Gay children: Is it the parent's fault? today published an article I wrote regarding the issue of causes of same-sex attraction. In it, I describe several problems with reparative drive theory as a general explanation for same-sex attraction. You can go there to read the entire article, but I want to post an email from a couple regarding their experience with the failure-to-bond idea. This segment is also in the Crosswalk article.

As parents of a same-sex-attracted son, there was no mountain too high for us to connect our son and our family to the “best help” for our issues. We found a counselor for him, and then joined him in many sessions and spent a good deal of time examining our parent – child relationships; classifying them as “close” or “distant” and figuring out why. With our broken hearts on the table each week, we looked for the magic thread, the exact moment we disabled our son’s sexuality so as to examine it, repent of it, be forgiven and put this nightmare away. Our counselor finally admitted that we were “unique” and that our son was “unique,” not fitting into the usual (how does the term “usual” apply to sexually fallen humans?) categories and that he basically did not know what else to say to help to untangle these conflicts for our son. We went on to read many books, we attended a famous conference 1000’s of miles away from our home, only to meet one of the most famous authors whose flippant response to us upon introducing ourselves to him was “Yes – I can see it, the mother who did all the research and coordination to get here, the dad who has no idea why he is here and the son who is miserable being here.” The three of us were after words of life, not words of sarcasm.
I can accurately say now that naval gazing your potential contribution to a child’s same-sex attraction is nothing short of anguish. Our son would tell you that his father and mother did not contribute to his same-sex attraction. We actually wish some days that it were that easy to put into an equation like “Dad ignored you for some formative years, mom made up for it, you identify with mom not dad – therein lies the reason!” Alas, this is not true in our family. We never ignored our children, our family has been busy bearing one another up, and our son takes responsibility for his same-sex attraction. If we were responsible, we would have accepted the blame gladly. Instead, now, we find ourselves relying on the truths of Scripture such as Romans 8 and II Corinthians 1:3-4. My husband and I come from a promiscuous past, we were products of the sexual revolution and legalized abortion. We are the right parents for this son of ours because we know restoration of sexual brokenness through a relationship with the living Lord Jesus. That is the relationship we pray that our son examines and gazes upon. In the meantime, we adore him and he us and we celebrate God’s goodness and sovereignty.

UPDATE: 2/2/09 – The Christian Post published a version of this article today.

59 thoughts on “Gay children: Is it the parent's fault?”

  1. Thank you for bringing up this issue, even though I personally have no dealings with gays or gay children, other than homosexuals pushing a political agenda. It’s the pursuit of Truth that is important, & we can never help individuals & families if we can’t face up to the complexity of the issue. I’m guessing that at least some of the negative responses you’ve received come from a fearful gut reaction to the possibility that we (meaning Christian parents in general) could bear gay children–& then what do we do if there’s no simple answer? My “we” is metaphorical, since I’m 49 & am highly unlikely to bear anymore children, but I can certainly understand younger parents having that kind of fear response.
    Interestingly, I’ve fairly recently come across a couple of cases where the gay person admits to being gay by choice. Not sure what to make of them.

  2. @Evan:

    This is direct evidence that same-sex parenting can make a difference in outcomes in terms of health or type of partnership (homo or hetero), however any link with attractions is only indirect and correlational but cannot be overlooked.

    No, the correlations cannot be overlooked but because they are correlations you cannot say that the global issues in Frisch are causative. Given the study you present regarding GAB, it seems quite clear that parents do not cause gender atypical behavior but rather react either poorly or well to a situation presented to them. The same is very possible with same-sex attraction and parenting. Given the mediation of gender atypicality on adult homosexuality, it seems quite reasonable to think that the parenting relationship is colored by reaction to the temperament of the child.
    Another note about Frisch, the effect sizes are quite small. Around or less than 1%. It is hard to get very excited about predictive variables when they only explain less than a percent of the variance. And on one measure (death of father) there was no influence on partner choice at all. My stat friend and colleague, Gary Welton, said when looking at this study, said what was remarkable was how little any of these variables was associated with outcomes. I agree.
    Having fathers around is important for a host of important outcomes, but sexual orientation on balance is not one of them.

