Skip to comments."This is the Way God Made Me":A Scientific Examination of Homosexuality and the "Gay Gene"
Posted on 11/22/2004 2:39:49 PM PST by Ed Current
The trumpets were left at home and the parades were canceled. The press releases and campaign signs were quietly forgotten. The news was big, but it did not contain what some had hoped for. On April 14, 2003, the International Human Genome Consortium announced the successful completion of the Human Genome Projecttwo years ahead of schedule. The press report read: "The human genome is complete and the Human Genome Project is over" (see "Human Genome Report...," 2003, emp. added). Most of the major science journals reported on the progress in the field of genetics, but also speculated on how the information would now be used. The one piece of information that never materialized from the Human Genome Project was the identification of the so-called "gay gene."
Homosexuality has been practiced for thousands of years. Simply put, homosexuality is defined as sexual relations between like genders (i.e., two males or two females). It was Sigmund Freud who first postulated that parental relationships with a child ultimately determine the youngsters sexual orientation. But this "nurturing" aspect has effectively given way to the "nature" side of the equation. Can some behaviors (e.g., alcoholism, homosexuality, schizophrenia) be explained by genetics? Are these and other behaviors influenced by nature or by nurture? Are they inborn or learned? Some individuals believed that the answer would be found hiding amidst the chromosomes analyzed in the Human Genome Project.
The human X and Y chromosomes (the two "sex" chromosomes) have been completely sequenced. Thanks to work carried out by labs all across the globe, we know that the X chromosome contains 153 million base pairs, and harbors a total of 1168 genes (see NCBI, 2004). The National Center for Biotechnology Information reports that the Y chromosomewhich is much smallercontains "only" 50 million base pairs, and is estimated to contain a mere 251 genes. Educational institutions such as Baylor University, the Max Planck Institute, the Sanger Institute, Washington University in St. Louis, and others have spent countless hours and millions of research dollars analyzing these unique chromosomes. As the data began to pour in, they allowed scientists to construct gene mapsusing actual sequences from the Human Genome Project. And yet, neither the map for the X nor the Y chromosome contains any "gay gene."
What is the truth regarding homosexuality? Too often, speculation, emotions, and politics play a major role in its assessment. The following is a scientific investigation of human homosexuality. Behavioral Genetics and Civil Rights
Behavioral Genetics and Civil Rights
In an effort to affect public policy and gain acceptance, the assertion often is made that homosexuals deserve equal rights just as other minority groupsand should not be punished for, or forbidden from, expressing their homosexuality. The fight for the acceptance of homosexuality often is compared to "civil rights" movements of racial minorities. Due to Americas failure to settle fully the civil rights issue (i.e., full and equal citizenship of racial minorities), social liberals, feminists, and homosexual activists were provided with the perfect "coat tail" to ride to advance their agenda. Using this camouflage of innate civil liberties, homosexual activists were able to divert attention away from the behavior, and focus it on the "rights."
The argument goes like this: "Just as a person cannot help being black, female, or Asian, I cannot help being homosexual. We were all born this way, and as such we should be treated equally." However, this argument fails to comprehend the true "civil rights" movements. The law already protects the civil rights of everyoneblack, white, male, female, homosexual, or heterosexual. Homosexuals enjoy the same civil rights everyone else does. The contention arises when specific laws deprive all citizens of certain behaviors (e.g., sodomy, etc.). We should keep in mind that these laws are the same for all members of society. Because of certain deprivations, homosexuals feel as though "equal" rights have been taken away (i.e., marriage, tax breaks, etc.).
Skin color and other genetic traits can be traced through inheritance patterns and simple Mendelian genetics. Homosexuals are identified not by a trait or a gene, but rather by their actions. Without the action, they would be indistinguishable from all other people. It is only when they alter their behavior that they become a group that is recognized as being different. If we were to assume momentarily that homosexuality was genetic, then the most one could conclude is that those individuals were not morally responsible for being homosexual. However, that does not mean that they are not morally responsible for homosexual actions! Merely having the gene would not force one to carry out the behavior. For instance, if scientists were able to document that a "rape gene" existed, we certainly would not blame an individual for possessing this gene, but neither would we allow him to act upon that rape disposition. Neil Risch and his coworkers admitted:
There is little disagreement that male homosexual orientation is not a Mendelian trait. In fact, a priori, one would expect the role of a major gene in male homosexual orientation to be limited because of the strong selective pressures against such a gene. It is unlikely that a major gene underlying such a common trait could persist over time without an extraordinary counterbalancing mechanism (1993, 262:2064).
Evan S. Balaban, a neurobiologist at the Neurosciences Institute in San Diego, noted that
the search for the biological underpinnings of complex human traits has a sorry history of late. In recent years, researchers and the media have proclaimed the "discovery" of genes linked to alcoholism and mental illness as well as to homosexuality. None of the claims...has been confirmed (as quoted in Horgan, 1995).
Charles Mann agreed, stating: "Time and time again, scientists have claimed that particular genes or chromosomal regions are associated with behavioral traits, only to withdraw their findings when they were not replicated" (1994, 264:1687). It appears that the gay gene will be added to this category of unreplicated claims.
The real issue here is homosexual actions that society has deemed immoral and, in many instances, illegal. Since no study has firmly established an underlying genetic cause for homosexuality, arguments suggesting "equal rights" are both baseless and illogical. Real Statistics
Anyone who has tuned into prime-time television within the past few years has observed an increasing trend of shows featuring characters who are homosexualand proud of it. It seems as though modern sitcoms require "token" homosexuals in order to be politically correct. The perception is that these individuals share the same apartment buildings, offices, clubs, etc., with heterosexual people, and that we need to realize just how prevalent homosexuality is. So, exactly what fraction of the population do homosexuals actually represent?
The famous Kinsey Institute report often is cited as evidence that 10% of the population is homosexual. In his book, Is It a Choice?: Answers to 300 of the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Gays and Lesbians, Eric Marcus used the Kinsey studies to demonstrate that one in ten people is homosexual (1993). In truth, Kinsey never reported figures that high. The Kinsey Report clearly stated that: "Only about 4 percent of the men [evaluated] were exclusively homosexual throughout their entire lives.... Only 2 or 3 percent of these women were exclusively homosexual their entire lives" (see Reinisch and Beasley, 1990, p. 140). However, there is good reason to believe that the real percentage is not even this high.
While no one has carried out a door-to-door census, we do have a fairly accurate estimate. Interestingly, these statistics came to light in an amicus curiae ("friend of the court") brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court on March 26, 2003, in the Lawrence vs. Texas case (commonly known as the Texas sodomy case). On page 16 of this legal brief, footnote 42 revealed that 31 homosexual and pro-homosexual groups admitted the following:
The most widely accepted study of sexual practices in the United States is the National Health and Social Life Survey (NHSLS). The NHSLS found that 2.8% of the male, and 1.4% of the female population identify themselves as gay, lesbian, or bisexual (Laumann, et al., 1994).
The study also found that only 0.9% of men and 0.4% of women reported having only same-sex partners since age 18a figure that would represent a total of only 1.4 million Americans as homosexual (based on the last census report, showing roughly 292 million people living in America). The resulting accurate figures demonstrate that significantly less than one percent of the American population claims to be homosexual. The NHSLS results are similar to a survey conducted by the Minnesota Adolescent Health Survey (1986) of public school students. The survey showed that only 0.6% of the boys and 0.2% of the girls identified themselves as "mostly or 100% homosexual."
The 2000 census sheds even more light on the subject. The overall statistics from the 2000 Census Bureau revealed:
Thus, out of a population of 106,741,426 households, homosexuals represent 0.42% of those households. That is less than one half of one percent!
But since most people are not mathematicians, we would like to make this point in a way that most individuals will be able to better comprehend. If we were to start a new television sitcom, and wanted to accurately portray homosexual ratios in society, we would need 199 heterosexual actors before we finally introduced one homosexual actor.
And yet modern television casts of three or four often include one or more homosexual actor(s). The statistics from the 2000 census are not figures grabbed from the air and placed on a political sign or Web site to promote a particular agenda. These were census data that were carefully collected from the entire United States population, contrary to the limited scope of studies designed to show a genetic cause for homosexuality. Is Homosexuality Genetic?
Is Homosexuality Genetic?
It is one of the most explosive topics in society today. The social and political ramifications affect the very roots of this country. But is the country being told the truth concerning homosexuality? Is there really a genetic basis for homosexuality?
Former democratic presidential candidate and Vermont Governor Howard Dean signed a bill legalizing civil unions for homosexuals in Vermont. In defending his actions, he commented: "The overwhelming evidence is that there is a very significant, substantial genetic component to it. From a religious point of view, if God had thought homosexuality is a sin, he would not have created gay people" (as quoted in VandeHei, 2004). Dean is not alone in such thinking.
Most people are familiar with the idea that research has been performed that allegedly supports the existence of a gay gene. However, that idea has been a long time in the making. Almost fifty years ago, the landmark Kinsey report was produced using the sexual histories of thousands of Americans. While that report consisted of a diverse sample, it was not a representative sample of the general population (Kinsey, et al., 1948, 1953). In 1994, Richard Friedman and Jennifer Downey published a review on homosexuality in The New England Journal of Medicine. In reviewing Kinseys work, they noted:
Kinsey reported that 8 percent of men and 4 percent of women were exclusively homosexual for a period of at least three years during adulthood. Four percent of men and 2 percent of women were exclusively homosexual after adolescence (1994, 331:923).
With this "statistical information" in hand, some sought to change the way homosexuality was viewed by both the public and the medical community. Prior to 1973, homosexuality appeared in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the official reference book used by the American Psychiatric Association for diagnosing mental disorders in America and throughout much of the rest of the world. Homosexuality was considered a sickness that doctors routinely treated. In 1973, however, it was removed as a sexual disorder, based on the claim that it did not fulfill the "distress and social disability" criteria that were used to define a disorder. Today, there is no mention of homosexuality in the DSM-IV (aside from a section describing gender identity disorder), indicating that individuals with this condition are not suitable candidates for therapy (see American Psychiatric Association, 2000).
Physicians treating patients for homosexuality (to bring about a change in sexual orientation) frequently are reported to ethics committees in an attempt to have them cease. Robert Spitzer lamented:
Several authors have argued that clinicians who attempt to help their clients change their homosexual orientation are violating professional ethical codes by providing a "treatment" that is ineffective, often harmful, and reinforces in their clients the false belief that homosexuality is a disorder and needs treatment (2003, 32:403).
