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The Physiology of Homosexuality

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by John Boanerges, Jul 22, 2012.

  1. John Boanerges

    John Boanerges Preterist

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    31
    This thread arose from another that I contributed to recently. Of course, the discussion got heated and started heading down a road that I didn't intend.

    Here was the premise: There is now (overwhelming) medical evidence that sexual orientation can be determined/changed in the womb by prenatal exposure to chemicals and hormones, particularly xenoestrogens, which are exogenous (made outside the body) estrogens from plants (e.g. the powerful isoflavones of soy) and man-made chemicals (e.g. from toxins/pollutants, pesticides, plastics, and more). Genetics have also been implicated in determining sexual orientation, with certain genes being turned on or off by certain outside stimuli, such as the ones listed above, much like "genetic diseases" (e.g. familial cancers) are expressed under the influences certain chemicals (e.g. carcinogens).

    If you Google "xenoestrogens, sexual orientation", "epigenetics, sexual orientation", "prenatal hormones, homosexuality", "right hand finger length study, homosexuality", and related searches you will find plenty of scientific evidence. Epigenetics is particularly fascinating - the layer of genetic information (much of which is viral) that helps determine what the true genes in the DNA are going to do when challenged by outside forces, such as xenoestrogens, chemicals/toxins/pollutants/carcinogens.

    So...there are physiological events that help explain why many gay individuals unequivocally state that they have felt the way they do for as long as they can remember. In some, it may be a lifestyle choice. However, most that I know have felt this way...some even fighting the compulsion to be this way...their entire life. They are as convinced of their sexual orientation as any heterosexual.

    Here was my point: The church is going to have to deal with the fact that homosexuality is not simply a matter of being "seduced by the dark side". There is overwhelming evidence that sexual orientation can be changed in utero and even later in life through epigenetics. Homosexuality is now much more than the “simple” lifestyle choice that the uneducated individual thinks it is. It may have been more of choice in OT times and the Word (the law) was there to govern this behavior. But in today's world, under the influences of MAN, this has changed and become more of a physiological issue.

    Now, this concept is not a "win" for either side. In fact, it will be hard to swallow by both sides. Many evangelical are convinced that homosexuality is merely a choice and purely sinful behavior and don't want to hear otherwise while I'm sure that most homosexuals will not enjoy the perspective that their sexual orientation is "abnormal" in any way (e.g. being a "birth defect" caused by chemical exposure in the womb). But...the medical data is what it is - a scientific explanation for the rise in homosexuality in modern times AND support for the testimony of those who are gay and (correctly) claim to have been born this way. Just as most homosexuals will tell you, they did not choose to be gay.

    As painful as this topic may be, I believe it opens the door for reconciliation between the two groups. Yes, most homosexuals were born this way or became so under what we now know to be definable circumstances. Again, they were not simply "seduced by the dark side" or products of "improper upbringing".

    This should help open the minds - and the church doors - of Christians to the homosexual individual and afford them the unconditional love that we all desire...and that Christians are being slammed every day for not exhibiting (and rightfully so. Shame on us!)

    This is/should be the bridge.

    Then, if we want to address the Scriptural aspects of this lifestyle, we can hopefully do so in a setting of love and understanding, remembering that "sin" comes in many forms...with ALL of us being guilty. If heterosexuals battle lust for members of the opposite sex (which most do much more than they care to admit), imagine how hard it must be for those who have those same urges for someone of the same sex before they can fully comprehend/integrate those feelings as an adult. And many pour gas on the fire through ignorant condemnation, which is both factually and spiritually the wrong thing to do.

    We must address the hatred that is being expressed on both sides of this issue, much of which can be defused by understanding the physiology of sexual orientation.

    So...will you Google it?

    Can we at least discuss this in a civilized manner?
     
  2. Polarbear

    Polarbear Member

    Messages:
    418
    No there isn't, just check out this video:

    [youtube]RuENDu0cP_A[/youtube]
    Potential barriers to "curing" homosexuality - YouTube
     
  3. John Boanerges

    John Boanerges Preterist

    Messages:
    31
    Did you listen to that video??? Very early on, the speaker states exactly what I just said about prenatal influences. I see no contradictions here. I did not state that there was one identifiable influence that makes a person homosexual. It is complex, but...taken together, these things can and do influence sexual orientation in utero and even postnatally.

