Neil Whitehead on etiology of sexual orientation

This could have been titled, sexual identity therapy and neutrality, Part 2.5.

Often, NARTH is viewed as a monolithic group touting neo-psychoanalytic theories of sexual orientation. However, there are those who have spoken at NARTH annual conferences who do not hold such views and offer alternatives. Recently, a reader sent a link to an article by Neil Whitehead regarding twin studies that is a case in point. Dr. Whitehead and I have corresponded frequently about our views of cause. Independently, we have come to similar conclusions. The following paragraph counters the stereotypical developmental theory so often associated with NARTH:

Only a small percentage of sissy boys from the general population become homosexual as adults (11). This is even more true of other factors which have been researched and publicized in the media, and leads to a another important rule of thumb: “Only a small minority of those exposed to any predisposing factor become homosexual.”

This may be a surprise to some clinicians, who may have found high percentages of sissiness, tomboyishness or same-sex parent deficits in their clients. But that is a clinical sample – out in the extra-clinical world, surveys show that only a small percentage of those with poor same-sex parent relationships become homosexual. For whatever reason those factors have often become extremely influential in such clients’ lives and must be taken very seriously; but because they are minor factors in the whole population, clinicians must not force everyone into the same box, which may be uncomfortable, or simply not fit. They must be open to any unusual factor which has been important for the specific client.

With regard to variations in sexual attractions, the research on twins is a serious challenge to both environmental and biological determinism. Another reason for theoretical neutrality in working with those conflicted with same-sex attraction is the state of current research regarding antecedents to adult sexuality.

44 thoughts on “Neil Whitehead on etiology of sexual orientation”

  1. Swissalps,

    “Nothing new” is a dangerous same ole same ole mentality.

    There is something new – that is the portion of those being raped and the gender of their sexual attractions. If girls are raped by a man then they are straight and if girls are raped by a woman then they turn out gay and if boys are raped by a man they turn gay etc…. that logic has beed found to be not true when you take into account a greater population. Say for example, a family of sisters or brothers who are raped by the same person and each child responds differently. How would you explain that??

    Nothing new is dangerous when trying to help people understand their sexuality. We all have much to learn.

  2. Lynn David

    More data on extreme skewing

    Skewed X-chromosome inactivation is common in fetuses or newborns associated with confined placental mosaicism

    From the abstract:

    The inactivation of one X chromosome in females is normally random with regard to which X is inactivated. However, exclusive or almost-exclusive inactivation of one X may be observed in association with some X-autosomal rearrangements, mutations of the XIST gene, certain X-linked diseases, and MZ twinning.

    What the heck is confined placental mosaicism?

    The short answer is that it can cause birth defects and general pregnancy problems but typically the baby develops more or less normally.

    A Rett syndrome patient with a ring X chromosome: further evidence for skewing of X inactivation and heterogeneity in the aetiology of the disease

    If I understood this one correctly a TOTAL inactivation of one chromosome can cause Rett Syndrome.

    INTERESTING!!! Once again a partial connection with Autism.

  3. Lynn David

    Thanks for the post, I think I understand. BTW, I had to read it 5 times to figure it out. 😎

    Essentially the skewing could be caused by a Strong X.

    Thats interesting because the first several articles I read mentioned that X inactivation was random. Although I don’t know much about the process my B.S. meter went up because hardly ANYTHING in nature is random. There is always competition. Then I saw some stories where scientists suspected that forces besides randomness were at work. A Strong X weak x certainly fits in with a non-random theory.

    As for how DNA methylation creates risk factors its time for me to do some more reading. That paragraph stretched my cognitive abilities. 😎

  4. Drowssap wrote: “Doesn’t the Hamer study make the case that skewing of X Inactivation in moms who have gay kids shows some type of inheritance? That might make sense but I think my brain is going to melt. If X inactivation is a natural random process that occurs after fertilization how does it show inheritance?