Thus, the stage was set for the appearance of a "gay gene." Simon LeVayBrain Differences
Simon LeVayBrain Differences
The first "significant" published study that indicated a possible biological role for homosexuality came from Simon LeVay, who was then at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, California. In 1991, Dr. LeVay reported subtle differences between the brains of homosexual and heterosexual men (1991). LeVay measured a particular region of the brain (the interstitial nuclei of the anterior hypothalamusINAH) in postmortem tissue of three distinct groups: (1) women; (2) men who were presumed to be heterosexual; (3) and homosexual men. LeVays Reported Findings
LeVays Reported Findings
LeVay reported that clusters of these neurons (INAH) in homosexual men were the same size as clusters in women, both of which were significantly smaller than clusters in heterosexual men. LeVay reported that the nuclei in INAH 3 were "more than twice as large in the heterosexual men as in the women. It was also, however, more than twice as large in the heterosexual men as in the homosexual men" (1991, 253:1034). This difference was interpreted as strong evidence of a biological link to homosexuality. LeVays assumption was that homosexual urges can be biologically basedso long as cluster size is accepted as being genetically determined. Problems with LeVays Study
Problems with LeVays Study
When looking at the methodology of the LeVay study, one of the key problems is that the study has never been reproduced. As William Byne noted, LeVays work
has not been replicated, and human neuroanatomical studies of this kind have a very poor track record for reproducibility. Indeed, procedures similar to those LeVay used to identify nuclei have previously led researchers astray (1994, 270:53, emp. added).
Additionally, of nineteen homosexual subjects used in the study, all had died of complications of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). AIDS has been shown to decrease testosterone levels, so it should be expected that those who suffered from that condition would have smaller INAH. Byne continued his comments on LeVays work.
His inclusion of a few brains from heterosexual men with AIDS did not adequately address the fact that at the time of death, virtually all men with AIDS have decreased testosterone levels as the result of the disease itself or the side effects of particular treatments. To date, LeVay has examined the brain of only one gay man who did not die of AIDS (270:53).
Furthermore, in a scientific environment where controls and standards are a necessity, LeVay did not possess a complete medical history of the individuals included in his study. He therefore was forced to assume the sexual orientation of the non-AIDS victims as being heterosexual, when some may not have been. In addition, bear in mind that he had no evidence regarding the sexual orientation of the women whose brains he examined. LeVay has admitted:
Its important to stress what I didnt find. I did not prove that homosexuality is genetic, or find a genetic cause for being gay. I didnt show that gay men are born that way, the most common mistake people make in interpreting my work. Nor did I locate a gay center in the brain (as quoted in Byrd, et al., 2001, emp. added).
Many have argued that what LeVay discovered in the brains of those he examined was only a result of prior behavior, not the cause of it. Mark Breedlove, a researcher at the University of California at Berkeley, has demonstrated that sexual behavior has an effect on the brain. In referring to his own research, Breedlove commented: "These findings give us proof for what we theoretically know to be the casethat sexual experience can alter the structure of the brain, just as genes can alter it.... [I]t is possible that differences in sexual behavior cause (rather than are caused by) differences in the brain" (as quoted in Byrd, et al., parenthetical item in orig.). Considering this type of research, it makes sense that a homosexual lifestyle (and/or the AIDS condition) could alter the size of the nuclei LeVay was measuring.
What exactly did LeVay find? In actuality, not much. He did observe slight differences between the groupsif you accept the method he used for measuring the size of the neuron clusters (and some researchers do not). When each individual was considered by himself, there was not a significant difference; only when the individuals involved in the study were considered in groups of homosexuals vs. heterosexuals did differences result. Hubbard and Wald commented on this lack of difference:
Though, on average, the size of the hypothalamic nucleus LeVay considered significant was indeed smaller in the men he identified as homosexual, his published data show that the range of sizes of the individual samples was virtually the same as for the heterosexual men. That is, the area was larger in some of the homosexuals than in many of the heterosexual men, and smaller in some of the heterosexual men than in many of the homosexuals. This means that, though the groups showed some difference as groups, there was no way to tell anything about an individuals sexual orientation by looking at his hypothalamus (1997, pp. 95-96, emp. added).
Being homosexual himself, it is no surprise that LeVay observed: "...[P]eople who think that gays and lesbians are born that way are more likely to support gay rights." In a Newsweek article, LeVay was quoted as saying, "I felt if I didnt find any [difference in the hypothalamuses], I would give up a scientific career altogether" (as quoted in Gelman, et al., 1992, p. 49). Given how (poorly) twisted LeVays data are, and his own personal bias, his abandonment of science may have ultimately been of greater service. Brain PlasticityA Fact Acknowledged by All Neuroscientists
Brain PlasticityA Fact Acknowledged by All Neuroscientists
Today, scientists are keenly aware of the fact that the brain is not as "hard-wired" or permanently fixed as once thoughtan important factor that LeVay failed to acknowledge. One of the properties of plastic is flexibilitymany containers are made out of plastic so that they will not shatter when dropped. In a similar manner, the brain was once considered to be rigid, like Ball® jars used for canningbut we now know the brain is "plastic" and flexible, and able to reorganize itself. Research has shown that the brain is able to remodel its connections and grow larger, according to the specific areas that are most frequently utilized. Given that we know today that the brain exhibits plasticity, one must ask if the act of living a homosexual lifestyle itself might be responsible for the difference LeVay noted? Commenting on brain plasticity, Shepherd noted:
The inability to generate new neurons might imply that the adult nervous system is a static, "hard-wired" machine. This is far from the truth. Although new neurons cannot be generated, each neuron retains the ability to form new processes and new synaptic connections (1994).
Interestingly, since Shepherds textbook was published, additional research has even documented the ability of neurons to be generated within certain areas of the brain. This information must be considered when examining comparative anatomical experiments such as LeVays. These cortical rearrangements that occur are not as simple as unplugging a lamp and plugging it into another socket. The changes observed by researchers indicate that if the brain were represented by a home electrical system, then many of the wires within the walls would be pulled out, rewired to different connections in different rooms, new outlets would appear, and some would even carry different voltages. Due to the colossal connectivity that takes place within the brain, any "rewiring" is, by its very nature, going to have an effect on several areassuch as INAH3. Scientists understand these things, yet LeVays work is still mentioned as alleged support for the so-called gay gene. Bailey and PillardThe Famous "Twins" Study
Bailey and PillardThe Famous "Twins" Study
One of the most frequently cited studies used in promoting the genetics of sexual orientation is a 1952 study by Kallmann. In this famous work, he reported a concordance rate (or genetic association) of 100% for sexual orientation among monozygotic (identical) twins (1952, 115:283). This result, if true, would prove nearly insurmountable for those people who doubt the biological causation of homosexuality. However, Kallmann subsequently conjectured that this perfect concordance was an artifact, possibly due to the fact that his sample was drawn largely from mentally ill and institutionalized men (see Rainer, et al., 1960, 22:259). But Kallmanns research opened the door to twin studies in regard to sexual orientation.
Michael Bailey and Richard Pillard, researchers at Northwestern University and the Boston University School of Medicine, carried out a similar experiment, examining 56 pairs of identical twins, 54 pairs of fraternal twins, 142 non-twin brothers of twins, and 57 pairs of adoptive brothers (1991, 48:1089-1096). Bailey and Pillard were looking to see if homosexuality was passed on through familial lines, or if one could point to environmental factors as the cause. Their hypothesis: if homosexuality is an inherited trait, then more twin brothers would be expected to have the same orientation than non-twin or non-biological brothers. Their Reported Findings
Their Reported Findings
Problems with Bailey and Pillards Study
While the authors acknowledged some of the flaws with their research, they still were quoted in Science News as saying: "Our research shows that male sexual orientation is substantially genetic" (as quoted in Bower, 1992, 141:6). However, the most glaring observation is that clearly not 100% of the identical twins "inherited" homosexuality. If there was, in fact, a "gay gene," then all of the identical twins should have reported a homosexual orientation. And yet, in nearly half of the twins studied, one brother was not homosexual. In a technical-comment letter in Science, Neil Risch and colleagues pointed out: "The biological brothers and adoptive brothers showed approximately the same rates. This latter observation suggests that there is no genetic component, but rather an environmental component shared in families" (1993, 262:2063). In fact, more adoptive brothers shared homosexuality than non-twin biological brothers. If there was a genetic factor, this result would be counter to the expected trend. Byne and Parsons noted:
However, the concordance rate for homosexuality in nontwin biologic brothers was only 9.2significantly lower than that required by simple genetic hypothesis, which, on the basis of shared genetic material, would predict similar concordance rates for DZ [dizygotic] twins and nontwin biologic brothers. Furthermore, the fact that the concordance rates were similar for nontwin biologic brothers (9.2%) and genetically unrelated adoptive brothers (11.0%) is at odds with a simple genetic hypothesis, which would predict a higher concordance rate for biological siblings (1993, 50:229).
A more recently published twin study failed to find similar concordance rates. King and McDonald studied 46 homosexual men and women who were twins. The concordance rates that they reported were 10%, or 25% with monozygotic twinsdepending on whether or not the bisexuals were included along with the homosexuals. The rates for dizygotic twins were 8% or 12%, again, depending on whether bisexuals were included (King and McDonald, 1992). Byne and Parsons commented: "These rates are significantly lower than those reported by Bailey and Pillard; in comparison of the MZ [monozygotic] concordance rate, including bisexuals (25%), with the comparable figure from Bailey and Pillard (52%)" (p. 230). They went on to observe: "Furthermore, if the concordance rate is similar for MZ and DZ twins, the importance of genetic factors would be considerably less than that suggested by Bailey and Pillard" (p. 230, emp. added).
Another factor that may have had a drastic affect on the results of this study (and other similar studies) centers on methodology. Bailey and Pillard did not study a random sample of homosexuals. Instead, the subjects were recruited through advertisements placed in homosexual publications. This method can be deemed questionable because it is highly dependent on the readership of those publications and on the motives of those who respond. Thus, it may lead to skewed resultsfor example, inflated rates of concordance in identical twins owing to preferential participation (see Baron, 1993). Hubbard and Wald observed:
The fact that fraternal twins of gay men were roughly twice as likely to be gay as other biological brothers shows that environmental factors are involved, since fraternal twins are no more similar biologically than are other biological brothers. If being a fraternal twin exerts an environmental influence, it does not seem surprising that this should be even truer for identical twins, who the world thinks of as "the same" and treats accordingly, and who often share those feelings of sameness (1997, p. 97).
