The Gay Gene?

(Warning, I am in a parenthetical mood)
Ah, talk of the gay gene has been knocked about the media for some years. (No not Gene Robinson–that is the openly gay Episcipol bishop, a different sort of gay Gene)

Daniel at Ex-Gay Watch, (who btw recently gifted me with a stunning collection of Indian spices and curry packets), posted about a study that states men with older brothers are more likely to turn out gay. He then wondered how ex-gay spokespersons might respond to a possible biological link to gayness. Comments ensued including one from Peter O who explained,

This research doesn’t prove either way because the causation of the homosexuality wasn’t studied. All the research does is *observe* that younger brothers are more likely to be homosexual, but there is NO biological data to go alongside to show why.

Good point. (and where have you been Peter O? I miss your comments on this blog–oh and I am coming to the UK again soon!)

It got me thinking (and commenting) about the elusive gay gene and at least one ex-gay’s prepared reaction to it.

One of my ex-gay handlers (the director of a large ex-gay program) admitted to the group that he didn’t know if gayness was caused by nature or nurture. He stated that even if same-sex attractions were a genetic issue–a gay gene–he would still fight it (and insist that others fight too).

He then taught us that Indians (aka Native Americans, First Nation People) have a genetic disposition to alcoholism. Should they embrace their alcoholism and have drunk pride parades? No! (As opposed to drunk Pride parades)

Even though it may be biological, the natural urge to drink booze needs to be fought or it will destory the person (and the community–a slippery slope that I imagine ultimately leads to casinos).

In the same way, he concluded, if there is a gay gene, it is a BAD gene, a defect, an inborn sinful inclination that needs to be overcome–scientific proof of a sinful nature.

(And now an entirely different gay Gene)
Image hat tip fark.com. Check out the many ways they make Gene Simmons gay.

This post has 8 Comments

  1. SteveSchalchlin on June 26, 2006 at 8:14 pm Reply

    I might be wrong about this, but I think the main reason the exgays world objects to the biological origin of homosexuality is not so much the “right or wrong” of it, but the argument about whether it can be changed. For them, their whole reparative therapy model is built on the position that it’s a psychological problem which can be “fixed” through therapy.

    If homosexuality is genetic, then the Moberley Model dies and so does NARTH.

  2. Jennifer on June 26, 2006 at 11:03 pm Reply

    Very interesting ideas you brought forth hear for others to think about. Homosexuality is nature more than it is nurture.

  3. Jimbo on June 26, 2006 at 11:19 pm Reply

    I’ve always had an issue with the comparison between the ‘evils’ of alcoholism and homosexuality.

    You can abstain from alcohol and that makes you temperate. But if you ‘abstain’ from homosexual behaviour, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re heterosexual.

    And the comparison ignores the vast numbers of moderate drinkers?

  4. Peterson Toscano on June 27, 2006 at 1:00 am Reply

    Steve, no doubt the a biological origin will put a wrench in the works for them. So often when I hear Moberley’s “theories” it sounds like I am reading the description of a one of the zodiac signs.

    You know those books which tells you the makeup of a person whose sign is Scorpio or Gemini. I’ll read one and say, “ah, yeah, that is so right. Pegs me perfectly.” Only to realize I was reading the WRONG sign!

    Jimbo–a moderate homosexual. Almost sounds as odd as a tolerant conservative.

    Jennifer–GREAT to see you back on the blog!!!

  5. brittanicals on June 27, 2006 at 5:25 am Reply

    Sometimes I wonder if the creator made a certain amount of us gay because he knew that others of us would over do the whole “go forth and multiply” thing. Not that gays don’t ever become parents one way or another, but at least its a thoughtful decision, not ever the result of too much tequila and general horniness.

    Brittanicals, a straight breeder of four boys who thanks God every single day for her gay friends.

  6. Nillo on June 27, 2006 at 1:37 pm Reply

    Somehow I think that even when it’s more solidly proven that where we all lie along the Kinsey scale is genetic and they can pinpoint the “gay” gene, I still think the reparative theory people will just change course and start looking for science to “fix” the problem or simply say that some people were “called to celibacy.”

    I also found the “Native Americans are genetically predisposed to alcoholism” inference made by the ex-gay group leader to be somewhat insulting. The rate of alcoholism among Native Americans is higher because the rate of alcoholism (and also the likelihood of being a smoker) among ANY disenfranchised group is higher.

  7. Clint on June 27, 2006 at 11:50 pm Reply

    So, playing devil’s advocate, if the argument against supporting a genetically predisposed alcoholic lifestyle is valid, what then of the argument supporting a genetically predisposed gay “lifestyle”?

  8. Ex-Ex gay Shawn O'Donnell on June 27, 2006 at 11:58 pm Reply

    There are many things I can call myself these days. Gay, Christian, Recovering Alcoholic, Recovering Drug Addict, and a Recovering Sex Addict. The alcohol, drugs, and sex are all symptoms of greater pains that happened in my life. Being Gay and Christian are not symptoms. I am proud these days to be gay. It is what Christ made me to be. I am proud to be a Christian and share the love of Christ with those who would seek to destroy the love He bestowed upon us.

    Being gay is not a disease and doesn’t hurt anyone. Alcoholism, begin a drug addict, and sex addiction can hurt other people as well as yourself it makes me angry when people equate being an addict with being gay. I don’t see the correlation.

    My additions where symptoms, of a greater problem: Me not being able to accept myself being gay. Something I wrote recently in my blog:

    “Recently, I was thinking how addictions played a big role in why I went into a residential live in program. It is my opinion that many gay Christians go to residential programs or other reparative therapy groups not because they are gay, but because they are addicted.”

    “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

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