Tag Archives: Same-Sex Attraction

New study: same-sex attraction isn’t fixed

Young people seem to like gay marriage more than they like individual liberties

The Federalist reports on what researchers have found about the nature of same-sex attraction. Is it fixed? Or does it change over time? I think that gay activists would like everyone to believe that same-sex attraction is fixed, but to learn the truth, we should look at what the scientific research says.

Excerpt:

There is not only no scientific evidence that sexual orientation is immutable, there is conclusive scientific evidence that most people who experience exclusive same-sex attraction end up developing an interest in the opposite sex over time.

This is so well established by now that scholars are busy publishing methods to measure frequency of sexual orientation change in massive longitudinal studies of youth and young adults. (I.e., How many times in nine years can we expect a homosexual sexual orientation to change? Is the change associated with lifestyle habits? Who changes more frequently: males or females?)

That basic fact was already settled science when Obergefell  came before the Supreme Court. Half a dozen rigorous studies could be cited from the late 1990s and early 2000s, but the most noteworthy probably remains a Cornell-led study published in 2007.

In this study, Dr. Rich Savin-Williams examined a representative sample of more than 12,000 American youth, following each from the age of 16 to 22. Rather than rely on an individual’s reconstruction of his or her past based on current identity, researchers met with subjects three times throughout the six-year period. Each time, they asked individuals (via a computer, to protect privacy) whether they had had a romantic attraction to a member of the opposite or same sex since their last interview.

For instance, 17-year-old males were asked if, in the past year, they had had a romantic attraction to another male or female. About 1.5 percent reported only having a romantic attraction to other males. Five years later, when that 1.5 percent were asked about their romantic attractions since last interview, the overwhelming majority (70 percent) reported a 180-degree flip in their sexual orientation—they only had romantic feelings for women.

Similarly, among females, about 40 percent switched from exclusive same-sex attraction to exclusive opposite-sex attraction. Most of the rest (45 percent of the total) reported they had feelings for both men and women. Only 1 percent of women who, at 17, reported a full year of exclusive same-sex attraction reported a similar experience in the five years that followed.

This research is in agreement with previous research on identical twin studies reported by the prestigious science journal Nature:

When one identical twin is gay, there is about a 20% chance that the other will be as well. But because this rate is not 100%, it is thought that environmental factors play a role as well. One of the best characterized is the ‘older brother effect’: the chance of a man being gay increases by 33% for each older brother he has. The reason is not clear, although one hypothesis holds that the mother’s immune system begins to react against male antigens and alter the fetus’s development.

So, it turns out that homosexual behavior is a lot more related to free choices than it is to innate, fixed dispositions. That’s what the science says. It’s not what the politicians say. It’s not what the Supreme Court says. It’s not what Hollywood says. It’s not what journalists say. But it is what science has found to be true about the universe. We are in control of our behaviors, and we have to choose things that are likely to work out in the long-term – not just what feels good to us in the moment.

Whenever I hear gay activists complaining that they have no choice but to give in to their “innate, fixed, biological” sexual attractions, I always think about how I’ve never been married and have had to deal with sexual attraction to the opposite sex. As a Christian, there is simply no Biblical support for sex outside of marriage. So, that means that I’ve had to just live with not being allowed to act on my desires. In fact, this is the normal Christian life. There was a time when people had more skepticism about their feelings and desires, and they knew that self-control was a good thing. But now it seems as if everyone is so desperate to be liked that we tell everyone yes to everything that they feel like doing. We now consider every moral viewpoint as equal to any other – all the better to do what makes us feel happy. The important goal is that we all feel good right now, and who cares about the damage that our selfishness will cause down the road? We can just act surprised when that happens and pretend that there is no such thing as cause and effect. I can remember a time when Christians in particular had some suspicion about following your heart, because the heart was deceitful and selfish. I guess those days are over, and suddenly feelings are ruling over reason and self-control.

It’s pretty clear that not everything that a person feels like doing is good for them. A lot of decisions that people make to feel good right now lead to outcomes where they or the people who are depending on them will be harmed. For example, lots of people feel like staying home from a school exam, or staying home from their jobs, or drinking alcohol all night, or taking drugs. We used to have more confidence about telling people that not everything they wanted was good for them, and to have more self-control, and to think of how their decisions would harm others. Today, society has drifted away from objective moral boundaries and self-control toward subjective feelings and moral relativism, we are all finding it more difficult to tell people that they should choose to adhere to moral standards. We always seem to be looking to big government to make our irresponsible, reckless choices to be happy in the moment “work out” somehow.