In summarizing their findings, Byne and Parsons stated: "Critical review shows the evidence favoring a biologic theory to be lacking" (50:228). Commenting on Bailey and Pillards report, researchers Billings and Beckwith wrote:
While the authors interpreted their findings as evidence for a genetic basis for homosexuality, we think that the data in fact provide strong evidence for the influence of the environment (1993, p. 60).
When evaluated scientifically, twin studies fail to provide any valid support for the longed-for "gay gene." Dean HamerThe Gay Gene on the X Chromosone
Dean HamerThe Gay Gene on the X Chromosone
Two years after Simon LeVays report, a group led by Dean H. Hamer of the National Cancer Institute allegedly linked male homosexuality to a gene on the X chromosome. His team investigated 114 families of homosexual men. Hamer and his colleagues collected family history information from 76 gay male individuals and 40 gay brother pairs as they searched for incidences of homosexuality among relatives of gay men.
In many families, gay men had gay relatives through maternal lines. Thus, they concluded that a gene for homosexuality might be found on the X chromosome, which is passed from the mother alone. They then used DNA linkage analysis in an effort to find a correlation between inheritance and homosexual orientation. Their Reported Findings
Their Reported Findings
Because many of the families with a prevalence of homosexual relatives had a common set of DNA markers on the X chromosome, Hamers group assumed a genetic etiology. Of the 40 pairs of homosexual brothers he analyzed, Hamer found that 33 exhibited a matching DNA region called q28a gene located at the tip of the long arm of the X chromosome. In summarizing their findings, Hamer and colleagues noted: "Our experiments suggest that a locus (or loci) related to sexual orientation lies within approximately 4 million base pairs of DNA on the tip of the long arm of the X chromosome" (1993, 261:326, parenthetical item in orig.). This discovery prompted Hamer and his colleagues to speculate:
The linkage to markers on Xq28, the subtelomeric region of the long arm of the sex chromosome, had a multipoint lod score of 4.0, indicating a statistical confidence level of more than 99 percent that at least one subtype of male sexual orientation is genetically influenced (261:321, emp. added).
It is important to note that Hamer did not claim to have found a "gay gene," or even the set of genes, that might contribute to a propensity for homosexuality. According to Chicago Tribune staff writer, John Crewdson, what Hamer claimed to have found was "statistical evidence that such genes exist" (1995). Problems with Hamers Study
Problems with Hamers Study
One of the most significant problems with Hamers approach is that he and his colleagues did not feel that it was necessary to check whether any of the heterosexual men in these families shared the marker in question! Would it not be useful to know whether or not this "gay gene" is found in heterosexuals? Even if only a few of them possess the gene, it calls into question what the gene or the self-identification signifies. Additionally, Hamer never explained why the other seven pairs of brothers did not display the same genetic marker. If this is "the gene" for homosexuality, then one must assume all homosexual individuals would possess that particular markerand yet that was not the case in Hamers study.
In a letter to Science, Anne Fausto-Sterling and Evan Balaban pointed out some of the additional problems with Hamers study. They noted:
Despite our praise for aspects of Hamer, et al.s work, we feel it is also important to recognize some of its weaknesses. The most obvious of these is the lack of an adequate control group. Their study demonstrates cosegregation of a trait (which Hamer, et al. have labeled "homosexuality") with X chromosome markers and the traits concordance in homosexual brothers. This cosegregation is potentially meaningful if the mother is heterozygous for the trait. In this case, segregating chromosomes without the markers should show up in nonhomosexual brothers, but Hamer, et al present no data to that effect (1993, 261:1257, emp. added).
Fausto-Sterling and Balaban continued:
This sensitivity to assumptions about background levels makes Hamer, et al.s data less robust than the summary in their abstract indicates.... Finally we wish to emphasize a point with which we are sure Hamer, et al would agree: correlation does not necessarily indicate causation (261:1257).
In other words, Hamers methodology leaves something to be desired. One also should keep in mind that Hamers sampling was not random, and, as a result, his data may not reflect the real population.
George Rice and his colleagues from Canada looked intently at the gene Xq28. They then observed: "Allele and halotype sharing for these markers was not increased over expectation. These results do not support an X-linked gene underlying male homosexuality" (1999, 284:665, emp. added). Rice, et al., included 182 families in their study. They noted:
It is unclear why our results are so discrepant from Hamers original study. Because our study was larger than that of Hamer et al., we certainly had adequate power to detect a genetic effect as large as was reported in that study. Nonetheless, our data do not support the presence of a gene of large effect influencing sexual orientation at position Xq28 (284:667).
That is a tactful way of saying that any claims of having found a "gay gene" were overblown, if not outright false, and that Hamers results are dubious at best. Commenting on the study of Rice and his colleagues, Ingrid Wickelgren remarked: "...the Ontario team found that gay brothers were no more likely to share the Xq28 markers than would be expected by chance.... Ebers interprets all these results to mean that the X linkage is all but dead" (1999, 284:571, emp. added).
In June of 1998, University of Chicago psychiatrist Alan Sanders reported at the meeting of the American Psychiatric Association that he, too, had been unable to verify Hamers results. Looking for an increase in Xq28 linkage, Sanders team studied 54 pairs of gay brothers. As Wickelgren indicated, Sanders team had found "only a weak hintthat wasnt statistically significantof an Xq28 linkage among 54 gay brother pairs" (284:571). Commenting on the validity of Hamers study, Wickelgren quoted George Rice: "Taken together, Rice says, the results suggest that if there is a linkage its so weak its not important" (1999, emp. added). Two independent labs failed to reproduce anything even remotely resembling Hamers results. Changeability of HomosexualsEvidence Against Genetics
Changeability of HomosexualsEvidence Against Genetics
An individual born with diabetes has no hope of changing that condition. Likewise, a child born with Downs syndrome will carry that chromosomal abnormality throughout his or her life. These individuals are a product of the genes they inherited from their parents. Homosexuality appears to be vastly different. Many people have been able to successfully change their sexual orientation. [Truth be told, some individuals experiment with a variety of sexual partnersmale/femaleoften, going back and forth. One might inquire if the bisexuality denotes the existence of a "bisexual gene?"] Ironically, however, the removal of homosexuality as a designation from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatric Disorders by the American Psychiatric Association has kept many physicians from attempting to provide reparative therapy to homosexuals.
Robert Spitzer conducted a study on 200 self-selected individuals (143 males, 57 females) in an effort to see if participants could change their sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual (2003, 32:403-417). He reported some minimal change from homosexual to heterosexual orientation that lasted at least five years (p. 403). Spitzer observed:
The majority of participants gave reports of change from a predominantly or exclusively homosexual orientation before therapy to a predominantly or exclusively heterosexual orientation in the past year (p. 403).
In summarizing his findings, Spitzer declared: "Thus, there is evidence that change in sexual orientation following some form of reparative therapy does occur in some gay men and lesbians." He thus concluded: "This study provides evidence that some gay men and lesbians are able to also change the core features of sexual orientation" (p. 415).
Six years earlier, the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) released the results of a two-year study stating:
Before treatment, 68 percent of the respondents perceived themselves as exclusively or almost entirely homosexual, with another 22 percent stating that they were more homosexual than heterosexual. After treatment, only 13 percent perceived themselves as exclusively or almost entirely homosexual, while 33 percent described themselves as either exclusively or almost entirely heterosexual (see Nicolosi, 2000, 86:1071).
The study also reported:
Although 83 percent of respondents indicated that they entered therapy primarily because of homosexuality, 99 percent of those who participated in the survey said they now believe treatment to change homosexuality can be effective and valuable (p. 1071).
These data are consistent with the ongoing research project of Rob Goetze, who has identified 84 articles or books that contain some relevance to the possibility of sexual orientation change (2004). Of the data reported, 31 of the 84 studies showed a quantitative outcome of individuals able to change sexual orientation. These are not studies that merely speculate on the ability to change; they actually have the numbers to back it up! All of these data come on the heels of warnings from the Surgeon General, The American Academy of Pediatrics, and all of the major mental health associations, which have issued position statements warning of possible harm from such therapy, and have asserted that there is no evidence that such therapy can change a persons sexual orientation. For instance, the 1998 American Psychiatric Association Position Statement on Psychiatric Treatment and Sexual Orientation noted:
...there is no published scientific evidence supporting the efficacy of reparative therapy as a treatment to change ones sexual orientation.... The potential risks of reparative therapy are great, including depression, anxiety, and self-destructive behavior (see American Psychiatric Association, 1999, p. 1131).
Thus, physicians are caught in a quandary of a double standard. On the one hand, they are told that it is "unethical" for a clinician to provide reparative therapy because homosexuality is not a diagnosable disorder, and thus one should not seek to change. Yet, they contend that not enough studies have been conducted to determine the effectiveness of reparative therapy. The message is loud and clear: "Do not do this because it is unethical to ask a homosexual person to change. However, truth be told, we have not collected enough data to know if a person can safely change his or her sexual orientation."
In situations where sexual orientation is being measured, studies face serious methodological problems (i.e., follow-up assessment, possible bias, no detailed sexual history, random sampling, etc.). But even given these serious shortcomings from behavioral studies such as these, there are sufficient data to indicate that an individual can change his or her sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexualsomething that would be an impossibility if homosexuality were caused by genetics. Conclusion
Consider the obvious problem of survival for individuals who allegedly possess a gay gene: individuals who have partners of the same sex are biologically unable to reproduce (without resorting to artificial means). Therefore, if an alleged "gay gene" did exist, the homosexual population eventually would disappear altogether. We now know that it is not scientifically accurate to refer to a "gay gene" as the causative agent in homosexuality. The available evidence clearly establishes that no such gene has been identified. Additionally, evidence exists which documents that homosexuals can change their sexual orientation. Future decisions regarding policies about, and/or treatment of, homosexuals should reflect this knowledge. References
American Psychiatric Association (2000), Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, (Washington D.C.: American Psychiatric Association), fourth edition, text revision.
Bailey, Michael J., and Richard C. Pillard (1991), "A Genetic Study of Male Sexual Orientation," Archives of General Psychiatry, 48:1089-1096, December.
Bailey, Michael J. and D.S. Benishay (1993), "Familial Aggregation of Female Sexual Orientation," American Journal of Psychiatry, 150:272-277.
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Garbage in = garbage out, unless you have a filter for critical thought &/or time and inclination to review other perspectives of various issues.
