Tag Archives: Normal

Animal homosexual behavior: does it justify homosexuality in humans?

From Alan Shlemon Stand to Reason.

Excerpt:

The argument is that since animals engage in homosexual behavior that is instinctual, it must be natural for them and, consequently, natural and moral for humans since they are animals too.

There’s something wrong with this line of reasoning. In fact, a simple question composed of a two-letter word gets right to the heart of the problem: So? Even if animals exhibit homosexual behavior, so?  What does that prove? It proves nothing. Do advocates of this view really want to say: Because animals engage in X behavior, therefore X is natural/moral for humans? This claim is absurd. Here’s why.

[…]Imagine a father asks his daughter, “Why did you start smoking?” She answers, “Because all my friends were doing it.” The father’s response would be obvious: “If all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you do that too?” Notice the father’s reasoning. He accepts his daughter’s rational, for the sake of argument, and then asks himself a question: If I apply my daughter’s rationale to jumping off a cliff, that would mean she’d jump of a cliff too. But that’s absurd! That means her rationale is also absurd. And then he asks a question that exposes the absurdity of her thinking. That’s reductio ad absurdum.

With the claim about animal homosexuality, this tactic works equally well. The rationale for the argument is that if animals engage in a behavior, it must be natural and moral for humans do it too. Let’s apply that logic to some other animal behavior: cannibalism. Animals eating their own kind has been observed in over a thousand animal species. Following the logic of the view would mean that cannibalism is natural and moral for humans. But that’s absurd! And so is the rationale that led to that absurd conclusion.

[…]When humans have conflicting instinctive reactions, our intellect can reason between them and determine the most expedient or moral course of action. Animals, however, behave according to their strongest instinct given what they see, smell, hear, taste, and perceive. These natural impulses aid in their protection, survival, and reproduction.

But internal or external stimuli can cause their instincts to clash or get confused, leading to unusual behavior. Sometimes a cat will kill his kittens. Unlike females whose strong maternal instinct protects her babies, the predatory instinct of a tom cat can confuse his offspring for prey. Are his hunting impulses natural? Yes. Can they be misdirected? Sure. Should we declare filicide or cannibalism as natural or moral for humans? No.

The same is true for allegedly homosexual acts among animals. Their sexual drive and instinct to mate is extremely strong and can be confused. When animals are in heat, they release pheromones that trigger an instinctual behavior by males. According to an expert in the field, this inborn impulse is so strong, that it can “instigate a frenzy of mounting behaviors. Even other females who aren’t in heat will mount those who are. Males will mount males who have just been with females [in heat] if they still bear their scent…And males who catch wind of the estrus odor may mount the first thing (or unlucky person) they come in contact with.”[4] I’ve even seen a dog mount a couch. One might have good taste in sofas, but I doubt it’s so good that your dog is sexually attracted to it. The poor pooch is confused.

Plus, sexual activity among animals is known to be used for purposes other than reproduction. Although humans can express themselves by speaking, writing, gesturing, and a multitude of other ways, animals are limited. Consequently, they are known to use sexual behavior to express a range of sentiments: social dominance, aggression, avoiding conflict, and many other emotions. That’s why many researchers think it’s naive to impose a human understanding of homosexuality onto animal behavior.

“Properly speaking, homosexuality does not exist among animals…. For reasons of survival, the reproductive instinct among animals is always directed towards an individual of the opposite sex. Therefore, an animal can never be homosexual as such. Nevertheless, the interaction of other instincts (particularly dominance) can result in behavior that appears to be homosexual. Such behavior cannot be equated with an animal homosexuality. All it means is that animal sexual behavior encompasses aspects beyond that of reproduction.”[5]

So we can’t infer homosexuality when a male chimpanzee mounts another male any more than we can infer sofaphilia when a dog mounts your couch. Yes, I made up the word “sofaphilia.”

This is a good one to keep in your back pocket for debating with gay activists. By the way, I think Alan Shlemon is very brave to tackle arguments like this.

If you like this post, be sure and check out my secular case against same-sex marriage.

Academic researchers gather for conference on… pedophilia?

From the Daily Caller. (H/T ECM)

Excerpt:

If a small group of psychiatrists and other mental health professionals have their way at a conference this week, pedophiles themselves could play a role in removing pedophilia from the American Psychiatric Association’s bible of mental illnesses — the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), set to undergo a significant revision by 2013.  Critics warn that their success could lead to the decriminalization of pedophilia.

The August 17 Baltimore conference is sponsored by B4U-ACT, a group of pro-pedophile mental health professionals and sympathetic activists.  According to the conference brochure, the event will examine “ways in which minor-attracted persons [pedophiles] can be involved in the DSM 5 revision process” and how the popular perceptions of pedophiles can be reframed to encourage tolerance.

Researchers from Harvard University, the Johns Hopkins University, the University of Louisville, and the University of Illinois will be among the panelists at the conference.

B4U-ACT has been active attacking the APA’s definition of pedophilia in the run up to the conference, denouncing its description of “minor-attracted persons” as “inaccurate” and “misleading” because the current DSM links pedophilia with criminality.

