A dog that moos?

The new advertising effort designed to convince Americans that gayness is determined pre-birth features a dog named Norman who moos like a cow. Don’t know any dogs that moo, do you? Sounds like a good start for a Dr. Suess book though.

I will say that it is a slick website. However, the designers need a better science advisor.

Here is what they say about identical twins and homosexuality:

“If one twin is born gay, there is a higher chance (52%) that the other will be gay as well.”

“Since identical twins share DNA, this tells us that genetics plays a part in sexual orientation.”

“That means some people are born gay.”

Leaving aside the faulty logic, the website quotes a decade old study that has been widely criticized. A newer more representative study in the year 2000 found that 11% of male identical twins and 14% of female twins shared homosexual orientation.

This website also waddles out Julio and Fabio the new penguin pride icons. According to the website, these two penguins “mate exclusively with each other.” Have the borndifferent folks forgotten about Silo and Roy? Silo and Roy are chinstrap penguins who used to be in love but Silo is now “ex-gay.” Just last year after I wrote about Silo’s conversion, spokeswoman for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Roberta Sklar said in the New York Times: “There’s almost an obsession with questions such as, ‘Is sexual orientation a birthright or a choice?’ And looking at the behavior of two penguins in captivity is not a way to answer that question.”

Someone call the born different folks. They must have missed the memo.

6 thoughts on “”

  1. The website must have freshman high school kids presenting their argument, if you can call it that. The debate of if you are born gay is ridiculus and detremental. If we were born gay, then wouldn’t we be able to tell by a certain gene? What’s keeping society from killing unborn gays?

    Their website claims that being gay is natural, as with the penguins. Even if it is proved, nature has animals that eat their young, eat their mates, and eat each other. We in our society do not accept that type of behavior form the “natural” world.

    What if we are born gay and we don’t want to be. According to the website, it would be detrimental to change from your born gayness.

    Yes, the ADA, APA, and others say it is not a disorder, but they also do not say it is not a choice, which I beleive it is.

    30% of the population is gay according to the website. That means that if I stand in a crowd of 1000 people, 300 are gay. I find that statistic extremly unbelievable.

    The website has poor arguments for their agenda and clearly know nothing about the subject they are talking about.

  2. Oh, OK — makes more sense now. Sorry, the ref to 11% and 14% threw me and I went thinking for where that could have come from.

    Leaving aside the problem with the # of twins (ie 3 etc when the entire larger sample is whittled down): Bailey reported MZ probandwise concordance at 20% (under “Strict” criterea) or 38% under more lenient. (Table 1, Males)

    I realise now where you got the 11% (3/27), but that’s not the probandwise concordance rate reported by Bailey(2000).

    Which, of course, left me more confused than a naked bisexual penguin surrounded by a bunch of equally not-clothed guys. With or without the igloo.

  3. I agree that “genetics plays a part” does not logically equate to “some people are born gay”.

    Additionally, I don’t think the research on twin studies is nearly as black and white as borndifferent would have us believe.

    However, the cumulative work and observations on sexual orientation pretty clearly shows that there is some biological input involved in the determination of orientation in some gay men. The chromosome observation and the recent younger brother study give support to that.

    I think it can be agreed that some men are pre-nataly impacted in ways that are likely – all other things being equal – to result in a sexual orientation based on same sex attraction. We may disagree on whether or not early detection of indicators and immediate and concentrated efforts may result in another orientation. But current research tells us that absent these concerted efforts, some of these men will be gay.

    I don’t think it dishonest, deceptive, or even overly simplistic to shorthand that as “some people are born gay”.

    Perhaps the website should provide a more detailed explanation.

    Timothy Kincaid


    Ever hear a dog say “moo”?
    I know one that does, do you?
    If you knew Norman, you would too.

  4. Nope, I mean the 2000 Bailey study from your stomping grounds. Pairwise concordances.

    My understanding about Silo is that he attended a New Waddlers Weekend event. Sitting naked in an igloo with other naked penguins (I guess they lost the chinstrap) did the trick.

  5. Actually, if you mean the Kendler study; they do reference that too.

    The concordance for that study was 32%. You are mixing concordance rates with absolute rates: and that’s a very naughty thing to do Warren.

    But interesting… 11% or 14% is higher than the community wide rates is it not? QED: back to discussing biological factors at play etc.

    … concordance rate for nonheterosexual sexual orientation in monozygotic twins found in this sample (31.6%) is similar to that found in the one previous general population twin study (4) but lower than the approximately 50% concordance rates found in the two previous studies …

    As regards Roy and Silo… we have done some checking around (actually a seal did it on our behalf, given we don’t speak Chinstrap).

    Silo was, and remains, bisexual. He’s changed partners, but not his sexual orientation.

    An exgay group did attempt to recruit him as a new “poster boy”, but that was a rather dismal failure given that 1) he doesn’t have an opposable thumb and cannot hold a tennis racket 2) claims about his “bad father” seemed rather shonky and 3) he has no particular interest in Jesus. Or any other religious figurehead for that matter.

    He also wouldn’t stand still for the publicity photos, or stay out of penguin bars, even when bribed with a bucket of anchovies.

    Roy himself has moved on and is currently dating a nice fellow who works for a major airline.

Comments are closed.