This article was posted in response to the following post by nicholasj @ Limiting Federal Court Jurisdiction To Protect Marriage For The States (Charles E. Rice):
Some thoughts. I live in an area where there are a lot of gay people and so I feel more qualified than most people here to comment on this.
I am a moderate Repblican. I know some people here will have a problem with this, but its pretty clear to me that people who rant on and on about 'defending marriage' are clueless about some important facts. I don't know how they got to see it this way, but they did. Here's my plea for some thinking to be applied to this issue. Because its clear to me that the current official line is very counterproductive and decisive.
Why? Because, gay people clearly don't make a 'choice' to be gay. I would guess that most of them probably wish they weren't. But they are and they then have to make the best of it.
It's some kind of biological difference that forms at a very early age in their brains. We don't have a choice. We are straight - or gay. Period. So I think the whole idea of their gayness 'being a sin' is based on a faulty premise.
I don't think God wants *us* to exclude people from the possibility of being good or bad based on something *He* did.
It just doesn't make sense. If he did, God would be putting those people into a situation that violates the doctrine of free will.
At least that's my opinion.
I also have a thought on gay marriage. I think that its fine for me for official 'marriage' to be for men and women only. However, I do think that having some kind of 'legal equivalent' for gay people is only right, based on some of the legal problems they have now. Especially when people die.
The adoption issue is also something I think many don't understand. Ten years ago, the big thing in the gay community was clearly the club and bar scene. Stable relationships were not common. Now, when my wife and I walk around our neighborhood, instead of gay people going in and out of bars as early as 10 am on a Saturday morning, we see lots of gay families who have adopted. Walking around, talking with their kids, etc.
They clearly are *normal* and responsible parents and it is a huge improvement over the situation that existed before which was clearly pretty sordid with lots of alcoholism, etc. The kids they are adopting are often black or handicapped, kids who would NOT get decent care in the foster care system, which is worse than dysfunctional. So, thats also a plus. Kids have homes. Our (50% gay) neighborhood is also a lot safer now, and much quieter at night.
These people are the people in the gay community who would be the most likely to vote Republican, and we seem to be going out of our way to alienate them.
Not very smart!
Only slightly related - I got a start today when I found out what the state with the lowest divorce rate is..
Its Massachusetts, with 2.4%
Divorce also goes down, in general, during Democratic administrations.
What does this tell us? Sometimes, tough talk is used to mask a policy of intentional inaction. It's called 'overcompensating'.
What can we do to improve these figures?
Theo G. M. Sandfort, Archives of General Psychiatry Vol. 58, Number . , 2001. Page(s) 85-91.
Compared with their heterosexual peers, homosexual men were at greater risk for psychiatric disorders, including mood and anxiety disorders, bipolar disorders, major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorders, panic disorder, agoraphobia, social phobia, and simple phobia. ---
Susan C. Turrell, Kluwer Academic Publishers - Journal of Family Violence Vol. 13, Number . , 2000. Page(s) 281-293.
Relationship violence was found to be a significant problem for homosexuals. Forty-four (44) percent of the gay men reported having experienced violence in their relationships; 13 percent reported sexual violence and 83 percent reported emotional abuse. Levels of abuse ran even higher among lesbians: 55 percent reported physical violence in their relationships, 14 percent reported sexual abuse, and 84 percent reported emotional abuse.
The conclusion arrived at by the researchers, based upon these figures, is that the rate of abuse between urban homosexual men in intimate relationships "is a very serious public health problem."
The homosexual historical footprint is large when it comes to the rape and murder of children.
The top six U.S. male serial killers were all gay.
For some reason that we don't completely understand, the conservative Washington Times is running a regular column by homosexual writer Andrew Sullivan, and he uses it to attack conservative groups and promote the gay rights agenda. When he attacked AIM for noting a link between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the Times gave us an opportunity to respond. But the paper has now given Sullivan another opportunity to insist that the homosexual movement has nothing to do with molesting kids.
The founder of the modern homosexual movement, Harry Hay, was a prominent supporter of NAMLBA. This story is told in a book, The Trouble With Harry Hay, which is sympathetic to Hay, who was also a communist. What's more, this was instrumental in developing the homosexual movement. The book notes, "All of his C.P. [Communist Party] activities were useful training for unforeseen political challenges. Many formulas of Marxist theory...have obvious implications for the challenges he faced in conjuring a gay movement out of nothing."
The probable reason for Hitler's attack on Christianity was his perception that it alone had the moral authority to stop the Nazi movement. But Christians stumbled before the flood of evil. As Poliakov notes, "[W]hen moral barriers collapsed under the impact of Nazi preaching...the same anti-Semitic movement that led to the slaughter of the Jews gave scope and license to an obscene revolt against God and the moral law. An open and implacable war was declared on the Christian tradition...[which unleashed] a frenzied and unavowed hatred of Christ and the Ten Commandments" (Poliakov:300).
IS THERE A STANDARD?
On what basis can we judge sexual behavior? How can we declare one type of behavior to be moral and another behavior to be immoral? By what yardstick can we measure such things? What authority do we have to label some activity as right or wrong? By what STANDARD can we say that a person is engaging in sinful conduct?
One of the darkest days of Israelite history was the period of the JUDGES. At that time "every man did that which was right in his own eyes" (Judges 21:25). Depraved men were setting the STANDARD and determining what was right. It may seem right in man's eyes, but the key question is this: IS IT RIGHT IN GOD'S EYES? Men greatly err when it comes to recognizing and following a right course of action: "There is a way which SEEMETH right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death" (Proverbs 14:12).
When man sets the STANDARD then anything goes. Sinful men can justify anything as they reject and willfully ignore God's standards as clearly revealed in God's Word. Men and women of our day are busy doing what is right in their own eyes. They justify their position in the following ways: "We must not discriminate!" "People can't help being the way they are because it is genetic." "Who cares what a person does in private?" "What does it matter what two consenting adults do as long as it doesn't hurt anyone?" "Everyone is entitled to his or her own sexual preference." Etc.
Suppose that what these people are saying is true. What if there were no real objective STANDARD outside of man? What if there were no God and no Bible and no Ten Commandments? If this were the case, then we would have to agree that we would have absolutely no basis by which we could condemn homosexuality, apart from our own personal preferences (likes and dislikes). Under these conditions man would set the standards, doing that which seems right in his own eyes.
Without any divine STANDARD of morality, what would be wrong with homosexuality (sexual relations between two persons of the same sex)? Furthermore, what would be wrong with bestiality (sexual relations between a human being and an animal)? Could not the same arguments be used? "Am I not entitled to my own sexual preference?" "What is wrong with it as long as I am kind to the animal and we don't hurt anyone else?" Indeed, with no divine rule to measure right and wrong, what would be objectionable with adults having sexual relations with animals or even with young children? You may personally have a strong aversion to such practices, but who are you to impose your own personal standards on other people?
Indeed, apart from a divine STANDARD of morality anything goes, including stealing and murder. Who is to say MURDER is wrong? It may be detestable to you, but the murderer is doing what seems right to him, is he not? What is wrong with ridding the world of some undesirable person? Apart from moral absolutes any kind of behavior or activity can be justified.
God's Plan For Man and Woman
God does have a STANDARD by which behavior and sexual activity may be measured and judged, approved or disapproved. God's perfect plan for a man and a woman is to be found by going back to the very BEGINNING (see Matthew 19:3-8). Deviations from God's STANDARD are found in abundance in our society but "from the BEGINNING it was not so" (Matthew 19:8). What did the Lord Jesus mean by "the BEGINNING"? In Matthew 19:4 the Lord Jesus quoted from Genesis chapter 1. In Matthew 19:5 the Lord Jesus quoted from Genesis chapter 2.
It is obvious that the Lord Jesus understood the first two chapters of the Bible as being accurate and authoritative. It is in these two chapters that we find God's plan for a man and a woman.
Genesis Chapter 1
In Genesis 1:27 we learn that God created man. In this brief verse the verb "created" is found 3 times emphasizing man's unique creation in the image of God. Man is not the product of blind, chance evolution taking place over millions of years. Those who see themselves as mere "accidents of nature" and the result of a long evolutionary process have tried to eliminate from their minds the all-important concept of a personal Creator-God before whom we are responsible and accountable. For the true evolutionist there can be no real moral absolutes, just the ruthless survival of the fittest in a world where there seems to be no real rhyme or reason for anything.
But in the beginning it was not as the evolutionists depict! There was a personal CREATOR-GOD who created man MALE and FEMALE. God's purpose for man was that there should be two SEXES, male and female. Every person is either a "HE" or a "SHE." God did not divide mankind into three or four or five sexes. There is only the male sex and the female sex, and every person is either a male or female because this is how each person has been made by the Creator. "MALE and FEMALE created He them" (Genesis 1:27).
It is obvious that the two sexes are not the same. They are profoundly different. Girls are not boys and boys are not girls. Women are not men and men are not women. Adam was different from Eve and Eve was different from Adam because God made them so. Today in the minds of many there is wrong and unhealthy THINKING resulting in a trend towards UNISEX (one sex). It is man's wrong attempt to try to MINIMIZE the differences which God has made. Thus women in some ways look, dress and act like men and men in some ways look, dress and act like women. God is strongly opposed to this because it is contrary to the differences and distinctions which He made at the BEGINNING: "The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are ABOMINATION unto the LORD thy God" (Deuteronomy 22:5).
The word "abomination" in Deuteronomy 22:5 is a very strong word. It means that God detests it, hates it and is nauseated over it. It makes God sick (as it were)! This is because it is so contrary to God's original plan. God wants men to look, dress and act like men because this is how He made them. God wants women to look, dress and act like women, because they ought to rightly represent what they are.
Genesis Chapter 2
In Genesis chapter 2 we learn that Adam was created first. Adam was made from the dust of the earth (Genesis 2:7) and Eve was made from Adam (Genesis 2:22). "For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man" (1 Corinthians 11:8).
How did the institution of marriage originate? Did it gradually evolve from more primitive institutions and customs? Did a group of "cave men" or "ape men" meet together and vote in favor of starting marriages? Did an ancient and powerful king send forth an edict or law declaring that men and women should be joined together in marriage? When did the first marriage take place? Whose idea was it? How did marriage begin?
Genesis chapter two answers these questions very clearly:
|Who declared that it was not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18)?
Who said, "I will make an help meet (helper suitable) for him" (Genesis 2:18)?
Who took a part of man and from it made a woman (Genesis 2:21-22)?
Who brought the woman to the man (Genesis 2:22)?
Who performed the first marriage ceremony (Genesis 2:18-22)?