Today, when people make poor decisions that wreck their families, hurt their kids, damage their health, etc. we are more likely to tax the people who haven’t been selfish and reckless in order to pay for government programs that “fix” the outcomes of the selfish, reckless people. In some countries, you can get free single mother welfare, free taxpayer-funded abortions, free sex-changes, free treatment for sexually-transmitted diseases, free rounds of IVF, and so on. Just do whatever you want and someone else who had more self-control than you did will pay for it for you. That’s why we have a twenty-trillion dollar debt, which we never had during the time when we still had the courage to tell people not to do things that were risky, and would be expensive to fix when they blew up.

When did it become normal to think that cause and effect were so unpredictable that people shouldn’t be blamed and held accountable for making bad decisions? When did it become normal to think that doing what feels good for ourselves should be rewarded with other people’s money, through big government programs? When did it become normal to take people to court to force them to celebrate your self-centeredness, just because their disagreement with what you were doing made you feel bad?

Christian pastor who experiences same-sex attraction marries a woman

Clay Jones tweeted this story from the ultra-leftist National Public Radio, of all places.

Excerpt:

Allan Edwards is the pastor of Kiski Valley Presbyterian Church in western Pennsylvania, a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America. He’s attracted to men, but considers acting on that attraction a sin. Accordingly, Edwards has chosen not to act on it.

“I think we all have part of our desires that we choose not to act on, right?” he says. “So for me, it’s not just that the religion was important to me, but communion with a God who loves me, who accepts me right where I am.”

Where he is now is married. He and his wife, Leanne Edwards, are joyfully expecting a baby in July.

This was the part I thought was interesting:

Allan first met Leeanne when they both worked as teenagers at a Christian summer camp. “I always joke with her that she was one of the cool kids and I was a raging fundamentalist nerd,” he says.

They didn’t click at the time, but in 2006 they both applied for the camp director job, and Leeanne got it. When she was ready to leave the position, he took her to lunch to scope out the job.

“We got off talking about the job and started talking about our experience of the last couple years,” Allan recalls. “I don’t want to be gushy or romantic, but I just melted inside, and thought, this is someone who understands graciousness. This is someone who understands acceptance, and this is someone I want to spend as much time with as possible.”

He was drawn to her heart and soul, he explains. “Out of that was birthed our intimate relationship.”

Leeanne says she knew Allan struggled against a sexual attraction to men. “I wondered if he was going to be able to put something like that behind him, or if it was going to be something that would affect our relationship,” she says.

But they way they see it, people in any marriage must work to resist attractions from outside the relationship, whether from the same or the opposite gender.

“There’s always going to be situations where a partner is sexually attracted to someone else and isn’t necessarily dealing with sexual attraction with their partner,” Leeanne says.

There are a couple of things that I wish I could change about me. I would like to be more involved in my church, I’d like to have a daily quiet time, I’d like to do Bible study more. But usually these things get short shrift because I am so busy trying to earn and save money and have an apologetics ministry. It’s nice, though, when a woman responds to a “fixer-upper” man with acceptance and understanding.

The things I want to work on don’t seem to have stopped me from making an impact as a Christian. I never had a “falling away” period where I went wild in college, got drunk and cohabitated with atheists. Whatever I’ve been doing for the 25 years I’ve been a Christian was obviously enough to keep my faith intact, be a good steward of my resources, and make a difference by mentoring others and blogging. In today’s culture, it’s probably better to be more practical, and focus less on things that are devotional, like A. W. Tozer and praise hymns.

Another thing occurred to me while I was reading this story. I thought – what good evangelists they will make, because they both have this ability to look past imperfections and listen to people and then work with them. If you really want to change a person and grow them, then you can’t just stand back and draw a line in the sand and explain why you get to be lazy and not do something with them that will work to grow them. All the people I have ever mentored had something about them that I didn’t think was perfect – but I didn’t take it as an excuse to not engage with them, and to do whatever would work to give them a shove in the right direction. And the results speak for themselves! Sometimes Christians who grow up thinking that “the Bible says you have to do it” is enough get lazy though, when confronted with real people who are not perfect. And they will say anything to avoid having to do work that helps others grow. They just want to make the judgment and be done with the person. Thank goodness the pastor in this story had friends who didn’t dismiss him out of hand because he was not perfect.