Tag Archives: Gay Gene

New study: there is no gay gene that causes homosexuality

Homosexuality and the progress of science
Homosexuality and the progress of science

I heard one of the authors of this new study commenting on how he was a gay man, and the purpose of his research was to show a genetic basis for homosexuality, in order to make it equal to race. His goal was to make it impossible to disagree with homosexual behavior, because homosexual behavior would be seen as natural and normal. Let’s see if his new study helps him out.

The blog of the peer-reviewed journal PLOS One reported on the new study, which was published in the prestigious journal Science.

Excerpt:

The once-prevailing concept of a “gay gene” dictating sexual orientation has been put to rest in a powerhouse study published today in Science. The work brilliantly illustrates the very nature of science: evolving with the input of new data, especially the large-scale contributions of bioinformatics and crowd-sourcing.

“We formed a large international consortium and collected data for more than 500,000 people, comparing DNA and self-reported sexual behavior. This is approximately 100 times bigger than any previous study on this topic,” said lead author Andrea Ganna, of the Institute of Molecular Medicine in Finland and an instructor at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, opening a news conference earlier this week.

[…]The investigation estimates a genetic contribution to same-sex sexual behavior as under 1 percent, thanks to analysis of a trove of data from the UK Biobank and the consumer genetic testing company 23andme.

So, there you have it, there is no gay gene. But this is of course something we’ve known for decades, as all the previous studies had found the same thing.

The normal way that people do these studies is to analyze identical twins, and see how often both identical twins are gay.

Eight major studies of identical twins in Australia, the U.S., and Scandinavia during the last two decades all arrive at the same conclusion: gays were not born that way.

“At best genetics is a minor factor,” says Dr. Neil Whitehead, PhD. Whitehead worked for the New Zealand government as a scientific researcher for 24 years, then spent four years working for the United Nations and International Atomic Energy Agency. Most recently, he serves as a consultant to Japanese universities about the effects of radiation exposure. His PhD is in biochemistry and statistics.

Identical twins have the same genes or DNA. They are nurtured in equal prenatal conditions. If homosexuality is caused by genetics or prenatal conditions and one twin is gay, the co-twin should also be gay.

“Because they have identical DNA, it ought to be 100%,” Dr. Whitehead notes. But the studies reveal something else. “If an identical twin has same-sex attraction the chances the co-twin has it are only about 11% for men and 14% for women.”

Because identical twins are always genetically identical, homosexuality cannot be genetically dictated. “No-one is born gay,” he notes. “The predominant things that create homosexuality in one identical twin and not in the other have to be post-birth factors.”

Dr. Whitehead believes same-sex attraction (SSA) is caused by “non-shared factors,” things happening to one twin but not the other, or a personal response to an event by one of the twins and not the other.

By the way, a previous study also found that transgender behavior was not genetic, but was clearly linked to environmental factors such as peer approval and social media.

Here is the report from Science Daily:

This month, a Brown University researcher published the first study to empirically describe teens and young adults who did not have symptoms of gender dysphoria during childhood but who were observed by their parents to rapidly develop gender dysphoria symptoms over days, weeks or months during or after puberty.

[…]The study was published on Aug. 16 in PLOS ONE.

Littman surveyed more than 250 parents of children who suddenly developed gender dysphoria symptoms during or after puberty.

[…]“Of the parents who provided information about their child’s friendship group, about a third responded that more than half of the kids in the friendship group became transgender-identified,” Littman said. “A group with 50 percent of its members becoming transgender-identified represents a rate that is more 70 times the expected prevalence for young adults.”

A previous study also found that children are more likely to be gay if they are raised by gay adults. It was reported in AOL News.

Excerpt:

Walter Schumm knows what he’s about to do is unpopular: publish a study arguing that gay parents are more likely to raise gay children than straight parents. But the Kansas State University family studies professor has a detailed analysis that past almost aggressively ideological researchers never had.

[…]His study on sexual orientation, out next month, says that gay and lesbian parents are far more likely to have children who become gay. “I’m trying to prove that it’s not 100 percent genetic,” Schumm tells AOL News.

His study is a meta-analysis of existing work. First, Schumm extrapolated data from 10 books on gay parenting… [and] skewed his data so that only self-identified gay and lesbian children would be labeled as such.