    Once again, the main point is that most homosexuality today is determined physiologically, not simply by choice.
     
  4. Polarbear

    Polarbear Member

    Messages:
    418
    Note where she talks about all the environmental factors, that hetrosexuals can have many of the same traits as homosexuals pre-nataly and that it's impossible to determine wheter or not someone is or will become a homosexuals. I am not saying homosexuality isn't biological, but that it's hard to reliably determine who is gay before they are born and I am not aware of any way to alter someones orientation like you claimed was possible.
     
  5. Super Universe

    Super Universe Defender of God

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    3,740
    The church has dealt with the homosexuality issue for centuries, they are still opposed to it. I don't think it matters to them whether homosexuals are born that way or not, to them, we all have to abide by God's supposed rules regardless.

    Are they stuck in two thousand year old theory? Yes.
     
  6. Curious George

    Curious George New Member

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    2,817
    I would suggest that if every possible factor could be controlled to create either a homosexual or heterosexual child then by all means we should create an even amount of both. However, I think some Christian's are going to be very upset when we flip a coin and tell them we are going to have to turn their child gay.
     
  7. Trey of Diamonds

    Trey of Diamonds New Member

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    7,996
    The problem with your premise that is "Homosexuality is a Sin". I don't believe it is, so it is difficult for me to see your point of view. I see people who are more concerned with altering others behavior than actually offering help to be more harmful than anything else. Good intentions does not excuse hatred.
     
  8. Quagmire

    Quagmire Imaginary talking monkey Staff Member Premium Member

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    42,780
    He did put quotations marks around the word "sin", if you'll notice.

    Not to speak for someone else, but to me it seems obvious that this part:
    . . .is addressing other Christians, ie., people who usually consider homosexuality a sin.
     
  9. methylatedghosts

    methylatedghosts Can't brain. Has dumb.

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    6,009
    I'm not convinced. In my experience, and in the experience of others I know, sexuality is rather fluid. It changes with time. Not suddenly, but gradually to the point where it's difficult to say at which point sexual attraction might have changed. I do know that for a while I considered myself straight, then bi, then gay, then back to bi, before finally arriving at pansexual. I couldn't tell you whether or not it may change again
     
  10. Super Universe

    Super Universe Defender of God

    Messages:
    3,740
    Uh, you're not serious about that, are you?

    I think the ratio of homosexuals in society is something like 10%.

    You would raise it to 50%?
     
  11. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    25,526
    As I said in the other thread, this tack represents a very slippery slope -- to suggest that homosexuals are somehow "broken" human beings, and then excusing that by asserting that we're all broken in some way. For me, this doesn't "open the conversation," it simply adds more useless static to the mix. It asserts that God doesn't make people homosexual -- which is another way of saying that there is some "fault" to be pointed out in homosexuality. To my way of thinking, this represents the same kind of insidious thinking that kept racial minorities beat down for so long.
     
  12. Curious George

    Curious George New Member

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    2,817

    Of course, I figure that this new information will allow us to fix the 40% of heterosexuals that were supposed to be gay
     
  13. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    25,526
    Retroactively? :eek:
     
  14. methylatedghosts

    methylatedghosts Can't brain. Has dumb.

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    6,009
    Seems you could also pass some of the blame on to the parents, particularly the mother, for not providing a womb that was free of the chemicals/hormones that make people gay. You could probably work sin into that as well.
     
  15. Curious George

    Curious George New Member

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    2,817
    well now that you mention it maybe we could go for 100% bi.

    I will say to my wife, "honey, did you take your folic acid and bi-vitamins?"
     
    sojourner likes this.
  16. 9Westy9

    9Westy9 Sceptic Staff Member Premium Member

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    8,529
    Religion:
    Apathetic Agnostic
    The way that they deal with it should be the same way they deal with eating shellfish. They should mark it as "meant for a certain time and place and not relevant today"
     
  17. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    I'm still trying to figure out why being gay is such a sin?:shrug:
     
  18. methylatedghosts

    methylatedghosts Can't brain. Has dumb.

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    6,009
    "Icky" comes to mind. But that's about as far as I've gotten
     
  19. Curious George

    Curious George New Member

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    2,817
    icky?



    oh I see, you meant #2.... or was it #4
     
  20. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    25,526
    Ooh! I'm voting for #4!:flirt:
     
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