    To the first yes, because they saw it sometimes in daughters, if my memory serves me right. To the second, it shows inheritance in the skew towards one X-chromosome – at least that is how I read it. When I first saw this I thought of it as a “strong X-chromosome” one that was dominant and resist methylation in the same way genes are either dominant or recessive.

    As to diseases, such epigenetic changes, particularly DNA methylation, are susceptible to change and are excellent candidates to explain how certain environmental factors may increase the risk of cancer. Changes may lead to chromosomal instability, loss of imprinting, illegitimate expression, and mutations, and may contribute to the silencing of tumour suppressor genes. And yeah, I had some help writing that.

    Drowssap furtherwrote: “What I’m saying is that X inactivation (skewed or otherwise) is not heritable. It is a theoreticaly random process that occurs in the moms while they are forming in the womb. That process isn’t heritable and it isn’t sent to the sons who are born gay. Men don’t even have X inactivation.

    Heredity? Wha???

    The X-chromosome inactivation is supposed to be random, the skew is a trend against that randomness in favor of one or the other X-chromosomes which resists methylation. Thus if an entire X-chromosome resists methylation, then that epigenetic state is inheritable with the chromosome.

    At least that is the way I see it.

  5. Lynn David

    What I’m saying is that X inactivation (skewed or otherwise) is not heritable. It is a theoreticaly random process that occurs in the moms while they are forming in the womb. That process isn’t heritable and it isn’t sent to the sons who are born gay. Men don’t even have X inactivation.

    Heredity? Wha???

    Once again brain melting

  6. Lynn David

    I’ve got a question and you might understand this better than me. (correct me if/when I go crazy) X inactivation is a random process in women (except a few with rare genetic disorders) that occurs after fertilization but before the fetus reaches about 64 cells. In each of these cells 1 X chromosome is made dominant and the other is silenced. In most cases each X is used in roughly equal amounts. In a few percent of women it skews one way or the other. This skewing is a risk factor for some diseases. Rarely it skews in a severe fashion towards one chromosome. A brief google search shows that extreme skewing can be big trouble.

    This process is considered Epigenetic not genetic because it deals with expression of genes, not inheritance.

    Doesn’t the Hamer study make the case that skewing of X Inactivation in moms who have gay kids shows some type of inheritance? That might make sense but I think my brain is going to melt. If X inactivation is a natural random process that occurs after fertilization how does it show inheritance?

    Ok… so more stuff about X inactivation

    High frequency of skewed X inactivation in young breast cancer patients

    It is also more common in people with Schizophrenia and Autism. Maybe other stuff too, I dunno all I’ve got is Google.

    Interestingly enough some scientists are starting to suspect that the process isn’t random. This would explain why it might be associated with health risks.

  7. What I wrote is nothing new. Dr. Neil Whitehead has said that behaviors 1 sees or experiences in childhood can impact what them & what they may do in adulthood. If a child is a victim of homosexual rape, then it should come as no surprise if he engage in h activities in adulthood due to childhood experiences which harmed his minhd.

  8. Swissalps

    “Everybody knows it” doesn’t count as an argument for the validity of your claims, does it?

    And Warren, the footnotes DO NOT adress the issue of how “sissiness” was measured and how those measurements were used.

  9. Thanks Drowssap, I’ll check that out. Racchi, et al, 1998, wasn’t quoted in the Bocklandt, Vilain, et al work.

  10. Lynn David

    Another find.

    X inactivation skews in about 5% to 10% of women.


    “The present results support the notion that inactivation of the X chromosome is in the vast majority of cases a random process and that extreme skewing is indeed a rare event.”

    Thats lucky because extreme skewing is tied to a slug of different health problems for women.

  11. Swissalps,

    It is not dishonest. You will find many, many children who have been raped do not engage in homosexual activity later in life. I do think however that base on a person’s temperment, pesonality traits ect… can onfluence how they interpet such horrible events in their life.

