Sunday, May 13, 2012

Scientists still frustrated in finding the Gay Gene

Are people naturally homosexual? Scientists who face this question squarely must say no, homosexuality is not natural. They can't find a gay gene, they can't explain why identical twins are not both homosexual, they can't explain how it could have evolved. They have found that therapy can help people change their sexual orientation. Also, if it was natural, why is homosexuality so unhealthy? The best science links homosexuality with abuse. Kevin Anderson concludes: a society that no longer sees homosexuality as deviant inevitably accepts other destructive behaviors also. Only Christ has the power to pull us through our addictions!

Selections from Not so Gay, editorial by Kevin Anderson.

(These selections by Marko Malyj are of the article published in Creation Research Society Quarterly Journal, Volume 42, Number 2, Winter 2012).

Advocates of homosexuality have argued that some people are naturally homosexual, just as others are naturally heterosexual. As people are born with brown hair or blue eyes, so homosexuals are born with a genetic disposition toward homosexual behavior. Thus, they are genetically programmed to be homosexual, just as others are genetically programmed to be heterosexual.

The X Chromosome?

In an early attempt to detect a “gay gene,” a research group lead by Dean Hamer suggested a tendency of homosexuals to have a unique DNA site on their X chromosome (Hamer et al., 1993; Hu et al., 1995). In response, Fausto-Sterling et al. (1993) claimed that Hamer’s work lacked adequate controls and failed to present sufficient analysis to justify any claimed homosexual link with the Xq28 chromosome site. In addition, subsequent attempts to verify the results of Hamer’s studies have not been successful (Rice et al., 1999; Wickelgren, 1999).

More recently, Hamer’s group was unable to find a link between male sexual orientation and differences in pre-natal brain exposure of estrogen (DuPree et al., 2004). Also, even with much greater detail of the human genome than was available in the 1990s, they were unable to obtain any conclusive results (Mustanski et al., 2005).

Aren't Identical Twins both Homosexual?

Studying twins has also been pursued as an indirect means of detecting a “gay gene.” Since identical twins share identical genomes, there should be a higher correlation of homosexuality between identical twins than found between non-twin siblings (i.e., both twins should either be homosexual because they possess the “gay gene,” or heterosexual because they do not have the gene). Following this line of reasoning, various studies have attempted to detect such a correlation. Bailey et al. (2000, p. 534) studied a large number of twins and concluded if any homosexual gene existed, it was in the study group at a “low penetration or low frequency.” In a later study, Långström et al. 2010, p. 75) also analyzed a large number of twins and found a low-level of genetic correlation with homosexual twins but were obligated to note that the data had a very high variance, which “suggest cautious interpretation.”

Homosexuals can stop being homosexuals

Of related interest is the potential ability of homosexuals to “stop” being homosexual. If any genetic predisposition were significant, such reverse behavior would not be very plausible and certainly not very frequent. Masters and Johnson (1979) stated that “reparative therapy” was often effective for individuals who wanted to change. I personally remember the sharp criticism they received for making such a claim. This idea was repugnant to gay activists since it suggested their behavior may simply be a choice, and it suggested that their behavior could even be regarded as needing to be changed. They felt that Masters and Johnson—hardly friends of any anti-homosexual thinking—had betrayed them.

Additional studies have continued to suggest possible “transformation” of homosexuals (e.g., Nicolosi et al., 2000; Throckmorton, 2002). Spitzer (2003) studied 200 individuals and reported that “reparative therapy” could be successful. Not surprisingly, his report precipitated a series of critical letters, including concern that a journal would even publish such a report. The journal’s editor acknowledged the emotional tension surrounding the topic was so “contaminated by rhetorical fervor” that it will cloud any type of conclusions (Zucker, 2003, p. 400).

Homosexuality Healthy?

An oft overlooked but significant aspect of the homosexual lifestyle is the medical dangers it presents. Homosexual behavior and practices by males make them very vulnerable to a wide array of diseases and medical conditions. The homosexual male has “an increased risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and HIV” (Eriksson and Berglund, 2007, p. 207).