  3. Warren,
    I did not ignore your question. Computer trouble prevented me from sending my reply. Here’s what I wrote a few minutes after you posed your question:
    – Parenting style can moderate the risk gender atypical behaviour can pose for future adult psychiatric symptoms (the same-sex parent seems to play a pivotal role there): Alanko et al (2008), The Association Between Childhood Gender Atypical Behavior and Adult Psychiatric Symptoms is Moderated by Parenting Style, DOI 10.1007/s11199-008-9395-5. Short presentation.
    – Absent same-sex parent correlates with homosexual marriage in a national cohort study of 2 million Danes: Frisch & Hviid (2006), Childhood Family Correlates of Heterosexual and Homosexual Marriages: A National Cohort Study of Two Million Danes, DOI 10.1007/s10508-006-9062-2. Long, but colourful presentation.
    This is direct evidence that same-sex parenting can make a difference in outcomes in terms of health or type of partnership (homo or hetero), however any link with attractions is only indirect and correlational but cannot be overlooked.
    It could be that in some cases, children with particular termperaments would benefit from a stronger involvement of a same-sex parent than other, less atypical, children would need to adjust. If the EBE theory is right, some atypical children might grow up without seeing their same-sex peers as exotic, if they receive the support they need from a same-sex parent (or if they are lucky enough not to be rejected). Others would not be much influenced by parenting styles even in very difficult circumstances.
    It is also possible that the kind of subtle influences that can impinge on a child’s development are not captured properly by any study yet. Does anyone objectively evaluate the relations father-mother and father-child-mother? It would be very interesting to see all of them surveyed for temperamental dimensions, attachment patterns, levels of aggressiveness, personality and coping styles. I’d like to see parents themselves being rated by other adults, for instance, for gender typicality.

  4. I’d sure hate to live in a society in which people are “scrapping every dad for bread to put on the table.” I’m not sure how many loaves ‘dear ole dad’ would’ve been worth. Who knows if we’d have scrapped dad, I might’ve been straight.
    I cannot think of anything external to myself, in the family, in society, on television, nothing outside of myself which led to homosexuality. The idea that homosexuality is “wrong-headed” seems to have landed it into the realm of psychology. Trouble is, no one ever really provided real evidence that homosexuality is “wrong-headed.” One might ask why we are discussing this issue in the realm of psychology at all?

  5. Warren,
    Maybe parenting can make a difference mostly in the cases of difficult temperaments. Since both can vary, so can outcomes.

  6. @Mary:
    You raise a valuable point regarding the cultural context. Perhaps this is where you going I don’t know but your note made me think of how parenting has changes over history. What the reparative therapists consider “salience” of bonding was probably not attainable in times past. In other times, father was not considered a friend or a close dad but rather a teacher and responsible for toughening up the lad. In some areas of the world, parents have no ability to be salient, they are scrapping every dad for bread to put on the table. Kids have no childhood, no real relationship with their parents and yet heterosexuality is far and away the outcome in these settings with homosexuality being relatively rare. It appears social conditions can move the prevalence up and down a bit but if parenting was massively responsible, it seems that you would see much bigger differences in prevalence across time and cultures.

  7. Warren,
    Isn’t it sort like trying to hit a moving target. The social expectations of children, parents, males, females are continually changing and when we see anyone of these varying of the presumed “normal” path we attribute one action to the other. Anyone of these studies has there time and place and “truth” but then society changes and we see homosexuality still occurring.

  8. I am not sure what the average age a child is when they feel confident enough to tell their parent or parents about their SSA. I don’t think it is when they are in the early stages of discovery though. If these feelings were not held in such secrecy, and shame was not a component, is there any data on whether their initial SSA could be re-directed as other thoughts and behaviors in children are?