Who instituted marriage? Whose idea was it?
Who is responsible for joining a man and woman together (Matthew 19:6)?
Marriage is God's holy institution. We need to pay very close attention to that first marriage so that we can learn what God intended from the BEGINNING. In Genesis 2:22 we are told that GOD BROUGHT THE WOMAN (EVE) TO THE MAN (ADAM). Notice carefully what God did not do:
God did not bring an animal to Adam for a marriage partner.
God did not bring a man to Adam for a marriage partner.
(It was Adam and Eve , not Adam and Steve ! )
God did not bring two women to Adam.
God did not bring ten women to Adam.
God brought just one woman to Adam: ONE WOMAN FOR ONE MAN, THI S IS GOD'S ALL-WISE PLAN!
Based on the above facts, we can arrive at some very simple and yet important conclusions:
1. The marriage partner must not be an animal but a person.
2. The marriage partner must be the opposite sex.
3. The marriage partner must be ONE, not more than one.
Another conclusion, based on the fact that man should CLEAVE to his wife (Genesis 2:24), is as follows:
4. The marriage union is to be permanent (compare Matthew 19:6), until broken by death (compare Romans 7:2-3).
These four simple rules are what God established at the BEGINNING. Those who do not like these rules have a problem with the God who set them up. Serious problems develop whenever people DEVIATE from what God established in the beginning. In Leviticus 20 we have some examples of how people have broken God's simple rules:
In Leviticus 20:15 we have a violation of Rule #1.
In Leviticus 20:13 we have a violation of Rule #2.
In Leviticus 20:10 we have a violation of Rule #3 (If the man had remained loyal to his ONE MARRIAGE PARTNER the adultery would not have taken place.) An early violation of Rule #3 is also seen in Genesis 4:19.
Procreation and God's Perfect Plan
One of the reasons God made the man and woman as He did was for the purpose of reproduction. After God made man MALE and FEMALE, He said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and replenish [fill] the earth" (Genesis 1:28). God's plan was for many people to live on the earth, not just two. God created two and from these two would come all mankind (today numbering in the billions). For this to be possible God designed the man and woman with the ability to reproduce and bring forth children. This is natural, normal and necessary for the propagation of the human race.
When it comes to reproduction it should be obvious that the man is designed for the woman and the woman is designed for the man, according to God's perfect plan and matchless design. A man is not designed for a man and a woman is not designed for a woman. Consider the illustration of nuts and bolts. You cannot put together two bolts and you cannot put together two nuts. A nut is not designed for another nut, it is designed for a bolt. To try to fit two nuts together (or two bolts) is to go against the plan and design for which they were made. It is impossible to screw a nut into a nut. Homosexuality is a violation of Rule #2, and it clearly goes against God's plan and design. It is impossible for children to ever result from a homosexual relationship. If homosexuality were universally practiced worldwide, then the human race would become extinct after one generation! This is why according to Romans chapter 1 homosexuality is unnatural and against nature (verses 26-27). Even the animals who follow their natural instincts know that a male should mate with a female, and not a male with a male. The animals instinctively follow God's order. Men often rebel against God's natural order of things.
The Marriage Relationship Involves Far More Than Procreation
Bringing forth children is important, but this is not the number one reason why God gave to man the wonderful gift of being able to have sexual relations with a marriage partner. Normally children are meant to be the fruit of a love relationship between husband and wife, but there are exceptions to this normal rule. For example, there are some couples who are unable to have any children (for a number of possible reasons). Does this inability to have children mean that the couple cannot fulfil the purpose of their sexuality? Not at all. God has given the gift of sex for the enjoyment of the marriage partners as they express their love to each other even in a physical way. This love-relationship has a physical aspect to it that ought to be precious and enjoyable whether or not God is pleased to give children.
The Blessedness of the Marriage Bed
"Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge" (Hebrews 13:4). God intended that the marriage bed should be holy and pure and right and a great blessing for a man and his wife (see Hebrews 13:4). God and the Bible never condemn sex but only the wrong kind of sex. The wrong kind of sex is that which violates and goes against God's original purpose. But in God's purpose and in God's time, the marriage bed (Hebrews 13:4) is meant to be a place of enjoyment and satisfaction for both husband and wife.
The book of Proverbs has much to say about the wrong kind of sexual involvement, but it also has something to say about the right kind. "Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well. Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets. Let them be only thine own, and not strangers' with thee. Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love" (Proverbs 5:15-19).
Within the boundaries and confines of marriage, there is safety and satisfaction and sure delight. The husband is to rejoice with his wife (Proverbs 5:18) and be sexually satisfied by her (Proverbs 5:19) and he is to be exhilarated or intoxicated with her love (Proverbs 5:19--see the meaning of the Hebrew term "ravished"). At the same time he is strongly WARNED not to look elsewhere for satisfaction but to be content and thankful for the wife God gave to him when he was young (see Proverbs 5:15-18,20-23).
The bed of marriage is UNDEFILED (Hebrews 13:4). It is pure and unsoiled and not polluted. It is intended to be enjoyable and right and pleasurable. It is a mutual expression of love as the husband GIVES of himself to please his wife and the wife GIVES of herself to please the husband (1 Corinthians 7:3). Marriage is a good thing and God honors it and blesses it: "Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD" (Proverbs 18:22).
Deviation From God's Perfect Plan
Marriage was designed in heaven for the blessing and good of mankind. It was also meant to portray a wonderful picture of the believer's relationship to Jesus Christ (see Ephesians 5:21-33). Sinful men have polluted God's purpose in marriage and have perverted the picture.
Today we live in a world system (1 John 2:15) and in a society that cares little about God's standards. Instead men approve and applaud that which deviates (compare Romans 1:32). This is done not just by pornography which is inundating the land, but also by many TV shows, radio programs, movies, videos, books, magazines, etc. Today a young person who remains sexually pure until marriage is often considered an oddity and even an object of scorn. It is a very sad thing when the violation of a standard becomes so common that it becomes the norm. Man does what is right in his own eyes (Judges 21:25), and he thinks, "If everyone else is doing it, how can it be wrong?" The believer knows that if God sets the standard in His Word and if man violates what God has said, then it is wrong no matter how many are doing it (see Exodus 23:2).
In Hebrews 13:4 we learn that God sanctions the marriage bed but He strongly warns that His judgment will fall upon those guilty of either of these two things:
1. FORNICATION (Greek--Porneia) is a general word which refers to any kind of unlawful sexual intercourse (we get our English word "pornography" from this Greek word). It would include such things as sexual immorality, prostitution, premarital sex and even homosexuality. In Hebrews 13:4 it probably refers primarily to those sexual sins committed by unmarried persons (since the next word refers to a sin that a married person commits).
2. ADULTERY (Greek--Moicheia ) is a more specific word which refers to a married person having unlawful sexual relations with someone that he or she is not married to. Thus it involves going beyond the marriage relationship to a third person. In Hebrews 13:4 it refers to those sexual sins of unfaithfulness committed by married persons.
Hebrews 13:4 does not condemn sex which is good and honorable and right and part of God's original plan for mankind when He created man MALE and FEMALE. However, Hebrews 13:4 strongly condemns OUTSIDE OF MARRIAGE (both premarital sex which is sex before marriage and extramarital sex which is sex during marriage with someone who is not one's legitimate marriage partner).
Just as on a mountainous road there are often guard rails to help keep the car on the road and prevent a disaster, so also God has good and safe BOUNDARIES which man needs to stay within for his own benefit and safety. When it comes to sex there are too many young people who are plunging off the road and falling into disaster, often resulting in wounds that never heal and scars that always remain. Do not deviate from God's road! Do not turn aside from God's path! Stay on the road of sexual purity and you will forever be glad that you did. The God who created you surely knows what is best for you. Trust and obey Him!
We hear much talk today about SAFE SEX, but the SEX that is being referred to is most often SINFUL SEX (sex outside of the marriage bed, especially premarital sex). So what people are really talking about is SAFE SIN!
The message being broadcast today is this: "It is all right to sin as long as you practice SAFE SIN. Drunkenness is OK is long as someone sober drives you home. Narcotics are OK as long as you use clean needles. Promiscuity is OK as long as you take safe precautions. It is all right to sin, but please, play it SAFE!" The Bible gives the true perspective: "Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. For THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH" (James 1:15; Rom. 6:23).
[See the newspaper ad that appeared in U.S.A. Today entitled, Safe Sin??]
SAFE SIN is a flat contradiction. It would be like talking of a "healthy disease" or "harmless poison" or "clean dirt" or a "lively death." It would be like a mouse talking about a safe mousetrap or a fish speaking of a safe hook or a pig thinking of a safe slaughterhouse. SIN IS NEVER SAFE! It is always dangerous, destructive, damning; and sin always brings with it disastrous consequences. Joseph was tempted in the direction of "safe sin" (Genesis 39:7-12) but he refused and HE ABSTAINED, fearing a holy God instead (verse 9).
What is "SAFE SEX"?
The four simple rules already discussed when taken together form God's definitions of safe sex. God has instituted marriage and within the framework of marriage there are four simple rules which God has established because God wants to outwork His holy purpose and plan for man. Those who follow these four simple rules can enjoy sex which is not only SAFE, but which is pure and unsoiled and enjoyable and pleasurable and holy and wonderful.
Let's review the rules again:
Rule #1- The marriage partner must not be an animal but a person.
Rule #2- The marriage partner must be the opposite sex .
Rule #3- The marriage partner must be ONE, not more than one.
Rule #4- The marriage union is to be permanent (compare Matthew 19:6), until broken by death (compare Romans 7:2-3).
Of course, basic to all these rules is the assumption that the sexual partner must be one's legitimate MARRIAGE PARTNER (Hebrews 13:4).
What then is God's definition of UNSAFE SEX? Any deviation from God's original purpose or plan, any breaking of the four simple rules given above, would be UNSAFE and VERY DANGEROUS SEX, subject to the judgment of God (Hebrews 13:4).
THE SIN OF HOMOSEXUALITY
Homosexuality is contrary to God's original plan for a man and woman. It is a serious deviation from what God originally designed and established for the good of mankind. As the Lord Jesus said, " from the beginning it was not so" (Matthew 19:8). Homosexuality is a violation of Rule #2--The marriage partner must be the opposite sex. Throughout the Bible, in both the Old and New Testaments, homosexuality is strongly condemned by the living God.