[…]Schumm concluded that children of lesbian parents identified themselves as gay 31 percent of the time; children of gay men had gay children 19 percent of the time, and children of a lesbian mother and gay father had at least one gay child 25 percent of the time.

[…]Finally, Schumm looked at the existing academic studies… In all there are 26 such studies. Schumm ran the numbers from them and concluded that, surprisingly, 20 percent of the kids of gay parents were gay themselves. When children only 17 or older were included in the analysis, 28 percent were gay.

It’s very important for people to understand that there is a trend in society to make every behavior traditionally seen as sinful into something caused by genetics. The twin goals of this effort are to insulate the behaviors from criticism, and to minimize evaluation of the effects of these behaviors on society as a whole. The genetic argument was used extensively to normalize same-sex marriage and transgenderism. I have seen the genetic argument used to defend other behaviors like pedophilia and incest. But the scientific research does nothing to support any of these arguments. What’s amazing is how a majority of people in the Unites have such false beliefs about the scientific research. They vastly overestimate the number of gay people, and also the influence of genetics.

Is there a gay gene? Are gay people born that way?

Stanton L. Jones writes about what the research shows in First Things.

Excerpt:

Frank Bruni, in his essay “Genetic or Not, Gay Will Not Go Away“(New York Times, January 28, 2012), makes a broad point regarding which I am in complete agreement: Our societal, legal, and cultural debates will not be solved by science. But when you do cite the science, you ought to get it right.

[…]In support of the argument that at least sometimes sexual orientation is a condition of birth, Bruni describes how “One landmark study looked at gay men’s brothers and found that 52% of identical twin brothers were also gay.” This brief explanation both fails as a description of that 20+ year old study and fails to reflect the better research published since.

Bruni gets the number right; the 1990 landmark study by Bailey and Pillard reported a 52% “probandwise concordance” for homosexual orientation among genetically identical sibling groups, but this does not mean what Bruni says it means. A proband wise concordance is a technical calculation, one that in this case results from the following actual results: There were 41 genetically identical sibling groups (40 identical twin pairs and one triplet trio) and of these 41 groups, only in 14 of the groups did the genetically identical brothers match for sexual orientation; in the remaining 27 sets the identical twin brothers did not match.

But this 1990 study was actually based on a sample that was apparently distorted by volunteer bias and hence not representative of homosexual persons in general. Bailey’s own study of a decade later, and the recently published “gold standard” study by Långström et. al. of the Swedish Twin Registry, both found even lower matching among identical twins with much larger and more representative samples. Both studies reported about 10% matching (for Långström, 7 identical twin pairs matched with both identical brothers gay out of 71 total pairs of male identical twin pairs).

So in plain English, the best contemporary scientific findings are that when one identical twin brother is gay, the probabilities of the second twin being gay are approximately 10%. This suggests that the contribution of genetics to the determination of homosexual orientation is modest at best.

When forming your views on any controversial issue, it’s important to get your facts straight.

My previous post discusses what the peer-reviewed research shows about homosexuality.

Peer-reviewed paper looks at the causes of homosexuality

Muddling Towards Maturity writes about a new paper about homosexuality.

Excerpt:

Stanton L. Jones, provost and professor of psychology at Wheaton College, has for years been a student of the latest research on homosexuality.  His most recent article, “Same-Sex Science: The social sciences cannot settle the moral status of homosexuality,” was published in the February 2012 issue of First Things magazine (http://www.firstthings.com/article/2012/01/same-sex-science) and is a condensed version of his longer paper with citations,“Sexual Orientation and Reason: On the implications of False Beliefs about Homosexuality” (http://www.wheaton.edu/CACE/Hot-Topic)

Stanton offers authoritative analysis of current research.  He sets the record straight and corrects popular misimpressions.  I am posting the links in anticipation of giving these two articles a careful reading at my earliest opportunity.  Stanton previously published (with Mark A. Yarhouse) in 2000, “Homosexuality: the Use of Scientific Research in the Church’s Moral Debate.”

I read over the condensed version of the paper, and found some interesting things.