  9. @David Blakeslee:
    You are probably referring to the causal factors paper Welton and I did for the Sexual Identity Research Summit. The highest variance in Evans 1969 study was 13.7% for mothering and 16.2% for mothering. However, there were no other variables except gender non-conformity measured (37.1%). In other words, they were not asked about anything else, nor were they asked when the problems arose. Surveys which find parenting problems are not helpful as causation research unless they locate the problems prior to the SSA.
    Later studies, (Bell & Weinberg and Seutter & Rovers) found much less variance explained by parenting variables. Much less. Seutter & Rovers in 2004 found no influence of mother and only 4.1% of the variance explained by an assessment of intimacy with father. On another dimension of fathering – intimidation – they found no difference between gays and straights.
    Are there some men who are drawn to sexual intimacy with other men because of a lack of paternal nurturance? Probably so. Does this factor explain SSA that arises spontaneously in adolescence for men in average households? I am very skeptical.
    I think one must examine not only the existence of SSA but the pattern of its emergence to have any ability to make an attribution about related or even causal factors.

  10. @ Warren,
    “Parenting is one, for some”
    Don’t go global on me.
    The theory is sound and it fits some of the data, and using psychodynamic therapies, ethically, appears to help some.
    No one theory can explain all the data. And there are easy ways to refute someone when they attempt to explain all data through one theory.
    Much of this work at this site is taking current research and debunking staid psychodynamic theories and politically fueled arguments for genetics and sexual inflexibility.
    It seems to me it is safe to agree that many factors are correlated with SSA.
    Didn’t you do a survey of the research and found that parenting anomalies accounted for 14% of the variance?
    Peer ridicule accounted for over twice as much of the variance, as a recall.

  11. Warren, I enjoy your research. As someone who has SSA issues, it does answer some of my questions about other people who had close connections with their parents and were still same-sex attracted. I do however fit some of the conditions they mention, which indeed could have played a part.
    However, I wanted to ask you if you knew anything about this recent study about gay brains, that supposedly there were differences that were said to not be the result of learned behavior, but I don’t know how credible it is. The link is here.

  12. Something to consider is the unique perception of each child regarding the absence of a parent. If a dad is in the service and is thought of as a hero, has the support of the mom, etc. then the absence might not affect the child as much as a dad who is spending several nights a week at his girlfriend’s house and coming home when he wants. Add to that a mom who confides all her hurts and pain of this to the child and I have to think the emotional outcome cannot be optimal. I do know that girls tend to be more promiscuous when they have an absent or distant father. How any of this can lead to same gender attraction, I am not sure. I do know that perception makes a difference in what pacts we make with ourselves and how we use those to avoid pain.

  13. @David Blakeslee:
    It is hard to disagree with this as a possibility but I do not see the data or the conceptual scheme that gets us from parenting failure to brains firing off for someone of the same sex.

  14. @Drowssap:
    This is the issue no one in RT will address. I have asked about this repeatedly and that is when the conversation stops. Somehow when a straight guy says, my dad wasn’t around much, and I never got a feel for who he was or if he cared for me, it is just dismissed. But when a SSA person says the same thing, it becomes the reason for the SSA.

  15. Warren

    Bottom line here for me is that if these kinds of families cause homosexuality then half the population is in the closet.

    Yep, my dad was a work-a-holic. I probably saw him less than an hour during an entire work week. On the weekends he worked around the house and always watched football on Sunday. My friends from highschool would tell roughly the same story. I’ve lost track of one of my friends but the other 2 are happily married dads just like me. All 3 of us spend more time with our kids in a month than our dads spent with us during our entire childhoods, hehe.

  16. A variety of factors play differing roles in the presence of SSA. Parenting is one for some.

  17. In all this discussion I fail to find a distinction between same-sex attraction during early childhood into adolescence, and sexual attraction toward another individual.
    It seems to me we all seek same-sex buddies as children –even into adolescence and beyond (e.g. army buddies who’ve shared a foxhole). The question that needs to be addressed is at what point does or would a relationship become sexualized? For some who are endued with a moral compass, this is not a viable option; when does it become one for others? At what point does the purposeful free will of the individual supersede environmental factors for or against?
    Also, beyond the family and home environment there are peer groups, cultural influences, media, schools, etc. that come into play well before an individual enters into a sexual relationship. The best preventive factor for any misuse of the gift of human sexuality is good old fashioned morality. It’s based on millennia of human experience.

  18. Drowssap,

    I don’t believe that SSA is caused by genes. However in all likelihood it will be reversed by gene therapy.

