Homosexuality Not Innate, Expert Says

By Lawrence Morahan
CNS Senior Staff Writer
September 12, 2000
Washington (CNSNews.com)


The emotional debate about homosexuality is

basically a substitute for a deeper debate on religious

and political freedom, a leading psychiatrist told

members of a prominent conservative public policy

group on Monday.

The premise that homosexuals cannot change is "an
obvious lie," Dr. Jeffrey Satinover told members of
Toward Tradition, a conservative Judeo-Christian
public policy group at their annual convention in
Washington, DC.

"Gossip is a far more serious problem from a moral
standpoint," Satinover said.

Misinformation about homosexuality is spread by
homosexual activists and their allies in the
psychiatric profession through what Satinover calls
"HIV", Historical Information-deconstruction Virus,

a blight that affects gays and straights, conservatives
and liberals and blacks and whites.

"Today, it's commonplace to insist that differences
between men and women are environmentally constructed
while those between homosexuals and heterosexuals are
genetic," he said.

"Homosexuals are not another species," said Satinover,
a prominent psychiatrist who treats homosexuals and
who knows hundreds of homosexuals who have undergone
profound changes.

"Homosexual activists and their allies, however, won't

permit an open debate on the subject," Satinover said.

"It's more than intolerance," he said. "It's pure viciousness."

Satinover is considered an international expert in the
field of homosexual behavior.

Is Homosexuality Genetic?


By A. Dean Byrd, Shirley E.
Cox, and Jeffrey W. Robinson

There have been many articles published in various
publications regarding homosexuality that do not
reflect the scientific literature. In fact, their social

advocacy suggests a greater reliance on politics than

on science. Perhaps it is time to examine the innate-

immutability, argument about homosexuality. In other

words, are men and women born with a genetic propensity

for same-sex attraction? The issue is enormously complex

and cannot he reduced to a simple nature vs. nurture"

debate. Homosexual attraction, like many other strong

attractions includes both biological and environmental


Scientific attempts to demonstrate that homosexual
attraction is biologically determined have failed. The
major researchers have arrived at such conclusions.
Dr. Dean Hamer, a gay researcher, attempted to link
male homosexuality to a stretch of DNA located at the
tip of the X chromosome, the chromosome that some men
inherit from their mothers. Regarding genetics and
homosexuality Hamer concluded: "We knew that genes are
only part of the answer. We assumed the environment
also played a role in sexual orientation, as it does
in most, if not all behaviors.... Homosexuality is not
purely genetic.environmental factors play a role.

There is not a single master gene that makes people
gay. I don't think we will ever be able to predict who
will be gay." Hamer further states: "The pedigree
failed to produce what we originally hoped to find:
simple Mendelian inheritance. In fact, we never found
a single family in which homosexuality was distributed
in the obvious pattern that Mendel observed in his pea
plants." When the study was duplicated by George Rice
with robust research, the genetic markers were found
to be non-significant Rice concluded, "It is unclear
why our results are so discrepant from Hamer's
original study. Because our study was larger than that
of Hamer's et al, we certainly had adequate power to
detect a genetic effect as large as reported in that
study. Nonetheless, our data does not support the
presence of a gene of large effect influencing sexual
orientation at position XQ 28."


Dr. Simon LeVay, in his study of the hypothalamic differences

between the brains of homosexual and heterosexual men,

offered the following criticisms of his own research, "It's
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." In commenting on the

brain and sexual behavior, Dr. Mark Breedlove, a researcher

at the University of California at Berkeley, demonstrated
that sexual behavior has an effect on the brain.


In referring to his research, Breedlove states: "These
findings give us proof for what we theoretically know
to be the case--that sexual experience can alter the
structure of the brain, just as genes can alter it. It
is possible that differences in sexual behavior cause
(rather than are caused by) differences in the brain."
LeVay observed, "... people who think that gays and
lesbians are born that way are also more likely to
support gay rights." A third study, which was
conducted by researchers J.M. Bailey and Richard C.
Pillard, focused on twins.


They found a concordance rate of 52 percent among

identical twins, 22 percent among non-identical twins

and a 9.2 percent among non-twins. This study provides

support for environmental factors. If homosexuality were

in the genetic code, all of the identical twins would have
been homosexual. Prominent research team William Byne
and Bruce Parsons, as well as psychiatrists R.
Friedman and J. Downey, reviewed the studies linking
biology and homosexual attraction.


They concluded that there was no evidence to support a

biologic theory but rather that homosexuality could be best

explained by an alternative model where "temperamental

and personality traits interact with the familial and
social milieu as the individual's sexuality emerges."

Are homosexual attractions innate? There is no support
in the scientific research for the conclusion that
homosexuality is biologically determined. Is
homosexuality fixed or is it amenable to change? There
is ample evidence that homosexual attraction can be
diminished and that changes can be made. Particularly
disturbing is the lack of media attention to the
research reported in the Archives of General
Psychiatry, which concluded that gay, lesbian, and
bisexual people were at risk for mental illness,
specifically suicidality, major depression, and
anxiety disorder.


While one might suggest that society's oppression of

homosexual people may be the cause of such mental illness,

this may not be the case. Gay activist Doug Haldeman, at a

recent meeting of the American Psychological Association,

focused on the right of individuals who were unhappy with

their homosexual attraction to pursue treatment aimed at
change. He stated, "A corollary issue for many is a sense

of religious or spiritual identity that is sometimes as deeply

felt as is sexual orientation.


For some it is easier, and less emotionally disruptive, to
contemplate changing sexual orientation, than to
disengage from a religious way of life that is seen as
completely central to the individual's sense of self
and purpose.... However we may view this choice or the
psychological underpinnings thereof, do we have the
right to deny such an individual treatment that may
help him to adapt in the way he has decided is right
for him? I would say that we do not."


Finally, lesbian activist biologist Dr. Anne Fausto-Sterling

of Brown University, referring to the biological argument

for the development of homosexuality, states, "It provides
a legal argument that is, at the moment, actually having

some sway in court. For me, it's a very shaky place. It's bad

science and bad politics. It seems to me that the way we

consider homosexuality in our culture is an ethical and a

moral question." Much of the criticism aimed at those

whose value systems view homosexual relations as unacceptable

is based on the innate-immutability argument.


The argument finds no basis in science. Regarding science

and morality, Dr. Hamer stated, "...biology is amoral; it

offers no help in distinguishing between right and wrong.

Only people, guided by their values and beliefs, can decide
what is moral and what is not." Homosexual relations
are moral, ethical issues. Those individuals who
experience unwanted homosexual attractions have a
right to treatment. Whether others agree is not as
important as respecting that choice. Tolerance and
diversity demand that they do so.