“It is based on data from prison studies, which completely ignore the existence of those who are law-abiding,” said Howard Kline, science director of B4U-ACT, in a July 25, 2011 press release. “The proposed new diagnostic criteria specify ages and frequencies with no scientific basis whatsoever.”

The press release announced a letter the group sent to the APA criticizing its approach, and inviting its leaders to participate in the August 17 conference. “The DSM should meet a higher standard than that,” Kline continued. “We can help them, because we are the people they are writing about.”

My previous article (see below for link) along these lines talked about how arguments are now being made to advance polygamy, using the same reasoning that was used to push for same-sex marriage. Social conservatives always get a bad rap for being party poopers and raining on everyone’s fun and “liberty”. I wonder if things will ever go far enough to where normal people realize that children need to be protected, and that can sometimes mean telling grown-ups NO.

Right now, it seems as though society is in a place where moral judgments have been outlawed, because it makes people feel bad to be judged. It seems to me that the people who say that there should be no moral boundaries are winning.

Comments to this post will be strictly filtered in accordance with the Obama administration’s laws restricting speech on controversial topics.

UPDATE: My friend ECM just linked this story on Facebook and also put this post by Robert Stacy McCain as a follow-up.

Excerpt:

Since the Sexual Revolution of the 1960s, the Freudian concept of “repression” has been hijacked by the advocates of liberation, who insist that it is an infringement of civil rights to expect people to resist sexual urges. I’ve sometimes called this the “Desire Is Destiny” theory of sexuality, but you could also think of it as a particular manifestation of the Veruca Salt Syndrome: I want what I want and I want it now!

Given the high-profile status of the Official Gay Rights Movement as a loudly influential constituency of the Democratic Party, we most often encounter this liberationist argument in association with homosexuality, and most people never even notice how this dangerous idea — the belief that we are entitled as a matter of right to the satisfaction of our erotic desires — is well-nigh ubiquitous throughout our society.

When you see a businessman divorce his wife of 30 years in order to marry his receptionist, or when Mary Kay LeTourneau wrecks her life to pursue a taboo romance with Vili Fualaau, these are manifestations of the same basic concept at the root of the gay-rights lobby’s “born that way” argument: Desire is destiny, and of all the happiness that we are free to pursue, no pursuit is more important than a sexual partner who fulfills our deepest longings.

When a belief so pervades a culture as this one has pervaded our culture, it becomes impossible for most people to understand it rationally, for they have no other frame of reference. We might compare it to liberal bias in the news media. As I’ve often said, most journalists don’t notice liberal bias for the same reason fish don’t notice water — it’s everywhere, and it’s all they’ve ever known.

So, too, with the Desire Is Destiny theory of sexuality, promulgated so relentlessly (first by Kinsey, then by Hugh Hefner, and then by damned near everybody) that we cannot think about sex in any other terms. What is overlooked is that this liberationist theory denies the power of human will and human choice. If we desire someone, the liberationist argument would have us believe, we must act on that desire or else suffer psychological trauma as a result of the (harmful) repression of our desire. The only “moral” standard by which any such pursuit may be judged is whether the resulting sexual encounter is between consenting adults.

Stacy wrote a lot about this in that post. I recommend reading the whole thing. Although he is a popular conservative blogger, Stacy is not afraid to take on these cultural issues. In fact, I am linking to him on another topic in the 6 PM post.

Related posts

If a small group of psychiatrists and other mental health professionals have their way at a conference this week, pedophiles themselves could play a role in removing pedophilia from the American Psychiatric Association’s bible of mental illnesses — the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), set to undergo a significant revision by 2013.  Critics warn that their success could lead to the decriminalization of pedophilia.

The August 17 Baltimore conference is sponsored by B4U-ACT, a group of pro-pedophile mental health professionals and sympathetic activists.  According to the conference brochure, the event will examine “ways in which minor-attracted persons [pedophiles] can be involved in the DSM 5 revision process” and how the popular perceptions of pedophiles can be reframed to encourage tolerance.

Researchers from Harvard University, the Johns Hopkins University, the University of Louisville, and the University of Illinois will be among the panelists at the conference.

B4U-ACT has been active attacking the APA’s definition of pedophilia in the run up to the conference, denouncing its description of “minor-attracted persons” as “inaccurate” and “misleading” because the current DSM links pedophilia with criminality.

“It is based on data from prison studies, which completely ignore the existence of those who are law-abiding,” said Howard Kline, science director of B4U-ACT, in a July 25, 2011 press release. “The proposed new diagnostic criteria specify ages and frequencies with no scientific basis whatsoever.”

The press release announced a letter the group sent to the APA criticizing its approach, and inviting its leaders to participate in the August 17 conference. “The DSM should meet a higher standard than that,” Kline continued. “We can help them, because we are the people they are writing about.”

APA spokeswoman Erin Connors told The Daily Caller in an emailed statement that her organization was not participating in the conference and would not comment on its aims.