In fact, homosexual males are the reservoir (i.e., the continual source) of virtually all STDs. Most “gay” males have had at least one infection of an STD (Handsfield, 1981) and will likely have more in their lifetime. A Center for Disease Control (CDC, Atlanta, GA) report states that the majority of HIV infections in America are found in homosexual men, even though they comprise only 2% of the population (CDC, 2010). Even homosexual females have a high incidence of many common STDs (Edwards and Thin, 1990; Hughes and Evans, 2003; Marrazzo, et al., 1998; Skinner, et. al., 1996).

The simple question to ask would be: If homosexuality was created by God or was even simply “natural,” why would it involve such physical and mental health problems?

Homosexuality Evolved?

Evolution also has difficulty accounting for the origin of human homosexuality. What evolutionary benefit does homosexuality provide? It would provide little reproductive advantage (at least as defined by Darwinism). Why would the behavior even evolve initially? By Darwinian criteria, only those behaviors and adaptations that increase survivability would be favorably selected.

A variety of speculations have been offered for the evolution of homosexuality. These include enhanced survival of isolated males, balanced polymorphism, and sexual antagonism (Ciani, et al., 2008; Kirkpatrick, 2000; Muscarella, 2000). Each of these scenarios has serious weaknesses (e.g., see discussions in Ciani at al., 2008, and in Schwartz et al., 2010), and few address the evolution of the homosexual female. In fact, some of these scenarios are just as effective for explaining the extinction of the female homosexual as they are for explaining the origin of the male homosexual.

This is not exactly what homosexual advocates are seeking.

The evolution myth also struggles to explain the institution of marriage—often relegating it to a social construct that a female found was necessary to enhance her and her children’s survival. As technology reduces the female’s dependency on male protection and food gathering, marriage becomes less evolutionarily necessary. Little wonder societies that readily embrace evolution soon embrace a nonbiblical view of marriage as well.

Homosexuality's Link with Abuse

What is typically downplayed in understanding the origin and persistency of homosexual behavior is its link with abuse. Numerous studies have found a significant connection between childhood abuse (physical, emotional, and sexual) and the subsequent development of homosexual behavior (e.g., see review of these studies in Wilson and Widom, 2010). The connection may be even more prevalent if it is sexual abuse of boys by another male (Eskin et al., 2005). Lack of a supporting father may also be a contributing factor (Eskin et al., 2005).

Homosexuality appears to have its origin in perversion. Should we be surprised? We abuse our children (those who depend upon us for love, comfort, and protection), and the effect can be devastating and lifelong. The “sins of our fathers” can directly and tragically impact several generations afterwards (Exod. 34:6–7; Deut. 5:9). Homosexuality becomes one of the many possible consequences of the child’s emotional scars. Homosexual advocates may not like this conclusion. They certainly do not want to hear that the behavior is just another consequence of a fallen creation, just another sordid tale of human travesty. But the evidence is clear enough that it keeps appearing in study after study—attempts to “spin” it otherwise notwithstanding.

When All is Said and Done

Over the years I have increasingly observed how little importance actual evidence is to most people. Modernistic man merely gives lip service to evidence. He pretends to carefully evaluate the facts and use them to make a logical decision. In reality, people’s decisions are often based upon their limited perception of reality, which is heavily shaped by their emotional state of mind (and simple wishful thinking). In our sinful world, truth has little meaning. Ignorance, not truth, guides people’s thinking (Rom. 1:21; Eph. 4:18). Sadly, this applies even to many who identify themselves as Christian.

What is more, a society that no longer regards homosexuality as deviant inevitably accepts other destructive behaviors also: sexual promiscuity, spiritualism, abortion, and the list goes on and on. While some may eventually decry the social destruction occurring all around them, few will recognize it is the consequence of defying God’s laws (Isa. 3:9).

Yes, A society that broadens God’s boundaries of marriage inevitably has no boundaries. Such a society will decay at its very core. Only Christ, as our Creator, has the power to pull us through our addictions.

References (selected)
Bailey, J.M., M.P. Dunne, and N.G. Martin. 2000. Genetic and environmental influences on sexual orientation and its correlates in an Australian twin sample. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 78:524–536.

CDC Report. 2010. HIV among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men. (accessed July 2, 2011).