Regarding the healthiness of homosexuality:

Evelyn Hooker, in her 1957 study, was careful to reject only the claim that homosexuality is always pathological. She never made the logically distinct assertion that homosexual persons on average are just as psychologically healthy as heterosexuals. It is well that she did not, because the consistent findings of the best, most representative research suggest the contrary, despite a few scattered compatible findings from smaller studies of less representative samples. One of the most exhaustive studies ever conducted, published in 2001 in the American Journal of Public Health and directed by researchers from Harvard Medical School, concludes that “homosexual orientation . . . is associated with a general elevation of risk for anxiety, mood, and substance-use disorders and for suicidal thoughts and plans.” Other and more recent studies have found similar correlations, including studies from the Netherlands, one of the most gay-affirming social contexts in the world. Depression and substance abuse are found to be on average 20 to 30 percent more prevalent among homosexual persons. Teens manifesting same-sex attraction report suicidal thoughts and attempts at double to triple the rate of other teens. Similar indicators of diminished physical health emerge in this literature.

And regarding the notion of being born gay:

Recent studies show that familial, cultural, and other environmental factors contribute to same-sex attraction. Broken families, absent fathers, older mothers, and being born and living in urban settings all are associated with homosexual experience or attraction. Even that most despised of hypothesized causal contributors, childhood sexual abuse, has recently received significant empirical validation as a partial contributor from a sophisticated thirty-year longitudinal study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior. Of course, these variables at most partially determine later homosexual experience, and most children who experienced any or all of these still grow up heterosexual, but the effects are nonetheless real.

To say that psychological and environmental variables play a part in causation does not mean that biology does not, rather just not to the extent that many gay-affirming scholars claim. The two most influential contemporary theories of biological causation focus respectively on fraternal birth order and genetics; each has some level of support, but for modest-sized causal effects at best.

[…]Contrary to the assumptions of many social conservatives, biology does appear to play a modest part in determining sexual orientation. Contrary to the assumptions of many social progressives, psychological and environmental variables also appear to play at least a modest part in determining sexual orientation.

And what about reparative therapy?

Is sexual orientation immutable? With Mark Yarhouse of Regent University, I recently studied people seeking to change their sexual orientation. We assessed the sexual orientations and psychological distress levels of 98 individuals (72 men, 26 women) trying to change their sexual orientation through ministries organized under Exodus International, beginning early in the process and following them over six to seven years with five additional, independent assessments. Our original round of findings was published in a book titled Ex-Gays?; the latest round, in theJournal of Sex and Marital Therapy.

Of the 61 subjects who completed the study, 23 percent reported success in the form of “conversion” to heterosexual orientation and functioning, while 30 percent reported they were able to live chastely and had disidentified themselves from homosexual orientation. On the other hand, 20 percent reported giving up and fully embracing homosexual identity, and the remaining 27 percent continued the process of attempted change with limited and unsatisfactory success.

Are heterosexual and homosexual relationships the same?

Even so, intriguing hints of differences, of “nonequivalency,” between heterosexual and homosexual couples emerge from Peplau and Fingerhut’s survey. They mention one large study that found that 28 percent of lesbians had had sex outside their primary relationship—comparable to the 21 percent of women in relationships with men and 26 percent of men in relationships with women. By contrast, 82 percent of gay men had had sex with someone other than their main partner. However one construes such a striking difference in sexual monogamy, whether as a trivial stylistic difference or as indicative of something fundamental and pervasive, such a finding seriously challenges the equivalency hypothesis.

Stability is a relational characteristic of direct relevance to the types of functional concerns intrinsic, for instance, to evaluation for adoption fitness. How does equivalence look in this area? Peplau and Fingerhut cite one study that found that over a five-year period, 7 percent of married heterosexual couples broke up, compared with 14 percent of cohabiting male couples and 16 percent of cohabiting lesbian couples. They also summarize, without mentioning specific numbers, a more representative study from Norway and Sweden, which have sanctioned same-sex partnerships since the 1990s, reporting “that the rate of dissolution within five years of entering a legal union is higher among same-sex partnerships than among heterosexual marriages, with lesbian couples having the highest rates of dissolution.” Their rendering underplays the magnitude of the actual findings, which was that gay male relationships are 50 percent more likely to break up than heterosexual marriages, while lesbian relationships are 167 percent more likely to break up than heterosexual marriages. Odd that they would not mention these actual numbers.

There’s more – I just cited a few bits that jumped out at me.

I recommend reading the condensed paper just to get an idea of what the issues are and what the research says.

 

 

 

California public schools introduce gay indoctrination starting in kindergarten

From the liberal Los Angeles Times. (H/T Come Reason)

Excerpt:

At Wonderland Avenue Elementary School in Laurel Canyon, there are lesson plans on diverse families — including those with two mommies or daddies — books on homosexual authors in the library and a principal who is openly gay.