  12. Swissalps,

    It is not dishonest to ask you to support your outlandish assertions. Rather, it is dishonest to make claims that you cannot support.

    Please provide credible references.

  13. It’s dishonest to say that being a victim of a homosexual rape, esp. in youth doesn’t incr. the likelihood that he will engage in homosexual activities in adulthood. Rape impacts the mind & how 1 views sex.

  14. Yeah – the word sissy and sissiness offends me, too. Also, sexual abuse does not “cause” homosexuality (imo). There is so much more to sexual development in humans that we have a lot to learn and discover.

  15. The true challenge to those who see homosexuality as a socialized trait, is to explain its existence in highly instinctual creatures like dragonflies….or even more “thoughful” creatures like bears, giraffes or penguins.

    It doesn’t occur because the papa penguin wasn’t good to his son.

    If it were because of thoughtful socialization, we wouldn’t see it in highly instinctual creatures (dragonflies) unless…gasp…there is some instinctual component.

    I haven’t heard a good argument against it yet – and clearly, this guy isn’t offering one.

  16. I don’t think this is a great challenge to biological determinism at all. I am not really sure how this challenges that…we know that not all people who have same-gendered orientations look, act or are the same. Traits evidence themselves differently in different people – as is the same for other highly heritable traits, like temperament.

    What I find the “red flag” of all of this is the antiquated language used that frankly, I find offensive. It’s hard to take anyone seriously when they still refer to stereotypically or traditionally feminine attributes or behaviors as “sissiness.”

    Even more offensive, is that likely, that’s how he thinks of this nontraditional behavior as well.

  17. Swissalps,

    Please provide support for the following outlandish assertions:

    1. If some1 was a victim of a homosexual rape, esp. as youth, then that can impact their sexuality.

    2. People who suffer from Gender Identity Disorder (GID) have higher incidence of childhood sex abuse.

  18. Lynn David

    I have no doubt that there are genes that play some part in SSA. What their part is… nobody knows.

    Morover if proven true X chromosome inactivation could certainly be part of the equation. Dozens of different genes are probably firing off differently in gay and straight men.

    The question is why?

    In identical twins genes don’t operate differently for the sake of operating differently. There is a cause…. somewhere.

  19. While Dr. Neil Whitehead is not neutral, neither are the affirmative researchers. Dr. Neil Whitehead has said that biology plays a factor in this behavior, but it plays a factor in many behaviors. In addition to biology, Dr. Whitehead has said that learned behavior also plays a part when it comes to sexuality. If some1 was a victim of a homosexual rape, esp. as youth, then that can impact their sexuality. People who suffer from Gender Identity Disorder (GID) have higher incidence of childhood sex abuse.

    Dr. Whitehead has said that it’s easy to simply focus on genes. 1 could have the genes to be a talented athlete, but you have to work @ it, not just have the genes to do well. Dr. Whitehead has said that it’s not just 1 thing-it’s many things. Finally, I’m sure that Dr. Whitehead has reviewed the reports that you have cited. Just because a behavior may have genes, does not make it good.

  20. Well…. from the Whitehead article:

    Childhood Gender non-conformity (essentially strong sissiness, rather than a diagnosis of GID) is the strongest single influence ever found associated with adult homosexuality, but even this factor is not overwhelmingly compelling. 75% of a sample of extremely “sissy” boys became homosexual when followed through to adulthood (10). But we must remember they were so sissy that parents were extremely concerned and referred them to the research clinic for help. Only a small percentage of sissy boys from the general population become homosexual as adults (11).

    While he first puts the word “sissy” in quotes, I cannot but help feel that his use of the word connotes some forgone conclusion concerning homosexuality in his mind. Even if one of his references used the term in a publication title [10. Green, R (1987). The “Sissy Boy Syndrome” and the Development of Homosexuality.]. And also concerning biological influences:

    Genes are responsible for an indirect influence, but on average, they do not force people into homosexuality. This conclusion has been well known in the scientific community for a few decades (e.g. 6) but has not reached the general public. Indeed, the public increasingly believes the opposite.