Ciani, A.C., P. Cermelli, and G. Zanzotto. 2008. Sexual antagonistic selection in human male homosexuality. PLoS One 3:6:e2282.

DuPree, M.G., B.s. Mustanski, S. Bocklandt, C. Nievergelt, and D.H. Hamer. 2004. A candidate gene study of CYP19 (aromatase) and male sexual orientation. Behavior Genetics 34:243–250.

Edwards, A., and R.N. Thin. 1990. Sexually transmitted diseases in lesbians. International Journal of STD & AIDS 1:178–181.

Eriksson, L.E., and T. Berglund. 2007. Health-related quality in homo- and bisexual men attending a sexually transmitted disease clinic in Sweden. International Journal of STD & AID 18:207–211.

Eskin, M., H. Kaynak-Demir, and S. Demir. 2005. Seme-sex sexual orientation, childhood sexual abuse, and suicidal behavior in university students in Turkey. Archives of Sexual Behavior 34:185–195.

Fausto-Sterling, A., E. Balaban, R. Diamond, D. Hamer, S. Hu., V. Magnuson, N. Hu, and A. Pattatucci. 1993. Genetics and male sexual orientation. Science 261:1257–1259.

Hamer, Dean H., Stella Hu, Victoria L. Magnuson, Nan Hu, and Angela M.L. Pattatucci. 1993. A linkage between DNA markers on the X chromosome and male sexual orientation. Science 261:321–327.

Handsfield, H.H. 1981. Sexually transmitted diseases in homosexual men. American Journal of Public Health 71:989–990.

Långström, N., Q. Rahman, E. Carlström, and P. Lichtenstein. 2010. Genetic and environmental effects on same-sex sexual behavior: a population study of twins in Sweden. Archives of Sexual Behavior 39:75–80.

Hughes, C., and A. Evans. 2003. Health needs of women who have sex with women: healthcare workers need to be aware of their specific needs. British Medical Journal 327:939–940.

Kirkpatrick, R.C. 2000. The evolution of human sexual behavior. Current Anthropology 41:385–413.

Marrazzo, J.M, L.A. Koutsky, K.L. Stine, J.M. Kuypers, T.A. Grubert, D.A. Galloway, N.B. Kivat, and H.H. Handsfield. 1998. Genital human papillomavirus infection in women who have sex with women. Journal of Infectious Diseases 178:1604–1609.

Masters, W., and V. Johnson. 1979. Homosexuality in Perspective. Bantam Books, New York, NY.

Muscarella, F. 2000. The evolution of homoerotic behavior in humans. Journal of Homosexuality 40:51–77.

Mustanski, B.S., M.g. DuPree, C.M. Nievergelt, S. Bocklandt, N.J. Schork, and D.H. Hamer. 2005. A genomewide scan of male sexual orientation. Human

Nicolosi, J., A.D. Byrd, and R.W. Potts. 2000. Retrospective self-reports of changes in homosexual orientation: a consumer survey of conversion therapy clients. Psychological Reports 86:1071–1088.

Rice, G., C. Anderson, N. Risch, and G. Ebers. 1999. Male homosexuality: absence of linkage to microsatellite markers at Xq28. Science 284:665–667.

Schwartz, G., R.M. Kim, A.B. Kolundzija, G. Rieger, and A.R. Sanders. 2010. Biodemographic and physical correlates of sexual orientation in men. Archives of Sexual Behavior 39:93–109.

Skinner, C.J., J. Stokes, Y. Kirlew, J. Kavanagh, and G.E. Forster. 1996. A case controlled study of the sexual health needs of lesbians. Genitourinary Medicine 72:277–280.

Throckmorton, W. 2002. Initial empirical and clinical findings concerning the change process for ex-gays. Professional Psychology; Research and Practice 33:242–248.

Wickelgren, I. 1999. Discovery of ‘gay gene’ questioned. Science 284:571.

Wilson, H.W., and C.S. Widom. 2010. Does physical abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect in childhood increase the likelihood of same-sex relationships and cohabitation? A prospective 30-year follow-up. Archives of Sexual Behavior 39:63–74.

Zucker, K. 2003. The politics and science of reparative therapy. Archives of Sexual Behavior 32:399–402.