Years ago society as a whole took God's position and condemned homosexuality. Many if not most states had laws against sodomy in the books. Today this has completely changed. Homosexuals have come out of the closet, as it were, and are demanding that their lifestyle be recognized as valid and legitimate. Homosexuality is today being defended as a normal, natural, healthy, legitimate, alternative life-style.
There are Gay Pride Days in all the major American cities as thousands of homosexuals march and chant slogans such as this: "SAY IT LOUD, GAY IS PROUD!" The idea is this: "We are proud of our homosexuality! We are proud to be gay!"
Why don't we have PRIDE DAYS for adulterers or for thieves or for rapists or for drunkards? Why should only one group of sinners be allowed to parade and be proud of their sin? Perhaps other groups of sinners should demand equal rights! This calls to mind the verse in Isaiah 3:9-- "they parade their sin like Sodom" -NIV).
Biblical Support for Homosexuality?
As we would expect, there are homosexuals who go to the Bible to try to find support for their practices and for their unnatural lifestyle. One book was titled, Jonathan Loved David--Homosexuals in Bible Times. This book makes the groundless and erroneous claim that the relationship between David and Jonathan was a homosexual relationship. They twist such verses as 1 Samuel 18:1 and 2 Samuel 1:26-- "And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul....I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women." Homosexuals who look to use such passages to support their sinful conduct are revealing their own lack of understanding as to what true love is all about. They cannot understand how a man can love another man in a non-physical, non-sinful way. This kind of love is utterly foreign to them.
The greatest blasphemy of all is when they accuse Christ Himself of being a homosexual, thus transferring their own sin upon the Person of the blessed, sinless Son of God. They refer to such passages as John chapter 11 where the Scripture refers to Jesus' love for Lazarus and the people said, "Behold how He loved him!" (verse 36). Or they might go to John chapter 13 where it speaks about the disciple whom Jesus loved and how John was leaning on Jesus' breast (verse 23). The Apostle Peter warned about such people and their abuse of God's Word: "As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest [twist], as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness" (2 Peter 3:16-17).
What does the Lord Jesus really say about homosexuality? What has the living God said in His Word about this issue? Consider the following:
PASSAGES WHERE HOMOSEXUALITY
IS CONDEMNED BY GOD
1. The Sin of the First Sodomites (Genesis 18:20; 19:4-9).
"And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous....But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them [in a sexual way]. And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof. And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door" (Genesis 18:20; 19:4-9).
Several observations need to be made: (1) God's evaluation of the enormity and weightiness of the sin of Sodom: "And the LORD said...their sin is very grievous [heavy]" (Genesis 18:20). (2) The Sodomites, thinking the two angels were men, lusted after them: "bring them out unto us, that we may know them [carnally]" (Genesis 19:5). (3) Even Lot's offer of his own daughters could not satisfy their unnatural desires (Genesis 19:8-9). (4) This terrible and dreadful sin was repeated in the land of Israel during the period of the judges (Judges 19:22-30). (5) The SERIOUSNESS of the sin is seen by the SEVERITY of the judgment. The Sodomite men were struck with blindness (Genesis 19:11) and their city was destroyed by fire (Genesis 19:28-29). (6) Their sin was forever memorialized by the terms "Sodomite" and "Sodomy." (7) The sin of the Sodomites also involved pride, prosperity and abundance of idleness (Ezekiel 16:49) and such things most often lead to moral looseness and lewd immorality. (8) The sin of the Sodomites is mentioned twice in the New Testament as warning to those who should live ungodly today (2 Peter 2:6 and Jude 7).
We are sometimes told that the sin of the Sodomites was not homosexuality, but it was homosexual rape. Those who justify homosexuality try to argue that it is not wrong for a man to engage in sex with a man, but it is wrong for a man to force himself upon another man who is not consenting. Is it permissible for a man to engage in sex with another man?
2. The strong prohibition against homosexuality (Leviticus 18:22).
"Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination" (Leviticus 18:22).
For a man to lie sexually with another man is here strongly forbidden. In the following verse (v.23) bestiality is forbidden because it is a perversion. These were the very sins being practiced by the heathen in the land of Palestine (v.24-25).
In verse 22 we have the phrase "THOU SHALT NOT." This is the strongest way in the Hebrew language to tell a person not to do something. This is the same formula found in many of the 10 Commandments. It is an absolute prohibition and it could be translated, "THOU SHALT NEVER." Literally the verse says, "Thou shalt not [never] lie with a male as one lies with a female" (that is, in a sexual way).
What does God think about homosexuality? The verse says, "It is an ABOMINATION!" This means that it is detestable, loathsome, repulsive and heinous. It is one of the strongest words to describe God's hatred of something. It is a stench in God's nostrils like the smell of vomit! It is something that is disgusting, nauseating, revolting and sickening to God. The reason it is an abomination is that it is so contrary to what God has designed and established for the good of mankind.
To understand more fully the seriousness of this sin and others like it, read the remaining verses in Leviticus chapter 18 (verses 24-30). It is these very acts that DEFILE the land (v.24-25). Because of these abominable practices God removed (vomited out) certain nations from the land of Palestine (v.27-28). God warns His people that if they should practice any of these abominations, they would be CUT OFF from among the people (v.29).
Gentile nations of the past have been severely judged by God because of such practices: "And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants" (verse 25). Americans would do well to heed this serious and sober warning.
3. The Penalty for Homosexuality under the Mosaic Law (Leviticus 20:13).
"If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them" (Leviticus 20:13).
The term "mankind" is the Hebrew term for "male." If a man lies with a male as one lies with a female, both of them have committed an abomination. This repeats the teaching of Leviticus 18:22, only now the penalty is given: "they shall surely be put to death." If you were living in the days of Moses, under the law of God, homosexuality was punishable by DEATH. "What about 'Gay Rights'?" The teaching of God was that it was RIGHT to put those who practiced such things to death. The death penalty was demanded. The Hebrew construction "they shall surely be put to death" is very similar to that found in Genesis 2:17-- "...for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou [Adam] shalt surely die." Under the Mosaic law, those caught in the act of homosexuality would surely, most certainly be put to death.
The expression "their blood shall be upon them" is highly significant. A similar phrase is found in Matthew 27:25-- "Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children." What did these words mean? The Jews who demanded Christ's death by crucifixion were saying this: "We take full responsibility for Christ's death. Pilate, His death and His blood will not be upon you, but upon us. We assume full responsibility for this death."
In Leviticus 20:13 God tells us that those men who engaged in a homosexual act were fully responsible for this deed and had to bear the consequences of it, namely, the death penalty. These men were fully responsible for this sin that they committed. Homosexuality is not some inborn, innate tendency over which a man has no control. Rather it is something that a man chooses to do, and God holds him fully responsible for that action. A man can never legitimately say, "I could not help it. I was born this way. I have no control over my sexual conduct. I am not responsible for my actions and I should not be punished for something that I could not help. I cannot change what and who I am." No, this man was fully responsible for his own death ("[his] blood shall be upon [him]") because he chose to commit a crime worthy of death.
4. No Sodomites Allowed in the Land (Deuteronomy 23:17-18).
"There shall be no WHORE of the daughters of Israel, nor a SODOMITE of the sons of Israel. Thou shalt not bring the hire of a WHORE, or the price of a DOG, into the house of the LORD thy God for any vow: for even both these are abomination unto the LORD thy God" (Deuteronomy 23:17-18 with emphasis).
This verse deals with what was a common practice in the heathen world, namely temple prostitution. The heathen temples were cesspools of immorality and fornication and prostitution. A man could enter such a temple and for a price could choose either a female or a male sexual partner. The term "WHORE" refers to a female prostitute, and the term "SODOMITE" refers to a male prostitute. The term "DOG" of verse 18 refers to the SODOMITE of verse 17. The term "SODOMITE" comes from a Hebrew root which means "holy." How could such an unholy prostitute be called "holy"? The answer is found in the fact that the basic meaning of the term "holy" is "SET APART," and this man was set apart, not for holy purposes, but for very IMMORAL purposes.
The term "SODOMITE" is "employed in the Authorized Version (KJV) of the Old Testament for those who practiced as a religious rite the abominable and unnatural vice from which the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah have derived their lasting infamy" ( Smith's Bible Dictionary). This term is used repeatedly in the books of 1 and 2 Kings. In the days of Rehoboam, Solomon's son, we read this: "And there were also SODOMITES in the land: and they did according to all the ABOMINATIONS of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel" (1 Kings 14:24). In Deuteronomy God said that there must not be any Sodomite among the sons of Israel. In the days of Rehoboam there were Sodomites among the sons of Israel. It was a time of great spiritual decline: "And Judah did evil in the sight of the LORD, and they provoked Him to jealousy with their sins which they had committed, above all that their fathers had done" (1 Kings 14:22).
Later, there were certain godly kings in Judah who rectified this problem of temple prostitution. Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord (1 Kings 15:11), and the first recorded RIGHT act that he did was to banish the Sodomites from the land (1 Kings 15:12). Later this abominable practice again took root but in the days of Jehoshaphat the Sodomites were again banished from the land (1 Kings 22:46). In the days of Josiah these Sodomites had brought their tents or huts or ritual booths right into the courtyard of God's temple, but godly king Josiah got rid of them (2 Kings 23:7).
It is interesting that the godly kings of Judah drove the Sodomites out of the land. Today in America we invite them into the White House!
5. Homosexuality is a Result of Rejecting the Creator (Romans 1:24-27).
"Wherefore GOD also GAVE THEM UP to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause GOD GAVE THEM UP unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet" (Romans 1:24-27).
In the above passage, notice the words and phrases which are used to describe the sin of homosexuality:
It is UNCLEAN, filthy, morally foul, morally polluted.
It DISHONORS THE BODY, it is degrading.
It involves VILE AFFECTIONS (dishonorable, degrading and disgraceful passions).
It is AGAINST NATURE, contrary to the original intention of the Creator.
It is UNNATURAL ("leaving the natural use"), contrary to God-ordained sex relations.
It involves BURNING LUST, being sexually inflamed, boiling with unnatural lust.
It is UNSEEMLY, shameful.
It is ERROR.
According to this passage, why do people do such things? It all begins with a REJECTION OF THE CREATOR: "For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead [deity]; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they GLORIFIED HIM NOT AS GOD, NEITHER WERE THANKFUL; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened" (Romans 1:20-21).