But even at this school, teachers and administrators are flummoxed about how to carry out a new law requiring California public schools to teach all students — from kindergartners to 12th graders — about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans in history classes.

“At this point, I wouldn’t even know where to begin,” Principal Don Wilson said.

Educators across the state don’t have much time to figure it out. In January, they’re expected to begin teaching about LGBT Americans under California’s landmark law, the first of its kind in the nation.

Notice how dissent from GLBT indoctrination is portrayed in the mainstream media:

In 2005, L.A. Unified debuted the nation’s first chapter in a high school health textbook on LGBT issues covering sexual orientation and gender identity, struggles over them and anti-LGBT bias. A section on misconceptions says sexual orientation is not a choice — a statement many religious conservatives disagree with.

Unfortunately for the leftist media, the peer-reviewed studies show that homosexuality is a choice – but that’s not what young people are going to learn in California public schools. They’ll learn what the GLBT lobby wants children to believe, instead.

And it’s OK to deprive a child of a mother or father:

On a recent morning, teacher Jane Raphael invited her two dozen kindergartners, first-graders and second-graders to sit in a circle and tell a story about their family. The students described a cross section of modern-day America: moms and dads and athletic siblings, crazy dogs, a cat named Lulu, a fish that died, divorced parents, a girl with two mommies.

You can bet that the public schools won’t be teaching the children about gay crime horror stories like Joshua Brown or Frank Lombard. These stories are a thousand times more horrifying than Matthew Shepard, but no one has ever heard about those stories. No, that’s not what the GLBT lobby wants children to learn about at all.

And that’s the problem with public schools – they only tell children what the government wants the special interest groups who get them elected want children to hear. The government wants to get re-elected, so they put public functions up for sale to the highest bidder. Special interest groups like the GLBT lobby promise them votes and campaign donations in exchange for telling children what they want the lobby wants them to believe. They only want to minimize the damage is to cut off the funding for government functions – perhaps by giving parents more control over education with voucher programs.

Even some Christian conservatives support this by voting to transfer money from private taxpayers into public schools. I once knew a Christian woman who told me that forcing her husband to pay more in taxes for public schools was a good idea, because public schools fed children free breakfasts so that all the children would be “equal”. Although she denied it, what she was really voting for was the indoctrination of children with gay proganda using her family’s money – money earned by her Christian husband. Apparently, she thought that the public schools needed her husband’s money more than her family did. When pressed by me, she admitted that she held that view because it made her feel good – she had never thought about the consequences of her voting for her husband’s ability to lead the family in a Christian direction.

Lenny has more to say about this decision by the California public schools.

New study finds that gays can change their sexual orientation

From Life Site News.

Excerpt:

Researchers at Fordham University in New York have publisheda study in the March edition of the Journal of Men’s Studies, showing that positive results can be gained by homosexual men seeking to change their “orientation” by developing healthy non-sexual relationships with other men.

According to the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homoseuxality (NARTH), the study rovides “valuable empirical evidence” from the mainstream of psychological research supporting environmental factors as the cause of homosexuality.

The study, by Dr. Elan Y. Karten and Dr. Jay C. Wade, examined the “social and psychological characteristics” of men who experience unwanted homosexual attractions and who seek “sexual orientation change efforts” (SOCE).

Investigating these characteristics in cases of “self-reported change,” Karten and Wade found that clients reported that they experienced “a decrease in homosexual feelings and behavior, an increase in heterosexual feelings and behavior, and a positive change in psychological functioning” with SOCE.

The researchers discovered that the most significant factors correlating to successful orientation change were “reduced conflict in expressing nonsexual affection with other men, being married, and feeling disconnected with men prior to treatment.”

NARTH commented that the factors like “reduced conflict in expressing nonsexual affection with men,” provide “valuable empirical evidence” that homosexual thoughts and feelings are greatly influenced by social and psychological factors,” instead of being biologically pre-determined.

NARTH also noted that the study demonstrated that there is a growing body of mainstream literature that is “beginning to give voice” to the value of SOCE.

You won’t hear this reported in the mainstream media… or in the speeches of Democrat politicians.

Previously I wrote a post entitled “What causes homosexuality? Is there a gay gene?” which is also useful.