    You know, it might actually happen. I’m sure they will one day come up with something that can boost opposite-sex attractions even in gays, without actually targeting the genes that have a bearing on same-sex attractions. I’m thinking about stuff like real-deal pheromones receptiveness boosters that could make men crazy about how women smell, independent of sexual orientation. 😎

    my guesstimate is about 30 years for humans. 30 years is the new 50 years.

    I’m still in my twenties, so I’m sure I’ll get to see a lot of cool stuff on the subject. But it might actually prove what we already know. Who knows? Maybe we roughly have the right explanations, but the evidence is still somewhere out there, waiting for us to find it.

  19. Warren
    You wrote in your post:

    You can go there to read the entire article, but I want to post an email from a couple regarding their experience with the failure-to-bond idea.

    and in your published articles:

    Listen to how one family described their experience with the failure-to-bond theory:

    My only assumption was that: both parents had the chance to talk, but only one did the talking because your text didn’t mention anything else on the context of communication. That assumption was based on your text’s general wording: you said ‘a couple’ and ‘one family,’ but now you make it clear that it was the mother who provided the information. What was I to understand from this? I didn’t assume anything else on the case. An assumption on this boy’s case would have been to say:
    1. The father was uninvolved, since he doesn’t do the talking.
    2. His father having been uninvolved has contributed to the boy’s present state.
    I did express doubt on the fact that we keep reading on your blog only-mother versions of these stories. You gotta wonder why. I am still curious about how their fathers see these problems, because parents can have different approaches to the same problem (unless the absent parent has the same approach as the talking one, to echo Dr Phil’s Tina). Other relatives’ accounts would be interesting to read too, in order to see the balance of family relations from a close observer’s point of view. What is the boy’s temperament? – another piece of information that would come very useful to fully understand if there are any patterns at all in these stories. We never hear about this stuff and it would help further debate if there was more information in all these stories that we watch and read. Good intentions and statements like “we truly bonded” cannot substitute for objective examinations, otherwise these topics would become wide open traps for us to speculate about causes without proper information. A professional would never do what we, a few lay commenters, do here, that is pass any judgement on a case without all the necessary details. Hence, making assumptions is part of our amateurish job. 🙂

  20. Bottom line here for me is that if these kinds of families cause homosexuality then half the population is in the closet.
    Dr. Throckmorton,
    Please see my above comment about posting on the wrong thread – sorry. I am not referring to family dynamics, rather, individuals who seem more concerned about absolving themselves from any kind of responsibility. I personally don’t believe a parent’s ego has any place when it comes to a child’s emotional well being.

  21. so sorry – my last comment was meant to be on the other thread :-/
    I do agree with the comment Evan made though

  22. All too often, the embarassing details are left out of these stories
    This has been my thought throughout the thread – the devil is always in the details and when one is trying to absolve themself from “any” responsibility, we do not hear the complete story. The fact that she went on tv to share such a personal and unresolved story about someone she professess to love so much is rather revealing about her motivations.

    1. I am not sure which mom you are referring to here Ann. The person in my article is not the person on the Dr Phil Show nor has ever been on television.
      Bottom line here for me is that if these kinds of families cause homosexuality then half the population is in the closet.

  23. If he was anything like my Dad, who loved me very very much, he’s very uncomfortable discussing this just because it is so awkward to him for whatever reasons. Otherwise, he’s just the less talkative of the two, or wasn’t available for comment because he’s so busy working and commuting, etc.

  24. Arthritis Pain ‘Abolished’ And Joint Damage Reduced With Experimental Gene Therapy
    I won’t post 100 of these but gene therapy is taking off. Essentially scientists use genes to reprogram the body to work the way they want. This is 1,000 times more powerful than medicine. The other day it was announced that a certain gene therapy stopped and sometimes reversed Multiple Sclerosis. I also read that scientists cured paralysis in animals with stem cells. Testing on humans is now imminent.
    We are living at the dawn of a new age of medicine. This is as big as when electricity was first invented. Everything isn’t going to happen overnight but it’s coming.

  25. Warren

    Allow me to temper Drowssap’s enthusiasm a bit. I do not know that switching humans will be like mice or fruitflies.

