Science Does Not Support the Claim That Homosexuality Is Genetic By Robert Knight The debate over homosexual “marriage” often becomes focused on whether homosexuality is a learned behavior or a genetic trait. Many homosexual activists insist that “science” has shown that homosexuality is inborn, cannot be changed, and that therefore they should have the “right to marry” each other. Beginning in the early 1990s, activists began arguing that scientific research has proven that homosexuality has a genetic or hormonal cause. A handful of studies, none of them replicated and all exposed as methodologically unsound or misrepresented, have linked sexual orientation to everything from differences in portions of the brain,1,2 to genes,3 finger length,4 inner ear differences,5 eye-blinking,6 and “neuro-hormonal differentiation.”7 Meanwhile, Columbia University Professor of Psychiatry Dr. Robert Spitzer, who was instrumental in removing homosexuality in 1973 from the American Psychiatric Association’s list of mental disorders, wrote a study published in the October 2003 Archives of Sexual Behavior. He contended that people can change their “sexual orientation” from homosexual to
D.F. Swaab and M.A. Hofman, Brain Res. 537 (1990): 141-48, as cited in Dennis McFadden and E.G. Pasanen, “Comparisons of the auditory systems of heterosexuals and homosexuals: Click-evoked otoacoustic emissions,” Proceedings of the National. Academy of Science USA 95 (March 1998): 2709-13. 2 Simon LeVay, “A Difference in Hypothalamic Structure Between Heterosexual and Homosexual Men,” Science Vol. 253 (1991): 1034-37. 3 D.H. Hamer, S. Hu, V.L. Magnuson, N. Hu and A.M.L. Pattatucci, Science 261(1993): 321-27, as cited in McFadden. 4 B.J. Sigesmund, “Let Your Fingers Do the Talking,” Newsweek “Web Exclusive,” 31 March 2000. 5 McFadden and Pasanen. 6 “Sexual orientation ‘hard-wired’ before birth – startling new evidence revealed in the blink of an eye,” press release, University of East London (UEL), England, October 2, 2003, reporting on findings by the UEL’s Dr. Qazi Rahman, along with the Institute of Psychiatry’s Dr. Veena Kumari and Dr. Glenn Wilson. In terms of eye-blink reactions to sudden loud noises, “The team discovered significant differences in the response between male and female, and heterosexual and homosexual subjects.” Rahman: “The startle response is pre-conscious and cannot be learned.” 7 Qazi Rahman, “Comments on the Neuroanatomy of Human Sexual Orientation and Proposed Neuroendocrine Hypotheses,” Contemporary Neurology (1999): Number 2A: http://mitpress.mit.edu/jrnls-catalog/cont-neuro.html.
heterosexual.8 Spitzer interviewed more than 200 people, most of whom claimed that through reparative therapy counseling, their desires for same-sex partners either diminished significantly or they changed over to heterosexual orientation. Although still a proponent of homosexual activism, Spitzer has been attacked unmercifully by former admirers for this breach of the ideology that people are “born gay and can’t change.” Immutability is a central tenet of demands for “gay rights” and “gay marriage.” Because no single study can be regarded as definitive, more research on people who have overcome homosexuality needs to be done. But a considerable body of previous literature about change from homosexuality to heterosexuality has been compiled, and the sheer number of exceptions to the “born gay” theory should be a warning to researchers and media to proceed with caution before declaring that science has “proved” that homosexuality is genetic.9 Other recent developments also suggest that homosexuality is not genetically determined. The Washington Post reported that bisexuality is fashionable among many young teen girls, who go back and forth from being “straight” to “gay” to “bi” to “straight” again.10 Post reporter Laura Sessions Stepp writes: Recent studies among women suggest that female homosexuality may be grounded...