The great error and sin of these people was twofold: (1) They did not honor God for WHO HE WAS; (2) They did not thank God for WHAT HE HAD DONE. They rejected HIS PERSON and HIS WORK. As a result God GAVE THEM UP to their own hearts' lust. They ABANDONED God and therefore God ABANDONED them and gave them up to the horrible sins mentioned in verses 24-32. The result was not evolution and progress but degeneration and regression. They became FOOLS (verse 22). Homosexuality, according to Romans 1, is the predictable result of a society that fails to honor God and recognize His truth (verses 18, 21).
6. Homosexuality is contrary to sound doctrine (1 Timothy 1:9-10).
"Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine" (1 Timothy 1:9-10).
Sound doctrine is that HEALTHY TEACHING of the truths of God's Word which results in HEALTHY LIVING (living God's way for God's glory). The term "them that defile themselves with mankind" is the same term that is found in 1 Corinthians 6:9 ("abusers of themselves with mankind"). This term refers to a male homosexual, a pederast, a sodomite.
Consider the list of sinners mentioned in 1 Timothy 1:9-10. Notice that homosexuals are grouped together with the following: "the ungodly," "murderers of fathers," "murderers of mothers," "manslayers," "fornicators," "kidnappers," etc. If homosexuality were really a legitimate, alternate life-style in God's sight, then we would not expect homosexuals to be listed together with the worst kind of sinners imaginable. What is even more fascinating is that Paul groups himself with these sinners in verse 15. He says, of all the sinners, "I AM CHIEF (first)." Picture, if you would, the sinners listed in verses 9-10 forming a parade and marching down the city street. Marching in this parade are murderers, kidnappers, homosexuals, liars, etc. In verse 15 Paul was saying, "I want you to know that I was at the head of that parade. I am the CHIEF sinner, because I persecuted the church of God." Why was Paul's sin so great? Because he attacked the body of the Lord Jesus Christ (see Acts 9:4-- "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?").
Thus in this passage we find great HOPE for homosexuals. Paul was saying that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Paul was saying, "If He could save me, the CHIEF sinner, then He can certainly save a homosexual or a murderer or a kidnapper or an ungodly person." "Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting (1 Timothy 1:16). The GRACE of the Lord Jesus Christ is far GREATER than the SIN of homosexuality. Has the grace of God conquered your heart?
7. The Cure For Homosexuality (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God" (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
In this passage two of the terms refer to homosexuals:
1. effeminate--one who is soft (Greek malakos ; compare the English term "sissy"), effeminate, especially a catamite (a man or a boy who allows himself to be used homosexually), a male who submits his body to a homosexual, taking the female or passive role. This is a PASSIVE homosexual.
2. abusers of themselves with mankind--a male homosexual, one who practices anal intercourse, a sodomite. Literally this Greek word ( arsenokoitoi ) is made up of two parts: (1) male; (2) bed (euphemism for sexual intercourse). Thus the term means one who goes to bed with a male. It carries with it the idea of a man lying with a man as one would with a woman (compare Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13). This is an ACTIVE homosexual.
Verse 9 teaches that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom. They will have no part in God's kingdom. They will be excluded. Compare Matthew 25:34 which describes the blessed state of those who inherit the kingdom and verse 41 which describes the cursed state of those who do not inherit the kingdom.
The term "unrighteous" in verse 9 is further defined by the list of life-dominating sins that are mentioned in verses 9-10. For example, adulterers will not inherit the kingdom. These are people whose lives are dominated by the sin of adultery. David committed an act of adultery, but his life was not dominated and characterized by this sin. He confessed this sin and turned from it (Psalm 32 and 51). In verse 10 it mentions "drunkards." Noah got drunk on one occasion, but his life was not dominated and characterized by this sin. Is there HOPE for those whose lives are dominated and characterized by the sin of homosexuality?
There is great HOPE to be found in a gracious GOD: " And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God" (1 Corinthians 6:11). Notice that it says, "and such WERE some of you." It does not say, "and such ARE some of you." Some of the Corinthian believers WERE homosexual (and some of them were drunkards, adulterers, etc.). But they had CHANGED. They were homosexual in the past, but after they met the Saviour they were homosexual no longer. Their SALVATION involved a CHANGE in their life-style and an abandonment of sexual conduct which was contrary to God's Word. Some of these Corinthian believers were at one time homosexuals, but now they were EX-homosexuals. This gives great HOPE to every homosexual or lesbian because this means that such a person can change. By the grace of God such a person can be JUSTIFIED (declared righteous in Christ), SANCTIFIED (set apart for God's service) and WASHED (judicially cleansed of all sin)--see verse 11. "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Is Homosexuality a Sickness?
It used to be fashionable in our society to consider homosexuality as some kind of SICKNESS. If homosexuality is a sickness, then there is no hope for the homosexual. There is no cure! There is no pill that the person can take. There is no operation which a doctor could perform to remedy this problem. No hospital, no doctor and no medicine can provide help for such a person.
Today society has regressed to the point that it sees homosexuality as a HEALTHY, alternative life-style, and not a sickness at all. It is seen as something good and healthy and right and beneficial for those who are so oriented. Our society once wrongly labeled it as a sickness, but at least it was recognized as a problem and as a disorder. Today it is often viewed as normal and healthy.
The homosexual must recognize that he has a problem and that the problem is sin before a holy God. If homosexuality is a SIN, then this means that there is great HOPE and great HELP! If it is really SIN, then there is really a SOLUTION! There is really a SAVIOUR who died for SINNERS. The remedy and the cure is found in Christ.
Is Homosexuality Inborn and Genetic?
If we tell people that homosexuality is something that they are born with, then we are telling them that there is no hope for change. If I am born with it and if this is part of my physical make-up, then how could this possibly be changed? If you are born with green eyes, this is something that can't be changed. If you are born with genes that determine that you are going to be 5 feet 11 inches tall, then this is how tall you are going to be. There is no way to change it.
There are certain scientific studies which have gained much media attention which suggest that homosexuality is genetic and inborn. The author of one such study is Simon LeVay, a neurobiologist at the Salk Institute near San Diego. He himself is homosexual. In 1991 he published evidence of a structural difference between the brains of homosexual and heterosexual men. However, LeVay is quick to caution that his work does not prove that sexual preference is hard-wired into us before birth. Listen to LeVay's own words:
It is important to stress what I didn't find. I did not prove that homosexuality is genetic, or find a genetic cause for being gay. I didn't show that gay men are "born that way," the most common mistake people make in interpreting my work. Nor did I locate a gay center in the brain. [See Discover Magazine, March 1994, p. 66]
Dr. Martin Bobgan has given the following critique of LeVay's work:
When LeVay's work was examined, flaws soon emerged. He had, in the course of post-mortem examinations, studied the brains of 19 homosexual men, 16 heterosexual men, and 6 women, looking at a particular part--the third interstitial nucleus of the anterior hypothalamus (INAH3). His findings were not clear-cut for some of the homosexual men. Worse still, the study was confused by major unknown factors, such as the fact that the 19 homosexual men had died of AIDS, and it is not known what effect AIDS may have on the dying brain.
As it happens, there is no clear-cut evidence that the INAH3 area of the brain is its "sex-centre." We simply do not know that. Also we do not know what effect homosexual activity itself may have on that part of the brain.
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is a brain scan technique which examines the metabolism of the brain. Studies have been made of patients who suffered from obsessive compulsive problems, and who were being treated by means of behaviour modification techniques which required them to carry out certain assignments, and to learn to think in certain ways. PET scans of these patients have yielded extremely interesting results, showing that patients undergoing behaviour modification therapy underwent a definite change in their brain metabolism.
The following question may well be asked: If behaviour modification directed by psychologists changes the metabolism of the brain, may it also be affected by the adoption of homosexual activities?
These matters are so complex that we dare not come to conclusions until there is much more information, and some of that information may not come for years. But it is possible that the people on whom Simon LeVay carried out post-mortem examinations had undergone some change in the INAH3 portion of the brain as a result of their homosexual activities. -- [ Is It Genes or Choice? Article by Dr. Martin Bobgan, East Gate Publishers, 4137 Primavera Rd., Santa Barbara, CA 93110]
In October 2003 a research study was published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior (Vol. 32, No. 5, pp. 403-417) entitled "Can Some Gay Men and Lesbians Change Their Sexual Orientation?" The author was Dr. Robert L. Spitzer. The conclusion of this study sent shock waves across the "politically correct" establishment because it demonstrated the following hypothesis: "Some individuals whose sexual orientation is predominantly homosexual can become predominantly heterosexual following some form of reparative therapy" (p. 405).
This finding totally contradicts the prevailing opinion that a person is homosexual because he is born that way and there is no hope of change. But Dr. Spitzer, a psychiatrist at Columbia University, gave evidence that those struggling with homosexuality can leave that lifestyle behind. The accepted dogma of the day is that therapy designed to change a persons sexual orientation is not only useless, but also harmful. For example, the American Psychiatric Association published this position statement in 1998: "...there is no published scientific evidence supporting the efficacy of reparative therapy as a treatment to change ones sexual orientation....The potential risks of reparative therapy are great, including depression, anxiety, and self-destructive behavior." In other words, their position is that a person is born homosexual and no therapy can change this fact. This kind of therapy can only cause harm to the person who is deceived into thinking that he can change.
Dr. Spitzers research totally contradicted this idea that gays can never change their sexual orientation. His research is all the more interesting in light of the fact that he was one of the major forces in removing homosexuality from the American Psychiatric Associations list of mental disorders in 1973.
Dr. Spitzer's most recent study involved 153 men and 47 women, all of whom reported that they had left homosexuality behind, after undergoing counseling. Also they had maintained the change for at least five years. Spitzer concluded that 66 percent of the men and 44 percent of the women had arrived at what he called "good heterosexual functioning."
Dr. Spitzer describes his research in his own words:
Although initially skeptical, in the course of the study, the author became convinced of the possibility of change in some gay men and lesbians (p. 412).
This study indicates that some gay men and lesbians, following reparative therapy, report that they have made major changes from a predominantly homosexual orientation to a predominantly heterosexual orientation...The changes encompassed sexual attraction, arousal, fantasy, yearning, and being bothered by homosexual feelings. The changes encompassed the core aspects of sexual orientation (p. 413).
Change in sexual orientation following some kind of therapy does occur in some gay men and lesbians. This is contrary to the conventional view that true change in well established sexual orientation does not occur (p. 413).
Mental health professionals should stop moving in the direction of banning therapy that has as a goal a change in sexual orientation (p. 414).
Dr. Spitzers concluded his article in this way: "This study provides evidence that some gay men and lesbians are able to also change the core features of sexual orientation" (p. 415).
