable and he has provided documented evidence to show that.
In his book "Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth" Satinover tracks the way that the discussion over sexuality in North America has been hijacked and truthful dialogue subverted in order to support a particular political agenda, namely the public support of same-sex activity. It began with the historic APA vote in 1973, which moved contrary to the then current psychological understanding of homosexuality. In the 30 years since then no evidence has emerged that there is a substantive biological, genetic or chemical basis to homosexual attraction. This has not stopped the gay lobby promulgating both the fallacious "One in Ten" assertion and equally the notion that you are "Born Gay" (a notion for which there is no scientific evidence to this day).
A Diocese of Quincy priest, Mario Bergner who directs Chicago-based Redeemed Lives Ministries, an organization that brings ALL people into the saving and healing embrace of Jesus Christ argues that for some, homosexuality is a biologically determined orientation and a justice issue, not a moral issue. Others consider homosexuality an orientation as defined above, but also as a moral issue, and do not allow for homosexual practices. For still others, homosexuality is a practice motivated by psychological issues, not an orientation as defined above and is a moral issue. We do not agree on the definition of "homosexual orientation."
Bergner argues that the term "homosexual attractions" should be used instead of "homosexual orientation."
The Gospel revealed in Holy Scripture, the uniqueness of the Person of Jesus Christ and the witness of the Church over two millennia defines morality, shapes subjective feelings and interprets experience. Because of this the Church should not bless same-sex unions because there is no witness for this in the Bible or Christian history."
Bergner says that such care begins with abstinence leading possibly to holy celibacy or change in attractions, sometimes fulfilled in heterosexual marriage, "as it has for me."
This is certainly in line with the Lambeth 1.10 resolution which called for the pastoral care of homosexuals.
Bergner said that Biblically, homosexuality is never referred to as an orientation but as a sinful practice. See Robert J. Gagnon's, The Bible And Homosexual Practice (Abingdon Press 2001). "Homosexuality is a sexual attraction and a moral condition, which is transformed through being "washed, sanctified and justified in Jesus Christ." (1 Cor. 6:11).
It is clear that recent studies cast doubt on the premises of the homosexual/bisexual agenda promoted by the Episcopal Integrity organization. While purporting to be "inclusive" Integrity deliberately fails to come to grips either with scientific studies or the power of Christ to rescue us from a life of sin.
The price Integrity is asking the orthodox in the Episcopal Church to pay with fleeing priests and parishes and thousands of ordinary Episcopalians who know in their hearts it is wrong, is too high. It may yet result in the fragmentation of the worldwide Anglican Communion.
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