Media outlets are flush with the rush to promote yet another inconclusive hypothesis attempting to tie biological factors to the penchant for homosexual behavior. After an unusual 7 year tweaking before release, Dr. Alan Sanders of NorthShore University HealthSystem Research Institute et al, compared the genes of 409 gay twin brothers (the largest twin sampling to date). The team argues that they found linkages to the X Chromosome 8 region and Xq28 but were unable to cite any actual gene. This runs contrary to the conclusions of eight other international twin studies examining the same notionwith the exception of Dr. Dean Hamer’s claim to find Chromosome 8 involvement 20 years ago but also failing to find any actual gene.
The inability to find and verify gene involvement makes the entire exercise of identifying linkages fruitless since there can be no linkage between non-existent entities. This leaves wide open the interpretation of what these researchers are seeing within these chromosome bands. Sanders himself describes his results as, “not proof but a pretty good indication.” An indication of what remains to be seen. Meanwhile, the reaction by genetic experts ranges from skeptical to completely dismissive. Dr. Robert Green, medical geneticist at Harvard Medical School called the study, “intriguing but not in any way conclusive” and Dr. Neil Risch, genetics expert at UC San Francisco states the data is too statistically weak to suggest any linkage (with homosexual preference.)
Of bizarre concern is Sander’s use of a deprecated genetic method. Genetic linkages have been replaced with GWA (genome-wide association) methodology in genetic science which gives a higher, but still not guaranteed, association between a given gene and a behavior. Sanders admitted it would have been the preferable approach but it was the only way to try to expound on Hamer’s failed attempt 20 years ago. Ken Kendler, an editor at Psychological Medicine admitted it was a surprise to see Sanders submit a study using the old technique and Sanders admits that one publication turned down his submission outright. Sanders has announced his intention of a GWA study using an even larger sample group.
It is the opinion of most in the ex-gay community that scientific research would be better utilized addressing the knowns of same-sex attraction, such as the high child sexual abuse and childhood trauma histories found in research which is more results oriented by healing traumas that often lead to same-sex attractions and therapies that eliminate unwanted same-sex attraction. This more appropriately achieves the goals of the American Psychological Association’s vow to patient self-determination. Much like the already proven genetic components of depression and anxiety disorders, genetic involvement only contributes to predilection and has no bearing at all on outcomes. Thus, any genetic discovery while interesting is irrelevant to ultimate behavioral self-management and choice.
John Ozanich is an Advisory Board member of Voice of the Voiceless and a former United States Marine Corps Anti-Terrorism Strike Team member. An ordained minister, John authors articles on religious history, constitutional issues, science, and religion.He has been awarded the IBM Authorship Award. He is a an award winning professional computer network design architect and I/T project manager who has worked for a variety of Fortune 500 companies.
May we respectfully suggest that the efforts of some to ban SOCE therapy in Illinois are:
An unfounded overreach without support in scientific research. (Even the APA’s task force made up of gay activists and gay affirming professionals – without one professional who actually does SOCE(!), said there wasn’t enough research to say whether it was harmful or beneficial)
Based on the false notion that same sex attraction or homosexuality is innate. The multiple large identical twin studies show that this is clearly false. For example the 2008 Santilla et al study involving thousands of identical twins found, that if one of a twin pair was gay the other was gay only 10% of the time, and if one was lesbian the other was only 14% of the time.
Even the APA no longer supports this false notion that homosexuality is innate, and suggests the causes are mixture of environmental and genetic influences. Dr. Francis Collins MD, PH.D., the former head of the human genome project, and a very caring individual of gays on a personal level, says it is “not hardwired”. We know of no credible scientific source that still holds to the false notion that homosexuality is hardwired or innate.
While we respect the rights of those who want to live a gay or lesbian lifestyle, we would strongly affirm that it is only fair and reasonable that those who want to live a heterosexual lifestyle also be given the rights and freedom to do so.
There has been research available for decades which clearly shows, that change is possible for those who want to change their sexual orientation. For example in February 1984, in The American Journal of Psychiatry, Master and Schwartz, from the then world famous Master and Johnson Institute, were able to change a large majority of those who sought change. They had only a 20% failure rate (or 80% success rate) in their efforts to change patients from a homosexual orientation to a heterosexual lifestyle. Five years later their failure rate was still only 28% or a 72% success rate. More recently Jones and Yarhouse in 2007 found success rates for those wanting help to change their same sex attraction similar to those for antidepressant treatment of depression in the STAR*D study.
Those who are wrongly forced to live with unwanted same sex attraction will unfortunately face the same documented medical and psychological problems faced by those in the gay lifestyle which include:
-Increased rates of depression, drug abuse, suicidal ideation and behavior
– Tremendously increased rates of HIV infection and AIDS
– Increased rates of Hepatitis B and C
– Increased rates of anal and colon cancer
If the goal is to get rid of aversion therapies in the treatment of minors why limit it just to SOCE? Why not ban it as a therapy regardless of the treatment goal, and if the goal is truly to protect the health of minors, then banning SOCE therapy is a huge step in the wrong direction and will clearly lead to extreme harm and even death in some if not many minors over the years.
Lesbian feminist and university professor Camille Paglia was recently a guest on the Dennis Prager show. I have included a brief discourse of one of her segments that was interesting, especially in light of the fact that she is a self-identified lesbian. Her analysis on the current trend of psychology, which she says is being destroyed by politics, is priceless. Below the quote is a link to listen to the entire interview.
“Every single gay person I know has some sort of drama going on, back in childhood. Something was happening that we’re not allowed to ask about anymore . . . I can see patterns that are similar in my background to that of other women I know who are lesbians, but the biggest patterns are in gay men. Every single gay man I know had a particular pattern where for whatever reason, he was closer to his mother than to his father, and there was some sort of distance between the mother and the father, so that she looked to her son as her real equal or friend, as the real companion of her soul. Sometimes these women were discreet and dignified. Other times, they were very theatrical and in a sense they drafted their son into their own drama. But now, you are not allowed to ask any questions about the childhood of gay people anymore. It’s called ‘homophobic’. The entire psychology establishment has shut itself down, politically . . . and also, Freud was kicked out by early feminism in the late 60s and early 70s. So all the sophistication of analysis that I knew in my college years when I went to the state university of New York – there were a group of radical young Jewish students from the New York area – they were so psychologically sophisticated in being able to analyze the family background. It’s all gone, that entire discourse is gone. Everything is political now. Families are bankrupting themselves, sending their kids to the elite schools to learn a political style of analysis (that says) ‘every single thing in the human person has been formed by some external force upon us, we are oppressed, it’s being inscribed on us’. It’s really sick. It’s a sick and stupid way of looking at human psychology . . . we are in a period now of psychological stupidity.”