    You are 100% correct, in all likelihood fruit fly orientation will work different than it does in humans. But scientists have done similar things with mice. That’s at least a toe-hold towards an understanding of sexual orientation. I believe young people will see this sorted out during their lifetime. It isn’t just that science is advancing. The rate of scientific advancement is constantly increasing as well. That’s one reason my guesstimate is about 30 years for humans. 30 years is the new 50 years. 😎

    BTW, I don’t believe that SSA is caused by genes. However in all likelihood it will be reversed by gene therapy. I am constantly blown away by the power of gene therapy. Google just about anything and you’ll find that scientists are designing gene therapy for it and getting amazing results.
    Gene therapy may cure ‘bubble boy disease’

  26. Evan – I am actually surprised by your assumptions.

    the fact that he didn’t come forward to have his say is dubious.

    The mom in this case wrote this because I had contact with her and asked her to comment for the couple. I know this couple and am aware of the situation. Your assumption is off-base and can only be an assumption because you do not know the situation and are reading into it. Given your dismissal of RT, I don’t know why you would have gone to that attribution. However, there are numerous other attributions that could have been made to the narrative as written.
    One of my problems with RT is that the therapists become primed to see all client/parental behavior as only meaning one thing or one set of things. The client is defenseless in that case because any denial of the assumed set of facts is viewed as a defensive posture.
    Jason and Anthony – Thanks for commenting; hope you stick around and read some more. Allow me to temper Drowssap’s enthusiasm a bit. I do not know that switching humans will be like mice or fruitflies.

  27. I think we could also agree that God made each one of us, and that our parents did not make any of us.
    I think it’s both God and the Control a Kid remote.

  28. Warren wrote:

    Why do you doubt that the father is also involved and shares the same views? I know for a fact that he was as much as any dad with straight kids, perhaps more so.

    I don’t doubt he was involved, but the fact that he didn’t come forward to have his say is dubious. When there’s a big problem in the family, who is in charge with the problem-solving techniques? I would say both parents, according to their own background. The story should reflect how motivated both of them were to help their son, if any help was needed.

    I see nothing in this narrative that would generate suspicion unless you come from the point of view that reparative theory captures the essence of the homogenic family. Is that your view?

    My view is mostly based on facts, but there’s always room to question even the best intentions. Reparative theory is almost completey discredited and is steadily going bankrupt, because all the facts are pointing in the other direction. But even so, that doesn’t make parents’ accounts automatically credible. All too often, the embarassing details are left out of these stories. It would be great to hear neutral observers of any of these families. Better yet, to have longitudinal qualitative studies using a Big Brother type of observation. That could put an end to these speculations that dominant mothers and lame fathers have any contribution to their sons’ primary attractions.

  29. Michael Bussee:

    Considering how many men had this family dynamic, it just might be what “causes” heteroexuality.

    Could it be that the same dynamic creates different outcomes? Like: one aggressive boy gets detached very early from both parents and becomes autonomous enough to trust more his peers than his parents. I have seen this kind and it was coming from the same family in which the other brother grew up SSA-ed.
    The older brother, the energetic one, was like a little despot: he ordered his mother to cook him something while he was playing video games, then he would go out, jump on his boy motorbike and drive around in the neighbourhood to impress all his friends. He was the chief of his group, he bullied them into line and then would motivate them by letting them ride his bike for a while, but just for a while. His father rarely did something to temper him, because there wasn’t much he could do. The boy was using them both for his own interests… Both parents have tried scaring him using God, sometimes the boogeyman, but nothing worked as much as cutting his rewards. If he didn’t comply with their decisions, they would stop buying him things, giving him money, etc. That did the trick, after some struggling and protests.
    Because both parents were having a hard time controlling their older son, they poured all their love on the little one, who was quiet and docile. They were really proud of him, because he had good grades and they were probably hoping he would grow up to have a good job and stay closer to them when they would approach old age. They wouldn’t count on the bigger son, he was too egoistic. However, rather the reverse actually happened. The little son is now depressed and SSA-ed and dependent on his folks, while the older one is married, has two children and is faring a lot better than his brother. It turned out that the wild son has matured now and is more able to help them. But he still bears a grudge to his parents because he always perceived them as giving more stuff to his sensitive brother than him.
    Another thing I remember I noticed: the older brother was a big party animal and go-get-her, while the younger son was avoidant and pretty much a kitchen boy. There are many other aspects to this real story: the bigger son was a risk-taker – he lost lots of money on poker games, etc. I’ll spare you all the details. This is an example of a family in which two very different temperaments went differently through the family environment.
    If you want to ask something, shoot.