As expected, Dr. Spitzers findings sparked enormous criticism from the pro-homosexual community. His study flatly contradicted their belief that a person is born gay and can never change: "Im gay. Thats who I am. Ill always be this way. For me change is impossible." But the evidence does not support such an understanding of homosexuality. Change is not only possible, but countless numbers of ex-gays are demonstrating the reality of such a change.
A friend of mine is a national spokesman for those struggling with homosexuality. He has also been active in exposing the radical and militant gay agenda, and their attack on the traditional family. My friend himself was gay and he was convinced that he was born that way and could not change. For over a decade he indulged in the gay lifestyle and had over 100 same sex partners. Then one day a friend shared with him the gospel of Jesus Christ. Today he is happily married to a beautiful Christian woman and is the proud father of two wonderful children. He is a living example that a homosexual can change and can live a satisfying life by being the man, husband and father that God would have him to be.
The Bible clearly teaches that a person under the bondage of the life-dominating sin of homosexuality can CHANGE and be an EX-homosexual (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). This indicates that homosexuality is a conduct and behavior that can be changed, not a birth defect that a person must ever live with. It is a sin which can be repented of and turned from.
We must never forget that people are homosexuals because of their own personal choice. They are fully responsible for the sin which they commit-- "their blood shall be upon them" (Leviticus 20:13). At the same time, we recognize that there may be certain physical or environmental factors that may predispose a person towards homosexuality, but the choice to behave that way still rests with the individual.
For example, certain factors may predispose a person to the sin of drinking (drunkenness). Certain persons for a variety of reasons are strongly tempted by alcohol. Due to background, make-up and environmental influences, there are others who may never have the slightest temptation to drink. One man may be strongly tempted in the direction of pornography but the thought of shoplifting would never cross his mind. Another man might not be drawn to pornography, but the temptation to steal from a store might be very strong. We all have certain sins towards which we are more prone than others. One person might be prone to homosexuality; another man might be prone to the sin of adultery. In either case sin is sin and must be avoided. The adulterer commits adultery because he chooses to do so. The same must be said of the homosexual.
Homosexuality will never be conquered until the guilty person acknowledges that it is a sin against God and sees it as God sees it. Only then can victory be won through God's Son and the deliverance which He alone provides.
The Believer's Attitude Toward the Homosexual
What should our attitude be towards homosexuals? It should be the same as our attitude towards any other kind of sinners. Homosexuals should be loved as people for whom Christ died. We should desire and seek their salvation. We must love the person with Christ's love, even though we must hate and detest the sin as Christ does. Remember, the Church of Jesus Christ is filled with ex-sinners of every kind! What a testimony to the grace of God that He can take a practicing Sodomite and transform him into a new creature in Christ!
God's standards have not been lowered. God's moral absolutes have not changed, in spite of the moral shifting of our godless society. God's people need to set the example. To the married: Exemplify what God's kind of marriage is all about. Let the world see a holy and healthy marriage relationship where the Lord Jesus Christ is honored and where absolute faithfulness and loyalty to one's marriage partner is practiced.
To the unmarried: One of the best gifts you can give to your future marriage partner, if God should have this for you, is your own sexual purity. Keep yourself pure. Learn to wait on the Lord for His good pleasure in His good time. Sexual purity is something that can never fully be regained once it is lost.
To those who have failed: There are many in our day, even among professing believers, who have violated God's standards and have disobeyed God's commands relating to purity, chastity, faithfulness, etc. If the Lord should mark iniquities, who would stand? But with the Lord there is mercy and forgiveness, that He might be feared (see Psalm 130). In humbleness of soul and in honesty of heart, acknowledge your sins before a holy God. The Lord is able to forgive and cleanse. Remember, regardless of past failures, you can always start right where you are. Get your heart right with the Saviour. "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up" (James 4:10).
To the homosexual: God has good news for you. You can come to know a great God and Saviour who can satisfy the deepest needs of your heart. You need to know that you are homosexual, not because you were born that way, but because you were born in sin which you inherited from your father Adam. It was the first Adam that got you into the trouble you are in (Psalm 51:5; 58:3; Isaiah 53:6; Romans 5:12). It is the last Adam, the Lord Jesus Christ, that can get you out of trouble:
"Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of One the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous" (Romans 5:18-19).
"But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name" (John 1:12).
-- George Zeller, 9/1/94 revised 4/5/95 and 2/27/04
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BIG BUMP TO The Middletown Bible Church!
The silly argument about persons not making a "choice" to be gay completely ignores the fact that people make self-destructive choices and engage in self-destructive behavior all the time. Just because the consequences of those choices are negative does not mean that the choice was not made. The argument is logically ridiculous. People choose not to do what is best for themselves or their loved ones because of selfish, short-sighted interests.
If a man is attracted to a woman he is not married to, does that mean he has an adultery/fornication gene? Does it therefore mean that adultery and/or fornication is not a sin for this man? Moreover then shall it be a hate crime to suggest that people not have sex outside of Marriage?
That prescription certainly seems to be working down in Africa. SA is to the point where three of five adults in the country have AIDS.
A number of the 11 links at the bottom don't work anymore. Do you have an updated list?
Yet another attempt to blame man's sin on GOD. Sorry but it just does not stand up to truth.
Nope. Anti-gay bilge like this is just Christian Viciousness in a suit and tie.
Mind you, I have doubts about the existence of a 'gay gene' myself: if such a thing existed, it would see to be a prime candidate for being 'selected out'. But this sort of pseudo-rational argument is just smoke from the fires of Hell.
I agree with YOU 100%. My gay nephew is much more feminine than I am and I am a woman. He was always feminine. He always played with dolls. When in baseball and soccer he preferred to chase butterflies and dragonflies. He never dated girls. I much prefer for him to live quietly with another man than for either one of them to sleep around in San Francisco. They just want to live quietly in peace and they have NO agenda. They NEVER even mention being gay.
And all the talk about a marriage amendment....
Fine IF it also totally outlaws all divorce.
That is the ONLY way we can have marriage is one man and one woman. Divorce would totally destroy that notion.
Also all premarital sex should be outlawed. That is a sin. Also a sin, lying, stealing, speeding, running stop signs, telling someone they look great when they look bad = a lie.....
The reason we get worked up is that the sodomites don't keep their sexuality to themselves, but want to flaunt it in our face, teach it in our schools, and earn special treatment.
You are totally right~ Chastity Bono, daughter of Sonny Bono and Cher is lesbian, and she said she would NOT wish being gay on anyone. It is a difficult life. Looking back I now realize that there were always gay people around. We called them bachelors and old maids. But they were really old and never married. Now I find out that many of them WERE gay. They were very discreet about it.
IF gays could change, they would change VERY early on. Like my three friends from high school who were gay and made a suicide pact. For them, that was easier than living with being gay.
I think most gays just want to be left alone.
NOT all of them do that. And ANY heterosexual who has EVER had sex with someone they are not married to, are in the same sinful boat. Everyone thinks their own sin is whiter than the next guy's sin. The Ten Commandments - break one, you break them all.
The current controversy isn't whether government should get involved in what some adults do in private, almost everyone agrees it should not.
Rather at current issue in the U.S. is whether or not the government should sanction gay relationships as Marriages. And in some more "progressive" nations, whether or not the Christians should be allowed to maintain that homosexuality is a sin.
Although Mass has the lowest divorce rate, it also has the lowest marriage rate. If homosexuals can marry, it seems that darned few other people want to.
September 18, 2004- Drs. Warren Throckmorton and Mark Yarhouse led an American Psychological Association panel to discuss sexual-orientation theories and the possibility of change. The panel, held in late July, was part of the APA's annual conference, which took place this year in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Dr. Throckmorton and Dr. Yarhouse presented evidence from their research that indicated that individuals could overcome same-sex attractions--especially those clients with a religious background.
According to Dr. Throckmorton, "Mark and I presented the side that argued that a same-sex attraction does not obligate a person to declare a gay identity. We argued that sexual identity management was a very viable option for young people whose beliefs and values do not endorse homosexuality."
Throckmorton and Yarhouse view success in changing a person's sexual orientation not as something quickly achieved, but as a process over time.
During the Q&A session, both psychologists were treated cordially and with respect. "It was the kind of response that I think a professional association ought to be known for," said Throckmorton. He noted that when he spoke four years ago at an APA conference in Washington, DC, the audience was decidedly hostile to his message. This year was different. He expressed appreciation to the APA for allowing such a panel to be conducted.
Throckmorton was also encouraged that a number of psychology graduate students were in the audience, and he expressed gratitude that they had been exposed to his views. "These graduate students were exposed to a perspective they had never heard before," said Throckmorton.
Dr. Brent Scharman, past president of the Utah Psychological Association, told Throckmorton that this was the best presentation he had heard in 20 years.
Well, in that case you must have a problem with heterosexuals, too... I mean, Madonna, Brittney Spears? Not exactly modest blushing maidens, are they?
Everyone except yourself?
You did a great job telling the truth!
Homosexuality in most cases is obviously inherent and probably genetic. So far it has remained incurable in most cases, despite repeated, aggressive attempts by many to cure it, and most homosexuals have tremendous incentive to alter their orientation.
I am heterosexual. This is not optional. It is the way I am, have always been, and will always be.
I do not think homosexuals find their sexual orientation to be optional either.
bump for later read
Yeah, right! Try telling that to God when you see Him! You're in for a big letdown!
Consider this liberal internal struggle: If a "gay gene" allows expecting parents to identify homosexuality in their unborn child and abortion is a convenient method of disposing of unwanted children, will liberals accept the right to choose the aborting of children because they are gay?
No man forces another to stick his shaft into his feces. That is a choice, as is gay behavior. It remains a preference, not an orientation.
Ewww! That's way too graphic! I'm gonna need bleach to clean that mental image!
"It's a boy!" Someone tell these folks to determine if the gene is outwardly expressed with a penis. This article is right on the money.
Consider this liberal internal struggle: If a "gay gene" allows expecting parents to identify homosexuality in their unborn child and abortion is a convenient method of disposing of unwanted children, will liberals accept the right to choose the aborting of children because they are gay?
Should there be discrimination in the right to murder a constituency that is overwhelmingly likely to vote democrat?
Presently, abortions are preformed in the black community, a democrat constituency, at a disproportionately higher rate than the general population without objection from the abortion lobby.
That is the prevailing view. As a generalization, I agree with you. Patterns and personality traits are formed in early childhood which can never be completely overcome.
Please direct me to this in the Bible.
This a realtistic finding, actively engaging in homosexuality CHANGES YOU, not the other way around