Homosexuality: Origin in Genetics or Moral Depravity?
From the beginning of man’s existence he has attempted to find an excuse for his disobedience to God (Genesis 3:12). In recent years those who engage in the homosexual lifestyle have attempted to uphold their unrighteousness by appealing to the Bible. To justify their lifestyle they claim that Cain and Abel, Ruth and Naomi, Jonathan and David, Paul and Timothy, and Jesus and John engaged in homosexual (or lesbian) relationships (Debate on Homosexuality, Eaves and Johnson, Gospel Light, Delight, Arkansas). In a further attempt to defend their sinful lifestyle, the homosexuals have declared that they were born homosexual. In this decade many articles in magazines and newspapers have appeared declaring that homosexuality is genetically determined. The headlines boldly declare, “Finding Links Homosexuality to Brain Cells” and “Genetic Link to Homosexuality Found.” Even government agencies have declared. “They [gay, lesbian and bisexual youth and adults] often feel rejected because of their sexual orientation, over which they have no control.” Listed under “Prevention strategies recommended for the gay, lesbian, and bisexual communities” are eight suggestions, one of which is, “Increasing community understanding and acceptance of homosexuality” (Prevention Works, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, State Health Department, Nashville, TN, pp. 59-60). Is homosexuality a matter of “biological destiny” or “moral depravity”?
“Finding Links Homosexuality to Brain Cells”
In Science, August 1991, Simon LeVay of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, San Diego, California reported: “A cluster of brain cells that may guide the sex drive of men is twice as large in heterosexual males as it is in homosexual males, suggesting that homosexuality could be a matter of biological destiny.”
The headline of the report was very definite, “Finding Links Homosexuality to Brain Cells”, but LeVay stated, “I don’t know if the structure caused the behavior or it the behavior modified the structure, said LeVay. He said the INAH (Interstitial nuclei of the anterior hypothalamus) possibly could form normally in homosexual men and then, for some reason, shrink or die in adult life. But he said, based on animal studies, I would put my money on the idea that this is causative and influences behavior.”
What started out as proof positive is later relegated to a bet, “I don’t know… I would put my money on the idea…”
William M. Byne of Columbia University while appearing on the American Psychiatric Association Symposium in San Francisco noted, “LeVay’s study has been criticized partly because he analyzed 41 brains – too small a sample to constitute persuasive evidence. The LeVay study lacked adequate data about the medical history of the brain’s deceased owners. That data is vital because the size of the brain components can be affected by disease. For example, HIV infection could alter a patient’s testosterone levels, which in turn would shrink the tiny part of the hypothalamus that LeVay has linked to male homosexuality.” (The Tennessean, Saturday, May 29, 1993)
Chandler Burr in his article, “Homosexuality and Biology,” which appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, March 1993, had these comments about LeVays report: “LeVay dissected brain tissue from routine autopsies of forty-one people who died at hospitals in New York and California. There were nineteen homosexual men, all of whom had died of AIDS; sixteen presumed heterosexual men, six of whom had been intravenous drug abusers and had died of AIDS; and six presumed heterosexual women. No brain tissue from lesbians was available. LeVay’s conclusions included the following. INAH 3 did exhibit dimorphism… the volume of this nucleus was more than twice as large in the heterosexual men… as in the homosexual men… There was a similar difference between the heterosexual men and the women… These data support the hypothesis that INAH 3 is dimorphic not with sex but with sexual orientation, at least in men.”
The results were sufficiently clear to LeVay to allow him to state, “The discovery that a nucleus differs in size between homosexual men illustrate that sexual orientation in humans is amenable to study at the biological level.” The study, as LeVay himself readily admits, has several problems: a small sample group, great variation in individual nucleus size, and possible skewed results because all the gay men had AIDS (although LeVay found “no significant difference in the volume of INAH 3 between heterosexual men who died of AIDS and those who died of other causes.”). As of this writing, LeVay’s findings have yet to be replicated by other researchers. LeVay himself has extended his search for dimorphism according to sexual orientation to the corpus callosum, which he is studying by means of magnetic resonance imaging. Until his original findings are confirmed, the notion that homosexuals and heterosexuals are in some way anatomically distinct must hold the status of tantalizing supposition.
“Genetic Link to Homosexuality Found”
Dean Hamer, a geneticist at the National Cancer Institute, along with National Cancer Institute researchers, published their study in the journal Science. They reported, “This is the strongest evidence to date that there is an important genetic component to sexual orientation.” (Herald-Citizen, Cookeville, TN, Friday, July 16, 1993 and The Tennessean, Friday Julie 16, 1993)
“Reports’ Findings Linked by Chromosomes”
Twenty-eight months later the results of an additional study by Dean Hamer was published in the journal Nature Genetics. The reports reads in part, “Scientists have found new evidence that a gene inherited from mothers helps influence whether a man is homosexual, bolstering a study that made headlines in 1993. The latest study does not identify a specific gene. But like Hamer’s 1993 study, it suggests such a gene resides in a particular region of the X chromosome, one of the microscopic thread-like structures that carry genes. Men inherit the X chromosome from their mothers. Hamer said that there was no way to know how strongly the gene influences the development of homosexuality in men.”
It is amazing to note the positive headlines, “Genetic Link to Homosexuality Found”, but when you read the article you find researchers are saying, “Put my money on the idea,” “suggesting,” or “don’t really know.” One thing is very, very evident, they are hoping!
“Gayness in the Genes? Another Media Shell Game”
Under this headline Cal Thomas makes these comments concerning Dean Hamer’s genetic research:
“The “discovery” of “new evidence” of a “gay gene” was trumpeted on the front page of the Washington Post as a scientific breakthrough equivalent to a cure for cancer. But the story is another exercise in the uncritical “reporting” by most of the major media when it comes to homosexuality and an example of the loss of credibility the presssuffers when it climbs into bed with an advocacy group.
The Post fails to mention that Hamer’s widely trumpeted 1993 “gay gene” study is under investigation for alleged fraud by the Federal Office of Research Integrity and that a colleague of Hamer had charged that Hamer selectively reported data in ways that enhanced the study’s thesis.
Nor does the press report on Hamer’s own homosexuality, which might indicate to some readers that Hamer has a bias in favor of discovering a biological cause for homosexual behavior. Press stories don’t mention that Hamer was reassigned to other areas of research, such as smoking and cancer, after ethical questions arose. Or that co-researcher David Fulker told the Chicago Tribune June 25, “If the second study were the first study, it wouldn’t have been published. The second study is not strong enough (statistically) to stand on its own.”
The Post story tells of researchers “confirming and (extending)… the discovery that hereditary factors apparently predispose some men to homosexuality”. But is it good science for scientists to confirm and extend their own original findings? Such findings must be confirmed by other scientists. Hamer, who published his original conclusions in Science magazine, chose another publication, Nature Genetics, for his latest conclusions.”
Mr. Thomas concludes his article with this very revealing statement:
“Never has it been more necessary for the public to analyze the information it receives from the media in order to determine whether it is truth or propaganda. Increasingly, when it comes to homosexuality, the press cannot be trusted.” (Mr. Thomas’ article appeared in the Tennessean Thursday, Nov. 2, 1995)
The Biblical View
“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). Note carefully, homosexuals are classed by the inspired apostle Paul as “unrighteous” and some homosexuals had changed their lifestyle.
May God give us the courage to stand with God’s way of righteousness.