Re: Is there a gay gene?

From: george murphy (
Date: Sun May 12 2002 - 15:42:03 EDT

  • Next message: Lucien Carroll: "Re: Emergence of information out of nothing?" wrote:

    > John Burgeson wrote:
    > > Tolerance is better than hate. Acceptance is better than tolerance. Rehab
    > > is, as far as I can see, a false hope for persons with a homosexual
    > > affinity. AT least most of them.
    > >
    > >
    > I'm sure I can find this out somewhere, but anyway,
    > you have posted on several occasions that being gay
    > is genetic. Is there strong evidence for a locus
    > (probably several if true) for "gayness", or is it
    > still mainly a matter of conjecture.
    > If being gay is a genetic disposition, then it is
    > not entirely a matter of free will anymore, and that
    > changes how one should view a person who exhibits
    > such behavior. It also raise issues about social
    > responsibility in some cases. For example, to
    > what extent should we hold a gay responsible in a
    > case of child molestation? And if pedophiles are
    > shown to have a genetic disposition, what then?
    > I know this is a big bomb to drop, but
    > clearly, crimes committed in the conditions of free
    > will are different from crimes committed by people
    > not so possessed with a free will. There is a real
    > conflict between mere scientific analysis, and the
    > social consequences of such behaviors. It would
    > not be trivial to reconcile these at all.

             We need to make a distinction between a "genetic" condition, one which
    (in whole or part) is due to coding in the DNA, & a condition that someone is
    "born with" in the sense that it is caused by environmental factors _in utero_
    or (by extension) at a very early age. Cystic fibrosis is an example of the
    first, fetal alcohol syndrome of the second.
             I believe (though I am subject to correction) that the
    putative evidence
    for a "gay gene" has gone away. In any case that would have
    suggested a genetic
    link only for male homosexuality. But even if there is no genetic basis for
    homosexuality, there seems good reason to believe that homosexual
    orientation is
    formed at a very early age & is not simply chosen.
             In any case homosexual genital activity does not necessarily
    follow from
    homosexual orientation, any more than heterosexual activity necessarily follows
    from heterosexual orientation or drinking from being an alcohol.



    George L. Murphy
    "The Science-Theology Interface"

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sun May 12 2002 - 17:04:32 EDT