    6. West, DJ (1977): Homosexuality Reexamined.

    And in conclusion, Whitehead says:

    Will continuing research eventually find some overwhelming biological influences to produce homosexuality, or find that added together, all the biological influences are overwhelming? No. The twin studies prove that future research will never discover any overwhelming biological factors which compel homosexuality.

    I cannot help but think that Whitehead is somewhat living in the past. Why did the National Institutes of Health fund a $2.5 miillion, five-year genetic study of gay brothers. Relying on a sample of 1,000 gay-brother pairs and the latest advancements in genetic screening, this study promises to bring some clarity to the murky area of what role genes may play in homosexuality. Alan Sanders is a psychiatrist with the Evanston Northwestern Healthcare Research Institute who is leading the NIH-funded search for the genetic basis of male homosexuality [].

    And from What Makes People Gay? The Boston Globe:

    …Normally, the changes take shape at a key point of fetal development, when the male brain is masculinized by sex hormones. The female brain is the default. The brain will stay on the female path as long as it is protected from exposure to hormones. The hormonal theory of homosexuality holds that, just as exposure to circulating sex hormones determines whether a fetus will be male or female, such exposure must also influence sexual orientation.

    The cases of children born with disorders of “sexual differentiation” offer insight. William Reiner, a psychiatrist and urologist with the University of Oklahoma, has evaluated more than a hundred of these cases. For decades, the standard medical response to boys born with severely inadequate penises (or none at all) was to castrate the boy and have his parents raise him as a girl. But Reiner has found that nurture – even when it involves surgery soon after birth – cannot trump nature. Of the boys with inadequate penises who were raised as girls, he says, “I haven’t found one who is sexually attracted to males.” The majority of them have transitioned back to being males and report being attracted to females.

    During fetal development, sexual identity is set before the sexual organs are formed, Reiner says. Perhaps it’s the same for sexual orientation. In his research, of all the babies with X and Y chromosomes who were raised as girls, the only ones he has found who report having female identities and being attracted to males are those who did not have “receptors” to let the male sex hormones do their masculinizing in the womb.

    What does this all mean? “Exposure to male hormones in utero dramatically raises the chances of being sexually attracted to females,” Reiner says. “We can infer that the absence of male hormone exposure may have something to do with attraction to males.”

    Michael Bailey says Reiner’s findings represent a major breakthrough, showing that “whatever causes sexual orientation is strongly influenced by prenatal biology.” Bailey and Reiner say the answer is probably not as simple as just exposure to sex hormones. After all, the exposure levels in some of the people Reiner studies are abnormal enough to produce huge differences in sexual organs. Yet, sexual organs in straight and gay people are, on average, the same. More likely, hormones are interacting with other factors.

    Or the work that is ongoing at the University of California, Los Angeles, in the lab of Eric Vilain, an associate professor of human genetics, and his colleague, Sven Bocklandt. Where they are using gay sheep, transgenic mice, identical twin humans, and novel approaches to human genetics to try to unlock the mystery of sexual orientation. Again from the Boston Globe article:

    Instead of looking for a gay gene, they stress that they are looking for several genes that cause either attraction to men or attraction to women. Those same genes would work one way in heterosexual women and another way in homosexual men. The UCLA lab is examining how these genes might be turned “up” or “down.” It’s not a question of what genes you have, but rather which ones you use, says Bocklandt. “I have the genes in my body to make a vagina and carry a baby, but I don’t use them, because I am a man.” In studying the genes of gay sheep, for example, he’s found some that are turned “way up” compared with the straight rams.

