Homosexuals Can’t Blame Their Genes
Largest genetic study ever done on the subject shows no conclusive evidence genes influence homosexual behavior.
There is no “gay gene,” a big new study concludes. The results of a large genome-wide association study (GWAS) study were published in Science today. Some scientists, however, continue to try to tease the data for some evidence of a predisposition to homosexual behavior.
The ‘Gay Gene’ Is a Total Myth, Massive Study Concludes (Live Science). “No individual gene alone makes a person gay, lesbian or bisexual;” Charles Q. Choi writes about the study, but he leaves some wiggle room for genetic determinism: “instead, thousands of genes likely influence sexual orientation, a massive new study of the genomes of nearly half a million people suggests.” But thousands of genes affect lots of things. Which genes are most influential? What combination of genes forces a tipping point? It’s not scientific to leave causation unidentified in some cloud of “thousands of genes” that “likely influence” something, especially a behavior.
No ‘gay gene’: Massive study homes in on genetic basis of human sexuality (Nature). Jonathan Lambert summarizes the “solid study” in Science:
The largest study to date on the genetic basis of sexuality has revealed five spots on the human genome that are linked to same-sex sexual behaviour — but none of the markers are reliable enough to predict someone’s sexuality.
The findings, which are published on 29 August in Science and based on the genomes of nearly 500,000 people, shore up the results of earlier, smaller studies and confirm the suspicions of many scientists: while sexual preferences have a genetic component, no single gene has a large effect on sexual behaviours.
“There is no ‘gay gene’,” says lead study author Andrea Ganna, a geneticist at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Ganna and his colleagues also used the analysis to estimate that up to 25% of sexual behaviour can be explained by genetics, with the rest influenced by environmental and cultural factors — a figure similar to the findings of smaller studies.
The 25% figure is misleading, however. For one thing, association is not causation. For another, none of the five markers has a clear connection to sexual behavior (one, for instance deals with olfaction, but it’s a stretch to think a gene for smelling is going to make someone homosexual). A third and most important conclusion from the data is that while 8% to 25% of homosexuals shared one or more of the five markers, the combined influence of the markers dropped to less than 1%. That makes the markers statistically inconsequential for predicting one’s sexuality if he or she has the markers. Darwinists already have their problems cut out for them trying to figure out why any gene would be “naturally selected” that eliminates reproduction.
How do genes affect same-sex behavior? (Science). Commenting on the study, Melinda C. Mills seemed the most determined to preserve the argument that homosexuals are the way they are because genes make them that way. Right off the bat, she claims that homosexuality is genetic:
Studies have indicated that same-sex orientation and behavior has a genetic basis and runs in families, yet specific genetic variants have not been isolated. Evidence that sexual orientation has a biological component could shape acceptance and legal protection: 4 to 10% of individuals report ever engaging in same-sex behavior in the United States, so this could affect a sizeable proportion of the population.
She even drags in the discredited sex researcher Alfred Kinsey to make the case. While not wandering far from Ganna study’s data, Mills seems intent on not offending the LGBT community or causing them discrimination, speaking of (and apparently agreeing with)
voices from the LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer+) community arguing that a range of sexualities exist. Sexuality is dynamic, with the ability to express and realize sexual preferences, and is thus also shaped and regulated by cultural, political, social, legal, and religious structures.
But if homosexuality is not genetically determined, and is a chosen behavior, why should those “structures” not regulate behavior which they find to be objectionable? Society “discriminates” against some behaviors all the time, and regulates them, if it deems them harmful or contrary to the society’s well-being (e.g., drug use, abortion, loitering). Anti-discrimination laws were intended to protect those who have an unchangeable genetic trait, like skin color, disability, or biological sex. If the discrimination laws start applying to personal choices and preferences, then some citizens will have a legal hammer to pound those who disagree with the morality of those choices and preferences. This, indeed, has happened – and is happening in court cases today about whether vendors must be forced to use their artistic expressions to support pro-homosexual messages they feel violate their religious convictions. Some have won; some have lost; some are waiting to see what happens. The interests that prevail in these civil-rights cases are likely to have enormous effects on society.
Much of the justification for the early gay-rights movement was that homosexuals couldn’t help themselves, because they were “born this way.” The idea led to searches and false claims about a “gay gene” – something innate – that would allow homosexuals to hitch onto anti-discrimination laws protecting race and biological sex (we can’t say “gender” now that our culture has blurred the meaning). The success of the LGBT movement along this line has been rapid and overwhelming, shaping the attitudes of the law, business, politics and the media. Religious leaders are suffering the most, trying to maintain a Biblical stance on human sexuality and marriage, but getting caught in the crossfire of vocal activists who would marginalize their voices and deny their civil rights to freedom of speech and religion. Right now, California is trying to outlaw “conversion therapy.” Laws or regulations might make it a crime to counsel a homosexual who comes to a pastor, seeking help to escape same-sex attraction. Shouldn’t such a person be allowed to find answers, and learn that there is a way out of unwanted desires? Is it becoming a crime to show compassion?
And yet homosexuals should be the first to be glad there is not a “gay gene.” Genetic determinism ends any hope of change. It locks one in desires and behaviors that a person may wish to escape. Family Research Council’s Washington Watch program today (29 August 2019), contained two segments on this issue. In the first, Jake Warner, Legal Counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, on the Kentucky Supreme Court’s decision to hear a years-old case on a Christian T-shirt maker who refused to print “LGBT pride” shirts in 2012. (This would be like forcing a Jew to print Nazi shirts, or a Muslim to print Christian shirts). In another segment, former homosexual Becket Cook describes his conversion to Christianity: how empty he felt in his homosexual lifestyle, and how he found great joy and fulfillment in coming to Christ. That’s a tremendous message of hope to give someone. Cook even studied theology and wrote a book, A Gay Man’s Story of Redemption. His relief at escaping his former life, and his surprise by joy in Christ, is palpable in his testimony.
Homosexuals have been in the world since the Fall, and the issue is not going away. These are times of great social upheaval as LGBT activists are making huge inroads and striving to force acceptance among those with Biblical views on sex and family. The Supreme Court, by a swing vote (5-4), legalized homosexual marriage in 2015, and thus forced same-sex “marriage” on millions of people who strongly disagreed with it, especially among those who follow God’s word. How is the church to respond, when any genetic basis for homosexuality has been undermined by this new study? The issues for churches and Christian ministries are complex and delicate, involving how to avoid “discrimination” while boldly maintaining Biblical orthodoxy. There are also individual Christ followers who want to do right, but have a hard time with their feelings and attractions. One of the things Becket Cook points out in the interview is that it is one thing to feel same-sex attraction, but another thing to act on it. All Christians are tempted by some things. The beautiful part of Cook’s story is that the church welcomed him into their service, and led him to the gospel of Christ. They didn’t have to endorse his sin, but they showed him the way to salvation. That started to change him from within, as the Holy Spirit worked on his heart. Every believer must learn to master their feelings and do what God commands. Obedience is always the path to joy.