  30. Evan – Thanks for the catch. We’ll fix it.
    Why do you doubt that the father is also involved and shares the same views? I know for a fact that he was as much as any dad with straight kids, perhaps more so.
    I see nothing in this narrative that would generate suspicion unless you come from the point of view that reparative theory captures the essence of the homogenic family. Is that your view?

  31. Warren,
    You might want to check both articles for one misspelling in the mother’s well-meaning story: “naval gazing.” I think she meant something else, not a way of gazing related to the navy.

    What is the point of noting that women are talking/writing?

    It was getting suspicious that we’ve only heard one version of the story. I think many would want to hear what was the opinion of the man in the family, if there is any.

  32. I dunno – just my own personal experience – for whatever it is worth – my parents w/ all their faults and what not did something many did not – love me unconditionally. Being gay or not being gay was not their greatest interest in me. That has made all the difference.

  33. Life is so good sometimes. Michael still continues to take the one word ‘provoke’ that I used once in some three or four years of comments and use it not quite as I intended. And now, I finally have a quote directly from Michael that I can get some mileage with.

    I agree with Eddy: “A distant father and/or a smothering mother can influence a child’s sexual and/or gender identify.”

    I admit it seems a bit unfair of me to quote it like that…leaving off the sentence that clearly completes his thought..but I’m thinking it must be okay….because I’m only following Michael’s example.

  34. Warren wrote: ….the data are not there for the RT theory, either the old one or the one being pushed in Nicolosi’s new book.

    I understand Robert “NARTH is a voice in the wilderness” Perloff’s viewpoint concerning not allowing NARTH to have its say in the APA or his idea that “the APA is too g*ddamn politically correct…and too g*ddamn obeisant to special interests!” (Which special interests?) But it seems as though the man has gone over the deep end in writing a foreward (or part of thereof?) to Nicolosi’s new book. It seems extremism in terms of a principle can at times comprimise other principles, such as the scientific method, even in those considered to be among the best, such as Perloff. Could there be anything said by Perloff in that foreword that might mitigate that impression?

  35. I agree with Eddy: “A distant father and/or a smothering mother can influence a child’s sexual and/or gender identify.”
    Considering how many men had this family dynamic, it just might be what “causes” heteroexuality.

  36. A distant father and/or a smothering mother can influence a child’s sexual and/or gender identify. But to presume that this is the only way that sexual or gender identify is influenced is quite foolish, IMHO.

  37. Jason P
    I’m sure you were a good parent so let me try and put your mind at ease.

    The collected body of scientific research does not support the notion that SSA is the result of good, average or even poor parenting. Poverty stricken boys growing up in the inner city without fathers are no more likely to be gay than your child.

    Should your child for whatever reason desire to have OSA instead of SSA it is overwhelmingly likely that during his lifetime he will have that choice. I’m not saying that this will happen anytime soon but 30 years or less is not a bad guess.
    In Fruit Flies, Homosexuality Is Biological But Not Hard-wired, Study Shows
    This and other research suggests that the capability is coming sooner than many people might think.

  38. Thanks for this word, Dr THrockmorton. My son is SSA and we werre inseparble when he was a boy. Like so many parents who suffer in silence, I feel so much pain to be told that we were somehow not bonded. I see some of my church acquaintences who leave the rearing of thier boys to the moms and they turn out straighter than straight. My son who was my pal and (still is actually) is so perplexed because he can’t shake his attractions for guys. Use this how you need to but when he was 16 we were talikng about grandkids and he said, sorry I probably wont be able to give you any. He spilled how ddep it went and we looked for help and found nothing that made any sense to us. Your articles give us some hope that we should see it as another human prblem.