    The lab is also testing an intriguing theory involving imprinted genes [Wikipedia – Genomic imprinting or for more technically minded]. Normally, we have two copies of every gene, one from each parent, and both copies work. They’re identical, so it doesn’t matter which copy comes from which parent. But with imprinted genes, that does matter. Although both copies are physically there, one copy – either from the mom or the dad – is blocked from working. Think of an airplane with an engine on each wing, except one of the engines is shut down. A recent Duke University study suggests humans have hundreds of imprinted genes, including one on the X chromosome that previous research has tied to sexual orientation.

    With [some] imprinted genes, there is no backup engine. So if there’s something atypical in the copy from mom, the copy from dad cannot be turned on [or more to the point concerning orientation in gay men, the sentence should read, So if there’s something atypical in the copy from dad, the copy from mom cannot be turned on]. The UCLA lab is now collecting DNA from identical twins in which one twin is straight and the other is gay. Because the twins begin as genetic clones, if a gene is imprinted in one twin, it will be in the other twin as well. Normally, as the fetuses are developing, each time a cell divides, the DNA separates and makes a copy of itself, replicating all kinds of genetic information. It’s a complicated but incredibly accurate process. But the coding to keep the backup engine [or rather normally expressed genetics from an X-chromosome] shut down [methylated; see Wikipedia – DNA methylation] on an imprinted gene is less accurate.

    The next paragraph from the Boston Globe article is not quite accurate in its description of how that might occur (I had a short Email conversation with the author). Even that last paragraph was somewhat off and I have made some corrections. The imprinted gene should cause the methylation of the commensurate gene. However that methylation may be suppressed or may not occur, possibly because the imprinted gene on the Y-chromosome runs up against an X-chromosome which may resist methylation. Such has been the subject of a prior article which Bocklandt, Vilain & others were authors [Extreme skewing of X-chromosome inactivation in mothers of homosexual men – PDF 225Kb].

    So in Summary……

    1) Whitehead does not know what he is talking about biological factors or the possibilities in the sciences.

    2) Whitehead is in no way neutral towards homosexuality.

  21. Drowssap,

    Well, I can already tell I will learn from you – anyone who reads about science and medicine and considers it a hobby is far more intelligent than me. Thanks again for what you write and how you write it 🙂

  22. Ann

    Thanks for the kind words. While my friends do FUN things with their free time I read about science and medicine. It is my hobby, this is what I find fun.

    Clearly I need some help. 😎

  23. Jack,

    Abortion is a touchy subject but I assume that some people will abort for that reason as well as any other of which they can convince themselves. But yeah – I expect some to call it a birth defect from satan. Not me but others.

  24. Should we NOT assume that ALL boys are alike in how they experience their environment and in how they have different and unique environments to experience and that all boys will experience this in exactly the same way? Every boy is unique with a temperment, environment, family, friends, etc. like no other. Each boy is unique and every “sisszy” boy is unique, etc. So, one boy who is labelled a “sissy” with a very similar uninvolved father, over protective mother, etc. problems, may experience this quite differently than another and not have SSA as a teen or adult. Also, I think that many will agree that there are MANY different kinds of and degress of SSA as well as MANY possible and potential causes and combinations of causes for SSA, bi-sexual, gay, etc. so any theory that assumes that one “theory” fits all, don’t you think may be a bit off base? This is why we need much more scientific study of this whole area of discussion and not get into heated political debates that are at best misleading and at worst hinder intelligent inquiry. Also, those of you who are talking about gay gene theory, etc.

    Also on another subject, consider this, if a “gay” gene is identified, it won’t be long before a child in the womb can be identified as “potentially” gay and aborted. Is this what we want? I think not.

  25. Boris,

    Your tone and requirements for how others are to satisfy your needs and answers are unreasonable. Not even your partner can answer all of your questions or needs. People will fail you – including your parents, best friend, and most trusted advisor. That you have chosen people in this blog is just another circumstance where you will find dissappointment. Your expectations of everyone seeing things the way you do is not realistic. But then your accusations of all us failing to do so in not realistic either. It must be difficult when so many people do not reach your ideals.

