Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Dang science

It's getting really hard to be good fundamental Christian these days. For example, if homosexuality were just an acquired bad habit or even addictive there could very well be as many former homosexuals around these days as there are reformed smokers. The difference is that not very many smokers say the "discovered" that they were smokers, especially before they took that first puff. The addiction of smoking has a clear-cut cause. Homosexuals, on the other hand, generally find themselves attracted to the same sex long before they act on it. If homosexuality was as "easy" to reverse as tobacco addiction you would think that there would be a number of folks who reversed their orientation on their own. Instead only those attached to the fundamentalist "Christian" orientation conversion idea can be found. The scientific community is becoming more and more convinced that it's just not possible.
"Supporters of the biological explanation for homosexuality have the weight of science on their side. All of the major medical and psychological professional organizations — from the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association on down — state that sexuality is predominantly determined by chemical, hormonal and genetic conditions in the womb. They are clear in declaring that homosexuality is not a disease or a pathology that can be changed; most go a step further and strongly question whether it is even ethical for a medical professional to help clients try to change their sexuality.

Public opinion appears to be turning their way. In a series of polls by the Gallup organization over the last three decades, the percentage of Americans who agree that homosexuality is not a choice has slowly doubled, to nearly 40 percent. More striking is that acceptance of homosexual behavior is dramatically higher among younger Americans than among their parents: A 2001 survey by Zogby International and Hamilton College found that more than 80 percent of high school seniors nationwide believed that gay men and lesbians should be “accepted by society.”

And yet events like Love Welcomes All remain crucially important, organizers said. They may have the science, and they may even have the moral high ground, but the other side has a powerful megaphone in the well-oiled machinery of conservative Christian activism.

The ex-gay movement is a “big industry,” said Dr. Doug Haldeman, a psychology professor at the University of Washington who is president of the Association of Practicing Psychologists."

2 comments:

LegolasTN said...

While it is true that these organizations "are clear in declaring that homosexuality is not a disease or a pathology that can be changed" and that many raise ethical concerns about so-called "reparative therapies," the following claim is false:

"Supporters of the biological explanation for homosexuality have the weight of science on their side. All of the major medical and psychological professional organizations — from the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association on down — state that sexuality is predominantly determined by chemical, hormonal and genetic conditions in the womb."

Go read these organizations' statments...APsychologyA, APsychiatricA, American Academy of Pediatrics, AMA (if you can find it). They point towards uncertainty and complexity of sexual orientation's cause. Some state biology appears to play a "significant" role. None state that it plays a "predominant" role.

Kendall said...

They recognize their obligation to intellectual honesty and accept the uncertainty that remains to be dispelled. But the mere presence of what evidence there is points more towards that conclusion than the oppositions position that orientation is always a choice. Being religiously faithful should not mean that you have to believe in a flat earth because it's biblical despite all the evidence to the contrary. One does have a choice whether to place one's trust in texts reflecting historical misconceptions and superstitions instead of a real God who creates people in all the diversity we find them.