  39. I can so relate to what the parents in this article say. My son came to us when he was 14 and said he was not feeling any feelings for girls at all and had never had them. I have to tell you this crushed him to tell me this because he was sure I would take it as being our fault. Why? Because we had a speaker affiliated with Exodus come to our church just the week before (probably why our son came to us) and the speaker said being same-sex attracted was something that could be changed since it was caused by broken families. Heal the family and fix the gay!
    My son said that the speaker wasn’t right and that he must have been born that way since we (my son and I) were best friends. He was crushed by this since our church teaches that only marriage between a man and woman is allowed. We are still working on this but we surely do not believe our son is gay because we did not attach to him.
    As a dad who for years passed up overtime just so I could come home and play with and teach my son “guy things,” I am livid with people who say gay people have distant parents.
    I don’t know if the parents who wrote that comment for your article, Dr Throckmorton, are reading, but let me say to them I hear you and feel for you.

  40. Lynn David – I don’t know if Crosswalk took any heat but the commenters were not sending me love notes for the most part. Doesn’t matter; the data are not there for the RT theory, either the old one or the one being pushed in Nicolosi’s new book.
    Patrick – Does sound that way, doesn’t it?
    Evan – What is the point of noting that women are talking/writing?

  41. It’s possible. However, from the brief clips, I just thought she seemed like a strong, loving mother, trying to do the right thing. She didn’t seem pathological or abusive. If THIS is an example of a mother who induces homosexuality then there is no hope for parents anywhere, lol.

  42. minty,
    Do you think that the fact that she is doing the talking (‘My husband and I’) is a pattern or not, considering many other cases, including that of Dr Phil’s Little Boy Lost case, Tina’s boy-to-girl? She was doing her hids’ representation and talking for his father too.

  43. They sound like great parents. And good on them for resisting the temptation to navel-gaze indefinitely!
    The problem with navel-gazing is that people tend to link cause and effect even when a link isn’t there. It’s just human instinct to attribute causality – a by-product of our pattern-recognition skills. We try to find patterns where there are none.
    From the article, the parents sound reasonably certain that their behavior didn’t contribute to their son’s homosexuality, but it’s much harder and more painful when reality is more complicated – as with divorced parents and so on. Then, doubt can linger painfully.

  44. Then the next question follows, can anyone promote what works for them without necessarily being seen as putting down what works for others, and let God be the judge of all?

    Sure they can piano man – as long as the whole story is being told, and as long as one camp doesn’t actively work to suppress the rights of the other, which some Christians frequently do with gay people.

  45. Speaking of – Did anyone watch the movie Prayers For Bobby that was on TV this last week? Pretty powerful stuff!!!! Sigourney Weaver is amazing

  46. Patrick –
    flippant ex-gay expert and Nicolosi the same thing?- perish the though 🙂 Oh, and “expert” is a stretch

  47. Michael, I agree that temptation is not sin. I think we could also agree that God made each one of us, and that our parents did not make any of us. I think it’s kind of humorous where the Scripture says “The clay can’t say to the potter, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ ” and where God says “Who make the blind, the deaf? Did not I the Lord?”
    I guess the bottom line of the entire discussion is a different point of view about whether a particular feeling or desire is sometimes profitable to act on or not. If there’s no objective truth about that, then I guess we are back to at least live and let live and be at peace with one another and at peace with ourselves.
    Then the next question follows, can anyone promote what works for them without necessarily being seen as putting down what works for others, and let God be the judge of all? I know that more than sometimes I’m guilty of thinking I have the answer and the understanding but thankfully God reminds me as frequently as is needed that HE is the one who is the answer and is the understanding, for all of us, and I’m just one of his many children.

  48. I am wondering if the flippant exgay expert that is referred to in the story – is Nicolosi.

  49. It’s only the parent’s “fault” if being gay is a fault — and it’s not. Quit blaming parents.

  50. Are these parents saying that their son is the recipient of generational sin? If so, how much more credible is their perspective than anyone else’s? And do they still believe that praying away the gay is the only option?