    I have ideals, too. And many people have failed to “accept” me for who I am also. Specifically, my own family of origin. They have the idea that once gay always gay. They do not accept my changing. It just does not fit into their idea of who I am supposed to be. Perhaps that helps open your perspective.

    But, you do not seem to want a conversation or dialogue but instead an argument at any cost. So I will leave you alone. Alone.

  26. No, it is not uncivil to ask but there are articles footnoted in his article. Please go look them up, review the evidence he refers to. There are peer reviewed resources for what he presents. If you do not trust the footnotes, go look up the originals for yourself.

  27. Drowssap,

    Very, very interesting – thank you for the information and the way you explained it – makes a lot of sense to me. Also, thanks for the links.

  28. Boris – Read the article by Whitehead. He documents all of this. Go study the subject, then come back and make some intelligent comments.

    As for your tone and attitude. You have been warned. No more comments that detract from the tone of civil dialogue.

  29. Like Warren, NARTH knows that their credibility is reallty jeopardized so they need to do some minor adjustments


    Well, that is one way to look at it but certainly not the only way – while it is what you choose to believe, it is not what others believe or know to be true. We really, really “get it” – you do not think Dr. Throckmorton, Narth, and FOTF are credible – your point has been heard over and over and over again, and is now starting to sound just self serving, ineffective and undisciplined. Try to address the subjects that are being discussed instead of attacking the people you personally do not like. I believe you will re-gain some credibility yourself.

  30. Swiisalps

    It must be entertaining to hiode behind empty slogans like “he’s studied this long and hard” and “more than anybody else so he is an expert”. Presenting questions is not mere arrogance so let me ask again:

    How does he get his results and how does he measure this sissiness factor? Who are these sissies and how was their sissiness defined/measured?


    In 2006, I corresponded with Dr. Whitehead. Dr. WHitehead has lived in Afghanistan, France, India & Japan. Dr. Neil Whitehead has predicted that they may eventually find a gene, but that it will have a minimal impact because there are many causes-biology, environnent, etc.

    Last year, Dr. Whitehead gave a report on 1st age of OSA & SSA. He has noted that the ages differ by various nations. He has also pointed out that puberty, menarche & menopause rates are the same for twins-near 100%, while it’s not so for sexual attractions. Dr. Neil Whitehead has shown that there’s no proof that GID has a genetic basis, via twin reports.

    What Dr. Whitehead’s reports show, is that he has been studying this for years. Dr. Whitehead says that researchers who study this matter understand so little about it & Dr. Whitehead has said that there is so much politically safe ideology which dominate this discussion. It’s easy for people who don’t like Dr. Whitehead’s reports, to become arrogant on a topic which most experts understand so little about.

  32. Whithead also says:

    “Only a small percentage of sissy boys from the general population become homosexual as adults..”

    And how was THAT measured? What’s the “Sissiness” scale these boys were measured and whan? And how did this chap come into the exact figure “small”? How small is small? The clinician who finds high precentage of sissiness in his clinets hasd found exeatly what and how was that measured?

    Oh, please.

    Is this for real?

  33. Ann

    In the sense that there are “gay” genes I don’t believe they have anything to do with someone’s sense of personal sexuality. I guess we’ll know soon enough.

    An example:

    One gene that causes hereditary deafness, Connexin 26 does not create a completely different ear canal. It merely alters the Potassium flow in the inner ear which in turn renders someone deaf.

    A “gay” gene would probably work something like that. However a gay gene isn’t a 100% shot. The big difference is that twin studies indicate that most of the time a “gay” gene won’t cause homosexuality. It is probably a susceptability gene or part of a tipping point. Most people with gay genes will be as straight as Pat Boone (scary thought).

    I don’t believe mankind will wipe out these genes. They probably have many benefits that we don’t fully understand. More importantly I don’t believe they directly cause homosexuality like Connexin 26 does deafness. I believe the ultimate cause of SSA is environmental.