  51. My wife and I come from a traditional background, we were products of the 60’s establishment and banned abortions.

    In the meantime, he became his own man, he left the home and rarely calls us.

    Just playin’ with counterfactuals…

  52. Well it’s psychology…. being about how human’s feel it’s a most imprecise science, if it could be called science at all. Anything can be conjured up as a cause and most anyone can be made to believe in that cause. I think I even told a guy I probably fell off the teet while nursing at the right (wrong?) time as that needful neuron was being connected, started bawling and ended up gay when the synapse wandered off to the left.
    But seriously, Warren, did Crosswalk get one too many complaints that you were the author of perdition or the Antichrist? I’ve tried to …. Eh… dangit! I opened it an another window and it came up…. so much for the ribbing I was going to give you.
    In the article you state:

    It is conceivable that research will find genetic markers associated with promiscuity which might appear to excuse unfaithfulness. However, these findings will not change the historic Christian standard of fidelity in marriage.

    I think there has already been found a gene which selects for “faithfulness or loyalty” to a mate. It is present in humans to a degree but also other mammals. I think that it occurs in a certain vole or a ferret species in which the males are ‘faithful fathers’ who help raise the young; but it does not occur (or is a smaller version of the gene) in a like species in which fathers do not stick around and help raise a litter. When scientists managed to introduce the gene into some of the voles/ferrets/whathaveyou that were normally not ‘faithful fathers,’ they became ‘faithful fathers’ who helped raise the young. In humans the gene has been shown to have a correlation with a number of behavioral traits that are all seen as ‘good.’

  53. I have a feeling that these are A+, involved parents. There is no logical reason they should blame themselves. Something happened to their child at a very early age or possibly in the womb. How, why or what nobody knows. If scientists could find the answer it would put millions of people’s minds to rest.

  54. In order for there to be a “fault”, there must be either some wrongdoing or some break or weakness or fracture. So assuming if there is some “fault”, I believe it would be fault of a fallen world beset by the effects of sin.
    This could manifest in any degree of any combination of biological factors; environmental factors; personality factors; how one responds to events and circumstances, or lack of events or circumstances; emotional abuse (put downs, labeling by adults or peers); emotional incest (for example, mom confides in son but disdains dad); sexual abuse; peer abuse; how any specific individual processes/deals with/grieves or doesn’t grieve those events; one’s self view and self characteristics and the degrees of those characteristics (victim, resilient, fear of rejection by the same sex, fear of being controlled by the opposite sex; just like sex [very few don’t] and first experience happened to be with someone of the same sex and it happened to be a “more positive than negative” experience; self disdain, disdain of the perceived “normal” expressions of one’s own gender [i.e. son internalizing statement from mother “don’t be a man like your father who only wants one thing”, etc.])….
    Seeing that no two people are alike, no two people’s experiences and reactions to those experiences are alike, no two people’s biological or physiological makeups are exactly alike, no two people’s personalities are exactly alike, etc, to search for one simple cause (other than a fallen world) that would apply to all persons, to search for a one-size-fits-all solution, is, in my view, a waste of time. This does NOT exclude the probability that some theories apply to some persons in some respects.
    Furthermore, as you have quoted Mohler, even if biological factors are a plurality (or even majority) of the causes of individuals experiencing feelings of sexual attraction to some members of their own gender, I would add that God is the redeemer of all sin, whether biologically caused or not. If God can only redeem sin that is circumstancial or enviornmental/caused by deeds or words and the reactions to those deeds/and words, than God would frankly be quite useless IMO.
    In addition, using parents as a scapegoat/excuse/cover might not help someone to come to a place of acceptance (not exactly the same as agreement) with themselves, until if and when they could forgive and keep on forgiving their parents until the “wound” heals to scar tissue and does not continue to fester ad infinitum. After all, most parents are NOT malicious and ONLY want the best for their children (mine did, I am confident of that); so for a child to NOT give grace to one’s own parents to have the permission and the total freedom to be less than perfect parents is not from the heart of God, I believe. Sure, a FEW parents do abuse their children, that’s why we have CPS.
    Thanks for allowing me to express these thoughts. I think it would be difficult to condense them any further without compromising the content. k

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