    Another example

    Gene that increases the likelihood of MS found

    This gene doesn’t create partial MS symptoms. It merely offers greater susceptability to whatever causes MS. Scientists know that MS is triggered by an environmental exposure but they haven’t figured it out yet. Knowing the genes involved helps scientists know where to look.

  34. My favorite visual on Dr. Whitehead’s site is on this page.

    I think Dr. Whitehead would agree that a slight hormonal fluctuation isn’t something that a social explanation for lesbianism would predict. On the other hand because the hormone signatures of straight and gay women are so close it appears to be a biological marker, not a significant cause.

    One hundred cars are outside of a factory and the look identical to the naked eye. We take a high powered microscope and notice that ten have slight rippling in their paint. The cause of paint rippling isn’t rippled paint.

    Something happened but…. ?

  35. Jayhuck and Drowssap,

    What do you think will happen if and when these gay genes are found – do you think it will make a difference in how homosexuality is perceived by people in general? It seems like it would on both sides of the issue.

  36. Are we supposed to think that this one article makes NARTH somehow more credible? But like the idea that Focus on The Family could buy itself off from all the damage it has done by measly 1000 buck to aIDS benefit?

    II genuinely do believe that only thing that changes iis the language: this sexyual identity threpy fraud or stating the obvious (like Whitehead’s article) changes nothing in the goals of their anti-gay politics.

    Like Warren, NARTH knows that their credibility is reallty jeopardized so they need to do some minor adjustments. But the political nature of theior science is the same.

  37. jayhuck

    I agree that scientists are going to find “gay” genes, maybe a slug of them. Where these genes sit is going to tell us a lot about what creates SSA.

    Genome Wide Scan

    a c t i v a t e !

    I bet we’ll know some or all of the genes within a decade.

  38. While I am not defending any of NARTH’s prior actions, I do think it is interesting that Dr. Whitehead’s arguments make it very hard to sustain adherence to reparative drive theory – and he does it on their website.

  39. Drowssap –

    If SSA can be swtiched to OSA, then the opposite is going to be true as well! 🙂

    I don’t any scientist would ever say that one gene can code for any of our behaviors – and that includes sexuality – but do a set of genes influence our orientation (straight or gay) – the evidence looks promising that it does.

    When it comes right down to it though, I think we are probably simply talking about bisexuals-at-heart simply reaching their full bisexual potential, and not any REAL change.

  40. How I stand on Narth

    Their position: Homosexuality is predominantly caused by improper socialization

    In some cases probably true, but 2% to 3% of men are exclusively gay because of socialization? No way. Socialization doesn’t explain the physical anomolies we see like more lefties and slight hearing differences, etc. etc.

    Their position: Hormones in the neonatal environment can affect sexual orientation.

    Obviously true. If something alters the neonatal environment all bets are off.

    Their position: There is no gay gene or genes.

    Genes influence everything but the odds that a gene codes for SSA are incredibly remote. The only safer position I can think of is that none of us are going to win the Powerball this month. Of course if somebody wins I might change my mind. 😎

    Homosexuality can be turned into heterosexuality through reparative therapy

    I dunno… a shift seems plausible but for most people probably not a complete change to the heterosexuality that straight guys experience. Will scientists eventually develop something to switch SSA into OSA? Of course, but it is probably decades away.

  41. I’m sorry, but after all that NARTH has said and done in the past year – after all of the controversial and pseudo-scientific studies they condone, why is anyone still taking them seriously? Does the academic and larger psychological community really see the group as anything more than a fringe psychological group? I’m really curious about this. After Paul Cameron, and the speech on slavery and after listening to Dr. Nicolosi make fun of gay youth, I have to wonder how anyone on here could support them – especially in light of the fact that they believe they know the causes of homosexuality when no other self-respecting psychological group in the world would say the same thing.

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